Challenges to positions on the death penalty and abortion
[The following was sent in multi-color, multi-font format, which I find is usually done to distract readers. I removed all of it.]
Good evening sir.
After reading your article on ‘Early Christians and Abortion’ you seem to support the death penalty because you said,
“When a criminal is put to death, it is not an act of murder, but an exercise of justice afforded to governing authorities (Romans 13:1-7).
Sir, the authority [Gr-eksousía] in Romans 13 is talking about “authority given to the saints.” Here is the word "authority" from the Strong's Dictionary:
In the NT, 1849 /eksousía ("delegated power") refers to the authority God gives to His saints – authorizing them to act to the extent they are guided by faith (His revealed word).
Paul in Romans 13 certainly was not talking about the authority of the world which authority is of the devil. Also known as the prince of this world. [john 12:31, John 16:11, etc.]
I firmly believe that it is you, sir, who are calling evil good here with your belief about the death penalty.
As far as abortion is concerned, I do not support it nor do I obstruct it. I believe in the sovereignty of God my Father. I believe His word which is Jesus Christ. I do not pick and choose His words. I believe in the whole word of God because I know that the Word is Jesus Christ and His Word [Jesus] tells me this:
"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;" (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
Does religion believe these words? No, religion does not. I do, however. And I also believe in Psalms 139:16. What Psalms 139:16 tells me is that not one person dies before God’s timing. If a person dies it is because the story is finished. Nothing else was written. And what Psalms 139:16 also tells me is that not one person is born without God's say. Is foolish to believe any other way.
I believe why religion is so against abortion is because religion believes in the “eternal soul’ lie but if that is true [and is not] then how can a mere man possibly kill an embryo or fetus? Especially when we are told that only God can kill the soul in Matthew 10:28.
"Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing" (Romans 13:1-6).
I find it amazing that someone can read Paul's statement and then deny what it clearly says. The passage speaks of "governing authorities," "rulers," and "pay taxes" but you conclude that these all refer to Christians. Worse, you claim to quote the Strong's Dictionary and I could tell before even looking it up that you purposely changed the quote. You see, the Greek language existed long before the church started, so it would be surprising if the definition of a word actually referred to saints. I know you are trying to bolster your indefensible position by claiming that an authority backs your position, but when you try to deceive others, you lose credibility. Here is the actual Strong's Dictionary entry:
1849 έξονσία ĕxŏusia, ex-oo-see'-ah; from 1832 (in the sense of ability); privilege, i.e. (subj.) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (obj.) mastery (concr. magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence: -- authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength.
"Authority" refers to rights and power that a person may exercise. It is the authority to rule and this passage is stating that governments have been granted the power to rule by God. Among its power is the right to bear the sword against those who practice evil (implying imposing death on the evil).
Your basic position on abortion is that you believe that God's sovereignty means that people have no choice. If a child is aborted, then you claim that it was God's will for the child to die.
Solomon's point in Ecclesiastes 3 is that the world cannot remain the same. The cycles are necessary for life. We don't live forever in this world, thus, there is a time for birth and a time for death -- life starts and life ends on this physical plane. However, this does not imply that people have an impact on when things happen. The farmer chooses when to plant and when to harvest within the seasons. A couple decides when to have a child. A murderer might choose when to kill another human. The latter is a sin and it would be wrong to claim that the murderer is acting on behalf of God.
In "Is there a set time for someone to die?" it is demonstrated that people's behavior can shorten the length of time designated for them to live on this earth. Psalms 139:16 is speaking of the potential days that a person might live -- ordained from the time of conception. Whether those days are reached depends on the choices people make. If it were, as you claim, a set amount, then Psalms 55:23; Proverbs 10:27; Job 21:21; and Ecclesiastes 7:17 would not make sense because each of these passages states that the wicked shorten their lives because of their deeds. See "Does Psalms 139:16 mean our days are predetermined?"
By the way, do you realize that your argument supporting abortion would also apply to a government implementing a death penalty? Logically, you cannot claim that it is God's will for a child to die at the hands of an abortionist and then say it is not God's will for a government to execute a murderer.
Your final error is rooted in a denial that there is a difference between the life of the physical body and the life of the spirit of man. "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual" (I Corinthians 15:44-46). Man can kill the physical body but he cannot kill the spirit. "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). Children can be killed before they are born and under the Law of Moses such an act carried the death penalty (Exodus 21:22-25).