Why is there a debate on abortion? Have you ever sat back and really chewed on the reasons behind the debate? I was born in the late 70’s, and so as long as I can remember (at least when I started to care about such things) the debate on this issue has been the norm.

Some will say that the issue is about “women’s rights,” or “reproductive rights.” Some will claim that it is a scientific question of when life begins. Others will attempt to identify the debate on philosophical grounds, specifically in terms of person-hood. But do any of those really get to the heart of the matter? Is there a heart in the matter?

What I find at the same time amusing and disturbing is the reluctance for a great number of people on either side of the debate (Pro-choice; Pro-life) to see it as a religious issue. The general attitude seems to be “that must be avoided at all costs!” There will be those of the unbelieving sect that will sneer at the very audacity of daring to bring religion into the debate. Similarly, those of the believing sect will either tsk, tsk, tsk at the notion, or they will cower in fear of appearing too confrontational to others.

A couple of things might be said to both sides on this particular point…

First, a debate by definition is an argument of opposing sides. The argument is by its nature confrontational. To debate the position of another is to attack that position you are arguing against. In the same breath, you are also defending the position that you hold in a debate against the one who is attacking your position by arguing against it. DEBATES are CONFRONTATIONAL. And so, I wonder what is the root cause of the professed believers in shying away from dealing with the religious nature of the debate?

Secondly, religion by definition is “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.”[1] Therefore, there is no question that the debate over abortion is religious in nature. All people are religious, although they may differ in the object of their faith-commitment. If you happen to be one that prefers to leave religion out of the discussion, you may not like to hear that, but truth that is psychologically disturbing to the recipient is nonetheless truth.

Why the Debate?

Back to the original question I proposed at the beginning of this post: Why is there a debate on abortion? What is at stake? What is the heart of the issue? The answer is PRIDE.

Prides says, “To everybody else go and die, I am going to do it my way!” Pride is by nature autonomous. Pride recognizes no other authority but self. Pride is the blessed root of selfishness. Pride cares little for the affairs of others, but only that which is precious to itself.

Again, I find it amusing and disturbing that pride is the reason not only for abortion, but the reluctance to see the debate as religiously oriented. Pride is also the reason why so many go to such great lengths at avoiding the debate. As if a strong confrontation of ideas is wrong?

Christian Commitment…

I should add at this point that the Christian is commanded by Christ to be Christlike. Which means “gentle as doves and wise as serpents.” Which looks like speaking the truth in love, but with love of God as the ultimate commitment that cannot be subverted in the slightest. Which means being gentle and firm at the same time; patient and insistent; kind but unabashedly bold for the truth.

The Underlying Issue…

Now I will grant that the reason the one side (Pro-choice) wants it to remain outside the purview of a confrontation is because they do not want to hear opposition. They don’t want to be told they are wrong. They don’t want to be told that there are consequences for choosing to “off” their offspring. They don’t want it to be an issue of right or wrong, because “choice” sounds so much more intelligent and sophisticated. Most of all they don’t want to be told that what they are really doing is sinning. Sinning against the child in the womb, against the father who is also responsible for the child, against the society that feels the effects of their “choice,” but most of all they don’t want to be told they are sinning against a Holy God in heaven that will hold them accountable for their “choice.”

At root, pride is found nestled, deeply embedded in the hearts/minds of those on that side of the fence. Sadly, they are not the only ones. For in an effort to “keep-face” with the world; To not come off as a bigot before the multitudes; To not be hated by those who they may encounter on a daily basis, or break bread with during those special times of the year, Pro-lifer’s will avoid bringing religion—specifically, the Christian faith—into the discussion.

Speaking specifically to those who bear the cross of Christ

For the Christian to effectively address the issue of abortion they must understand that it is a gospel issue. How so?

First and foremost, in recognizing that abortion is not about “women’s rights,” or “reproductive rights,” or about “scientific evidences,” or “philosophical meanderings.” Abortion is about fallen human beings that in an effort to preserve their way of life and guard the convictions of their own hearts, sacrifice their children on the altar of convenience.  One glaring example of this that comes to mind is that of actress Michelle Williams who thanked her ability to kill a child to promote her career. (Read Here).

Secondly, by defining abortion for what it truly is…MURDER! When we properly define it for what it is, then we are able to rightly identify the class it fits within…SIN! Again, I am often amazed at the way people refuse to define terms. Abortion is the murder of an unborn, but living, child. To call it a fetus does not change this fact, for from the Latin fetus means young one, babe or offspring.

Third and finally, admitting that there is only one solution to sin—the gospel of Jesus Christ. A person who takes the life of their own offspring is in bondage to sin. Who can set them free from that sin? Who can lift them from the muck and mire, pulling out their prideful roots that have embedded their hearts/minds, if not Christ? There is no one else. Christ alone atones for sin. Christ alone gives victory over sin. The work of Christ alone breaks up hardened hearts, giving them a heart of flesh.

Brief Worldview Analysis…

The fact is, if you are trying to change a person’s position which would need to go against their base convictions of reality, you cannot do it. Facts and evidences will not change a person’s heart. That person will stick to their guns. They will hold tight to their presupposition, for to give up that one many others would have to follow.

Which is why you will hear various “buts” to escape the obvious, logical conclusion that the thing growing inside of a woman during her pregnancy is not a thing at all. It is a human being, a person, a little babe that is young and small, but growing onward toward maturity. The issue scientifically is not that its just a lump of cells, a mutation, an alien, or an intruder, but the offspring of a union between a man and a woman.

The issue is not intellectual, scientific, or philosophical but the condition of the human heart. Of course, all of those things have a bearing in the discussion, but a person’s intellect, interpretation of scientific facts, and the philosophical conclusions they draw are driven by the object that holds their faith (i.e., faith-commitment).

A couple possible objections…

“Yes, but if I’m offensive to the person(s) I am speaking to they will shut their ears. They will refuse to listen, and I will lose my opportunity to present the gospel.”

  • If you know anything about the Lord Jesus, you will see that he never subverted from the truth in order to be inoffensive. In fact, a consistent reading of the gospels will show that Jesus was at times very offensive, and He never apologized for it. Better to smack the person that needs smacked in order to wake them up, then to butter them with kisses and let them die. He told the truth graciously, which meant the things I said above, and when people left Him because they were offended, He let them. And, when they got angry at his message, he told them that they would die in their sins (verbally shaking the dust off his sandals, if you get the reference).

“Yes, but the Christian should be more about saving lost souls and preaching the gospel, not getting into debates over cultural mores and/or societal and political habits.”

  • The Great Commission (see Matt 28.18-20) says two things that every Christian should know. First, that we are to preach the gospel of God, who is defined by the Lord as (The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), baptizing all people in His Name. Second, that we are to teach all nations (i.e., all peoples) “to obey all that He has commanded.” What do you suppose were the commandments to which He was referring?
  • If you think that New Testament Christian’s Scripture was the New Testament, then you are grossly mistaken. Their Scripture was what we call the Old Testament (Tanakh and/or Torah). The commandments to which Christ referred were His holy law that He gave to Moses long ago. The gospel is about saving people from their sin, but sin is that which we think, speak and do. Therefore, saving people from sin also speaks of justice and righteousness and holiness. Which are the means by which we are instructed to love God and love our neighbor.
  • Thus, the Christian is called to address the societal/political habits of the people by calling them what they are when they stray from God’s holy instruction (sinful behaviors); thereby, pointing them to repentance and a change of heart regarding them. Which in turn does what? Changes the society/political habits of the people because the surrounding culture (i.e., cultus) has had a change of heart.

Forthcoming…

For those unfamiliar with the historic anti-abortion movement, next week I will give you (the reader) some background information and a book recommendation that I believe you will find helpful. If you’d like to hook up with an excellent Christian ministry that is on the front lines of this fight for the lives of unborn babies, then I graciously turn you to End Abortion Now’s website

Have a blessed weekend.


ENDNOTES:

[1] Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster), 1052, “religion,” s.v., def. 4.

12 Comments

      1. I’m all for holding the man accountable. Your are right that it takes the union of a man and woman to conceive a child. Therefore both ought to bear responsibility. Unfortunately there are several factors that mitigate against male responsibility. Culturally many of the safeguards that were born from the Christian worldview here in the states have been severely handicapped or removed. Marriage is often viewed as taboo, and keeping the marital bed holy (set apart as a gift for a husband and wife) is mocked a prudish and regressive. Many states ignore the fathers rights when it comes to the woman’s choice of abortion. Men that do want to own up are prevented from doing so. That is not to say that all men are manly in that regard , but the ones who want to step up are denied by the argument that it’s the “woman’s body.”
        All that aside, and there is more that could be discussed on that front, both men and women are equally responsible for becoming pregnant. The combination of sperm and egg are what’s required and that’s not possible if either one refuses to have sex. If unwanted pregnancies are desired then the simple solution is don’t have sex until pregnancy is desired (preferably within the bonds of marriage).
        Not to mention the fact that there are both sexes advocating for both positions in the debate (Pro-Life, Pro-Choice). The assumption that my argument only lays the blame at females feet is inaccurate. I have seen, heard and spoke to men who are in favor of the Pro-Choice side; just as I’ve seen, known and spoke to women who advocate strenuously for the pro-Life side.
        My concern is for the little children that are slaughtered in the wake of silly arguments that I find presented on both sides.
        Just to be clear both sexes are guilty, I was not assigning the blame to only one group.
        Thanks for your comments and questions. Good day.

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  1. Whatever happened to condoms? And has fornication been crossed off the Christian list of ‘nono’s’, and adultery? You were laying a guilt trip on the woman, just like Adam did in the Garden of Eden. A responsible male should keep the sperm out of the vagina in illicit sexual relationships. If you are going to make sex a ‘free for all’ you are opening the door to the ‘devil’s playground.

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    1. Dear “WorldlyWoman2,”

      I appreciate your continued inquiries and comments, and I will respond to them in a moment. However, before I do, I want to make sure that we are on the same page. On my site I have no problem with opinions expressed by my readers that are of a disagreeing nature. Disagreements are a part of life. Discussion over them can either make us wiser or, if we refuse to listen all the more foolish. What I do expect, though, if I take the time to answer your concerns is that you take the time to read through them carefully. My time, as I am sure your time, is important, and thus should not be wasted by returning to ground previously covered.

      I don’t know you. And, you don’t know me. I think that is a fair assessment. In earlier comments you showed concern that I was “one-sided” in my article. That I was “laying the blame” against women in the Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice debate. I already explained to you that was not the case. I repeatedly pointed out that both men and women are responsible for their sexual activities. The consequence of which is pregnancy (among other less desirables not mentioned—STD’s).

      Either you are wanting to understand my position and what I am saying, or you are just being militant. I’ll let you decide. However, if you cannot listen to what I have to say, then I fear there is no point in further dialogue. I’ll leave that decision to you.

      In order to be clear as possible to you the reader, I will do a point-by-point response to your last posted comment.

      You wrote: Whatever happened to condoms?

      Response: I suppose you are mentioning these as a way to possibly stop “unwanted pregnancies?” By the way “unwanted pregnancies” is your phrase not mine. I don’t accept that category of thought. True a woman (or a man as the sexual partner) may experience from their point-of-view an “unwanted” pregnancy, but that is a selfish choice on the individual(s) in question. No pregnancy should be viewed as “unwanted,” but a gift from God.

      You wrote: And has fornication been crossed off the Christian list of ‘nono’s’, and adultery?

      Response: Nope never said that. Fornication, also translated “sexual immorality,” covers all manners of sexual relationships outside the bonds of marriage. To these Jesus said: “For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person” (Matt 15.19-20a). Adultery was punishable by death on the testimony of two/three witnesses in the Old Testament (Lev 20.10). This being the highest penalty afforded, but not necessarily required. And if the requirements of two/three witnesses were lacking (cf. Deut 19.15), then at the very least it was grounds for divorce (see Deut 24.1; Mark 10.4-9), but even then it was not required if forgiveness and restitution was granted by the offending party.

      You wrote: You were laying a guilt trip on the woman, just like Adam did in the Garden of Eden.

      Response: First, guilt or the feelings of guilt can only be associated with wrong doing. One person cannot make another person feel any particular way, unless the person in question knows in their heart they have done something wrong. Second, Adam did not “lay a guilt trip on the woman” he blamed the woman for his sin. The question the Lord God asked was “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” (Gen 3.11). It is true that rather than accept blame the man (Adam) blamed the woman (Eve) for his transgression, but he also blamed God (Gen 3.12). However, the woman acted in the same way. Not accepting fault she tried to shift blame to the serpent (Gen 3.13).

      In a similar fashion, you seem to be attempting to do the very same thing. Rather than let the woman who aborts (kills) her child take the blame for what she has done, you keep shifting the blame onto the man. You say, “What about the man, isn’t he supposed to be held responsible?” Yes, absolutely. But he is responsible for allowing the woman to kill his child instead of fighting for its life. The woman who aborts is guilty of her own sin. Both are guilty, but not to the same degree; nor, necessarily in the same way.

      You wrote: A responsible male should keep the sperm out of the vagina in illicit sexual relationships.

      Response: You are right. A responsible man should marry the woman he wants to have sex with and be committed only to her. Sex was given as a gift for the marital bed and nothing else. An unbelieving society has bought into the lie “if it feels good do it,” but that is not my position.

      You wrote: If you are going to make sex a ‘free for all’ you are opening the door to the ‘devil’s playground.

      Response: Who said that? Where was this stated or even implied? Are you a Christian? Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God? Do you desire to obey it out of love for the Lord? Or are you just wanting to appeal to a standard that you do not hold in order to present and argument to alleviate your own conscience regarding the issue of abortion?

      Dear “WorldlyWoman2,”
      In case, I have been somehow vague I will again reiterate the position I hold. Abortion is wrong; it is murder. Specifically, it is the taking of an innocent life in the womb for sake of convenience. Sex is for the marriage bed. If this was taken seriously then “unwanted pregnancies” would be avoided. The issue at hand (Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice) is not Man vs. Woman. This is not a feminist argument, but a religious one, an ethical one. Some may wish to couch it in such terms, but only because they want to sidestep the issue at hand—Babies are being murdered, killed, snuffed out, tortured and chopped up into little bits and sold for money. Last time I checked both men and women were guilty parties in this venture.

      I hope I’ve made myself clear. And I also hope that you do not feel attacked on a personal level. My issue is with the issue, as my argument is with the argument presented. I truly hope that you will have a good day. If you want clarification on anything I stated feel free to ask, but please read carefully through what I’ve written in this response and on this subject in general before you do.
      Good day.

      Like

      1. Evidently the only one on a high horse is you my dear. You attempt to quote a text of Scripture telling me “not to judge” all the while judging me resorting to name calling. Who then is the “religious bigot” in this scenario? I have politely responded to your bullish inquiries and judgmental comments with civility that you have yet to offer me. Why would I want to read the blog of someone so mean spirited? With all due respect I believe we are done until you can mature a-bit.

        Like

  2. You have referred to me as militant, bullish and immature among other things, There is bias towards your comments, since this same post has been erased previously. Why don’t you use your energy fighting for an end to child pornography?

    Like

    1. My dear,
      Militant means one who is aggressive. You have come off as aggressive from the beginning. Bullish is one who rushes headfirst charging their opponent. This too, you’ve done. Yes I have a bias, you’re correct. Not only is neutrality impossible in regards to ethical matters, but this is my blog. I pay for the service. If you don’t like the content, then you are free not to read it. If you’d like to have civil dialogue and interact with what I’ve said by reading my words in context in the sense I mean them, then you are welcome to do so. However, if you cannot talk as an adult then I reserve the right to delete whatever I choose. I have allowed this comment for the moment, but if you can’t remain civil then I will permanently block you. Totally your choice.
      Now I will entertain your question in regards to fighting child pornography. Please listen, I have no desire to be discourteous to you. Do you believe fighting that is a noble cause? Is it wrong to treat children in that fashion? If so, why? I’ll await your “civil” response.

      Like

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