CBS Statement on the Sanctity of Human Life | College of Biblical Studies

CBS Statement on the Sanctity of Human Life

The College of Biblical Studies passionately teaches about and believes in the holy, righteous, loving, and forgiving triune God Who is responsible for giving all good gifts to His children (James 1:17). As a community of faith that trains men and women for Christian service, we desire to pursue His holy purposes and model His forgiving, redeeming, love to all with whom we come in contact (John 13:34 and 15:12). In His grace, God has revealed His sovereign purposes in His written Word and in the living Word of the person of Jesus Christ, Who is completely pure and without sin as the perfect High Priest and sacrifice for our sins (John 1:1-18; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 2:21-23; Hebrews 2:17-18, 4:14-15, 9:11-12). While on this earth, we will never live lives of complete sinless perfection as Jesus did or know all that the triune God knows; nevertheless, we desire to emulate the standards of holiness and love that God has established for us. 

Consistent with our mission of providing biblically based education, the College embraces the Bible as the authoritative source of all beliefs about the sanctity of human life (John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible portrays human life as sacred with inherent value because humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27, 5:1-2; 1 Corinthians 11:7; James 3:9). 

As a result, the College of Biblical Studies does not endorse the taking of a life without just cause including, but not limited to, murder, abortion, euthanasia, and suicide.  Capriciously murdering another individual without biblical warrant is an affront to God, Who created man in His image (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17, 19:10; Proverbs 1:15-16; Matthew 5:21, 15:19; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:21; 1 Timothy 1:9; James 2:11; 1 John 3:12; Revelation 22:15). Suicide is an unbiblical way to escape the pain one feels and is never endorsed in Scripture (Judges 9:54-57; 1 Samuel 31:4-6, 1 Kings 16:18-9; 1 Chronicles 10:4, 13-14; Matthew 27:3-5). Abortion is contrary to the biblical mandate for mothers to protect their children, including those who are in the womb (Proverbs 31:27-28; Isaiah 49:15; 66:13). The Bible declares that life begins at conception and that abortion, even when the infant will be born with disabilities or infirmities, is an unnecessary taking of that life (Judges 13:2-7; Job 10:8-12; Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 49:1,5; 

Jeremiah 1:4; Luke 1:44; Ephesians 1:4).  Forms of contraception that have the same effect as an abortion (e.g., morning after pill, abortifacients) should also be avoided. Other forms of contraception should be considered by married couples only after prayer and consultation with appropriate medical and pastoral staff. Forms of in vitro fertilization in which the human embryos and/or fertilized eggs are destroyed and not preserved should also be avoided. 

The human body following physical death still possesses inherent value since it is the handiwork of God and will one day be physically resurrected from the dead (John 5:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:11-15). Consequently, any form of biotechnology that dishonors human dignity should be avoided. While the College values organ donations and non-embryonic stem cell research, an individual should not consider abortion or suicide as a good means to provide stem cells or organs to others.  Forcing euthanasia on some (e.g., aged, criminal, insane, special needs, economically and socially disadvantaged) to take advantage of organ donation and/or generate other societal benefits devalues the inherent value of life.

Situations in Which One May Have a Biblical Cause to Take a Life

There are some instances in which the Bible permits the taking of a human life under specific conditions.  The Bible endorses capital punishment when justly and biblically applied as a means to demonstrate the severity of murder and preserve the dignity of human life (Genesis 9:6; Exodus 21:12; Leviticus 24:17-22; Numbers 35:30-31; Romans 13:4). Christians should be advocates for justice in all areas of society and the world (Deuteronomy 16:20; Psalm 82:3; Proverbs 31:8-9; Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 22:3; Micah 6:8; Matthew 12:18-20). The Bible also allows for killing within the context of a just war or for an agent of the government having just cause to perform those duties required to preserve law and order (Deuteronomy 20:1-4; 1 Samuel 15:3; Romans 13:4; 2 Timothy 2:3). Furthermore, decisions concerning medical life support should also be made with medical and pastoral counsel. 

A Biblical Response to Those Who Have Taken a Life without Cause

As the lives of King David and the Apostle Paul illustrate, the Bible offers forgiveness to all murderers and those who have not appreciated the sanctity of life (Psalm 51:7-9; Ephesians 4:32; 1 Timothy 1:12-16; 1 John 1:9). As such, Christians should treat any individual who has done so with compassion and love in hopes that God may bring such a one to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-10; Galatians 6:1; 1 Peter 4:8). Repentance does not excuse the earthly consequences of such actions, but it does bring the forgiveness of God (2 Samuel 12:13-23).