Talk About Abortion? Absolutely!
By Pastor Jeff Samelson, Director of Ministry Advancement, Christian Life Resources
“Oh, no, I’m not really into politics, so I don’t get into or talk much about abortion. In fact, I feel it’s kind of inappropriate for Christians and churches to make such a big deal out of it – we should just leave abortion to the politicians and courts, and keep our distance from such divisive issues.”
Have you heard someone express an opinion like that? Perhaps you might even feel that way yourself. No one likes talking about abortion or making it a big issue, and if one can classify it as a strictly political issue, that seems to get the average Christian “off the hook” for speaking or acting on it. It’s almost like a Christianized version of the old political dodge, “I’m personally opposed to abortion, but I believe that women should be free to make their own choices, so I will not vote for or support any restrictions on abortion.”
But this reasoning doesn’t stand up to … reason. Just as the conscience of a politician who is “personally opposed” to abortion in any true sense could not possibly be at peace with the status quo that allows the killing of unborn children by the hundreds of thousands every year, so also any Christian who takes seriously what God has to say in the Bible must realize that abortion is very much a moral and spiritual issue that the Lord cares deeply about – and so his people will, too.
Abortion is a moral issue because it always involves the taking of a human life, which is clearly against the Commandment: You shall not murder. Scripture refutes in numerous places any argument that the baby in a mother’s womb is not a unique human life, with a soul and value of its own, by referring to the personhood of unborn children (see, for instance, Psalm 139:13-16, Luke 1:41-44, or Psalm 51:5). Since the authority to take a life belongs only to God, the deliberate ending of a baby’s life in the womb is a great offense against him and a grave sin against the child.
Which makes abortion also a spiritual issue because of what it means for people’s souls and for their eternal destinies. A woman may get an abortion understanding full well that she is taking a life, or believing the lie she’s been told that “it’s just a clump of tissue”, but either way a baby is killed, and the guilt for that is real – even more for the one performing the abortion. But the sin may not be limited to those in the operating room (or, increasingly, those prescribing and taking the drugs): the father, a grandparent, a friend, an employer, or an abuser might have encouraged (or even demanded) the abortion, acquiring the same or even a worse kind of guilt as an accessory to the murder.
And it will not just go away – not with time, not with effort, not with acts of charity or positive thinking. If the sin of abortion goes unaddressed and unconfessed, and therefore unforgiven, the weight of it will continue to weigh on the guilty and will be counted against them at the Judgment, when Christ returns and assigns the faithful to heaven and those still in their sins to hell. This is clearly not good for any of these souls, and it is not something God is happy about, either.
But even if we leave eternity out of consideration for a moment, abortion is still a deeply spiritual concern, because any society that condones or even encourages such disregard for both God’s will and human life shows itself to be deeply corrupt. This ends up affecting people who may have no direct ties to any particular abortion – we might say that their souls end up “infected” by the same kind of self-centeredness, arrogance, and evil, and this leads everyone further away from heaven and closer to hell. And God is not happy about this, either.
Because even though his justice and holiness require him to punish all forms of evil and rebellion against his will, this is not what he wants for any mother, or doctor, or father, or anyone. He loves us, and wants all people – even abortionists – to be saved from their sins, and to live with him forever in heaven.
And so he made a plan and acted on it – one that would satisfy his justice and yet open a way for sinners to escape damnation and have eternal life in paradise. He sent his Son, Jesus, to take on himself the sin and guilt of all the world – including, yes, all those complicit in abortions – and with his sacrifice on the cross, Christ paid for all those offenses, so that now there is forgiveness for every one of them. The guilty can come before God and plead the blood of Jesus, and have their sins washed away forever – and the door to heaven will open wide for them as their new home.
It is our privilege as Christ’s disciples and messengers to share this message of forgiveness and joy with those who are carrying the guilt of abortion. But to do that we actually have to talk about the sin that brought that guilt – not as a political issue, but as a deadly serious moral offense that carries deep and eternal spiritual significance.
So far from it being inappropriate for Christians and churches to talk about abortion, it is absolutely essential that we do so because if we don’t, those who are carrying that guilt will never hear the gospel that sets them free from that guilt. God loved them so much he sent his Son to save them; we love them, too, as he has loved us, so we will be eager to give them this good news. We will not leave talking about abortion to the politicians and the courts; we have something so much more important to say, and there are so many who desperately need us to say it.
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