6. Are you a murderer?
The sixth commandment – "You shall not murder” Deuteronomy 5:17 (NIV)
You are, perhaps, seeing a pattern here such that, so far, you are guilty of breaking all of the commandments. But, when it comes to murder perhaps you will protest and say that at least on that count you are innocent. However, Jesus has clarified the meaning of murder and has broadened its definition. Jesus said that even where we feel hatred or sinful rage towards another person then it is as if we have committed murder:
21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. Matthew 5:21-22 (NIV)
Apostle John went further in his first letter, saying that if we hate our brother, we are a murderer. By 'brother' he meant fellow believers, not just our natural brothers:
14We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. 16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3:14-16(NIV)
If we use Jesus’ definition of murder, or apostle John’s, then we are all murderers. We need to take that as seriously as they do and repent of hate and rage and confess them to be sins. That said, for many people, the murder they have been involved with is real and literal, not just figurative. Let us consider the tragic situation in the Western world with regard to abortion. Every year in Britain 200,000 unborn children are killed deliberately. Almost always, this is done for purely social or economic reasons and has nothing to do with anybody's medical condition, (not that that would make it right even if medical factors were involved). In the vast majority of cases the mother simply does not want to have the child due to her career, education, lifestyle or finances being at stake.
Our society has convinced itself that there is nothing wrong in this. We go out of our way to use euphemisms like “termination of pregnancy” instead of “killing the baby” or “foetus” instead of “child”. Yet, if we reflect on this, we must conclude that Britain is guilty of systematic mass murder on an industrial scale.
In Great Britain alone, about 7,000,000 babies have been killed so far since it was legalised in 1967. That represents more than 50 Hiroshima atom bombs. It is bigger in number than the holocaust, when 6,000,000 Jews were killed by the Germans. And that is just in Britain alone. Imagine the number of abortions if you were to calculate it worldwide!
Consider how God views that. He sees the unborn baby as a child. He is not fooled or deflected by our politically correct language. Abortion is murder, not "termination of pregnancy". That means that 200,000 murders of unborn children are happening every year in Britain alone. There are about five times as many in America. They legalised it in 1973. God will not just stand by and let all of that happen. His judgment will come. Indeed, it is already coming.
Moreover, bear in mind that any mother, father, boyfriend, husband, doctor, nurse, counsellor, sister, grandparent, friend or relative who advises someone to have an abortion, or assists in it, is guilty too. All of them are accomplices in it and stand guilty before God, just like the woman who has had the abortion. Indeed, they could perhaps be even more guilty if they persuade or pressurise her into agreeing to it.
I realise that those are strong statements. Some may view them as condemning. However, I personally am not condemning anybody, either for this sin or any other. I have no authority to do that. I merely state the obvious and express what the Bible says about what we are doing in our society. Abortion will inevitably bring God’s judgment upon every nation that practises it. Indeed His judgment has already begun, and it will continue. Look at how God viewed the practice of child sacrifice in the days of the prophet Jeremiah. Note the severity of the judgment that God said was coming on them:
4Because the people have forsaken me, and have profaned this place by burning incense in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, 5and have built the high places of Ba'al to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Ba'al, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind; 6therefore, behold, days are coming, says the LORD, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter. 7And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth. 8And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at; every one who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters. Jeremiah 19:4-8(RSV)
When you add up all the people who have been involved in abortion, directly or indirectly, then there could be perhaps 30 million people in Britain who have played a part in it in some way at some time. Even an indirect involvement makes a person guilty. It is just as it would be if you were indirectly involved in an armed robbery where a guard is shot dead. If you were a lookout, or drove the van, or provided the gun, or hid the proceeds, then you would be part of it. The same is true with abortion. That means it may possibly involve half of the British population. Yet, we tend to blank it out of our minds and deny our own guilt. We need to stop deluding ourselves and openly confess to God where we have done things, or assisted in things, which have caused abortion to happen.
If you have been involved in abortion, either now or long ago, whether directly or indirectly, you need to repent and seek God’s forgiveness, just as with any other sin. Until you do, you will never be free from the burden of guilt and pain that abortion causes. People know in their hearts that it is wrong but they suppress the voice of their own conscience. Therefore, if this applies to you, confess it now and you can receive God’s cleansing and forgiveness. It is available to you.
God is ready and willing to forgive the mother, the father, the husband, the boyfriend, the doctor, the nurse, the anaesthetist and all the relatives and friends who assist and co-operate. He also wants to heal and restore them all. But He first requires us to admit to ourselves, and to Him, that abortion is murder and to stop calling it by any other name. Until we do, we cannot get free of the guilt and the pain that abortion causes.
The pain of abortion goes very deep and does not go away. I remember once speaking in an Anglican Church where I was a guest speaker. I referred to abortion, sensitively but openly. An old lady in her seventies got up in the aisle and literally waved her walking stick at me, and shouted abuse. She was letting out her pain and grief over something in her life. I spoke to her later but never got to the heart of what was troubling her. So, I do not condemn her, or anyone else, but I must tell the truth. We are all sinners and we do not help ourselves by denying it, whether in regard to this sin, or any other sin.