Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

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Bruce_Campbell
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Re: Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:36 pm

Since the question posed is "does the Bible support abortion", I think a good question is, what does it have to say about it? Personally, I don't think it makes a strong stance either way. In fact, you could argue from some passages that it makes a stronger case for than against because there are many cases of God punishing women with miscarriages, and there are other passages where God kills or commands the killing of young children and babies. The verse you tend to hear from the pro-life crowd is the one in Jeremiah about God knitting him in his mother's womb, but if you take that in the context of the rest of the chapter it seems to be referring to Jeremiah himself.

Unfortunately I'm a little too busy to get too deeply into this right now, so I'll probably come by later and post more specific scripture references, but feel free to use this as a jumping off point.

I think it's also important to point out that abortion is a pretty cloudy issue, and though I'd put myself pretty firmly in the pro choice crowd, I understand why pro life folks believe what they do since I was in that camp for many years myself. This is an issue where people on both sides sincerely believe what they're arguing is for the best, and that's something for us all to keep in mind just in case this gets nasty (as so many abortion discussions tend to be).
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Re: Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

Postby ccgr » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:47 pm

Well here are some scripture verses indicating that God does care for the unborn
Psalm 139:13-16

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Jeremiah 1:5 ESV

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Biblically speaking, God has a plan for us before we're born

While abortion isn't directly mentioned in the Bible, the Old Testament demanded repayment if a woman was caused to miscarry
Exodus 21:22
Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman's husband demands and the judges approve.

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Re: Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:33 pm

This is an issue where people on both sides sincerely believe what they're arguing is for the best, and that's something for us all to keep in mind just in case this gets nasty (as so many abortion discussions tend to be).
^This. All the nastiness and rage aren't necessary, and are in fact counterproductive.

But as you said, people are sincere, and that makes them passionate, and it's hard to remain calm when we feel our deeply held beliefs are under attack.
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Re: Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

Postby storm » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:24 am

when many of the "main line" church's are selling out God for popularity selling out salvation in Christ for Sophie as a second choice selling out family being a man and a woman for man and man or woman and woman and trying to find way that God made us but we also came from monkeys (funny thing there is more and more anthropologists and others are beginning to say the Bible is more accurate than carbon dating) Do you or anyone wander why young people are going for popularity over God ?
Sad thing is we live in a country that is free and safe yet often the strongest in the faith are from places where they are being killed for their faith and third world countries seem to hold to the true faith better
When the leaders of the church sell out then the flock might just follow lucky for em we went to a smaller stronger church denomination Presbyterian Church of America but we are often confused with the main line PC USA who have sold out God (with the exception of the confessing churches) now I am in a Baptist church that believes in family so i have been blessed with strong faith families around me
it is often said the world may change but the WORD of God stays the same sadly now it is the church may change but ....
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Re: Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

Postby ChickenSoup » Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:48 am

Psalm 139:13-16

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Jeremiah 1:5 ESV

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

I don't want to nitpick too much, but I also think context is important. I'm pretty sure the first is a Psalmist (not sure who wrote 139) talking about how awesome God is in His power to create, rather than making a general statement about fetuses, and the second is (IIRC) God talking to Jeremiah specifically.

There's a couple questions on this thread like "How do you reconcile it with the Bible?" and my only response is that in cases like this where something isn't explicitly mentioned, it's up to individual interpretation, and individual interpretation is not something I'm going to judge someone for in most cases.

I think you guys are picking the wrong things to ask us young'uns about, anyway. I don't think you'll find huge numbers of the "New Christian Left" that are passionately pro-choice except for not wanting to legislate religion (which is valid), and at any rate they aren't on this site. I think they're generally more leaning toward the left in other ways, especially in ways that take individual choice or interpretation into account. Additionally, if they feel that way because they feel we shouldn't be legislated religious opinion--that's a great thing.

We might think masturbation (and, for some, premarital sex) is permissible proper context, or that smoking marijuana isn't going to send you on the path to horrifying druggieland, or that drinking is fine, or that welfare programs are warranted, or that evolution was God's mechanism for getting us here, that trickle-down economics are horseplop, or that abstinence-only education is a proven failure, or that the legality of gay marriage or certain cases of abortion shouldn't be decided by religious views. We don't suckle the teat of Ronald Reagan himself, and we are critical of anti-science.

And for all of that, we are just constantly crapped on. I'm not sure why there's a big surprise that church attendance is down. I know that for me personally, it doesn't serve my needs much anymore. I used to be really critical of the guys who went out into nature and found greater peace with God away from the Church ("you need fellowship, guys!") but I find myself more firmly in that camp as I get older. I mean, I've literally had a pastor tell me that my beliefs were tained after receiving a college education because of the bias it gave me.

Let me repeat that slowly. Education--in essence, more information--made my opinion invalid. How cult-like does that sound?
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Re: Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:46 pm

I think C$ said what I wanted to say better than I could have said it. I'm not going to bother posting any verses right now because I don't want this to sound like I'm picking at the Bible, but I will say that the verses that people use to support both sides of the argument are pretty vague and up for interpretation. In other words, I don't think abortion is the black-and-white issue that so many right-wing Christians make it out to be. And I feel like articles like the OP are more political than theological--as if they're trying to say "You don't agree with my politics, so you're obviously not a Christian!"
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Re: Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

Postby Sstavix » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:00 pm

We might think masturbation (and, for some, premarital sex) is permissible proper context, or that smoking marijuana isn't going to send you on the path to horrifying druggieland, or that drinking is fine, or that welfare programs are warranted, or that evolution was God's mechanism for getting us here, that trickle-down economics are horseplop, or that abstinence-only education is a proven failure, or that the legality of gay marriage or certain cases of abortion shouldn't be decided by religious views. We don't suckle the teat of Ronald Reagan himself, and we are critical of anti-science.

And for all of that, we are just constantly crapped on. I'm not sure why there's a big surprise that church attendance is down. I know that for me personally, it doesn't serve my needs much anymore. I used to be really critical of the guys who went out into nature and found greater peace with God away from the Church ("you need fellowship, guys!") but I find myself more firmly in that camp as I get older. I mean, I've literally had a pastor tell me that my beliefs were tained after receiving a college education because of the bias it gave me.
Hey, Ronald Reagan was the last halfway-decent president we had! :P

On a more serious note, what do you think could be done to change this? Or perhaps, more precisely, what approach could church leaders take to attract younger members to the church that wouldn't compromise their principles?

(Incidentally, I was also one of those guys who preferred to go out into nature to commune with God. I was that way for a good portion of my life. Then God told me to do something else. I'm not saying He'll do the same to or with you, but you never know what the future has in store....)

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Re: Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:11 pm

I think C$ said what I wanted to say better than I could have said it. I'm not going to bother posting any verses right now because I don't want this to sound like I'm picking at the Bible, but I will say that the verses that people use to support both sides of the argument are pretty vague and up for interpretation. In other words, I don't think abortion is the black-and-white issue that so many right-wing Christians make it out to be. And I feel like articles like the OP are more political than theological--as if they're trying to say "You don't agree with my politics, so you're obviously not a Christian!"
Agreed with C$, and with this. Especially the last part. My parents and grandparents keep telling me "You can still become a Christian again, you know." All this because I don't want to go to church and be, as C$ said, crapped on for my beliefs. At least on the internet there are (few though they may be) people present a veneer of respect towards our differences of opinion. And I don't really care if you actually respect me, but I do appreciate some level of courtesy.

Needless to say, the church my parents go to and I grew up in...well:
I mean, I've literally had a pastor tell me that my beliefs were tainted after receiving a college education because of the bias it gave me.
That happened to me. My parents treat the views I've held for several years as if I'll "grow out of it." This "you're just a stupid kid, one day you'll grow up and agree with me, and then you will be an adult!" mentality is both highly illogical and rather insulting. I'm willing to have conversations. I am NOT willing to put up with being flippantly dismissed. If you can't respect that we have a difference of opinion, then I just won't talk to you.



On a side note, here's another reason I try to be calm when having an argument:

Some slightly gross imagery (Sneezing), but it does make a decent enough point.


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Re: Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

Postby Sstavix » Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:00 pm

I think C$ said what I wanted to say better than I could have said it. I'm not going to bother posting any verses right now because I don't want this to sound like I'm picking at the Bible, but I will say that the verses that people use to support both sides of the argument are pretty vague and up for interpretation. In other words, I don't think abortion is the black-and-white issue that so many right-wing Christians make it out to be. And I feel like articles like the OP are more political than theological--as if they're trying to say "You don't agree with my politics, so you're obviously not a Christian!"
Agreed with C$, and with this. Especially the last part. My parents and grandparents keep telling me "You can still become a Christian again, you know." All this because I don't want to go to church and be, as C$ said, crapped on for my beliefs. At least on the internet there are (few though they may be) people present a veneer of respect towards our differences of opinion. And I don't really care if you actually respect me, but I do appreciate some level of courtesy.

Needless to say, the church my parents go to and I grew up in...well:
I mean, I've literally had a pastor tell me that my beliefs were tainted after receiving a college education because of the bias it gave me.
The kinds of statements you've been confronted with make me sad. Just because you don't believe X doesn't make you a Christian? What kind of nonsense is that? If you've devoted your life to Christ, that should be enough to make you a Christian. There may be different theological differences beyond that, but if the foundation is there, then the term fits.

Of course, I spent most of my life as a nondenominational Christian myself, primarily because that's the way I was raised, too (my parents tended to avoid established churches themselves because that's how they were raised themselves). Except for a couple months where I dabbled briefly in death-worship, but that's a different story... in any case, whatever other people might say, y'all are alright in my book. :)

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Re: Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

Postby ZealFire » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:10 am

Abortion is murder according the the federal law within the United States. It is only considered positive if done at a location approved by the government. 18 U.S. Code § 1841 - Protection of unborn children: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1841

It is either murder or it is not. What the law does above is explicitly a double standard.

Relevant Scripture Passages: Exodus 21:22; Psalm 139:13–16; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 1:41

These passages show that an infant in the womb is considered a person. Unborn infants in Scripture are referred to as children (Luke 1:41.)

The Scripture states: "And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that the child comes forth, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life...." -Exodus 21:22

Gleason Archer, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, concludes:
"There is no ambiguity here, whatever. What is required is that if there should be an injury either to the mother or to her children, the injury shall be avenged by a like injury to the assailant. If it involves the life (nepes) of the premature baby, then the assailant shall pay for it with his life. There is no second-class status attached to the fetus under this rule; he is avenged just as if he were a normally delivered child or an older person: life for life. Or if the injury is less, but not serious enough to involve inflicting a like injury on the offender, then he may offer compensation in monetary damages..."
For my final statement I'm going to quote CARM:

Premise #1: It is wrong to murder a person.
Premise #2: The unborn is a person.
Conclusion: Therefore, it is wrong to murder the unborn.

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Re: Evangelicals and the "New Christian Left"

Postby storm » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:14 pm

I think it's also important to point out that abortion is a pretty cloudy issue, and though I'd put myself pretty firmly in the pro choice crowd, I understand why pro life folks believe what they do since I was in that camp for many years myself. This is an issue where people on both sides sincerely believe what they're arguing is for the best, and that's something for us all to keep in mind just in case this gets nasty (as so many abortion discussions tend to be).
Must agree it is very cloudy how you stated it
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