Calvary Road Baptist Church

“A HIGH VIEW OF CHILDREN” Part 1

Psalm 127.3

Thirty-nine years ago today the United States Supreme Court handed down two decisions that effectively legalized the murder of unborn children throughout the country, with the well known of the two decisions being the court case known as Roe v. Wade. By a 7-2 majority, with the majority opinion written by Associate Justice Harry Blackmun, the Supreme Court deemed abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution, thereby subjecting all laws attempting to restrict it to the standard of strict scrutiny.[1] To their everlasting credit, Associate Justices Byron R. White and William H. Rehnquist wrote emphatic dissenting opinions in this case. It is termed abortion by most people. However, abortion is a term that refers to the act of miscarrying, or producing young before the natural time, or before the fetus is perfectly formed.[2] Thus, the word abortion is a very useful term for concealing the horror of what happens to an unborn child when he is torn limb from limb, or when he is chemically scalded to death, or when a sharp point is thrust through the base of his skull into his brain. Always excruciatingly painful to the baby, both surprising and horrifying to him, his life is snuffed out in the very place where safety and security is expected, his mother’s womb. Consider what the United States would likely do to a foreign power responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of our children. Yet we sanction the wholesale slaughter of the innocents in the name of a woman’s right to choose, as if the very normal consequence of sexual activity is somehow an intrusion on personal liberties and the freedom to murder an unborn child for convenience’ sake is somehow noble. Suffragette and early feminist Susan B. Anthony was opposed to abortion, showing the inconsistency of contemporary feminists who maintain that their legal rights are infringed if they cannot murder their unborn babies.

Did the out of wedlock pregnancy of Harry Blackmun’s 19-year old daughter that interrupted her college education seven years before, affect his ruling? Did the fact that he actually engaged in ethical violations by bringing the Roe v. Wade case home to discuss it with his wife and daughter influence his decision? How about Blackmun’s tenure as legal counsel for the Mayo Clinic? Did his work for doctors affect his willingness to make legal what would become a profitable though unpopular medical procedure? There must be some explanation for a court ruling that privacy is a fundamental constitutional right when no one reading the Constitution for almost two centuries ever found it there before. As well, how do we explain that the half of our population who are opposed to the murder of the unborn do not want to actually involve themselves in stopping the carnage? Josef Stalin, the former General Secretary of the Soviet Union, and a man responsible for the deaths of millions in his famous purges, is quoted as saying, “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” The human mind and heart cannot grasp the import of large numbers of anonymous deaths. Therefore, while the death of the baby you know is heartbreaking, and the miscarriage of a young woman’s unborn child is a terrible loss to her, we are not very good at dealing with carnage on a massive scale. There are millions of people in the United States of America who know abortion is murder, who say they are in favor of outlawing abortion on demand, yet they have never actually done anything in their lives to slow down the accumulating body count from abortions, much less stop the killing. My own appraisal of the situation would factor in the silence in the New Testament of the apostles Paul, Peter and John to the abortion question of their own day, and the fact that no one should divert himself from doing what is best to doing what is merely good. Reaching the lost and engaging in evangelism is best, while working to stop abortion is good.

However, that is considering the entire abortion issue from the perspective of Christian engagement, activity, and opposition to the murder of the unborn. What about the other half of the country? What about those in our country who are not opposed to abortion, who think of abortion as an unpleasant necessity, or as a free society’s option for oppressed women? What about those who mutter “a woman’s right to choose,” or who apply “Pro-Choice” stickers to their car windows, when the words choose and choice are euphemisms for killing another human being? Think about it. The unborn child has done nothing wrong, but is merely inconvenient, and yet the decision is made for convenience’ sake that he must die. So that someone can fornicate or adulterate without one of the consequences of that behavior disrupting anyone’s life in any way, an innocent baby must die. How insane is that? How is this mindless disregard for someone else’s life to be explained? No, that is not right. It is not mindless disregard for someone else’s life. Mindless disregard speaks to those who stand by and do nothing. Those who pay for abortions, who have the abortions, who persuade their girl friends to obtain abortions, and who perform abortions, are not people with a mindless disregard for the unborn. They are the perpetrators, like the holocaust gas chamber technicians, like the slaughterhouse butchers, these ones with the blood of innocents on their hands who are guilty of infanticide.

Three related factors go far in explaining the horrors of abortion in our country:

First, IGNORANCE OR REPUDIATION OF GOD’S TRUTH

There are two types of relationships every human being is capable of having, the vertical one with God and the horizontal ones with other human beings. Let no one imagine for a moment that anyone who ignores the vertical relationship, who abandons and forsakes or who repudiates the value of a relationship with God, will have any guarantee of long-term success in the other direction. Keep in mind that God has always made it clear that He is jealous, and rightly so, Exodus 20.5. Therefore, one must fool himself into thinking that, A, it is possible to have a long term relationship with another person in the horizontal plane without God blessing that relationship, or that, B, God will not intentionally sabotage such a relationship if it is more prized to an individual than his relationship with God is prized. If He cannot have you, will He allow you to have anyone else? Perhaps, for a time.

Such things understood, consider God’s specific truths related to unborn children that many today are ignorant of or intentionally repudiate: First, there is the matter of abortion in the Old Testament. Exodus 21.22 forbids the accidental aborting of an unborn child, and calls for reciprocal punishment when it occurs, verses 23-25, a life for a life. Therefore, if a man’s punishment for accidentally causing a woman to lose her unborn baby was death, the same punishment would be exacted for intentionally causing an abortion. Thus, under the Mosaic Law, abortion was a capital offense. Most do not know this, while others do not care. Second, in this same passage the unborn child is referred to as fruit, describing the unborn baby as the natural, appropriate, and blessed result of sex in marriage. As well, consider Psalm 127.3: “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Why would someone terminate the life of a baby? How can such behavior not be explained by ignorance or the repudiation of God’s truth that children are an heritage of the LORD, or that children are a reward, a compensation, a benefit? To summarize, there is a positive and a negative aspect to this terrible matter of aborting children. On one hand, the Word of God positively asserts that children are a blessing, that they are the natural byproduct of communion in marriage, and that they are God’s heritage and reward to a husband and wife. Negatively, responsibility for the death of an unborn child was punishable by death under the Law of Moses. Therefore, those who are involved in such wickedness exhibit either ignorance or a complete lack of concern about their relationship with God, the will of God with respect to children, God’s estimation of children, and the punishment those guilty of such wrongdoing deserve.

Next, RAMPANT SELFISHNESS AND UNNATURAL AFFECTION

Of course, sin is ultimately about self and about disregard for others, both God and other people. When Adam and Eve sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, they immediately became aware of their nakedness, Genesis 3.10-11. It was not until they had sinned that they became so self-aware as to notice their nakedness. This is but one illustration that shows us the attention of the sinner is not on others, essentially, but on self, with selfishness being the result.

Consider every aspect of sin committed by a sinner. What are lying, cheating, stealing, fornicating, adulterating, and all the rest? Is it not selfishness when it comes to preferring self to others? Is it not selfishness when it comes to fulfilling desires and gratifying lusts at the expense of others? Is it not selfishness when it comes to ignoring distinctions of property when stealing? Is it not selfishness when ignoring distinctions of truth when lying? Is it not selfishness when ignoring the distinctions of covenant relationships when it comes to fornication and adultery?

To be sure, people will lay claim to love as motivation for much of what they do. However, the Apostle Paul was very clear in pointing out the characteristics of real love, in First Corinthians 13.4-8, particularly the part about love that “Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,” Thus, real love is always displayed within guidelines of propriety, and real love is not selfish. A lost guy who really loved his girl friend would cut loose from her so she could deal with spiritual matters without being entangled with him. If he refuses to do what is best for her, he betrays his real motive to be selfishness in the form of lust, and not love.

How does sinfulness show itself with respect to children, especially with respect to the subject matter we are dealing with today? It is not as obvious as one might first think. First, what is your appraisal of children in general? Do you see them as a blessing? Do you love them? I speak not of anyone’s supposed love for his own children, but of someone’s love for all children. Sometimes one’s supposed love for his own children masks his dislike for children in general. He does not like children, wants nothing to do with children, pays no attention to children, avoids interacting with children, and has no friends who are children. Excuse me, but someone who cannot stand being around children he is not related to, except for his own offspring or his own grandchildren, is a person who has no love for children. A little thought on that matter will show you that such an attitude does not reflect Christ likeness. Children knew Jesus loved them and they flocked to Him when not hindered by His disciples. Even worse, of course, is the sin referred to by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1.31, where Paul identifies among some particularly nasty sins one labeled “without natural affection.” This refers not only to others in general, but also shows an absence of concern even for those you are related to.[3] Thus, some do not love children in general but are sentimental toward their own (or perhaps children whose behavior they approve of), while others are so base, they have no regard for even their own offspring.

Selfishness causes someone to terminate a pregnancy to avoid unwanted disruption of her life, or to avoid giving birth to a dependent to take care of. However, it is also more than that. It is also an absence of not only love but also the natural affection one should expect toward his own. Not only is that a baby, but it is your baby. Not only a son, but also your son. Not only a girl, but also your own daughter. How is it that you can have no concern for another person, so small and helpless? It is the predictable result of having no concern for God, and becoming your own false god to yourself.

Finally, A LOW VIEW OF CHILDREN

I know that the word fetus is the proper biological and medical term for an unborn baby, but it is also the proper term for any unborn vertebrate that is developing inside the mother rather than in an egg that has been laid.[4] Thus, the uniqueness and value of the unborn child is casually, if accidentally, set aside by the habitual use of that term in conversation. The abortion industry goes one step farther than the scientific establishment by referring to an unborn child as the “product of conception.”[5] They even label the murder of an unborn child as a therapeutic abortion, as if murdering a woman’s baby is somehow beneficial and an improvement in her overall health.

Think about this for a moment, if you will. It is healthy trees that bear fruit. It is healthy vines that bear fruit. It is healthy animals that bear offspring. Yet, when a woman bears fruit, it is somehow therapeutic to interrupt that healthy process by means of an invasive medical procedure that destroys her child before he is born. Are these people mad? Have they lost their minds? No one would want apple trees that bore no fruit. No one would want grape vines that bore no fruit. No one would want poultry or livestock that bore no fruit. Yet a surgical procedure that interferes with the natural and healthy process of a woman bearing fruit is termed therapeutic?

How is it that people can talk this way, write this way, and think this way? They have a low view of children. Excuse me, but children are human beings even before they are born. The psalmist David wrote, “thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb,” Psalm 139.13, not something that later became David. He wrote in the same psalm, “I was made in secret.”[6] Such statements, along with many others, are why we insist that life begins at conception. When the sperm fertilizes the egg, life begins. The question, however, is what kind of life, and what value of life? If the life that begins is human life, then it is life that is qualitatively different from all other life in the universe. There is something about people that is different from anything else. How are people different? How are even little unborn babies different? Turn to Genesis 1.26-27 and you will see:

26     And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27     So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

When God created Adam and Eve, He created them to bear His own image and likeness. When they began to have children, those children were image-bearers of God, as well. Yes, even sinful children bear the image and likeness of God. How important is this image of God which each of us bears? Turn to Genesis 9.6: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” Thus, the reason why God forbids taking any person’s life, which includes taking a baby’s life by abortion, is because each person is made in the image of God.

Babies are not precious because they happen to be your babies. Babies are not precious when they happen to be cuddly and playful. Babies are precious because they bear the image of God. Children are precious because they bear the image of God, even when they misbehave in the super market. Therefore, if only your children are precious to you, or if children are only precious to you when they behave, there is something wrong with you. Conduct and relationship is not what makes babies, children, or anyone else for that matter, precious in God’s sight and hopefully precious in yours, as well. It is the image of God stamped upon them that makes them precious, that makes you precious. People who take part in aborting a child do so because they have a low view of children. People who do not want children in their lives are of that mind because they have a low view of children. People who love their children but have no interest whatsoever in other children have a low view of children. People who love their grandchildren but have no heart for other children have a low view of children.

Let us recognize that all children are precious, because every child bears the image of God. Why did God give the weight of law to the protection of even unborn children? Because He loves them, they bear His image. Why did Jesus insist that His disciples allow the little children to come to Him? Because He loved them, they bore His image.

The horrors of legalized abortion in our country over the last thirty-nine years continue despite the opposition of at least one-half of our population. Yet in that same period, smoking has been restricted almost everywhere because of the militancy of a far smaller number of activists. Go figure. How is the horror of legalized abortion to be explained? Three underlying factors are key: First, ignorance or outright repudiation of God’s truth about what abortion really is. After all, no one really doubts that abortion is murder of the unborn anymore, do they? Not with what advanced technology has revealed to us through sonograms and fiber optic photography. Next, there is rampant selfishness and unnatural affection. After all, children are troublesome and require care and feeding. They can never compete with pets for desirability. Pets are less messy, more affectionate, less expensive to feed and care for, and hardly ever keep you up at night with crying and illness. With a pet life can still be all about you, which is not possible with the demands of an infant or growing child. Therefore, selfishness and the absence of natural affection feeds a culture that is disposed to dispose of unwanted children. Finally, there is the low view of children that arises from not seeing them as bearing the image and likeness of God. Even if someone has never harmed a child, there is something wrong with not seeing every child as God’s image bearer. If you do not see in another the very image of the God you worship and adore you will not value that person as highly as you ought, especially someone as utterly defenseless as an unborn child who can be quietly disposed of with no one knowing.

May God forgive each of us for the part we play in the current situation. I am so profoundly thankful Jesus died on the cross for me, and that His shed blood cleanses me from all my sins. I do not want things in our country to be the way they presently are, and I realize that my role in this great drama of redemption is to do what I can to serve God and reach the lost for Jesus Christ. What can I do? I can speak the truth in love. I can be unselfish and display affection toward others, especially and including the most helpless among us. I can also consciously strive to see every person, especially the children, as bearing God’s image. Do you see how valuable that makes others? Do you see how important that makes others? The next time you fly on a plane, don’t give someone $20 to change seats with you when you find yourself next to a young mother and her baby. She does not need to sit next to someone who is indifferent to her and her child. She needs someone sitting next to her who cherishes children, even a child with colic. She may even need someone to encourage her and inform her how precious her baby really is. Not because he is her child, but because he bears God’s image. If you avoid the little ones, how are you different from the secular humanist? If you shun the young mother and child for fear the baby may cry, are you not part of the problem instead of being part of the solution? When you hear some obnoxious woman say, “Are they all yours?” step up and come to her defense, rather than allowing a callused feminist subject her to verbal abuse.

Let us stand up and be counted among those who have a high view of children. If you are among those who have walked a trail of tears, with guilt for unspeakable crimes against children, let me speak to you of forgiveness. If you have collaborated with others against the innocent and the defenseless, let me speak to you of forgiveness. If you do not have a high view of children, as exhibited by selfishness and callousness toward mothers and their children, let me speak to you of forgiveness.

We have men in our church who love more than their own children. I pray that we will be an entire congregation of men, women, and young people who love mothers and their children, and who have a high view of children. That can happen when you let me speak to you of God’s forgiveness, and you come to know the forgiveness that Jesus provides.



[1] Although abortion is still considered a fundamental right by a majority of the court, subsequent cases, notably Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Stenberg v. Carhart, and Gonzales v. Carhart have affected the legal standard.

[2] Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1996), page 5.

[3] A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures In The New Testament, Vol IV, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1931), page 333.

[6] Psalm 139.15



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pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org