Hill City Baptist Church Statement on Abortion
We thought it would be prudent to take a slight detour from our regularly scheduled program in order to focus on a matter of some importance.
We mentioned several weeks ago that the force of the State is a blunt object – good for punishing criminals, maintaining infrastructure, and not much else. More than this, when the State oversteps its jurisdiction, it inevitably results in damage to the affected sphere.
In a republic, the momentum of the state is kept in check by dispersing its power across multiple tiers of representation. When these bodies of representation no longer serve anyone but themselves, however, they cease to function as the check and balance they were elected to maintain. Rather, they start to resemble those parasitic fish that attach themselves to sharks for free protection and transportation.
If representation was working as it should, there would currently be an opposition party in Ottawa urging parliament to revisit (and hopefully overturn) H Morgentaler in light of America’s intention to do the same with Roe v Wade. Instead, nearly every leader of each major party has affirmed their enthusiasm for the perpetual enshrinement of “reproductive rights” in Canada.
In light of the reemergence of this discussion, we thought it necessary to articulate where we stand as a church on this issue. The following will also be posted on our website and may be added to in the future as the need arises. Our hope in these statements is to work towards a systematic “catechism” which may assist those Christians seeking to embody a biblical worldview to an increasingly pagan culture.
And so, as members and leaders of Hill City Baptist Church, we affirm the following:
That human beings are not merely the product of a long and undirected process but are intentional, unique, and even preeminent beings among the creation of God. Moreover, we affirm with the Scriptures that each person is a finely-wrought instance of divine handiwork and possessing inherent dignity (Psalm 139:14) — a reality which exists throughout a child’s development.
That human life begins at conception. We reject as arbitrary and biologically false the notion that “personhood” is something that accrues throughout a fetus's development. Rather, we affirm that at the moment of fertilization a human being emerges as a genetically distinct human organism, needing only the proper environment to grow and develop. We believe the difference between an an adult human and a preborn child is not one of nature but of form.
That the distinction between a so-called “descriptive” view of conception (which affirms that life begins at conception) and a “normative” view (which questions whether the fetus is deserving of legal consideration) is artificial. Rather, working from our previous definition, we affirm that if a developed human being is deserving of legal consideration, than a less-developed human being (but again, sharing equal nature) is equally deserving of such consideration.
We utterly deny the existence of so-called “reproductive rights.” Rather, it is our conviction that the rights of one human party are not permitted to usurp the rights of another; especially when that another cannot defend or speak for themselves. Furthermore, we hold that the responsibility to protect human life does not reside with any one person or institution but with every citizen interested in the preservation of a humane and lawful society.
That someone's “right” to choose is not inalienable when the exercise of such a right negatively impacts the liberty and wellbeing of another party (in this case, the wellbeing of an unborn child). We believe the philosophy “choice over life” emerges from no other principle than the "principle" of selfism which dominates modern consumer culture. We believe that the health of the fetus is no more or less important than the health of the woman who carries them and must be treated as equal in the eyes of the state.
That the means of pregnancy — whether voluntary, unexpected, or forced — does not change the reality that a life exists and must therefore be protected. Though we acknowledge the challenge and trauma that certain situations present, we affirm that the compounding of sins (i.e., rape and murder) is not a valid solution.
That life is costly (Psalm 49:8) and that the taking of it is forbidden by nature, law, and the Scriptures (Exodus 20:13), and that those who are knowingly complicit in the murder of any child should be tried by law as murderers.
That any attempt to obscure the atrocity of abortion, which not only involves murder, but murder by gradual dismemberment, is abominable, deceptive, and dangerous; the fact that certain terms and jargon are regularly employed to “improve the image” of such a procedure is no indication of its legitimacy, but rather spring from a desire to conceal our shame.
That no one is ever too far gone to come home to their Creator (Luke 15:20); that our sins and failures, no matter how great, are no barrier to the potency of God’s grace and forgiveness through the cross of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7:25); and that God can and will assist those who desire to walk in obedience to him – no matter how daunting such obedience may seem in the moment (Ephesians 3:20).
That in all of this our conscience is captive to the eternal, infallible, Word of God as contained in the sixty-six books of the Bible. Within these pages we are confronted not merely with suggestions for moral improvement, but demands which supercede whatever whims and assumptions society may hold in the moment.
The Elders of Hill City Baptist Church