On January 22, 1973, the SCOTUS decided to legalize abortion in the U.S.A.* Here are some compassionate, Christ-centered thoughts about life that I hope will help you – no matter where you stand on the issue. My prayer is that my words not only make you think, but also facilitate healing and help you act in God-honoring ways. Are you ready? Let’s roll . . .
1. LIFE OUTSIDE OF EDEN IS HARD, AND NONE OF US SEES THINGS AS CLEARLY AS WE ONE DAY WILL. We spend much of our lives trying to recreate the paradise we lost. It’s an impossible feat for mere mortals – but it will be done one day by the Immortal One, when Christ returns and establishes a new heavens and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). In the meantime, we see things through a murky mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12). None of us has the full, complete understanding of God, His love, His beauty and His holiness that we will one day have. In light of this, we could all use a lot more patience when we talk with each other, even over issues that are hot topics, like abortion.
2. ON ONE HAND, A WOMAN DOES INDEED HAVE A RIGHT – AND A RESPONSIBILITY – TO CARE FOR HER OWN BODY. There is something beautifully sacred about the human body – because it unlike every other creature. It is created in the very image of God (Genesis 1:27-31). This means that the body was created exactly as He wanted it to be. When God made the first humans, He was not surprised with the outcome. It fit the bill, accomplished His purpose and hit the bulls-eye. It was, and is, “good.” If a woman doesn’t care about her own body, and doesn’t see it as her primary responsibility to protect it, she doesn’t understand in whose image she has been created. In light of this, a woman is right to tell others to keep their hands off her body, so that the sacredness of what God created cannot be damaged.
3. ON THE OTHER HAND, NEITHER MEN NOR WOMEN HAVE AN EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO THEIR OWN BODIES. 1 Corinthians 6:19:20 are life-altering verses that help us understand that there is Someone who is the Ultimate right to the body of each and every one of us:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (NIV, my italics)
In light of this, we must let this reality sink in: what we do with our bodies matters to more than just ourselves. It matters to God, the One to Whom we will ultimate give an account. Consider 2 Corinthians 5:10:
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (NIV, my italics)
4. THE BIBLE DOES INDEED SAY, VERY CLEARLY, IN BLACK AND WHITE, THAT AN UNBORN CHILD IS ALIVE, HUMAN AND PRECIOUS. Consider Psalm 139:13:
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” (ESV, italics mine)
Consider, also, Jeremiah 1:5:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . .” (ESV, italics mine)
In case you are yet not convinced, consider Psalm 139:13-16:
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.” (ESV, italics mine)
“From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. (Psalm 22:10, NIV, italics mine)
And there is yet the famous passage pertaining to the response of John the Baptist – who was yet unborn – when Jesus’ soon-to-be mother, Mary, visited his mother, Elizabeth:
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:41-45, NIV, italics mine)
The truth is, there is not one Bible passage – anywhere – that suggests an unborn child is not precious to God and not alive. The overwhelming evidence doesn’t merely suggest this. It makes it impossible to make a biblical case otherwise. The only way one can make a case for an unborn child not being precious, alive and important is if we ignore what the Bible teaches. With this in mind, it does not mean we can resort to being insensitive when talking to those who disagree. This is why the following point is so very important . . .
5. REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU ARE IN THE PRO-LIFE, PRO-CHOICE DEBATE, YOU CAN PROBABLY BE A LOT MORE CIVIL, A LOT MORE HUMBLE AND A LOT MORE LOVING IN THE WAYS YOU EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS. Consider these important, very real, facts:
a. Forgive: There are women who have had abortions who wish they could take their decision back. There are men who find themselves in the same boat, too. All the regret in the world cannot, however, reverse their decision. They need grace, mercy, compassion and friendship – from you. ABORTION IS NOT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN. If abortion is part of your past, forgiveness can be part of your future. This is true for anyone. And, for those of us who do not have abortion in our past, we must be compassionate, forgiving and courteous to those who are weighed down with guilt, helping them realize this tremendous, freeing truth found in Ephesians 4:32:
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (NIV)
b. Recognize: There are many people who simply don’t believe the Bible. And, there are many people who now believe the Bible, but at one time did not. It’s a spiritual thing, to understand the Bible. I remember, after coming to Christ at the age of 17, reading my Bible after several years of going to Catechism, and it seemed like I was reading an entirely new book. In fact, I was. There was nothing wrong with the Bible. There was something wrong with me. The reason I could finally understand it was because I became an entirely new creature. Consider 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (NIV). Another important passage to keep in mind is 2 Corinthians 4:4, which says, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (NIV).
c. Refrain: Arguing with people who are not open to having their thinking challenged is a waste of time. Spend your time empathizing and encouraging those with open minds to consider what the Bible teaches about life, abortion – and even life AFTER an abortion.
Remember: To err is human, to forgive, divine.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? CAN YOU BE MORE COMPASSIONATE, LOVING, KIND, FORGIVING AND COURTEOUS TO THOSE WHOSE VIEWS DIFFER FROM YOURS ABOUT WHEN LIFE BEGINS? MY HUNCH IS THAT ALL OF US – ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE – CAN BE.