I am continuing to lay a biblical framework for the pro-life position.  Last time I dealt with personhood and how the Bible clearly demonstrates that personhood does begin inside the womb.  I am, at the moment, just making a theological argument and will look at other aspects of this debate later on.

One argument often made by the pro-choice side – “it’s the mother’s body so it is her choice.”  This presupposes that she has “ownership” of herself and the baby that she is carrying inside the womb.  This argument is often made when the father of the child tries to intervene.  However, is she really the owner?

Genesis 1:27 says that it is God who is involved in the creative process, “so God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

This is dealing with creation in the beginning.  Generally speaking when somebody creates… a piece of art, an invention, or whatever – that implies ownership.  From this passage we can see that God has claim not over just individual persons but humankind overall.

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture, (Psalm 100:3, ESV)

It isn’t just he got the human race started and then left the picture, but he stays involved.  He made us… we are His… we are His people… we are sheep of His pasture.  He has ownership.  Not only that but Ezekiel 18:4 says, “Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die,” (ESV).

Both parent, in this case the father and the child, the son, belongs to God.  Parental claims of ownership do not trump God’s.

But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand, (Isaiah 64:8, ESV).

The only thing that a man and woman can claim is that they provide the sperm and the egg, but who gave them that ability?  God did!  The mother doesn’t craft the baby in the womb… God does.  Not only did God make us while we are in the womb, but He is continually making us.  This is especially true of those who are Christ followers in the process of sanctification (which is an entirely different post topic).

And one last scripture to look at related to this…

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body, (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV).

Our bodies are not our own?  Back to the original pro-choice argument… it is the woman’s choice, it is her body.  Looking at scripture that argument rings hollow.  God is Creator and Owner of all people, they belong to Him, not others.

The next post we’ll look at who has prerogative over life and death according to scripture.

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20 comments
  1. I think there is only one problem with taking pieces of scripture from various whole texts in the bible – context.

    I am reading a few lines from the 3 scripture pieces you supplied and you are a making a doctrinal stand based on them – ownership of the body. I almost wonder if there is a slight betrayal in doing that – to context of the books/letters of which the verese truly apply to?

    The reason I bring this up is because I am looking mainly at the last one – from 1 Corinthians and it seems you are making a leap in a way to say ‘our bodies are not our own’. Paul seems to be addressing the simple idea of ‘flee immorality’ or don’t use your body for that purpose. I would say if anything – we are sharing ownership with God – responsiblity seems to fall on ‘us’ to ‘flee immorality’ in partnership with God (But the one who JOINS himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him) – I think God has given us the body as a gift (or life).

    Even more odd, Paul never addresses the abortion aspect in the whole of 1 Cor 6 as part of the ‘immorailty’ he is railing against…we have to paste that in if anything – even murder isn’t mentioned – it seems there was problems with adultery, fraud, and other problems in vs. 9. I am thinking Paul might have addressed abortion if it existed – however he does not address it.

    The real problem with making this statement ‘Our bodies are not our own?’ in regards to 1 Cor 6 is it can be used for about anything one chooses. I have heard this also used in regards to liking something too much or smoking – because it’s not our body we have to be more strict with it. Meanwhile the passage – although saying this – does not address either of those issues either. And vs. 12 in this same chapter contains an interesting tidbit (‘All things are lawful for me’ – said 2 times by Paul). I think Paul is saying all things can be done by my body but that doesn’t mean it is always helpful.

    What I am addressing is the piecemeal cut-ups of scripture from various places to make a uniifed whole doctrinal idea – I think there is some mis-placed value by doing this…I think at the least it should be questioned.

  2. I think there is only one problem with taking pieces of scripture from various whole texts in the bible – context.

    I am reading a few lines from the 3 scripture pieces you supplied and you are a making a doctrinal stand based on them – ownership of the body. I almost wonder if there is a slight betrayal in doing that – to context of the books/letters of which the verese truly apply to?

    The reason I bring this up is because I am looking mainly at the last one – from 1 Corinthians and it seems you are making a leap in a way to say ‘our bodies are not our own’. Paul seems to be addressing the simple idea of ‘flee immorality’ or don’t use your body for that purpose. I would say if anything – we are sharing ownership with God – responsiblity seems to fall on ‘us’ to ‘flee immorality’ in partnership with God (But the one who JOINS himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him) – I think God has given us the body as a gift (or life).

    Even more odd, Paul never addresses the abortion aspect in the whole of 1 Cor 6 as part of the ‘immorailty’ he is railing against…we have to paste that in if anything – even murder isn’t mentioned – it seems there was problems with adultery, fraud, and other problems in vs. 9. I am thinking Paul might have addressed abortion if it existed – however he does not address it.

    The real problem with making this statement ‘Our bodies are not our own?’ in regards to 1 Cor 6 is it can be used for about anything one chooses. I have heard this also used in regards to liking something too much or smoking – because it’s not our body we have to be more strict with it. Meanwhile the passage – although saying this – does not address either of those issues either. And vs. 12 in this same chapter contains an interesting tidbit (‘All things are lawful for me’ – said 2 times by Paul). I think Paul is saying all things can be done by my body but that doesn’t mean it is always helpful.

    What I am addressing is the piecemeal cut-ups of scripture from various places to make a uniifed whole doctrinal idea – I think there is some mis-placed value by doing this…I think at the least it should be questioned.

  3. I think there is only one problem with taking pieces of scripture from various whole texts in the bible – context.

    I am reading a few lines from the 3 scripture pieces you supplied and you are a making a doctrinal stand based on them – ownership of the body. I almost wonder if there is a slight betrayal in doing that – to context of the books/letters of which the verese truly apply to?

    The reason I bring this up is because I am looking mainly at the last one – from 1 Corinthians and it seems you are making a leap in a way to say ‘our bodies are not our own’. Paul seems to be addressing the simple idea of ‘flee immorality’ or don’t use your body for that purpose. I would say if anything – we are sharing ownership with God – responsiblity seems to fall on ‘us’ to ‘flee immorality’ in partnership with God (But the one who JOINS himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him) – I think God has given us the body as a gift (or life).

    Even more odd, Paul never addresses the abortion aspect in the whole of 1 Cor 6 as part of the ‘immorailty’ he is railing against…we have to paste that in if anything – even murder isn’t mentioned – it seems there was problems with adultery, fraud, and other problems in vs. 9. I am thinking Paul might have addressed abortion if it existed – however he does not address it.

    The real problem with making this statement ‘Our bodies are not our own?’ in regards to 1 Cor 6 is it can be used for about anything one chooses. I have heard this also used in regards to liking something too much or smoking – because it’s not our body we have to be more strict with it. Meanwhile the passage – although saying this – does not address either of those issues either. And vs. 12 in this same chapter contains an interesting tidbit (‘All things are lawful for me’ – said 2 times by Paul). I think Paul is saying all things can be done by my body but that doesn’t mean it is always helpful.

    What I am addressing is the piecemeal cut-ups of scripture from various places to make a uniifed whole doctrinal idea – I think there is some mis-placed value by doing this…I think at the least it should be questioned.

  4. This is one piece of a larger framework that I’m blogging on. I’m talking ownership… not necessarily abortion, but from that connecting how it relates to abortion.

    Let me address the 1 Corinthians 6 passage since that is primarily where your concern lies. I agree with you that we can not ignore context.

    First regarding ownership in this passage – to address our responsibility. For several years I rented a home. It wasn’t mine. I still had responsibilities related to that home, and I didn’t have the right to misuse the home. That in a way is what Paul is talking about here, and he is addressing this to Christians – our bodies were paid for with Christ’s blood. While we can misuse and pervert our bodies that doesn’t mean we have the right to. We are now stewards of that which Christ has purchased on the cross.

    Regarding context Paul is speaking out against sexual immorality because that was a problem that was rampant in the Corinthian church. When he says in verse 12 – “all things are lawful for me,” (ESV). He is talking about food – see verse 13. Some in the Corinthian church were wrongly claiming that since we now are free to eat anything (not bound by Jewish dietary laws) that also applies to sex as well.

    We see in verse 13 that there are things that our bodies are clearly not meant for… sexual immorality. Our body is meant for the Lord, and the Lord for the body, (v.13).

    Abortion isn’t addressed because it likely wasn’t an issue within the Corinthian church or that it wasn’t practiced. I don’t know the history of abortion, but I would suspect that since their medical knowledge wasn’t as advanced it was a greater likihood that infantcide was a greater problem in that society as the means to kill the child before it was born was lacking.

  5. This is one piece of a larger framework that I’m blogging on. I’m talking ownership… not necessarily abortion, but from that connecting how it relates to abortion.

    Let me address the 1 Corinthians 6 passage since that is primarily where your concern lies. I agree with you that we can not ignore context.

    First regarding ownership in this passage – to address our responsibility. For several years I rented a home. It wasn’t mine. I still had responsibilities related to that home, and I didn’t have the right to misuse the home. That in a way is what Paul is talking about here, and he is addressing this to Christians – our bodies were paid for with Christ’s blood. While we can misuse and pervert our bodies that doesn’t mean we have the right to. We are now stewards of that which Christ has purchased on the cross.

    Regarding context Paul is speaking out against sexual immorality because that was a problem that was rampant in the Corinthian church. When he says in verse 12 – “all things are lawful for me,” (ESV). He is talking about food – see verse 13. Some in the Corinthian church were wrongly claiming that since we now are free to eat anything (not bound by Jewish dietary laws) that also applies to sex as well.

    We see in verse 13 that there are things that our bodies are clearly not meant for… sexual immorality. Our body is meant for the Lord, and the Lord for the body, (v.13).

    Abortion isn’t addressed because it likely wasn’t an issue within the Corinthian church or that it wasn’t practiced. I don’t know the history of abortion, but I would suspect that since their medical knowledge wasn’t as advanced it was a greater likihood that infantcide was a greater problem in that society as the means to kill the child before it was born was lacking.

  6. This is one piece of a larger framework that I’m blogging on. I’m talking ownership… not necessarily abortion, but from that connecting how it relates to abortion.

    Let me address the 1 Corinthians 6 passage since that is primarily where your concern lies. I agree with you that we can not ignore context.

    First regarding ownership in this passage – to address our responsibility. For several years I rented a home. It wasn’t mine. I still had responsibilities related to that home, and I didn’t have the right to misuse the home. That in a way is what Paul is talking about here, and he is addressing this to Christians – our bodies were paid for with Christ’s blood. While we can misuse and pervert our bodies that doesn’t mean we have the right to. We are now stewards of that which Christ has purchased on the cross.

    Regarding context Paul is speaking out against sexual immorality because that was a problem that was rampant in the Corinthian church. When he says in verse 12 – “all things are lawful for me,” (ESV). He is talking about food – see verse 13. Some in the Corinthian church were wrongly claiming that since we now are free to eat anything (not bound by Jewish dietary laws) that also applies to sex as well.

    We see in verse 13 that there are things that our bodies are clearly not meant for… sexual immorality. Our body is meant for the Lord, and the Lord for the body, (v.13).

    Abortion isn’t addressed because it likely wasn’t an issue within the Corinthian church or that it wasn’t practiced. I don’t know the history of abortion, but I would suspect that since their medical knowledge wasn’t as advanced it was a greater likihood that infantcide was a greater problem in that society as the means to kill the child before it was born was lacking.

  7. Awesome post!

    We are all His, each and every one of us are His. He gave us life and sustains us… He created us and we belong to Him.

  8. Awesome post!

    We are all His, each and every one of us are His. He gave us life and sustains us… He created us and we belong to Him.

  9. Awesome post!

    We are all His, each and every one of us are His. He gave us life and sustains us… He created us and we belong to Him.

  10. “While we can misuse and pervert our bodies that doesn’t mean we have the right to” (Shane)

    Two points:

    (a) I agree with you – even by a contextual look at that passage – it could mean the ideas we choose to follow should reflect a deep(er) morality – in that sense – I have no problem with defending abortion. However, I am not sure I would defend with the idea ‘our bodies are the temple’.

    (b) Steve Scott made a great point to me the other day about these ‘temple of God’ passages – is God addressing a group or a singular person? He points out the ‘your’ in Greek has no mention of being plural or singular – confusing this issue a little more. However, the letter is addressed to a whole community in Corinth.

  11. “While we can misuse and pervert our bodies that doesn’t mean we have the right to” (Shane)

    Two points:

    (a) I agree with you – even by a contextual look at that passage – it could mean the ideas we choose to follow should reflect a deep(er) morality – in that sense – I have no problem with defending abortion. However, I am not sure I would defend with the idea ‘our bodies are the temple’.

    (b) Steve Scott made a great point to me the other day about these ‘temple of God’ passages – is God addressing a group or a singular person? He points out the ‘your’ in Greek has no mention of being plural or singular – confusing this issue a little more. However, the letter is addressed to a whole community in Corinth.

  12. “While we can misuse and pervert our bodies that doesn’t mean we have the right to” (Shane)

    Two points:

    (a) I agree with you – even by a contextual look at that passage – it could mean the ideas we choose to follow should reflect a deep(er) morality – in that sense – I have no problem with defending abortion. However, I am not sure I would defend with the idea ‘our bodies are the temple’.

    (b) Steve Scott made a great point to me the other day about these ‘temple of God’ passages – is God addressing a group or a singular person? He points out the ‘your’ in Greek has no mention of being plural or singular – confusing this issue a little more. However, the letter is addressed to a whole community in Corinth.

  13. Hey society

    Regarding A – my focus is on the “your body is not your own” phrase, not the temple phrase. I didn’t offer any commentary on it.

    Regarding B – I would say both. You could really ask that with any of the Pauline Epistles because they were written with the intent they would be read to congregations and circulated. At the same time Paul is addressing individual issues with individual application.

  14. Hey society

    Regarding A – my focus is on the “your body is not your own” phrase, not the temple phrase. I didn’t offer any commentary on it.

    Regarding B – I would say both. You could really ask that with any of the Pauline Epistles because they were written with the intent they would be read to congregations and circulated. At the same time Paul is addressing individual issues with individual application.

  15. Hey society

    Regarding A – my focus is on the “your body is not your own” phrase, not the temple phrase. I didn’t offer any commentary on it.

    Regarding B – I would say both. You could really ask that with any of the Pauline Epistles because they were written with the intent they would be read to congregations and circulated. At the same time Paul is addressing individual issues with individual application.

  16. “I have no problem with defending abortion” (SVS)

    I actually meant defending the position of anti-abortion. Sorry if it looked like I would defend abortion – my bad for not typing correctly.

    ““your body is not your own””

    Interesting phrase – and this is the one that makes a difference in plurality. Your body would be the whole of the community church – includes everyone. Abortion, as an issue, is something between 2 people (personal) in my opinion and not directed at the ‘whole body’.

    Singular in application – then your point is candid.

    However, as I have stated – I would not use a certain verse for my stand on abortion since it is not addressed as an issue one time. I would use the intent of the scriptures and it’s idea about teaching on ‘life’ and not ‘death’ as a focus. And even when ‘death’ is used as a focus in scripture it is usually to dying to the idea that are immoral. I would go about it in that regards – since I think we all know the intent for ‘life’ is in this book.

  17. “I have no problem with defending abortion” (SVS)

    I actually meant defending the position of anti-abortion. Sorry if it looked like I would defend abortion – my bad for not typing correctly.

    ““your body is not your own””

    Interesting phrase – and this is the one that makes a difference in plurality. Your body would be the whole of the community church – includes everyone. Abortion, as an issue, is something between 2 people (personal) in my opinion and not directed at the ‘whole body’.

    Singular in application – then your point is candid.

    However, as I have stated – I would not use a certain verse for my stand on abortion since it is not addressed as an issue one time. I would use the intent of the scriptures and it’s idea about teaching on ‘life’ and not ‘death’ as a focus. And even when ‘death’ is used as a focus in scripture it is usually to dying to the idea that are immoral. I would go about it in that regards – since I think we all know the intent for ‘life’ is in this book.

  18. “I have no problem with defending abortion” (SVS)

    I actually meant defending the position of anti-abortion. Sorry if it looked like I would defend abortion – my bad for not typing correctly.

    ““your body is not your own””

    Interesting phrase – and this is the one that makes a difference in plurality. Your body would be the whole of the community church – includes everyone. Abortion, as an issue, is something between 2 people (personal) in my opinion and not directed at the ‘whole body’.

    Singular in application – then your point is candid.

    However, as I have stated – I would not use a certain verse for my stand on abortion since it is not addressed as an issue one time. I would use the intent of the scriptures and it’s idea about teaching on ‘life’ and not ‘death’ as a focus. And even when ‘death’ is used as a focus in scripture it is usually to dying to the idea that are immoral. I would go about it in that regards – since I think we all know the intent for ‘life’ is in this book.

  19. Even without using Scripture, you can say:

    – Is it life or just a bunch of atoms. Science says it is life.
    – How would scientists categorize this life? Plant? Animal? Chicken? …or human? Human.
    – Isn't killing an innocent human murder? Yes.

    As for whether it is the woman's body or not, the DNA is completely different and so can be the blood type. A single human can not have two different DNAs nor two different blood types, thus there must be two separate and equal humans involved.

    As for Scripture supporting this, look to the visitation of Mary and Elizabeth's. John the “baby”, in the womb, leaped for joy because he knew Christ was in Mary's womb as well when Mary greeted Elizabeth. It wasn't Elizabeth's body leaping for joy to Mary's greeting.

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