A co-worker in California once told me, "Lauren, there are two topics you should never discuss in a social setting: politics and religion. "Well, I'm double-breaking that rule today as I dive into an issue that falls into both categories: abortion.
With recent actions taken by the Texas Legislature making headlines nationwide, now seems like an appropriate time to explore the controversial subject that has seemingly divided Americans down the middle, including Christians. The package of legislation recently considered by the Republican body would prohibit abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, while also limiting the procedure to surgical centers - effectively giving the Lone Star State the strictest abortion regualtions in the country. Protestors and activists on both sides of the issue have demonstrated at the Capitol in recent weeks - some citing Bible verses, others citing women's rights. Interestingly enough, Christians are among both parties, which begs the question: what role should our faith play in politics?
I don't believe that your political perspective defines your Christian walk; however, I do believe that your faith should be the foundation of the political platform on which you stand. And when it comes to the issue of life, there isn't a gray area in the Bible. Though the Bible doesn't mention the term "abortion" (since the word's origin post-dates that of the Bible), Scripture makes God's view of conception and human life abundantly clear. "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you" (Jeremiah 1:5).
He doesn't say, "When you were born, I knew you," or, "In your third trimester, I knew you." The key word here is "before." He purposefully created each one of us in His own image (Genesis 1:27), and though He gave us free will, I don't think He ever intended for us to destory human life - especially not the life of the innocent. "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him" (Psalm 127:3). Again, there are no loopholes here. The Bible doesn't say, "Only children conceived in wedlock are a gift from the Lord," or "Only children born into financially stable homes are a gift from the Lord." All of them are, regardless of how, when, why and by whom they were conceived.
The pro-choice perspective supports a woman's right to choose what she does with her own body. The problem with this logic lies in this: once a woman is pregnant, it's not just her body anymore; it is occupied by two human beings, one of which sadly does not have a voice. I know many women who ask, "What about cases involving rape?" Believe me: I am passionate about protecting women from this horrific experience that no human should ever have to go through. My heart breaks for them, truly. If a woman conceives a child from this tragedy though, I don't believe that killing the baby is the answer. The child is the innocent party here and should not bear the punishment for a crime committed by its father. I beg of women who find themselves in this tough position: please consider giving the child up for adoption so it can have a life that may have started in the worst of circumstances but can blossom into something beautiful.
Christians believe that God knit each of us together in our mothers' womb (Psalm 139:13) and that He created mankind in His own image (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, we believe that humans are God's personal and purposeful creations. To undo or interrupt His design or to give someone else permission to is a sin. Having said that, is it an unforgivable sin? Absolutely not, and it should not be treated differently from any other sin. If you're a woman who has had an abortion or is considering having one, this article is not meant to condemn you in any way. Jesus said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone" (John 8:7). I refer to this verse in instances of all sin because I fear that Christians have done our faith a great injustice by condemning sinners when we are none the better. Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Now go, and sin no more" (John 8:11)
Christians, let our shared goal be to stand for what the Bible stands for and love the way Jesus loves. Let us offer compassion to women with unwanted pregnancies, and let us pray for those who have made the life-changing decision to have an abortion - I guarantee you they are hurting and need our love. Finally, let us unite in our faith to stand for life and advocate for the unborn. Our nation needs God, plain and simple. What are we going to do about it?