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The Biblical View of Abortion - Part 1

Tom Pennington • Selected Scriptures

  • 2022-07-03 AM
  • Sermons

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Well, today and next week; as I mentioned I would last week, I want to address the issue of abortion. A week ago, Friday, our Supreme Court issued a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, overturning the longstanding position of the Supreme Court and the law of the land. And of course, that dates back, as you know, to 1973. It was then that the Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade that our constitution guarantees a right to abortion. In light of the Supreme Court's decision, it was said therefore that individual states could not regulate abortion. In the first trimester, abortions were not to be restricted in any way. In the second trimester, only to protect a woman's health. And in the third trimester, abortion was only to be allowed if necessary for the woman's life and health.

In a case that came shortly thereafter, the court defined health, unfortunately, as including emotional, psychological, family health and general well-being. That decision essentially ensured abortion on demand.

The key part in the decision in Roe v. Wade; perhaps you've read it, was that the unborn only have potential life until viability – that is, until they can survive outside the womb. It's interesting that the anonymous Jane Roe in Roe v. Wade was a woman named Norma McCorvey. Norma McCorvey eventually became a Christian, profoundly regretted her part in the Roe v. Wade decision, and even tried until her death in 2017 to get the decision overturned.

When we think about the decision in 1973 and even the most recent decision, it's important for us to remember that human judges don't ultimately determine what is morally right and wrong. Theirs is a delegated authority. They sit in the place of God hearing the affairs of man and making decisions on that basis. Their decisions are supposed to be based on law and ultimately, on God's law, the One who gives them life and has placed them in that place of delegated authority.

Moses reminds us of that in Deuteronomy 1:16-17, talking about the judges of Israel. He says,

I charged your judges at that time saying, "Hear the cases between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him. You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God's."

What Moses was telling those human judges is that they sat, as it were, in the place of God, presiding over the affairs of man, and they were to make that decision as though it were God's decision and not theirs.

So, what is on the heart of God when it comes to human justice? I want you to turn with me, as we begin this morning, to Psalm 82. Here's the heart of God when it comes to justice being meted out in a land. Psalm 82:1.

God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers. How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.

And he goes on as this Psalm ends in verse 8 to say that God is not merely talking about what happens in Israel. He is the judge of the earth who possesses all the nations. God will hold every human judge, including every judge in our land, the Supreme Court justices included, accountable for the decisions they make. And one of the great concerns of His heart is for those who have no voice, for those who are the weak, the afflicted, the needy. Those whose justice is easily perverted. God says somebody needs to speak for them, and judges need to be especially sensitive to their needs and rights.

As we think about the issue of abortion, the key question for us as believers, especially in decisions with moral implications, is: what does the Bible say? What does the Bible say? That's what I want us to unpack in the next two weeks, today and next Sunday.

But let me start with a summary about what we're going to discover. I'm going to give you the punchline, and then we're going to watch it unfold. Here's what we will learn together. Scripture teaches God made man in His own image, affirms the sanctity and personhood of all human life from conception, and stands clearly opposed to abortion.

Now, as we begin this morning, let me first of all speak from my heart directly to those of you in our church family who have had abortions. Or perhaps you have encouraged others to have abortions, or maybe you have publicly defended the concept of abortion. Or perhaps, you have even performed some abortions. Let me speak to you if you fall into any of those categories. As we will learn, this week and next, abortion is an awful sin. And we're not going to ignore that reality. Depending on what you knew when you participated in that abortion, one of two things is true. Either you committed an act of murder, if you knew that was a life that you were taking; or if you didn't know that because you believed the propaganda of the world around you, then you would be guilty, criminally, of negligent homicide. Those are horrible sins. But they are not unforgivable sins. In fact, if you have repented and believed in Jesus Christ, God credited all of your sins, including the sin of abortion, to Jesus Christ on the cross. And Jesus endured all that God's justice required to be paid for that sin. Jesus paid it all. God has forgiven you now and forever for the sin of abortion. I love the way Isaiah puts it in Isaiah 1:18, "'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the Lord, 'though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool'". If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, today God sees you just as righteous in protecting and defending innocent life as His own Son is. You wear His righteousness. So, as I deal with this topic, you don't need to feel any guilt. Your guilt and your sin is gone forever. Paid for by the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the same time, it is important for all of us as God's people to understand what the Bible says about this sin. And that's what we need to do together.

There are several crucial facts that we need to understand about this issue of abortion. So, let's begin with the first crucial fact, the functional definitions. What is it that we're really talking about? I'll use several words. Let me define them. First of all, the word embryo. Webster defines embryo as "the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception". So, until eight weeks, an embryo. Fetus. The word fetus is "a developing human", Webster says, "from usually two months after conception to birth". So, embryo though eight weeks and then thereafter, the term fetus. It's also a baby, as I'll use that description as well. The child is all these things.

Now, abortion is the expulsion of the human embryo or fetus. This word abortion, by the way, is almost never used of the natural expulsion of an embryo or fetus. Our word for that is miscarriage. Webster specifically defines abortion in this sense like this, "it is the induced expulsion of a human fetus", we could add an embryo.

Megan Best in her book "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" defines abortion this way, "It is the deliberate ending of a pregnancy so that it does not progress to birth". That's what we're talking about. There are the functional definitions that we'll be working with. So, today when I talk about abortion, that's what I'm talking about.

Now the second crucial fact that we need to look at is the historical background. Exactly how has this concept of abortion developed? Let's begin with all of human history. The first historical record of an induced abortion is from the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus dated to 1550 BC, about the time of the Exodus when Moses and the children of Israel left Egypt. That's the first historical record of an induced abortion that we have.

The ancient world was actually divided over this issue. For example, in Assyria, the Code of Assura, written around 1100 BC, mandated the death penalty for abortion if a woman got an abortion without her husband's consent. What isn't as clear is what it would've been if she had his consent. But it was really the Greeks who ultimately pioneered legalized abortion.

Michael J. Gorman writes, "The Greeks enjoy the dubious distinction of being the first in the ancient near east or western world positively to advise and even demand abortion in certain cases". Now, this positive view of abortion came from its two great philosophers, Aristotle and Plato. Both of whom favored abortion and infanticide. But they favored them only if they were in the interest of the state. It wasn't about a woman's choice. It was about if it was in the interest of the state, then abortion could be practiced and infanticide. This was the view of the philosophers of Greece, but the doctors of Greece tended to be opposed to abortion. In fact, the Oath of Hippocrates reads this way, "I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment but never to a view of injury and wrongdoing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion", that's something inserted into the uterus to cause an abortion. Abortion advocates, by the way, argue that this was only in certain cases, but in context it's clear that it is a sweeping prohibition against assisting abortion. By the way, that's why it's not so surprising that according to the Harvard Medical School; of the U.S. medical schools that still use some form of the Hippocratic Oath, only two percent use the original. I wonder why.

When you come to Roman law, Roman law allowed abortions because they did not consider the fetus a living person. But there were Roman philosophers who disagreed. Cicero and others objected, nevertheless, the law remained.

Now, the methods of abortion in the ancient world were certainly crude. Here are some of them. A blow to the womb, vigorous movement, binding the womb tightly to inhibit the growth of the child, drugs that were either drunk or used as pessaries, and surgery. One other note that I learned from my review of ancient history, and it's frightening, that is you will discover that in the ancient world if abortion was legal so was infanticide. The Jews never approved of abortion, and of course the early Christian church was unanimously opposed to it, as we'll see next week. So that's sort of an overview of history, a very brief one.

What about American history? This is so important. Because what you will read in the news sources you read, what you will read in the history books today, is revisionist history about the view of abortion. The legal view of abortion. You will read that abortion has always been accepted and practiced in both Britain under common law and in America. That is today's revisionist history. But it is revisionist history.

In 2006, Villanova law professor, Joseph W. Dellapenna wrote a massive book entitled "Dispelling the Myths of Abortion History". By the way, if you want to get an idea of where he was coming from, he also wrote an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in this latest Dobbs case. You can read it on the Supreme Court's website. It's very interesting. For the record, Dellapenna is not a Catholic, although he taught at a Catholic school, and he supports abortion. So, he's not anti-abortion. But he's an attorney taking issue with the revisionist history about what the law said through British and American history. So, in his extremely well-documented book; in fact, I think there's some 8,500 footnotes, he writes this, "Anglo-American law", that is British common law and American law, "has always treated abortion as a serious crime. Generally, even including early in pregnancy presenting evidence of prosecutions and even executions occurring as long as 800 years ago in England, and less serious punishments in colonial America. The reasons provided for those prosecutions and penalties consistently focused on protecting the life of the unborn child. This unbroken tradition tends to refute the claims that unborn children have not been treated as persons in our law or as persons under the Constitution of the United States. The tradition of treating abortion as a crime was unbroken through nearly 800 years of English and American history until the reform movement of the later 20th century".

Again, if you want to understand how the revisionist history has come to pass, understand this, what Justice Blackmun in Roe v. Wade quoted to prove that abortion had a positive history in America was from a book written by man named Means in the 1960's, a man who worked for a pro-abortion organization who wrote the history at that time. And this attorney, who's pro-abortion says that's all revisionist history, it's fabricated. It's just not the truth.

Now, this position against abortion weakened some in the early 1800's, but then shifted back in the mid 1800's. In the 1860's, legislators, doctors, and the American Medical Association argued for tightening the laws to make sure that in every state abortion was a crime. By 1900, abortion was a felony in every state. So, when did the modern push for abortion begin? It began in the 1920's with the feminist movement. One leader in that movement, Stella Brown, promoted abortion as a key element of women's emancipation. Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, and in 1942 it became Planned Parenthood, which is still very much alive and with us. Sanger was one of the chief architects of the sexual revolution and she promoted abortion wholeheartedly. This is what she wrote, "No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body." You can see how that language has become the language of the pro-abortion movement today. Now you might say, well, isn't there some truth to that? Of course, there's some truth to that. But listen to another quote that makes clearer what she means, "The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it". She also supported eugenics; and some of you are very much aware of that.

Now, fast forward as feminism takes hold, to the 1960's. Of course, in the 1960's, that turbulent period, you had the Sexual Revolution. And out of the Sexual Revolution, understandably, the pro-abortion movement became increasingly widespread. However, listen carefully. Some of you don't understand this. If you're younger, you don't understand this reality. Until 1973, until the decision of Roe v. Wade, until that decision was made, 30 of our states prohibited abortion without any exception. 16 states prohibited it except in special circumstances, and that varied. Rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Only 4 states of the 50, allowed abortions beyond that. So, that's a brief history in the United States.

Let's move on to a third crucial fact that we need to understand about it, and that is the current expression. What is abortion like now? Well, the abortion industry today is big business. One of the leading market research firms says, "the market size measured by revenue of the family planning and abortion clinics industry is $3.7 billion in 2022". $3.7 billion. It is big business with really expensive paid lobbyists and a lot of PR money that is spent in campaigns across the country to promote their agenda.

Now, the reason that it's that large and that profitable is because of the sheer scope of abortion. And this is unthinkable. But since 1973, there have been 63 million abortions in the United States. 63 million. Now, that's a huge number and one our brains don't process very well, so let me give you some perspective. 63 million abortions. One million Americans died in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, combined. One million died in all of our wars. 63 million abortions. Let me give you another perspective. The population of the six largest U.S. metropolitan areas, that's New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, DFW, Houston, and Washington D.C. The population of those metro centers; not city limits, but metro centers, the population is 62 million. One million less than the number of children that have died in abortion. In other words, you'd have to kill every person in metro New York, L.A., Chicago, DFW, Houston, and Washington D.C. to equal the number of abortions that have happened since Roe v. Wade. It is massive in its scope.

So, what about the demographics of abortion? Now, just so you know I'm not creating a straw man; let me tell you that I'm going to quote statistics that come from those who are pro-abortion. There are two organizations that track abortion data. The CDC – Centers for Disease Control and the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research organization that was founded in 1968 as a subsidiary of Planned Parenthood. Both of them are pro-abortion. The CDC compiles its figures from health agencies in most states. The Guttmacher Institute compiles its figures directly from providers of abortion. So, these are not my statistics. These are not somebody who's pro-life. This is from the abortion industry.

So, let me give you some statistics. 73 million abortions occur worldwide each year. 73 million abortions. By the way, the largest number of children that are killed in a country is atheistic China. According to the latest statistics from these organizations; and I think it's from the year 2020, 930,000 abortions in the United States. And that does not include abortion pills taken outside of clinical settings. 930,000. Almost a million. A couple of years ago, there were 1,600 facilities in the U.S. that provided abortions. 51 percent of those facilities are abortion clinics, but that 51 percent of facilities does 95 percent of the abortions.

What about the women who choose abortion? What are the demographics? Let's look at it in several different ways. Let's start with age. 57 percent of them are in their 20's. 57 percent. 31 percent in their 30's. 9 percent are teens. And 4 percent are in their 40's. When in the pregnancy do people get abortions? 93 percent during the first trimester or before 13 weeks. 6 percent between 14 and 20 weeks. And 1 percent, 21 weeks or more. Of those who get abortions, 85 percent are unmarried. 15 percent are married. As far as race and ethnicity, 38 percent black, 33 percent white, 21 percent hispanic, and 7 percent other races or ethnicities. As far as frequency, in other words, how many abortions are they getting? Of those who are getting an abortion, Guttmacher says 58 percent were getting their first abortion, 24 percent their second abortion, and about 18 percent their third or more abortion. So, that's the demographic.

Let's move on to consider why. What are the reasons for abortions? And again, these are not my reasons. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research arm of Planned Parenthood, these were the reasons most frequently cited to abortion clinics for having an abortion. 74 percent – having a child would interfere with a woman's education, work, or ability to care for other dependents. 73 percent – she could not afford a baby now. 48 percent – she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems. 40 percent said they had already completed their childbearing, meaning that this child was unexpected and they were done with their family. 30 percent – not ready to have a child. And I want you to think about this statistic because this one is often used as an excuse for abortion. Less than 1 percent of the women who told abortion clinic doctors why they were getting an abortion; less than 1 percent, said that it was at the insistence or parents or partners. It's the other reasons that have been mentioned.

So, let's briefly discuss the practice of abortion. We have to start by understanding the development of the child. If you want to understand what abortion does, you have to understand the state of the child at that given time. So, let me rehearse this for you. I'm not a doctor, obviously, and I don't play one on TV, so I can't speak medically. But I have read doctors on this issue. I have spoken to a doctor in our church who has given me materials. I think I'm accurately representing what transpires.

At conception, 46 genes combine. 23 from the mother, 23 from the mother. The result of that is immediately a unique individual. At two weeks, there is a discernable heartbeat. By the fourth week, the cardiovascular system is fully established and the heart is contracting. The blood that that child's heart circulates is not the mother's blood. It's the blood produced by the unborn baby. During this four-week period there is early development of the brain, the thyroid, the eyes and ears, the arms and the legs. At six weeks, the embryo is less than an inch long, but it already has fingers on its hands. At 43 days, there are detectable brain waves. After 6 ½ weeks, the embryo has begun to move, but because of its tiny size and the thickness of the mother's abdominal wall the mother won't feel movement, or quickening, as its sometimes called, until several weeks later. By nine weeks, the child has a unique set of fingerprints, the gender of the child can be determined, and there are functioning kidneys. Think about this. By the end of the 12th week, the first trimester, the child is fully formed and all the organs of the child's body are functioning. The baby can even cry and suck its thumb by the end of the 12th week. All of that happens in the first three months of pregnancy. The rest of the pregnancy is simply the time during which all the systems continue to grow and to mature. But they're all there and functioning at 12 weeks.

So, with that in mind, let me go to the most difficult part of my message today, and that is the common methods of abortion. How exactly is abortion done in our world? There are two overarching approaches. The first is called medical abortion. In medical abortion, a drug is used to end the pregnancy. Today, the most common drug is RU-486, also known as the abortion pill. This pill is usually given in the first trimester, but it is at times used throughout the pregnancy. Again, doctors tell me that this drug blocks the chemical receptor sites used by progesterone in the uterus, essentially shutting down the function of the placenta, so that the child no longer has that system of support. Then another drug is given that initiates labor and the developing embryo or fetus is ejected, expelled, from the woman's body. Since fetuses aborted this way after 20 weeks may still be alive, in a 2007 medical journal doctors were advised to first inject a drug into the child's heart to stop it before beginning the abortion.

The second major approach to abortion is surgical abortion. And surgical abortion is when instruments are used to remove the fetus from the womb. The first form of surgical abortion is called vacuum aspiration, also called a suction abortion. This is the most common procedure in the first trimester. After dilating the cervix, a plastic tube is inserted into the uterus. Using a high-powered vacuum, the fetus and the placenta are sucked out and then the walls of the uterus are scraped. One abortion doctor filmed an ultrasound of his performing a suction abortion on an 11-week old female fetus. He did so just out of curiosity. After this doctor watched the 12 to 15-minute procedure, he left his practice and devoted himself and the rest of his life to fighting against abortion. The film he produced from that is called "The Silent Scream", and its still available on YouTube. Let me just say to you, if you're not sure that abortion is the taking of an innocent life, watch that film.

A second surgical abortion method is dilation and evacuation. It's also called a D&E. This method is typically used after 14 to 15 weeks. Forceps are used to crush and remove the fetus in pieces. The rest is vacuumed out. One abortion doctor described it like this, "a grasping forceps similar to pliers with teeth is inserted into the womb to grasp part of the fetus. Because the developing baby already has calcified bones, the parts must be twisted and torn away. This process is repeated until the body is totally dismembered and removed. Sometimes the head is too large and must be crushed in order to remove it. Bleeding is profuse.".

A third surgical method is dilation and extraction; also called D&X. This is typically used in the second and third trimesters. Often to avoid accidental live birth, the fetus is first killed with an injection of potassium into its heart in order to create cardiac arrest – a heart attack so that the child dies. Another method is to inject a saline solution into the amniotic fluid which burns the child's skin but more importantly, to their purpose, the child gulps in the womb and death ensues. Paul Fowler, in his book on abortion, writes this, "the methods of abortion are physically violent. Whether it be a sharp, double-edged curette or knife by which the child is unceremoniously dissected, or the suction of the inserted tube which tears apart the tiny child, or the burning effect of the injected saline solution on the tender skin of the child while simultaneously poisoning the baby internally, there is no term more appropriate for such cruel methods than violence.". If you have a tender heart for animals, rightly so. The righteous man cares for his animal, the Proverb says. Don't have any less of a tender heart for these little ones. So, that's the current expression.

The fourth crucial fact that we need to understand about abortion is the spiritual foundations. What is its source? How does a civilized culture, how do people made in the image of God come to accept and promote such things? It's important that we ask this question. Where did abortion come from? There's only one answer to that question. Let me walk through it in several parts.

First of all, Satan loves to destroy all those made in God's image. Turn to John 8:41, "You are doing the deeds of your father", Jesus said to those who hadn't believed in Him, "They said to Him, 'We were not born of fornication'", implying Jesus was, since He didn't have a human father, "'we have one Father: God.' Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come forth from God, for I have not even come on my own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot'", you don't have the power, you don't have the capacity to hear My word. Why? Verse 44, here it is, "You are of your father the devil".

As we're learning, even in 1 John 3, everyone in this world either has the devil for his or her father; we all did when we were born, and the only exception are those who have been born of God, who have been redeemed, who have been brought to new life by the Spirit of God through the work of Jesus Christ. So, all of those who are unregenerate have Satan for their father. And He goes on to say, "you want to do the desires of your father". You want to be like him. You want to do what he does. And what does he do? "He was a murderer from the beginning, and he does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." Notice, murdering and lies are tied together. How does Satan most promote murder? How did he promote it in the garden of Eden? Through lies. Listen, Satan knew exactly what he was doing when he said to Eve, "you will not surely die". What did he want? He wanted death. He wanted spiritual and physical death to come into the world. He was a murderer from the beginning and he is the ultimate source of all wrongful taking of life. He loves to destroy those made in God's image.

I've used this illustration before, but if you were to walk into my office over here in the next building, and you were to see me with an 8x10 photo of my wife, and I had it on the wall and I was throwing darts at it. And then I took that photo off the wall and I took a pair of scissors, and I started cutting it up into tiny little pieces, and then I threw those pieces in a trash can on my desk and I lit them on fire. You would say, "Tom has a problem with his wife". And rightly so. Why? Because the way I treat her image says something about the way I think of her. And the same thing is true when it comes to Satan. He can't get to God. God is sovereign over him. He can't do anything to God. And so, in his hatred, he wants to destroy everything made in His image. Make no mistake. It's not God, but Satan, who is behind the murder of children both those outside the womb and those inside the womb.

Secondly, Satan has historically promoted the murder of children by two primary means. So, he's out to destroy all those made in God's image, including children. He has historically promoted that by two primary means. One of them is not so much today. That's false religion. But it has been true in the past. Jeremiah 19:4-5. God says He's bringing judgment on His people. Listen to this.

Because they have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods, that neither they not their forefathers nor the kings of Judah have ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind.

God says I would never in eternity ask people to do that, and yet that is what Satan and his demons have initiated - religion that calls for the sacrifice of children, throwing them in the fire. By the way, don't misunderstand. People who worshiped in pagan religions and did that, they didn't offer their valuable children. Just like to God they didn't offer their healthy and well animals. They were tempted to offer those that were sick and lame and had problems. Like "Here's your sacrifice God." That's the same way it happened in pagan religion. It was an excuse to get rid of unwanted children.

But, that's not so much Satan's approach today. In our day and in most of human history, he has promoted this through secular philosophies. Look at 2 Corinthians 10:3, "For though we walk in the flesh", that is, we're human beings, "we do not war according to the flesh", we don't use fleshly human weapons, "for the weapons of our warfare", in this spiritual battle, "are not of the flesh but they are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses."

What are these fortresses? Immediately the people of Corinth would've known what Paul was describing. There was a fortress in Corinth, just south of the city. There was a high hill, and on that hill was a fortress that was built so that if the city of Corinth was attacked all of the people could flee into that fortress and be safe. Here he is talking about a spiritual fortress, a spiritual stronghold. He says we are using powerful weapons, the word of God, to destroy spiritual strongholds in which people who are unregenerate hold up to defend themselves against the truth. And notice what these fortresses are. "We are destroying", here it is, "speculations". The Greek word is "logismos". It's thoughts, ideas, philosophies. In other words, people in our world, Paul says, are held up in ideological fortresses. He said, "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ".

In Greek thought, those fortresses in which they hid from truth were built by Aristotle and Plato and others. While there was some truth here and there in what they wrote, they wrote and defended abortion and infanticide and many other things contrary to the purposes of God. But the Greek people hid in those fortresses from the truth.

So what philosophies has Satan used to promote abortion in our culture? Let me just give you a little list. I don't have time to develop them, but there are several. First of all, Darwinian evolution. If man is only an animal; he has no eternal soul, he is not made in the image of God. He's an accident. He's only an animal and nature's way is the survival of the fittest, then why can't I as the fittest make decisions about what happens to my offspring?

Then there's humanism. Humanism said that man is the measure of all things. That introduced moral relativism. There are no moral absolutes, so let's take a vote. Let's take a survey to decide whether abortion is okay. 60 percent of Americans think abortion is okay. "Well, it's okay."

Feminism. The only way a woman can be autonomous and free is to have what they call "total reproductive rights", including the right to terminate a pregnancy and the life of that child. And today, one philosophy that is increasingly chanting and being used to champion abortion rights is Marxism. This whole idea that there are the oppressors and there are the oppressed. Men in this case, we are told, are the oppressors who have oppressed women by requiring them to carry their children to term, and if we are going to be free and equal then we have a right to make this decision. It is our right.

So, understand, ultimately abortion traces back to Satan. He was a murderer from the beginning. That enters into the stream of human thought through false religion and secular philosophies. But how does the secular philosophy, the philosophies I just mentioned, how do they connect with people in the real world? That brings us to a third part of this sort of spiritual source of all this. Satan uses the world system to appeal to our lusts and to influence us to accept and practice those philosophies.

We studied 1 John 2:15-16, "Do not love the world", that is the world's system, this sort of group think that's in the world we live in, "nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in him." So, what makes up this world system? "All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the father but is from the world." In other words, here's what happens. Satan has created this system to appeal to our fallenness, to appeal to the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes, and our pride. And so, we read things, we see things, it connects with our sin, our fallenness, and it draws us out to accept that and to do it. So, in the case of abortion for example, the world system's appeal tends to be things like; and you heard them in the list of reasons women gave, tends to be things like convenience, ease, financial desires, other relationships having a higher priority, and so forth. And so, that's how it works. The world system connects us to those philosophies.

In addition to that, Satan influences us to accept and practice those philosophies through this system. Turn to Psalm 1:1, "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!". The point here is, that in the entirety of his waking life the righteous man has nothing to do with these things. He entirely abandons them. What things? Look at verse 1 again. "He does not walk in the counsel of the wicked." The word counsel has to do with advice or how we think. By the "counsel of the wicked", the psalmist meant righteous people don't take the advice or the counsel about stuff that people who regularly sin and break God's law give. The righteous do not, as a custom of life, walk in the counsel of those who disregard God's law and set up their own. The righteous totally abandons the advice of the wicked at every level. In other words, don't listen to people who don't know God who talk about these issues. Notice, "he does not stand in the path of sinners". We're not to stand, that is to continue or to remain, in the patterns of behavior in which sinners live. We're not to adopt the lifestyle of sinners. So, don't listen to their advice and counsel about these things, and don't follow their example. And then thirdly, he abandons the seat of the scoffers. The counsel of the wicked has to do with our thinking, the path of sinners has to do with our behaving, the seat of scoffers has to do with our belonging. The Hebrew word translated scoffer describes those who openly ridicule and defiantly reject God and His laws. The Psalmist says we aren't to sit in the seat of scoffers. We aren't to connect ourselves to them, whether officially or socially, in a way that we are one of them, that we belong. But brothers and sisters, don't miss the main point of verse 1. The psalmist in those three nouns, wicked, sinners, and scoffers, together, is including all unregenerate men, every unbeliever without exception. The point is, the righteous person, the person who knows God, abandons every path of those who live in rebellion against God. He abandons every human way. He abandons thinking like they think, living like they live, and belonging where they belong.

Now let me say it as bluntly as I can. And particularly you who are younger, I want you to listen to me. Satan is after your mind. That's what he wants. He wants your mind. He wants to change your thinking. He wants to create a different way for you to think about things, his way rather than God's way. How does Satan go about changing your thinking? The people you hang around. The people who day-to-day you interact with, they give you their values. They tell you what they believe. They influence you to think certain ways. The people that you hang around. But also, what you read, what you listen to, the music you imbibe, what you watch, the video games you play, the people you follow on social media. In fact, just let me say it bluntly. There is a reason they're called "influencers". They are influencing you. Do not allow yourself to sit at the feet of those who are wicked, those who are ungodly, and imbibe their way of thinking to be influenced by their mind. Be careful. Limit your time. Be careful what programs and movies you watch, what music you listen to, what websites you visit, what news you read. Why? Listen to me carefully. Because all of them are preaching at you. You say, "well, Tom I'm tired of you preaching at me". Well, let me tell you something. Everybody is preaching at you. That website is preaching at you. There are values behind what that person is explaining. That song is preaching at you. That video game is preaching at you. That website is preaching at you and trying to get you to embrace their way of thinking. And if it's not the Scripture, if it's not God's way, it is Satan's way. He is trying to convince you to at least accept his ways, at least accept them, even if you don't do them. "Well, I don't believe abortion is morally right, but I think it's a woman's right to decide." He wants to convince you that abortion is morally acceptable by relentlessly exposing you to the advice of the wicked. Next time, Lord willing, we are going to unmask the flawed arguments that people make in favor of abortion. Then we are going to consider the clear biblical arguments against it.