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Presentation on theme: "CHRISTIAN MORAL DECISION MAKING"— Presentation transcript:

Different Christian Perspectives and their application to abortion.

2 CHRISTIAN SOURCES OF AUTHORITY where Christians seek guidance on moral issues
• Bible – Rules (e.g., 10 Commandments, Old Testament) - Principles (e.g., Jesus & St Paul on ‘love’, New Testament) • Asking What Would Jesus Do? Example. • Church leaders & community • Holy Spirit • Conscience

3 Three Christian philosophical perspectives on making moral decisions
Biblical Fundamentalism Natural Law Situation Ethics

4 Biblical Fundamentalism
Fundamentalists believe that every word of the Bible is literally God’s word. That the authors of the Bible had no influence in what was written, God ‘breathed’ the words through them. Therefore if there is a rule or instruction in the Bible then it should be followed closely. They also believe all the stories of the Old Testament to be true.

5 Natural Law Based on the idea that God created everything with a purpose. Things are good if they are working in line with that purpose. Uses reason to work out God’s purposes (in conjunction with, but not entirely based on the Bible). Natural Law is a universal moral law. Traditionally used by the Roman Catholic Church.

6 Situation Ethics States that moral decisions are too complex and dependant upon the situation to be decided by rules. Love is the most important principle in making moral decisions. Message of the New Testament is: God loves us and that we should love each other. Decisions should be made based on whether they express and result in love. Often the approach taken Baptists and Quakers.

7 ABORTION The Sanctity of Life
Life is God given Life should not be destroyed All life deserves respect Human life is precious God has a plan for every human life

8 The Biblical basis for the Sanctity of Life
Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

9 Genesis 1:26-27 means… All human life, including life developing in the womb and in laboratory test tubes, is created by God in his own image. It is therefore to be nurtured, supported and protected.

10 The Holy Spirit lives in us and that makes our lives sacred
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” The Holy Spirit lives in us and that makes our lives sacred

11 The Roman Catholic use of this teaching (Humane Vitae 1968)
From the time a life has begun it is neither the life of the father or mother. It is a new human being with its own growth. It would never be made human if it was not already Life must be protected from the moment of conception. Abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes The Roman Catholic Church is always completely opposed to abortion

12 QUALITY OF LIFE Some Christians may consider abortion when;
The parents will not be able to look after the child properly The Child may be born severely handicapped The mother has been raped The mother is unsupported by a partner or family

13 The Baptist Church Life is Sacred
People should not assume the right or duty to take it away It is not clear when life begins, although it must be very early in the pregnancy There may be circumstances when abortion is the lesser of two evils If the mother’s life is in danger because of the pregnancy is an exception may be made

14 How Baptists would make the decision
Reflect on the teachings of the Bible Pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit Seek advice from members of their church including ministers and counsellors

15 The Quaker view The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is reluctant to make moral statements on issues like this Violence and the taking of life are not seen as solutions to problems. They believe ‘That of God’ (Holy Spirit) is in everyone; including the foetus. Many Quakers want to see women play a full role in society so do not value the life of the foetus above that of the woman.

16 How Quakers might make the decision
With the loving and prayerful support of a meeting. The advice of trusted friends and advisors. Careful reflection on the situation. Being open to guidance by the Holy Spirit. Whatever difficult decision is made those involved would be supported, not condemned.

17 Christian pro-abortion arguments (Quality of life arguments)
The loving response to the situation may sometimes be to end the pregnancy Is it a loving thing to do to allow an unsupported single mum to have a child? What kind of life awaits a severely brain damaged foetus? God gives us free will. Who are we to take it away from someone I.e., the mother?

18 L. Kalland in ‘Abortion, Can an Evangelical Consensus be found?’
“Are we sure that it is always the just and loving thing to bring into this demanding and complex world a badly deformed and perhaps mentally incomplete individual?…While the scriptures establish the sanctity of life, the stress of scripture is on quality of life.” L. Kalland in ‘Abortion, Can an Evangelical Consensus be found?’


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