In actuality there is no such word as the one which forms the title which we have chosen for this time. But there ought to be.
And in the minds of those who walk. in His fear there is such a word.
There was a time when there was no word Christian; and then a day came when the disciples were called Christians. And a new word was formed.
In our day and age with its untold number of murders of unborn children by “legalized” abortion, what is happening before the eyes of those who walk in His fear is that abhortions are being practiced. One who walks in His fear can only abhor these abortions and call them abhortions.
For it is the most dastardly and cowardly form of murder practiced in the world today. An abortion is an act of killing; and no one is in a position to deny that. If through the abortion a living creature (Let us for the moment be satisfied with that word creature) is not destroyed, then why is that abortion sought and so eagerly carried out? One wants to terminate a life, and therefore practices abortion. We speak of our antibiotics as wonder drugs because they kill the bacteria, germs or viruses that make us sick. These are so small that they can be seen only by a very powerful microscope; and in the case of viruses often cannot be isolated and seen. Yet we call them living creatures, and we set out to kill them. Just as surely that embryo or fetus, which is large enough to be seen with the naked eye, is a living creature, and destroying it is an act of killing. It is not on the same level with destroying a building. It is destroying life. In one clinic man seeks (foolishly) to create life in a test tube, and even calls it life. In another clinic life is deliberately destroyed by abortion. And who can number the thousands of murders of the unborn children that are committed and “legalized” today?
So far the unbelieving scientists and doctors will agree. We are dealing with a living creature. That it is a human being is a moot question, that is, among the majority of men it is. Therefore in some instances a definite month of the growth and development of that fetus is set as the moment before or after which it becomes a human being, and before which or after which it would be or has become murder to end that life. Immediately after the fertilization of the egg there is a rapid process of growth and multiplication of the one cell into thousands upon thousands of cells in that living organism. There is a time when the bones begin to form, when the brain begins to take on form, when the arms and legs begin to appear, when the separate internal organs develop, and even when the fully formed heart begins to beat and can be heard. Therefore there is this wide difference of opinion as to when abortion constitutes murder, and when it does not.
From the theological point of view there is that interesting question as to the origin of the soul. Does it pre-exist, and does God add it to the developing body? Were all the souls created before the creation of Adam and in the beginning, and then in due time put in the right bodies by God? Does God create a soul after conception or at the moment of conception and place it in that body? Do the parents bring forth the soul as well as the body of that child? And in connection with this question of abortion there is in the church world then a need (so it is claimed) to have knowledge of when that fetus becomes a living soul, becomes a human being and has a life as precious as that of any adult. Up until the third month after conception that fertilized and growing egg is called an embryo as a rule. After the third month it is called a fetus. And the question is whether it is a human being with a soul in those first three months of development or only after the third month has passed? Do we murder when we take the life of that growing creature before three months have elapsed from conception? Is there a human soul there before the third month or after, or all along the way?
In His fear we have no problem with these matters at all. That which from the moment of conception has been growing and developing is not a plant or an animal, is it? It is the beginning of a human being as surely as from the moment the seed of a particular flower is fertilized, it is the beginning of another plant that bears that kind of flower. Men seek to destroy the fertilized seed, because they do not want the plant, and thereby they admit that the fertilized seed is that plant in its earliest stages of development. And that which in abortion is KILLED is a human being that is not fully developed yet but in all honesty can only be called ahuman embryo or human fetus.
And we call it the most dastardly and cowardly form of murder because it is inflicted on such a defenseless human embryo or fetus. Well do we remember repeated calls to us on the streets of Montego Bay and of Kingston, Jamaica as we rode through the heart of these cities, “White Mon, go home! You kill women and babies in Viet Nam!” Our country is incensed, and ‘court trials are being conducted at the very moment, because in Viet Nam women and children were mowed down in large numbers; and defenseless civilians, who lifted no finger in opposition, nor even intended to do so, had their lives snuffed out. And here, before the abortion, you have a developing human being that has done no harm, can in no way defend itself, did not have anything to do with the fact that it is there in that protected spot within its mother, to whom it is connected for its very life, torn away from its life-line and cast out and away not only as an unwanted thing, but as a detestable thing! And while we have court trials to decry what happened in Viet Nam, legislative bodies deliberate, and men try to build “strong” cases to make it legal to kill these unborn human beings. Call them abortions, if you will. They are abhortions! Nothing less!
“In His Fear” does not legislate that if both parents agree, it is to be allowed. “In His Fear” asks, “What saith the Scriptures?” And the commandment says, “Thou shalt not kill.” It does not specify a particular age when this commandment goes into effect. It does not say “Until one is too feeble to enjoy life anymore.” It does not add, “Unless the pains of a terminal disease make life almost unbearable.” Neither does it look at the other end of the life cycle and say, “From the moment of birth.” What it says, “thou shalt not kill” it says, “Thou shalt not take away human life!” And that fertilized egg (call it embryo or fetus but call it then correctly as we did a moment ago) is a humanembryo and/or a human fetus. It is human life that is being snuffed out. A stop is brought to the growth of a human body by the drastic step of killing that very small creature that has within it human life.
We understand, of course, that the law is broad but also narrow. It does not forbid the authorities the right to kill, and in fact demands it in so many passages that we cannot take the time to quote them, and not simply in the Old Testament. Jesus said yet to Peter in the garden,” All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Matthew 26:52. But the law says that you and I may not as neighbors take a man’s life in hatred against him.
We may not kill him to get him out of our way. To do so is to commit murder. David sought to get Uriah out of his way, and arranged to have others do it for him. But in humility he confesses blood guiltiness in Psalm 51, and pleads for pardon for a sin against GOD. Abortion does exactly that. It kills to get out of its way that which it hates because it will bring shame, inconvenience, hardship, more work, poverty, a lifelong stigma, and because of many other experiences one does not want to endure. That little entity of human life (actually the mother’s closest neighbor) is a threat to the pleasure, fun, freedom, material wellbeing of the parents. And that life must be snuffed out that the flesh of man may be satisfied, or at least not be threatened with a curbing of its lusts.
The fear of the Lord has no problem either when there is danger to the life of the mother, or fear that the child may be affected by the mother’s siege of German Measles. We do not say that the flesh has no problem in such instances. It surely does and has very difficult problems. But the fear of the Lord sings,
In doubt and temptation I rest, Lord, in Thee;
My hand is in Thy hand, Thou carest for me. (Psalm 73)
If it pleases Him, mother’s life will not be lost, and the unborn child will not come into this world with defects. We are not and may not assume to be in God’s place to decide whether this deformed child is to be ours to care for and to love, and whether part of our reward of grace will not exactly be for deeds of tender love and care for such a child. The fear of the Lord recognizes all as having come about—that case of German Measles at that critical moment also—by the hand of God in inscrutable wisdom. It also says that all things without exception work together for good to those that love God. And the fear of the Lord certainly says to the believer in such circumstances, “Thou shalt not kill.” Better that two die, mother and child, at the hand of God, than that one die at the hand of one who would assume God’s position. Better that one body come into this life deformed by the good counsel of God, than that one human life be snuffed out by the fleshly desires of one who is in a state of rebellion against God’s good counsel.
Years ago we read of a doctor’s confession that he was tempted to snuff out life by not bringing to the act of breathing a new born babe whose one leg was hopelessly deformed, but could not get himself to do so. Years later when he was an old man, was retired, and as a lover of classical music went to a concert, he was thrilled by the skillful performance and rendition of a cello concerto, only to find out later on that this artist was the grown young woman whose life he was tempted to end at its beginning. Shall we “play” God and determine for ourselves His purpose with the unborn? and what gift of patience He is going to build in us, and what love He is going to give us, and grace, in the trials which He will send? The flesh has a problem. The fear of the Lord has the answer.
And a population explosion that will threaten our food supply again is the speech of the flesh, and is at the same time ridiculous speech of that flesh. If we run short of food it is not due to a population explosion but to man’s refusal to be God’s steward and royal priest. Even now farmers are being paid for not growing and not using their land. The best soil in some regions is being plowed up for housing projects; and in the name of progress and convenience of living near our place of work, valuable soil produces nothing but luxurious lawns, and supports housing projects. Man’s lack of planning, and foolish planning, and endeavors to live it high, not his real need for nourishing food brings this fear of a famine of dainties. And before God this is no reason for killing the unborn.
He abhors all killing for man’s personal, individual advancement. And in His fear we better call them abhortions as well as abortions.