Speaking About Life: Ministering to Those Facing an Abortion and Helping the Church Be About Life
Few issues are as talked about as the issue of an abortion or as least understood as abortion. Life is important and special, since the Lord God breathed life into Adam, and into the lives of every human being since. Abortion is murder because the Lord breathes His life into every human, whom He created in His image and likeness. Abortion is an issue of worldviews as people from across the political, religious, theological, and philosophical spectrum have divergent opinions and genuinely believe their position to be the “right one”. More important than opinion is the Truth from the mouth of the Creator, who created, gave life, and sustains life. In this article, I intend to trace ways that Christians should speak about life and minister to those facing an abortion for the purpose of helping the Church be about life from it’s beginning to the grave. To do this we’ll first consider what an abortion is; secondly, look at biblical evidence for the pro-life position; third, why abortion is wrong; fourth, statistics on abortion; and finally why Christians must stand up and speak out on ethical issues.
What is an Abortion?
First, what is an abortion? Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal of a fetus/embryo from the uterus, resulting in or causing its death. Abortions include procedures of various kinds, as well as RU-486 and the morning after pill. Other items that cause abortions are the intrauterine devices (IUD). The result is an abortion, the killing of a conceived person.[i]
Biblical Evidence for the Pro-Life Position
Second, what is the Biblical evidence for pro-life position? The Jews believed that an abortion of a preborn child and exposure of a born child are both murderous sins. God created Life and breathed Life into Adam. Genesis 2:7, “Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” God created man and woman for the purpose of procreation. Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
The Bible makes it clear that the killing of a person created in God’s image is murder. Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder.” The word murder is the transliterated word ratsach, and according to Strong’s dictionary it means, “To murder, slay, kill, premeditated, accidental, as avenger, slayer intentional, and to assassinate.[ii] The Didache, an ancient manual for church instruction said, “You shall not commit murder. You shall not procure abortion, nor commit infanticide.”[iii] There is a difference between a child in a mother’s womb and one outside of it yet and the early church saw both as equally living people and taking the life as murderous.
Charles H.H Scobie said, “Scripture uses the Greek word brephos for Elizabeth’s unborn child (Luke 1:41; 44), unborn Jesus in Mary’s womb (Luke 2:12), and also for the children brought to Jesus (Luke 18:15).”[iv] God in His Word reveals that a child in the womb and a child singing and dancing around in worship are equally human beings, who bear the image of God. Abortion is wrong because it is the killing of an unborn child created in the image and likeness of God.
Statistics on Abortion
Third, we must examine the statistics on abortion. In the United States there are 1.37 million abortions every year, and approximately 3,700 everyday (The Alan Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood’s Family Planning Perspectives.).[v] 1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient). (The Alan Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood’s Family Planning Perspectives). Who’s having an abortion? Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 31.3%, Jewish women account for 1.3%, and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions. 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as “Born-again/Evangelical” (The Alan Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood’s Family Planning Perspectives).
Helping the Church Be About Life
Christians must stand up on ethical issues and proclaim God’s Word. God’s Word reveals His will in regards to theological, moral, and ethical issues like abortions. President Barack Obama, in a speech on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, said, “We are reminded that this decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters.”[vi]
Jesus taught believers that they are to be “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13). The Lord created life when He breathed into Adam’s nostrils and breathes life into every human being since. Christians have a biblical and moral obligation to speak out on social issues, especially issues such as life. With all due respect to President Obama, abortion is murder and God will intrude and deal with those who murder innocent children in the womb.
Christians are to be known as people of the Book who regularly open the Bible to read, meditate, study, and apply what it teaches to their lives. Abortion is murder because God says so. The Lord created life when He breathed into Adam. The Creator is the One who gives Life. I urge you to call your elected officials and tell them pro-choice is no choice at all. Know what your elected officials (and candidates) believe about social and ethical issues. Do not vote for candidates who do not have a biblical worldview.
To prevent abortion it is necessary that Christians stand upon God’s Word and fight for the unborn. Remember the truth about abortion and what it really is—murder. I challenge you to apply what you have learned about the importance of a biblical worldview regarding life. I challenge you to go out and make a difference for the cause of the unborn who are dying every day. I challenge you to speak up often and with every chance you get regarding God’s plan to give life.
Ministering To Those Facing an Abortion
Now that we’ve consider what an abortion is and how to speak about an abortion, we need to consider how to minister to those who have had an abortion, along with how the Church should speak about this issue.
First, the Church must explain to fathers and mothers the importance of life. Women contemplating abortion do so for a variety of reasons, such as financial and emotional. Yet, God has something to say about these reasons. God is the great Provider, who provides for those who trust Him. So aborting a child because you can’t afford to care for a child is isn’t a valid reason. Having an abortion for emotional reasons, because you think you won’t be able to survive emotionally, is not a valid reason. If you were emotionally strong enough to have intercourse, then you are responsible for the bearing of and raising your child, instead of murdering the innocent one.
It’s the last issue, the emotional one, which is the most complex. People’s emotions are fickle. One person might feel good about themselves one day and the next day, they might be down in the dumps. When I call those contemplating having an abortion to be responsible, I’m not dismissing how they feel, but rather trying to help you understand the seriousness of your choice. The child that is in your womb, mothers, is a precious gift from the Lord. The child in your womb has God-given talents, abilities, and gifts that God has uniquely given to your baby to bless the world. God desires for your baby to come to a saving knowledge of Himself. God has a plan to use your baby in His world to draw people to Jesus, and use them powerfully for His Kingdom.
Sadly babies are killed every day. Some 60 million children in the United States, according to some statistics, have been killed. That is more than everyone who was killed in World War II combined. In the case of abortion, the death counter hasn’t stopped because of war. Instead, the war on babies continues by killing them in favor of a woman’s right to choose.
When women “choose” to have an abortion, they earnestly believe they are making a choice that is best for themselves. What they fail to understand is what is best for their family (which extends to the baby inside) is to bring the child to full term. In addition to this, they fail to keep in mind the benefits of their child upon society. Since every child is unique, every child can make a difference for the Kingdom of God.
The choice to not have a child that you’ve conceived is morally and ethically wrong. The child in the womb is a child created in the image of God. It is a living, breathing human being, worthy of the parents’ and society’s respect. Sadly, the American liberal media and those holding to a liberal political philosophy, want Americans to support their worldview. At the heart of the political liberal thought is the idea that everyone has a “choice” to do with their life as they see fit. From this vantage point, everyone is right in their own eyes so they can make whatever choice they want. This means someone can choose to have an abortion with no moral or ethical consequences, after all they decided that was “right for them”.
Using this same logic, why do these political liberals even believe in having prisons? Why lock up those who commit crimes if people have a choice to have an abortion? In a moral philosophy class at a secular school in Western Washington, I was taught that if you could use an extreme example to disprove an argument, then you could disprove the pro-life position. By their own admission, those adhering to a liberal political philosophy have to admit that the pro-choice viewpoint fails at a fundamental level to deal with the reality of life. People have intercourse for a reason—to enjoy the pleasure of it. By excusing the role of responsibility in intercourse (that is childbirth and parenthood), we’re setting a dangerous precedent for our society, and at worst we’re destroying the traditional family, which at the heart has a man, a woman, and a child in it.
It gets even more interesting as those adhering to a political liberal philosophy are those who have kids, while telling others they have the right to choose to get rid of the kid. The lack of logic and outright hypocrisy on this viewpoint is telling. On the one hand, they teach others to do away with life, while they have kids and families of their own. At the heart of this discussion on abortion and life is the Bible. The Bible isn’t a manual of opinions, or a book of fairytales—it is the Truth. It speaks to us about life for this very reason. It instructs us so that we will know what God has said. Our response to what God has said must be obedience to His Word.
At the heart of our discussion on abortion, and how to respond and minister to people who have had an abortion (or who are considering doing so), is to understand that these are people (just like us), made in the image and likeness of God. Thus, they are worthy of dignity and respect. Whether you are politically liberal or political conservative or somewhere in-between, you need the Gospel. You need to see that life is not option—it is special, created in the image of God, and worthy of dignity and respect.
If you’ve had an abortion, you are not beyond the Gospel. Yes, you’ve sinned and killed an innocent child, created in the image and likeness of God. Yes, you’ve done what is wrong in the sight of God. You need to understand that you deserve to be punished, but God has instead intervened on your behalf. Jesus was born in a manager as the God-Man. He lived a sinless life for you and me. He was beaten and scourged. He was tried as a criminal and convicted of crimes He never committed. He died the death of a criminal in the most gruesome style the world has ever known for your sins against God. Jesus died the death of crucifixion you deserved in your place, in order to make possible your redemption and reconciliation with God.
Whether you’ve had an abortion, or you’ve committed any other sin, you are not beyond hope. If you’ve counseled someone to have an abortion in the past, there is forgiveness at the cross of Christ for your sin against God. There is hope for you today in the blood of Jesus. Christ didn’t just stay dead. They were not able to find His body anywhere because He was buried for three days and rose again on the third day. Jesus is a victorious, triumphant, and exalted Savior and King.
As we conclude this article, I want you to examine your life today. Do you truly support the cause of life? Do you stand on the side of life and liberty, or do you stand on the side of choice? Today you have a choice to make—a real choice. The choice you make today affects more than whether you will have an abortion or not. I believe that if you’re born again, God will change your heart, which will change your choice about life. God promises to give you a new heart with new desires. He’ll take your heart of stone and replace it with a new heart with new desires for Himself. This is what Jesus desires for you today. He desires to make you a new creation in Christ.
Won’t you stop fighting against the God who loved you so much that He sent His Son to die in your place? Yes, you might disagree with me on whether life is special and important, and whether you have a choice to choose. Unless God illuminates these truths, you will not have eyes to see nor ears to hear what I’ve said to you today in this article. So I’m praying for you, as you read this issue, that God will give you ears to hear and eyes to see, all so you might come to know the precious gift of God in Jesus Christ. It is there that we begin, because He is the Giver of life. He loves you so much He gave up His life so you could have life.
[i] Alcorn, Randy, Prolife Answers to ProChoice Arguments (Multnomah: Sisters, OR; 1994), 118.
[ii] Strong, James, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson), 943.
[iii] Didache 2.2.
[iv] Charles H. H. Scobie, Ways of our God: An Approach to Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids: MI: Eerdmans, 2003), 834.
[v] “Fastfacts on Abortion.” The Alan Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood’s Family Planning Perspective, accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html
[vi] Obama, Barack, “Obama’s Statement on 35th Anniversary of Roe V. Wade”, Jan 22, 2008, accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.barackobama.com/2008/01/22/obama_statement_on_35th_annive.php