“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
“The concept of the sanctity of life is the belief that all human beings, at any and every stage of life, in any and every state of consciousness or self-awareness, of any and every race, color, ethnicity, level of intelligence, religion, language, gender, character, behavior, physical ability/disability, potential, class, social status, etc., of any and every particular quality of relationship to the viewing subject, are to be perceived as persons of equal and immeasurable worth and of inviolable dignity and therefore must be treated in a manner commensurate with this moral status.” (Gushee, 2006)
“The cause of life is not a liberal vs conservative or red state vs blue state issue. It’s a Kingdom issue, and children of the King must stand up in defense of all human life.” (Moore, 2017)
Our God is a God of life. He desires not only that each individual is given a chance at life, but that they would be able to thrive and live with dignity. We are God’s image bearers to the world, called to bring life everywhere we see death.
There are countless atrocities that occur in our world every day; however, abortion seem to be the issue the Church has chosen to make their signature fight. Making abortion illegal would theoretically bring about the end to the slaughter of thousands of innocent children. But, are the unborn children more precious to God than the other thousands of children who die each day around the world?
What about the child that goes to bed hungry every night because the only meal he gets is at school? What about the child whose life is punctuated by verbal abuse from mom and physical abuse from dad? What about the child trafficked to work in the sex trade? What about the child of illegal immigrants who goes to bed each night wondering if tomorrow his parents will be deported and he will be left alone? What about the child who jumps from foster home to foster home because her mom gave her up for adoption instead of aborting her, but now no one wants to adopt her? What about the child fleeing war, with nowhere to go? What about the child who will die today from a curable disease?
So if abortion is not the only atrocity happening in our world, what is the real reason legal abortion seems to be the number one cause a good Christian should fight? And, if I refuse to fight to make abortion illegal, does that somehow make me less pro-life?
I would like to suggest that the real reason legal abortion has become (American) Christianity’s signature fight, is because it is the injustice that allows for a satisfactory amount of righteous indignation without requiring one ounce of personal sacrifice. We get to feel self-righteous, while simultaneously condemning others (something every Christian is tempted by). If I fight to make abortion illegal, I feel personally justified without any personal inconvenience.
If, on the other hand, I remember that God cares just as much for the unborn child as he does for the child going hungry next door, I am required to actually do something about it. If I acknowledge that God wants justice for the unborn just as much as he wants justice for the child whose life has been broken by war, I also have to acknowledge my part in creating a world where war thrives. If I acknowledge that God loves my children just as much as he loves the illegal immigrant’s children, I might actually have to change my stance on immigration.
Is fighting abortion bad? No. But do not condemn me because I do not fight the same fight as you. Maybe the reason I am not fighting the same fight as you is because you are already fighting it. And if we are fighting the same fight but in different ways, let us remember that we are different parts of the same body, each member has a different function (Romans 12: 3-5).
So here is my pro-life pledge:
I will affirm Life everywhere I find it.
I will decry Death and its destruction whenever possible.
I will fight for and uphold the dignity and inherent worth of every human being.
I will humbly acknowledge my culpability in creating the suffering of others.
I will challenge my own beliefs and political views when they do not align with a consistent ethic of life.
I will not choose the path that requires the least amount of sacrifice for me, I will choose the path that leads to Life.
Gushee, D. (2006, June 15). The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. The Sanctity of Life: https://cbhd.org/content/sanctity-life
Moore, R. (2017). Why EFL? Evangelicals for Life: http://www.evangelicals.life/