Abortion: A Christian Response

Posted by Damon Poole on

With the recent political race being drawn to a close America is still dealing with the many ethical, political, and economic jolts that each political party promoted. For the Christian, an election year can be a year of great communion, strife, and eye-opening experiences. Everyone is faced with a wide variety of views on different subjects such as abortion, gay rights, and immigration. During times like these many people begin to consider their views on such issues. In a heated political atmosphere such as the one the country finds itself, Christians can often get lost in the chatter of those around them; “it doesn't have rights before it is born”, “man,…pot is good for the soul and mind”, “kill the police.” In a society that sputters words such as these it can be a daunting task to face them in a loving Christian attitude while still giving the “politically incorrect answer.” This is where a strong foundation in Christian apologetics and Christian ethics becomes vitally important. As a Christian one needs to be prepared to give an answer for what he or she believes (1 Pet. 3:15). Christians must be aware of their beliefs on these issues in a way that points the glory to God. This means that we need to be well versed in scripture for our theology to point us in the direction of true biblical ethics.
All ethical issues are important, and all warrant our full attention and understanding. However, different issues demand more attention at different times and in different situations. For example; in the 1960’s the obvious ethical issue needing to be addressed was that of equality and civil rights. In the context of our current culture, particularly this election season, the major ethical issue facing the church today is that of abortion. The bulk of the confrontation on this issue derives from two major groups; pro-choice activists and pro-life activists. When evaluated through the lens of God’s word, the pro-life movement is supported with a clear ethical and biblical defense. The clear defense that the Bible provides for the pro-life movement should awaken the hearts and souls of God’s people to fiercely make known the mystery of the Gospel.
In the eyes of most people the church is no more than a group of “haters” out to destroy the rights of every person alive. That is clearly an over exaggerated statement however it is the extreme viewpoint that many non-believers have toward the church. The issue of abortion is a critically important ethical dilemma that the church must be actively involved in. Throughout scripture; God is not only pro-life in the case of the unborn child, but also in the spiritual life of mankind.
A good place to start when addressing the biblical defense would be asking the question; “when does life begin?” Many people argue that life does not begin until birth however there are some biblical passages that suggest otherwise. One great example is found in Job 3:3; "Let the day perish on which I was to be born, And the night which said, 'A boy is conceived.' Scott B. Ray stated in his book Moral Choices: an introduction to ethics, that the words “born” and “conceived” in this passage are interchangeable.[1] Rae suggested that this passage informs the reader that what was present at birth is equally present at conception.[2] What does this suggest to the reader? This suggest that the baby parent holds seconds after birth is the same living human being that was in the womb. There are other passages that promote the sanctity of the unborn child. One such passage is Jeremiah 1:5. This is a passage of scripture that promotes the love that God has for all His creation. This passage demonstrates the intricate work that God puts into the formation of all people. One of the greatest feelings a person can have is the feeling of purpose. According to this passage God formed Jeremiah in the womb for a specific purpose. In the same way God has formed every child for a specific reason. God told Jeremiah that He appointed him to be a prophet of the nations. Jeremiah was a man that God called out to do His work. How many children have been aborted who could have been doctors, politicians, and soul winners?   Other similar passages attest to this same view that God creates for a purpose. The greatest example of this is seen in the birth of Jesus Christ. God used the birth of a baby to fulfill His plan of salvation. There is a purpose for every life; so, the question must be asked “who are we to take a life that is formed and given purpose by God?”
When looking at the Bible, abortion is morally wrong due to the intentional work God puts into the formation of every human being. The church should also view this problem through the lens of Exodus 20:13. We can see that abortion is wrong in the broader since that the Bible commands us not to murder. Those who do not believe in the sanctity of life do not consider the unborn child to have the same right as everyone else. therefore, the unborn have become the exception to our nations laws against murder. David P. Nelson said this in A Theology For The Church,
The doctrine of creation, rightly understood, leads to a deep appreciation for the value of all human life since all humans are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-17; 9:6). Since human life is highly valuable, murder must be rejected by any culture. This demands the rejection of practices like abortion and euthanasia which devalue the most vulnerable lives within society.[3]
With the understanding that man is created in the image of God for a specific purpose, there should be a sense of honor and thankfulness. Man was created different than all the rest of creation and has been set aside as God’s chosen creation; created in His image; and loved by Him greater than the rest of creation.
I believe that Kobus Kruger stated it perfectly in his article The Value of The Unborn Child: Abortion and Christian Ethics by saying this, “Any thinking in line with the biblical tendency is incapable of admitting a cynical treatment of the fetus which reduces it to a mere thing”[4]  This is the biblical mindset that all Christians should have and promote to the world. In the sociopolitical word of today the church cannot sit idle on this issue! We must be vocal about the innocent blood being shed!

[1] Scott B. Rae, Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 2000), 128.

[2] Rae, Moral Choices, 128.

[3] Daniel L. Akin, David P. Nelson, and Peter R. Schemm, A Theology for the Church (Nashville, TN: B & H Academic, 2007), 263-264.

[4] Krüger, Kobus. "The value of the unborn child: abortion and Christian ethics." Journal Of Theology For Southern Africa 2, (March 1973): 7-14. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed November 29, 2016), 10.

Tags: abortion, pro-life