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How should churches respond to abortion?

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Posted on August 28, 2019  - By Dr. Barry K. Creamer


First and foremost, churches and every believer ought to remember the sanctity of human life and ought to acknowledge the horrendous violation of that sanctity that happens when abortion is promoted as a viable option for someone who’s been blessed by God with a child. And I realise that not every pregnancy feels like a blessing or seems to be a blessing, and unexpected pregnancies bring crisis to people. But the reality is we don’t believe in a world that’s happening by accident. 

We believe, based on Scripture, in a world where God is the author of life — and if a child is conceived, even in the most horrific circumstances we can imagine, the child is a blessing. Regardless of the circumstances and everything else that’s involved, the child itself is a blessing. And in Scripture, that’s the presumption that has. So, we have to remember every human being is made in the image of God. 

If we treat any human being as not having a value that’s worth defending, then we don’t believe any human being has a value as a human being that’s worth defending at all costs. And that’s the whole point. Every human being bears the image of God. Every human being has a sanctity in their life. We have to remember that. Our culture — in America, this is certainly true — but worldwide, it’s a horrific problem: abortion and the devaluing of human life. We have to speak to that. 

Every human being bears the image of God. Every human being has a sanctity in their life. We have to remember that

Bearing responsibility

But with that said, we also have to remember that an entire generation of women who have been educated have been taught that abortion is a viable third option. You can have the child, you can adopt the child, and you can have an abortion. And then, when a woman is facing a crisis — so, she is 17 or 14 and finds herself pregnant through circumstances that may or may not have been under her control, or a woman who finds herself single and trying to support a family suddenly finds herself without a husband and surprisingly pregnant right before the end of her career, she doesn’t know what to do. Because they’ve been taught their entire life that abortion is a viable option, we have to recognise that, if they choose that abortion, we bear part of that responsibility. 

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I don’t mean me personally. I’ve never advocated for an abortion for anyone, anytime, anywhere, and I never will. But I live in a society that has. And I have benefited from living in that society. So, for me to pretend I don’t bear part of the responsibility for the pro-choice mentality of an entire culture — if we’re not on the streets every day saying it has to stop, if we’re not doing whatever it takes to make it stop, we bear part of that responsibility — then, I need to acknowledge with that woman who has had an abortion or who is thinking about an abortion, that I bear part of that responsibility. 

And so, for instance, when I’m speaking in congregations and I talk about the sanctity of human life — and I do it, I do it a lot. I believe in it adamantly; I speak on the right to life all the time. And when I’m speaking on that subject, I always pause and say, I understand that there are women in this room who have had an abortion, and I understand others of you may be thinking about it right now. So, to those of you who’ve already had an abortion, I always want to say, remember that God can forgive your sin, but you have to confess the sin. Do not pretend what happened was okay. Confess it and let Him forgive you. Let your life move forward in the right way. 

And to those who are considering it to say, we were wrong for telling you that that’s a viable option. What God has given you in this life, it is beautiful and a good thing, and we will support you through the entire process — not just leaving a woman who’s got to deal with a pregnancy now to herself, but showing that we are a community who’s willing to do something about these lives. And that’s the point. 

We can change all the laws we want in a moment. But if the whole society doesn’t embrace the value of life, then the change is only going to be temporary. What we need is a culture in which people see that Christians actually do care about the baby, about the mother, and about everybody who represents the image of God in this world — and that’s everyone.

(Video courtesy: Steve Thomas)

Dr. Barry K. Creamer

About Dr. Barry K. Creamer

Barry Creamer serves as president of Criswell College in Dallas, Texas. A trained philosopher and historian, he holds an M.Div. from Criswell College, and a Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Texas at Arlington. His writing has been featured on numerous print and electronic platforms.



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