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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Monday, July 17, 2017
Be Fruitful and Multiply - Part II (The Consequences of Conception)
In the majority of US states, a stillborn child is issued a birth certificate and a death certificate.  This postmortem recognition of their having been a human child flies in the face of the legal definition of a human being as it pertains to abortion laws.  In order to destroy a human in the womb, we must dehumanize that human - regard them as "not yet" a person.  Even as it was in Nazi Germany - it is okay to kill someone whom the law doesn't recognized as a human being.

I think that life beings at conception.  I think that way because it is both obvious, and because the bible makes it clear that the life of an unborn human is nevertheless a human life.  Under the Mosaic Law, the penalty for harming or killing an unborn child was the same as it was for anyone else - a life for a life, an eye for an eye etc.  For the Christian who believes the bible to be true - an unborn child is a human being who enjoys all the rights afforded to everyone else - including the right to life.

When does that life begin?  It begins when that life was conceived.  No one denies that life begins at conception - what people debate is when the life that is there qualifies as "human".

For the Christian - the kind of Christian who believes the bible to be entirely true and authoritative  - abortion is murder.  To that kind of Christian, an unborn person is someone who has been created in God's image.  God gave man dominion over all other creatures, such that we can kill and eat some, and even destroy those whom we regard as dangerous or simply pests.  But we aren't allowed to kill one another because other people - like ourselves - are made in God's image.  We don't have the right to kill another human being - even our own children.  We find out why in Genesis 9:6, where we read, "Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man." [ESV]

Everyone who purposely takes a human life is guilty of murder, because we - even our unborn children - are created in God's image.  When God commanded the Israelites not to commit murder, it was a command to not end the life of anyone bearing the image of God.

All of this is to say that if you believe the scriptures are true, and submit yourself to what is taught therein (rather than try and find a way to make it "mean" something other than what it clearly says), you cannot intentionally murder your children in utero or otherwise.

So when we talk about contraceptives no intellectually honest Christian who believes that life begins at the moment of conception can utilize any form of birth control that could potentially destroy a human zygote (a fertilized egg).

That rules out such contraceptives as:

Oral/hormonal based contraceptives such as "the pill", "the patch" or injections such as "Depo-provera":  The pill prevents pregnancies in three ways:

• It prevents ovulation, 
• It thickens the mucus lining so as to prevent fertilization, and 
it thins the lining of the uterus, which makes implantation less likely if fertilization does occur

These contraceptives are sold on the promise that they prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation.  While that is true in the sense that the hormone treatment does disrupt the ovulation cycle (no egg means no pregnancy), but women are often unaware that ovulation still happens it just doesn't happen as often as it would have.  Depending on the individual ovulation may occur anywhere between 2%-65% of the time.  If an egg is produced, and fertilized, the human life that is created - may not be able to implant in the uterus because the pill thins out the uterus lining - effectively preventing the pregnancy by denying the fertilized egg purchase in the womb.

Intrauterine Device (IUD) - An IUD is a small specially shaped foreign object that is placed inside the uterus by a medical professional.  It works in two ways:

• It prevents fertilization by keeping sperm from entering the Fallopian tubes, and 
It thins the lining of the uterus, which may prevent implantation if fertilization does occur.

Similar to the hormone based contraceptives: fertilized eggs may be hindered from implanting in the uterus causing these to be expelled with the next period, instead of implanted.

The Day after Pill - given that it takes 5-6 days for a zygote to implant in the uterus - this pill is not so much about preventing fertilization as it is about preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg.  It works similarly to the other hormone based contraceptives.

Conception  Pregnancy?

Some argue that until the fertilized egg is implanted in the mother, the mother isn't pregnant.  I think that is very true, in a narrow technical sense.  The mother is still a "mother"  but her child hasn't yet been implanted in the lining of her uterus - so she isn't technically pregnant until or unless the egg is implanted in her womb.

That thought emboldens some to argue that the mother isn't yet the mother until the fertilized egg is implanted in her uterus. If it isn't implanted in her uterus, she isn't pregnant, and if she isn't pregnant - taking a hormone or using a device changes the lining of her uterus in a way that makes implantation of a fertilized egg unlikely - then this does not (technically) represent an abortion - since the fertilized egg is expelled in the nex cycle, having been unable to implant in the uterus.

To-may-to, to-maw-to.

The question for any Christian who regards the word of God as having authority in their life is not when does killing your child become abortion, before or after implantation.  That is a pointless argument.  It doesn't matter to the Christian whether the term "abortifacient" can be applied or not, the question isn't about what the proper term for killing your baby is at that point - it is about whether or not you're causing the death of the child that has been conceived in your womb, by taking hormones that kill the child before you even know when or if you became pregnant.

The question about whether or not Christians can get abortions is not really one that any Christian who holds the bible as authoritative would seriously consider.  Even in the Didache - that first century summary of the apostolic teachings - abortion is called out by name as something God forbids.  The word translated in Galatians 5 as "sorcery" - was used in secular writings of the time to describe the use of drugs in producing abortions etc. - it is the same word as is used in the Didache - strongly suggesting what ought to be obvious to everyone who names the name of Christ - killing your unborn child is a sin.

The question of whether or not a Christian is allowed to practice a form of birth control that can cause  the life that is formed in the womb to be extinguished is likewise not a very serious question for serious Christians.  Anything that could possibly cause the death of anyone else is not something we can condone - especially if the only reason we would condone it is to enjoy the pleasures of sex while avoiding the consequences of conception.

The question then is whether or not a Christian is allowed to practice birth control at all?  I'll hopefully answer that in the Part III - is Birth Control a sin? Part I | Part III | Part IV
posted by Daniel @ 11:33 AM  
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