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In what way is this teaching understood and interpreted by two major Christian denominations?

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Introduction

G.C.S.E Coursework: Abortion: Christianity Section B In what way is this teaching understood and interpreted by two major Christian denominations? Introduction The Christian church generally endevers to follow the teachings of the bible, however as different interpretations and moral viewpoints arise, divisions in opinion soon emerge. The Roman Catholic and Church of England, as with many other subjects, have very different views on abortion and interpretations of Bible references relating to the issue. Many Christians believe that direct abortion is always wrong, since it is a direct attack against human life and against Gods wishes and stick to the sixth commandment which prohibits murderous acts. However, under certain circumstances, some can morally justify indirect abortion. An abortion is indirect if a good effect is intended, for example, saving the life of the mother, and the bad effect, namely, the killing of the foetus, is not. The Church of England sees directly killing the foetus in order to save the mother as the lesser of two evils, were as the Roman Catholic Church condemns abortion under all circumstances and believes that life should be left in the hands of God and that it is his to give, as it is his to take away. There are some Christians who believe the Bible says nothing about abortions. ...read more.

Middle

Thus they generally support a form of "Situation Ethics". 'The Church believes the demand for abortions is unacceptably high. It stresses that abortion should happen as early in the pregnancy as possible and only after serious moral reflection. Its view on late terminations (after 24 weeks) of handicapped foetuses is that they should only be given if the baby is likely to die from its deformities soon after birth.' (The Church of England) Some Christian's arguments against abortion Christians who argue against abortion on the basis of Scripture (the Bible) use a number of verses that seem to teach that God knows and plans the life of a person before they are born. In the Psalms David wrote: 'For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be' (Psalm 139:13-16 NIV) The Prophet Jeremiah spoke similar words: 'The Word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you' (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV) ...read more.

Conclusion

'... most women who have an abortion have just made the most difficult decision of their life. No one thinks abortion is a wonderful thing. No one tries to get pregnant just so they can terminate it.' (Taken from 'Why Abortion is Moral') There is also reference in the Mosaic law to what is now called "abortion on request" Num. 5:11-31 indicates that if a husband suspects his wife is pregnant by another man, the "husband shall bring his wife to the priest," who shall mix a drink intended to make her confess or be threatened with termination of her pregnancy if she has been unfaithful to her husband. Aside from these passages, the Bible does not deal with the subject of abortion. A key question in the abortion controversy is, "When does human life begin?' The Bible's clear answer is that human life begins at birth, with the first breath. In Gen. 2:7, God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being" (in some translations, "a living soul"). The Hebrew word for human being or living person is nephesh, which is also the word for "breathing." Nephesh occurs hundreds of times in the Bible as the identifying factor in human life. We follow the biblical tradition today by counting age from the date of birth rather than from conception. The state issues birth certificates, not conception certificates. The question of whether abortion is right or wrong is entirely down to a person's interpretation of the Biblical references. ...read more.

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