THE ROOT OF THE ABORTION CONTROVERSY

THE DOGMAS OF THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL AND THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

PLUS THE CONCEPT OF "ENSOULMENT"

The TRUTH from the BIBLE:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen. 2:7.

We know that the first great lie of Satan which deceived Eve and seduced Adam through his devotion to her was the statement "Thou shalt not surely die." Thus was mistrust of God's Word implanted in man to separate him from his Creator. The lies of Satan have flowed as a torrent since then, to widen the separation from God and bind the deceived ever more closely to the arch enemy of man. Tragically, we live at a time when delusive doctrines and ideologies prevail on every side, and the prophetic question posed by Jesus Christ, "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" is fulfilled to the extent that even those to whom the Truth was commited in sacred trust are among the deceived. Our only protection against the delusions prophesied by the Apostle Paul in II Thess. 2:11-12 is a sure knowledge of Bible Truth, to be applied to every doctrine and ideology, no matter how sound it appears to be morally on the surface. We cannot afford to be governed by emotions in this final conflict between Truth and error!
This applies to the entire range of the attractively packaged Roman Catholic Social Doctrine. Rome's theology has permeated the governance of the United States. We need to be alert to the advances made in giving life to the Image to the Beast of Rev. 13:14-17, and be careful lest we unwittingly participate in the process. This applies to the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine in general, and especially to abortion and birth control, which contain the deadly poison of that first great lie, the immortality of the soul.

Here the following statements made by Christian Edwardson in Facts of Faith are worthy of mention:

The prophet continues: "He spake as a dragon." ... A nation speaks through its laws. This prophetic statement, therefore, reveals that a great change in policy is to come over our beloved country. The "dragon" is a symbol of pagan Rome, that persecuted the early Christians during the first three centuries. . . . This prophecy also reveals what influence will be brought to bear upon our lawmakers and people to produce this sad change. We have already seen that "the first beast" of Revelation 13:1-10 represents the Papacy, and by reading the eleventh and twelfth verses we see that the effort of the lamblike beast will be to cause "the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." That is: The whole trend is Romeward, therefore it must be Rome that is working in disguise to bring about such a trend. (p.239)

The Papacy was formed by a union of church and state, which resulted in the persecution of dissenters. An "image," or "likeness" to the Papacy in America would be a union of church and state, or a co-operation between them, as in the days of papal Rome. And, seeing it is to be "an image to the beast," it cannot be the beast itself, but must be an effort started among Protestants, who desire the aid of the state to enforce some of their dogmas. (p.302)

The history of this nation for decades past, and especially during the last three decades, bears out the accuracy of Christian Edwardson's analysis of the prophecy (Cf. Making America Catholic.")

A current event of the week ending May 11, 2013, demonstrates how Rome is advancing her theology by the legislation of fetal homicide laws "under the radar" in no less than 38 States of America:

Should Ariel Castro Be Prosecuted for Fetal Homicide

Abortion Is Murder, According to Fetal Homicide Laws - "If the wording of the laws doesn’t change, then fetal homicide laws as they exist now will eventually sneak up behind a woman’s right to choose, possibly taking it away entirely."

Fetal Homicide Laws - "At least 23 states have fetal homicide laws that apply to the earliest stages of pregnancy ('any state of gestation,' 'conception,' 'fertilization' or 'post-fertilization')"

Although references to abortion in the Bible are limited, there is enough to establish that the Roman Catholic teaching being enacted directly and indirectly into laws by the federal and state legislatures of America is contradicted by the Scriptures. Here is what John V. Stevens, Sr., discloses in The Abortion Controversy, Chapter 9, pp. 158-159:

God also watches over lesser creatures in their development, inasmuch as He has established the birth process. The human fetus is to be held in high regard; however, to assume that the taking of a fetus through abortion constitutes an act of killing or murder is going beyond clear Scriptural teaching. A seed grows but does not become a plant until it comes out of the soil. Likewise, a baby, in becoming a person, awaits the birth process, when it leaves the mother's womb and its borrowed life.

How does God deal with an accidentally caused miscarriage? The most obvious meaning of Scripture we shall examine shortly is that the developing baby is not recognized as a human person with the same protection under the law as one already born. And the one who caused the miscarriage is not charged with murder or manslaughter but rather is required to pay a fine, based on the property value of the fetus. Only two passages in the entire Scriptures deal with abortion. One is an accidental miscarriage, and the other is a planned and biblically required abortion procedure.

The first is found in Exodus:

"If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely by punished accordingly as the husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But 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." [Exodus 21:22-15.]

In this passage two men are fighting, and in the process a pregnant woman interferes and gets jostled. As a result, her developing baby miscarries. The mother is given legal protection as a person, but her miscarried developing baby is not given the same protection. It was considered a valued property but did not have the standing of a person until birth. Consequently, any injury to the woman carried the penalty of a similar injury to the offender.

This statutory law God gave stands unequivocally against any effort to give the unborn equal or priority religious/legal protection over the mother. Leading Jewish Hebrew-language scholars state clearly that the historical understanding of this passage is that it is dealing with a miscarriage and not with—an act of killing. If God considered the fetus a human person, then an accidentally induced miscarriage would have been manslaughter and could have been punishable by death. God established capital punishment in the Old Testament for premeditated murder—and in some instances of manslaughter.' If one were guilty of manslaughter, the avenger, usually a relative, had the right to take the life of the one who committed manslaughter—prior to the guilty one's safe arrival at a city of refuge—providing that the avenger had two or three credible eyewitnesses.

A Baptist scholar, Graham Spurgeon, in discussing the Exodus passage, reiterates that a fetus is not a person according to the Bible:

"These verses in Exodus, by the way, are backed up by four thousand years of Jewish law; abortion has never been considered murder in Jewish law. A fetus is only a potential person. Incidentally, the fine the Israelite man had to pay was not for the fetus; it was for hurting the woman. This is made clear in another translation of the same verses (Revised Standard Version) `The one who hurt her (the woman) shall be fined: There was no fine for hurting the fetus because it was not considered a person:'

-+++++

How would the law have been written had God given personhood status to the fetus? First, no fine would be paid to the potential father. Second, the miscarried baby's death would have demanded the death of the one who jostled the woman and caused the miscarriage. Neither of these factors is involved in the law. God purposely bestowed personhood at the time of birth, and that will be Where did the idea of an Immortal soul originate?dealt with in great detail. So if God recognized the developing baby as a human person, then an accidentally caused miscarriage would be manslaughter, punishable by death unless the guilty party reached the city of refuge safely. Or if the miscarriage were brought about on purpose, then the death penalty would surely follow. But obviously, that is not the clear meaning.

In Scripture God does not call for a manslaughter or murder punishment for an accidentally caused miscarriage—but only for a fine. The distinction between the fine for the miscarriage and the penalty for injuring or killing the mother is clear. The fact that God is speaking personally and directly and that the passage comes from the statutory portion of the Scripture makes it of even greater authenticity and force.'

The inescapable conclusion of the most obvious meaning of Exodus 21 is that God does not recognize the fetus as a human person. Such a fetus is not given the same protection under the law as one having been born. In Jewish legal reckoning, the fetus is to be regarded as part of the pregnant woman.

This is in agreement with the passage found in the book of Numbers, chapter 5. In that passage a woman, guilty of infidelity resulting in a pregnancy, was required to have an induced miscarriage, as a result of the law that God established. The Scripture refers to this miscarriage as the belly swelling and the thigh rotting—the fetus being expelled. This is also consistent with the principle that the fetus has only borrowed life from the mother, whose blood feeds the fetus oxygen, causing it to develop and grow. The position is also in harmony with Scriptures that attribute life and personhood only when one is breathing, following birth. Hence, birth marks the beginning of personhood. (Pp.159-160.)

The dogmas of the Immortality of the Soul and the Immaculate Conception interlock at the root of the relentless drive of the Roman Catholic Church to outlaw both abortion and contraceptive birth control. Immortality of the human soul and the existence of a soul separate from a human body are totally foreign to the Bible. The idea of an immortal soul did not exist in the early Christian Church, but was introduced by the early church fathers so revered in the Roman Catholic Church. They were candid in acknowledging that the concept was derived from pagan philosophy. It became Roman Catholic dogma at the Fifth Lateran Council in the following terms:

It is sometimes harshly said that almost more important than what was done at this council is the question why almost nothing came of its various activities. But in the first of the sessions under Leo X where decrees were voted, December 19, 1513, there is an important definition regarding the faith. The occasion of this was the reappearance of the atheistic philosophy of Averroes, particularly in the university of Padua in the teaching of a leading thinker of the day, Pietro Pomponazzi. The council now condemns (with no mention of any particular teacher) all who assert that the intellectual soul in man is mortal, or that there is but one single intellective soul [operating] for the whole human race. The intellectual soul is, per se and essentially, the form of the human body, as Clement V at the General Council of Vienne has taught already. This soul is immortal, and is single for each individual of the multitude of human beings. "Moreover, since one truth cannot contradict another truth, every assertion contrary to the truth of faith we define to be altogether false"- -this against those who say that these errors about the immortality of the soul and its singularity (i.e., that for each human being there is a separate individual intellectual soul ) are true, at least philosophically speaking. All who teach otherwise than the council are condemned as heretics and infidels, and must be punished accordingly.

(Cf. Where did the idea of an Immortal soul originate?; THE CHURCH IN CRISIS: A History of the General Councils: 325-1870)

Consistent with the "whole Romeward trend" of christendom for over a century, the dogma has been embraced by apostate Protestantism without considering its pagan source and its contradiction of Bible doctrine. (Cf. False Christian Theology)

The dogma of the Immortality of the Soul is central to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Assumption of Our Blessed Mother states this:

This primitive state before the Fall included the gift of sanctifying grace and the lesser preternatural gifts of immortality — that is freedom from death, or from the capacity to decay and disintegrate. God alone is absolutely immortal. His spirit is eternal by its very nature. He always has existed and always will exist. He cannot not exist. Natural immortality belongs to all spiritual persons, angels and human souls. Their immortality is not absolute because God could cause them to cease. Freely given immortality is a special grace, given by God to our first parents Adam and Eve, freedom from bodily death, and from separation of soul from body.

This extraordinary gift of immortality is one that Mary Immaculate received from God because of her being prepared to be the mother of Jesus Christ. Thus, we can see that the interrelationship of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption is fundamental, and the logical consequence of sinlessness is the freely given gift of God to Adam and Eve and the new Eve, Mary. Attentive to her prerogative as the mother of the promised Messiah, we cannot help but see that she was given a glorified body at the time of her death. The glorified body is completely free from every kind of physical depravity, such as sorrow, sickness, injury, or death, so that it cannot suffer or die. This gift of impassibility is the result of a perfect agreement of the body and emotions to the soul.

Another Roman Catholic source states this:

There is a systemic flaw that is endemic to the way the Roman Catholic Church operates and it is predicated on what the Church calls "natural law." Natural law is presumed to be immutable God given "truths;" most notably those which address ethical, moral, and theological beliefs the Roman Catholic Church believes are obvious via reason to the human person. Moreover, once identified and articulated by the Church especially if codified as Church dogma or doctrine, such "truths" are not only immutable but any new understanding of what that "truth" speaks to predicated on new information or interpretation must conform to the already existing body of natural law.

For example, consider the Roman Catholic Church's position on abortion. In the primitive Christian Church there was no consensus on when human life or ensoulment occurred. Most often individual bishops made the decision for their diocese predicated on Plato's comment in the *Republic* which was at "quickening," or a live birth, or imposed their personal opinion. Three early Church Councils: Elvira (303-309), Ancyra (314), and Trullo (692) all in what is now Spain, reached different opinions but these opinions were not accepted by the universal Church. Pope Sixtus V in 1588 declared that both contraception and abortion resulted in excommunication. However, his successor Pope Gregory XII lifted the ban on contraception and made abortion after "quickening" a sin but not one of excommunication.

It is clear from the above that until 1588 the Roman Catholic Church had discerned no natural law regarding abortion. However, that was to change in 1854 when Pope Pius IX declared the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception is the belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was born without "the stain of Original Sin on her soul" so that she could give birth to Jesus as both fully human and fully divine. Thus according to the Dogma there could be no question of when the fetus that would become the person Mary was conceived, became human, or was ensouled.

St. Augustine, the author of the concept of Original Sin in the late fourth century, stated that Original Sin is passed to the next generation by sexual intercourse that results in conception. As Mary was born without Origin Sin, the Roman Catholic Church declared that ensoulment occurred at the "moment of conception." Thus with the "moment of conception" now defined as the beginning of human life, human person hood, and ensoulment, the Dogma codified these "truths" as natural law. (Natural Law and Abortion [August, 2015: This article appears to have been expunged from the UUC site])

Here is the rarity of a Roman Catholic criticizing his Church's teachings; but there is no doubt that the criticism is well-founded.

To conclude this analysis of the root of the abortion controversy and the factor of "ensoulment" here are some further revealing quotations:

In The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph #2322 states that “from its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion . . . is a criminal practice, gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.”[1]

In an amicus curiae submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in October 1988, the Eastern Orthodox Church stated its conviction that “modern science has borne out the prescient wisdom of the Holy Fathers of the Church, that life begins at conception, and at no other arbitrary or scholastically derived juncture.”[2]

In May of 1982, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a “Resolution on Abortion and Infanticide” which contained the following phraseology: “Whereas, Both medical science and biblical references indicate that human life begins at conception. . . . Be it finally RESOLVED, That we support and will work for appropriate legislation and/or constitutional amendment which will prohibit abortions except to save the physical life of the mother. . . .”[3]

And on January 22, 2007, Bill H.R. 618 was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)—a Southern Baptist—proposing that the terms “human person” and “human being” be defined as “each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including, but not limited to, the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.”[4]

The examples above give clear evidence that a majority of Christians in the modern world believe (or are supposed to believe) that human life begins at the moment that sperm and egg unite. But in the history of Christianity there has never been a united voice on this issue. In actuality, neither the Christian scriptures nor modern science provide sufficient data to enable us to draw indisputable conclusions regarding this topic. But much of our confusion may be attributed to our failure to distinguish between the concepts of “life” and “ensoulment.”

Until quite recently, non-human creatures have been considered as lacking “something” that distinguishes human beings from all other living forms on the planet. Philosophically and religiously speaking, this distinctive aspect is called “the soul;” an immaterial “something” that endows a human being with an intellect, emotions, a will, and an autonomous “sense of self.” It is one thing to speak of “when life begins,” but quite another to speak of “when the soul enters” or “is present” in a human body. These are entirely distinguishable items, and though they may be simultaneous in their origins, they are not necessarily so.

Ensoulment in Scripture and Christian History

The canonical Scriptures of the Christian faith do not directly answer the question of when “life” begins or when “ensoulment” occurs. To illustrate: Psalm 139:13, which contains David’s conviction that “you [God] created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb,” is often used as a model verse for Christian Pro-Life activists. The literary genre of the Psalms in general, as well as the context of this particular psalm, are not scientific in orientation. David is using the forms that are appropriate in a psalm—poetry and metaphor—to teach his listeners that God is to be praised because the Creator cares enough to know David intimately. Even if for the sake of argument we were to consider this passage literally rather than metaphorically, it may still be construed as saying no more than that God sovereignly brought about the life of David, one of his closest followers and “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14). The passage does not necessarily imply that God “creates the inmost being” of every fetus in every womb; nor does the passage address the issue of when such an inner-being creation occurs.

Looking to the “roots” of Christianity, we find that in Jewish law a fetus is not considered to be a full-fledged human being until its head emerges from the womb. Before that moment, “the fetus is the thigh of its mother” (ubar yerekh imo), meaning that it may not be considered an independent entity but instead a “partial life.”[5] This view is based on Exodus 21:22, which says that if a woman miscarries due to being struck by men fighting and she herself is not seriously injured, the offender is to pay the husband of the woman a monetary fine for the loss. Since the Mosaic Law requires a “life for a life” (Exodus 21:23), the above scenario implies that the fetus is of worth (since payment is required for its destruction) but not of equal worth to the life of a born human being (otherwise the punishment of the offender would be death). In addressing the issue of ensoulment, Philo (20 BCE—50 CE) used the scenario of Exodus 21:22 as his starting point. “If one have a contest with a woman who is pregnant, and strike her a blow on her belly, and she miscarry; if the child which was conceived within her is still unfashioned and unformed, he shall be punished by a fine, both for the assault which he committed and also because he has prevented nature—which was fashioning and preparing that most excellent of all creatures, a human being—from bringing him into existence. But if the child who was conceived has assumed a distinct shape in all its parts, having received all its proper connective and distinctive qualities, he shall die; for such a creature as that is a man, whom he has slain while still in the workshop of nature. . . .”[6]

Philo held that the time of having assumed “a distinct shape in all its parts” was the fortieth day after conception. But not all Jewish thinkers have concurred. During the Middle Ages, for instance, the issue of “doubtful viability” was introduced which held that an embryo remains an embryo until thirty days after its birth, becoming only then a bar kayyama, a viable, living being.[7] Because of the ambiguity of the scriptural passages cited above and the precedents established by Jewish law, the history of Christianity has seen the development of three distinct views of ensoulment: Pre-existentianism, Traducianism, and Creationism. . . .

Conclusions:

We as Christians are called upon to speak about that which science—with all of its remarkable and subtle instruments—can say nothing. It is our lot to speak of “the soul;” of how its presence within a collection of living tissues distinguishes mere “biological life” from truly “human life.” We believe that inherent in this task are at least three objectives to which we should give our full attention.

First, we must teach in our churches and in our classrooms in such a way that the general public understands that the matter of ensoulment should never be viewed simplistically. We must show by example that the implications of such a complex issue must not be undermined by denial or neutrality, but should be approached in a loving, fair, and nonjudgmental fashion. We must explain that religious beliefs regarding this subject—even within Christianity—span a very wide spectrum, and all attempts to simplify these matters in an unrealistic manner will doom us to continued misunderstandings and acrimony.

Second, in our discussions we should adopt a vocabulary that avoids hyperbole and unwarranted assumptions. Terminology that is brutal and accusatory, such as “murderers” and “baby-killers,” should be eliminated. If there is no incontrovertible revelational teaching regarding this issue, might we not essentially be violating a moral requirement that is incontrovertible (i.e., “thou shalt not bear false witness”) by misinforming the public concerning “what God has said” regarding these subjects? Why not focus our attention and resources on larger issues, such as the spiritual, sociological, psychological, and physiological tragedies that give rise to the very ethical issues we are discussing? After all, there are many reasons for objecting to elective abortions.

Lastly, we should do all in our power to provide a “middle way” between the extremists that inhabit both ends of the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice spectrum. We believe that a majority of Christians are embarrassed by and apologetic concerning the fanatical attitudes of many Pro-Life advocates. But separating ourselves from extremists will require more than pink-cheeked apologies. Gaining credibility in the eyes of a watching world will require patient listening, careful and thoughtful discussion, and self-sacrificing compassion. It will require a frank willingness to acknowledge a multitude of possible truths, and therefore, a necessary change in the overall approach of opponents of abortion to these issues.

These are truly awesome responsibilities. As ambassadors of the kingdom of God, our words and our actions concerning these issues can have profound implications for social structures, for moral and ethical considerations, and for the psyches of both women and men. Let us therefore be “shrewd as snakes, and innocent as doves” in our stewardship of the concept of “ensoulment” and of its implications for humanity. (When Does Human Life Begin? Conception And Ensoulment.)

The author is clearly perplexed by Exodus 21:23 and its implications. He cannot make "ensoulment" conform with the Scriptures for good reason: it and the underlying dogma of the Immortality of the Soul find no place in the Bible.

The author blithely proclaims the spiritual realities, unaware of their significance, when he states, "The examples above give clear evidence that a majority of Christians in the modern world believe (or are supposed to believe) that human life begins at the moment that sperm and egg unite." Thus "all the world [has] wondered [followed] after the Beast" (Rev. 13:3b,) and ". . . Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Rev. 14:8.) Will we also be deluded into following the Beast, and drinking of "the wine of the wrath of her fornication"?

The Breath of Life. God "formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being" (Gen. 2:7).

When God changed the elements of earth into a living being, He "breathed" the "breath of life" into the nostrils of Adam's lifeless body. This breath of life is "the breath of the Almighty" that gives life (Job 33:4)—the spark of life. We might compare it with the streams of electricity that, when they flow through various electrical components, transform a quiet, gray panel of glass in a box into a pulsating splash of color and action—when we flip the switch on a color TV. The electricity brings sound and motion where once there was nothing.

Man—a Living Soul. What did the breath of life do? When God formed the human being from the elements of the earth, all the organs were present: the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, spleen, brain, etc.—all perfect, but lifeless. Then God breathed into this lifeless matter the breath of life and "man became a living being."

The scriptural equation is straightforward: the dust of the ground (earth's elements) + the breath of life = a living being, or living soul. The union of earth's elements with the breath of life resulted in a living being, or soul. This "breath of life" is not limited to people. Every living creature possesses it. The Bible, for example, attributes the breath of life to both those animals that went into Noah's ark and those that did not (Gen. 7:15, 22).

The Hebrew term in Genesis 2:7 that has been translated "living being" or "living soul" is nephesh chayyah. This expression does not exclusively designate man, for it also refers to marine animals, insects, reptiles, and beasts (Gen. 1:20, 24; 2:19).

Nephesh, translated as "being" or "soul," comes from naphash, meaning "to breathe." Its Greek equivalent in the New Testament is psuche. "Inasmuch as breath is the most conspicuous evidence of life, nephesh basically designates man as a living being, a person."3 When used of animals, as in the Creation story, it describes them as living creatures that God created.

It is important to note that the Bible says that man became a living soul. Nothing in the Creation account indicates that man received a soul—some kind of separate entity that, at Creation was united with the human body.

An Indivisible Unity. The importance of the Creation account for properly understanding the nature of man cannot be overestimated. By stressing his organic unity, Scripture portrays man as a whole. How then do the soul and spirit relate to the nature of man?

1. The Biblical meaning of soul. As we have already mentioned, in the Old Testament "soul" is a translation of the Hebrew nephesh. In Genesis 2:7 it denotes man as a living being after the breath of life entered into a physical body formed from the elements of the earth. "Similarly, a new soul comes into existence whenever a child is born, each 'soul' being a new unit of life uniquely different, and separate, from other similar units. This quality of individuality in each living being, which constitutes it a unique entity, seems to be the idea emphasized by the Hebrew term nephesh. When used in this sense nephesh is not a part of the person; it is the person, and, in many instances, is translated 'person' (see Gen. 14:21; Num. 5:6; Deut. 10:22; cf. Ps. 3:2) or 'self' (Lev. 11:43; 1 Kings 19:4; Isa. 46:2; etc.).

"On the other hand, expressions such as 'my soul,' 'your soul,' 'his soul,' etc., are generally idioms for the personal pronouns 'I,' 'me,' 'you,' 'he,' etc. (see Gen. 12:13; Lev. 11:43, 44; 19:8; Joshua 23:11; Ps. 3:2; Jer. 37:9; etc.). In more than 100 of 755 occurrences in the Old Testament the KJV translates nephesh as 'life' (Gen. 9:4, 5; 1 Sam. 19:5; Job 2:4, 6; Ps. 31:13; etc.).

"Often nephesh refers to desires, appetites, or passions (cf. Deuteronomy 23:24; Proverbs 23:2; Ecclesiastes 6:7), and is sometimes translated 'appetite' (Prov. 23:2; Eccl. 6:7). It may refer to the seat of the affections (Gen. 34:3; S. of Sol. 1:7; etc.), and at times it represents the volitional part of man, as when translated 'pleasure' (KJV) in Deuteronomy 23:24; Psalm 105:22; Jeremiah 34:16. In Numbers 31:19 the nephesh is 'killed,' and in Judges 16:30 (translated 'me') it dies. In Numbers 5:2 ('the dead') and ch. 9:6 ('dead body') it refers to a corpse (cf. Lev. 19:28; Num. 9:7, 10).

"The usage of the Greek word psuche in the New Testament is similar to that of nephesh in the Old Testament. It is used of animal life as well as human life (Rev. 16:3). In the KJV it is translated forty times simply as 'life' or 'lives' (see Matt. 2:20; 6:25; 16:25; etc.). In some instances it is used to mean simply 'people' (see Acts 7:14; 27:37; Rom. 13:1, 1 Peter 3:20; etc.), and in others it is equivalent to the personal pronoun (see Matt. 12:18; 2 Cor. 12:15; etc.). Sometimes it refers to the emotions (Mark 14:34; Luke 2:35), to the mind (Acts 14:2; Phil. 1:27), or to the heart (Eph. 6:6)."4

The psuche is not immortal, but subject to death (Rev. 16:3). It can be destroyed (Matt. 10:28).

The Biblical evidence indicates that sometimes nephesh and psuche refer to the whole person and at other times to a particular aspect of man, such as the affections, emotions, appetites, and feelings. This usage, however, in no way shows that man is a being made up of two separate and distinct parts. The body and the soul exist together; together they form an indivisible union. The soul has no conscious existence apart from the body. There is no text that indicates that the soul survives the body as a conscious entity. Seventh-day Adventists Believe..., "The Nature of Man," Pp. 81-83.

IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL RANKS WITH SUNDAY SACREDNESS
IN THE IMPERATIVE OF SEPARATION FROM BABYLON

There are two central and indisputable facts about the Roman Catholic Church's position on abortion:

(1) Rome has always condemned abortion - The Catholic Church and Abortion:

The Roman Catholic Church has consistently condemned abortion — the direct and purposeful taking of the life of the unborn child. In principle, Catholic Christians believe that all life is sacred from conception until natural death, and the taking of innocent human life, whether born or unborn, is morally wrong. The Church teaches, "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being" ("Donum vitae," 5) . . .

Nevertheless, the Christians upheld the sanctity of the life of the unborn child, not only because of the Old Testament revelation as cited but also because of the mystery of the incarnation. The early Christians, as we still do, believed that Mary had conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and through her, Jesus Christ — second person of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father, and true God — became also true man. No faithful Christian would ever deny that Jesus was a true person whose life was sacred from the first moment of His conception in the womb of His blessed Mother Mary.

The story of the visitation further attests to the sanctity of life in the womb and the personhood of the unborn child . . . [This comparison is inappropriate. Jesus Christ had no earthly father. There was no biological contribution to conception by a human male. By a mysterious process which is beyond our comprehension the Holy Spirit as the Second Person of the Godhead (the pre-existent Christ) became the Divine Identity of a human embryo. The Apostle Paul states that He "emptied Himself" (Phil. 2:7 - YLT, NRSV.) This was not a normal biological process of conception. It was supernatural, and Ellen G. White put it aptly when she wrote that "He [Christ] united humanity with divinity: a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh. He united Himself with the temple" (Youth's Instructor, Dec. 20, 1900; 4BC:1147)]

(2) The Immortality of the Soul and the Immaculate Conception are the fundamental reasons for Rome's opposition to abortion - Do Embryos Have Souls?:

They often suppose that the Catholic Church teaches that destroying human embryos is unacceptable because such embryos are persons (or are "ensouled"). While it is true that the Church teaches that the intentional and direct destruction of human embryos is always immoral, it would be incorrect to conclude that the Church teaches that zygotes (a single-cell embryo) or other early-stage embryos are persons, or that they already have immortal, rational souls. The magisterium of the Church has never definitively stated when the ensoulment of the human embryo takes place. . .

That being said, the moral teaching of the Church is that the human embryo must be treated as if it were already ensouled, even if it might not yet be so. It must be treated as if it were a person from the moment of conception, even if there exists the theoretical possibility that it might not yet be so. Why this rather subtle, nuanced position, instead of simply declaring outright that zygotes are ensouled, and therefore are persons? First, because there has never been a unanimous tradition on this point; and second, because the precise timing of ensoulment/personhood of the human embryo is irrelevant to the question of whether or not we may ever destroy such embryos for research or other purposes. . .

We must recognize that it is God's business as to precisely when He ensouls embryos. We do not need an answer to this fascinating and speculative theological question, like counting angels on the head of a pin, in order to grasp the fundamental truth that human embryos are inviolable and deserving of unconditional respect at every stage of their existence. . .

What a human embryo actually is, even at its earliest and most undeveloped stage, already makes it the only kind of entity capable of receiving the gift of an immortal soul from the hand of God. No other animal or plant embryo can receive this gift; indeed, no other entity in the universe can receive this gift. Hence, the early human embryo is never merely biological tissue, like a group of liver cells in a petri dish; at a minimum, such an embryo, with all its internal structure and directionality, represents the privileged sanctuary of one meant to develop as a human person.

Some scientists and philosophers will attempt to argue that if an early embryo might not yet have received its immortal soul from God, it must be OK to destroy that embryo for research since he or she would not yet be a person. But it would actually be the reverse; that is to say, it would be more immoral to destroy an embryo that had not yet received an immortal soul than to destroy an ensouled embryo. Why? Because the immortal soul is the principle by which that person could come to an eternal destiny with God in heaven, so the one who destroyed the embryo, in this scenario, would preclude that young human from ever receiving an immortal soul (or becoming a person) and making his or her way to God. This would be the gravest of evils, as the stem cell researcher would forcibly derail the entire eternal design of God over that unique and unrepeatable person, via an action that would be, in some sense, worse than murder. The human person, then, even in his or her most incipient form as an embryonic human being, must always be safeguarded in an absolute and unconditional way, and speculation about the timing of personhood cannot alter this fundamental truth. (Cf. Natural Law and Abortion. [August, 2015: This article appears to have been expunged from the UUC site])

This may be open to contradiction: but it appears that the abortion issue is the only one in which the dogmas of the Immortality of the Soul and the Immaculate Conception are being agitated in these times, when the prophecies of Rev. 13 are fast being fulfilled. Therefore the following quotations from the Writings of Ellen G. White are of critical importance in relation to the abortion controversy:

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul, and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of Spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of Spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. {GC88 588.1}

The doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul is one error with which the enemy is deceiving man. This error is well-nigh universal. But who told men that they would not die? Who told them that God has reserved a portion of his universe where the wicked are to suffer through the ceaseless ages of eternity, without a particle of hope?—It was the serpent. God said that sinners would die. Satan declares that they will not die. Many believe the oft-repeated lies of the serpent to be genuine truth. They echo his words when they assert that God has ordained that sin shall be immortalized in a place of torment. {RH March 16, 1897, par. 3}

This is one of the lies forged in the synagogue of the enemy, one of the poisonous drafts of Babylon. “All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” {RH March 16, 1897, par. 4}

The fallen denominational churches are Babylon. Babylon has been fostering poisonous doctrines, the wine of error. This wine of error is made up of false doctrines, such as the natural immortality of the soul, the eternal torment of the wicked, the denial of the pre-existence of Christ prior to His birth in Bethlehem, and advocating and exalting the first day of the week above God’s holy and sanctified day.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 61. {1NL 52.2}