The Old Preacher

Viewing the World through God's Word

Month: August 2015 (page 2 of 2)

The Still-Singing Bird

O PreacherRecently I’ve read books about the persecuted church.  The suffering God calls his children to endure stuns me. For example, one man in an Eastern European country said, “We expect to be persecuted the same as we expect the sun to rise in the east every morning.”

While it’s critical we be informed of such hostility against Christians, it’s as important to be informed of God’s unstoppable saving work.  The latest blog from Ravi Zacharias balances our view–and should move us to prayerful repentance over the devillish lies America is exporting.

The Bird Still Sings: Why Christianity Cannot Be Silenced

Posted by Ravi Zacharias on August 7, 2015

In America now it seems fashionable to mock evangelicalism and try to silence the gospel message. But Jesus is growing His Church across the globe, and historic movements are taking place from China and Korea to the Middle East.

Years ago I read a powerful essay by my favorite essayist, F.W. Boreham, called “The Candle and The Bird.” With his brilliant sweep of knowledge of God’s working in history, Boreham traces how revivals have spread from continent to continent, how when the brilliant flame of God’s moving in the hearts of people seemed to be dying out in one place there would be a fresh spark igniting a God-breathed revival elsewhere.

From Germany through Zinzendorf to England through Wesley and Whitfield to Wales and Scotland, and then to the Evangelical Awakening in America, it is fascinating to see how God has done His work through times and seasons and locations. Boreham distinguishes between extinguishing a candle and chasing away a bird: when you extinguish a candle, the light goes out; when you chase away a bird, it sings its song from another bough. Hence, his title “The Candle and The Bird”—a beautiful metaphor.


In America now it is fashionable to mock the bird of evangelicalism and try to silence it. But the song is being sung on other boughs and historic movements are taking place. In China, Korea, and the Middle East, places where once the gospel’s saving message seemed to be extinguished, churches are packed with hungry hearts, the youth listening to the gospel message with rapt attention. In countries where there was once hostility, crowds fill the auditoriums. In Romania, where to believe in God was once to put one’s life at risk, ten thousand filled the auditorium in which I spoke. From senators and other political leaders there we heard of the dark days of the past and of the shining hope of the future. We prayed in chambers once inhabited by a tyrant and were told this was probably the first time a prayer had been publicly uttered. They have witnessed what Christ-less lives can birth, shattering their countries and their hopes. They can now see that the only possible hope for transforming a heart is Jesus Christ.

But mistakes were made across history and we still have not learned. When the gospel was first taken into places like India and China in the 18th and 19th centuries, it often came on the wings of western political expansionism and the so-called “gunboat diplomacy.” That incongruous combination spelt disaster for both groups. Political imperialism soon lost out, and with it went the missionary effort, seen as being in cahoots with political demagoguery. In a staggering change, now the agents of demagoguery are carrying a different message, basically, “We in America have evicted Christian values and beliefs. We have replaced them with naturalistic assumptions. Mores and the sacred are things of the past. We have silenced those voices … and so must you; if you don’t, you will forfeit all the monetary support we would otherwise give you.” Yes, that is what is happening, and rather than being an influence for good in the world, America is becoming a purveyor of ungodliness.

What those with this monetary “gun-to-the-head” attitude don’t realize is that other countries have seen through this hollowness, and what was once a respected nation is now viewed as a valueless paper machine sinking because it has lost its faith and values. They know it. They say it. They remind us of the emptiness of freedom without responsibility. We are too blind to admit that our gradual collapse has come walking in lockstep with our irreligious handmaiden, toward our disintegration. Jesus cautioned us about such scandalous blindness.

But there is good news. The very nations that evicted “gunboat” missions are now receiving the message of Jesus without the gunboat. Those giving heed to the gunboat of naturalism will accept the gunboat’s benefits but reject the naturalism it insists on because they have already been there and know why they were sinking and in need of assistance. I have had sheiks and mullahs tell me, “Please don’t stop coming; we need you here. We need Christians here.” Those were the very words to me a few years ago from the now assassinated Chief of Intelligence in Syria. He knew the healing balm of Jesus Christ was needed and as we left him, the church leader with me expressed his amazement at hearing such an admission. It just could not be made in public.

The church in China is the fastest growing church in the world. One professor in China told a Christian colleague, a friend of mine, “Stop criticizing Marxism…. It left the souls of the people empty, which is why they are listening to you now.” I can just hear a generation from now someone telling the next generation of preachers in America, “Stop criticizing naturalism. It has left the souls of people empty, which is why they are listening to you now.”

Ironically, in a powerful piece published some years ago in his very popular column in England, self-proclaimed atheist Matthew Parris said that after he had revisited Malawi where he had grown up, he was convinced against his ideological commitment to atheism that what Africa needs is not more aid but the gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone changes hearts. He admitted to speaking with a schizoid struggle, yet he strongly believed that the only hope for Africa was the Evangel: the gospel of Jesus Christ. He ended his article in The Times of December 27, 2008, “Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.” That, from an atheist, is profoundly powerful.

The bird is singing from different boughs … it is not silent. In a twist, down the road our rabid atheism here may one day awaken society to what it has squandered. Yes, it can happen that the bird will start singing again in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, and throughout this land. You would be amazed at the letters we get expressing the disillusionment of people from within their own worldview without values and without God. One professor in California told me that when he was young, he was a radical activist for all the causes that challenged our shared meanings of the past. Now in his veteran years he deeply regrets that wrongheaded life of his youth.

The bird still sings its songs. We hear it and see it as we travel—and I would be remiss if I did not say many thanks to all our supporters who make it possible for our team to get to these places.

The words of Arthur Hugh Clough say it well:

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,

Seem here no painful inch to gain,

Far back, through creeks and inlets making,

Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,

When daylight comes, comes in the light;

In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!

But westward, look, the land is bright!

The mockery will not have the last laugh. You see, dancing on the grave of an extinguished Christianity is farcical at best. Because the grave is empty. And the one who knows the way out of the grave sits in the heavens and laughs.




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Planned Parenthood: Deeper the Darkness

O Preacher How did you react to this latest video?  Ashamed to admit, I got bored during the discussion with the research director—ashamed because they were discussing the sale of aborted babies!  How could I be so callous?

That’s what happens, though.  It doesn’t take long until shocking news becomes ho-hum news.  Frog in the pot with the water’s heat slowly rising.  Being boiled to death, but, used to warming water, he doesn’t realize it!

My reaction changed when we got to the lab.  Back came sickening shock. 

Below is the press release about the video.  Beneath that is a link about how to refute Planned Parenthood’s defenses.  Both are worth reading!  I reduced my remarks to make time for them.  One Scripture first—a warning with which we shouldn’t trifle . . .

“Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed,
For in the image of God
He made man.” – Gen 9:6

HOUSTON, Aug. 4–The fifth undercover video in the controversy over Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts shows the Director of Research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melissa Farrell, advertising the Texas Planned Parenthood branch’s track record of fetal tissue sales, including its ability to deliver fully intact fetuses.

In the video, actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company meet with Farrell at the abortion-clinic headquarters of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston to discuss a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs.

“Where we probably have an edge over other organizations, our organization has been doing research for many many years,” explains Farrell. When researchers need a specific part from the aborted fetus, Farrell says, “We bake that into our contract, and our protocol, that we follow this, so we deviate from our standard in order to do that.”

Asked specifically if this means Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast can change abortion procedures to supply intact fetal specimens, Farrell affirms, “Some of our doctors in the past have projects and they’re collecting the specimens, so they do it in a way that they get the best specimens, so I know it can happen.”

The investigators ask Farrell how she will frame a contract in which they pay a higher price for higher quality fetal body parts, and she replies, “We can work it out in the context of–obviously, the procedure itself is more complicated,” suggesting that “without having you cover the procedural cost” and paying for the abortion, the higher specimen price could be framed as “additional time, cost, administrative burden.”

Farrell finally summarizes her affiliate’s approach to fetal tissue payments: “If we alter our process, and we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers, we can make it part of the budget that any dissections are this, and splitting the specimens into different shipments is this. It’s all just a matter of line items.”

The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2). Federal law also requires that no alteration in the timing or method of abortion be done for the purposes of fetal tissue collection (42 U.S.C. 289g-1).

Farrell also indicates to the investigators over lunch that the specimen sales from her department contribute significantly to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s overall finances: “I think everyone realizes, especially because my department contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States. Larger than any the other affiliates’ combined.” In a Texas Senate hearing on July 29, former Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast clinic director Abby Johnson estimated that the affiliate had previously made up to $120,000 per month off of aborted fetal tissue.

The video is the fifth by The Center for Medical Progress documenting Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted fetal parts. Project Lead David Daleiden notes: “This is now the fifth member of Planned Parenthood leadership discussing payments for aborted baby parts without any connection to actual costs of so-called tissue ‘donation.’ Planned Parenthood’s system-wide conspiracy to evade the law and make money off of aborted fetal tissue is now undeniable.” Daleiden continues, “Anyone who watches these videos knows that Planned Parenthood is engaged in barbaric practices and human rights abuses that must end. There is no reason for an organization that uses illegal abortion methods to sell baby parts and commit such atrocities against humanity to still receive over $500 million each year from taxpayers.”

For help in refuting defenses of Planned Parenthood and critiques of the videos, go here. It addresses the four categories of allegations: (1) it’s a hoax; (2) the videos are edited; (3) the means are dishonest; and (4) pro-lifers are trying to take away the good things Planned Parenthood does.

Yesterday (August 3, 2015), the U.S. Senate failed to invoke cloture on S.1881, a bill to prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.











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 O Preacher A sellfie is “an image of oneself taken by oneself using oneself’s digital camera especially for posting on oneself’s social network.”  Okay, I inserted the last two oneself’s, not Merriam-Webster, to show (as if needed) the self nature of selfies.

old people taking selfies (8)

How counter to culture Jesus spoke!
“If anyone would come after me,
let him DENY HIMSELF . . . ” (Mark 8:34b). 

* * * * *

 It was a rough conversation for the disciples.  First, after Peter acknowledged Jesus as Messiah,  Jesus told them Messiah must suffer, be rejected and killed, then rise again.  Shocked, Peter rebuked Jesus.  Which leads to the second bump in the road—Jesus rebuked Peter, called him Satan, and chastised him for thinking like a mere man and not God.  Now comes the third bump in the conversation . . .

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples he said to them,
“If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself
and take up his cross
and follow me” (8:34).

That’s death language.  “Cross” isn’t shining jewelry; it’s a rough, bloody frame for crucifying criminals.  Jesus will deny himself and take up his cross.  Therefore, anyone who would come after him must follow him by being willing to do the same.

Did Jesus mean anyone who would come after him?  It’s a critical question.  Was this requirement meant only for those first disciples and that crowd?  Look at the broad sweep of Jesus’ words . . .

“if ANYONE  would come after me . . .
For WHOEVER would save his life
will lose it,
but WHOEVER loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it . . .
For WHOEVER is ashamed of me and my word
in this adulterous and sinful generation . . . “

“Anyone” and “whoever” mean “anyone” and “whoever”.  The apostles’ martyr-deaths help confirm it.  So do the martyr-deaths of persecuted Jesus-followers in the world today.  Here’s an example of a woman named Asmita on the 8thirty8 Facebook website ( . . .

A Hindu mob forced her husband, Pastor Digal, to convert to Hinduism or die. When he refused, they buried him in a muddy pit up to his neck for two full days, leaving only his head exposed. At one point Digal asked for water, and one of his captors urinated into his mouth. On the third day, they took him out and asked ‘Are you willing to convert?’ and every time he said no. In response, they cut off each of his limbs, one by one.

“My husband gave his life for the Lord. It’s caused me great problems for my earthly life, but in spite of everything, I won’t deny Jesus Christ, and my children will grow up knowing him!”

Asmita is one of five Christian widows whose husbands were murdered for Christ in Bhubaneswar, India.

And Jesus meant ANYONE.

What does that imply about how we invite people to “accept Jesus”?  You’ve heard it.  “Bow your heads.  Close your eyes.  No one looking around.  If you want to accept Jesus, just slip your hand up.  No one’s looking.  I see those hands.  Now, if you raised your hand, repeat this prayer after me.  In fact, let’s have everyone repeat it (so no one gets embarrassed). ‘Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name.  Amen.'”

Not even a hint of “let him deny himself and take up his cross” in that prayer.  Will someone who became a believer so comfortably be ready to die for Jesus?  Some will argue that Jesus didn’t “spring” this dying thing on his disciples until they’d followed him about two years.  (I guess, timing is everything.)  Most of us have followed Jesus for years.  So how about these questions now?

Am I willing to suffer for Jesus?  Am I willing to die for Jesus?  Tom Doyle climaxes his inspirational, soul-stirring book, Killing Christians–Living the Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe Product Details(, with these words:

 “Did I think just because I live in America that I would never be faced with the possibility of dying for my faith?  Because we have the strongest military in the world, that that option was off the table?  No, friend, that option has always been on the table—whether we knew it or not.  So . . . it’s probably time to settle this in your soul, once and for all.  Take some time to let God search your heart.  Then answer:

  • Am I willing to suffer for Jesus?
  • Am I willing to die for Jesus?

Why are those such hard questions to answer honestly?  (1) Because we are blessed to live in a country where violent persecution doesn’t exist.  But Islamic terrorists are here!  Whether they’re merely ISIS-influenced or ISIS-trained makes no difference when bullets fly.  If they’re killing Christians in the Middle East, how long before they do it here?  And how well-prepared do you think our federal government will be to defend us?

(2) Because we’ve been taught a Christianity of cheap grace (to borrow Bonhoeffer’s phrase).  Salvation is God’s free gift.  If they’ve repeated the sinner’s prayer (above), we’ve told people they’re  on their way to heaven.  In his classic,  The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer challenges us . . .

“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession . . . Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

(3) Because we don’t want to suffer or die.  I don’t.  I want a comfortable Christianity, with every pain healed, every table full, every prayer answered, and a parking space suddenly open just for me.  How different the attitude of five young men on the Gaza Strip!  Ali, a long-time Christian, was discipling Abdul, Isam, Jamal and Mahmoud.  One day Jamal spoke up.  “I want you to baptize me, Ali.  I want to be baptized in the Mediterranean—tonight!  If we get killed, we get killed” (Killing Christians).  That night all four followers showed up and were baptized.

In our “selfie” society, Jesus calls to us as he did his first disciples . . . “If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (8:34).

Here, again are the sobering questions that confront us in “selfie-land” . . .

  • Am I willing to suffer for Jesus?
  • Am I willing to die for Jesus?

Jesus carrying the cross

*Note:  Some weeks after the baptism, Mahmoud went to be with Jesus.  His friends aren’t certain about the source of the explosion that killed him.  An Israeli strike?  A Hamas rocket exploding before launch?  Whichever it was, Mahmoud was walking into one of the refugee camps on his last day to share Jesus among Muslims.

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Human Life in the Womb!

O Preacher I’m tired of hearing news anchors say, “Call it a fetus or a baby.  Whatever your belief system says.”  They say that like we get to decide!  And as if one choice is as good as another!

Below I’ve copied Jason Taylor’s blog, “Between Two Worlds”.  (  Thanks to him for publishing this!

 Please read carefully the summary of what happens in the womb during pregnancy.  It should convince everyone but the most ardent ideologue (or greedy profiteer) that this life is human.  If you had doubts before, this will convince you.  And I’ll bet you’ll find it hard to watch the video above without getting teary-eyed at the wonderful handiwork of God and the abominable ways we’ve slaughtered millions of his creations!

* * * * * 

Francis Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, and Co-Director of the Program in Philosophical Studies of Religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion, at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, is the author of Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press, 2007), the most sophisticated and compelling book on the subject.

In an article he once summarized what happens in the womb throughout a pregnancy:

First Month

Beckwith begins at the beginning:

Pregnancy begins at conception, the time at which the male sperm and the female ovum unite.

What results is called a zygote, a one-celled biological entity, a stage in human development through which each of us has passed (just as we have passed through infancy, childhood, and adolescence).

It is a misnomer to refer to this entity as a “fertilized ovum.” For both ovum and sperm, which are genetically each a part of its owner (mother and father, respectively), cease to exist at the moment of conception.

There is no doubt, he says, that the zygote is biologically alive:

It fulfills the four criteria needed to establish biological life:

  1. metabolism
  2. growth
  3. reaction to stimuli
  4. reproduction.

Beckwith gives two reasons we know that this life is fully human:

First, the human conceptus — that which results from conception and begins as a zygote — is the sexual product of human parents. Hence, insofar as having human causes, the conceptus is human.

Second, not only is the conceptus human insofar as being caused by humans, it is a unique human individual, just as each of us is.

Resulting from the union of the female ovum (which contains 23 chromosomes) and the male sperm (which contains 23 chromosomes), the conceptus is a new — although tiny — individual. It has its own unique genetic code (with forty-six chromosomes), which is neither the mother’s nor the father’s. From this point until death, no new genetic information is needed to make the unborn entity a unique individual human. Her (or his) genetic make-up is established at conception, determining her unique individual physical characteristics — gender, eye color, bone structure, hair color, skin color, susceptibility to certain diseases, etc. That is to say, at conception, the “genotype” — the inherited characteristics of a unique human being — is established and will remain in force for the entire life of this individual.

Although sharing the same nature with all human beings, the unborn individual, like each one of us, is unlike any that has been conceived before and unlike any that will ever be conceived again. The only thing necessary for the growth and development of this human organism (as with the rest of us) is oxygen, food, and water, since this organism — like the newborn, the infant, and the adolescent — needs only to develop in accordance with her already-designed nature that is present at conception.

This is why French geneticist Jermoe L. LeJeune, while testifying before a Senate Subcommittee, asserted: “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.”

Beckwith applies this to each of us:

There is hence no doubt that the development of a unique individual human life begins at conception. It is vital that you — the reader — understand that

  • you did not come from a zygote, you once were a zygote;
  • you did not come from an embryo, you once were an embryo;
  • you did not come from a fetus, you once were a fetus;
  • you did not come from an adolescent, you once were an adolescent.

Consequently, each one of us has experienced these various developmental stages of life. None of these stages, however, imparted to us our humanity.

Beckwith describes the process from implantation through the first 30 days in the womb:

Within one week after conception, implantation occurs — the time at which the conceptus “nests” or implants in her mother’s uterus.

During this time, and possibly up to fourteen days after conception, a splitting of the conceptus may occur resulting in the creation of identical twins. In some instances the two concepti may recombine and become one conceptus. . . .

At about three weeks, a primitive heart muscle begins to pulsate.

Other organs begin to develop during the first month, such as a liver, primitive kidneys, a digestive tract, and a simple umbilical cord.

This developing body has a head and a developing face with primitive ears, mouth, and eyes, despite the fact that it is no larger than half the size of a pea. Toward the end of the first month (between 26 and 28 days) the arms and legs begin to appear as tiny buds.

A whole embryo is formed by the end of the first month.

From the eighteenth day after conception, substantial development of the brain and nervous system occurs. This is necessary because the nervous system integrates the action of all the other systems.

By the end of the twentieth day the foundation of the child’s brain, spinal cord, and entire nervous system will have been established.

By the sixth week, this system will have developed so well that it is controlling movements of the baby’s muscles, even though the woman may not be aware she is pregnant.

At thirty days the primary brain is seen.

By the thirty-third day the cerebral cortex, the part of the central nervous system which governs motor activity as well as intellect, may be seen.

Second Month

Despite its small size, the unborn child by the beginning of the second month looks distinctly “human” (although — as this article maintains — it is human from conception). At this point it is highly likely that the mother does not even know she is pregnant.

Brain waves can be detected in the unborn at about forty to forty-three days after conception.

During the second month, the eyes, ears, nose, toes, and fingers make their appearance; the skeleton develops; the heart beats; and the blood — with its own type — flows.

The unborn at this time has reflexes and her lips become sensitive to touch.

By the eighth week her own unique fingerprints start to form, along with the lines in her hands.

A vast majority of abortions are performed during this time, despite the scientific facts which clearly show that an individual human life is developing, as it would after birth, from infant to child to adolescent to adult.

Can the fetus feel pain at this stage? Beckwith answers:

In an important article, Professor John T. Noonan argues that it is reasonable to infer that toward the end of the second month of pregnancy the unborn has the ability to feel pain. It is crucial to remember that the end of the second month (7 to 8 1/2 weeks) is in the first trimester, a time at which a great majority of abortions are performed and at which the Supreme Court said a state may not prohibit abortions performed by a licensed practitioner. From the facts of brain and nerve development, the pained expressions on the faces of aborted fetuses, the known ability to experience other sensations at this time, and the current methods by which abortions are performed, Noonan concludes from his research that as soon as a pain mechanism is present in the fetus — possibly as early as day 56 — the methods used will cause pain. The pain is more substantial and lasts longer the later the abortion is. It is most severe and lasts the longest when the method is saline poisoning.

“Whatever the method used, the unborn are experiencing the greatest of bodily evils, the ending of their lives. They are undergoing the death agony. However inarticulate, however slight their cognitive powers, however rudimentary their sensations, they are sentient creatures undergoing the disintegration of their being and the termination of their vital capabilities. That experience is painful in itself.”

Third Month

Movement is what characterizes the third month of pregnancy.

Although she weighs only one ounce and is comparable in size to a goose egg, the unborn begins to swallow, squint, and swim, grasp with her hands, and move her tongue.

She also sucks her thumb.

Her organs undergo further development. The salivary glands, taste buds, and stomach digestive glands develop — as evidenced by her swallowing and utilization of the amniotic fluid.

She also begins to urinate.

Depending on the unborn’s sex, primitive sperm or eggs form.

Parental resemblance may already be seen in the unborn’s facial expressions.

Fourth Month

Growth is characteristic of the fourth month.

The weight of the unborn increases six times — to about one-half her birth weight.

Her height is between eight and ten inches long and she can hear her mother’s voice.

Fifth Month

In the fifth month of pregnancy the unborn becomes viable. That is, she now has the ability, under our current technological knowledge, to live outside her mother’s womb. Some babies have survived as early as twenty weeks.

The fifth month is also the time at which the mother begins to feel the unborn’s movements, although mothers have been known to feel stirrings earlier. This first movement was traditionally called quickening, the time at which some ancient, medieval, and common-law scholars thought the soul entered the body. Not having access to the biological facts we currently possess, they reasoned that prior to quickening it could not be proven that the unborn was “alive.” Current biology, by conclusively demonstrating that a biologically living human individual is present from conception, has decisively refuted this notion of “quickening,” just as current astronomy has refuted the geocentric solar system.

During the fifth month, the unborn’s hair, skin, and nails develop.

She can dream (rapid eye movement [REM] sleep) and cry (if air is present).

It is, however, perfectly legal under Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton to kill this unborn human being by abortion for any reason her mother so chooses.

Sixth through Ninth Months

In the remaining four months of pregnancy the unborn continues to develop.

The child’s chances of survival outside the womb increase as she draws closer to her expected birthday.

During this time she responds to sounds, her mother’s voice, pain, and the taste of substances placed in the amniotic fluid.

Some studies have shown that the child can actually learn before it is born.

The child is born approximately 40 weeks after conception.


Beckwith summarizes:

In summary, the pro-life advocate believes that full humanness begins at conception for at least four reasons, which were evident in the above presentation of fetal development:

  1. At the moment of conception a separate unique human individual, with its own genetic code, comes into existence — needing only food, water, shelter, and oxygen in order to grow and develop.

  2. Like the infant, the child, and the adolescent, the conceptus is a being who is in the process of becoming. She is not a becoming who is striving toward being. She is not a potential human life but a human life with great potential.

  3. The conceptus is the sexual product of human parents, and whatever is the sexual product of members of a particular mammalian species, is itself a unique individual member of that species.

  4. And the same being that begins as a zygote continues to birth and adulthood. There is no decisive break in the continuous development of the human entity from conception until death that would make this entity a different individual before birth. This is why it makes perfect sense for any one of us to say, “When I was conceived…”

You can read the whole piece, “Answering Arguments for Abortion Rights,” in four parts:


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