Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, October 3, 2021
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sun 03-Oct-2021 27th of Tishrei, 5782
Ge 6:9-22 Jos 5 Ps 5 Mt 4 (Jas 4)
To Stop or Not Stop Beating Hearts – Part 2 by Dr. Raymond Finney
INTRODUCTION: In response to the controversial Heartbeat Law passed in Texas and other states, I continue this brief series on abortion. The Heartbeat Law illegalizes abortion after the date an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected (approximately six weeks of gestation).
Abortion divides America, and even divides Believers. Public views are drifting toward favoring abortion. If polls can be trusted, a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal and more than sixty percent believe women should be able to obtain abortions during the first trimester (first three months) of their pregnancy. Support for abortion being legal drops significantly as the pregnancy continues– late term abortions are not supported by most Americans. A majority of Americans feel the U.S. Supreme Court wrongly decided in favor of Texas’ Heartbeat Law.
SIDELIGHT: I admire Rabbi Weiner for permitting discussion of this topic. Some persons might consider this RR as hate speech, even though (and especially because) the Bible is quoted. There is now a war against Believers. Anything said or published, using the Bible as a reference or saying or publishing anything that might be offensive to nonbelievers, is at least suspect and more likely considered offensive (hate speech).
Social media may ban much of such speech. The Internal Revenue Service could invoke the Johnson Amendment, removing the non-profit tax status for any house of worship which distributes such “hateful speech” from the Bible. To us, the Bible contains loving comfort and truth; to nonbelievers, the Bible contains hateful discomfort and lies.
Small organizations, such as Shomair Yisrael, cannot survive financially, if they must pay corporate taxes expected of a for-profit business. Sad? Frightening? Yes. But, Yeshua and some apostles prophesied that a battle against and persecution of Believers would happen in the last days. Rejoice that God’s Word is true, regardless of whether Shomair’s 401(c)(3) nonprofit tax status is intact or revoked. We will overcome (1 John 5:4-5): For everyone born of God overcomes the world. And the victory that has overcome the world is this– our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world, if not the one who believes that Yeshua is Ben-Elohim?
Incidentally, this RR is not “hate speech.” To the contrary, Shomair members are encouraged to love all of God’s children, whether a baby is born or unborn and whether a woman is pregnant in or out of wedlock. We should never criticize or belittle a woman because of her pregnancy and any situation leading to that pregnancy which we find distasteful. We should seek ways to comfort and support all pregnant women in the love of Yeshua. END sidelight.
Following are more excuses given to justify abortion and a sample of Bible verses to help interpret these excuses.
EXCUSE– “MY PREGNANCY RESULTED FROM RAPE OR INCEST:”
Woman: “My pregnancy resulted from rape (or incest). God surely will make an exception and permit abortion, because my pregnancy results from such a sad situation. I cannot bear the thought of giving birth to a child whose father is that leering man who forcibly raped me or who is my [relative]. Can I ever love a child who comes from this tragic union?”
● (Ezekiel 18:20): [Adonai said] “The soul that sins, he will die. The son will not bear the iniquity of the father with him, nor will the father bear the iniquity of the son with him. The righteousness of the righteous will be on him and the wickedness of the wicked will be on him.”
● (Genesis 50:20a): [Joseph said] “Yes, you yourselves planned evil against me. God planned it for good,….”
LESSON TO BE LEARNED: I do not possess the wisdom to answer this situation adequately. Few things are as sad as a woman who has conceived through a criminal act against her will, whether she is a victim of rape or incest. It may seem cruel to argue that the woman should bear a child under these circumstances. Yet, we do not know God’s heart in this matter. Some wonderful people have been the product of rape or incest– televangelist James Robison; singers Eartha Kitt and Ethel Waters; journalists Faith Daniels and Kelly Wright; Miss Pennsylvania Valerie Gatto; actresses Zahara Jolie-Pitt and Rosanne Barr; and many, many others.
A woman made pregnant by a rapist or incestuous relative should seek God earnestly and ask for His guidance. Best guidance will more likely come through the still, comforting voice of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, than through any of us.
EXCUSE– “ABORTION IS A POLITICAL ISSUE, NOT A RELIGIOUS ISSUE:”
Woman: “Abortion is a legal issue, an issue to be decided by the legislatures and courts. Citizens and churches shouldn’t extend themselves into the political process. You know, it’s a ‘separation of church and state’ issue.”
● (Genesis 1:26-27): Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness!…. God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.
● (Ephesians 6:12): For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the worldly forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
● (Acts 5:29): Peter and the emissaries replied, “We must obey God rather than men.” [“Emissaries” in the TLV is translated from the Greek ἀπόστολοι = apostoloi = apostles.]
● (1 Timothy 6:20-21): O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, turning away from pointless chatter and the contradictions of so-called knowledge– by professing it, some have missed the mark concerning the faith. [“Knowledge” translates the Greek γνῶσις, (gnosis), commonly called “science,” which Washington politicians are so fond of quoting, when it suits their agenda. Faith should seek the unchanging truth of Adonai. Gnosis, or science, frequently changes as new information becomes available.]
● (Jude 1:3b): … I felt it necessary to write to you urging you to continue to contend for the faith that was once for all handed down to the kedoshim. [Kedoshim is actually ἅγιος (hagios) in the Greek text; in translated English, hagios = “most holy one” or “saint.”]
LESSON TO BE LEARNED: From the split second of fertilization (conception), when a half cell with 23 single chromosomes from the mother’s ovum (egg) unites with a half cell with 23 single chromosomes from the father’s spermatozoon, a zygote, with 23 paired chromosomes, is created. This new being is unique, priceless, and irreplaceable. More importantly, this new being is created in the very image of Elohim, or God (Genesis 1:27). God is an eternal Spirit, and His image in a human is an eternal soul. God has plans for all of His children, even while they are still in their mothers’ wombs.
EXCUSE– “MY BABY WILL BE A BURDEN:”
Woman: “This isn’t a baby I’m carrying. It’s a burden. I need to [go to school,… get a job,… have fun,… fill in the blank ]. I can’t afford a child. Abortion will solve my problems.”
● (Psalm 127:3-5): Behold, children are a heritage of Adonai– the fruit of the womb is a reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they speak with their enemies at the gate.
● (Acts 17:28): [Paul said] “… for ‘In [God] we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His [God’s] offspring.’”
● (1 John 3:1-2a): See how glorious a love the Father has given us, that we should be called God’s children– and so we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Loved ones, now we are God’s children;….
● (Matthew 10:29-31): [Yeshua said] “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them shall fall to the ground apart from your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
● (Leviticus 18:21): [Adonai said] “You are not to give any of your children in sacrifice to Molech, and defile the Name of your God. I am Adonai.”
LESSON TO BE LEARNED: To reiterate, from the moment of fertilization (conception), a child of God is created. This new creature is unique, priceless, and irreplaceable. More importantly, this new being is created in the very image of Elohim (God). God has plans for all of His children, even while they live in their mothers’ wombs.
Let me explain the Leviticus 18:21 verse. Several references in Leviticus prohibit God’s people from worshiping Molech (Moloch). Isaiah explained that some Israelites worshiped the ancient Canaanite idol because they believed they would prosper and be happier through sacrificing their children to Molech. Molech was an iron statue with hollow belly and outstretched arms. (Picture a large pot belly stove with arms and a bull’s head.) A roaring fire was built in Molech’s belly, and its arms became extremely hot. A living baby was placed in Molech’s arms to be sacrificed in the cruelest manner.
What does this ancient practice of idolatry have to do with abortion? Studies in America (Guttmacher Institute) and Great Britain (British Pregnancy Advisory Service)
show that many women today seek abortion as a form of birth control. Pregnancy and delivery of a child would be inconvenient for them (interfering with job, school, career, courtship, etc.). If today’s women get an abortion so that their lives may continue without the inconvenience of pregnancy (so that they “prosper”), is modern abortion really that much different than ancient Molech infant sacrifices?
EXCUSE– “I HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO CHOOSE DEATH FOR MY FETUS:”
Woman: “As this fetus’ mother, I have the right to choose to have ‘it’ terminated. I understand the ‘procedure’ rids my body of the ‘clump of cells’ growing in my womb.”
● (Exodus 20:13 – one of the Ten Commandments): [God said] “Do not murder.” (The King James Version is poorly translated as, “Do not kill.” The Hebrew word is רָצַח (transliterated rāṣaḥ, pronounced raw-tsakh’). Proper translation implies an intentional, premeditated taking of life (murder), which is contrary to God’s desires, as opposed to death by accident, self-defense, or government-ordained war. Abortion is premeditated. The Bible’s view on killing a human coincides with American jurisprudence. For example, premeditated (first-degree) homicide is a capital crime, whereas accidental homicide is not.
● (Exodus 23:7b): [God said] “… Do not kill the innocent and the righteous, for I will not justify the guilty.”
● (Psalm 31:14b,16): … There is terror on every side as they conspire against me and plot to take my life. |…| My times are in Your hands. Deliver me from the hands of my foes and from those who pursue me.
● (Proverbs 6:16-17): Six things Adonai hates, yes, seven are abominations to Him: [one of which is] … hands that shed innocent blood,….
● (Job 12:10): In [Adonai’s] hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all the human race.
● (Psalm 8:4-5): When I consider Your [Adonai’s] heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You established– what is man, that You are mindful of him? And the son of man, that You care for him?
● (Psalm 71:18): So even until I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, till I tell of Your strong arm to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come.
LESSON TO BE LEARNED: God reserves the right to determine how long each person may live. No one should presume to make that decision for Him. We cannot kill the innocent and not incur the wrath of God.
There is a distinct difference in pregnancies destined for delivery or destined for abortion.
● If the pregnancy is to be carried to term and delivered, both the pregnant woman and her husband (partner) come to the obstetrician’s office. Conversation with office staff is joyful and pleasant. They talk about her “baby.” The woman laughs. She looks at the sonogram screen with great interest and love, and wants image copies to give to grandparents.
● If the pregnancy is to be aborted, the pregnant woman usually comes alone to the abortion clinic (no husband, often no relative or friend), as abortion is commonly performed secretly with no support persons. Conversation with clinic staff staff is guarded and very business-like. They never talk about her “baby,” but, if necessary, talk about her “fetus.” The woman seldom or never laughs, but is as silent and grim as necessary to get through this ordeal. She probably is never shown a sonogram of her pregnancy; if shown a sonogram, she might suddenly realize, “Hey, that looks like a baby, not a ‘blob of cells.’”
CONCLUSION: I expect the Heartbeat Law of Texas and other states to be made moot by federal legislation in the near future. The Biden administration has endorsed a bill– the Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755) – that would guarantee legalized abortion “without limitations” and overturn hundreds of state-level pro-life laws.
What pro-choice (pro-abortion) crowd wants and what they will pressure their pro-choice politicians in Washington to deliver is this: abortion at any stage of gestation, even at full, nine-month term, is legal; abortion is a right; and the government should pay for this right (free COVID shots and free abortion = same, no big deal).
President Joe Biden has a Democratic Party-controlled Congress. Ready access to abortion is a key component of the Democratic Party’s platform. President Biden has strongly complained about Texas’ Heartbeat Act, and Speaker Pelosi has vowed to overturn it by federal legislation. Most Washington Republicans are spineless and will counter only with mild, perfunctory “outrage” and “concern.” Some will also offer “thoughts and prayers” to pregnant women who might be considering abortion.
Is God proud of America, when we abort hundreds of thousands of His children each year? We Believers hold the key to changing America through a right relationship with Adonai (2 Chronicles 7:14): [Adonai said] “… when My people, over whom My Name is called, humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” I have not seen much of God’s people being in compliance with this message. Have you?
I had intended to stop this series after two RRs. As I wrote this second RR, verses of Daniel 5:25-28 kept running through my mind. I will write a third RR next week, based on the frightening message God sent King Belshazzar: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin.” Is God ready to send America a similar message? Shalom and Maranatha.