The EFC's Declaration on Human Life
We believe that this is a moment in history when we as a people must challenge current practices concerning human life. We must affirm the rights of the unborn, convince others of the sanctity of life, and seek in every way to eliminate the tragedy of abortion.
We recognize that for too long we have let abortion be carried out in our country with little effort on our part both to convince others of its immorality and to provide alternatives to people facing the prospect of supporting an unexpected child.
We believe the Spirit of God is calling those who follow Jesus Christ to accept personal and corporate responsibility in launching a long-term program to convince Canadians, encourage the medical profession, and press legislators to accept our common task of assisting individuals, raising our collective morality and saving lives.
Our Biblical View:
Recognizing that life is a gift from God, we affirm the inherent worth of human life from conception. Human beings are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26,27; 5:1-3; 9:6; Psalm 8:4-8; 1 Corinthians 11:7; Colossians 3:10; James 3:9). Human life came from God as a special act of creation (Genesis 1:26). Men and women bear a unique likeness to God in the totality of their being. Humankind acts as God’s representative upon earth, responsible for all other earthly creatures (Genesis 1:28). Even though the first human pair, Adam and Eve, marred the divine image by disobedience, that image was not destroyed. Humankind’s unique worth to God continues (Genesis 9; Psalm 8). All humans possess a dignity which must not be violated.
The biblical command to love God and your neighbour as yourself, is the core of our concern for one another (Leviticus 19:18; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9). Christian morality is grounded in this belief. Likewise, Micah’s call for justice and mercy (Micah 6:8) stems from the belief that because all people bear the divine image, the dignity of the least advantaged must be respected.
Human life transcends any utilitarian or functional definition. Hence, we affirm our responsibility to fight injustice, to alleviate human suffering, to uphold the right to life, and to provide for the security of the unborn child, the severely handicapped, and the disabled against all forms of technological and social dehumanization.
The Canadian Constitution:
The Constitution affirms that “Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law…” Because God has conferred a unique significance upon each and every human life, the rule of law must reflect this inherent value and safeguard the integrity of all people regardless of their weakness, incapacity, or dependence.
Feteology recognizes the unborn child as a patient along with the mother. Diagnosis and treatment are now available to both parties. We believe, therefore, that both patients have legal rights. The denial of the rights of either mother or child is without medical warrant. Such denial is a travesty of justice. An unborn child may receive the benefits of medical monitoring in utero to save its life. When a medical institution wantonly attacks the unborn in utero with the single purpose of destroying it, that institution is in violation of both medical and legal principles.
Such abortion treats the unborn child as a commodity, subject to competing concerns such as economic circumstances, career planning and personal convenience. We believe that this extension of the limits of human calculation violates the rights of the unborn child and contravenes the law of the living God. The unborn child should not be required to prove his or her right to life or desirability against the competing interests of parents or society.
In our age of moral and social turmoil, many lives of unborn children are ended to accommodate social convenience. These acts have helped to weaken the social fabric of our society by confusing and distorting the obligation of the medical profession to care for all human life. Our society becomes conditioned to accept killing as a way of solving social and economic problems, thus making way for the acceptance of euthanasia for deformed babies, for the physically or mentally disadvantaged and the elderly.
We are called to oppose the destruction of human life, to seek a biblically just social policy and to be servants in loving, Christian action. We are committed to a comprehensive Christian ministry which speaks to all of life including exploitation, unemployment, the breakdown of the family, child abuse, pornography, racism and idolatrous materialism.
While firmly opposed to abortion, we recognize that those whose views who are contrary to ours should be treated with respect and dignity, and that God’s forgiveness to all.
We call the Church to express the compassion of Christ in supporting mothers in their decision to carry a child to birth. We also urge continuing active support for those involved in parenting and in the adoption and fostering of children.
The church must renew its commitment to teaching a biblical view of sexuality, including marriage, wholesome relationships and the affirmation that sex is a physical endowment, a source of joy and a sacred trust. The Church must also affirm single people in their singleness. We call men to support the role of motherhood and to develop nurturing attitudes toward women and children.
All this we hold by faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Saviour, who entered this world through the process of natural birth and who revealed to humankind the undamaged image of God. He is the way, the truth and the life, and the living example for our lives today.
Published by the Social Action Commission of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada – © 1987