THE CASE FOR THE RESURRECTION OF STILLBORΝS

Carl Hagensick

 

 

>> 1 - PSALM 139:13-16

(Berkeley Version)

 

"Τhοu didst possess my inward parts and didst weave me in my mother's womb. I praise Thee because I have been fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous is Τhy workmanship, as my soul is well aware. My bones were not hidden from Thee when Ι was made in secrecy and intricately fashioned in utter seclusion. Thine eyes beheld my unformed substance, and in Thy book all was recorded and prepared day by day."

 

The King James on verse 16 reads, "in Τhy book all my members were written, . . . when as yet there sere none of them." If the "book" here represents the memory of God as it does in other Scriptures (Psa 56:8; Μal. 3:16), it would seem that the existence ο in embryo Is there recorded from the moment ο conception. This would be consistent with Matt 10:30, where we read that "every hair of the head ί: numbered." If that is numbered, how about the child in the womb?

 

POSSIBLE OBJECTION:

This can be objected to on the grounds that this passage has been applied to :he mystical body of Christ instead of the literal human body. This Is also applied to the natural body in Vol. 5, p. 404 (420).

 

 

>> 2. - EXODUS 21:22-25

(Revised Standard Version)

 

"When men strive together and hurt a woman with child, so that there is α miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined, according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."

 

Since in both alternatives expressed in the Law the woman is described as hurt, the harm that is spoken of must have reference to the resultant child. If this is so, God's perfect Law recognized the miscarried child as a life - cannot we do the same when it comes to recognition of life for resurrection purposes? The Septuagint Translation and Lange's Commentary, quoting from Keil, would limit this to the child in the fetus stage - other translations admit of more liberality.

 

POSSIBLE OBJECTION:

The text is vague and confused in the Hebrew, allowing for possibilities of mistranslation.

 

 

>> 3. -- JOB 3:11-16

 

"Why died I not from the womb? Why did Ι not give up the ghost when Ι came out of the belly? Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that Ι should suck? For now should Ι have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had Ι been at rest. With kings and counselors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves; Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: Or as an hidden untimely birth Ι had not been; as infants which never saw light."

 

It would seem inconsistent that Job, a man who believed in the resurrection of the dead, (Job 14:14-15); would have preferred to have been a stillborn, if there was to be no resurrection of such. This is further emphasized by the fact that he states, he then would have slept with the kings and counselors of the earth, who we expect to have a resurrection.

 

POSSIBLE OBJECTION:

In Job 10:18-19 where he expresses a similar thought, he adds, "Ι should have been as though Ι had not been." This is taken by some to refer to complete oblivion.

 

 

>> 4. - GENESIS 2:7

 

"And the Lard formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

 

E346 and other places define the "breath of life" as the spirit or spark of life. It is not literal air, else in artificial respiration where air is united with a human organism, life would result. The spark of life was that power bestowed by the Creator on the created to utilize the elements of earth in the maintenance of life. Having once bestowed this upon Adam, God does not bestow it individually upon each member of humanity, but utilizes the laws of heredity to pass it on. The spark of life is in the sperm cell which unites with the human organism in the ovum to formulate, at conception, "a living soul."

 

POSSIBLE OBJECTION:

It has been claimed that this power necessitates manifestation in breathing, which is not possible until the infant is released from the envelope of waters. However, it can be argued that the embryo receives oxygen through the mother during the period of gestation.

 

 

>> 5. 1 CORINTHIANS 15:21

 

"For since by man came death, by man is came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so shall all in Christ be made alive."

 

The law of heredity, an essential in the understanding of the philosophy of the ransom, bears out the Old Testament adage that the children die for the sins of the father (Jer. 31:29). The miscarriage, aborted and ' stillborn die just as much from Adamic weakness, rather than for their own sins, as do the adults.

 

POSSIBLE OBJECTION:

It is claimed by some that one does not come under the Adamic curse until he breathes outside air and obtains independent life.

 

 

>> 6. 1 JOHN 3:2

 

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God."

 

In the spiritual, the embryo is recognized as a son from the point of begettal, and thus in full danger of second death. Thus, in the natural the embryo would be recognized as a life.

 

POSSIBLE OBJECTION:

(1) The spiritual cannot be carried back to the natural.

(2) Since the spiritual born" son is riot liable to second death, the reasoning could conceivably tend to prove the opposite.

 

 

>> 7. HAGGAI 2:7

 

"The desire of all nations shall come."

 

This and the abolition of weeping (Rev. 21:4) would seem to be somewhat limited, if mothers would not receive those infants back which they came to love during the period of pregnancy.

 

POSSIBLE OBJECTION:

The other blessings of the Millennium will more than make up for this sorrow.

 

 

>> 8. GENETICS

 

The genes which are united at conception form the nucleus of the characteristics which will be possessed by the infant. There is no basic change in this character make-up between conception and one day following birth, merely α further development of the characteristics. Since the theory of the method of the resurrection and the preservation of identity in the resurrection is based upon God's memory of the character, this would argue that since there is no change in character between the embryo, fetus and newly-born infant, they each stand equal chance of resurrection.

 

POSSIBLE OBJECTION:

This is not a Scriptural argument.

 

 

>> 9. MATTHEW 10:28

 

"Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul, but rather fear Him Which is able to kill both body and soul in hell."

 

Some mothers have deliberate abortions. In other instances the doctor elects to let the child die during labor in order to save the mother. If there be no resurrection of stillborns, the mother or doctor would then have the power to destroy the soul, which this text limits to the power of God.

 

POSSIBLE OBJECTION:

It is claimed that the embryo thus killed is not yet a "soul."

 

 

>> 10. MATTHEW 7:11

 

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your father, which is in Heaven, give good things to them that ask Him."

 

Would not this same principle state that if a mother loves an unborn child, the Heavenly Father loves the child even more?

 

POSSIBLE OBJECTION:

Our love is not always tempered with justice and wisdom. This is an argument from emotion rather than reason.