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What does God say about abortion?
+ Can you be pro-choice and be a Christian?
what is the Bible?
It’s easy to misunderstand the Bible. A lot of people think a lot of different things about what it is - and isn’t. Some of us treat the Bible like an encyclopedia of every rule for life. There are those of us who wish to see the Bible as a fortune cookie.
To me, the Bible is the philosophy of God. His thoughts, attitudes and actions. It’s more than that too. It reveals to us his plans. Not just for us, but for the world too. It teaches us his nature. It shows us the way to fulfillment. In this life, and in eternity. The Bible is the only thing we need to learn how to live.
Christianity has two main camps concerning theology. Liberal and conservative. These divides aren’t always connected to politics. There’s a separate post I did just on this subject you can read here. The pro-choice approach of some Christians comes from a liberal interpretation of scripture. A pro-life approach more often comes through a conservative interpretation of scripture.
got it, so what does the Bible say about abortion?
What does it mean to be alive?
Psalm 139 tells us about the role God places in shaping us before physical birth. God tells in Jeremiah 1:5 that he knows us before we are formed in the womb. The Bible shows us that for God, life on this earth begins at conception. It also shows God’s plan for us began before anyone else knew about us. Science can approximate the development of our body. But when does our soul (mind, will and emotions) enter our body? When does our spirit? The thing made in God’s image that animates us. God sees our life as eternal. God knew the plan he had for us and designed our spirits and souls long before our parents ever met.
Does a life matter to God?
In the book of Exodus, the Old Testament clearly states that the death penalty for killing a baby in the womb and killing an adult are the same (Exodus 21:22-25). All humans are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). Including the unborn.
Is abortion really murder?
God says that if we kill another person, we should die (Genesis 9:6, Leviticus 24:17). In the Bible, one person was never justified in killing another person. To punish a murderer by death required multiple witnesses against them (Numbers 35:30). One person could not decide on their own to kill another. Abortion is the decision to end a life based on one person’s judgement, therefore it is murder according to scripture.
what about rape/incest?
Do two wrongs make a right? Would the best response to wrongdoing be to do another wrong? Is murder ever a good solution? Do the circumstances around conception determine a person’s worth? Rape and incest are evil, terrible and traumatic. Having - or not having - an abortion does nothing to ameliorate the pain of that experience. We must also consider that 1% of abortions have to do with rape or incest.
what if the life of the mother is at risk?
Less than 1% of abortions are performed to save the mother’s life. Tens of thousands of doctors and OB/GYNS have said that abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life. This issue ultimately isn’t black and white. It is an ethical dilemma that must be made in the heat of a moment with as much wisdom and trust in God as any one of us has the power to access (James 1:5).
98% of abortions performed today are by women who for one reason or another don’t want the baby. There is a 6 month - 2 year wait to adopt a baby right now in the USA. There are a lot of options for mothers who would find themselves in such a position.
can I be pro-choice and be a Christian?
There’s some common statements made by people who are pro-choice and Christian.
“The Bible doesn’t clearly address abortion, so the decision should be the individual’s.”
As listed earlier, the Bible addresses murder and defines life on this earth as beginning at conception. Scripture shows us that life itself begins long before conception.
“I’m not pro-murder, or pro-abortion, I support a woman’s right to choose.”
Let me rephrase that statement. “I personally hate murder, but I support a person’s right to kill a child.” The idea of “choice” can seem appealing. But that’s marketing. The only real choice is to kill or not. It is unwise to support something that is anathema to God.
Personally, I don’t know how a person can be pro-choice and still consider themselves Christian. Support of a person’s right to murder another is a violation of God’s laws in both the Old and New Testaments. We are all hypocrites in some way, but that doesn’t excuse our hypocrisy. We must allow God to transform our mind, not culture or social norms (Romans 12:2). A Biblical worldview requires that we acquire God’s viewpoint on everything, including the lives of the unborn.
Yes, people have the right to choose. Everyday we make decisions. Every decision we make has consequences. And when we make “big boy” decisions, we get to experience “big boy” consequences. The decision to have sex comes with some big boy (and girl) consequences. No person is entitled to escaping the consequences of their own actions. When we make a decision that has the potential to affect other people, even if that person is unborn, we must weigh our decisions according to how they will affect them.
“abortion is a complicated issue. we can’t make blanket statements about it.”
Is abortion complicated politically, culturally and socially? Absolutely.
Is it complicated Biblically? Absolutely not.
It will only become complicated for Christians when they allow extra-Biblical information to shape their worldview. And if we don’t have a Biblical worldview, are we truly Christian? Christianity is not a belief system, it’s a way of life.
Can a person be pro-choice and be a Christian?
Yes. Should that person remain pro-choice? No. Each one of us has our own responsibility to allow the Holy Spirit to align our lives with God’s word (John 16:13). If a person does that, it is clear that they will not remain pro-choice for long.
Finally, abortion is a sin and is not less forgivable than any sin anyone of us commits. None of us are righteous because of what we do, or don’t do. We can all be forgiven by God’s grace (John 3:16, Romans 8:1) the moment we ask.