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Every January, pro-life legislators in Washington introduce token legislation they know won’t pass.
Some churches across the country remind their congregations of the sanctity of human life from the pulpit; while others tentatively print something about abortion in their church bulletins, hoping the calendar quickly turns to February. Most churches, of course, avoid the topic of abortion entirely, instead focusing on the new year; updated capital campaigns; and sermon topics on grace, compassion, mercy, and justice – all while the willful slaughter of 3,000 preborn children continues to occur day after day after day.
Meanwhile, those who are pro-abortion continue to vehemently work to further disregard life both inside and outside of the womb. A prime example of this is the governor of New York ordering the lights on the One World Trade Center and other landmarks be changed to pink to celebrate his newly signed legislation that allows abortion up until birth.
The outcry from Christian leaders, denominations, and megachurch pastors in response to New York’s death legislation has been virtually nonexistent. A few Catholic bishops in New York responded with dismay, though I have yet to see any meaningful backup support from Christian leaders in New York or anywhere else. Most well-known Christian leaders remain eerily silent on abortion. The complacency of the Church is evident.
The events of recent history serve as a grim reminder of the overall silence of Christian leaders regarding the greatest genocide in American history. While I realize some churches passionately and regularly address abortion from a biblical perspective, the vast majority of Christian communities pretend it doesn’t exist.
And so, we must continue to ask:
If the Christian worldview is foundational to the pro-life ethic, then why do many church leaders stubbornly refuse to blink an eye in the face of 1 million image bearers of God being destroyed every year and within eyeshot of our church buildings?
After years spent working to inform and educate churches about the abortion genocide in America, I’ve found that fear and ignorance partially drive our silence. Some churches are afraid to talk about abortion for fear of being perceived as political or abrasive. Others are ill-informed – they have little understanding about what abortion is or its massive death toll over the past 46 years. And a large number of churches are doctrinally pro-abortion, ignoring Scripture, ethics, and fundamental morality altogether.
Yet in recent years, I’ve observed an even deeper, more insidious reason for the Church’s silence: Christians are not convicted by the truth that the preborn child has the same intrinsic value as those of us already born. If we did, our actions would align with this belief.
Every single aborted child is a human being with inherent value, “created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” A zygote has the same value as an adult and is therefore worthy of the same protections, rights, and securities.
This belief is founded and grounded in the Christian faith. It is impossible to overstate the importance of this fact. The centrality of the pro-life worldview is that we are each of inestimable, equal value because we are handcrafted by a loving Creator, and we are made in His image. We are valuable because God instills that value in each one of us.
One can be pro-life and not be Christian, of course. However, the Christian worldview recognizes the value of the human race to the extent that the Creator came and rescued His own creation through His death and resurrection.
The fact that God came to rescue His own human creation is enough to firmly and forever form a concrete pro-life ethic. Yet HOW God came to rescue us cements the pro-life ethic even further. He came as one of us. He came to earth as a zygote. God, the Author of life, came to earth through the very process He authored to create human life. Every person who claims belief in Christ should marvel and be awestruck at this scriptural truth. Humans are valuable, and God affirmed it most miraculously when He came to earth as one of us.
Because the pro-life ethic is grounded in Christianity, those who follow Christ are uniquely motivated in our reason for believing in and our passionate defense of the value of all humanity. In addition, the undeniable fact that the preborn and born have the same value should require all of us to act according to our belief.
Read the other blog posts in the Abortion and the Church series:
- Part 1: It’s Our Job to End Abortion
- Part 2: Our Calling to End Abortion is Urgent
- Part 3: Is Ending Abortion One of God’s Pressing Moral Priorities?
- Part 4: Want to End Abortion? ACT.