There are two views Christians hold to about when life begins and ends that I've read recently that could give people pause as to which is biblically correct. One is a biological concept that suggests that life goes from conception to death. It would be difficult for this group to hold to "brain dead" [no brain activity] as the definition of when life ends since to apply the same to the beginning of life would mean that there is no life until brain activity is present. One would have to accept a "brain birth" AND "brain death" concept, as one person I read called it, to be consistent. That would, of course, effectively rule out a "conception to death" view of life.
The other view about when life begins and ends is defined by the beginning and ending of mental capacity. This view holds that to remove a fetus before a mental state begins is morally different than taking a life by interrupting mental life. [Murder] This view can legitimately hold to the "brain dead" end of life theory but finds it hard to decide when that true mental state begins. So it's just plain difficult for them to define the beginning of life. Two views, two concepts, both rational and thoughtful. But which is correct? Which is biblical?
Some people argue for the first view from the biblical materials. For example, Luke 1:41 says, "And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." This shows, the "conception to death" group says, that in the womb a baby has life. The mental state group, however, uses the same verse and says that at some point the child does come alive with brain activity while in the womb, just no proof biblically it's at conception.
Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and ...Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet..." The first view takes this as a conclusive statement that life begins at conception. The second group says.."not so fast my friend..it does not rule out a time in the womb that brain activity begins but there is no definitive time as to WHEN it does. Therefore life and death could be be connected to mental states even biblically."
Well you see the problem. So when talking about abortion we really are faced with some besetting problems. Then there is the modern language that tries to connect life to "viability" or "quality" of life. That might be OK as long as the quality is spoken of in biblical terms of "sacred." Biblically all human life is sacred and is to be handled accordingly.
So, what is my view on these things? I would say the thing my brother-in-law told me when we went elk hunting last November would be a wise thing to remember. Tommy said, as he left me in a concealed spot to wait quietly, "If in doubt don't shoot." In other words..if I didn't know what I was seeing for sure, it would be better to not shoot at all. It could be some thing other than an elk.
Since there is a legitimate question as to when life begins it would be wise to NOT abort without strong moral reasons, such as the life of the mother at stake, since you could be taking the life of a sacred human being. Some would say there ARE NO moral reasons for doing so ..ever.
But when it comes to the LEGAL [abortion laws] side of this issue there are other questions to be asked by Christians that give me some pause as well. I'll attempt to speak to this next time.