Hopewell Presbyterian Church Position Paper on Abortion

We affirm the resolution of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church General Synod on abortion:

We believe that the Scriptures clearly and plainly testifies to the infinite worth of human life by virtue of man having been created in the image and likeness of God, and that decisions about life and death are God’s prerogatives and not man’s, and that even in the case of rare exceptions such as judgments by medical personnel about highly technical medical problems, human judgment should always stand in submission to the divine judgment and wisdom of God.

We also believe the Scriptures point up a unique relationship between God and Creator and the unborn child. And, therefore, regarding the divine mysteries of the conception and development of human life, we dare make no other inference than the conclusion that it is not for men basically to be the determiners of life and death, even for the unborn child. Therefore, in all instances, one should seek to preserve the life of the unborn child.

(Minutes of the General Synod, 1981, p. 402 & 403)

We affirm the duty of our members to protect and defend innocent life as a requirement of God’s moral law:

WLC 135 What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?

A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies, and lawful endeavours, to preserve the life of ourselves(1) and others(2) by resisting all thoughts and purposes,(3) subduing all passions,(4) and avoiding all occasions,(5) temptations,(6) and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any;(7) by just defence thereof against violence,(8) patient bearing of the hand of God,(9) quietness of mind,(10) cheerfulness of spirit;(11) a sober use of meat,(12) drink,(13) physick,(14) sleep,(15) labour,(16) and recreations;(17) by charitable thoughts,(18) love,(19) compassion,(20) meekness, gentleness,(21) kindness; peaceable,(22) mild and courteous speeches and behaviour;(23) forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil;(24) comforting and succouring the distressed, and protecting and defending the innocent.(25)

(1)Eph. 5:28,29 (2)1 Kings 18:4 (3)Jer. 26:15,16; Acts 23:12,16,17,21,27 (4)Eph. 4:26,27 (5)2 Sam. 2:22; Deut 22:8 (6)Matt. 4:6,7; Prov. 1:10,11,15,16 (7)1 Sam. 24:12; 1 Sam. 26:9-11; Gen. 37:21,22 (8)Ps. 82:4; Prov. 24:11,12; 1 Sam. 14:45 (9)James 5:7-11; Heb. 12:9 (10)1 Thess. 4:11; 1 Pet. 3:3,4; Ps. 37:8-11 (11)Prov. 17:22 (12)Prov. 25:16,27 (13)1 Tim. 5:23 (14)Isa. 38:21 (15)Ps. 127:2 (16)Eccl. 5:12; 2 Thess. 3:10,12; Prov. 16:26 (17)Eccl. 3:4,11 (18)1 Sam. 19:4,5; 1 Sam. 22:13,14 (19)Rom. 13:10 (20)Luke 10:33,34 (21)Col. 3:12,13 (22)James 3:17 (23)1 Pet. 3:8-11; Prov. 15:1; Judges 8:1-3 (24)Matt. 5:24; Eph. 4:2,32; Rom. 12:17,20,21 (25)1 Thess. 5:14; Job 31:19,20; Matt. 25:35,36; Prov. 31:8,9

We affirm that God’s law forbids our members from destroying life, or assisting in any way the taking of life, except in cases clearly provided for in Scripture and noted in the catechism:

WLC 136 What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves,(1) or of others,(2) except in case of publick justice,(3) lawful war,(4) or necessary defence;(5) the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life;(6) sinful anger,(7) hatred,(8) envy,(9) desire of revenge;(10) all excessive passions,(11) distracting cares;(12) immoderate use of meat, drink,(13) labour,(14) and recreations;(15) provoking words,(16) oppression,(17) quarrelling,(18) striking, wounding ,(19) and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.(20)

(1)Acts 16:28 (2)Gen. 9:6 (3)Numb. 35:31,33 (4)Jer. 48:10; Deut. 20 throughout; (5)Exod. 22:2,3 (6)Matt. 25:42,43; James 2:15,16; Eccl. 6:1,2 (7)Matt. 5:22 (8)1 John 3:15; Lev. 19:17 (9)Prov. 14:30 (10)Rom. 12:19 (11)Eph. 4:31 (12)Matt. 6:31,34 (13)Luke 21:34; Rom. 13:13 (14)Eccl. 12:12; Eccl. 2:22,23 (15)Isa. 5:12 (16)Prov. 15:1; Prov. 12:18 (17)Ezek. 18:18; Exod. 1:14 (18)Gal. 5:15; Prov. 23:29 (19)Numb.35:16,17,18,21 (20)Exod. 21:18 to end

Adopted by resolution of the Session of the Hopewell Presbyterian Church, 8th day of February, 2001.


Jim Patterson, Clerk of Session — Charles W. Bradley, Moderator