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Abortion is a Biblical Issue, Not a Political Issue



“Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9 NKJV

On May 2, Politico dropped a bombshell, leaking the Supreme Court’s draft, which appears to indicate that Roe v. Wade will be overturned by the end of the summer. Predictably this has sparked heated exchanges not only on both sides of the political aisle, but also on both sides of the church aisle. The purpose of this article is not to influence how you vote politically, but rather it’s to get those who identify as Christians to think Biblically. As the title says, this is a“Biblical issue, not a political issue.”

Now in the interest of full disclosure, this subject is incredibly personal for me. Had I been born just three years and one month later I would have been aborted. The Supreme Court’s original ruling on Roe v. Wade was on January 22, 1973, when abortion was legalized in the United States. I was born December 12, 1969. My childhood included growing up in a broken home. Now my birth story, has a backstory. I was what you would call an “un-wanted pregnancy.” My mom and dad met at a party. He was in the Air Force, and she was a college student. One thing led to another, and a test confirmed that in nine months there will be a baby to take care of. They decided to do “the right thing” so they got married. The right thing was short lived. On my third birthday my dad walked out never to return (he eventually committed suicide). As you could imagine, this turned my mother’s world upside down as she was now faced with the tremendous challenge of being a single mother. An often-heard refrain that I would hear her say, well actually shout is,“you ruined my life, I wished you were never born!”From the age of four to fifteen I would be bounced in and out of a total of twenty foster homes. When I was seven years old, my mother had reached her tipping point and dropped me off at the doorstep of my grandparents in Albuquerque where I would live for the next year. She was telling them (in my presence) that she was fed up with me and couldn’t take it anymore. Somehow in this conversation my grandparents who were devout Catholics confronted her about the multiple abortions that she’s had over the years. At the age of seven, I didn’t understand what abortion was, but I understood her reply. She fired back at them and said,“There’s no way I can have another child! I’m too poor! Everything is against me! I wished I never had Paul! If abortion was legal in 1969, I would’ve aborted him!”So, as I said, for me this strikes a personal chord.

In fact, this issue is personal for many people and for many different reasons. Some readers may have had similar experiences to mine. Then again, some reading this may have experienced an abortion themselves. I am not intending to cause more grief or shame than you have already endured. Rather my desire is to simply see what God’s Word not only says about abortion, but also what it would say about how we can minister to someone facing this decision.

I believe that for the follower of Christ, we need to view abortion through a Biblical lens rather than a political one. Philippians 3:20 reminds us that“our citizenship is in heaven.”As Christians we are more than citizens of the United States of America, we are heavenly citizens. Therefore, in this article I am seeking to rise above the typical arguments from liberals versus conservatives, and instead I want to hear the heart of God on the matter. Does the Bible say anything about abortion? Do the Scriptures speak regarding the sanctity of life? Does the Word of God say anything about caring for the woman who might be facing this decision? These are the questions we want to wrestle with in this article.

What Does The Bible Say About Abortion and The Sanctity of Life?

Now a quick Google search will reveal that the words“abortion”and“sanctity”are not even in the Bible. Well, that may be in fact true, but you should also keep in mind that the word“Bible”is not in the Bible either. Although we do not see the actual words “abortion” and “sanctity of life” in the Bible, we do see the concepts and principles scattered throughout its pages.

For starters we see that from God’s perspective a baby in the womb is valued by God as an individual human life. In Exodus 21:22-23 God wrote into His Law protection for the unborn.

“If men fight, and hurt a woman with a child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life.”

So according to God’s law if a child is harmed while in the womb or worse yet, if the child dies that was punishable by death. However, the phrase “life for life” is very descriptive. It reveals that God views the unborn as a living human being who is entitled to the same human rights and protections of the law as someone who has been born.

Additionally, we see that every precious baby in the womb was planned and created by God Himself.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

God did not wait until after Jeremiah was in diapers to initiate the call on his life to become a prophet. God declared that He not only “formed Jeremiah in the womb,” but even while he was in the womb the call on Jeremiah’s life was appointed. Aborting Jeremiah would have been an abortion of God’s plan.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”Genesis 1:27

This verse tells us that the reason every life, even the life of the unborn, is precious and sacred is because every human being is an image bearer of God. While children may physically resemble one or both of their biological parents. Every child bears the image of God. What does it mean to be an “image bearer of God”? Essentially, it means that each of us reflects something of God’s nature and character to the rest of creation. There are certain characteristics of God’s nature that can be found in ours as well. Characteristics such as: love, goodness, mercy, compassion, and justice. Now our representation of God’s nature has been flawed by our sin nature, which is why we need to be “born again.” But nevertheless, each of us (even those in the womb) were created in the image of God, and therefore every life is valuable and sacred to God.

What We Believe To Be True, Affects What We Do

Clearly, we have seen Scripture after Scripture telling us that in God’s eyes an unborn child in the womb, is a living human being deserving of the same rights and protections that every person enjoys, and that unborn life is precious and sacred as well. However, what does this mean for us? How should we as Christians view the life of the unborn?

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” Philippians 2:5

“…But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16b

In other words, the longer we follow Christ, the more we start to think like Him, and see things the way He sees them. Regarding the issue of abortion, we see the unborn as He sees the unborn. You may have noticed that I said,“the longer we follow Christ…” Admittedly, viewing the world through the “mind of Christ” is a process of transformation that doesn’t necessarily happen to us all at once.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

It’s quite possible for someone who has always believed that this subject is simply a matter of a woman’s right to choose what is best for her health. Then one day, that person accepts Christ and becomes a Christian. Although Jesus has instantly changed their life, their minds may not have been changed in an instant. However, the further you travel on this new journey with Jesus. The more you read His Word, the more you are being transformed in your mind, that is your thinking is being renewed. In time, you now have the “mind of Christ.” His thoughts about life, and when life begins may become your thoughts.

However, our minds are not only transformed, but so are our actions. If we have the“mind of Christ”and now see that every life is created by God and precious to Him, what should we do about that? Biblically speaking the person who has been transformed by the Word of God and now has the mind of God should now demonstrate the compassion of God both to the unborn child as well as to those who have conceived that child.

“Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9 NKJV

In this verse I find two action items for the follower of Christ. One is the action we as Christians should take on behalf of the unborn child. The other is the action we should demonstrate toward the mother and even the father of this child. In our culture it’s one or the other. In our world it’s perceived that if you defend one, you automatically marginalize the other. However, as a follower of Christ who is in the world, but not of it, you have a responsibility to both.

Let’s look at this verse in Proverbs 31 in two parts. One-part deals with our responsibility for the unborn. The other part deals with our responsibility towards those who conceived the unborn child.

Part One: Our Responsibility For The Unborn

Proverbs 31:8 says,“Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die.”

First and foremost, the Bible is calling for those of us who name the name of Christ to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Certainly, a baby in the womb cannot speak for themselves, they are the truest definition of defenseless. At no fault of their own, they have been appointed to die and we have been called to speak up for them. To be the defender of the defenseless. However, we should be careful that our speech reflects the God for whom we are representing in this matter. Ephesians 4:15 tells us to“speak the truth in love.” Likewise, we are told in Colossians 4:6;“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” While yelling at someone and calling them a“baby killer”may feel like you’re speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves, it is certainly not a fulfillment of“speaking the truth in love.”

One thing we can do is to reason through the Scriptures in a loving manner with someone who has found themselves in the unfortunate position of having to consider an abortion. We should always remember that“the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit”(HEB 4:12). Likewise, Romans 1:16 says,“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation.”As we share these Scriptures, we might not change their minds, but it is possible to change their hearts. It has been well said that“our goal should not be to win arguments, but to win souls.” Who knows, but as you take a woman facing the dilemma of whether or not to keep her baby through the Bible and show her how valuable her baby is to God, perhaps God’s Word might change her heart. Afterall, didn’t the word of the gospel change your heart?

Part Two: Our Responsibility Toward Those Considering Abortion

Proverbs 31:9 says,“Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

This verse reminds the Christ follower of our responsibility to not only speak up and defend the defenseless, but to also“plead the cause of the poor and needy.”As I illustrated earlier, I know first-hand not only what it’s like to be an unwanted child, but also what it’s like to be raised in poverty. There were very few resources to truly help a struggling single mother, like my mom. Allow me to be blunt, one area where the Body of Christ needs to improve, is the area of extending the love of Christ to the woman in this situation. Too often, these women are marginalized and even villainized. I know of numerous circumstances where a young woman gets pregnant and is persuaded by Christians in her life to keep the baby. But even though she courageously has chosen the life of her child, she continues to be shunned, ridiculed, and judged by the church. She has chosen to give her child a chance at life. She took a stand for her baby, and now needs the Body of Christ to stand with her.

Now to be fair, the body of Christ at large is very active in showing support to those women (and men) in this situation. There are wonderful Christian crisis pregnancy centers likeCare Net,Heartbeat International, andLife Choices, that minister to those facing the decision of having an abortion. Unfortunately, due in part to a lack of funding and support the Life Choices Pregnancy Center in Brighton had to shut down. At these pregnancy centers, both men and women can find support. They provided free medical care, ultrasounds, counseling, and parental education. Additionally, they also provide counseling for women who already had abortions and are now plagued by guilt and grief. They also attempt to get these mothers connected to a local church. However, often that’s where the breakdown occurs. Many of these young women have experienced rejection, gossip, or an overall lack of support when they try to attend a church. However, the truth is that these ladies are just like the rest of the church. It has been well said that the“church is not a museum displaying perfect people. It’s a hospital filled with broken people.” We are just as broken as they are. The Body of Christ is really the Land of Misfit Toys, if there’s room for us, there should be room for them.

Another way we can help is to be more active in foster care and adoption. James 1:27 says,“Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”(HSB). Christian researcher Ed Stetzer said, “If we took our command to look after foster children and adoptive children to heart, evangelicals in America would be able to meet the need of virtually every child waiting for a home in this country.” However, there is a false narrative used by the critics of Christianity to say that “While Christians might be Pro-Life, they don’t care for children after the baby is born.” As I said this is a “false narrative.” First of all, our Catholic friends provide the largest social service work in the nation aside from the government. Additionally, there are countless Christian Adoption Agencies including Colorado Christian Services, Bethany Christian Services, and Hope’s Promise, just to name a few. Clearly, many followers of Christ are doing a lot to look after the “orphans” of our day, but that’s not to say that there’s not more to be done.

There are also organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, where adults can become mentors to at risk and even to foster children. In many of the foster homes I lived in as a child, several of my “foster brothers” had mentors from the Big Brothers of America. Perhaps you are not called to be a foster parent or to adopt a child yourself, but maybe you could pray about being a mentor to a foster child. Wouldn’t it be great if all the volunteer mentors in organizations like this were Christian filled with the love and Spirit of Christ?

Let’s Get Biblical Rather Than Political

It has been well said that “our beliefs should affect our politics, but too many of us have allowed politics to affect our beliefs.” Rather than fighting for the far right or the far left, let’s fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, while simultaneously showing the love of Christ to the women (and the men) who are facing this decision. During the 1990’s Billy Graham was conducting an evangelistic crusade in Portland Oregon. While he was in Oregon, reporters tried to get Graham to comment on Proposition 9, a bill that dealt with gay rights. Billy Graham understood what his mission was and replied, “I didn’t come to Oregon to talk about politics. I came to talk about Jesus Christ.” Let’s follow Billy Graham’s example, and stick to our mission, which is to win souls rather than arguments.

Personally, I think it would be wonderful if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. However, even if that were to happen, it’s important that as followers of Christ, we understand that laws do not change hearts, the gospel does. While it is important to ensure that the unborn are protected with the same rights and freedoms that all human beings have been endowed with. Real change comes when Jesus Christ transforms a person’s heart, mind, and soul. During the so-called “Welsh Revival” in 1901, a young coal miner turned evangelist named Evan Roberts said God gave him a “vision” of 100,000 souls being won to Christ. In fact, during this period, almost every bar or pub went broke and had to close their doors. How many “anti-alcohol” sermons did Roberts preach? None. He just preached the simple, yet powerful message of the gospel. So many people had their lives changed by Jesus and lost their desire for alcohol that the natural result was that the bars went out of business. Likewise, I believe the doors of every abortion clinic could be closed if the hearts of every woman and man contemplating an abortion were transformed by Jesus Christ.

Biblically, I believe that the ability to bring about real change is not in the hand of the politician. Real life changing power is in the hand of the Christian. In our hand is the gospel of Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation”(Romans 1:16). Therefore, in the words of Jesus Himself, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel”(Mark 16:15).

If you or anyone you know are struggling with feelings of guilt, sadness, shame, or confusion from a past abortion here are some resources that could help you find comfort and healing:

Focus On The Family

CareNet

Alternatives Pregnancy Center