When Christianity Supported Abortion

It is my contention that the degree to which you are easily offended, is the degree to which you don’t know truth.

Ultimately, truth is God’s Word. When we know the Truth, we will not be carried about with every wind of doctrine, but will be grounded and settled, unmoved, standing sure on the foundation and pillar of the Truth.

Church should be a place of grace, a place where a person can think about God and not be afraid to ask questions. It should also be a place to find truth that answers many of those questions. And The Truth should be spoken in love.

Needless to say, the Church has not always been good at that. As we find the truth, we will no doubt stumble across some pretty stupid theories!

Here’s a test to see how easily you are offended, but also a great illustration to see how much stupid comes along the way to finding truth.

I am reading a book that touches on medical history in America, particularly during the 19th century. I read this:

“Oftentimes, the earliest moment a woman could be certain she was pregnant was the first time she could feel the baby stirring in her womb–an event called the quickening.

“The importance of the concept of the quickening during this era can not be overstated. Nineteenth-century philosophers and theologians who followed the beliefs of the Christian West accepted the concept of ‘delayed animation’ as the absolute truth about conception.

“It was a common and widely accepted belief that the unborn were not fully alive, or at least not fully human, until several months after conception, when those first movements were felt.

“Therefore, the quickening was not just the unborn child becoming animated, but the moment the unborn child received it’s ‘rational soul.’

Because of this widespread notion, fetuses were seen as nothing more than moles or tumors. Mothers were not morally responsible for the fetus until after the quickening.

Since both your pastor and your doctor did not view the early months of pregnancy as actually having a human life in the womb, “an estimated one in thirty pregnancies was terminated during the nineteenth century.” And by “terminated,” the author means humanly inflicted, not natural child death.

Yes, it was faulty science and faulty theology that lead to widespread occurrences of abortion and/or self-inflicted termination of births.

Christianity, at one time, had no problem with abortion.

If you are easily offendable, this will no doubt easily offend you. However, all I told you was historical fact. It’s the truth of the situation. Just as Christianity at one time had no problem tying people to stakes and setting them on fire for believing different views about theology.

Things change. Truth does not change. What changes is our understanding of truth. Church History teaches us to calm down. Don’t be so adamant about your view of Scripture. Certainly don’t light people on fire for disagreeing with you.

Learning and conforming to truth takes some time. Use some humility and grace. Watch out for majority-held beliefs! They are often the ones that look the most foolish as the years go by.

Relax out there. Wisdom will not die with you. God’s Word is eternal and will never fade away. Center your thoughts on that. Hold the Word tightly and your theories loosely.