The gospel calls all people to live radically new and transformed lives for God. Throughout the Scriptures, we hear God say to each of us, "I have called you by your name; you are Mine" (Isa. 43:1c).
But because God calls each of us by name to live for Him, Christians have a duty to protect, uphold, defend and care for every single human life. That means Christians absolutely cannot tolerate abortion in any form.
Yet that's not the message you'll hear from a lot of pastors in America today. Just recently, Pastor Raphael Warnock went on the record saying abortion is consistent with God's will for Christians. He claimed that God supports exercising "human agency and freedom" in the decision to abort an unborn life. In his view, abortion is not just licit in extreme circumstances; it is a human right that God calls Christians to respect.
He couldn't be more wrong.
I'm sure you've heard a version of Warnock's argument many times before. Abortion, so the story goes, is a form of "reproductive health care." And doesn't God call us to care for the sick and the suffering and protect each other's health? What could be more consistent with Christianity than a commitment to respect a woman's choice to care for her body?
But this argument falsifies the reality of abortion and ignores the way abortion disrupts God's plan for us. The fact is that abortion isn't health care at all. Abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human life, and it inflicts direct physical harm on both the mother and the unborn child. Moreover, abortion wounds the mental and emotional health of the women who procure it, sowing spiritual confusion and pain throughout families and communities. God does not and would never call on Christians to kill innocent lives and inflict physical and spiritual harm.
Furthermore, abortion dehumanizes the unborn and offends the sacredness of human life. A fetus is neither a clump of cells nor a burdensome health problem to be gotten rid of in a clinic. From the moment of conception, every human life is endowed by God with inalienable dignity and worth. As Psalm 139:13b-14a (ESV) proclaims with joy, "You knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am wonderfully and fearfully made." No human being could ever possibly have a right to kill an unborn life that God has made to praise Him for His greatness and glory.
One of the most touching and awe-inspiring moments in the gospel comes when Mary visits Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Both women are pregnant at the time: one with the savior of mankind, the other with the holy man who would prepare the way for Jesus' coming. When Elizabeth heard Mary coming, the baby in her womb "leaped for joy" (Luke 1:44b). Can a clump of cells do that? Is there any clearer statement than this that unborn life participates fully in God's plan for mankind?
In Pastor Warnock's view, Elizabeth had a human right to say no to the life growing inside of her womb. She had a right to exercise her "human agency and freedom" to exterminate the joy she carried within her. But nothing in the Bible condones this blatant disregard for God's design, a plan of salvation that clothes every human life in grace and glory from the moment of conception until the coming resurrection for eternal life. Human beings will always be free to refuse God's plan and sin against His design. But that doesn't mean Christians should ever view that sin as compatible with the Christian calling to live and love.
Contrary to popular belief today, abortion is not a neutral act. It is a sin that destroys what God has created. As Christians, we must reject the evil of abortion and live our love for each other differently than the way the world wants us to. The world says abortion is a form of care. We Christians must firmly attest that it is not.
Timothy Head is the executive director of Faith and Freedom Coalition.
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