Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Evangelical Christian Ethic for Life (ECEL), VIII: Conclusion

In this rather lengthy series, we have attempted to create a consistent and comprehensive "pro-life" stance for Christians to follow, ensuring that human life and dignity are preserved.

The conclusions we drew are summarized below for convenience:

1. We oppose abortion of any embryo* or fetus in all cases except where the mother's life is in imminent danger.

2. We oppose capital punishment for all crimes except for murder. We support the position that murder is automatically a capital offense, requiring legal execution.

2a. Corrolary: Christians should avoid serving as a prosecutor, jury, or judge in a capital crime, as it is not befitting for a Christian to be involved in passing judgment that causes loss of life.

3. We oppose all forms of human cloning.

4. We oppose all forms of active euthanasia (assisted suicide). We support the right of an individual to deny medical attention (passive euthanasia). We hesitatingly support removal of life support after prayerful consideration (non-active euthanasia).

5. We oppose destruction of embryos for the use of stem cell research, unless such embryos are no longer usable for implantation in the human body. We support the use of adult stem cells for medicinal purposes.

6. We oppose war in almost all situations. Only after strict adherence to the Christian Just War Theory can war even be considered. Thus, we oppose preemptive strikes, wars begun prior to exhaustion of diplomatic options, weapons which create an excessive loss of non-combatant life, or wars against enemies whose damage is uncertain to be lasting and grave.

6a. We recommend that Christians avoid military service if at all possible. However, we do not encourage breaking the rule of law to dodge a draft into military service. We encourage Christians in the military to seek positions which are not likely to result in causing the loss of life, such as administration, chaplain, or medic roles.

* Some Christians might be able to justify that fetal life begins at 8 weeks rather than conception. Though we strongly do not support this theory, it is at least somewhat possible to defend; in this case, the destruction of embryos prior to eight weeks would be logically consistent.