A Christian knows that all human life is created in the image of God. In other words, we are created to be a picture of what God is like (Gen. 1:26-28). This is very important for understanding the sanctity of human life (Gen. 9:6; Jam. 3:9). For instance, we would probably not be happy if someone pasted our picture (our image) on the family dartboard. This is because we would feel like the act of gleefully throwing darts at an image of our face really amounts to an indirect attack on us personally. What do we expect God to think, then, about those who attack his image in the form of little babies hidden in their mother’s womb? Make no mistake about it. Abortion is fundamentally a spiritual issue not merely a political or sociological issue. It is a glory of God issue. This is critical for us to understand as Christians and it is good for us to remember as Sanctity of Life Sunday approaches.
R. C. Sproul has been interviewed on his involvement in the Pro-life movement over several decades and he has some impacting observations about the surprising silence of the evangelical church. This is not true of all churches and all Christians, of course. But it is true of many. My own experience resonates with what Sproul says. For instance, I once held a pastor’s prayer meeting specifically to pray for the ministry success of a local pregnancy help center. Out of the thirty pastors who were invited, only two bothered to even respond. I know of another man who was a guest speaker at a church in our area and he preached on abortion. Immediately after the sermon, he was pulled aside by an agitated leadership and told he would never be invited back. Some of these pastors are afraid of touching a “hot” political issue. Other pastors realize that their congregations are full of Christians who frankly don’t want to divert time and energy and resources to this cause and their pastors feel it would simply be too much of an uphill battle to convince them otherwise. The fact that many evangelical pastors and churches give little more than lip service in support of the pro-life cause (and some not even that) should shame us. How many of our churches spend more money and time on toys for tots and entertainment for teens than we do on rescuing the little ones from a brutal death? In fact, when we clamor for children’s and youth ministry out the wazoo and then neglect ministry to the children that no one cares for it shows how self-centered rather than God-centered our desires are. We have pep rallies for all kinds of things but hardly a peep goes out for the unborn. How pro-life are we really?
John Frame helps us think through whether we are pro-life in word only, or also in deed.
“This issue makes a strong demand on the Christian’s attention, time, passion, and energy. We need to do something. None of us alone can do the job that needs to be done, but we can all do something. Support your local pro-life crisis pregnancy center. These organizations are under legal and moral attack from Planned Parenthood and the pro-choice establishment. Volunteer as a counselor, if you are gifted for that. Preach sermons on this subject, if you are a pastor, for many in our churches are confused as to what the Bible teaches, and like wayward sheep they are getting their moral standards from talk shows and magazines. Demonstrate; carry the sign ‘Abortion Kills Children,’ for that sign tells the simple truth. Plead with women as they enter abortion clinics. Write to newspaper editors and government officials. Support pro-life candidates for office, and withhold support for otherwise promising candidates who favor abortion. Use legal means to harass abortionists and make it difficult for them to practice.” John Frame, The Doctrine of the Christian Life, p. 731-32.
Does anything that Frame advocates here bother you? Imagine the situation were different. Imagine that abortionists weren’t only killing children in the first 9 months of their lives. Imagine that abortionists were legally killing children for the first 18 months of their lives. Imagine that mothers were bringing their babies back into the abortion clinics within 9 months of their birth and having them brutally mutilated and killed. Would your reaction be any different? Would your righteous indignation move you to action at this point? If so why? Simply because a slightly older child is being slaughtered?! The grim reality that this kind of legally protected mass-killing is happening in our local area should grieve every individual Christian and move us to action.
The great blessing that the church can bring to this crisis is the knowledge of God. And specifically, the knowledge of God in the gospel of Christ. Maybe God would call you to be a counselor in the trenches with a word of comfort and truth for those considering abortion. Maybe God would call you to minister his grace to those who have already had an abortion and are now realizing the error of that. Maybe God would have you minster in other important ways. Look at the list above for ideas. Contact your local pregnancy help center and ask what needs they might have. A Christian, like Esther, is placed by God in the world in a particular place, for a particular time. Abortion is fundamentally a spiritual issue and it is one of the greatest spiritual needs of the hour. How will you rise to meet this challenge?