Day 11: The Personhood of the Pre-Born

11 October 2020

3.1 MINS

How we vote in upcoming elections must have in view the precious lives of the unborn.


“A man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho and was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes and beat him, leaving him for dead. A priest and then a Levite were walking on the same road, and when they saw him, they crossed to the other side to avoid him. But a Samaritan travelling past saw him and took pity on him… “Which of these three was a neighbour to the man who was robbed?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who showed mercy.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”Luke 10:25-37 (paraphrased)

Over the next few weeks, many Australians, along with the USA, will once again face an election. One issue that will greatly affect how I vote will be the approach that candidates and parties take to the value of the life of the unborn. Abortion is, at its core, about the value and dignity that we recognise in human life, and that may well reflect the value that we place on human life in other situations.

There is little dispute that, from conception, the unborn child is a biologically unique individual, with its own genetic composition that is quite different to its mother. So the issue in the abortion debate is generally to do with the “humanness” of the unborn child. It asks if being biologically human qualifies one as a person—or is something else needed in order to gain this status of personhood?

There is simply no consensus regarding how we can determine personhood: perhaps by neural activity, reasoning ability, self-motivated activity, and/or self-awareness. The risk, of course, is that if these criteria need to be met in order to be granted personhood, does their loss in the frail, aged or those with severe mental handicap deprive these people of their personhood, and thus allow for the termination of their life?

I cannot accept that the concept of “human non-persons” could ever be legitimately supported. When human life is present, there is a person with moral standing deserving of legal recognition and protection—and that starts at conception.

The Scriptures clearly imply the personhood of the unborn, so Christians have an obligation to value the life of the unborn as we would any other life.

In Luke 1:41, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the unborn John leaped in her womb. Clearly this unborn child was a human person and had an emotional reaction to Mary’s presence.

Jeremiah was consecrated before his birth (Jeremiah 1:5), so his pre-birth personhood cannot be doubted. The same applies to John the Baptiser, who was set apart by God and filled with the Holy Spirit in utero (Luke 1:15).

Psalm 139:13-16 likewise asserts the personhood of the unborn—and Paul, in Galatians 1:15, says that he was set apart and called before his birth.

Like the good Samaritan, Christians should not simply pass by and ignore the plight of the unborn. Rather, we should do all that we can to provide help and support for them. Regardless of the way that you may have voted in the past, at this election I believe that we should cross the road and give our support to the unborn by voting for candidates and parties who recognise the value of human life, and will support it from conception to the grave.

Lord God, Creator of Life, you have made all human life in Your image and likeness.
Grant to me the strength to nurture and sustain your precious gift of life, and do all that I can to support and protect the lives of the unborn.

Prayer Points for October 2020
1. Pray for a Breakthrough for LIFE, specifically an end to abortion and euthanasia in our nation. Exodus 20:13
2. Pray for a Breakthrough for INDIGENOUS LIFE, specifically an end to high youth suicide and premature death due to ill health. 3 John 1:2
3. Pray for new POLITICIANS for LIFE, especially pray for the upcoming elections in Queensland (31st October), ACT (17th October) + USA (3 November) & New Zealand (17 October). Proverbs 29:2
4. Pray for the Revitalisation of SPIRITUAL LIFE, namely repentance, renewal & transformation, that our nation might return to God. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Dr David Logan holds degrees in Trauma Management, Arts (Psychology major), Ministry and a Doctorate in Theology. David pastored churches in Victoria and NSW for 43 years and served in various denominational leadership roles. Although retired David remains a credentialed minister of the Australian Christian Churches and is a credentialed chaplain with Chaplaincy Australia.

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