Rescue Those Being Led Away to Death

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"Rescue those being led away to death, hold back those staggering towards slaughter." Proverbs 24:11

Biblical Truth Must Lead to Action

This is a straight command, we are commanded to rescue those being led away to death. Biblical Truth should always involve knowledge that moves us to action. Theology is not just there to stimulate us intellectually and to add to the memory bank of our knowledge and our Theological information. It is always meant to change attitudes and actions, behaviour and belief. The whole concept of Biblical knowledge and Truth is always experiential. It is faith in action. It is not just the head. It is the heart and the hands. It is not just intellectual. It is emotional and spiritual. It is transformational.

The Bible is a Pro-life Book

The Bible describes a child in the womb as a person. In the Bible there is no different word in the Hebrew, or Greek, to distinguish between a child in the womb, or a child out of the womb. The same word is used, in Greek is it brephos. The Bible speaks about Elizabeth who when she heard Mary's greeting "the baby in her womb leapt for joy." This is referring to John the Baptist. It is the same word that is used when it speaks about the baby in the womb, or the toddler walking around. There is no different word between a baby that is pre-born and a baby that is born. Exactly the same word, in both the Hebrew in the Old Testament and the Greek in the New Testament, is used. As Elizabeth said: as soon as Mary's greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leapt for joy!

An Article of Christian Faith

In the Apostles Creed, we recognise that Jesus became Jesus not at birth, not at baptism, not when He began His earthly ministry, but at conception. We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary. Right at the heart of the Christian Faith has always been the fact that life begins at conception.

"For You formed my inward parts; You created me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…" Psalm 139:13-14

DNA

People could not have understood just how true that was until recently, with ultrasound and DNA. The zygote is the very first cell and it contains the entire DNA blueprint of your life. From the moment of conception, the colour of your eyes, your hair, the height that you will grow to, all sorts of manner of details, are already programmed into your DNA, which is in every cell of your body.

Even When Unformed

An unborn baby is unformed only for the first 4 to 5 weeks. The Scripture says: "My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, andskilfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed..." Psalm 139:15-16. Even before the baby is 4 or 5 weeks the Lord sees and He cares. "All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be…"

Called From the Womb

Throughout the Scripture a baby is seen as a person. The spirit comes in to the baby at conception. God has called people to service from the womb. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5. "It pleased God who separated me…, who from my mother's womb called me through His grace, to reveal the Son in me, that I might preach amongst the Gentiles." Jeremiah was called from the womb. Paul was called from the womb. "Listen to me O islands, pay attention you peoples from afar, the Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother, He named me. He the Lord who formed me from the womb to be His servant." Isaiah 49

God Hates Those Who Shed Innocent Blood

All life belongs to God. The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. Know that the Lord is God. He has made us and we are His. This is what the Lord says. He who formed you in the womb. "I am the Lord who has made all things." Because all life is made by God and because people are made in the image of God, no one has the right to murder the image of God in another person. There are six things the Lord hates, seven things that are detestable to Him: "a haughty eye, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood…" Proverbs 6:16-17

Defend the Weak

God is concerned for the weak and the helpless. "Defend the cause of the weak that are fatherless, maintain the rights of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy. Deliver them from the hands of the oppressor." Psalm 82. We are to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. We are to defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Soul at Conception

It is made clear in Luke 1, that the Lord Jesus was conceived in the womb, by the power of the Holy Spirit: He is described as Holy from the point of conception in the message from the angel to Mary. At the time that John the Baptist encountered the Lord Jesus he would have been 6 months. The Lord Jesus would have been under 12 weeks old in the womb at the time that they met. Yet John was filled with the Holy Spirit and leapt with joy within the womb to come into the presence of the Lord, who was, at that stage, barely formed in the first trimester. Again and again we see evidences in the Scriptures that our spirits enter our bodies at conception. That is when a new person is created.

Abandoned to Wolves

The Bible asks the question: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?" How could it be? Yet some mothers do. We know that Rome was founded by twins who were abandoned by their mother. Romulus and Remus were brought up by a she-wolf. The very term, abandoning someone to the wolves, comes from the Roman practise of throwing children outside the city walls for the wolves. In some cases the wolves showed more maternal compassion than the human mother did. Wolves have brought up abandoned babies in the India and Rome. There have been several documented cases of children who have been raised by wolves. The Jungle Book is just one fictional story based upon true stories, where wolves have shown more maternal instincts and love than the mother herself.

Unwanted Children

Yes, apparently a mother can forget the baby she bore. The Scripture says: "Though she may forget, I will not forget you." You cannot speak about unwanted children and unwanted pregnancies, because while it might be unwanted from the human perspective, it is not from God's perspective. He is the author of life. Somebody cares and it has always been a Christian goal and distinctive to care for the unlovely, unwanted, and for the ones who are weak and helpless." See to it that you do not look down on one of these little ones, for I tell you that in Heaven their Angels always see the Fathers face. In the same way your Father in Heaven is not willing that one of these little ones should be lost." Matthew 18:10-14. "Whoever welcomes a little child like this in My Name welcomes Me." This motivated the Christian pro-life movement from the first century on.

A Spiritual Battle

Abortion is not just a political issue. It is not just a social issue. It is not just a moral issue. It is a religious issue. It is a spiritual battle. The pagan religions of the near East practised child sacrifice. Baal was worshiped as the key to fertility and prosperity. There were prosperity and fertility cults that flourished in Canaan at the time. God commanded that they be opposed and punished.

Child Sacrifice

To entice Baal to bless their land, each mother was required by Baal worshipers to present her firstborn child as an offering to Baal. Baal was represented by huge stone, or brass statue, carved in the image of a bull with some kind of human body and head of a bull. The arms were extended to receive babies and the parents would present the child into the hands of the priests, who placed the child on the arms of this great statue. Fire would come out from either a hollowed out chest cavity, or from underneath the arms, and consume the baby. This was also the religion of the Amorites, who worshipped Molech and the Phoenicians who worshipped Kronos. All the middle Eastern religions were child sacrificing prosperity cults. The true people of God have always found themselves fighting against child sacrifice. "When you come into the land of the heathen do not sacrifice your children." Deuteronomy 18:10. This was the distinguishing feature of anti-Christian religions. All those who hate God love death.

The Midwives in Egypt

In Exodus 1:16 at the beginning of the Salvation story, we read that Pharaoh commands the midwives to kill every male baby born to the Hebrews in Egypt, God commended the midwives for disobeying that law. They saved the babies and ensured that they were born alive. Moses himself was preserved by the ingenuity and courage of his mother who defied Paraoh's edict.

Brutal Murder of Babies in Bethlehem

In the New Testament the Gospel begins in Matthew 2, with king Herod sending out his soldiers to Bethlehem, to kill all the male children up to the age of two. In Numbers 35:33, the land comes under a curse when innocent blood is shed. "Do not pollute the land, bloodshed pollutes the land and atonement cannot be made, for a land on which blood is shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it."

A Life and Death Struggle

The contest between Pharaoh and Moses in Egypt was primarily a clash between the death-obsessed culture of Egypt, and the way of life, of Yaweh, the God of Israel. That Egypt put tens-of-thousands of peoples' entire life work into building a pyramid which was nothing more than a tomb. A pyramid is just a tomb for one Pharaoh. The obsession of all their energy put into death! The climatic battle in Mount Carmel between Elijah and the prophet of Baal was a battle against a religion, centred on child-sacrifice.

The Importance of Knowing Our History

Throughout church history we have seen that Christians have stood in the very forefront of standing up against the killing of innocent life. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the greatest Russian author of the 20th century said: "If we do not know our own history, we will simply have to endure the same absurdities, sacrifices and mistakes all over again!" As one communist put it: "The first step towards liquidating a people, is to erase their memory, destroy their books, destroy their culture, destroy their history. Before long the community will forget what it is and what it was." The communists tried to do this in China, Albania, and Russia. The communists have tried to liquidate people by erasing their memory of their past and changing history. "The first battlefield is the rewriting of history."

Resisting Paganism

It is therefore vital for Christians to know what our history is and why we are pro-life. Abortion, infanticide, exposure and euthanasia are hallmarks of every pagan religion, from Hinduism through to the Mayans and Aztecs. In Ancient Rome unwanted infants were literally left to the wolves outside the city walls to die of exposure. It was against the law to rescue those babies. They were abandoned under Paterfamilias. The parent had the right to kill their own child, no matter what age. In fact even teenagers could be executed by the parents, with no legal problems. They had the right of execution. To kill their child was the parent's right and nobody had the right to save them, even from the wolves.

Rescue from Death

Christians had to break the law to adopt tens-of-thousands of babies that were thrown outside the city walls. The Greeks gave pregnant women harsh doses of herbal abortifacients. The Persians had highly developed surgical curettage procedures of killing babies. The Egyptians disposed of unwanted babies by dis-emboweling and dismembering them shortly after birth. Their collagen was ritually harvested for beauty and cosmetic products. All this back in Ancient Egypt. The Aztec Empire in Mexico, and the Inca Empire in Peru, engaged in massive child sacrifice. Hundreds-of-thousands of people were killed, just to make the sun rise each day. There were 80,000 skulls on the skull rocks of just one temple of Montezuma's, in what today is Mexico.

Basil of Caesarea

There have always been Christians who make a pro-life stand. In the early church one of the first bold names that come out is Basil of Caesarea. He lived in the 4th century. Basil came from an influential family and studied at the great schools of his days in Caesarea Constantinople, Athens and Rome. He started studying law and then entered the ministry. He led 18 church services a week, except during Easter and Christmas, when there were more. In addition, he taught children, he visited and encouraged the sick and needy. In fact he set up one of the very first non-ambulatory hospitals in the world. Through his work in hospital, he discovered a guild of abortionists in Caesarea. They gave pregnant women herbal potions to induce abortions and used surgical means to kill unwanted babies. The bodies of these children were sold to Egypt, where the collagen was used to make the cosmetics which Egypt was famous for at that time. Basil was horrified. He approached the city officials. He was shocked to find that all this was perfectly legal and always had been.

Early Christian Pro-Life Movement

He preached sermons on the sanctity of life. He mobilised members of his church to care for women going through crisis pregnancies. He exercised the full weight of his personal and family influence to actually change the laws. He began to educate the people in the cities, so they could understand issues evolved. He prayed imprecatory prayers against the abortion guild, declaring them to be anathema. He staged public protests against Egyptian traders who were helping to support the abortion trade by funding collagen. Basil said she who has deliberately murdered a foetus must bear the full penalty of murder. Moreover, those who aid her, who would give abortifacients for the destruction of a child conceived, are murders themselves, along with those who receive it. He challenged the tradition of Paterfamilias under Roman law, where parents could kill their children of any age. He campaigned to make this illegal. So passionate was Basil in his concern for life that one night, he and several deacons went outside the city to dismantle the old Caesarean infanticide shrine with their bare hands. This direct action would have jeopardised their standing in the community, because it was illegal to damage property. But he had this irrepressible spiritual imperative.

The Edict of Valentinian

As a result of his stand against abortion and child-sacrifice, the Emperor Valentinian, took the first step towards the full criminalisation of child killing in 374AD. This was the decree of Emperor Valentinian: "All parents must support their children conceived. Those who have brutalised, or abandoned, should be subject to the full penalty prescribed by law."

The Didache

All the early Church Fathers agreed with Basil that life begins at conception and abortion is murder. The Didache is the oldest Christian teaching, the oldest Christian book in existence. It dates right back to the time of the Apostles: There are two ways, the way of life and the way of death. The difference between those two ways is great. Therefore do not murder a child by abortion, or kill a newly born infant. The Didache was part of the Catechism process used for teaching new converts.

St. George of England

St. George the Patron Saint of England is known as the dragon slayer. He was a Christian soldier who gained fame after daring rescues of women and children in distress. He is known as the dragon slayer, not because he attacked rare reptiles and strange beasts, but because he fought against evil and rescued innocent life from the jaws of death. He rescued damsels in distress and babies from murder. There are many of these leaders.

John Calvin of Geneva

John Calvin wrote this about Abortion: "The unborn child though enclosed in the womb of its mother is already a human being. It should not be robbed of the life which it has not yet been able to begin to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in the field, because a man's house is his place of most secure refuge, it will surely be deemed more atrocious to destroy an unborn child in the womb before it has seen the light." In Deuteronomy the law of God states that a person who kills someone in his own home is guilty of a greater crime than in the field. So Calvin is applying that principle, saying it is even more atrocious to kill a child in the place of what should be its greatest safety and sanctuary, in the mother's womb. All the Reformers taught this, and were strongly pro-life.

China Before the Gospel

One of the Missionaries to China described this: "There is a pond in the centre of town known as the baby's pond. This is the place where unwanted little ones were thrown by their mothers. There were always several bodies of innocents floating on the green, slimy waters and passers-by looked on without any surprise." This is what the world without a clear and uncompromised Christian Gospel looks like. That is what the world was like before the Gospel came to teach the sanctity of life.

Infanticide in India

William Carey campaigned against the Indian legal tradition that gave parents a right to sacrifice their own children. He personally drafted reformed legislation that prohibited child sacrifice. At the mouth of the Ganges, mothers would throw their children to either drown, or to be eaten by the crocodiles. This was considered sacrifice to mother Ganges. The edict that came out in 1803 forbidding this is known even today, as Carey's Edict.

Anna Bowden in India

Anna Bowden was a Victorian debutant. She attended the Bible School of London, training overseas missionaries. She heard a Missionary come and speak at her school and was enthralled. She went off to India. When she arrived at the Mission station at Conjavarine on the post, she discovered no Missionaries. The Mission station had been abandoned for whatever reason. She stayed and re-opened the Mission, the clinic, and the school. She then discovered that there was a Hindu Reform movement trying to go back to the old ways. It was called the Arya Samaj, dedicated to the purification of Hinduism, returning to ancient pagan values, including Immolation, Sati, burning of widows on the funeral pyres, which of course then was legal, and what they called Diana, female infanticide, killing of female babies. Komanda, Celtic abortion. She set up rescue networks, led a group of pro-lifers to interfere with the practices and procedures and to save lives.

Directly Related to Missions

She made such an impact that by 1893, the leader of the Suvi Reform movement, Saraswati, appealed to the British Viceroy to stop Anna. The Viceroy ordered Anna to refrain from any activity that was not directly related to the operation of the Mission outpost. Anna replied that rescuing innocent human life is directly related to any Missionary work and in fact is directly related to any form of Christian service, humanitarian, or Evangelistic. She could not be a Missionary without rescuing innocent life. This did not satisfy Saraswati and he sent an angry mob of Hindus to the Mission compound which burned the building and tortured and killed Anna. But this was not the end. Although her commitment to saving innocent life cost her own, her death stimulated and mobilised the Church to call on the government to fundamentally alter the essence of their policy of non-interference, not just in India, but everywhere the crown had influence. It enforced a universal legal code throughout the British Empire rooted in the Christian principles of the sanctity of life, and outlawed all these practices.

Nan Mullins in China

Nan Mullins was a dedicated and effective American Southern Baptist Missionary to China. She believed that personal Evangelism, Discipleship and social activism were integral to her calling. She was especially concerned about the lack of respect of human life amongst the Chinese. Female infanticide was so common. For 8 years she lived out her Christian life amongst the Chinese. However, it was only when she was on her deathbed that the regional governor, Anan Ching, yielded to her life-long campaign and criminalised all forms of child killing. He said: "I have granted this because all her life Nan Mullins lived selflessly for our people. If I could restore her to health and life, I would, but since I cannot, I give her what I know she desires even more, health and life for others."

The Curse of Compromise

These are just some of the many, many examples of how Christians through the ages have always been pro-life and have always rescued the perishing. At the beginning of the 20th century, Christians began moving away from the moral standards of the Bible and began accepting ancient pagan values, largely because of Darwinian evolutionism. As a result we have seen the chaos that has come in the 20th century from the church moving from its rock solid uninaminity on standing against paganism and infanticide.

Spiritual Schizophrenia

There is the Remnant who stand firm, but the bulk of churches today have separated their Christian Faith from the daily life and witness. Now Theological truth is not seen as something that has to change your beliefs and your behaviour, your attitudes and your actions, but now it is seen as something that can literally be put in a separate box: That is my spiritual life, separate from my political life. Hence most people would call themselves Christians, then vote for political parties that legalise abortion. They do not seem to see the contradiction, that they are being accessories to murder. Most pastors see no problem in never speaking on social and political issues. This is because they are now cut off from the main body of the Christian Faith and are no longer learning from 2 millenniums of Christian history and Christian practise.

A Call to Action

"Who will rise up for Me against the wicked, who will take a stand for Me against the evil doers? Those who condemn the innocent to death." Psalm 94. This calls us to action. Abortion is the hidden holocaust. More people have died through abortion in this century than through all other violence combined in the last 2,000 years.

Hypocrisy and Cowardice

The most dangerous place in the world is not Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, or Nigeria. It is the mother's womb. Abortion turns the womb into a tomb. It turns the mother into a murderess. It turns the doctor into a hired assassin that takes innocent life for money. It is of the utmost hypocrisy for people to condemn the holocausts, when they are not only silent about the holocaust going on today, but they are complicit with their tax money and with voting. It is incredible hypocrisy to condemn discrimination on the basis of race in apartheid, while supporting discrimination on the basis of age in the new so-called rainbow South Africa.

Facing the Facts of Abortion

You are smaller than I. You are younger than I. You are weaker than I. I am stronger than you, therefore I can have you ripped to pieces, poisoned, strangled, or pulled out and drowned in a bucket of water. That is actually what abortion is. It is bullying! It is mass murder by bullies. Abortion does not just discriminate and take away the babies right to vote. It takes away its right to life. Any government, or person who can allow the murder of unborn babies is intrinsically evil. Any government that legalises abortion shows itself incapable of justice, or logic. Any government not protecting innocent life from the violence of abortion is intrinsically evil. They are wicked, an abomination in the sight of God and inviting the Judgment of Almighty God on them. Abortion is the greatest evil, and the greatest killer of life, in the history of mankind.

Evil Will Destroy the Wicked

The abortion industry carries within themselves the seeds of their own destruction. Evil will destroy the wicked. Those people who legalise abortion will probably be victims of euthanasia. What a man sows is what he reaps. If you fall in times of stress, how small is your strength.

Rescue the Preborn Babies

"Rescue those being led away to death. Hold back those staggering towards slaughter. If you say, but we knew nothing about this… Does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each one according to what he has done?" Proverbs 24:11-12 is a threat. God says, I am the One who determines whether you live and when you die. I am the One who protects your life. I am the Eternal Judge. If you say, we knew nothing about this. He who weighs your heart knows it. He who guards your life knows it. Why should God protect us if we will not protect the innocent? What are we to say about the Christians who want nothing to do with the rescue of the pre-born who are being led away to death? They are not only cowards, but they are traitors. "Israel's watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge. They are mute dogs that cannot bark, they lie around and dream, they love to sleep." Isaiah 56:10. This is a serious condemnation. John Calvin says: "A dumb dog is better than a minister who cannot preach against evil when he sees it."

A Winnable War

Can we really reverse the legalisation of abortion in South Africa? The answer is: Yes we can!

Poland

Abortion was legalised in Poland in 1956. But when Solidarity overthrew the communist government in 1990, they made abortion illegal. Since then, abortion in Poland has only been legal in the very hard cases of a mother's life at stake, and the case of rape. Yet they have never had a legal abortion since then in Poland. Because although they allowed the most two so-called hard cases strictly defined, they have not had any of those cases. Or those in most cases have decided to have the baby and give it up for adoption. Poland is an example of a country that had legalised abortion but reversed it.

Ireland

Ireland, both North and South are examples of countries in Europe where the European Union demands abortion rights for all its members, but Ireland (North and South) says: No! Never! Under no circumstances! Take a long, running, flying leap into hell! There is no way we are going to legalise abortion! The EU had to say, OK, Ireland is an exception. As is Poland. If you have a strong conviction about something, you can beat it no matter what. Even the beast of Brussels.

Zambia

In Zambia, after 27 years of socialism and legalised abortion, the Zambian government reversed this after President Frederick Chiluba declared Zambia a Christian country in 1991. Abortion is illegal in Zambia. Abortion is illegal in Chile, and Namibia, as well as in many, mainly Muslim and Catholic, countries of the world. Protestant countries should be in the forefront in the fight against abortion.

The Main Thing is to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

Whatever you did unto one of the least of these my brethren, you did it unto Me, whatever you did not do unto one of the least of these my brethren, you did not do it to Me, says the Lord Jesus. The greatest command is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbour as ourselves. One way we can show this, is by loving God and rescuing babies. Loving our neighbour, including our unborn neighbour. Rescuing those who are being led away to death.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and the needy." Proverbs 31:8-9

"Rescue those being led away to death…" Proverbs 24:11

Dr. Peter Hammond

Livingstone Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
Email: mission@frontline.org.za
Website: www.livingstonefellowship.co.za

See also:

 Abortion is Murder
Abortion the Facts

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