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Why Are Evangelical Christians so Pro-life?

By Dennis Pollock


 Evangelical Christians can differ widely in many of their opinions and perspectives, but on certain issues, they agree almost entirely. Since, by definition, an evangelical is a person who holds the Bible to be trustworthy and infallible, any issue on which we feel the Bible speaks plainly, is not up for debate. We never argue over the rightness or wrongness of adultery, stealing, or lying, for example. Since these evils are forbidden in both the Old and New Testaments, these behaviors are considered sins, and therefore no professing Christian has any business doing these things, promoting them, or justifying them.


Another conviction upon which evangelicals come together is a strong pro-life stance. Some might find this surprising since the Bible says virtually nothing about the practice of abortion. Search a concordance and you will find that this term is not mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. So why is it that Christians are so overwhelmingly pro-life? Since I am an evangelical myself and have been one for many decades, I think I can answer that question.


The first answer might seem a bit subjective but for us, it is very, very real. To be a follower of Christ is to receive the Holy Spirit. Paul writes, “Having believed you received the Holy Spirit of Promise…” (Ephesians 1:13). In another place he asks believers, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). As children of God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ, we are indwelt by the Spirit of God and the nature of God lives in us and directs us constantly. And this Spirit of God is the Spirit of life! To have the Holy Spirit is to possess eternal life, and to begin to think as God thinks and to feel as He feels. It should be hardly surprising to find that Christians are consistently and overwhelmingly pro-life since the Spirit of life lives inside us. We oppose abortion just as we oppose suicide and murder. In the Book of Proverbs, we read about divine wisdom: “All those who hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:36). Conversely, those who love God, love His wisdom, and feel the stirrings of His Spirit, love life and hate any practice which ends the lives of men, women, children, and unborn babies prematurely.


Secondly, even though the Bible does not mention abortion by name, there are certainly Scriptural passages that deal with this subject. David writes: “You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13). The Bible does not indicate that an unborn baby is a fetus whose growth is some automatic function and has nothing to do with God. Rather it affirms that God is the Master-designer and creator of every baby and declares that we are the handiwork of our wise and loving Creator. In Jeremiah’s prophetic writings, God says “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5).


Here we learn that God not only creates us in our mother’s womb; He fashions us by His unique calling and purpose for our lives. God planned Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry even before his conception. The Bible makes it clear that God is working in every little unborn baby, fashioning them for His purposes. This is no overnight process. He normally takes nine full months to take us from conception to birth, crafting and shaping us as He pleases.


Imagine going into the studio of an artist who has been working nine months on a painting. He is well satisfied with his work and considers it a masterpiece. The painting is almost complete and requires only a few more brush strokes. Then we decide that the painting does not suit our liking and must be destroyed. We aggressively push the artist out of our way and with a large knife slash his painting into pieces, destroying what he has been working on for months. Do you suppose that artist would be very happy with us? And if someone questions us as to how we could do such a thing, we reply that the painting had too many orange colors and not enough blues, or it was a larger size than we preferred, or it was too heavy and would be inconvenient for us to take it home.


When Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, both women were pregnant. Mary was pregnant with the Lord Jesus, and Elizabeth with John the Baptist. When Mary greeted Elizabeth, John’s mother felt her unborn baby jump and said:


“But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy…" (Luke 1:43-44).


The inspired Biblical narrative does not speak of Jesus and John as two fetuses. John’s spirit recognized the nearness of Jesus’ spirit and responded with joy. If any Biblical passage settles the matter of the termination of an unborn baby, this is surely it.


But even if you can somehow manage to ignore all of this, there is another Biblical concept that should likewise settle the issue of abortion once and for all. This has to do with the idea of moral doubt. The Bible tells us that not only are we to avoid those practices that are spelled out as sin in the Scriptures, but we must also avoid any practices or behaviors about which we have a reasonable doubt. The Bible says "Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin." (Romans 14:22-23).


Once, when then-president Barak Obama was being interviewed, he was asked at what point did he believe life truly began – at conception, or some point afterward. President Obama replied that this question was “above his pay grade” and refused to speculate. But with this defense, Obama was unwittingly condemning the practice of abortion. If he did not know and dared not even venture to guess when a conceived baby is a living, human being, he was, in effect, condemning all abortions. What he was saying was that maybe a “fetus” is really a baby and a living person – or maybe not, he just did not know. But if this is a matter of "maybe yes, maybe no," then no one should ever dare terminate an unborn baby. Even if there is only a 20 percent chance that an unborn baby is truly a living little boy or girl, you would have to be morally insane to terminate its life.


Imagine a father taking his son with him on a deer hunting trip. The boy quickly gets bored and wanders off, but the father continues to watch for a deer. He sees movement in the brush and thinks this may be a deer. But on the other hand, it might be his son. He studies the movement in the brush and feels it is probably a deer rather than his son. He calculates that whatever made the brush move was probably about 70 percent likely to be a deer and only 30 percent likely to be his son. He decides to take a chance that this is not his son, and quickly fires several rounds into the brush, hoping he has not just killed his son. What kind of an idiot would do that?


So even if you have no regard for the Bible, and you can ignore the Bible passages cited earlier.  Even if you have the slightest doubt about that unborn baby growing inside you, that he or she may be a little boy or a little girl in God’s sight, you have absolutely no business putting him or her to death. You would be claiming exemption from divine judgment based on inconvenience or a woman’s right to choose. They never say what they choose, just "choose," like whether to drink a Coke or a Pepsi or to eat a hamburger or a taco.


To receive Jesus Christ is to receive eternal life, and to be given the Spirit of life. We who love Jesus and honor the Holy Scriptures have always been pro-life and will always be.  Our Heavenly Father has given us life through His Son Jesus Christ, and we choose to take our stand on the side of life.


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