NEW HARVEST’S POSITION ON ABORTION
Our position on abortion is explained at two levels: Theological and Pastoral.
When talking about abortion, the issue for Christians relates to the commandment “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). Murder refers to the taking of the life of a person, and the debate revolves around when a foetus becomes a person. Passages like Psalm 139: 13-16 and Jeremiah 1:5 indicate that we are pre-existent, eternal beings who at some point are injected into the foetus in the womb, transforming a collection of multiplying cells into a person. When exactly this happens is the subject of debate, but at present it is not possible to indisputably define that moment.
However it is obvious that the child in the womb is a person some time before birth, and therefore the possibility of terminating the life of the foetus strays into the territory of “You shall not murder”. For this reason we as Christians do not regard lightly the option of abortion when addressing the issue of an unwanted pregnancy. We earnestly seek to avoid breaking God’s commandments, and therefore would want to explore all other options before sanctioning an abortion, lest we stray into committing murder.
When one views the various reasons why a woman (or couple) might consider aborting a pregnancy, one realizes that each and every situation needs to be treated specifically (considering the facts and details) and individually, thus we cannot draw conclusions or legislate regarding abortion per se.
Any woman (or couple) in the predicament of having abortion as an option, needs careful counsel. We as pastors must be very sensitive about giving advice (making other peoples decisions for them) in such a situation. Rather than stipulate or steer her/them in a particular direction, we should (in the hope that she/they will make a prayerful decision as a result thereof) help her/them work through the situation by loving them as Christ does, exposing them to relevant Scriptures and prayerfully seeking God’s perspective on the issue (after all is said and done, the issue is between them and God and they are accountable to Him – not us – for their actions). We need to help them research their options to try to move them away from seeing abortion as the only solution to their predicament.
All sin, except sin against the Holy Spirit, is forgivable by God according to Scripture. However, there are always ramifications to any behaviour, and if one opts to sin or to indulge oneself in sinful action, then one will have to deal with the consequences. Anyone investigating the option of abortion will find themselves trapped in this dilemma, and they will need to be loved and cared for as they face the consequences of their decision.
So our pastoral role will need to be to help folk make a wise, informed decision regarding the option of abortion, and then to nurture them through the consequences of their choice.