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Dr. Ed Young - Is a Fetus a Baby?

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    Dr. Ed Young - Is a Fetus a Baby?
TOPICS: Abortion

Let me say something up front: regardless of how you feel about the topic we will deal with today; I hope you will hear me out. I hope you'll hear me out... because we are dealing with the most polarizing and controversial subject in the 21st Century. Make no mistake about it. So therefore, regardless of your position, please hear me out. Hear me out, and to see what I think we need to believe. Perhaps you will not join me in this concerning the miracle of life. Our Scripture is taken from the Book of Psalms. The Psalmist is replying and speaking to God. It's almost like a prayer of thanksgiving or acknowledgement to the Almighty.

Psalm 139, Verse 13 following: "For You formed my inward parts. You wove me in my mother's womb, and I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made". And as I say, "We are", I hope you'll answer in this sermon, "fearfully and wonderfully made". We are... C minus! Here we go! We are... Now everybody! We are... "You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance, and in Your Book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet, there was not one of them. We are..."

Mike Evans was a third year law student at Harvard University, so he printed some little signs that said, "Smile! Your mom chose life"! And he put them on bulletin boards on the campus, you know, those bulletin boards that say, "Couch for sale..." "Looking for roommate". "Want a ride home to Miami in the holidays..." those kinds of bulletin boards that... so he began to put these signs up. "Smile! Your mom chose life". And he put them everywhere. They began to pop up, and the whole student body said, "Who's doing this? Who spreading this all over Harvard campus? Who's doing this"? Finally, someone saw him put one up on a bulletin board, and they turned him in. This third year law student was taken to the dean. The dean said, "You're on probation". He said, "Why"? He said, "Putting all those hate signs on our campus"!

Let me remind you as to where we are in America today. Forty-nine percent of all pregnancies are unwanted. Half of those forty-nine pregnancies end in abortion. In fact, women who are 45 years of age and under; one third of them have had one or more abortions. There have been over fifty million abortions in the United States since Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal in 1973. Over fifty million abortions. This is more lives lost than were lost in the Civil War, the First World War, and the Second World War all added together. We need to break this down as far as per day. There's three thousand, three hundred and twenty-two abortions per day in America. There are a hundred and thirty eight every hour in America. There are two every minute in America.

So we look at these fifty million lives that were lost in the most dangerous place a baby can find him or herself, is in the womb of a mother. We wonder about those fifty million. Were one of those lives-was that someone who could have found a cure for cancer? In one of those lives, did we squelch wonderful talent in the music world, in the art world, in the world of literature, in the world of helps, in the world of medicine, in different worlds of life? All those lost lives? What we've missed out on? I delivered these words last night in a service. After the service, I was shaking hands, and a woman came up to me and she said, "I'm 75 years old". She said, "I know my mother would have aborted me if abortion had been legal when I was born. My mom told me that".

And I said, "Where were you born"? She said, "In a sorority house on the campus of The University of Texas". Evidently, her mother's sorority mates had hidden her pregnancy until she gave birth to this daughter. "If abortion had been legal" she said, "I would not be alive today". I walked over to shake another hand, and a woman came up to me and said, "I was adopted by a family in our church" and I knew her adopted her parents. She said, "Had abortion been legal when I was born, just a little bit before 1973, I am sure my mother would aborted me because she went and lived in a home and then gave me up for adoption". She said, "I would not be alive if Roe vs. Wade would have been on the statutes of America when I was born". And this is where we are in America today. This is the stance that we now have.

Mother Theresa said that "India is a very poor nation; but the United States is a poorer nation than India, because the United States has legalized the killing of the unborn, and therefore" said Mother Theresa, "The United States is a very, very, very poor nation". Today, you are fortunate. I'm not going to preach. No applause! But I'm going to try to have what Franklin Delano Roosevelt called "a fireside chat". And I want you just to listen. Regardless of your position on abortion, I want you to prayerfully, carefully hear me out, and I want you to know that grace and forgiveness is a part of everything we're about. We in this church family, we stand with everyone in every moral dilemma, in every challenging moment of birth, of life, of death, of pain, of divorce, of sickness. We are there. That's who we are as a church family! If you haven't discovered that, you haven't looked around or listened very much.

So let me say, I begin with grace and forgiveness for all of us. That's how the Lord Jesus Christ begins with you and me. He loves us without question. So, in this fireside chat, let me just imagine for a minute, and I have no particular situation in mind. This is a hypothetical, but it's a hypothetical I've walked through many times through the years. Let's say after the service, I'm shaking some hands, and a teenage girl comes out that I have known perhaps through beach retreat or, she just comes out and says, "Pastor, could I speak with you in a few moments"? I said, "Sure, Mary. Just sit down over there in the church, and I'll be in there with you in a minute". And let's say she came in and sat down, and I went in and sat down with her, and I said, "How are you doing"? And she began to cry and sob and she says, "I'm sorry". I say, "It's okay, Mary. That's okay". And then she says, "I'm pregnant".

Teenager, sophomore in high school. And she says, "I don't know what to do". Said, "My friends tell me I should abort the child". She said, "I haven't told my parents yet. I need help". And so I would say to Mary something like this. I will digress, and I would not go into the detail that I will today in this fireside chat; but this is the general outline I would talk to Mary about. And by the way, let me say before I begin to speak with Mary, there are three groups of people here today. There are those who are convinced that the fetus in a female is a human life. You know that. You're convinced of that, and you will be classified as pro-life. There are others here who are unconvinced, and they believe that that fetus is just a piece of tissue. They are pro-abortion. And there are others here who are agnostics.

You say, "I just really don't know. I know it's legal by the law, but I don't know whether that's a life or not". The basic issue, the thesis of all I'm saying has been spelled out by a doctor Hernandez. Look at this statement here: "There is no morally significant difference" see it on the screen "between the embryo you once were, and the person you are now". In other words, my thesis is this, and I would explain this to Mary. I would say, "Mary, I believe that in you, right now, is a little life... a little life. I believe that life starts with conception". And incidentally, I do not know of a single credible scientist who would debate the fact that life begins at conception. Now they can go through some medical gymnastics and try to wiggle around that truth; but I really do not know any credible people who would argue with that fact.

You see, when the 23 chromosomes of the male, the sperm, and the 23 chromosomes of the egg, and they come together, and you have those 46 chromosomes, you have the splitting, bang! At that moment, there is life. There is conception. Now that life is independent of the mother. That life has its own circulatory system of blood, and at that moment of conception, all the DNA is there; all the identity that will grow through that life, beginning with conception; that's beginning with life. It goes all the way until death. What is death? Death is when all the functions of our body or part of the function of our body no longer are coordinated together. See, when we die, our cells still live for a while, but beginning with conception, when everything is there that gives any definition of life, all the way through until death, there we have life.

Now, I would try if I had a piece of paper, I would tell Mary, and I would put a little outline down for her, an outline you'll see on your screen It's an acrostic called "S.L.E.D". "S.L.E.D". Look at it. First of all, people say, "Well, you know, this is not a life because it's such a small thing in the beginning". Let me tell you something: Size does not equal value. That argument is not valid. Then someone say, "Well, here is a 6 week old baby is not as aluable as a 9-year old child..." Or someone who is large is morevaluable than someone who is small... Life is life, and life is life. Size has nothing to do with it. Then you would say level of development. Well, that would determine whether or not this is really a baby or not. A 4-year old is not as developed as a 14-year old. Does that mean the 14-year old is more valid than a 4-year old? Or a 4-day old embryo in the mother? Absolutely not!

So, level of development is not that. Environment! Where you are doesn't determine who you are. Who in the world believes that? And you have a baby that's in the mother's womb, that's the environment, and then that baby moves about 9 inches through the birth channel, and now those 9 inches and that baby is outside the mother's womb; the fact the baby is inside or outside- does that determine whether or not that is a baby? Environment doesn't determine it. Degree of dependency! You say, "Well, when that life can live outside the womb on its own..." When is that? You think a 6-month old is independent? They can just live on their own? Anybody think that? It's not a question of dependency. You think someone who has Alzheimer's that's under hospice care, and has no mind, and they're totally dependent on other people?

You see, there is a slippery slope from abortion, to euthanasia, to infanticide. They all work together, and it is a culture of death we are building in our world in America today. And it is the most divisive issue we have before us, and I would talk in terms of S.L.E.D. to Mary. I would say, "I believe science has proven conclusively that life begins at conception". Then I would say to Mary, "You have some legal considerations about this life that is within you". For example, the doctors, upon graduation, for many, many years would quote, or be charged with a Hippocratic Oath, and in this Hippocratic Oath, there's a little phrase in there that I want you to look at, a very clear phrase. It says, "I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of its conception". Now, they've taken off "from the time of its conception" See? "I'll will maintain respect for the human life from the time it's..."

Now the new Oath in recent years-they've said, "Oh no, not from the time of conception". See what's happened? Now, has there been a medical breakthrough that's proven that life doesn't start with the conception? Absolutely not. It's just a part of the correctness of our society. We use to talk about, about the baby you are carrying... They no longer use that terminology. Let me say this: If that child, that life within a mother; that embryo, that fetus, that zygote-if that is not a human being, totally and completely a human life, then it's just tissue-I have no problem with abortion. But if it is a life, that's a whole different issue altogether, and I would say to Mary, there's some legal considerations. I would say, "Mary, it's wonderful you live in the state of Texas. In Texas, we have the finest laws of any state in the union that will protect that unborn".

You see, that little life inside of that mom doesn't have a voice of his or her own. It is a silent life, and only those of us who are outside the womb can defend that life that is there... Now in Texas, we have a law that deals with all the aspects of what a expectant mother must go through if she considers abortion. The doctor has to offer her a sonogram where she can see what is going on, the stage with that life. The doctor also has to say, "You have to get the permission of your parents". There are a few exceptions, but generally, the parents have to be brought in. Also, there has to be a 24-hour waiting period. Also, the doctor has to remind all that's involved here.

Look what you would see on a sonogram as to how this develops. Look at 21 days! See it on the screen? Genetic blueprint is complete. Eye color, hair color, all of this is there. First irregular heartbeat, 21 days. Look at the next sequence, 4 weeks. Heart, digestive system, backbone and spinal cord begin to come. At 1/4th an inch, the single fertilized egg is now ten thousand times, look at that! Larger than the day of conception. Usually, this is the period beginning here where the girl understands she's pregnant, and things happen. Look at 9 weeks. Most joints are formed now. Fetus will curve the fingers around an object placed in the palm of his or her hand. Fingerprints are already evident in the skin. Average size, length, you see it there, 9 weeks. Look at the next stage, 20 weeks. The weight is about 1 pound. Internal organs are maturing. Eyebrows, eyelids, eyelashes appear. Fetus is about 8 to 10 inches long.

Weight is about 1 pound. There have been those who have lived who weighed 1 pound and a little more. That's how advanced we are in our hospital and our science today. So that is a little life. About 50% of those who weigh 2 pounds in premature delivery, they also survive, and that is wonderful. We're pushing it back further, and further, and further all the time. So I would try to explain to Mary, say, "Mary, look, there are scientific reasons that there is a life within you. Good science. Positive science. Almost irrefutable science. Also, there are moral considerations". You hear someone say, uh, these politicians on T.V. I love how they try to divide this up. They say, "Look, I believe what my church teaches, that abortion is wrong. It's illegal, and I'm against abortion. I don't like abortion; but, I believe in a woman's right to choose". You hear that all the time.

"Now, I don't like abortion..." Let me tell you something: Why does someone not like abortion? If that is not a life, it's just a piece of tissue, what's wrong with abortion? But if it is a life, that's a whole different arena entirely. You see, let me talk about objective fact. This is my wife, Jo Beth Young. Stand up, Jo Beth. There she is, right there! Jo Beth Young is present in church today. That is an objective fact. Does anybody want to debate about that? I see none. That's an objective fact, Jo Beth is here. If I did not see her, would that mean that she was not here, if she were really here? No, no, no. She's here, whether I see her or not, right? Whether you see her or not, she's here. Thank you, Jo Beth. That's an objective fact.

Now, I like vanilla better than I do chocolate. That's a subjective fact. That's my opinion. That's what I like. You may like chocolate better than you do vanilla. That's true to you, but it's not true to me. That is a subjective fact. That's the reason when you see someone say, "I don't like abortion..." It's not a matter of a subjective understanding; it's a matter of what is true and what is not true. It's not like, "I don't like abortion". You see a bumper sticker says, "I don't like abortion, then don't have one". It's not a matter of like or dislike; it's a matter of right or wrong. It's like somebody saying, "Well, I don't like abusing women".

It's not a question of abusing women, whether you like it or not. Abusing women is wrong! It's not right. Taking the life of an unborn is wrong. It's not a matter of likes, or choice, or anything else. That's the reason we have to look at this in a sense of what is true. The whole issue uh, is, for example: Someone says, "Well, this life-we ought to abort this baby because it'll totally upset the life of this teenage girl". Let me ask you something: If that is a life, if that is a life and you come to that very obvious, scientific conclusion, then is it worth aborting a toddler because it will inconvenience the mother? You want to take the life of a toddler? Absolutely not! You want to take the life a toddler because we can't afford to have this child now? Absolutely not!

See, the issue is always a matter of life. If that is a piece of tissue, no big deal! But if it is a life-if it is a life, there's a moral question. The Bible says "Thou shalt not kill". It does not say, you know, "I don't like killing..." That's not how that operates. That's not the arena this operates in, folks. That is where the fallacy comes in. How can someone say, "Well, I wish there'd be fewer abortions..." Why? If it's just tissue? The issue revolves is that a life in the womb of its mother. There is the issue. There is the issue. There is the issue... And then, I wouldn't be this preachy with Mary, I assure you of that.

I would talk about, I'd say, "There are scientific reasons that that is a life. There are some legal considerations. There are some moral considerations here, what is right and what is wrong. But also, there is a Biblical, Biblical word here. The Bible says that human life is sacred". I would say to Mary, "You never do right doing wrong. Two wrongs do not make a right. It's wrong. You made a poor choice. You're pregnant. Don't make a second mistake by giving up this life".

The third thing I would say, "It will be painful to do the right thing for the immediate future, but I can tell you, in the long thrust of your life, Mary, it will be a beautiful thing, and God will honor you in a way you can't even imagine as we are obedient to Him". Over 2,000 years ago, a teenage girl discovered she was pregnant. Perhaps had she lived today, I don't know... but this teenage girl was supernaturally pregnant, and she carried that child to a full term, and we call His Name Jesus.
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