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Switch to Forum Live View I am genuinely confused and seek guidance
3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 1:58AM #1
BelindaCatchings
Posts: 8
It seems that about 80% of religious pro-lifers tend to echo "only when the mother's life is in danger" - but I have hit a roadblock trying to explain this to myself; I know in Jewish law it is forbidden to take an innocent person's life to save your own (although you can kill a guilty person trying to kill you, say an enemy soldier).

But by Jewish law, if your car is headed towards a tree (that will kill you) and the only alternative is to swerve into a little girl on the playground (killing her), you are NOT allowed to kill the innocent person to save your own life.

Now, I do not know the Christian faith very well, but I am curious if there is any justification for this apparent change? Something scriptural or by the church or something?

In fact, I would be curious to know if there was ANY moral code of any vein of spirituality/religion, that would say "It is allowable to run your car into the little girl, to avoid the risk of imminent danger to yourself".

I hope somebody will be able to clear this up for me, thank you.
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 8:41AM #2
JRT
Posts: 340

You ask an excellent question and I must admit to being somewhat confused on these issues too. A great many people tend to see moral/ethical issues in black and white. However moral issues are frequently in a vast grey area. We strive to do what is practical striving always to err on the side of love and life. You might find the following essay to be of interest:


 


(MIS)USING the BIBLE in ARGUMENTS AGAINST ABORTION


by Charles W. Hendrick, Professor Emeritus, Missouri State University



The bible says nothing specific about abortion, the "sanctity" of human life, or when life begins.The Ten Commandments does say 'you shall not kill" (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17), which bible scholars interpret as "you should not kill unjustifiably." Exception to this command are: to punish a murderer, participation in holy war or general war, and self defense. Thus, killing is permitted if the community finds it "justifiable". With respect to the "sanctity" of human life, the situation depicted in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament is surprising. God authorizes the killing of Job's entire family to satisfy a back room bargain with Satan (Job1:12). God himself kills the two brothers, Er and Onan for different reasons (Genesis 38:7-10).God was responsible for the deaths of Moses' opposition: Korah, Dathan, Abiram and their entire households (Numbers 16:1-35). The prophet Samuel told Saul that God had authorized the slaughter of the entire nation of the Amalekites --- including even infants and nursing babies (1 Samuel 15:2-3). The prophet Elijah slaughtered 400 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings18:40 -41). So much for the Bible's position on the sanctity of life!



Anti-abortionists cite certain texts from the Bible to argue against abortion, but none are specifically on the topic of abortion. For example, they make inferences from texts tangentially related to this issue and argue that the Bible's use of the terms child, son, or daughter for an unborn fetus means that the fetus has the same standing as a child living independently of the mother's womb. A text that says the opposite, however, regards harm to a living person as greater than harm to a fetus. In Exodus 21:22-25 a pregnant woman is caused to miscarry. The man causing the miscarriage must pay a fine, but if the woman subsequently dies the killer must pay "life for life" (21:23). A fine is paid for the death of a miscarried fetus to compensate the father for the potential economic, worth of the child but the mother's death requires the killers death.



Another argument asserts that when God is described as "knowing an individual before birth" it means that the Bible regards the fetus as a person. Such language, however, is a poetic way of affirming the omniscience of God. For example, Jeremiah 1:4-5 asserts that God knew Jeremiah's future before he was in the womb. The writer could equally have said God knew me "when I was but a gleam in my father's eye", as is suggested by the Psalmist's statement "The Lord knows the thoughts of man" (94:11; see also Chronicles 28:9 and Psalm 44:21). Prohibitions against committing murder exist in the New Testament (Matthew 19:18; 1 Peter 4:15; Revelation 21:8; 22:15),and one text even asserts that murderers are denied eternal life (1 John 3:15), but nothing on abortion or describing abortionists as murderers.


 


On the other hand, the Didache, an early non-biblical Christian writing dating anywhere from 50 to 150 CE, reads "you shall not kill a child by abortion/miscarriage; you sall not kill an infant (2:2). The same writer also argues for a clearly immoral idea: "slaves be sibject to your master, as to God's representative, in reverence and fear" (4:11). The trick to using an ancient text to support modern ethical arguments is to quote briefly and hope no one will discover how generally inappropriate the text is for a modern situation.



In our world moral decisions are often complex --- not clearly black or white, but a murky shade of gray. Actions often seemingly immoral may still be the "better" choice. For example, a German Lutheran minister, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, participated in a plot to kill Adolph Hitler. Although he believed murder was immoral, the horrible situation in Germany under the Nazi regime overrode his commitment to pacifism and nonviolence, and brought him finally to the murder plot. He reasoned that the guilt accruing to him for murder would be less than his guilt for doing nothing. As he saw it, he had to choose between the "better" of two evils. It wasn't the right choice but it wasn't the wrong choice either. Decisions about unplanned pregnancies are not infrequently like Bonhoeffer's choice, a very dirty shade of gray --- however much anti-abortionists try to convince us that the choice is always black and white. For people of conscience, however, legal actions are not always moral, nor are illegal actions always immoral. It depends on the situation.



the floggings will continue until morale improves
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 9:34AM #3
BelindaCatchings
Posts: 8

Thank you, it is a detailed response - although often slightly off-target I respectfully feel. I am not trying to debate whether or not Christianity allows abortion, I guess maybe my thread should go elsewhere...



I'm asking "ASSUMING that the dogma of 'an unborn child is a person' and "abortion is murder' are true...", why do the two Christian camps on abortion tend towards "abortion is justifiable" and "abortion is only justifiable when the life of the mother is at risk".



I understand the reason for the "abortion is justfiable" camp, and I would understand if the opposition's main argument were "abortion is murder of an innocent and thus NEVER justifiable", but I am having trouble understanding the "abortion is murder of an innocent and therefore only justifiable if..." camp. Since it seems far larger than the "never justifiable" camp, I assume there is Christian theology behind it.


As context, most Jews I know tend towards either "abortion is justifiable" or "abortion is never justifiable", this notion of "except when a mother's life is in danger" is rather foreign to me. It seems like either it is murder, or it is not, no?


I am hopeful that somebody will be able to explain to me the reason for the "except when a mother's life is in danger" loophole -- I do not want to be convinced abortion is right or wrong, I just want to understand the various camps. I understand "abortion is justifiable" and I understand "abortion is murder and never justifiable", I am just wanting someone to explain to me the majority camp of "abortion is murder but justifiable if...".

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2012 - 1:54AM #4
anidominus
Posts: 105

Jan 5, 2012 -- 1:58AM, BelindaCatchings wrote:

It seems that about 80% of religious pro-lifers tend to echo "only when the mother's life is in danger" - but I have hit a roadblock trying to explain this to myself; I know in Jewish law it is forbidden to take an innocent person's life to save your own (although you can kill a guilty person trying to kill you, say an enemy soldier).



There is God's law and Jewish Law.   Some laws Jews had for themselves.  Christians do not have to follow any of the Jewish law but we follow God's law.

The law that you mentioned is not in the bible.  Inherently, people tend to avoid killing other people.  People run their cars off the road to avoid other cars and animals all the time.  So a law of that nature is really never needed.



Jan 5, 2012 -- 1:58AM, BelindaCatchings wrote:


But by Jewish law, if your car is headed towards a tree (that will kill you) and the only alternative is to swerve into a little girl on the playground (killing her), you are NOT allowed to kill the innocent person to save your own life.).



Why would anyone want to run in to the little girl law or not?  You'd have to be sick in the head to do that.


Jan 5, 2012 -- 1:58AM, BelindaCatchings wrote:


Now, I do not know the Christian faith very well, but I am curious if there is any justification for this apparent change? Something scriptural or by the church or something? 



There is/was no change.  Simply you do not understand.  I am trying to help you understand.


 

Jan 5, 2012 -- 1:58AM, BelindaCatchings wrote:


In fact, I would be curious to know if there was ANY moral code of any vein of spirituality/religion, that would say "It is allowable to run your car into the little girl, to avoid the risk of imminent danger to yourself".



None that I know of.

Jan 5, 2012 -- 1:58AM, BelindaCatchings wrote:


I hope somebody will be able to clear this up for me, thank you.




From my viewpoint. "Allowing abortion to save the life of the mother" is basically throwing a political bone. (Something done in the spirit of compremise that really doesn't matter that much in the larger scheme of things)  Less than 1000 women a year die in the US from complications of pregnancy.  Compare that to 1.2 - 1.5 million children aborted each year.  If I could convince enough people to end abortion on demand by allowing abortion to save the life of the mother, I think it would be a good trade.  1000 lives lost, that would have been lost anyway, to save another 1.2 - 1.4 million.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2012 - 9:30PM #5
Blü
Posts: 25,278

anidominus


Some laws Jews had for themselves.  Christians do not have to follow any of the Jewish law but we follow God's law.


You have the same god as the Jews, no?


And Matthew 5:18 tells us that Jesus said -


For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.


He means the Jewish law, of course.  And all is accomplished at the Second Coming, which hasn't happened yet.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2012 - 3:20AM #6
anidominus
Posts: 105

Feb 16, 2012 -- 9:30PM, Blü wrote:


anidominus


Some laws Jews had for themselves.  Christians do not have to follow any of the Jewish law but we follow God's law.


You have the same god as the Jews, no?


And Matthew 5:18 tells us that Jesus said -


For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.


He means the Jewish law, of course.  And all is accomplished at the Second Coming, which hasn't happened yet.





The death and resurection of Jesus Christ elminated every last Jewish Ritual for Christians.  He also, before he died on the Cross instituted another ritiual that we call commuion which is based on the passover.


However, the 10 commandments are still in affect as well as the laws regarding benvolence and justice.  If they were no longer in affect then you would not need Jesus.


Also, there were some customs and laws passed soley by, and for, the Jewish people which had nothing to do with God.  Christians do not have to follow any of those laws.


So, for Jewish people, all of the old testiment rituals etc are still in affect, however, since the High Temple was destroyed, the jewish people can not properly adminsiter the rituals.


For Chrisitans, those cleansing rituals are irrelevant because Christ completed those rituals on the cross.


For everybody else... you're screwed.


 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2012 - 2:12AM #7
Mmichael
Posts: 157

Feb 17, 2012 -- 3:20AM, anidominus wrote:


Feb 16, 2012 -- 9:30PM, Blü wrote:


anidominus


Some laws Jews had for themselves.  Christians do not have to follow any of the Jewish law but we follow God's law.


You have the same god as the Jews, no?


And Matthew 5:18 tells us that Jesus said -


For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.


He means the Jewish law, of course.  And all is accomplished at the Second Coming, which hasn't happened yet.





The death and resurection of Jesus Christ elminated every last Jewish Ritual for Christians.  He also, before he died on the Cross instituted another ritiual that we call commuion which is based on the passover.


However, the 10 commandments are still in affect as well as the laws regarding benvolence and justice.  If they were no longer in affect then you would not need Jesus.


Also, there were some customs and laws passed soley by, and for, the Jewish people which had nothing to do with God.  Christians do not have to follow any of those laws.


So, for Jewish people, all of the old testiment rituals etc are still in affect, however, since the High Temple was destroyed, the jewish people can not properly adminsiter the rituals.


For Chrisitans, those cleansing rituals are irrelevant because Christ completed those rituals on the cross.


For everybody else... you're screwed.


 


 





I'm "everybody else", so I guess I'm "screwed". If I ever do choose a religion, I think I'll choose  one that's not as COMPLICATED as the two religions that you're describing! Holy cow!

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2012 - 10:49AM #8
anidominus
Posts: 105

Feb 20, 2012 -- 2:12AM, Mmichael wrote:


Feb 17, 2012 -- 3:20AM, anidominus wrote:


Feb 16, 2012 -- 9:30PM, Blü wrote:


anidominus


Some laws Jews had for themselves.  Christians do not have to follow any of the Jewish law but we follow God's law.


You have the same god as the Jews, no?


And Matthew 5:18 tells us that Jesus said -


For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.


He means the Jewish law, of course.  And all is accomplished at the Second Coming, which hasn't happened yet.





The death and resurection of Jesus Christ elminated every last Jewish Ritual for Christians.  He also, before he died on the Cross instituted another ritiual that we call commuion which is based on the passover.


However, the 10 commandments are still in affect as well as the laws regarding benvolence and justice.  If they were no longer in affect then you would not need Jesus.


Also, there were some customs and laws passed soley by, and for, the Jewish people which had nothing to do with God.  Christians do not have to follow any of those laws.


So, for Jewish people, all of the old testiment rituals etc are still in affect, however, since the High Temple was destroyed, the jewish people can not properly adminsiter the rituals.


For Chrisitans, those cleansing rituals are irrelevant because Christ completed those rituals on the cross.


For everybody else... you're screwed.


 


 





I'm "everybody else", so I guess I'm "screwed". If I ever do choose a religion, I think I'll choose  one that's not as COMPLICATED as the two religions that you're describing! Holy cow!





lol, its not complicated at all. 


Every nation has laws.


Every law, if you break it, has a penalty related to the law broken.


If you break the law, you are no longer "right with society" until you pay your fine whether it be jail time or monetary.


When you are finish paying your fine, you are "right with society" again and you are free to go.


In certain cases, you don't have to pay your fine yourself.  If the fine is monetary, someone else can give you the money to pay your fine if you cant afford it.  You can not earn their money (if you coud, you could pay the fine yourself),  they have to give it to you because they care about you.


God has laws.


Each law has a penalty related to the law broken.


If you break Gods law, you are no longer "right with god" until you pay your fine whether it be monetary or eternal serpation from God (hell)


When you are finish paying your fine, you are "right with God" again and you are free to go.


If you except Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and God will know if you have done this sincerely in your heart, he will pay (or has paid) your fine for you because he cares about you and he knows you can't afford the penalty.  Thefore, you do not have to suffer monetary lost (in the old testment it may have been the loss of animals) or suffer eternal sepration from God.  Jesus has already footed the bill on the cross.


The entire thing is just that simple.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 21, 2012 - 2:22AM #9
Mmichael
Posts: 157

Feb 20, 2012 -- 10:49AM, anidominus wrote:


Feb 20, 2012 -- 2:12AM, Mmichael wrote:


Feb 17, 2012 -- 3:20AM, anidominus wrote:


Feb 16, 2012 -- 9:30PM, Blü wrote:


anidominus


Some laws Jews had for themselves.  Christians do not have to follow any of the Jewish law but we follow God's law.


You have the same god as the Jews, no?


And Matthew 5:18 tells us that Jesus said -


For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.


He means the Jewish law, of course.  And all is accomplished at the Second Coming, which hasn't happened yet.





The death and resurection of Jesus Christ elminated every last Jewish Ritual for Christians.  He also, before he died on the Cross instituted another ritiual that we call commuion which is based on the passover.


However, the 10 commandments are still in affect as well as the laws regarding benvolence and justice.  If they were no longer in affect then you would not need Jesus.


Also, there were some customs and laws passed soley by, and for, the Jewish people which had nothing to do with God.  Christians do not have to follow any of those laws.


So, for Jewish people, all of the old testiment rituals etc are still in affect, however, since the High Temple was destroyed, the jewish people can not properly adminsiter the rituals.


For Chrisitans, those cleansing rituals are irrelevant because Christ completed those rituals on the cross.


For everybody else... you're screwed.


 


 





I'm "everybody else", so I guess I'm "screwed". If I ever do choose a religion, I think I'll choose  one that's not as COMPLICATED as the two religions that you're describing! Holy cow!





lol, its not complicated at all. 


Every nation has laws.


Every law, if you break it, has a penalty related to the law broken.


If you break the law, you are no longer "right with society" until you pay your fine whether it be jail time or monetary.


When you are finish paying your fine, you are "right with society" again and you are free to go.


In certain cases, you don't have to pay your fine yourself.  If the fine is monetary, someone else can give you the money to pay your fine if you cant afford it.  You can not earn their money (if you coud, you could pay the fine yourself),  they have to give it to you because they care about you.


God has laws.


Each law has a penalty related to the law broken.


If you break Gods law, you are no longer "right with god" until you pay your fine whether it be monetary or eternal serpation from God (hell)


When you are finish paying your fine, you are "right with God" again and you are free to go.


If you except Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and God will know if you have done this sincerely in your heart, he will pay (or has paid) your fine for you because he cares about you and he knows you can't afford the penalty.  Thefore, you do not have to suffer monetary lost (in the old testment it may have been the loss of animals) or suffer eternal sepration from God.  Jesus has already footed the bill on the cross.


The entire thing is just that simple.




So, Christianity is about "laws", "breaking laws", "penalties for breaking laws", "being unable to afford the penalties", "getting right with God so you can be free to go", and "Jesus footing the bill". "Just That Simple???" Sorry, but it still sounds complicated AND confusing. Surely there is a truly "simple" way to explain it. How about, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Now, THAT sounds simple.


   To keep this from being moved from the "abortion" section, I will ask-----What if someone sincerely accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior and sincerely believes that Roe v. Wade should remain the law of the land? Will God "pay that person's fine"? Or, will God say, "No, I won't pay your fine until you oppose Roe v. Wade!"

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 21, 2012 - 7:58AM #10
anidominus
Posts: 105

Feb 21, 2012 -- 2:22AM, Mmichael wrote:


Feb 20, 2012 -- 10:49AM, anidominus wrote:


Feb 20, 2012 -- 2:12AM, Mmichael wrote:


Feb 17, 2012 -- 3:20AM, anidominus wrote:


Feb 16, 2012 -- 9:30PM, Blü wrote:


anidominus


Some laws Jews had for themselves.  Christians do not have to follow any of the Jewish law but we follow God's law.


You have the same god as the Jews, no?


And Matthew 5:18 tells us that Jesus said -


For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.


He means the Jewish law, of course.  And all is accomplished at the Second Coming, which hasn't happened yet.





The death and resurection of Jesus Christ elminated every last Jewish Ritual for Christians.  He also, before he died on the Cross instituted another ritiual that we call commuion which is based on the passover.


However, the 10 commandments are still in affect as well as the laws regarding benvolence and justice.  If they were no longer in affect then you would not need Jesus.


Also, there were some customs and laws passed soley by, and for, the Jewish people which had nothing to do with God.  Christians do not have to follow any of those laws.


So, for Jewish people, all of the old testiment rituals etc are still in affect, however, since the High Temple was destroyed, the jewish people can not properly adminsiter the rituals.


For Chrisitans, those cleansing rituals are irrelevant because Christ completed those rituals on the cross.


For everybody else... you're screwed.


 


 





I'm "everybody else", so I guess I'm "screwed". If I ever do choose a religion, I think I'll choose  one that's not as COMPLICATED as the two religions that you're describing! Holy cow!





lol, its not complicated at all. 


Every nation has laws.


Every law, if you break it, has a penalty related to the law broken.


If you break the law, you are no longer "right with society" until you pay your fine whether it be jail time or monetary.


When you are finish paying your fine, you are "right with society" again and you are free to go.


In certain cases, you don't have to pay your fine yourself.  If the fine is monetary, someone else can give you the money to pay your fine if you cant afford it.  You can not earn their money (if you coud, you could pay the fine yourself),  they have to give it to you because they care about you.


God has laws.


Each law has a penalty related to the law broken.


If you break Gods law, you are no longer "right with god" until you pay your fine whether it be monetary or eternal serpation from God (hell)


When you are finish paying your fine, you are "right with God" again and you are free to go.


If you except Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and God will know if you have done this sincerely in your heart, he will pay (or has paid) your fine for you because he cares about you and he knows you can't afford the penalty.  Thefore, you do not have to suffer monetary lost (in the old testment it may have been the loss of animals) or suffer eternal sepration from God.  Jesus has already footed the bill on the cross.


The entire thing is just that simple.




So, Christianity is about "laws", "breaking laws", "penalties for breaking laws", "being unable to afford the penalties", "getting right with God so you can be free to go", and "Jesus footing the bill". "Just That Simple???" Sorry, but it still sounds complicated AND confusing. Surely there is a truly "simple" way to explain it. How about, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Now, THAT sounds simple.


   To keep this from being moved from the "abortion" section, I will ask-----What if someone sincerely accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior and sincerely believes that Roe v. Wade should remain the law of the land? Will God "pay that person's fine"? Or, will God say, "No, I won't pay your fine until you oppose Roe v. Wade!"




If that's too complicated for you, then I don't know how you maintain your sanity in any nation since most nations have more laws and penalites than God.


Jesus has already paid for every sin.  Its up to you to accept the free gift of salvation. 


 


 


 

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