". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


‘The Bible Is Pro-Life from Cover to Cover,’ and That’s Never Changed

March 31, 2024

I’m not going to take “theological advice” from a pro-abortion Christian, and neither should you.

Bradley Onishi, who describes himself as a former evangelical minister, wrote an opinion piece for Politico titled, “Why Christians — and Republicans — Should Reconsider the Premise that ‘Life Begins at Conception.’” In the article, the writer argues that protecting the unborn is “not settled Christian theology, and it’s outliving its political utility.” He continued to say, “[I]t’s easy to think that the premise that life begins at conception is a timeless theological component of Christian belief. But it’s not.”

It’s an interesting read, to be sure. But it’s also far from resembling even an ounce of biblical accuracy. Despite the writer exposing a string of churches that have failed to uphold the biblical value of the sanctity of life, it stands to reason that the Bible has always been pro-life. After all, Christians base their standards and values on the inerrant Word of God and the perfection of Jesus Christ. What I believe Onishi should consider is that Christians do not, nor should we, base our standards and values on fallen man (which happens to be the argument his article rests upon).

So, what should our response be to an article such as Onishi’s? Well, to help settle that question, two of Family Research Council’s biblical worldview experts discussed the historical Christian view of the life issue on Friday’s episode of “Washington Watch.”

Onishi claimed the topic of abortion only became relevant to Christians and Republicans in order to advance their politics. In response, David Closson, director of FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview, said, “For 2,000 years, the church has been pro-life. And why has the church been pro-life for 2,000 years? It’s because the Bible is pro-life.”

He pointed out the irony that people such as Onishi, when making claims about the Bible, fail to make any actual references to the Bible. “They never even quote a single verse,” Closson said. But “there’s a reason they don’t quote a single verse,” and it’s “because if they were to open up the Scripture, whether it’s in the Old Testament or the New Testament, you would see that the Bible is pro-life from cover to cover.”

But Closson emphasized that the current age is “biblically and historically illiterate.” As such, even if arguments such as Onishi’s article sound intelligent, they’re not based in fact. “We actually need to have some historical context when we make these arguments,” he added.

And while there are many aspects of Onishi’s article to consider, Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Worldview and Strategic Engagement at FRC, took a step back to analyze the macro patterns among the Left in this discussion. He said that what the Left tends to do goes far beyond the issue of abortion. Rather, this same technique is seen in the arguments concerning the Sexual Revolution, gender politics, and more.

In Onishi’s case, Backholm explained, “He doesn’t argue that Scripture is clear that life does not begin at conception, and that God is okay with abortion. He doesn’t make that argument.” Instead, Onishi focuses on the fact that because there’s debate over the matter, then “we can’t really know” the answer. As Backholm put it, “The primary point is not to convince people that God likes homosexuality … transgenderism, or … abortion, [but] just that … people are debating it” and “you can’t actually know what God thinks.” A position Backholm described as “cynical,” not theological.

Closson added, “What a lot of these arguments are doing” is confronting “the authority of Scripture. They’re … trying to undermine the Bible.” And he noted how we first see this in the Garden of Eden when the serpent asked Eve, “Did God really say?”

But as both Closson and Backholm reiterated, the pro-life movement is scientific and spiritual. In fact, Closson noted that “the modern pro-life movement actually started in the 19th century” by doctors who “pleaded with clergy members to make sure that their theology lined up with good science.”

As for how this impacts biblical worldview, Closson continued, “[T]here’s a lot of issues that Christians can debate [as] secondary and tertiary issues, [and] that at the end of the day, we can agree to disagree on. But there’s a lot of clear issues where we don’t have to guess what God’s opinion is. We don’t have to guess what his view on life is. We have Psalm 139:13-16, Luke 1:39-45, Jeremiah 1:4-5, and a host of other passages. "We have clear text," he persisted, "And we can trust God and we can trust His Word." 

Backholm clarified that often, “when there is the appearance of ambiguity,” it’s because people “just don’t want to believe what it appears the Bible has said.” And when this happens, it’s far too easy to then think it’s up to the individual to determine what is right. But “if we are leaving it up to ourselves,” Backholm added, “that doesn’t make us different thinkers than the pagans, does it?”

Closson concluded, “No, it doesn’t. … [W]e don’t want to be functional pagans. We want to actually be followers of Christ who are being discipled by the Word of God and living that out with every issue.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.