“Dad, are dragons real?” My 6 year old son asked me this question in our back yard one evening by a campfire. I looked my son square in the eye and said, “Yes they are.” But before I could explain what I meant tears of fear welled up in his eyes as he ran inside exclaiming, “I’m telling mom!”
Later I was able to explain that while the flying, fire-breathing animal may not exist, these mythical creatures are metaphors for the embodiment of evil. And evil does exist. It seeks to steal, kill, and destroy the crown of creation- human beings. And we need to be careful and well-armed when it comes for us or those around us.
Abortion is one of society’s dragons and it has killed and harmed many. Yet some believe that abortion is a good, or at least a necessary evil. But I don’t believe that. In fact, I am what many would consider to be passionately ‘pro-life’ but not for the reasons you might think.
I’m not passionate because there are over 40 million abortions occurring worldwide every single year, over 1 million of those in the U.S., with more of them occurring in New York than anywhere else in the nation. The reason I am passionate is not because of corrupt politicians, or unconstitutional judicial legislation (i.e. Roe vs. Wade). And while I clearly see that abortion represents the exploitation of the coercive life circumstances of women facing unplanned pregnancy and that children are dying to line the pockets of abortionists, that’s not even the core of why I am passionate.
All of those reasons listed above can be dismissed as merely arbitrary opinion, no better or worse than the opinions of the abortionist’s (except that his are sanctioned by government).
I am passionately pro-life because of what I believe. Principles determine practice. God says that every human life is worthy to be blessed and protected at every stage, in any station. And my beliefs are not informed by ‘me’ but by someone more objective…the God of the Bible. I do not pick and choose what I will value, I simply submit to what God says is valuable. So the question is not, “What is my opinion about abortion?” Rather, “What is God’s perspective on children?” The answer to this question will motivate how I treat them.
The Old Testament demonstrates that pre-born children are full-fledged people, not just because the Bible makes no ‘not-yet-fully-human’ classification for them, but because they are afforded protection under the law. One could even say that they are afforded the greatest protection as seen in Exodus 21:22-25. A man ‘accidently’ strikes a pregnant woman and causes a miscarriage – and his life is forfeit if the baby dies. What if the harm is intentional? Israel participated in child-sacrifice and was judged severely for it. God took away their country and exiled them to Assyria and Babylon.
And so because Jesus is God in the flesh and God is the same yesterday, today and forever, He reaffirms the summation of the law in Luke 10:25-28, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:29 recounts the lawyer ‘wishing to justify himself’ asking Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus responds with the parable of the Good Samaritan. His answer is effectively: One’s neighbor is any human in need. As James points out (James 2:1-9) the opposite of ‘loving my neighbor’ is partiality. It means that I decide who qualifies for my favor. I become law-maker and the judge, usurping God’s role over humanity.
This question, “who is my neighbor?” has been asked throughout history in an attempt to justify dehumanization, enslavement, and destruction of entire categories of people from Native Americans, to Black Americans, to Jews in Nazi Germany. In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court asked the question “Is a pre-born baby a person [my neighbor]?” Their answer echoes down the dark halls of the sordid history of man’s inhumanity to man, “The word ‘person’ does not apply to the unborn.”
I am passionately pro-life because the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches me that God is passionate for each human lost in sin, powerless before a holy God. I am dead unless someone leverages their power and voice on my behalf. And God does just that at the cross, exchanging our sin for His righteousness not so that we might spend our newfound liberty on our own pleasures but so that we might leverage it as Christ did–for others, the disenfranchised orphan and widow of society.
I am passionately pro-life because Jesus has called and empowered us to walk in His steps speaking and acting on behalf of those that cannot do so for themselves—the dehumanized pre-born baby and his exploited mother.