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Sunday Study: ABORTION, Is The Bible Ambiguous?

By Ken Ham @

Abortion is the killing of an unborn child in his or her mother’s womb. There’s really no other honest way of describing it. Actually, there is another word for it—murder. So-called “pro-choice” activists (really, “pro-murder” activists) use terms like “reproductive freedom,” “health care,” or “a woman’s right to choose” to try and make abortion sound like anything but what it is—the intentional murder of an unborn child.

Now, is the Bible ambiguous on something as heinous as murdering a helpless child? Well, apparently 44% of self-identified Christians say “yes.”

According to the “American Worldview Inventory 2020” survey from Arizona Christian Arizona Christian University, “44% of self-identified Christians said they think the Bible is ‘ambiguous in its teaching about abortion.’” And 34% said, “abortion is morally acceptable if it spares the mother from financial or emotional discomfort or hardship.”

A Massive Failure

It is a massive failure on the part of parents and the church that nearly half of professing Christians believe the Bible is wishy-washy or unclear on the sanctity of every human life, including the unborn. Scripture is not ambiguous—it is abundantly clear (see below). People just either don’t know their Bibles, have never been taught to use the Bible as their starting point, or are suppressing the truth that is abundant from God’s Word and science to go along with the culture of death and its message that women can only be free if they’re legally permitted to murder their own children. Really, abortion is nothing but child sacrifice under another name.

Sometimes Acceptable?

Now, in the paragraphs that follow, I point to biblical passages that clearly demonstrate how God views the lives of the unborn—as fully human, made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). And, it follows, if the unborn are fully human, the prohibitions regarding murdering them fully apply! But I first want to deal with the belief that 34% of professing believers espouse: that the morality around abortion is relative, depending on the circumstance, and that it is acceptable if it “spares the mother from financial or emotional discomfort or hardship.”

Here is such a scenario. A single mother is pregnant with her third child. She’s already struggling to make ends meet for her six-year-old and three-year-old. Their many needs are emotionally draining. After thinking for a few days about how much extra hardship this new baby will add to her life, she makes an appointment at a local clinic and has the unborn child killed by taking a few pills (a chemical abortion). Apparently 34% of Christians think this would be okay.

Now, imagine the same young mother doesn’t have an abortion and gives birth to the baby. After a few months, she’s overwhelmed with the increased demands on her time, finances, and emotions (not to mention her sleep!). So, after thinking for a few days about how much extra hardship this new baby is, she puts the baby to bed and holds a pillow over the baby’s face until her child passes away. Would 34% of Christians say that her actions were morally acceptable? No, they almost certainly wouldn’t.

But why? What’s the difference? Why does the location of the baby (in the womb vs. in a crib) or the level of development (and life is just a continuum of the developmental process) determine the worth or value of this child’s life?

Abortion is no different from this hypothetical mother who murdered her infant. Abortion ends the life of a child. It is murder and it is wrong. Period. Full stop.

The circumstances surrounding the family and conception or life of a child can be immensely complicated (and that’s one reason the body of Christ exists—to help those in need with practical help and gospel hope!), but the issue of abortion isn’t. It is wrong and a sin against the Creator who fearfully and wonderfully knits us together in his very image (Psalm 139:13–14).

The belief that these Christians are buying into is nothing more than the secular idea that morality changes depending on the situation (no, it doesn’t—there are moral absolutes that come from God) and that we’re (or the unborn) just animals or some kind of sub-human clump of cells (but science clearly shows that’s not the case—we’re 100% human from the moment of fertilization). But we don’t determine morality or have the authority to justify our actions based on arbitrary human standards. God creates life and he has spoken to us authoritatively in his Word and said, “you shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).

Stop Assuming Christians Think Biblically

Parents and pastors—don’t just assume your children, grandchildren, or congregations understand that abortion is a vile evil, that it is sin, and that God’s Word speaks clearly on this issue. Many churches have just assumed those filling the pews are pro-life—but studies like this one we’ve cited show over and over that is not the case! The church is thinking very much like the world, with little knowledge of God’s Word or understanding how to start with God’s Word and think biblically about these vital social issues.

We must teach foundationally beginning with Genesis—showing that God’s Word is the starting point for our thinking in every area. We must teach Genesis as history, showing that all of our major Christian doctrines—including those regarding the sanctity of human life—are grounded in the history of Genesis. Humans alone are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). We are not animals. We are image bearers of the Creator, and every single human life has value and dignity because we are made in God’s image. We are fearfully and wonderfully knit together by God (Psalm 139:13) and known by him before we are even conceived (Jeremiah 1:5). Scripture consistently gives the lives of unborn humans the same value as those who have been born (e.g., Exodus 21:22–25). Killing an unborn child is murder, just as much as killing a toddler, a teenager, or an adult is. And God’s Word is clear on murder:

Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. (Genesis 9:6)

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16–19; emphasis added)

You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)