Abortion and Critically Examine Various Christian Responses Essay

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Christian Views on Abortion

The Christian Church has always had strict regulations when concerning matters like abortion. Even with the fact that the Christian Bible contains no information about the practice, many Christians have gotten actively engaged in trying to denounce it as being against God's will. Some branches of the Church are, however, hesitantly willing to accept abortion in particular cases because they acknowledge that one can look at the matter from a series of different perspectives. One of the most divisive problems about the relationship between Christianity and abortion relates to how the latter can be associated with the gravest sin when considering things from the religious ideology's point-of-view: murder.


Abortion has been in public view long before the Christian Church was founded and some of history's most notable individuals emphasized that the practice was required in some situations, both for the benefit of the individual and for the well-being of society as a whole. The Teaching of the Twelve (also known as the Didache) is apparently inspired from oral and written sermons of the twelve apostles. The text promotes the belief that abortion is no different from murder or infanticide and is probably one of the strictest documents originating from Early Christianity that is meant to deal with the topic.

The New Testament has no mention with regard to abortion, but it appears that it was very common for society to denounce the practice during Christianity's early years. Even with this, it was widespread and there were a series of strategies that people could use with the purpose of ending unwanted pregnancies. It is actually intriguing to take this matter into consideration, as it appears that church followers during the period were generally inclined to express the same opinions that they do today: some were supportive of the practice while others opposed it.

III. Views depending on diverse branches of the Christian Church

The majority of individuals appears to believe that abortion is wrong and that Church officials need to act in order to stop society from accepting it. However, there are numerous Christians who believe in the pro-choice principle and who lobby with regard to abortion being accepted on a wider scale. These people generally consider that abortion is a very complex matter and that it would be wrong for someone to simply opposite on the grounds that it is wrong. Traditional Christians are exacting about laws that they consider to be an essential part of their community and a.) The Orthodox

Church According to the sixth Commandment, committing suicide, taking another person's life, and taking the life of unborn individuals is forbidden. This institution believes that the contemporary society is wrong in debating whether or not it is wrong for abortion to occur. It lobbies with regard to how people should first stand and think about the soul of the fetus and then think about these matters from its perspective. The fetus apparently has a soul in spite of the fact that it is not developed into a human and it would be absurd for someone to believe that there is a difference between the soul of a fully developed person and the soul of a fetus.

The soul is one of the core concepts in Orthodox Christianity and it is thus essential for people to focus on considering its value before performing any kind of action that might affect it. "In the view of some of the Church Fathers, (Clement of Alexandria, John Chrysostom, Ephraim the Syrian and others) each soul is created separately by God; moreover, some of them time its joining with the body to coincide with the 40th day of the formation of the body. In the view of other teachers and fathers of the Church (Tertulian, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Macarius of Egypt and others), both substances soul and bodyreceive their beginning and are perfected simultaneously: The soul is created from the souls of the parents, just as the body is created from the bodies of the father and mother" (The Orthodox view on Abortion). When regarding things from the perspective of Orthodox Christianity, conception is not something that occurs randomly and can be stopped whenever someone feels that this is a correct strategy. Orthodox Christians believe that conception is a gift from God and thus needs to be treasured, regardless of circumstances. A person who performs or supports abortion thus acts in disagreement with God's law (The Orthodox view on Abortion).

Orthodox Christians believe that there is little to no difference between individuals who commit murder and individuals who perform abortion. The sixth Commandment applies similarly in each situation and people are grave sinners if they become involved in an abortion process. God provides people with life on the basis that they are responsible for preserving it and thus abortion stands as direct disobedience to God (The Orthodox view on Abortion).

God provides humans with the opportunity to reflect his thinking from the moment of conception and until death. People experience constant development consequent to conception and they are expected to reach a certain status at a particular moment in their lives -- a status that brings them closer to the divine and that enables them to gain a more complex understanding of what it means to become a mirror of God. Orthodox Christians virtually believe that the embryo has the potential to become a fully-developed person and that it is wrong for someone to kill it on the grounds that it has nothing to do with a human being. "The Church teaches that Christ became flesh at the moment of conception" (The Orthodox view on Abortion).

b.) Roman Catholicism

Although Catholicism opposes abortion, it acknowledges that "too many women had interest in contraception for its suppression to be entirely effective" (Maguire 56) and that it would be impossible for the Church to act as if abortion was not an important issue. Infanticide was one of the primary means of getting rid of unwanted babies across the world during early times and Christianity thus had a very difficult time dealing with the problem. "By the Middle Ages oblation offered families with too many children in Christian Europe a new form of abandonment: parents could give unwanted children to the Church" (Maguire 57). This makes it possible for people to understand matters from a whole new perspective: the church was unhesitant about taking unwanted children in an attempt to demonstrate that God had a role for everyone with no regard to their social status or general condition.

What is intriguing about many Catholics throughout time is that they appreciated practices like contraception and abortion in spite of the fact that the Church condemned them. Catholics in the late modern era generally believed that abortion was permissible in situations where it happened no longer than 40 days after the moment of conception. "Indirect abortion was allowed; that is, when measures that would normally be undertaken to save the mother's life in the death/expulsion of the fetus, they may be done even though the death of the fetus can be expected to result" (Maguire 60).

In some situations, the Church went as far as to denounce contraception and abortion as being sins equal to murder. The institution generally promoted the belief that one of the most beautiful things about marriage and intercourse was offspring. People needed to get married in order to perform intercourse, and, thus, contraception and abortion came to be associated with dubious groups of people like adulterers and prostitutes (Maguire 62).

While the Catholic Church has changed its view on contraception during the recent decades, it continued to be a passionate critic of abortion. The contemporary pope has actually emphasized that abortion is one of the most important present-day issues and that it has the mission to provide the masses with education concerning the practice's wrongness. The Catholic Church has provided severe responses to church officials who failed to get actively involved in denouncing abortion. "Theologians, priests, and religious who questioned the teaching have been fired, silenced, censured, and forced to recant on threat of explusion" (Maguire 72).

Catholic Christians practically take on a moral attitude in dealing with abortion and highlight that it is wrong to perform such a practice, regardless of the circumstances. In spite of this, political and public opposition to the Church's position has grown significantly in recent years and it appears that it is more and more difficult for the institution to continue to ban abortion in particular cases.

c.) Protestant Christianity

In contrast to Orthodox and Catholic Christians, Protestants did not get involved in abortion-related topics until the nineteenth century. Many movements emerged in this period with the purpose of emphasizing the fact that abortion was wrong and that it was important for the Church to do something in order to open people's eyes concerning…[continue]

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