Not Pro-Life Enough!
January 20th was National Sanctity of Life Day. As a church, we recognized it on Sunday, January 27th and I preached a sermon entitled Compassion – Looking Beyond Yourself. In it I made some references to the necessity of Christians being Pro-Life. Now, as we all know, the term Pro-Life is a politically charged word. On both sides of the issue you will find passionate and sometimes hostile supporters. But what should the Christian response be to this issue? Well, on one hand I think it’s very clear where Christians should stand on the issue and I honestly have never met a professing Christian who has said that abortion is right. A Christian who condones abortion (as a whole) would be a very confused and misguided and warped Christian. And again, I have never met this Christian.
On the other hand, I think there are significant misunderstandings and inconsistencies within the Christianity community concerning this issue. For one, since Pro-Life is such a politically charged word, many Christians categorize abortion as an issue that primarily belongs in the political arena. Therefore the vast majority of Christians fight abortion simply by voting and a smaller percentage fight abortion by picketing as well as voting. Is this really how Christians should primarily fight this issue? Is this/has this been effective? Abortion (as a whole) is not mainly a problem of political policies. First and foremost, it’s a human atrocity and abomination unto the Lord, so it’s clearly an issue of sin. Since when does the church use to the government to advance the Gospel and resist sin? Sound familiar? Oh yeah, the 4th century Christians did it this way which brought about that wonderful church of Rome; which in return brought about the Dark Ages and one of the most complacent, aphetic periods the church has ever been in!
If the church is going to fight cultural sin issues – like abortion – we cannot and should not do it through the government! For years now, the Christian Right has been trying mandate the Gospel (which they see as nothing but biblical ethics) through political policies and laws. It’s not working people. (And where it has “worked” it really has only hurt the cause of the Gospel because the Gospel message has been chiseled done to nothing but moralism. But that’s a separate issue!) I think many Christians are going about trying to fight the issue of abortion (and other cultural sins) completely backwards. We seem to be focusing all of our attention on the governmental policies and laws that will do nothing but try mandate people to do something they do not want to do. But as Gospel-believing Christians, whose hearts have been radically changed by the Gospel to love righteousness & justice rather than hate it, shouldn’t we go about trying transform our cultural the same way? What our culture needs is a heart change….they need the Gospel. And on issues like abortion, our culture needs to be reasoned with and made aware of the atrocity they continue to ignore. And the reasoning I’m speaking of isn’t holding picket signs up for the hurt, confused, & distraught young ladies to see as the go in & out the abortion clinics. And the reasoning I’m speaking of isn’t just voting for a so-called “pro-life” candidate who can’t change the laws anyway! First, we need to understand both sides of the issues. Why do people want abortions? What makes them feel as if they have to have one? …and so. Then we need to compassionately, yet clearly, make a rational defense for human life beginning in the womb. We need to be reasoning with our co-workers, our neighbors, classmates and family members. We need to be supporting local agencies that promote life, resist abortion, and offer help to pregnant unwed mothers. The movement for ridding abortion from our country needs to happen in your home, in you neighborhood, in your city, then in your country. If the masses change their opinion on the issue the political policies will change as well.
I think we Christians lets ourselves off too easy when we categorize abortion as simply a political issue. And the reason why I think we do this is once we whittle abortion down to just a political issue all we have to do to appease our conscience is vote Pro-Life because that’s all we think we can do. Well, that’s not all we can do. And voting so-called “Pro-Life” candidates hasn’t done much for cause. (Yes, it has done some…but not much.) So what do I think we should be doing regarding this issue? Well, first & foremost, I don’t think Christians are Pro-Life enough! We need to a have a more robust & biblical view concerning the value of human life. (This was one of the main introductory points from my sermon the other week.) In order for us to have this bigger, more robust view of life, we must understand the heart of the Gospel more. The heart of the Gospel is life. Christ came to reverse the effects of the Fall (i.e. death) and to bring life, renewal, peace, etc… to humanity (John 1:4; 10:10; Romans 6:23). The reason why the covenant community of God in both Old & New Testaments has always been called to be about bringing peace, well-being, blessing, wisdom, and to be an overall blessing to the secular community (Jeremiah 29:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; Micah 6:8) was for the people of God to resemble and bear the image of the heart of God in the Gospel. Christians are to be about life! We are to be pro all life – from the unborn to elderly, from the oppressed to the free, from the poor to the rich! When we resist abortion yet support executions, when we fight for the unborn yet ignore African genocide or forced labor in India, when we vote against abortion but for wrongful war, etc… we send mixed messages and reveal of our inconstancies for the regard of human life.
Examples of Christian Reasoning Concerning the Abortion Issue:
Is Aborting a Pregnancy from Rape Wrong?
In Vitro Fertilization