PASTOR EDWARD: Many of you have written to me recently to ask if the EPC as a denomination was going to respond publicly to recent legislation in New York that loosens restrictions on abortion, as well as judicial action around the country that has weakened protections of the unborn.
Like you, I—and all of us at the national level of the EPC—am grieved and frustrated over the expanded assault on the unborn.
Please know that we strongly affirm Scripture’s very clear message that abortion is nothing other than the taking of an innocent life. At the same time, as Christians we are called to love and support those who have experienced the physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds that result from a terminated pregnancy—whatever the reason.
The National Leadership Team has approved release of the following statement, which is being posted to our public communication channels today (February 18):
“In light of recent legislation at the state level regarding abortion, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church continues to strongly and unequivocally affirm the dignity and value of every human life—born and unborn.
The EPC’s Position Paper on Abortion states that the Bible does not distinguish between prenatal and postnatal life. It attributes human personhood to the unborn child. This extends to the unborn child ex utero as no less a human being than the child in the mother’s womb.
Since abortion was legalized in the United States in 1973, more than 61 million Americans have been denied the rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This concept is such a fundamental principle that it appears in the very first sentence of the Declaration of Independence, written almost 250 years ago.
Yet even more fundamental is the truth of Scripture, which was written more than 2,000 years ago and very clearly teaches that life begins at conception. To wit:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV).
“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” (Psalm 139:15 NIV).
“Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name” (Isaiah 49:1 NIV).
“for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born” (Luke 1:15 NIV).
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth
was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41 NIV).
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church grieves over the murder of more than 61 million unborn children who were made in the image of God. We also stand in strong opposition to the legal and political decisions that have led to this tragedy. At the same time, we will continue to offer a loving and supportive community to those who have experienced physical, emotional, or spiritual wounds as a result of undergoing an abortion (or placing a child for adoption), and support those groups, parachurch ministries, and sponsoring agencies that offer viable alternatives to abortion.”
Please feel free to post this statement on your church website, personal blog, or any other forums you feel would be appropriate. Click here or go to www.epc.org/files/
Thank you, and may God bless you and your ministry for Jesus Christ.