What does God say about Abortion?

Abortion makes people uncomfortable.  It is easy to avoid topics that make us feel uncomfortable.  Therefore, most people avoid the topic of abortion. And yet, we cannot and must not avoid it. It is the silent killer of our age.  According to Planned Parenthood’s annual year-end report, they oversaw the killing of 327, 653 children. That is 37 children per hour, 1 in every 90 seconds[1]. The numbers make you weep.  And passionate weeping should be our response when we hear numbers like these. And yet instead of weeping, we simply push it out of our minds.  We cannot avoid this issue. 

            Abortion does not make people just uncomfortable, but it produces a tremendous amount of passion in people on both sides of the issue. Passion creates arguments and we want to avoid arguments so we prefer the more civilized route in choosing silence. As a culture, we have almost lost the ability to have a civilized conversation with people with whom we disagree. It is safer to avoid the discussion so we remain silent.  There are times to be silent, but there are times to speak.  Even in this room, we are going to find large disagreement about some of the issues of abortion and in how we respond to them.  And yet, this issue is too important to ignore.  This issue truly is a matter of life and death. 

            The issue of abortion is so complex and emotional that I will not be addressing all that can be said on the topic, but hopefully will provide some biblical insights in how we can approach this topic.  This issue is very emotional, but we cannot allow emotions to dictate the discussion. We must rely on the Word of God. God has spoken, we must listen. We have to allow God’s Word to reign supreme in this debate.  As I have said already, there is much that can be said, but I pray that you will thoughtfully and prayerfully consider what is said so that we can be faithful to God’s revealed word. 

God Offers Love to All

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. God demonstrated his love for us that while we were yet sinners, he died for us. Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners for repentance. He did not come for the healthy, but the sick. The love of God is offered to all. The love of God is offered to the baby in the womb and it is extended to the abortionist who wants to take that baby’s life.  The love of God is offered to the mother walking into the abortion clinic and the mother on the sidewalk pleading with her to turn around. 

It would be foolish to think we understand all the reasons why a woman would want to get an abortion. I believe fear is one of the most dominant underlying motivations for abortion. Fear of a dramatic life change, fear of responsibility, fear of financial burden, fear of people’s judgment, fear of parenting ability, etc. Fear drives many to pursue abortions and fear drives many away from experiencing forgiveness from an abortion. There is no sin that cannot be forgiven by God.

Jon Ensor, President of Passion Life Ministries, has said, “For over 20 years now, the guilt and regret of abortion is the most common human experience of our generation.[2]” He says that because worldwide over 42 million children are killed each year,  84 million adults are left to live with that decision for the rest of their lives[3]. Even pro-choice pop-star Nicki Manaj has said her abortion as a teenager has “haunted her most of her life.” Shame and regret are crippling, but Jesus came to take that shame. He did not come for just your “acceptable sins,” he came to take all of it. Jesus came and offered all his life for all your sin to redeem all your life.  Will you receive his love? Turn and trust Him.   

Friend, the gospel is the power of God to those who believe. Jesus died and rose again to give people hope for the future. We do not have to be defined by our past sin, but by Christ.  When we trust in Christ as our Savior, our identity is no longer rooted in our past sin, but our future hope. We are redeemed and forgiven.  “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)

If you live in shame and regret because of your past, can I encourage you to confess your sin? Bring it to the light. Friend, it is easier not to talk about and to bury the pain and shame and regret to try and protect yourself. Hiding only hurts us, but through confession there is healing. Hear the words of King David,

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. (Psalm 32:3-7)

Do not hide in your sin, but hide in God.  Allow Him to be your hiding place and to forgive, fully and freely, your sin.

God Gives Life to All

            The clear testimony of Scripture is that God is the author of life. He created life in the Garden of Eden and continues to give life to all. Planned Parenthood wrote a letter to their clients saying, “Many people wrongly assume that all religious leaders disapprove of abortion. The truth is that abortion is not even mentioned in the Scriptures — Jewish or Christian — and there are clergy and people of faith from all denominations who support women making this complex decision.[4] That is bold assertion and a bold mistake.  Garrett Kell, pastor and once abortive father, responded to this claim by listing several Scriptures clearly refuting that claim. Let me allow God to speak for Himself through his Word and read some implications and questions asked by Pastor Kell.: 

 When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determines. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (Exodus 21:22-25)

Does the Bible seem to clearly teach here that what comes out of a woman is a not just a fetus, but is a child? How serious does God say it is to kill an unborn child? If this is true of an accidental injury to a pregnant woman and her child, how much more serious is an intentional act of killing a child in the womb?

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)

What do you think the Bible is implying when David says God “formed” his “inward parts” in his “mother’s womb?” What does it imply when it says he was “wonderfully made” and “intricately woven”? Does this not imply that God is at work in the womb, creating a human being? If God knows “all the days” of that being, even while its substance is “unformed”, does that not imply that God has a plan for that being in the womb? Do we have the right to tell God to stop this marvelous work because we have other plans? 

Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.” (Isaiah 49:1)

If God calls and names someone when they are in the womb, does that not make them a living person?

 “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 (cf. Galatians 1:15)
If God has knowledge of someone as a person before they are even formed in the womb, does that not show that what is in the womb has great value and worth? Does not God forming someone in the womb show His intent to bring a life along to His designed end?

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Luke 1:39-44

What does the Bible say was in the womb of Elizabeth? Does it not call John a “baby?” And what does that baby do when it hears the voice of the pregnant Mary? Does it not say the baby leaped for joy? And what does she say about the “fruit” of Mary’s womb (see also Psalm 127:3)? Does this not imply that what is in her is of value and has great worth? From this don’t we have to conclude that what is in her womb is a baby?[5]

The Bible has overwhelming evidence to promote life. God “gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” (Acts 17:25) Therefore, if God declares the baby in the womb to be a life, then to take that life would be murder; a violation of the Ten Commandments.  This is not merely a political issue, but it is a moral one.

            The amazing thing is that many on the pro-choice side agree with the Bible that life begins at conception. The problem is how they interpret that fact. In an article written for Salon.com, Mary Elizabeth Williams writes,

The “life” conversation is often too thorny to even broach. Yet I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.[6]

The abortion debate has shifted. Science has proven that there is life in the womb and honest pro-choice advocates like Mary Williams agree. The debate is no longer about whether an unborn child is a life, but the value of that life.  Williams continues,

Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.[7]

According to Williams, unborn human being are less than and of little value. One person’s rights (the mother) are more important than another person’s rights (the child). This argument has been used before to justify atrocities such as American slavery, the Jewish Holocaust, and Indian Trail of Tears.

The Bible strongly disagrees with Ms. Williams. God has given life to all people, including those in the womb. If you are Christian and you are pro-choice, how do you justify your position? On what biblical basis do you ground your argument?  And in the very least, are you willing to admit that abortion opens the door to devaluing one group over the other? And if that is true in the case of abortion, why do you not apply it to different ethnicities or gender or ages? Do human beings have inherent worth or does their value only come in their own autonomy?

To quote Planned Parenthood again, “Many people wrongly assume that all religious leaders disapprove of abortion. The truth is that abortion is not even mentioned in the Scriptures — Jewish or Christian — and there are clergy and people of faith from all denominations who support women making this complex decision.[8] The truth is that abortion is an atrocity that grieves the very heart of God. Although we may listen with empathy to the reasons women desire an abortion, we can never support the taking of innocent, defenseless human life.  There are clergy and people of faith who support women in making this decision, but they are wrong and they are setting themselves against God and His Holy Word. I pray you never support the decision to take the life of a child, but fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.

God Desires Lovers of All

            God desires his people to be lovers of all people. And to truly love people, we have to give them the truth.  We have to wage war against abortion. And yet, our warfare is vastly different from the ways of this world.  Paul writes,

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

We have to wage warfare of the mind. We have to destroy arguments and prideful opinions set against the knowledge of God.  We have to take every thought and make it captive to Christ. Practically, let me make some suggestions on how we can wage our war not according to flesh, but harnessing the divine power to destroy strongholds.

Pray – Our greatest resource is often our most under-utilized weapon. We must pray every day for God to end abortion. We must pray every day for God to change the minds of women considering abortion. We must pray every day for God to convict the hearts of abortion doctors. We must pray every day for God to raise up godly politicians and lawmakers who will fight for life. We must pray for the church not to be silent on this issue. We must pray for those on the front lines battling the forces of darkness.

Speak – Take advantage of every opportunity you have to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Whether it is on the sidewalk of an abortion clinic or at Thanksgiving dinner, speak up for life. Speak with compassion and gentleness, but speak with passion and power. Use wisdom and logic to force people to analyze their reasons. Do not allow people to not think through this issue. Force them to give the reasons and then show them how their reasons are not consistent with logic or God’s Word.

Act - We must act.  We act by using our votes to support life. We act by using our wallets to support Pregnancy Centers. We act by supporting those who choose life. We act by going to abortion clinics and pleading for truth. We act by caring for unwanted children through foster care and adoption.

Beloved, God desires lovers of the unborn. God desires lovers of the abortion doctors. God desires lovers of confused, scared women. God desires lovers of Planned Parenthood executives. God desires lovers of those struggling to deal with their pain. God desires lovers of all. I pray that God would use this church to exemplify his love. We love, because God first loved us and,

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:7-12)

The stakes are high and the responsibility grave, but God abides in us and has given us divine power to destroy strongholds. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. Will you love the unborn by fighting for their right to live? Will you love pro-choice advocates by compassionately speaking the truth in love? Will you love those who need God’s love?

[4] http://townhall.com/tipsheet/danieldoherty/2014/06/05/planned-parenthood-the-bible-is-silent-on-abortion-so-its-okay-to-get-one-n1848092
[8] http://townhall.com/tipsheet/danieldoherty/2014/06/05/planned-parenthood-the-bible-is-silent-on-abortion-so-its-okay-to-get-one-n1848092