God’s pro-life church
I grieve over the decreasing volume from the evangelical church on the issue of abortion. Have we grown weary in fighting back against those who welcome the murder of children? Have we found more pressing issues which need our attention?
The Christian theology behind the pro-life position is simple and clear:
- We believe God exists
- We believe God is a loving, personal God who creates each person.
- We believe God has revealed Himself and His will for us in the Bible alone.
- In Psalm 139 God says that a baby in a mother’s womb is a person.
A person who believes these four things necessarily stands against abortion. No other position is open to them.
Reflecting the character of God in this area requires intentionality at both the personal and societal levels. Personally, there are likely many men and women in your church who have participated in the abortion of their own children. Few sins will shred a soul as this one will. Do your pastors proclaim the power of the blood of Christ to completely forgive even the sin of abortion? Do your pastors nurture and care for those who are grieving over the loss of their children?
But this is not only a personal issue. It is a societal issue, one which demands the greatest courage from God’s people to do all in their power to save children from being murdered. In my experience, Christian leaders tend to avoid speaking on the macro issue of abortion because they don’t want to hurt or alienate individuals who are recovering from it.
As I look back on my life I see so many areas where my thinking has not been biblical. This issue of abortion was one of them. When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I believed abortion was wrong, but that it was one of many important political issues, and that it shouldn’t be a litmus test for a political candidate. If a candidate held other views I thought were right, I didn’t want this one issue to override everything else. The Bible forced me to change my mind. I had been taken captive by the hollow and deceptive philosophy that I could be anti-abortion personally, but pro-choice politically.
Imagine if you agreed with a candidate on every point, except the candidate believed that women should have the right to kill their three-year-old child for any reason. Could you ever vote for such a person? Of course, not! But what if you agreed with them on every other issue? No way. This singular issue would override all the others. Does not the Bible teach that a one month old baby in the womb is equal in value, worth, personhood and dignity to the three-year-old child out of the womb? In God’s eyes there is no difference, and He wants His people to see things as He sees them.
If desperate mothers were bringing their three-year-old children into a clinic down the street to have their children killed, would your local church care? Would you do anything? I believe you would. In God’s eyes, this is exactly what is happening.
Pro-Life is Not Enough
Churches which embrace a biblical vision for marriage and children are not just pro-life, they are pro-child. They not only do all in their power to protect children at risk of being murdered in the womb (pro-life), but they eagerly desire the blessing of many children into their families (pro-child.)
Does your local church celebrate the news of a new pregnancy, a new adoption, or a new foster child? God would have our churches overflow with the words of Jesus, “let the little children come!”
Psalm 127 contains a powerful message, but many people miss it all together. This psalm is a short poem containing only five verses, but it is rarely preached or taught as a single unit. Rather, people take the first two verses and apply them totally out of context with the remainder of the psalm. Here are the first two verses. The words may be familiar to you:
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
– Psalm 127:1-2
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” It is a well-known passage from the Bible. Unfortunately, it is often preached as a stand-alone line without paying any attention to the entire subject matter of the psalm. This verse is ripped out of context and Christians are told something along the lines of, “If you plan your life apart from God, you are wasting your time. You need to build your family, your business, and your future on the sure foundation of God.” Such teaching is certainly true, but Psalm 127:1 is not a general message about trusting God and including Him in your plans. Remember, this psalm only contains five verses! It is one unit, and was never intended to be separated into disjointed sections. Here are the final three verses:
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
– Psalm 127:3-5
What is God speaking about in Psalm 127? The blessing, reward, and Kingdom impact of children…many children! God says that sons are a heritage. God says that children are a reward. We pray that God’s grace will work in the hearts of our six children with such power that when they leave our home they will be like spiritual arrows entering into the battle for Christ and for His Kingdom. God says a man is blessed when the house is filled with kids! The spirit of the world disagrees. Two kids should be enough for everyone. Three at the absolute max!
Let’s go back to verse 1. “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” What is God saying? The call of this psalm is to allow God to build your family according to His plans, rather than yours. We know God is sovereign over all things in our lives, so second-guessing is not a fruitful exercise. But Amy and I sometimes think about who is not a part of our family by intentionally avoiding children for the first three years of our marriage. Each of our six children truly is a blessing from God. We don’t want to send any one of them back! To think God had more “blessings” in store for us that we intentionally avoided is more than a little depressing. We didn’t realize we were delaying the most challenging, joyous, and important Christian mission of our lives.
Are you concerned about the crises facing the world such as poverty, hunger, and injustice? Do you know what we need more than anything else to address these problems? We need more people who love Jesus Christ and who are willing to lay down their lives for Him. By raising godly children, you can have a greater impact on the world than you can possibly imagine.[i]