It’s one thing to say you’re pro-life, and another thing to be pro-life. In other words, if we’re only pro-life in theory but not in practice, then we’re not really pro-life. Sure, we can say we are, but that alone doesn’t mean anything or hold any weight.
So what does it look like to be truly pro-life? As Christians, how do we move from belief to action on this pressing issue?
When the Soul Begins
Psalm 139 is perhaps the quintessential text for discussing the sanctity of life. In this psalm, David praises God for his creation in his mother’s womb. Theologically, this psalm leaves no doubt that the child in the womb is a human being, with days ahead of him already marked out by God. Our God is deeply and actively involved in our creation. Theologically, life begins at conception.
However, this isn’t the big theology-vs.-science debate some tend to believe it is. The facts aren’t really disputed: At conception, a new DNA strand is created that’s distinct from mom and dad’s, a new human life. At eight weeks in the womb, a baby feels and reacts to pain, and has all of the organs necessary to support life.
Yet it’s legal to end this life.
Interestingly, though, it’s only legal under certain circumstances. If a woman is in the car on the way to get an abortion and a drunk driver hits her, causing her to lose the baby, the driver can be charged with involuntary manslaughter. This law indicates the unborn child is, indeed, a human being. Nevertheless, you’re well within your rights to drive to that abortion clinic and end your baby’s life with no legal consequences. Our legal system doesn’t make sense on this issue.
I used to think science would solve this argument for us—but it hasn’t. The vital question is no longer “When does life begin?” but “When does the soul show up?” This question isn’t scientific, but moral and theological. And this is why we as Christians must be actively pro-life.
Rape and a Throwaway Culture
Another question that often arises is that of children conceived by rape. Rape is a serious, tragic, and horrific issue, and compassion and care for victims of rape is essential. Nevertheless, the defenseless child cannot be the price paid for someone else’s heinous act. And in truth, a small percentage of abortions fits into this category, and the reality of rape doesn’t justify the widespread allowance of abortion.
We’re living in a throwaway culture that exalts the autonomous self. Think about your parents’ or grandparents’ generation, and consider how people used to repair more often than simply replace. Rarely do you see a patched pair of jeans anymore. Now, when something tears or breaks, we throw it away and buy something new. This is the way our society tries to solve its problems.
Sadly, this mentality has fed the abortion culture, allowing the baby in the womb to be seen as a problem to be solved—a thing that can simply be thrown away. Tragically, victims of rape often feel unjustified guilt and shame. We deeply want to come alongside them to help them heal. Encouraging abortion is ultimately only adding to their pain.
Your Christian Response
Our first response to anything should be prayer. We must pray that God end the injustice of abortion. We must pray for forgiveness, whether we’ve had an abortion or just been indifferent toward the issue. We must pray that those in power would be convicted to change things. Prayer is a powerful tool we must not take lightly.
After praying, we must also participate. There are many ways to take action on your prayers. You can write to your elected representative, clearly and respectfully, laying out why abortion in this country must stop. Take advantage of your American citizenship; few around the world have the ability to participate in government the way we do.
Further, we should also get involved in ministries that serve women in crisis pregnancies. As the church, we must not say of abortion, “This is killing,” without saying to pregnant women, “We will serve you.” We must listen, love, foster, adopt, give money, babysit, donate supplies, mentor young women, and support in whatever ways God has equipped us.
If we’re saying the former (“Abortion is killing”) without the latter (“We will serve you”), we aren’t truly understanding the gospel. And if we’re claiming we’re pro-life yet doing nothing about it, we not only aren’t truly understanding the gospel; we’re not truly pro-life.
Editors’ note: To learn more about how to be truly pro-life, The Village Church is hosting a forum with Eric Metaxas and the Human Coalition called Defending Life: How the Local Church Can End Abortion next Friday, May 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. CST. You can attend the event or watch the livestream for free.