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The church’s response and responsibility on abortion

"The church’s response and responsibility on abortion" Continued...

Dr. Achtemeier perceived abortion as a great threat, not only to the life of the child lost, but also to the integrity of our Christian faith:

“We need to say in our congregations, ‘Look, friends, there is a movement afoot in our churches—a pro-abortion movement—that is a denial of everything we believe in our Christian faith. It is as serious a threat to the Christian Church as is atheism or idolatry. Indeed, it is a form of both of those evils, and we need to think through the theological issues involved in abortion and take our stand and speak out.”

Christianity is the answer to the culture of death

Inside and outside the womb—God knows us, God sees us, God has purposes for our lives. The Bible stories of women who are pregnant teach us that God can be trusted to fulfill His promises—even when we are unfaithful. While those condoning abortion deny God is able to see and know both woman and child and provide for both of them in difficult circumstances, the Christian Church has believed for centuries that God can be trusted to sustain and care for her and for her unborn child.

The Christian Church was first to save abandoned infants in Rome and has always led in protecting orphans and the vulnerable. Such care naturally flows from our understanding of the sovereign provision of God and His great love for us.

The church holds a view of pregnancy fundamentally different from that of current culture. Those wanting to keep abortion legal often view an unplanned pregnancy as “punishment,” while the church adheres to the biblical view of children as a gift from God.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3, NKJV).

The Christian understanding, that every life has value to God and that God compels us to care for the most vulnerable among us, has fueled centuries of compassionate care for orphans, widows, and the poor (Matthew 25:40; James 1:27). Not every pregnancy in Scripture took place in ideal circumstances, but every child in the Bible is received as a gift from God. So how should Christians today make choices regarding abortion? Are the feelings, circumstances, and plans of the woman of first importance? Should we devalue what God has created in the womb because he or she may not be “perfect” in our eyes? Dare we speak as God and say, “It would be better if this child were never born?”

No! Each living human being is unique and different from any other, and God creates him or her. She is given to us as a gift. He is made by God to bless the world in ways we cannot see. Our lives will be touched and changed and blessed as we welcome each child into our community of faith. Dare to trust God. Make Scripture our primary source of wisdom for decision-making and relish the joy of God’s gift to us in children.

The Christian Church is in a fierce spiritual battle for the imago Dei—the image of God. A child is hidden for nine months in the womb—but also sanctified in the womb by the Lord Jesus Christ, who came as an embryo to identify with humankind so that each tiny child might reflect Christ’s glory to the world.

Reprinted with permission. © 2014 by Presbyterians Pro-Life. All rights reserved.

Marie Bowen
Marie Bowen

Marie is executive director of Presbyterians Pro-Life, a ministry for the Presbyterian and Reformed family of churches that addresses issues involving pregnancy while equipping congregations to serve in this area.

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