Abortion Halacha

Abortion Halacha

Passed 2/1/2000

I. Premise

The Scriptures are the standard for the lives of Nazarene Jews not only in its direct commands, but also in its example and overall plan. It is clear that YHVH has a plan and purpose for each of His creations, and the destroying of innocent life is rebellion against that plan.

The fact that the word "abortion" does not appear in the Bible does not mean that YHVH is silent on the subject. He mentions the unborn, including the embryo and the fetus, and shows that He considers the unborn, starting with conception, to be a person with a purpose.

It is clear then that the act of "Therapeutic Abortion" is the sinful termination of innocent human life. It therefore qualifies as murder. Since murder is sin, being a party to abortion in any way, shape or form is a sin. Although the question of abortion is often considered "complex," we believe that the answer to the question of whether or not abortion is murder is clear and straightforward.

II. Definition of Murder

Murder is simply the taking of an innocent human life. This is to be differentiated from "killing" when there is a righteous purpose for it. For example, the Bible sets up special cities to which a person may flee who has killed a person "by accident." The person may stay and be protected in one of these special cities until the family of the deceased has stopped looking for the person for the purpose of revenge.

Also, YHVH Himself commands capital punishment, the death penalty, for the breaking of certain commands, including defiling the Sabbath, adultery, etc.

Self defense is clearly a valid reason for "killing" since the life being terminated is not innocent life.

However, the taking of innocent life is considered a "sin" and "wickedness."

"Do not murder."
(Exodus 20:13)

"Keep away from fraud, and do not cause the death of the innocent and righteous; for I will not justify the wicked."
(Exodus 23:7)

III. Definition of a Person

A human being’s person hood begins not at the time that he or she has completed development in the womb and is transferred out of the mother into the world. It is clear from Scripture that there is a seamless continuity in the life of a person from the moment of conception.

1. YHVH knows each person from the beginning

"Here is the word of YHVH that came to me: ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I separated you for myself. I have appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.’ "
(Jeremiah 1:4-5)

2. A person has a YHVH-given purpose in His Kingdom from conception

13: For you fashioned my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14: I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders — I know this very well.
15: My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16: Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed.
(Psalm 139:13-16)

3. The Spirit of Elohim is with a person in his/her mother’s womb

11: …there appeared to him an angel of YHVH standing to the right of the incense altar.
12: Z’khariyah was startled and terrified at the sight.
13: But the angel said to him, "Don’t be afraid, Z’khariyah; because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elisheva will bear you a son, and you are to name him Yochanan.
14: He will be a joy and a delight to you, and many people will rejoice when he is born
15: for he will be great in the sight of YHVH. He is never to drink wine or other liquor, and he will be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh even from his mother’s womb.
16: He will turn many of the people of Isra’el to YHVH their Elohim .
17: He will go out ahead of YHVH in the spirit and power of Eliyahu to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready for YHVH a people prepared."
(Luke 1:11-17)

IV. Conclusion

Any action or lack of action which intentionally causes the death of an unborn child, from the moment of conception on, shall be considered murder, and shall not be allowed or condoned in the Nazarene Community.

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