If you want to help your congregation establish their beliefs on abortion, consider three ways the abortion issue is actually a gospel issue.
By Mary Holloman
Before it became a women’s rights issue, political issue, or healthcare issue, abortion was a gospel issue.
And whether we realize it or not, our stance on abortion is symptomatic of our beliefs about some of the most important pillars of the Christian faith. Try as we might, we cannot—indeed, must not—amputate our views on abortion from the rest of our faith.
One Lifeway Research study shows that among generally pro-life Americans, 58% say their religious faith is one of the strongest factors in the development of their views on abortion. Among those who were unsure about the issue, one-third (32%) referenced their religious faith.Among generally pro-life Americans, 58% say their religious faith is one of the strongest factors in the development of their views on abortion. Click To Tweet
This begs a compelling question: Generally pro-life Americans see a connection between their abortion views and their faith. But do they know why?
Do God’s people truly understand that every cell, every atom on this earth and throughout the expanse of the universe, shouts His glory? Do we grasp the reality that God designed every image bearer to tell a greater story—His story?
With the overturning of Roe, people’s beliefs about abortion have been shaken by cultural outcries. As Sanctity of Human Life month approaches, you can speak to those searching for an anchor for their abortion views. If you want to help your congregation excavate and build a rock-solid foundation from which they can establish their beliefs on abortion, then consider these three ways the abortion issue is actually a gospel issue.
1. Abortion is the rejection of God as sovereign Creator
Scripture tells us God is the creator of all things (John 1:3-4). In Him, all things hold together (Colossians 1:17). He knit every human together within the womb (Psalm 139:13-14). And He maintains and sustains our very existence (Acts 17:28). His Word proclaims His absolute sovereignty over all things, especially life itself.
Our society uses casual terminology when discussing the creation of new life. People “make babies” or “have an accident.” It’s as if the conception of new life is a sole act of the will of man rather than a miraculous act of God.
Touted as an act of autonomy, abortion is actually an act of aggression. It echoes the refrain of “you shall be like God” once whispered in the garden (Genesis 3:5).
Theologian Abraham Kuyper put it beautifully when he said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’”
And one need not look far in Scripture to see God does not take lightly those who challenge or reject His authority.
When we dress abortion with appealing language such as “rights,” “autonomy,” or “empowerment,” we shake our fists at a sovereign Creator and proclaim that we, not God, deserve the power over life and death.
2. Abortion is the rejection of God as ultimate Redeemer
There’s a reason Scripture refers to God as the author of life—He is the master storyteller. And since the beginning of time, He has been weaving a narrative for the one purpose of bringing Himself glory. The conception, development, and birth of a child all point to a greater reality. And it is vital the church understands this.
In his book The Storm-Tossed Family, Dr. Russell Moore says this: “The connection between new birth and birth itself is necessary to get the striking sense of our own helplessness to perform our way into God’s new creation. We did nothing to earn our own birth, or to construct our own genetic code or time of conception. … This sense of life as gift points us to even more ultimate realities.”
He goes on to say, “We are not promoted into the kingdom, and we are not recruited into the kingdom. We are ‘begotten’ into the kingdom (1 John 5:1), born again to newness of life. And we arrive there just as we arrived in the first birth, carried by a power other than our own.”
What a beautiful demonstration of salvation! God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27). And every conception and birth declares to the world that God, in His infinite love and mercy, has offered us a way into the kingdom through Jesus Christ.
God the Father chose to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem humanity in the most vulnerable form possible: an unborn child. The God of the universe was an embryo, developed for nine months, and entered the world in the same way every human has entered the world. Do we stand in awe of this mystery? Do we feel the weight of what it represents?
As Moore goes on to say in his book, “The self-interest that sears over the joy of birth will also sear over the joy of new birth.”
When we embrace abortion, we reject God’s intricate, beautiful design to tell the story of redemption to the world.
3. Abortion is the rejection of God as purposeful Designer
God has purposefully and beautifully designed image bearers to pass His name and renown from one generation to the next.
Scripture places great emphasis on the importance of discipleship. God exhorts us to teach those who will outlast us—children—to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength. God’s people—His church—are His “Plan A” for taking the gospel to a world that is lost. Wherever we see a generation that does not value its children—that does not understand how vital children are for the future—we see devastation inevitably follow (Judges 2:10).“When we remain passive about abortion, we shrug our shoulders at God’s design for the future and choose ourselves rather than the next generation.” — @mtholloman Click To Tweet
Make no mistake: we are in a war (Ephesians 6:12). Every newborn cry signals to our enemy the arrival of another image bearer created for the sole purpose of drawing more attention and glory to the one, true God. What better way to silence the music of the gospel than by crushing the hope of life before it sees the light of day?
When we remain passive about abortion, we shrug our shoulders at God’s design for the future and choose ourselves rather than the next generation.
A battle worth fighting
God intends for pregnancy and birth to show the world His sovereignty, redemptive love, and divine plan for new birth through Jesus Christ. And this is why we should not be surprised when the sanctity of life is challenged at every turn.
In his book Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel, Moore says, “Human dignity is about the kingdom of God, and that means that in every place and every culture, human dignity is contested.”
Equipping Christians to effectively communicate their beliefs on the difficult issue of abortion is one of the most powerful ways to ignite a revival for life in your community. Is facing the abortion issue head on controversial? Uncomfortable? Offensive? Absolutely. But it is controversial, uncomfortable, and offensive because the gospel is all those things. And one cannot be separated from the other.“Equipping Christians to effectively communicate their beliefs on the difficult issue of abortion is one of the most powerful ways to ignite a revival for life in your community.” — @mtholloman Click To Tweet
So if, as you prepare for Sanctity of Human Life month, you feel a knot in your stomach and the fingers of fear tightening in your chest, then have courage. You’re suiting up for a battle in which you were meant to fight.
So make your preparations. Do the research. Feel the fear. And step forward, knowing that God goes before you in battle.
And God always wins His battles.
For permission to republish this article, please email Marissa Postell Sullivan.
Mary is the communications coordinator for The Pregnancy Network in Greensboro, North Carolina. She has written for numerous organizations, and is a contributing author for two books. Her debut picture book, The Anxious Lily (End Game Press) releases in 2023.