Right Opinion

Why the Church Cannot Stay Silent

Caroline C. Lewis · Nov. 1, 2018

It is the greatest human rights abuse of our time. Its implications affect families, public health, and government. It calls into question our very humanity.

Yet many churches have neglected it. They see it as a divisive issue and believe that churches should be about unity and harmony, not division. They believe Christians should “seek to live at peace with every man,” to “love our neighbors,” and to remember that “blessed are the meek.”

But what is the line between loving and enabling? Between “peace” and complacency? Between meekness and silence? And, most importantly, what is the role of truth?

For 45 years, the barbaric procedure of abortion, which dismembers unborn humans in the womb, has been ignored by those too afraid to engage in a divisive issue. Why? Abortion is offensive. But so was slavery. However, everyone today agrees that outlawing slavery was the right thing to do. Everyone today agrees that owning another human being as “property” is morally wrong. Everyone agrees that despite the so-called “economic benefit” for owning slaves, it is morally unacceptable, and no civil society should allow it.

Yet, like slavery, abortion gives the strong power over the weak.

Like slavery, abortion denies rights to those whose voices are deemed inconvenient.

Like slavery, abortion denies the personhood of another human being, claiming them as “property." "My body, my choice” essentially means “my body, my property.” Think about that.

Like slavery, abortion continues to remain legal because people have difficulty seeing what life might be like without it. The question of the past, “How will we run our farms without slaves?” mirrors the modern question, “How will we live our lives without abortion?”

Like most of life’s questions, the question of abortion has a simple answer with complicated implications. Science reveals that the child in the womb is a separate, individual human being with a heartbeat and unique DNA. The complicated implication of this simple reality means a changed perspective on sexuality. It means that sex carries the weight of responsibility. It means that sex is never “free” if by “free” this means no consequences.

Yet the human heart already knows this. It knows that in sex, something significant has just happened between two people. Yet the culture attempts to convince people that sex is as inconsequential as brushing your teeth and that neglecting “safe” sex (like not brushing your teeth) might result in a cavity.  The culture claims that whether the issue is a pregnancy or a cavity, you just take care of it. And you’re good.

Yet many women face physical and psychological ramifications following an abortion. Whether it is increased substance abuse, increased suicide risk, or complications in subsequent pregnancies, the suffering of women reveals that abortion is not just “taking care of it.” In fact, it causes harm, both to the woman and the baby.

Ultimately, slavery ended because of the law, not because everyone’s hearts had changed. However, some today hope that abortion will disappear because every heart in America will see the truth. They hope that abortion will end on a social level, not on a political or legal level. However, abortion became legal because of the law. It will end because of the law. This means that those who support the right to life must do so politically — for that is how laws are made. People who support life must vote for those who support life.

Many in the church have begun to support “social justice” to the exclusion of true justice for the unborn. In doing so, they make a grave mistake.

Proverbs 24: 11-12 exhorts us:

“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?” (NIV).

This is why the church cannot stay silent, sit out, or retreat from voting pro-life. It is a responsibility, an obligation, a moral requirement.

Ultimately, “What is a human?” is not a political question but a moral one. This question is answered by God: Humans are created by God in His image and therefore possess infinite value, worth, and dignity. In a culture asking this question, the church should have the courage to answer it.

If you or someone you love is hurting from an abortion, you are not alone. Please reach out for help and hope from those who understand:

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