The answer to the question above looms large in the minds of politicians, people of faith and the person simply trying to decide the best course of action for herself or himself in daily life. The debate is a hot issue. In fact, abortion rights was a key part of the Republican Party’s 2012 Presidential Platform. It took firm root at the state level after the 2010 Elections and was fueled by state legislatures across the country. We saw state laws passed limiting individual decisions women could make about rape, contraception and very basic health issues.
Roe vs. Wade, a 1973 law upheld by the Supreme Court which basically gives a woman the right to an abortion until the fetus is able to live outside of the womb–somewhere around 24 to 28 weeks after conception, is viewed by some as being violated. Others believe their interpretation of the law gives them the right to defend the “unborn child.” At the heart of the controversy is one’s concept of the essence of life. What really defines life? When does it begin and when does it end? Is this a moral issue or is it a human, personal issue? Before tackling the questions, two words must be understood by anyone seeking an answer: “God” and “abortion.” The person responsible for the picture above has already made a clear decision: “Abortion is a personal decision, not a legal debate.” Whether you agree or disagree depends on your interpretation and understanding of God and abortion. Let’s begin the discussion!
Abortion is defined by some as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. Others see it only as the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy. The simplest definition is “terminating a pregnancy.” It appears that when religious and emotions are connected to the word, definitions tend to be longer.
A Brief History of Abortion
Most people see induced abortions as a 20th century social and religious issue, but history reveals that it dates back to 2700 BCE where abortions were performed in China, and 200 CE during the Roman Empire. Many methods were used to facilitate the process–from herbs to sharp objects. There is another debate over whether the Hippocratic Oath forbade ancient Greek physicians from performing abortions. However, there seems to be evidence that in 1585-90, Pope Sixtus declared abortions to be a homicide regardless of stage of pregnancy. Just as in the past, today, the debate goes on.
What is God?
” God is often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of humans and the universe” (Wikipedia).
“A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions”(wwwfreedictionary.com).
“The creator and ruler of the universe, regarded as eternal, infinite, all-powerful, and all knowing” (Webster).
Basically, all three definitions are in agreement as to who or what God is with Webster giving a more expansive one. The question then, becomes how does one identify with this One, great ruler of the universe? Can he become personal? If so, how does one make him so? Now that your mental juices are flowing, the next essential question becomes, Who is man? Is he mortal or immortal? The answers to these question are essential to determine life–when it begins and when it ends.
Defining man as mortal gives the pro-lifers a nail to hang their abortion hat on, but if he is immortal, pro-choicers have a valid argument for saying the decision to abort or not abort is personal–between the person and the god he serves. This discussion will focus on the following key issues:
- What is God?
- What is man?
- What is life and when does it begin?
- What is the illusion of life?
I see God as the one infinite, supreme, eternal Being who created all, as the above definitions state, but I also see Him as more . . . . John helps us understand this “more” when he said, “God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (4:24). Many theologians gloss over this verse because they are so entangled with the concept of Jesus being God, and . . . he is not. Jesus never said he was God, but the son of God. Why do people miss this point? Another follower of God named Mary Baker Eddy, defines Him this way: “God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 465). That word “incorporeal” lets us know he is not flesh and blood, but Spirit as John says. Mrs. Eddy builds on this definition by using and understanding the many references to God in the Bible. For example, the Bible speaks of God as “the Word.” Is not this the same as “Law”– divine Law? Principle is divine Law–divine Government–all that is perfect, just, holy and righteous. Demonstration of Principle results in healing.
A verse in I John identifies God as Love: “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (4: 16). These examples clearly elevate thought above defining God as sensual, corporeal and human. Eddy, an avid reader of the Bible and also discoverer of Christian Science, gleamed wisdom and understanding that enabled her to use seven synonyms to define God–Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life Truth, Love. She is not advocating defining God as seven entities, only one. He is all of these rolled into one. Similarly, a person may be a teacher, but also a mother, sister, wife and business woman. Each expands who she is, but does not totally relegate her to one. So, not only is God multifaceted, He is also supreme-(above all), infinite–(unlimited), and divine–(having no human qualities). Gaining an understanding of God, prepares one to understand the man that God created. If one does not understand God, he cannot understand God’s man, for this man is an expression of God. Moses says it this way: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1: 27).
What does Moses mean by this? An image is a replica of something. It is not the “something,” but looks, acts and feels as the original. Thus, man made in the image of God, expresses all that God is. Therefore, if God is Spirit, man has to be spiritual, not flesh and blood. This also precludes him from being human, but divine. Isaiah echos this description by reminding us to “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of” (2: 22)? He is saying the breath of man in not in his nostrils–his physical body, but in his being–his divine nature, and further, that no spiritual thinking person can account for such a man–such a human man.
Moses goes on to state that man has not only masculine qualities, but feminine qualities as well. He is both “male and female.” Masculine qualities are strength, power, persistence, perseverance, security, abundance. Feminine qualities express tenderness, kindness, grace, humility, love, peace. None of these are found in a physical body, but are expressed in thought and defined by actions stemming from those thoughts. This places the man of God’s creation above physics into metaphysics. Such a view is beyond the understanding of mortality, and can only be embraced as one moves into the realm of Spirit–into immortality where only Soul reigns.
What is Life?
The third part of this discussion is to define life and determine when it begins. One of the seven synonyms of God, is Life–Life as the only Existence or Being. That existence is not flesh and blood, but Spirit. Spirit is eternal–meaning it has no beginning or ending. Therefore, God is, always has been, and ever will be. He is the sole Creator of man and the universe. God, being Spirit, not only created everything spiritual, but also everything good. How does that relate to man? Man, made in his image, also has no beginning or ending. Thus, life does not begin with an embryo or fetus, life is spiritual and eternal; and since it is spiritual and eternal, it cannot be aborted.
What is Man?
“Man is idea, the image of Love; he is not physique. He is a compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God’s image and likeness” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p, 475). The first time I read this concept of man I thought it was the most absurd thing that I had ever read. Sure, I knew intellectually that man was more than flesh and blood, but “an idea” and not having some kind of sensual form was incomprehensible! However, as I gained a higher concept of God, a higher concept of man evolved.
The Illusion of Life
Is life an illusion? What is an illusion? It is a false perception, conception or interpretation of reality, and is based on what is perceived by the physical senses. As humans, we are taught that if we see something with the physical eyes, it is true; the ears let us hear truth or feelings denote truth. This truth is based on belief, false belief, not divine truth. That which is true has a spiritual foundation, or it is not true. I know what you are thinking: “That woman has really lost it!” Well . . . not yet!
What you are reading is an example of a person who lives on a daily basis beyond the physical senses. How do I do that? By establishing in thought the true conception of God, man and the universe–which are not physical, but metaphysical. I suppose it is easier for you to see God as metaphysical, but man? No, you are thinking! I maintain it is easier for you to see God as metaphysical because that is how you have been trained, so that is what you believe.
Similarly, I have not only been trained theoretically that man is spiritual, but have gained an understanding that he is and demonstrated it in my human experience. Thus, I speak not only theory, but practice. My understanding and practice have validity from studying the life of the prophets in the Bible, the spiritual healings of Jesus Christ, and the study and practice of Christian Science. Hope and faith have come from living–living 40 years of healing sin, sickness and diseases of many kinds. I have seen anger, bitterness, resentment and hate dissolved by establishing the true nature of man–man made in the image of God. To the non-believer, this kind of thinking is nonsense. This article is not to convince, only to inform.
True life is not measured by what the physical body looks and feels like, the amount of money in one’s bank accounts, or the number of years one lives on earth, but by the divine qualities one expresses. As long as man believes physicality demonstrates life, he can never live in harmony with God, Spirit. This is the essence of Paul’s words: “They that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” (Romans 8: 8-9).
Paul recognizes that the true nature of man is spiritual and admonishes man to rise above the belief that he lives in body. If God made man in the image and likeness of himself, why would he feel the need to re-make him out of dust? Did he discover that he had made a mistake? Or did he simply change his mind? God is Mind, unchangeable and eternal; all intelligence, wisdom and understanding. This precludes any notion of mistakes, change of mind or desire to change.
Now that another view of God, man and Life have been introduced, the discussion turns to the question: Does an abortion sin against God?
Having a desire to kill breaks the commandment “Thou shalt not kill,” but can one kill that which has never lived? God’s man is spiritual and is not at the mercy of mortal man. Killing is the desire to destroy anything that was made by God. The man of God’s creation has no desire to kill or be killed. This is a human emotion, and that which is human is not divine.
There are numerous ways mortal man kills. One way is to allow anger, bitterness, hate and greed to fill the soul and rule out love, compassion and gratitude. Another is to use the Bible to further one’s own self-justification, self-righteousness, prejudices and injustices. A third is to impose one’s own beliefs, ideals and ideologies on another in an attempt to usurp the individuality that every child of God expresses. Refusing to “love unconditionally” kills one’s ability to elevate thought, forgive, or love a neighbor as oneself. To relegate killing to the destruction of a fetus or physical body, is to limit the scope of sin and excuse the depth of evil.
A fetus is not a child of God, nor is a physical body. Both are creations of mortal thought and must ultimately yield to divine understanding. However, if you believe a fetus or a physical structure is a child of God, I say without judgment, imposition or criticism, live in accordance with your beliefs. But I also say, if another does not concur with your beliefs, give him the same respect that you wish given to you. We are all children of the Most High God (or whatever name you wish to call Him), seeking to live in accordance with our beliefs and understanding. As we love and reach higher levels of thought, we discern more clearly another commandment: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
In conclusion, no one should have in his consciousness a desire to kill anything or anyone, but gaining a truer concept of God as Life, man as the image of Life, and human life as an illusion, allows him to make decisions that affect his human experience based on a personal relationship with his own sense of godliness. No one can make another person more godly, nor save him from sin and death. That is an individual responsibility. I hear you, “I’m not trying to save the individual, I am trying to save the child.” That is also not your responsibility! A child of God does not need saving. He lives and moves in the realm of Spirit, and is always safe in the arms of divine Love. Having a consciousness filled with this understanding will have a positive effect on the world. Let the true concept of man embrace your thought, and you will help heal the world. Forcing your limited concept of man on the world, aids in destroying it.
The man of God’s creation, is neither created by man, nor aborted by man.