Resources Position Statements

Christian Life Resources Position Statement on Abortion

PREAMBLE

A Christian demonstrates thankfulness to a loving and forgiving God by doing what is good and avoiding what is evil. The Holy Scriptures proclaim God’s will for what is to be done and what is to be avoided.

It is that same Word of God which compels Christians and Christian agencies to perform charitable work for the care of others. Christians and Christian agencies are also compelled to commend faithful living and point out error by proclaiming God’s Word. It is the purpose of this statement to glorify God by proclaiming his truth, speaking against error, and advocating charitable work for the bene t of others.

ABSTRACT

Human life exists already at conception. It is a gift from God. He also reserves for himself the authority to take human life. Aborting an unborn child for any reason, other than to preserve a human life, is a practice condemned by the Word of God and therefore is wrong.

BACKGROUND

In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, that
a woman has the legal right to avail herself of elective abortion services. is right to abortion was to extend throughout the entire term of the pregnancy with only minor restrictions imposed as the pregnancy progresses. e practices of self-abortion and performing abortions on women have been around for centuries. Abortion for the purpose of saving the life of a mother has generally been accepted in societies. Its broader legalization in 1973 brought to the forefront the fundamental questions of life, individual rights, and freedom.

The issues which appear at the focal point of the debate for Christians are:

  • The beginning of human life
  • The competing interest between individual freedom and the right to live • e spiritual welfare of the mother and child
  • The extent Christian beliefs on an issue can be applied publicly

(N.B. Often euphemistic terms such as pregnancy termination, pregnancy reduction, and others are used in place of the word abortion in order to minimize the serious moral implications of the procedure.)

TERMINOLOGY

ABORTION: Abortion is the expulsion or removal of an unborn child from the womb resulting in the death of that child. Generally, there are three types of abortion:

  • Spontaneous: e action of the body in which a child, usually in the very early stages of gestation, dies in the womb and is naturally expelled. A spontaneous abortion is unintentional and is often called a miscarriage.
  • Medically Necessary: To intentionally terminate the life of an unborn child once it is determined continuing the pregnancy would end the life of both mother and child. Abortions for this reason are becoming rarer with the advancements of medicine, but they do occur.
  • Elective: To terminate the life of an unborn child for any reason other than the saving of the mother’s life. is includes situations here the mother’s health might be endangered but not necessarily her life.

CONCEPTION: That point when sperm fertilizes an egg and cell division commences. IMPLANTATION: at point when a fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining and continues its
growth.
ECTOPIC PREGNANCY: The result of a fertilized egg implanting itself outside the uterine cavity, most commonly in the fallopian tube, which is called a tubal pregnancy.

THE ISSUES

SECTION 1: HUMAN LIFE

God’s Word does not mention abortion in any place. e fact that Scripture neither mentions the
word “abortion,” nor addresses more directly the issues of spontaneous, medically necessary or elective abortions does not mean this matter is left to personal judgment. God establishes principles in his Word which reveal His will on abortion.
NOTE: Exodus 21:22-25 is omitted in the following list of passages because of exegetical difficulties. We have decided to cite passages that speak more clearly.

Human Beings are Unique and Prized in All God’s Creation
When God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the sh of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
(Genesis 1:27)

God distinguishes human beings by giving them authority over all other living things. God further distinguishes human beings by the unique way he created them in his own image.

Human Beings Consist of Body and Soul
…and the dust turns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7) Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

Human beings on earth are further distinguished by their unique constitution of both body and soul. The possession of a soul is exclusively assigned to human beings

Human Beings Exist in the Womb
People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. (Luke 18:15)

As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. (Luke 1:44) the gospel writer, Luke, was both an inspired writer of Scripture and a physician. He used the same word, baby, to describe the born and unborn child. Neither his medical knowledge nor the Holy Spirit’s guidance moved him to make any di erentiation between the two.

Protecting the Life of Human Beings is a Primary Concern
Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.
(Genesis 9:6)

Even though human beings after the good were permitted to take plant and animal life for food, they are not to take human life, because, unlike animal life, it was created in the image of God. God allows for the practice of capital punishment (see also Romans 13:4) as just retribution for an act of murder.

Human Beings Face an Eternal Accounting for Sin
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it o . It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the re never goes out. (Mark 9:43)

For the wages of sin is death . . . (Romans 6:23a)

…man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment… (Hebrews 9:27)

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. is will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing re with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 1:6- 8)

In contrast to animals and other forms of life, human beings are responsible for their actions and face eternal consequences because of sin.

Accountability for Sin Establishes the Beginning of Human Life
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5)
As moral creatures God holds individual human beings accountable for sin. at accountability is already evident at conception. (NOTE: In the Old Testament the Israelites considered conception to take place at the earliest possible moment. e root for the Hebrew word “conceive” means “to burn” and is often used to describe the passion in intercourse. e entire procreative process is viewed as a unitconcept, running from intercourse to delivery. Genesis 4:1 provides us with such an example.) We can say with certainty that human life exists at conception.

All Human Beings are Declared Forgiven and Righteous in Christ
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19)

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. is righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Tere is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:21-24)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithand this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9)

Jesus lived and died in our place. All people are declared righteous because of his perfect life and forgiven because of his all sufficient death. The individual receives this free gift of forgiveness through Christ, not by works, but only by God’s gracious gift of faith.

Christians Seek to Glorify God When Making Decisions about Human Life
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists
and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

Believers are called to do all things to the glory of God, that is, to do his will out of love for him. In
a world of sin, doing God’s will may involve facing difficult decisions which could carry with them unfortunate consequences. For instance, in those rare circumstances where a mother might die from her pregnancy, a mother and father may have to decide whether to terminate the pregnancy rather than lose the lives of both mother and child. Such decisions become even more difficult when the parents are confronted with the prospect of postponing potentially life preserving treatment for the mother so as to not endanger the life of the unborn child (ex.: treatment for maternal cancer which may prove fatal for the unborn child).

We caution that so called “exceptions to abortion” ought not broaden the criteria for a justifiable abortion. A Christian will not lose sight of the fact that taking a human life for any reason other than saving a life, is wrong.

Because of the high regard God places on human life we reject abortion for reasons of physical defects
in the unborn child. God has demonstrated the high value he places on all human life, regardless of its varying degrees of quality of life. We also reject abortion as a so called “instrument of compassion” for pregnant victims of rape or incest. There is no biblical justification for punishing the unborn child with death for the sins of the father. Rather, we encourage compassionate care and assistance to such victims throughout their pregnancy and the process of determining whether she wants to continue caring for the child after birth or place the child for adoption.

Conclusion
God’s Word instructs us that human life is his unique creation that is to be protected at all stages, including its earliest stages. Even when a medical abortion is sought to preserve a mother’s life, the Christian will always proceed with the intent to preserve all human life whenever possible. All other reasons for abortion fail to reflect God’s high regard for human life and our responsibility to protect it.

SECTION 2: PERSONAL RIGHTS V. THE RIGHT TO LIFE

Even some advocates of abortion acknowledge that the unborn child is a life. Others call the child a potential life or a life with potential. However, the argument is not whether the unborn child is life, but where that life has rights under the law. The reasoning is that because the unborn child fails to have specific legal recognition, the mother has a compelling interest over against her unborn child. Abortion proponents readily acknowledge that upon birth there are constitutional provisions protecting that life, but the essence of protective constitutional mandates for the unborn child suggests a legal denial of “personhood” to the unborn child. The result, therefore, is that the mother may legally exercise her perceived constitutional right to privacy and abort her child if she so desires.

Christians Are Free From the Curse of Sin
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand rm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4) By fulling the law on our behalf, Jesus freed us from the eternal curse of sin.

Christians Express Their Freedom by Keeping God’s Will
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed. (Luke 4:18)

Our practice of freedom is to reflect our eternal freedom from sin and damnation made possible by the gift of Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Christian Freedom Finds its Expression in Keeping the Will of God
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. (1 Corinthians 8:9)

Freedom is not absolute, but subject to the will of God. Freedom finds both its beginning and end in God’s Word and his will that we should love our neighbor.

Conclusion
Christians express their freedom through the moral obligation of the law. Obedience to the moral law
is an expression of love for God. at moral law guides us in sharing God-pleasing love to our fellow human beings. A Christian does not have the right to choose that which is contrary to God’s will. Apart from God’s expressed command, Christians cannot take human life, but rather, are obliged to protect it.

SECTION 3: THE APPLICATION OF CHRISTIAN BELIEFS IN THE PUBLIC ARENA

Abortion opponents are often accused of trying to push their religious views off on the rest of society, yet those who favor abortion do the same when they hope to push on all of society their personally held conviction which allows for abortion on demand. Aside from that illogic, God’s Word guides us to recognize both the distinction between privately held convictions and the Christian’s role in reflecting those convictions to the world.

God’s Word Speaks Clearly Concerning the Taking of Human Life
“See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.” (Deuteronomy 32:39)

“You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13)

God condemns murder as sin. Christians can testify to that truth.

Man Has a Natural Knowledge of the Law at Can be Sensitized
Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. (Romans 2:14,15)

Even unbelieving people have a blurred knowledge of God’s law written in their hearts. Christians can appeal to that knowledge when testifying that murder is wrong.

When Others Need our Help we Cannot Remain Silent
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:3-5)

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:35,36)

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. In stead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:14,15)

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. (Proverbs 31:8) Motivated by their love for Christ, Christians will put their faith into action.

Christians Will Exercise their Legal Rights to Protect Life
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
(Matthew 26:52)

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (Romans 13:1)

Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29)

Christians are encouraged to use the legal avenues in society to re ect their love for Christ by protecting
the lives of others.

Conclusion
A Christian is to be a faithful witness to God’s truth in this world. Therefore, he will publicly testify to the sanctity of human life and the sinfulness of elective abortion. In so doing, he protects human life and proclaims God’s holy truths.

SUMMARY STATEMENT ON ABORTION

God’s Word teaches that life exists at conception and is to be protected from its earliest stage. To abort for any reason other than the preservation of another life is contrary to God’s Word. Freedom of choice ends where compromising God’s Word begins. Human beings, born and unborn, whether healthy or impaired, are of equal value in God’s eyes. Christians will seek to protect the lives of mothers and children, care for them, and use God’s Word to correct error and proclaim truth about life now and for eternity. Since this is God’s position, it is therefore, the position of Christian Life Resources.

Adopted by CLR National Congress October 8, 1996.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

CHRISTIAN LIFE RESOURCES

Christian Life Resources’ ministry includes a 24-hour helpline, more than 15 pregnancy care centers across the U.S., a home for single mothers in Milwaukee, WI, online information and education at www.ChristianLifeResources.com, Christian medical directives, speakers on life and family issues, our official publication Clearly Caring magazine that addresses life and family issues, and much more!

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Christian Life Resources Position Statement on Euthanasia

PREAMBLE

A Christian demonstrates thankfulness to a loving and forgiving God by doing what is good and avoiding what is evil. The Word of God, which is the 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament, proclaims God’s will for what is to be done and what is to be avoided.

It is that same Word of God which compels Christians and Christian agencies to perform charitable work for the care of others. Christians and Christian agencies are also compelled to commend faithful living and point out error by proclaiming God’s Word. It is the purpose of this statement to glorify God by proclaiming His truth, speaking against error, and advocating charitable work for the benefit of others.

ABSTRACT

Any practice of euthanasia, the intent of which is to shorten one’s own life or the life of another person, is a practice condemned by the Word of God and therefore is wrong. All people are to protect life and carry the burdens of others. Apart from God’s expressed permission, it is wrong to take human life, even when we do not like the quality of that life.

BACKGROUND

The growing interest in the legalization of assisted suicide and advocacy of so-called “death with dignity” prompts this statement and the need for Christian Life Resources to clearly reflect the teachings of God’s Word on the matter.

The issues for Christians in the debate on euthanasia are:

  • The witness of God’s Word on the matter;
  • The competing interests between individual freedom and submission to God’s will;
  • The application of Christian beliefs in the public arena;
  • The contrast of Christian life-affirming compassion with the practice of euthanasia;
  • The Christian concern for the body beginning with concern for the soul.

TERMINOLOGY

Assisted Suicide: The act of self-killing with the assistance of another person.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: A medical directive in which a person designates medical care wishes and appoints a health care agent.

Euthanasia: The active or passive ending of a life, usually with the intent to end suffering or terminate a life of perceived lesser quality. This term applies to the following specific acts:

Extraordinary Means: Those treatments, medicines and operations which are gravely burdensome to the patient, and which cannot be obtained or used without excessive expense, pain or other inconvenience or which, if used, would not o er a reasonable hope of bene t to the patient.

Genocide: The systematic and planned extermination of an entire class of people based on nationality, race, religion, disability, age, or political convictions.

Health Care Agent (Surrogate): One designated in a medical directive to make health care decisions for another.

Imminent: A term used to describe the expectation that death will occur within a few hours or days. Living

Will: A medical directive in which a person states medical treatment wishes.

Medical Directive: A legal document in which a person designates medical care wishes in the event he or she is declared legally incapacitated.

Palliative Sedation: The active administration of pain-relieving medication for comfort and care, not for the specific or intentional purpose of shortening life. (Sometimes this term is unfortunately used as a euphemism for terminal sedation [see above]).

Passive Euthanasia: The intentional refusal to receive or administer necessary sustentative or curative treatment for the specific purpose of shortening life.

Suicide: The act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally.

Terminal: A term used to describe a health condition that is expected to cause death after an extended
period of time (in contrast to the comparatively shorter period of time implied by the term “imminent”).

Terminal Sedation The act of administering pain-relieving medication for the speci c and intentional purpose of shortening life.

UDDA: The Uni ed Determination of Death Act. Released in 1981 by the President’s Commission
for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research containing the following criteria for determining death: “An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem. A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards.”

THE ISSUES

SECTION 1: THE PERTINENCE OF GOD’S WORD ON THIS MATTER
The term, “euthanasia,” comes from the combination of two Greek words “eu” (which means “good”) and “thanatos” (which means “death”) which literally translated means “good death.” e term could be understood to refer to a comfortable death without an intent to shorten life. It is, however, a term used to describe efforts to terminate life when deemed to have little functional value and/or is filled with pain. Concern has also been expressed that euthanasia would be or is practiced for the purposes of genocide and the furtherance of “valued” and “quality” lives.

Collateral to the topic of euthanasia is the issue of the definition or redefinition of death. While the UDDA definition addresses the matter from a strictly physical viewpoint, there is increasing interest in defining death to be inclusive of both the quality of life and its physical presence.

While the Bible does not mention “euthanasia,” it does establish abiding principles and practical implications that shed light on God’s will in this matter.

Human Beings Are Unique and Prized in All God’s Creation
When God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the sh of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26,27)

God distinguishes human beings by giving them authority over all other living things. God further distinguishes human beings by the unique way He created them in His own image.

Human Beings Consist of Body and Soul
…and the dust turns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7) Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can
destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

Human beings on earth are further distinguished by their unique constitution of both body and soul. e possession of a soul is exclusively assigned to human beings (Definition – Soul: The spiritual being which, when united with a body, makes a living human person).

Protecting the Life of Human Beings Is a Primary Concern
Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. (Genesis 9:6)

You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)

Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. (1 John 3:15)

Murder is so serious that it jeopardizes the eternal welfare of the murderer. Even though human beings after the flood were permitted to take plant and animal life for food, they are not to take human life, because, unlike animal life, it was created in the image of God. God allows for the practice of capital punishment (see also Romans 13:4) as just retribution for an act of murder to demonstrate its seriousness.

Human Beings Face an Eternal Accounting for Sin
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. (Mark 9:43)

For the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23a)

…as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment… (Hebrews 9:27)

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. is will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 1:6- 8)

In contrast to animals and other forms of life, human beings are moral creatures who are responsible for their actions and face eternal consequences because of sin.

The End of Human Life Brings Judgment for Everyone
Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. (Revelation 20:12)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

Every person’s earthly life ends at death. The finality of death is marked by the inability to undo or redo one’s life. Upon death, every person faces judgment before God. There is no second chance.

The Just Judgment for Sin Is Eternal Condemnation
…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) For the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23)

When he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal re prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)

At death comes the judgment for sin, prescribed in God’s Word as eternal condemnation for all people because all people have sinned.

All Human Beings Are Declared Forgiven and Righteous in Christ (Objective Justification)
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19)

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. is righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. ere is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:20 24)

Christ died for sins once for all. (1 Peter 3:18)

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a
ransom for all men… (1 Timothy 2:5,6)

Jesus’ work of salvation was for all people. e salvation He brought was for everyone. Objectively
speaking, His sacrifice demonstrated the equal value of all human beings.

Forgiveness and Eternal Life Are Possessed by Faith (Subjective Justification)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9)

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. (John 3:36)

The individual receives this free gift of forgiveness through Christ, not by works, but only by God’s gracious gift of faith. Everyone who believes in Jesus as the eternal Savior from sin has faith, and it is that faith that saves a person eternally. A person’s lifetime is referred to as God’s time of grace for that person.

Christians Seek to Glorify God When Making Decisions about Human Life
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists
and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. (James 4:13-17)

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. (Proverbs 16:1,2)

While living, it is the expression of faith that a person devotes all he or she does to the glory of God. Because God’s will reigns supreme, decisions about caring for human life are always judged by the standard of God’s Word.

Conclusion
Apart from God’s permission or directive to take human life, human beings who take human life commit murder. Terminating that life cuts short both the victim’s time of grace and the time of service to God in this life.

SECTION 2: THE POTENTIAL CONFLICT BETWEEN INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND ACQUIESCENCE TO GOD’S WILL

Human beings enjoy a particular blessing from God in the exercise of personal freedom and autonomy. There are times, however, when the exercise of free will can run contrary to the will of God.

Christians Are Free From the Curse of Sin
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34 36)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand rm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4) By fulling the law on our behalf, Jesus freed us from the eternal curse of sin.

Christian Freedom Finds Its Expression in Keeping the Will of God
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. (1 Corinthians 8:9)

“Everything is permissible” — but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible” — but not everything is constructive. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Freedom won by Christ is not the freedom to do wrong but is subject to the will of God. Freedom finds both its beginning and end in God’s Word and His will that we should love our neighbor.

Conclusion
Christians express their freedom through the moral obligation of the law. Obedience to the will of God is an expression of love for God and for our fellow human beings. A Christian does not have the right to choose that which is contrary to God’s will. Apart from God’s expressed command, Christians cannot take human life but rather are obliged to protect it.

SECTION 3: THE APPLICATION OF CHRISTIAN BELIEFS IN THE PUBLIC ARENA

Opponents of euthanasia, suicide, or assisted suicide are often accused of trying to push their religious views onto the rest of society. In reality, those who favor euthanasia and its various aberrations do the same when they hope to push on all of society their personally-held conviction which allows for euthanasia. Aside from that illogic, God’s Word guides us to recognize the distinction between privately- held convictions and the Christian’s role in reflecting those convictions to the world.

God’s Word Speaks Clearly Concerning the Taking of Human Life
See now that I myself am He! ere is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)

You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)

God condemns murder as sin. Christians testify to that truth.

Man Has a Natural Knowledge of the Law at Can Be Sensitized
Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. (Romans 2:14,15)

Even unbelieving people have knowledge of God’s law written in their hearts, albeit limited and incomplete. Christians appeal to that knowledge when testifying that murder is wrong.

When Others Need Our Help We Do Not Remain Silent
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:3-5)

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. (Matthew 25:35,36)

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:14,15)

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. (Proverbs 31:8) Motivated by their love for Christ, Christians put their faith into action.

Conclusion
Christians are faithful witnesses to God’s truth in this world. Therefore, they publicly testify to the sanctity of human life and the sinfulness of euthanasia. In so doing, they protect human life and proclaim God’s holy truths.

SECTION 4: THE CHARITABLE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO THE PRACTICE OF EUTHANASIA

The obligation to correct error is clearly taught in God’s Word. Also clearly taught is the responsibility of Christians to ease suffering, help the needy, and care for others.

Life Is a Blessing from God and All Are Stewards of at Blessing
I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her. (Genesis 17:16)

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5)

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. (Matthew 25:35,36)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3,4)

Life is God’s gift and therefore a blessing from Him. It is not a right or a presumption but a treasure entrusted for care and safe-keeping. For that reason we will do all we can to protect and care for our lives, as well as protect and care for the lives of others.

Christians Have a Responsibility for themselves
Do not o er the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather o er yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and other the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. (Romans 6:13)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to o er your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)

After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church – for we are members of his body. (Ephesians 5:29,30)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)

Christians view the human body as God’s creation. They therefore care for it and protect it from danger as a blessing entrusted to them by God.

Christians Care for Family Members
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a sh, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:9-12)

But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God . . . If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:4,8)

For the Christian, love for others begins with the compassion and care shown to fellow family members.

Christians Care for Fellow Christians
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10)

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say,“Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. e eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that
are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)

Christians treasure the common bond of faith and show sacrificial love and concern for the bodily welfare of their fellow Christians.

Christians Are Concerned for Others
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. (Proverbs 31:8)
Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. (Psalm 71:9)

Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” en the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” e King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:34-40)

Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. ey stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. en he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. e next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.” “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” e expert in the law replied, “ e one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:30-37)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:43-45)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3,4)

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism . . . But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. (James 2:1,9)

It is God’s will that Christians obey Him by protecting and caring for life regardless of its age or quality. at includes various acts of charity and sacri ce which respect the will of God and exhibit a corresponding love for others. As Jesus died for all people, our love is to imitate equal concern for all people.

SECTION 5: THE CHRISTIAN CONCERN FOR THE BODY BEGINS WITH CONCERN FOR THE SOUL

The Soul Is the Preeminent Concern of Christians
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? (Luke 9:25)

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. (Philippians 3:7)

Worldly gain of fame, fortune, or life pale in comparison with the greatest treasure, the soul, redeemed by the blood of Christ. Concern for the life and health of others is important but is secondary to our concern for the souls of those who are ailing or dying and the souls of those who would act or advocate to terminate life.

Because Terminating Life Is Contrary To God’s Word, Terminating It or Advocating Its Termination Endangers The Souls Of Those Who Do So
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself. “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteous-ness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. e righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” (Ezekiel 3:17-21)

The Christian’s concern for souls includes concern for those who would advocate and assist in terminating lives. The Christian responsibility is to witness to the error of such actions.

SUMMARY STATEMENT ON EUTHANASIA

God’s Word teaches that human life is to be protected throughout its stages of development, growth, and decline. Unless God has made an allowance for or commanded it to occur, human life is not to be ended actively or passively by anyone. Rather, the clear will of God is to love all people as we have been loved, as witnessed in the sacrificial life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, as our Savior from sin. Even when life loses its earthly quality, we care for it as a precious gift from God, created by Him and redeemed by Him through Jesus. Because of Christ’s sacrifice we are compelled to show concern not just for lives but especially for the souls of all people, including those who would advocate or assist in terminating life. Since this is God’s position, it is therefore the position of Christian Life Resources.

Adopted by CLR National Congress November 14, 2008.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

CHRISTIAN LIFE RESOURCES
Christian Life Resources’ ministry includes a 24-hour helpline, more than 15 pregnancy care centers across the U.S., a home for single mothers in Milwaukee, WI, online information and education at www.ChristianLifeResources.com, Christian medical directives, speakers on life and family issues, our official publication Clearly Caring magazine that addresses life and family issues, and much more!

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