The following was presented by Ron Strom as part of the annual Grants Pass Pregnancy Care Centers Baby Bottle Boomerang fund raising drive on March 19, 2011.
Ron Strom has served on the Pregnancy Care Center Board since 2005. Serving as the organization's treasurer, Ron was involved in transitioning the PCC to an ultrasound-offering medical facility. Ron has been pro-life for decades, but sensed a call to do more than "curse the darkness," finding the Pregnancy Care Center an excellent way to help contend for life.
The Church of God 7th Day in Grants Pass was blessed to have Ron speak on this important issue.
Id like to talk about life what is it, when it begin and who gives it.
What is life? Webster's says life is characterized by "the cellular biochemical activity or processes of an organism, characterized by the ingestion of nutrients, the storage and use of energy, the excretion of wastes, growth, reproduction, etc."
So we can safely say, based on that definition, that a separate life exists inside a pregnant woman.
When does life begin? When the genetic code of a mother and a father merge during conception, a unique human life has begun even though microscopic.
23 chromosomes from each parents carrying some 15,000 genes from mom and the same number from dad. This fertilized egg, if allowed to continue, develops into a full-grown baby, then a child, then an adult. It is not a potential human being, but a special, never to be repeated creation of God, a person from the get-go, a person created in God's image.
Besides what we know from science, let us consider the ultimate authority on every issue we confront in life: God's Word.
Psalm 139:13-16 says: "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
"My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
"Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them."
What a great description of the creative intricacies God uses in forming each human life.
The word for "unformed substance" in the Hebrew there is a word that means something rolled or wrapped together all the DNA and initial cells needed for a unique person are wrapped up and ready to grow.
Commentator William MacDonald, in talking about that passage in Psalms, said: "In God's book, all the days of David's life were recorded by the divine Architect before that historic moment when David announced his arrival by that first lusty cry."
Then we read in Jeremiah 1:4-5a: "Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.'"
There are other examples in the Bible where God had specific plans for people while they were still in the womb and before: There were two nations represented in the womb of Rebekah, in her twins.
Then there was of course John the Baptist and Jesus Himself who was planned to be our Redeemer before he was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary.
The Bible speaks about the unborn John and unborn Jesus as CHILDREN, not as zygotes or fetuses, or products of conceptions but as CHILDREN that's the value of the unborn we see in God's word.
Some try to argue from the Bible and say a fetus likely has no soul since he has not breathed, and the "breath" of life is what God gives to indicate life as he did breathing life into Adam.
But even if you believe it is unclear when God puts a soul into a person, I think it best to err on the side of caution and protect that life rather than claim it is a soulless entity and therefore disposable.
So yes, the Bible can be used to argue for abortion, but the overall theme God presents is one of valuing life and His making plans for each person before they draw breath.
Let's go back to Science for a moment. Science has found out a lot about unborn children in the last 35 years. For example:
At 21 days, the baby's heart begins beating, pumping the baby's own blood through his or her circulatory system;
At 21 days, the baby's arms begin developing, and fingers develop at 6 weeks;
At 40 days, the baby's brain begins functioning enough to generate measurable brain waves. medical personnel measure death by brain waves.
The baby begins movement at 7 weeks, which can be felt by the mother at 16 weeks.
The baby's facial muscles move, even forming "smiles," at 11 weeks.
So, the bumper stick that says "Abortion stops a beating heart" is absolutely true, since abortions normally occur at least 28 days after conception.
Even though God values life, our society and our governments do not at least they do not value life that is "unwanted" by others.
Since Roe v. Wade was handed down, 50 million unborn Americans have been killed that's a rate of about one every 20 seconds. And that doesn't include other countries.
Our culture has encouraged this slaughter through the sexual revolution, feminism, and a general worldview that says there is no God I am my own God, so I will do what I want outside of God's standards. This standard of meism and convenience has ushered in an attitude of disposability when it comes to innocent life.
Sometimes I wonder if pro-life Christians really believed that abortion is the equivalent of murder, wouldn't we be doing more to stop it? Or is there a fatigue that sets in that allows part of us to acquiesce to the horror of abortion?
But I also believe abortion in our country will one day be like slavery is today: It will be remembered as a horrible, inhumane tragedy that was allowed to continue and that will, at that time in the future, be universally condemned. Let us pray so.
So, how can we be involved to help protect innocent life life that God has put intrinsic value into?
I would submit there are three ways we can work toward the goal that every unborn life is protected and these three ways correspond to the three pillars of society: the family, the church and the state.
1. The state: Work to effect change in the law so abortion is outlawed. There is disagreement by different pro-life groups about how to go about this, but the bottom line is Roe v. Wade must be struck down either directly or by passing an amendment to the Constitution to outlaw abortion. This includes electing people to office who honor all life.
2. The family: Educate your own children about abortion, not only what it is but why our society so readily turns to it to deal with so-called problem pregnancies. And teach a godly sexual standard so that every pregnancy in your family no matter what generation is a welcomed pregnancy. Children, at every stage of development, are a gift from God. Let us teach that consistently and faithfully.
3. The Church: Work within the Body of Christ to collaborate on efforts to minister within our community to those who are facing crisis pregnancies and work to steer our community toward valuing life at every stage. Think about this: If everyone in Josephine County knew Christ and valued life as God does, abortions could be reduced to zero WITHOUT overturning Roe v. Wade.
One way to impact our community is to work as a volunteer with the Pregnancy Care Center, or donate to the work done there.
I have been on the Board of the center for five and a half years and have seen the miracle of pregnant women neighbors of ours here in Josephine County come into the doors of the center determined to destroy their children and leaving determined to keep those same children.
This is done through counseling and through ultrasounds that are performed where these women are shown images of their unborn babies on the machine's screen.
When Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, performs ultrasounds, they purposely turn the screen away from the mothers hiding the truth from them. At the Pregnancy Care Center, we introduce women to their unborn children and they often bond with them at that time and make the choice for life.
The center also helps new mothers with baby clothes and supplies and has classes on parenting.
One of the ways the Pregnancy Care Center raises money for its ongoing operation is through the Baby Bottle Boomerang program. Please take a bottle home with you today and bring it back in three weeks filled with spare change and, preferably, paper money.
Thank you for any way you can support the PCC as we continue to help save the lives of the unborn in Josephine County.