If Abortion Was Permitted in the First Century

 The topic of abortion is much debated and argued upon. Pro-choicer argues that a baby in the womb has not begun life yet. It is only a part of the woman's body and she has the choice to decide regarding abortion. But can we accept the fact of aborting Jesus Christ? George Anthony Paul deals with this argument through the conception and incarnation of Christ.


The synopsis of conception

It would be more proper to assert Virgin Conception of Jesus than his Virgin Birth, since we see the same assertion in Matthew 1:23. Moreover, Jesus went through full gestation just like any other human being. His conception, embryonic development in the womb of Mary, was like any other conception, development and birth. However, what sets Jesus apart is the fact that he was conceived miraculously by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin. (cf. Lk. 1:31,35). By asserting miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit we mean without any sexual act by man or god or God, (as in Greek mythology or the present day Mormon belief). The absence of any sexual act is confirmed in Luke 1:34-37. Where the angel answering Mary’s question declares, God who causes impotent man and barren women to bring forth children through natural means of sex is able to cause conception without any sexual act, because nothing is impossible with God. The evidence for all the above assertions is found in Mt. 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38.

 

Conception, Was Jesus a fertilized egg?

The medical dictionary defines conception as, “the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both.” This involves, the beginning of pregnancy, when the cell from the father joins with the cell from the mother. This is the process of fertilization, the product of this union is a cell called the zygote. However, in regards to the conception of Jesus, the scripture informs us that the process of conception was brought about by God without any sexual act.

The scripture confirms the conception of Mary in Luke 1:31  saying… “behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.” The same is established in Matthew 1:20,21; by the angel to Joseph saying, ….. fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. Hence, we conclude Mary conceived like any other women not through the procreative act but through the creative work of Holy Spirit.

From the assertion of scripture about the conception of Mary, we can also affirm the embryonic stage of Christ. If the scripture is true, then like any other human being even Jesus took the same route of conception, and embryonic development in his incarnation.

This being the case a pro-abortionist may ask, at conception, was Jesus just a fertilized egg?” was he, just part of a women (Mary)? Or was he, an individual? When did life commence in Jesus, was it at conception or was it later? The kind of answers we provide to these questions will determine how we look at conception and abortion.

Pro-choice enthusiast advocate, “A fetus is human, in the sense that it contains human DNA; however, a fetus, like an embryo, is not a human being, as it has no means of independent physiological existence (as does a baby, child, or adult). As such, it is a potential human being, just like an acorn is a potential oak tree. It contains all of the DNA of an oak tree, but it is not an oak tree.”

 

Moreover they also emphasize

 

  1. The fetus (Jesus as fetus) is just a part of the woman's body.
  2. It's not a baby (Jesus as fetus is not a baby)
  3. The fetus is only a potential human being (Jesus as fetus in the womb was only a potential human being)
  4. It's not a person; it has no meaningful life (Jesus as fetus was not a person but an it; He had no meaningful life)
  5. A fetus is not a person until quickening (Jesus was not a person until birth, hence he became a person after birth)
  6. Life begins at birth and not at conception (Jesus life began at birth, he was nobody at conception)

 

If all the above assertions of pro-choice advocate are true then even Jesus was potential life. Hence, Jesus would become Jesus only after his birth and was not so at his conception. This calls into question even the hypostatic union of Christ, (union of human and divine natures in one Person). However, should we reject the pro-choice assertions without examining facts, just because it threatens our understanding of Christ? We should not. Since, the facts prove them wrong.

As we shall see, the example of acorn as potential oak tree can be true only until the germination of acorn.  Once it germinates then it no longer remains potential oak tree, but becomes and is and will remain an oak tree. The same is true about the fertilized egg of a human being, it is not potential human but human with potentials. Moreover it is not just a fertilized egg but a human being going through various stages of growth.

Dr. J. P. Moreland asserting “fetus as humans” makes the following observation, “As a puppy grows, it does not become a mammalian dog; it becomes a more mature dog. In fact, it is because a fertilized mammalian-dog egg is already a mammalian dog that it will grow in a certain way and not another (say, by developing the features of a goldfish). Indeed, all a fertilized mammalian-dog egg needs is food, oxygen and

water. The same is true of a fertilized human-person egg. It is not a potential human-person; it is a human person with potential. Thus, abortion is the intentional taking of an innocent human person's life.”

The same fact is asserted by evangelist Luke when he declares, “behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son” Luke 1:31; over hear we see what is conceived becomes a son, because what is conceived is a son and not just a potential son. The same is asserted by Matthew, “for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And she shall bring forth a son…..” Matthew 1:20,21; again we see what is conceived becomes a son, because what is conceived is a son with potentials, and not a potential son.

Hence we affirm with scripture that the life of ‘man Jesus’ began at conception, and Jesus wasn’t a fertilized egg but a human being even at conception just as all other humans are and will remain human and because of this abortion is a crime.

Finally, we have to agree to the fact, if we can abort an embryo or fetus, we could abort Christ. Since, Christ took the same route of embryonic development at his conception, and by doing so he has sanctified conception and child birth.

{moscomment} 

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5 Responses

  1. Brother George comparing Christ as fetus isn’t good. Moreover, thinking of Christ as fetus and aborting him isn’t appropriate.

  2. A child inside the womb of a mother is christ like in that it has not known sin yet. We react strongly to the idea of abortion of Christ, yet in our society we forget this accepting abortion as common. But the article bring out how ostentatious this practise is.

  3. Dear Dr. Paravthy, I appreciate your response and comment. However, I have to point out, that a Child in the womb does not know sin may be by action. However, the child in the womb is essentially sinful. But, Christ was not essentially sinful in the womb but He was essentially holy. Hence, there is no similarity of human child with Christ in the sense of not being sinful. However there is similarity of human fetus in the sense that Christ also was a fetus who grew in the womb and was born.

    In this sense we cannot abort a Child. Since, in approving abortion we would also approve aborting Christ. Moreover, lets not forget Mary had every reason to abort.

  4. I agree with Jeremiah, comparing Jesus to a fetus is not appropriate to make an argument against abortion. It’s a weak point and taking his name for the sake of promoting a standpoint. Only a iceberg tip of abortion issue has been discussed in this article.

  5. Well written!

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