Life is in the blood...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by jsn9333, Mar 19, 2008.

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  1. jsn9333

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    Why do so many conservatives say life starts "at conception"? Aren't conservative Christians supposed to rely on the Bible for their Truth? Are they relying on the Bible in taking this "conception" position? If so, how?

    The blood is the life. Deut. 12:23
    For the life of a creature is in the blood. Lev. 17:11

    Often, for support of the conception position, I've heard people rely on the verse where God says, "I knew you in the womb." But the Bible also says God knew us from eternity past, so when God "knows" us can't be said to determine when life begins. If it did, then our life begins an eternity ago, long before conception, and even choosing to not be intimate on a night when a couple normally would be could be construed as "murder" (which would make no sense at all... but that would be the logical outcome). In fact, that logic seems more in line with the Roman Catholic position that any contraception is evil, because life has already been "set in motion." Perhaps starting to be intimate then stopping would be evil too... I mean, there are so many questions if you rely on when God "knew" a person.

    Are there other verses supporting the conception position that I just have not heard anyone mention? I'm asking that honestly, because I've not discussed this topic much with people (it tends to be sensitive and arouse strong feelings).

    The embryo gets its own blood type and starts making its own blood at 7 weeks. The life of all living creatures created by God is said to exist in that creature's blood (see Scriptures above), therefore can it be said the life of any creature begins at around 7 weeks, when the person's blood exist? Is that a more biblical definition for when life begins?

    Any definition is going to be at least a little bit of a stretch, because the Bible doesn't clearly approach the topic directly. But this seems like less of a stretch then the "known in the womb and from eternity past = life starts at conception" position.

    Perhaps "conception" was the "safest bet" to say when life began just to be sure no babies were being killed... that is, before medical science was able to show when an embryo gets its own blood type and starts making its own blood. Is "at conception" really a tenable position, Biblically speaking, now that we know more about the timing of blood creation in human reproduction?

    Is it possible that pro-abortion advocates were actually partially right in that, for a certain amount of time, an embryo is really part of it's mother's life instead of being its own life? (just not until live birth, as they said, but only until 7 weeks!?) If not, then why, biblically speaking, does life not exist before conception but it does afterwards?
     
  2. annsni

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    In my understanding, when a sperm and egg unite, it creates a new cell that is now programmed to become a human baby. It will not become a chick and it will not become a frog. Even before the blood is produced, that cell - and the future divisions of cells - are all doing what they do with one goal: to become a human body. A sperm before it fertilizes an egg cannot become a human being and is just a sperm cell. An egg before it's fertilized is just an egg. It's not going to become a human being until it is fertilized. When that egg is tested, it has the DNA from mom. When the sperm is tested, it has the DNA from dad. When the fertilized egg has it's DNA tested, it's now it's own unique make-up and is a person completely different from mom and dad.

    So from what I can see, that person has been created and killing it at any time is taking a human life.
     
  3. jsn9333

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    That's a great answer from a secular, logical perspective. What I'm looking for is why, biblically speaking, life is said to not exist before conception but to exist afterwards.

    Logic can lead a reasonable person to a wide variety of conclusions. If we just go by logic, you could say that the sperm and the egg are both programmed to become a human even before they unite... you could say the unification is just one step of many steps that began with intimacy (or even before it). Sure, the cells have to unite for the process to continue and complete. But even after they unite (when your logic says a life begins), they (now joined) still have to implant into the womb. Just like without "unification" a human cannot be born, so without "implantation" no one will be born. And then after implantation, still many more things are necessary for a baby to eventually be born.

    Now your logic may be or may not be better then what I've just said, logically speaking. But again, I'm not asking for logical support for the conception position... rather, I'm asking for biblical support.

    As for the "unique" DNA after conception... actually, the sperm and the egg each have unique DNA before conception too (unique from every other sperm and egg). So again, unification can just be seen as part of the process. Also, DNA sometimes mutates during zygote or embryo development. In that case, because the DNA sequence changed does that mean one person died and another was created? After all, one unique DNA 'being' ceased to exist and was replaced by new 'unique' DNA. Again though, that is just a rhetorical question... just intended to show that logic can lead all sorts of places. I don't want to argue logic. The real question I"m asking is not for logical support for the conception position... rather, I'm asking for biblical support. We could go back and forth on logic all day long. I'm looking for as clear a biblical answer as possible.

    One last time just to be as clear as possible: The key word for this thread is "biblical". ;-)

     
    #3 jsn9333, Mar 19, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2008
  4. Joe

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    Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

    David confesses here he was a sinner at conception. So this appears to be stating life at conception.

    If men strive, and hurt a women with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life Ex.21:22-23

    The Lord considers a women with child to be pregnant. So they are interchangable-pregnant automatically means with child, so whether it has developed it's own blood doesn't appear to be relevant. In the Lord's eyes, this is a child, meaning it is also a person with blood

    Deuteronomy 27:25 says, "Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen
     
  5. Rex77

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    Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
     
  6. Crabtownboy

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    The Bible plainly states that life begins with the first breath:

    And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7

    In Job 33:4, it states: “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

    Again, to quote Ezekiel 37:5&6, “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
     
  7. skypair

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    Pretty good case, I'd say.

    In fact, maybe the "paternal parents" ought to he hauling the abortioin doctors into court and collecting huge settlements even though they had no intention of marrying or supporting the "maternal parent." The "paternal parent" would certainly be sued by the mother if the child was born, right?

    skypair
     
  8. jsn9333

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    Thanks for the verses, Joe.

    Psalm 51 is not any more clear then the "I knew you in the womb" verse. The fact that a person was conceived and shaped in the womb doesn't necessarily mean they were alive while being conceived and shaped. Certainly to sin one needs to be a person, but I don't think the sin being referenced is the sin of the fetus. I think the sin of the world and of the mother is being referenced... David is saying he was created in a sinful world. I don't see that as a reference to when life begins or what life consists of.

    The Exodus verse seems a little stronger as far as being applicable to when life exists. However, even there the discussion is about a woman with child such that were she injured she might give birth early. Then the verse turns to the consequences if the child were to live or to die afterwards. She would have to be significantly along in the pregnancy to be considered "with child" period, and especially "with child" in the sense that she could give birth pre-maturely and the child could have a chance to live. This verse could lend support to the position that perhaps a third-trimester or even 2nd trimester fetus is a living person (because of the "life for life" reference in the verse that follows the passage). However, if she was at 7 weeks or so, I don't think she would be referred to as "with child", especially in those days, and certainly would not be capable of giving birth pre-maturely with the possiblity of the child living. So this doesn't seem to support the conclusion that the Bible teaches that life starts at conception (as opposed to implantation, week 1, week2, ... week 7... etc.).

    Given the fervor with which so many conservative Christians hold to the conception position, I would think there would be stronger biblical support. Any other verses?

     
  9. jsn9333

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    This is the verse I was referring to in the original post.
     
  10. jsn9333

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    I'm not sure these verses "plainly" mean life begins with everyone at first breath, but they do seem more applicable then the "conception position" verses. Certainly Adam is said to have had life breathed into him by God. However, Adam was created quite differently then a baby. I'm not sure we can apply that verse to fetal development.

    The fact that the breath of God gives life doesn't mean that our own breath is what determines if we have life. God can breath life into a fetus through the blood. What I'm saying is that the reference is to God's breath (whatever that is), not the person's breath.

    As far as God breathing life into bones, that does seem to refer to the breath of the person. But again, causing bones to live is different from fetal development. I'm not sure the verse is completely "plain" to see as it applies to when life begins. I'll admit, however, that this "breath life into bones" verse seems more plainly applicable then the "knew you from eternity past" and "knew you in the womb" verses people have cited.

    A fetus, though, unlike bones, can get its own blood (which along with breath is also said to impart life) long before it breaths air. Also, the "breath life into bones" verse doesn't mention that the substance breathed *has* to be air. Fetuses breath in the womb... it just isn't air. Starting in the third trimester, the fetus does make the motions of breathing, and in this way moves amniotic fluid in and out of her lungs. That being said, they don't get oxygen from that activity... it just helps develop the lungs. But again, in all other respects this is "breathing."

    At this point, I'm seeing the most support for life starting with the fetus getting its own blood (7 weeks) or with breathing (which could be third trimester or at birth depending if you think air must be the substance being breathed). I don't really see clear support in the Bible for life starting at conception.

    Since there is some question as to between blood or breath, I think it would be best to go with blood (to be on the safe side). If someone believes abortion after conception (but before 7 weeks) is murder, I don't see any biblical reason why they wouldn't think contraception is murder also. Again, I see logical reasons why... but I don' t see any biblical reason as to why.

     
  11. webdog

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    ...in a special, isolated incidence (Adam). Job's explanation is poetic. Life begins at conception.
     
  12. Palatka51

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    Webdog has got it right.

    Genesis 21:1-3
    1And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
    2For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
    3And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

    If Sarah had not conceived, there would not had been an Isaac. Had that conception not implanted, there would not have been an Isaac. This is the only time that Sarah ever conceived a child. Isaac was Sarah's only child.

    Now look at these verses;

    Genesis17:19
    19And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

    Not only did conception bring in Isaac but God did know him before he was conceived as verse 19 indicates.

    Don't think that God does not know every one of the 49,000,000 souls that have been brutality slaughtered for sinful convenience. He also knows who has blood on their hands. Yes I said blood. Those cells are getting blood long before the first heart beat. Those cells can not survive without oxygen for 7 weeks. No cell can survive without O2 more than a few minutes let alone 7 weeks. And as the OP suggests the newly conceived human is surviving on its own before it attaches to the uterus thus it has to be getting O2 to its rapidly growing cells. Thus there is a method for oxygen distribution.
     
  13. Rubato 1

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    Can you glorify God with an abortion? Or, can an abortion glorify God?

    Maybe all an abortion does is cater to fleshly desires and prevent the course of nature. Maybe it doesn't matter when 'life' begins, abortion is wrong anyway.
     
  14. Palatka51

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    [​IMG]Well said. I declare all future debate on this thread heretofore rendered moot. [​IMG]
     
  15. jsn9333

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    Again, to say, "If Sarah had not conceived, there would not had been an Isaac," is true but not relevant. Because if Sarah had not been intimate with her husband, then Isaac would not have have been born either. But that doesn't mean life starts at intimacy. If Sarah had not worn her special nighty to give a cue to the hubby that night then they wouldn't have been intimate and conception wouldn't have occured... but that doesn't mean life starts at dressing time. Just showing something had to happen in order for life to occur doesn't mean that it is the *definition* of the beginning of life.

     
  16. jsn9333

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    Can you glorify God with contraception? Can you glorify God with the abstinence method of birth control?

    Can you glorify God by eating soybeans? I'm not trying to be crass, but rather making the point that if something is not said to be sinful for everyone you can't make it sinful simply by saying it doesn't glorify God. There are ways to glorify God through contraception, or not using contraception. There are ways to glorify God through the timing method or not using the timing method (of birth control). There are ways to glorify God through eating soybeans or abstaining. God has not "outlawed" any of these activities... so if they are done with the right mindset, they will glorify God.

    Therefore, if abortion before week 7 is not a sin because the fetus is not a person, and it is just like contraception from a Biblical perspective, then yes, it can glorify God.

     
  17. Rubato 1

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    Good post, jsn.

    What glorifying purpose can an abortion possibly have that could not have been accomplished without ending a [forming] life? There are methods of birth control that do not end that new life...
     
  18. Palatka51

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    A 99 year old in a nightie?[​IMG] Yes, well ah---- I'm sorry for some reason the wind has been taken out of my sails.
     
  19. jsn9333

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    Assuming, again, that abortion before 7 weeks is not a sin and does not end a life (a huge assumption for many on the board, but work with me here), then I would think it would serve the same glorifying purposes that contraception or "the timing method" would serve... just in a different way.
     
  20. Outsider

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    When we look at the birth of the nation of Israel, when did it begin? Did it begin when God parted the see and they became a free people or did it begin much sooner? God made Abraham a promise that through his seed would be a great nation, that promise was fulfilled when they became free from Egypt.

    Egypt represents the womb. They were being prepared to be able to survive on their own as a people. It started with the promise to one man. From Abraham it went to Isaac and to Jacob and then the twelve. I think they were 70 strong when they were invited to Egypt. I see this time as the conception.

    Just as a child receives the nutrients in the mothers womb, so did this nation of people. When a child is concieved, it can't survive outside the womb, it isn't equipped to handle life outside of the safety of the mothers womb. Same for Israel. They couldn't survive a famine or an attack from enemies. God placed them there so they would grow strong and He was protecting them. He was preparing them for life as a nation.

    We see the same for the promise of Canaan. The conception for that promise began when they became a free people, the promise was not born into reality until they possessed the land.

    The way I see it, life has to start at conception. To ignore this is to ignore our repentance. When the Lord speaks to your heart and draws you to Him, that is the conception. To draw away from His love is a murder.
    True, there are forms of birth control that prevent the conception today, but JSN was asking for Biblical proof. The proof is that nothing can prevent God from planting His seed in a person. So the conception in a person does take place. Not all make it to the new birth (Born Again). Those that do not, have murdered themselves before birth.

    I acknowledge the life of Israel before they became a nation, and I acknowledge life in a Christian before they are born again, so I also acknowledge life in a child before they are born. To be consistent, if you ignore a child's life before their birth, you need to also ignore the others.
    This is just the way I see it, I would be interested in your thoughts...
     
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