Speaking Truth Into the Abortion Debate
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Written by: Troy Lamberth
In the 1980’s rallies for both the “Pro-Life” and “Pro-Choice,” positions were often featured on the nightly news. The issue was debated by prominent figures, and candidates from all political parties were defined by their stance on the subject. But in the last decade or two, the national dialogue grew quiet. This doesn't mean the issue went away. It just means that many news “gatekeepers” chose not to talk about it anymore.
At the heart of the issue is how you define a child. What age is a child’s life protected under our laws? When does the unborn fetus have rights? Is it at conception? Is it at 20 weeks? Is it upon birth?
Thanks to several undercover videos released last Summer, the topic become mainstream once again. These videos seemed to show Planned Parenthood leadership negotiating the sale of aborted fetuses to biological researchers. Planned Parenthood has argued that these videos were “heavily” edited and misleading, despite the Center for Medical Progress releasing the full-length videos online.
Even if Planned Parenthood didn't do anything illegal, Christians have a unique opportunity to speak truth into this conversation in social media and everyday life.
The value of a human life does not come from a constitution or a law. The Bible clearly says that our value comes from the fact that “God created mankind in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). God has marked mankind as the most unique of all His creation. And the most precious of God’s gifts to humanity is the ability to communicate and know Him personally.
Since the fall of Adam and Eve, this communion has been severed (Genesis 3), but the brokenness of humanity could never strip away our image bearing qualities. We are still a reflection of the One who created us, yet our personal choices no longer want to bring glory to God, but rather to ourselves. Everything we do with our God-given abilities is tainted by sin. We exchanged God’s glory for our own (Romans 1:21-23).
But even in this state, the Bible says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God still saw value in His original creation (Ephesians 1:4). He still had a plan to save humans from their rebellion (Matthew 1:21). Christ’s death demonstrates the love and value He had for His “sheep” (John 10:15).
Today we have the opportunity to speak with people about the value of human life and thus share the good news of Jesus Christ. Our value does not come from a government declaring what is and is not valuable. It is found only through the eyes of God. And it is this value that should motivate us to protect all humans from atrocious crimes (Micah 6:8).
Obviously, the subject of abortion is gigantic. There are many issues that would need to be addressed if abortion was made illegal. Who will be there to support women with unwanted pregnancies? How should we advocate adoption? How will we help women who have already had abortions find forgiveness in Jesus Christ? These issues can and should be addressed, but that doesn’t mean we stand by and watch little human lives be destroyed because the alternative is challenging.
The 19th century British abolitionist William Wilberforce once said, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” He was referring to the tragedy of human trafficking and slavery. Wilberforce, who was a committed Christian, worked hard to show the value those human slaves inherently possessed. Eventually, due to his leadership, the United Kingdom did away with slavery forever, despite the arguments about what the country would do if slaves were freed.
How should Christians respond?
We need to seek God first and ask Him to show us how to be light in a dark world. The Bible clearly explains that the human mind is blinded by the devil. And the Apostle Paul shows us how to talk with anyone who opposes truth. He lovingly challenges Christians to “not be quarrelsome,” but rather to be “kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
As we talk about abortion with our neighbors, may we prayerfully heed Paul’s godly advice and ask the Lord to fill us with grace and mercy – especially with those who support abortion. May we faithfully proclaim salvation through the name of Jesus as we seek to bring truth and justice to our society. Only when we see humanity's innate value based on God’s image within us will our society see the true tragedy of abortion.
Troy Lamberth is the executive producer of HAVEN Today. On the side, he teaches film at Providence Christian College, produces documentaries, and often teaches at his church. He enjoys discovering how Jesus is involved in all aspects of our lives—from faith to film to family—and how our relationship with him shapes the way we live. He and his wife Melissa have three young children.