“For you formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; My soul knows it very well.”–Psalm 139:13-14
Every year Christians across the country take one Sunday to dwell on and speak to the sanctity of human life. In the midst of the dehumanizing culture we live in, we must look to the Bible, God’s word, to tell us what is the beginning, meaning, and purpose of human life. We must protect human life, foster a life well lived, and live a life of truly eternal purpose. These big and important questions begin with the simple question of, “When does life begin?”
During recent Supreme Court oral arguments related to abortion law, Justice Sotomayor worked hard to cloud this question. She said the nature of life and when it begins has been debated by philosophers, scientists, and religion for millennia and there is no clear agreement. Her line of reasoning is meant to cast doubt on when life begins, to help relieve the guilty conscience, and give moral ground to killing unborn children through abortion. But everyday people know in their hearts what the Bible teaches – life begins at conception.
Determined pro-abortion activists have sadly made much headway under the Biden presidency in making abortion more available by pill. This pill will usually kill the unborn baby, but must be taken early, soon after conception. These abortion advocates know that life starts at conception. If that life is not quickly snuffed out, it becomes increasingly difficult to kill the baby medically and politically, and for the conscience of the mother. Modern medical technology constantly produces images and data that make clear an unborn child is not an undefined blob, but an individual human being with a beating heart, distinct DNA, and their own little personal fingerprints. Often when you look at 3-D ultrasound images of a child in utero, you ask yourself, “How could anyone think that is not a child?” Yet, abortion advocates all across this land argue passionately that abortion is a medical right of the mother for any or no reason, all the way up the point of full-term birth.
Even if you struggle with the idea of life beginning at conception, no true Christian can be at peace with a full-term baby being purposely cut to pieces inside their mother’s womb. Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) exist all across this country and every day effectively bring these premature children into healthy adult lives. Intentionally ending such a life is not a right, it’s murder.
The Bible speaks to how we, as a culture, can end up in such an astonishingly conflicted place. How doctors coming out of the same medical school can work to save prematurely born children or kill them, depending on the mother’s choice. In the first chapter of Romans, Paul begins his explanation of the gospel where the explanation must begin, explaining the sinful depravity of humanity. He writes that sinful people “suppress the truth” (v.18) actively. They reject God and hate His ways. They are aware of the divine nature of God, but they do not honor or obey Him. Because of this, “they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (v.21-22). God is truth and His ways are right and good. When we reject God, reject His truth, and reject His morality we end up in a conflicted and self-destructive place. We end up living a life that leads to death and is full of contradictory decisions.
This futile and contradictory thinking begins before pregnancy. The Lord created men and women, and He created sex to produce children by design. According to the moral will of the Lord, sex is not to be entered into before, or outside of, marriage. Inside of the bonds of marriage the God-blessed sexual relationship of marriage is designed to produce children, resulting in family. In this context, children are to be rejoiced over and can be nurtured, protected, educated, and raised in hope.
However, in our era, every advance of science possible has been brought to bear to divorce child-bearing from sex. The ungodly want to have sex with anyone they choose, any time they choose, with no consequence. Sex is no longer seen primarily as a means of creating family, but an event of personal pleasure. But God will not be mocked, and His creation purposes cannot be shut out. By the tens of millions around the world each year, despite their best efforts, couples having sex get pregnant and they don’t want the child. The child is seen as a serious roadblock to their personal goals of affluence (accumulating more money and possessions), completing an educational degree, disrupting their career, or (yes, this was seriously argued this year) would get in the way of playing sports.
The obvious answer here is to advise people to be abstinent. Abstinence equals no pregnancy. But the ungodly desire sexual sin. They run to the darkness and fan into flame their sinful passion – and very literally – they are willing to kill as many children as necessary to continue their sexual hedonism. This is the hardened, deceived, and (as the Bible describes it) lost place so many people live in today.
What are we to do with this situation? We are living in it every day. How should we then live? First, we must clearly define, and never give up on, biblical sexual morality. We cannot accept the salvation of Jesus and reject the ethic of Jesus. When we declare “Jesus is Lord” we submit to His mandates for how we should conduct even the most personal aspects of our lives. We MUST hold the line on virginity before marriage and faithfulness in marriage.
Second, we must celebrate marriage and children. In the church we must not shy away from, overly delay, or overly hinder the path from singleness to Christian marriage. In the church, we must celebrate children, cherish their coming, and work together to raise them up in Christ. We must understand that entering into marriage, and the good privilege of sex, means accepting the possible responsibility of having a child. If you are not ready, in a basic way, to have a child, you are not ready for marriage.
Third, as families and as the local church, we must actively and sacrificially support marriage and children. The Lord designed us to function in the communities of extended family and the local church. These communities are a two-way street. We must not separate or estrange ourselves from family or the church, and then as members of these communities we must help each other. My wife and I have been, and are continually, helped in material, emotional, and spiritual ways by our extended family and local church. This help is usually with caring for children. As we sacrifice to help each other, we show love and bonds of friendship are built. This is entirely different from paying a worker to do something for you.
Fourth, from a position of strength in family and the local church, we must help those in need. We must have compassion on the lost and those experiencing unplanned pregnancies. This can come in the form of a teenager, a college student, or a married couple. In each case we must speak to them about the good truth of God and help them. They need to hear about the mercy of Jesus, be called to turn away from sin (repent) and ask for forgiveness. When all seems lost, we must press such people to not add death to an already difficult situation. There can be hope from the ashes. There is life in the cross of Jesus Christ, hope through repentance and faith. We need to direct those with unplanned pregnancies to excellent local Christian crisis counseling centers (Choices Women’s Center). We must truly be willing to open our homes and adopt unwanted children that are not aborted but are born with no home.
In closing, some speak lightly on this subject desiring to remove a “stigma” related to it. Let me be clear, we can lie to each other about the subject of abortion, but the “stigma” will not be removed. The guilt we feel being party to killing an unborn child is laid on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. There is only one way to remove such guilt and have true peace. You must recognize your sin before God and call out for forgiveness. You will find Jesus to be a merciful Savior, a Redeemer that will heal your broken heart and set you on a new path of life.
Human life is sacred before God. Let us never give up fighting for the life of every unborn child, adopting every orphan, and pointing every broken sinner to Jesus the Savior,