Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is coming up these weekend. Here are several thoughts that I have prepared to share with our congregation on Sunday.
Today has been set aside by many to remember and mourn over the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade that laws against abortion were a violation of a women’s right to privacy. That decision, in effect, legalized the practice of abortion in our country. Not only that, but in the forty years since that decision abortion has been normalized by our culture. Our country legalized it which allowed the culture to normalize it.
It is morally tragic that abortion has been legalized. However, it is equally tragic that it has been normalized. In fact, the normalization of abortion probably poses a greater threat to the church than the legalization. Whenever something is normalized by the culture there is a great danger that it will become normalized by the church as well.
We don’t like to admit it, but the truth is that we are daily indoctrinated by our culture. A lot of it isn’t necessarily bad. For instance, I appreciate being in a culture where men are indoctrinated not to wear capri pants. But of course there are dangerous influences from the culture. Media, politics, education, and various other influences flood us every time we engage the world around us. Avoiding the influence of culture is impossible. We can try to completely separate ourselves, but it won’t work. We’ll just end up with a sub-culture to influence us. Plus to completely separate from every unbeliever who might influence us would be disobedient to the bible.
No, we can’t avoid the possibility of worldly influence. We can, however, combat it. We must combat it. The consequences for not combatting it are true great. Think, for instance, of the generations of Christians in our own country who accepted slavery as normal. Or the following generations who accepted racism as normal. We look back and we wonder how something like that could happen in some churches. The truth is that it happened because they let the world dictate to them what was normal.
It would be easy to look back on slave owning or slavery sympathizing Christians with shock and even disgust. But before we do we should probably take the time to consider our own generation. Have we missed something as horrible as slavery? Are future generations of Christians going to look back and wonder how we could have done such a thing? What are we in danger of allowing the world to dictate what is normal to us? I’m not sure we can completely answer that question without the perspective of history. However, one could argue that abortion will be that issue.
According to several independent studies, it is conservatively estimate that there are approximately 1.2 million abortions performed each year in this country. By contrast, the 1860 U.S. Census reported that there were 4 million slaves in the country at that time. In 1860 many Christians idly stood by while 4 million human beings created in the image of God were sinfully enslaved. As tragic as that is, many Christians today have quietly stood by while an estimated 54.5 million babies were killed in the place that should have been the safest place in the world, their mother’s womb.
This must stop. We cannot be quiet about this. We cannot let this continue to be normal, because it is anything but normal. The only difference between abortion and infant sacrifices is that the idol being offered to in abortion is convenience instead of Baal. Even if we cannot change the legality of abortion we must reverse the normalization of it. Beginning in our hearts and churches and then spreading into our culture.
All that being said, how do we change it? Here are several tactics to consider:
- Pray – Only God can bring about heart change. Pray that He will bring about repentance and justice in the area of abortion.
- Make abortion a biblical issue not a political issue – Politicians on both sides have exploited this issue for the sake of votes. We must transcend this politicization of the issue and get back to the bible. In this regard, there are a number of biblical principles to arm ourselves with. However, the most important biblical principle is that babies in the womb are fully human and created in God’s image. This is really the only truth that we need. If they are not human then abortion doesn’t matter, if they are humans then abortion is morally wrong. That’s the issue and the bible speaks to it. Don’t let your conversations about this issue be political. Make them biblical.
- Vote against abortion- We must not allow politics to determine moral norms for us. However, when we have the opportunity to support biblical morality through politics we must take that opportunity. We must be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” We can do this by paying as much attention to a candidates views on abortion as much as we do their views on tax codes.
- Adopt – The church needs to imitate their adopted Heavenly Father (Gal 4:4-6) and adopted unwanted, unloved, and at risk children. There needs to be so many loving Christian homes available for adoption–begging for children–that abortion becomes irrelevant. And if your family can’t adopt then help a family that can.
- Preach the Gospel – More than anything else our views on abortion should be a platform for the redeeming grace of the Gospel. Those on the other side of this issue are sinfully wrong, which is why they need the grace of the Gospel. Those mothers who have chosen abortion in the past need to know that through Jesus grace is available to all who will repent and believe.
Much more could be said about this matter, and it needs to be said. I pray that courageous and passionate Christians will continue to fight against the normalcy of sin. In previous generations there were Christians who did this. They refused to accept slavery. New England Baptist and men like William Wilberforce led other Christians to tirelessly stem the tide of slavery. They fought against the normalcy of enslaving another human beings. Many Christians in Britain even paid up to four times as much money for good produced without slavery. As a result of praying and conviction slavery ceased to be the norm and was eventually made illegal, first in Britain then the U.S.
When future generations of Christians look back on us lets make sure that they view as we view these Christians. More importantly, let us strive to be faithful to God in this matter. If we don’t do this then, as Francis Shaeffer suggested, we just hang a sign on very abortion clinic in the country that reads “allowed to be here by the church.”