What is a human being? And when is it right to kill one? According to the Bible, a human being is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26,27; 9:6; James 3:9). There is disagreement as to precisely what this means, but it applies to all human beings and is not something that is achieved or earned. The Bible also indicates that a human being exists from conception (Psalms 139:13-16; 51:5; Jeremiah 1:5). But the world does not take Scripture as an authority. So how might we go about trying to convince them to stop the killing of the unborn? One way would be to convince them that Christianity is true. But failing that, how might we approach the issue?
The first question we need to ask is, where do we draw the line? And if the product of a human mother and a human father is not a human being, what is it? There are those who want to use the analogy of cold water that gradually becomes hot. But is humanness something like heat, that can be poured in gradually? When the human egg and sperm unite, it produces an embryo with the genetic material that is needed to develop into a grown human being. How can it become more human? The analogy is used of an acorn and an oak tree. But I do not believe it is wrong to kill an oak tree. If I did, I would also consider it wrong to stamp on an acorn. It is also argued that the embryo goes through stages where it recapitulates its earlier evolutionary forms and is therefore not human. Though I believe there are problems with the theory of evolution, this idea is based on a form of the theory no longer held. Why should an embryo recapitulate its previous mutations? And if it is all right to kill human beings in the womb, where do you draw the line? The Nazis thought Jews were not human beings. It was once thought in this country that black people were not human beings. If we start down this road, where do we stop? The place to stop is at the beginning. There are those who claim the issue is not whether the fetus is a human being, but whether it is an individual. What is meant in this context by an individual? As distinct from a human being, it becomes fundamentally subjective and indefinable.
Now in making this case we are opposing the general opinion of our culture, and certainly our legal system; nonetheless, we are required to stand up for the helpless. We must do it in a loving yet firm manner, but we must do it (2 Timothy 2:24-26; Ephesians 4:25 Colossians 4:5-6). However, we should not expect this to be an easy matter, accomplished by passing a few laws or electing the right politicians. We must work to change the hearts of people, and only then can we change our society.