The beliefs Christians hold about their responsibility for those at the beginning and end of their lives

By definition the word life means a state of living beings, characterized by growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli; period between birth and death or between birth and the present time.

Whether one is religious or not, as individuals in a society we appear to have a very high regard for human life. It is an individual and unique gift granted to every person. Although no two lives are the same we as humans are able to share our lives with others and thus creating an even more unique and for filling life experience.The one common factor that as a people we share regardless for individual circumstances is the gift of life. We then, as a way of survival, have a very high regard for this gift. The term ‘Sanctity of life’ means that life is Holy and should be respected.

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Christians believe that they should try to preserve it not destroy it. They believe that life is a gift from God, who lovingly created us in His image. God, the creator’s spirit is present in all humans and to purposely destroy this would be in direct conflict with Christian teachings and beliefs.

The Bible teachings provide clear guidelines on how a Christian should value and treat life “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body ” 1 Corinthians 6:16-20 In regards to the beginning of human life the Bible teaches “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart I appointed you a prophet to the nations” Jeremiah 1:5One can take from this passage that God has a personal relationship with us from conception. The definition of abortion is the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy.

Pro-choice groups believe that it is a woman’s choice whether she wants go through with an abortion or not as it is their body and the life of the unborn child id yet to begin. However the Catholic Church believe that in all circumstances abortion is wrong and is an act of evil.The conflict between pro-choice beliefs and Catholism lies not in the issue of whether life is sacred but rather the moment at which sacred life begins. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Human life must be protected absolutely from the moment of conception. 2270” This means Christians believe life begins at conception and should be nurtured from that point.

God puts human beings in charge of creation and gives us responsibility to look after it. “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. ” Genesis 1:28.

This clarifies the ability humans have to procreate however that power is also open to abuse. The dictionary definition of euthanasia is “the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable disease or in an irreversible coma. ” Christians believe that this is immoral, as only God should make decisions over death. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body. ” Teachings in the Bible illustrate to Catholics that our lives should not be viewed as our own to do with as we please.We should regard our lives as a gift from God, our gift to God being what we make of it. Even in time of grave sickness, pain and/or suffering we must not take it upon ourselves to end a life, as it is not ours to take.

The first commandment is; ‘thou shalt not kill’. Christians are taught to have faith in God and to trust in His mercy and bernelavence. The issues raised by the act of euthanasia and abortion arise when debating the point at which life begins and how we judge where it should end.

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