Guided by the Holy Spirit, they in turn preached this message, which is now preserved in the New Testament. This is our standard today. Help Centre. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review.
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Resurrection Myth or Reality? What Have They Done with Jesus? The Meaning of Jesus Two Visions. They also call liberals, Democrats , or anyone supporting a Democratic candidate an accessory. As director and founder of Christian Democrats of America , I have been called a murderer more times than I can count, as have thousands of our members on social media. It may be fair to say that it is understandable the abortion issue takes paramount importance in the political sphere with those who hold these beliefs.
If you truly see abortion as a domestic crime; an onslaught of murder like a type of Holocaust, then you have no room for alternate views and are not open to compromise or moderation on the issue.
So, one could say this issue, in the minds of millions of Christian voters, is truly more important than healthcare for the poor, than misogyny, xenophobia, vulgarity, our standing in the world, peace, safety of our country, protection of immigrants, or any other issue one would think might be of grave importance to Christian Americans. But this is what makes it so surprising that literally for millennia, abortion was not a prioritized issue for Christians. The well-formulated moral, spiritual and political argument on abortion from the conservative Christian and Catholic view is relatively new in the scheme of things.
Likewise, throughout the history of the early church into the middle-ages, there is little to no mention of abortion as a topic of great alarm — from the days of the Old Testament until modern history. Hence, there is no case to be made for a definitive Christian stance throughout history on the spiritual or moral aspects of abortion. Arguably, three of the most prominent authorities on Christian doctrine and teachings historically would be the Apostle Paul, St. Augustine in the 5th century and St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century, and compared to Christian leaders today, these figures are mostly silent on the topic.
Augustine is considered a Christian doctrinal authority in all respects, helping to shape the Christian religion and finer points of doctrine and practices.
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Moreover, the brevity of his comment indicates the relatively low level of importance he assigned to this issue compared to others. Thomas Aquinas held a similar view in not calling abortion homicide until around the third trimester. Not only did the most well-known church theologians not take a strong stance on abortion, but neither do the most strict laws of the Old Testament. According to the Septuagint, if the fetus has not yet assumed complete human shape, the penalty is a monetary fine; but if the fetus is fully formed, the penalty is death.
Thus, in ancient Israel, killing a fetus that was not viable was never considered murder. Likewise, in the New Testament, there is no direct teaching on abortion. Jesus does not address the topic specifically and not one of His parables talks about ending a pregnancy. Abortion was very prevalent in many of the places Paul visited — we know this from other historical texts, and as he mentions in his letters, these cities were brimming with prostitution and illicit sexual activity. In fact, Paul never had a problem speaking out on any topic he believed followers of Christ should pay attention to!
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And Paul was not ambiguous or shy about addressing anything he deemed important for a Christian life. So, when and why did the shift in mainstream Christianity and the Catholic Church against abortion take place if it had been unprecedented in its controversy throughout history? There was a gradual shift of resistance towards change and views and laws on contraception, and abortion started changing within that resistance.
I will let you decide if this is coincidence or not. In the American Medical Association initiated the biggest change in abortion views ever recorded in history. With these efforts, the AMA managed to put some of its competitors out of business, restrict the public role of women in bourgeois society, and strengthen the control of conventional male doctors over the field of medicine.
In a very real sense, the medical profession transformed abortion from a moral issue into a medical procedure and imposed the authority of physicians over it. This major shift came about not as a result of a new Christian doctrine or new book added to the Bible there was no Dead Sea Scroll on abortion found in … , but through political efforts by the GOP and conservative groups.
There is no doubt of the sincerity of many Christians who hold an extreme anti-abortion view. This essay is not making an argument in any way that the topic of abortion is not an important one, or to be taken lightly in any way.
However, it is difficult to justify the prioritization of the abortion issue over a host of other issues from a Biblical and historical viewpoint, especially when Biblical passages concerning other social and moral issues are so prominent. There are 3, verses in the Bible that are concerned with social justice, taking care of the poor, the stranger, attitudes of kindness and compassion. It is dominant in the Old Testament and the New Testament and there is no ambiguity. So why is it not our dominant concern, as Christians, today? It simply cannot be argued that abortion did not exist in Biblical times or during the time of Augustine and every other century until the 19th — the only thing that did begin to change was a liberation for women due to progress and a change in cultural and social values in the late s, and a political tool with increased use of propaganda tools that took over thousands of churches in the s.
As I stated earlier, late-term abortion has always been unacceptable in the Church and I agree there must be moderation and laws in place to respect and protect the life of the unborn in late stages of pregnancy. Most, except maybe some on the very far left, believe that once a child is able to live on its own outside the womb, abortion should be out of the question with the exception of cases of the viability of the fetus and health of the mother.
Furthermore, only 1.