A lot of debates have been going on these months on the topic of legalizing abortion. The discussion got so serious when the motion about legalizing abortion in Namibia was tabled in the Parliament by the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS). A number of people including those who claim to be Christians are seriously calling for abortion to be legalized. While others including myself are strongly condemning abortion and calling for the rejection of the call to legalize abortion in Namibia. While this article does not clear up all issues about abortion, it aims to demonstrate that the call to legalize abortion in Namibia is an outcome of a deeper worst problem worse than abortion. In order to fulfil the above goal of this article, the author has chosen to do five main things: first, briefly define and describe what abortion is and its legalization; second, discuss whether biblically abortion is sinful or not; third, discuss the irrationality of legalizing abortion; forth, explain the worst problem behind the call to legalize abortion in Namibia, and then lastly draw the implications from the explanation on how both Christians and non-Christians should respond to the call to legalize abortion in Namibia.
Definition, Description of Abortion and Legalizing of Abortion
Before you start arguing about the legalizing of abortion, you should have a clear understanding of what abortion is and how it is practiced. One should also understand what it means to legalize abortion. What is abortion? Abortion is an act of terminating (ending) the pregnancy deliberately by removing the baby (zygote, foetus or a human embryo, conceptus) from the womb of his/her mother before birth (at any point between conception and birth). This is done either by taking medicine (drugs) or other poisonous substances that can kill and removed the baby from the womb or by direct operation that can remove the baby from the womb – that can be done by cutting the baby in the womb in pieces and then remove those pieces piece by piece. Abortion, especially nonmedical related abortion is the planned deliberate murdering (the unlawful ungodly killing) of the innocent and defenseless baby while she/he is still in the womb at any point before conception and birth. Abortion can be done for different reasons: Sometimes abortion can be done for medical reasons for example when the baby has died in the womb, or when the baby or the mother has a complication that can risk the life of both the mother and the baby, hence the operation become necessary in order to save the life of the mother. However, other people can do abortion for other different reasons, especially in countries where abortion is legalized. For instance people can abort when they heard from the medical doctor that the baby who is to be born will be abnormal; others abort because the pregnancy or the baby who is to be born is unwanted since he/she will interfere with their career, pleasure, fame etc.; others abort because they believe that due to the socio-economic challenges they will not be able to take care of the baby. Others chose to abort because the pregnancy came as a result of rape.
A number of sources have indicated that millions of unborn babies are being aborted each year, mostly in the countries were abortion is legalized, and more than 90% of all abortion are done for non-medical reasons (Deem, 2006).
What does it mean to legalize abortion? Legalizing abortion means making abortion lawful according to the law of the civil government. It is to have a law in your constitution that does not only permit abortion but allows anyone who wish to abort the pregnancy for whatever reason to do so; by doing so, persons will not be violating any law of the civil government, and therefore they will not face any crime charges. It also means that when they show up at the health facilities demanding abortion, it should be granted to them. To legalize abortion is not to make abortion right; rather it is to make abortion lawful according to the civil law.
Biblically, what is Abortion?
There are many people who claim to be Christians among those who are supporting the call to legalize abortion in Namibia. True Christianity however is based on the teaching of the Bible (the written inspired Word of God). Thus, one needs to understand what the Bible is teaching on this topic in order to explain whether abortion is sinful or not. Whatever is prohibited by the whole counsel of the Scripture (the Bible) is sinful – is against God’s revealed will. Sin is the violation of God’s law (1 John 3:4). According to the Bible abortion as a murdering of an innocent defenses baby in the womb is wrong; it is sinful; it is a violation of God’s law. The whole argument about the sinfulness of abortion can be summarized in the following paraphrased practical syllogism presented by John-Stewart Gordon on the undated post on Encyclopedia website:
- Murdering of human being (especially innocent person) is immoral, unethical and prohibited by God (Genesis 9:5, 6; Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; 19:10; Proverbs 6:17; Jeremiah 22:17; Mathew 5:21).
- The Bible clearly teaches that an unborn baby in a womb at any stage of growth (an embryo, conceptus, zygote, and foetus) is a human being (Genesis 25:22; Hosea 12:3; Job:10:8–12; Psalm 139: 13–16; Isiah 44:2; Luke 1:41, 44; 2:12, 16; 18:15–17; Acts 7:19).
- Therefore, the killing of baby in the womb is murdering of an innocent defenceless baby, and it is therefore sinful; it is wrong (Exodus 21:22–25; Leviticus 20:1–9; Deuteronomy 5:17; 19:10; Proverbs 6:17).
The point to be emphasized here is that just as a human being is a human being outside the womb regardless of his or her state of growth (infant, toddler, teenager, adolescents, youth, adult, very old person) an unborn baby in a womb at any stage of growth (an embryo, conceptus, zygote, and fetus) is a human being. This is why the right civil law charges the murderer with double homicide when he has murdered a pregnant woman. Unborn babies are human being, thus abortion is wrong, sinful, because it is a murdering of an innocent and a defenseless baby. Like the ancient sacrificing of babies to the false god, Molech (Leviticus 20:1–9), in essence, abortion is the sacrificing of babies to the heart idols such as careers, pleasure, fame, money etc. (Colossians 3:5, 6); it is a barbaric act, an abomination to the LORD.
Besides this, there are also verses in the Bible that clearly teach that the person who has killed an unborn baby has committed a crime and must be hold accountable; these include Exodus 21:22–25; Amos 1:13. John Calvin, who himself was a lawyer commented on these verses saying “…the unborn, through enclosed in the womb of his mother, is already a human being, and it is an almost monstrous crime to rob it of life which it has not yet begun to enjoy… If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house, then in a field, …it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.”
The Irrationality of Abortion
The wrongness of abortion does not only rest on the fact that abortion is clearly prohibited by the Scripture, but also in that nonmedical related abortion is unreasonable. For instance, those who claim that it is better to abort a baby because they can not afford to take care of the baby are wrong, for they can give that baby to an individual, or to a church or to the government for the child to be adopted. In addition, in the world of many methods of family planning that can prevent the egg cell to fuse with the sperm cell to form a baby, you still have people who become pregnant then they start seeking for abortion; this too has made the legalizing of the murdering of unborn babies unjustifiable.
It is awfully hard and sad to understand the pro-choice / abortion advocates who today are alive and were not victims of abortion – such people are silent murders. The reason why you are alive is because your mother did not abort you, even though some of these mothers had serious health and socio-economic challenges when they were carrying you in their womb. Why should you then call for the legalizing of the abortion?
Even in the case of rape, the person who should be punished for the rape is the person who raped you, not the innocent child (Ezekiel 18:20); so even in that case the mother can give birth to the baby then give the child to someone to be adopted. Probably some of you who are enjoying life and advocating for abortion today were results of rapes.
Another thing that make legalizing of abortion unreasonable is that legalizing of abortion is not a real solution to the problem, for it does not address the real factors that lead to abortion such as sexual immoralities and abuses. Promoting legal abortion is not a solution to the problem at all; instead it creates more problems. Since it does not address the root-cause of those illegal abortions, legalizing of abortion will promote evil and harmful behaviors such as sexual immoralities that leads to unwanted pregnancies. Bishop Lukas Katenda of the Anglican Reformed Church in Namibia talking as a qualified midwifery nurse, a pastor and a counselor was quoted in the Namibian Sun Newspaper saying that although the practice of legalized abortion seems to be safer physically, it is not safer emotionally, and it leads to many physical and emotional long-term problems such as depression, infertility, marriage conflicts and many more”. Many other experienced counselors including Pastor Joachim Rick of Eastside Baptist Church on his post on Facebook on legalizing of abortion have confirmed that aborting a baby has may serious long-term physical, spiritual and emotional effects.
Despite these facts, the question still stands: if abortion is unbiblical and unreasonable, why do we still have many who are calling for the legalizing of abortion in Namibia including those who claim to be Christians? The answer to this question has brought us to our fourth point, namely:
The Real Worse Problem Behind the Call to Legalize Abortion
The fact that we have atheists and professing Christians calling for the legalization of abortion is a clear indication that this call is an outcome of something worse than abortion – which is the rejection of God and of God’s Word.
It is clear that the main reasons for the call to legalize sin including abortion is the hatred of God and of godliness and the love of sin. The call to legalize abortion is an outcome of the rejection of God and of God’s will; it is the result of dethroned God and enthroning of self. Paul Tripp is right when he said, “whatever rules our hearts will control our behaviors”. When God is ruling your heart, you will live according to God’s Word. Unfortunately, unregenerate fallen men do not love God and godliness, but they love sin (Romans 8:5–8). Sin, worldliness and Satan rule their hearts (Ephesians 2:1–3). Thus, when they have rejected God and God’s perfect Word, and then allowed Satan to deceive them, worldly influences to influence them and their sinful desires to rule their hearts, they end up loving what God hates, and approving sin and calling for the legalizing of abortion. Whenever man rejects God and His Words, such things happens – Romans 1:18–32.
In Namibia, just like in many other countries, people have rejected God and God’s Word, and consequently lose the correct standard of the truth. God is the definer of truth, including truth about our origin, our purpose of life, our expected morality and our destiny. He has revealed His truth to us in His Word (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:13–17; 2 Peter. 1:16–21). Thus, the Bible as the written Word of God is the standard of truth; and all claims of truths must be measured against the Scripture. Unfortunately like in the old days, in the modern days, many people have rejected God and His Word. According to Hosea 4:1–7, where there is no knowledge of God, faithfulness to God, and love, people murders, steal, commit adultery and do all kinds of wicked things.
Whenever people reject God and His Word, they reject the absolute truth and then try to redefine the truth; they try to redefine truth in order to redefine morality so that they can live as they want and do whatever they want. In other words, when people have rejected God and His Word, they try to be gods in their own, gods over their own lives, even try to be gods over other people (Genesis 3:5). The first people to do this were Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15–17; 3:1–8-). People in the day of Noah did the same things (Genesis 6:1–8); people who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah did the same (Genesis 19). In the days of Judges, the Israelites did the same thing; they rejected the kingship of the LORD God over their lives and consequently, each one of them did what was right in his or her own eyes (Judges 21:25). Like nowadays, the outcomes of rejecting God and his Words were chaos, foolishness, death and destruction.
Romans 1:18–32 says that wherever and whenever people have rejected God and God’s Word, God hands them over to their sin. Consequently, such people become fools, and in their wickedness and anarchy, they destroy themselves, destroy others, and disgrace God’s name even more. Author Pink puts it this way: “… man will live either to serve and please himself, or he will seek to serve and please the LORD. None can serve two masters. (p. 37)” The person who has rejected God’s sovereignty ever all creatures will automatically live to serve and please himself. This is what we are seeing in our society. Thus the call to legalize abortion and other sinful actions is the outcome and the manifestation of rebellion against God, energized by the sinful nature of fallen man and fueled by worldly sinful influences, being used by the devil himself who works in the children of disobedience (John 8:43–46; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:1–3).
Let me illustrate this point: We know that stealing is wrong; murder, insulting people, witchcraft are wrong; lying, gossip is wrong, sex outside marriage, prostitution, homosexualism and all other forms of sexual immoralities are wrong; drunkenness, corruption, apartheid, colonialism, homophobia and “racism” are wrong. How do we know that they are wrong? We primarily know that they are wrong because God in His Word said that these things are wrong, they are against His will (Leviticus 18; Romans 1:18–32; 1 Corinthians 5:9–13; Galatians 5:19–21; Revelations 21:8). Furthermore, even our clear reasoning can understand that they are wrong (Psalm 19:7–13).
Where God and His Word are respected and obeyed man regardless of who he/she is respected and treated with dignity because he or she is created in the image God (Genesis 1:26–28; 5:1–2; 9:5–6; James 3:9). But when we have rejected God and His Word, we begin to throw away the absolute truth and then try to redefine it. For example, we begin to argue that people of the skin color, or tribe or nationality, or socio-economic status different from that of ours are not real human beings as we are, so we can mistreat them or even murder them if we want. When we have rejected God, and His Word, we begin to argue that children who are not yet born are not human beings as we are; so, we can murder them while they are in the mothers’ womb, then we call it abortion. Later we will begin to argue that the infants who are still dependent on their parents or guardians are not human beings as we are, then we will begin to throw them in dust bin; then we call it baby dumping. We begin to argue that old people who cannot take care of themselves and patients who are very sick are not real human beings as we are; so, we can murder them if we wish, then we call it euthanasia. It is madness and foolishness! Truly, the psalmist is right: you cannot reject God and His wisdom then you remain wise (Psalm 14:1; Romans 1:18–22).
You see, God is the foundation of your life, your family, your governance and of your society; He establishes this foundation by His inspired written Word. When you reject God and His Word, or when you attack God and His Words, you are destroying the foundation of your life and of your society. This is why the Psalmist says “when the foundations are destroyed, what will the righteous do?” (Psalm 13:11). Pastor Laban Mwashekele, the retired Senior Pastor of Monte Christo Baptist Church, commenting on this verse said, “due to the rejection of the biblical teaching … men, at all level of society, have been solving problems by creating more problems, and have often ended up being the problem themselves. In order words, the world has failed to see and use the God-given safer and secure methods to handle man-created problems. (p. 8)”
In the past years we (the church, the home, and the civil government) have been destroying the foundation, and know we are facing the consequences of our sinful and foolish actions. Let me explain how we have been doing this.
The church in many congregations in our country has not been preaching the true Word of God; rather they have been teaching myths, visions, and traditions of men; consequently they have produces hypocrites who are unconverted, people who carry Bibles and go to church every Sunday or Saturday and some of them are even “preachers and leaders of congregations” but they are not willing to submit to the teaching of the Bible. These are the “baptized” unconverted people who are nowadays calling for the legalization of abortion, homosexualism and prostitution and all other vices. So sad, so painful, very disgusting! They are the people who will argue for the legalizing of abortion in the Parliament. The false teachings have produced “professing believers” who live immoral lives, get unwanted pregnancies, impregnate women, rape women, deny the responsibility for pregnancy, and then women start seeking to abort the babies or dumb or neglect babies.
The home is not innocent in this call to legalize abortion. For all these people (in the church, in the governance and in the society) who are nowadays calling for the legalization of abortion and of other evils were raised in homes. Parents and guardians have long abandoned their responsibility of raising their children in a responsible manner and much more in the fear of the LORD (Deuteronomy 6:4–9; Proverbs 22:6 Ephesians 6:4). They have not taught their children to respect human dignity. They have not taught them the Word of God. Parents have not been good examples to their children; some men have neglected their wives and children and chosen to indulge in drunkenness, in sexual immoralities outside the marriage, and in pursuing all kinds of idols such as wealthy and fame. Many women too abuse their husbands and their children. Consequently, our homes are the ones producing advocates of abortion.
The civil government is also a culprit in this call to legalize abortion. They have secularized the Namibian state; in other words, they kept God outside their governance. Consequently, they started rejecting the authority of the Bible in their institutions; as a result, they started approving and promoting irrational theories such as evolution to be important topics to be taught to our children. Are they not promoting irresponsible sex education in school? Are they not teaching people about their “human rights” without teaching human responsibilities? Are they not passing irresponsible laws that are preventing parents and guardians to discipline their children without abusing them? Are their laws helping husbands to lead their homes responsibly without abusing women and children? Are the civil laws helping women to submit to their own husbands and to help their husbands in disciplining their children in the way of the LORD without abusing the children. Friends, these ugly things and irresponsible decisions of our civil government have contributed a lot to the factors that fuel the higher rate of abuses, sexual immorality, unwanted pregnancy, and now to the call to legalize abortion.
Our civil government, our homes, and even our many congregations in the church have made these harmful decisions because they have rejected God and His Word. This is why the argument of the Minster of MoHSS that “the issue of termination of pregnancy must not be influenced by politic or religion” is hypocritical and illogical, for we know that behind the call to legalize abortion there is a political agenda/influence and religious or whatsoever beliefs. The advocates of abortion are promoting what they believe and value. We Christians will and must stand for what we believe.
If legalization of abortion is not the solution, what shall we do then? The answer to this question has brought us to our final point of this article: the implications of the explanation on how both Christians and non-Christians should respond to the call to legalize abortion in Namibia.
How Should We Respond to the Call to Legalize Abortion in Namibia?
Having understood the definition of abortion, the meaning and the implication of legalizing abortion, the irrationality of legalizing abortion, and the real problem behind the call to legalize abortion, how should both none Christians and Christians respond to the call to legalize abortion in Namibia? I argue that we should first study and understand the root-cause (including contributing factors) of the problems of abortion and then address the root-cause of this problem. Thus, we cannot afford to go further in provoking God by legalizing wrong actions which in most cases come as a result of our sinful actions. We should not try to solve problem by creating many problems; two wrongs cannot make it right.
Since the main problem in the issue of abortion is sin manifesting in various forms, our real solution to this problem must begin with repentance (turning away from sin, and then turn to God and to God’s wisdom) through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior who came in the world to save people from their sins (Mathews 1:21).
At all level of the society, the homes, the church, and the civil government should admit their sinfulness and correct their mistakes that we have been doing which have been destroying the foundation of our society. These three pillars of the society (the home, the church and the civil government) each focusing on its role working independently must work together to address the causes and the effects of abortion and other harmful behaviors in the society. Here are specific things that must be done in response to the call to legalize abortion in Namibia:
Five specific things none-Christians should consider:
- This matter of abortion is more than choices, but ultimately about the rejection of God. Therefore, in our attempts to find solutions to this big problem, we only find hope in the gospel – you should repent by turning back to God, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then only do you have hope to see things at God’s perspective and rightly decide what is right and what is wrong. You will then acknowledge the wrongness of abortion, and then stop practising or advocating for it. If you insist in your sins, you will die in your sins and face the eternal wrath of God in hell (John 3:14–21; 36; 8:24).
- Hypocrites who pretend to be Christian while rejecting the teaching of the Bible should stop telling Christians and other people to support the legalising abortion.
- Most people want to have the right to murder babies so that they can get money through abortion clinics, depopulate our countries for their benefits. Many wants abortion to be legalised so that they will pursue all their idols such as career, fame, and money on the expenses of the lives of the unborn babies. Instead of calling for abortion, they should avoid pregnancy, understand and rightly address issues that lead to unwanted pregnancies.
- Instead of murdering babies in wombs, you can give them to someone for adoption.
- Just as we are all accountable to the civil law and we will be held accountable of our every action, likewise, our civil law is ultimately accountable to the law of God. Thus, our ultimate aim even as a nation, must be to stand approved before the Judgement seat of God. Legalising abortion puts our nation in misfortune with God, and consequently God let us go of us to be in mess (which is just the beginning of God’s judgement). If you go ahead to legalise abortion in this country, we must be ready to face the judgement of the LORD, not only in the eternity, but now and in the future.
Seven things Christians should consider in their response to the call to legalize abortion:
- “Nonmedical” related abortion is completely against the Word of God that you claim to believe. Therefore, no true Christian should advocate for the legalising of abortion. Equip your mind with the Scripture so that you may know how to answer everyone who will ask you the bases for your conviction on the topic of abortion and on other things (1 Peter 3:8–18; Romans 12:1–2); speak the truth rightly, then you live rightly.
- Christians should defend the innocent, the oppressed and the defenceless including the unborn babies in the wombs. You Christians, who are in Parliament and in other positions of influence, stand for the truth. God placed you there this moment for this very reason. Stand for the truth and be read to suffer for the truth and for righteousness sake. Individual Christians, prepare your mind for actions.
- If abortion is legalised that does not make it right. It will always remain sinful before God. However, it is possible for it to be legalized; it happened in other countries, for law makers who have rejected God and His Word will hardly argue against abortion, homosexualism and against other sinful actions. Sin legalized is still sin, and God will still hold you accountable for murdering a baby in your womb.Thus, to legalize abortion is to call darkness light and to call evil good (Isiah 5:20). Legalizing of abortion is the approval of evil (Romans 1:32). Therefore, if they legalize abortion, in the world were sin is approved and legalised, you true Christians do what is in line with the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:1–4:5). In this corrupt world, set your hope in the Lord Jesus who is coming to judge all the living, to renew all things and to establish his perfect eternal kingdom.
- Preach the true undiluted and undefiled complete gospel to these fellow sinners so that they may believe the gospel and be saved. The power of God unto salvation is the gospel (Romans 3:15–17; 10:9–17). People will only live rightly if they are saved (Romans 8:5–11). Since the saving faith comes from the hearing the Word of God, then preach and teach the Word of God, the full undiluted and undefiled/uncorrupted gospel. It is the gospel that can help the church, the home and even the people in the civil government to submit to God’s Word in all three branches (legislative, judicial and the executive branch) of our governments. Truthfully and graciously counsel those that have aborted their babies and point them to Christ who alone is the Lamb of God who can take away their sins (John 2:29). Warn the unrepented sinners about the coming judgement. Counsel the women who are considering abortion in order to help them to understand the implications of aborting the baby. If they perish in their sins, may it never be because we did not warn them (Ezekiel 33:1–20). Furthermore, we must practically support the work of spreading the gospel, especially to the unreached people. We must live what we preach.
- We must pray for the conversion and salvation of souls, for no one can come to Christ if the Father does not draw him or her (John 6:44). We must pray for the sovereign God to restrain the evil actions of sinful men in this world. Pray for all including your leaders (1 Timothy 2:1–7), and for the church to be faithful up to the end and to continue to be the light of this dark world and the salt of this decaying world.
- As individual and institutions, we must understand and rightly address the factors that are contributing to unwanted pregnancies, and other issues that lead to abortion.
- As individual Christians and institutions, we must be prepared to adopt unwanted babies. May the Lord help us and give us grace and resources that we need to do these things for the good of His people and ultimately for His glory. Those of you who are already doing it, do not loss heart, for your labour in the Lord Jesus Christ are not in vain; it will be rewarded (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Conclusion: Nonmedical related abortion is a planned murdering of the innocent defenseless babies in the womb. Legalizing abortion will not make it right. The main cause of abortion, of the factors that leads to abortion and of the call to legalize abortion is sin, rebellion against God, the rejection of God and of His perfect Word. Therefore, true solution to this problem should begin with repentance from sin and faith in the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ by the guidance of God’s Word. Abortion must be avoided as much as possible because primarily it is a sin against God, and because legalizing it creates many problems rather than providing a real solution. True Christians should not support the call to legalize abortion. Failure to repent from any sin will lead to God’s judgement; God can judge us as individuals, but He can also judge us as a nation. If we legalize abortion, we must be ready to face the consequences and the punishment of our sins, just like all other nations, now, in the future and in eternity. Those who have practiced it or supported it should repent like all other sinners. May the Lord help us to stand for what is right.
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