For Christians, Abortion Cannot Just Be a Political Issue
On January 22, 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated the third Sunday in January as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. This past weekend marked the 40th anniversary of this significant day, when we celebrate human life, especially the lives of the unborn.
Over the past 40 years, many changes have occurred in the pro-life movement. The development of sonogram technology has advanced the pro-life cause as people see more clearly that what is growing in the womb is not merely a clump of cells but a human being. Movies and other pro-life campaigns have also helped expose the true evil of those who murder children in the womb. Of course, the most significant development was the U.S. Supreme Court rightly recognizing the United States Constitution does not grant the right to an abortion and overturning Roe v. Wade in June 2022.
Alongside these positive developments, however, are concerning elements of the pro-life movement among Christians. We live in a highly charged political environment, and many Christians view abortion as more of a political issue than a theological and spiritual issue. This perspective often leads to prioritizing political solutions even at the expense of theological truth and spiritual power.
Some professing believers, especially those in younger demographics, have mistakenly conflated the issue of abortion with social issues such as immigration, health care, and poverty alleviation. This conflation of issues has led to confusion about abortion and the necessity to oppose it for its inherent evil. This logical fallacy, sometimes referred to as “whataboutism,” makes many Christians feel as if they cannot speak up against murdering infants in the womb unless they simultaneously argue against poverty or other social issues, weakening their opposition to abortion.
A third issue is that some Christians do not fully grasp why we should oppose abortion. For example, there are people who say that we have failed to find the cure for cancer because the person who could have discovered it was murdered before birth. This idea suggests that we oppose abortion because of the net negative effect on society. This misguided value system often leads to the practice of aborting abnormal or deformed children who cannot provide any tangible benefit to society.
As we seek to eradicate the evil of abortion from our nation’s laws and pray the gospel changes hearts of women who seek abortions, we must understand why we oppose abortion, and why it is such a singularly important issue to Christians. Let me give three reasons why Christians should strenuously oppose abortion.
First, abortion attacks the character and nature of God.
When the Bible describes who God is, one key attribute of God is that He is the source and giver of life. In the Creation account, God brings all life into existence in the world. The world God made was very good, and it was devoid of death. Romans 5:12-14 makes clear that death did not come into the world until sin entered the world.
When the Gospel of John exegetes the creation account in light of the Incarnation of the Word, it says that life was inherently in the Word (John 1:4). Jesus declared that He is the Bread of life (John 6:35), and that He is the Light of life (John 8:12). Jesus is also the resurrection and the life (John 11:25) and the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). He came so that those who believe in Him might have life abundantly (John 10:10). The purpose of John’s gospel is that readers might believe that Jesus is the Messiah and have life in His name (John 20:31).
God’s character is unquestionably defined by life. He is the living God.
Furthermore, when God created humanity, He created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). We were created to reflect the reality of who God is. Because we are the image of God, any attack on human beings without divine sanction is an attack on God Himself. That includes murder on babies being knit together in the womb.
As Christians, we must oppose abortion, not for pragmatic reasons, but because abortion is an assault on God’s character and nature. To call abortion a “right” or to laud it as something “good” is to say that death is good and that God’s image is so trivial it can be discarded on demand.
Second, abortion attacks those God cherishes.
Throughout Scripture, we see the divine importance placed upon children. For example, when God looked at the wicked city of Nineveh, He desired to show compassion to its citizens, noting that there were over 120,000 people who did not know the difference between their left and right hand (Jonah 4:11). God was likely referring to small children who have no capacity to discern good or evil but who would be swept away with their parents in a citywide judgment.
Jesus Himself was the chief example of God’s love for children. In Luke 18:15-17, people brought their babies to Jesus to be blessed by Him. The disciples found this to be inconvenient for Jesus, and they rebuked these parents, perhaps scolding them for wasting the Master’s time on those so insignificant as infants. Jesus, however, commanded the children to be brought to Him, and He commended these infants as examples of those to whom the kingdom of heaven belongs. Our Lord, far from finding children to be a nuisance, loved them and desired they be brought to Him to bless them.
Jesus’s example reminds us of the importance of children in God’s eyes. Too often in our society, children are seen as obstacles in the way of career advancement, wealth accumulation, or exciting vacations. Children are often cast aside or treated as unimportant. To treat children this way is antithetical to the way of Christ, and to murder them while they are developing in the womb is to destroy those God is in the process of creating. Because of God’s love for children, Christians must also show love for children. We should cherish what God cherishes, and hate what God hates. God loves children, and He hates the murder of these small image bearers. Because we fundamentally want to model the holiness of our Lord, we must oppose this horrific evil.
Finally, God has commanded us to defend the weak and vulnerable.
No one in society is weaker and more vulnerable than children. Children are physically weak and unable to defend themselves. They are mentally weak and unable to discern threats from evildoers. Children are also easily deceived and harmed. This is especially true for those within the womb, whose cries for help are unheard, and whose screams from the pain of being torn to shreds in the womb are silent to outside ears. When mothers forsake their children and give them up to be butchered, how can we not lament and weep over this great evil? How can we not speak against such bloodshed of the most innocent and vulnerable among us?
Psalm 41:1 says, “How blessed is he who considers the helpless; the Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble.” Psalm 82:3-4 admonishes, “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” Proverbs 24:11 adds, “Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.”
The Scriptures repeatedly call us to defend the orphan. James 1:27 defines pure religion as caring for orphans in their distress. While those being murdered in their mother’s wombs are not orphans in the sense that their parents have died, they are orphans in the sense that their parents have abandoned them to death. To speak against such evil, to pray for God’s mercy to bring it to an end, and to call sinners to repentance for committing murder or sanctioning murder, is incumbent upon us as those God has called to defend the fatherless and rescue those being taken away to death.
Abortion attacks the character and nature of God, assaults those God cherishes, and destroys the weakest and most vulnerable among us. As we mark this year’s Sanctity of Life Day, let us remember as Christians why we value life, why we oppose the murder of those in their mother’s wombs, and why we seek to abolish such murder from our land. And may God pour out His compassionate mercies upon us and change the hearts of our fellow Americans, that we might live in a nation whose people love life because we love Christ.
Dr. Robb Brunansky has been the pastor-teacher of Desert Hills Bible Church in Glendale, Ariz. since 2011.