Posted by: morgan1965 | March 24, 2010

The Sanctity of Life

In recent days, there has been a lot of conversation in Congress and the media about the sanctity of life. This conversation, of course, is aligned with the abortion issue. People in the United States tend to be divided among two camps – pro-life, or pro-abortion.

The United Methodist Church strongly supports the notion of the sanctity of life, and I believe that this posture is biblically and theologically sound. The denomination does not affirm abortion as a means of birth control.

Let’s take a look at a portion of the United Methodist statement regarding abortion:

The beginning of life and the ending of life are the God-given boundaries of human existence. While individuals have always had some degree of control over when they would die, they now have the awesome power to determine when and even whether new individuals will be born. Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion.

But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child…

Governmental laws and regulations do not provide all the guidance required by the informed Christian conscience. Therefore, a decision concerning abortion should be made only after thoughtful and prayerful consideration by the parties involved, with medical, family, pastoral, and other appropriate counsel. [“The Book of Discipline, 2008, ¶ 161- J]

This statement affirms the sanctity of the unborn child, and only allows for an abortion under very stringent conditions.

An issue related to the question of abortion is the matter of our commitment to children after they are born. What happens to the children who live among us? Who will care for and protect them? Who will finance their education and health care? Children are very vulnerable in our society, and they need safe sanctuary. The role of the church along with other institutions is to provide safe sanctuary for our children.

On the one hand, our society calls for sanctity of life, while on the other hand, we call for capital punishment in certain criminal activities. Would we save the life of an unborn baby, while calling for the life of an adult male or female under the guise of capital punishment? Here, there seems to be a disconnect.

Jesus calls us to love our neighbors and to care for all of God’s creation. We are called to value human life at the beginning of life and at the end of life.

What do you think about this issue?

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