As I have tried to point out several times, there is a huge difference between being “Biblical” and being “Christlike”.
If we cling to the Bible and advocate for a more Biblical worldview, this leaves us open to a host of “Biblical” ideas like slavery, patriarchy, genocide, polygamy and abortion.
Yes, even abortion is a Biblical principle.
Here are two examples of how the Bible allows for – and often even commands – abortions:
First, in Numbers 5:11-31 there is a very detailed procedure for a husband to determine if his wife has been unfaithful to him. If she gets pregnant from intercourse with another man, the husband can uncover this by taking his wife to the priest who is then instructed by God (?) to give the woman a potion to drink. If the woman was unfaithful, then her baby will miscarry. If she is faithful, then the baby and the mother will both be spared.
Here’s an excerpt from this section of Numbers chapter 5:
“But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.” [v. 20-22]
This is a very Biblical procedure for inducing an abortion for reasons of unfaithfulness or adultery.
Another Biblical endorsement of abortion is found in Hosea 9:14 where God tells the prophet that He will give the rebellious people of Ephraim “wombs that miscarry” [and the word used here is the Hebrew “shacol“ which denotes abortion or miscarriage].
“Give them, Lord—what will you give them? Give them wombs that miscarry and breasts that are dry.” [Hosea 9:14]
Later in the same chapter, should there be any doubt about what God [?] apparently intends here, the Lord says:
“Even if they bear children, I will slay their cherished offspring.” [v. 16]
I don’t think so.
Other verses that also suggest that God does not count an unborn life as being equal to that of a person outside of the womb is in Exodus 21:21-23 where specific punishment is described for the man who causes a woman to miscarry her child: He should pay fine. So, if the life of the unborn child were equal to the life of a someone who was born, then the “eye for an eye” rule should demand that the man who caused the unborn child to die should also be put to death, or that one of his own children should be put to death. But instead, only a fine is to paid to the man who lost the child.
All of these examples are Biblical. All of them allow for abortion to be acceptable in the eyes of God.
However, none of these are Christlike.
Those who follow Jesus know that God’s love extends to every human being – whether born or unborn.
Our choice is simple: We take a Biblical approach [and then accept the Biblical teaching that abortion is not murder], or we take a Christlike approach [and we follow the ethics of Jesus who has given us the law of love to follow].
I can’t speak for you or anyone else, but I don’t want a more Biblical world. I want a more Christlike one.
Keith Giles is the author of several books, including the forthcoming “Jesus Unbound: How the Bible Keeps Us From Hearing the Word of God”, available July 4th, 2018.
He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb”. He is the co-host of the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. He and his wife live in Orange, CA with their two sons.
Please, join me at one of these upcoming events:
*The Nonviolent Love of Christ: How Loving Our Enemies Saves The World, with Joshua Lawson and Keith Giles on Saturday, June 16 in Portsmouth Ohio. Register here>
*Crucifying Our Politics with Keith Giles on June 24 in Cleveland, OH. Register here>
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