Yesterday, a decision was made which led many to rejoice and many to mourn. After nearly 50 years, Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court. Now, the right to abortion is no longer a constitutional right, but has instead been turned into the hands of each individual state.
Shortly after this decision was made, I began to see posts of others, some joyful and hopeful, some saddened and outraged. And, although I was excited myself, a mix of other emotions quickly rose to the surface as well. Because, although many Christians across the United States are overjoyed, I realized many of those people do not realize the additional weight of responsibility which is now on the Church.
As a Christian, I firmly believe every person was created by God. This means that in your mother’s womb, you were specifically shaped, designed, and given life by the same God that created our universe. I believe the life of every person is sacred and should be protected.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.Psalm 139:13
I believe that life begins at the moment of conception, because this is the moment cells begin multiplying and forming a child. The Psalms of David in scripture, songs written to the Lord, mention this creative process several times. Each time, there is no distinction between being a child within the womb, or outside the womb. David sings of how, from his forming in the womb until the Lord brought him out of the womb, he was forming him both in body and spirit.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.Psalm 71:6
I believe that the life of every human being should be protected. And because I can see the evidence an unborn child is a human being as well (both from Scripture and observing conception, pregnancy, and birth from a scientific perspective), I believe these children should be protected at all cost. This means protecting every unborn child in the same way we would protect a two-year-old child which has been blessed to see the world.
As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.Ecclesiastes 11:5
These beliefs are the reason I rejoiced yesterday. Because now, a step has been taken toward protecting the lives of innocent children, giving some a chance to experience life in this world.
However, in my rejoicing, I also was troubled yesterday. In addition to seeing may posts praising God for his hand in this decision, I also saw many posts written by those who were angry. Some of these posts accused Christians, conservatives, and other pro-life individuals of forgetting about the women who are stuck in difficult situations and decisions. Additionally, some pointed out the difficult situations those children may be born into, pointing out how many children are already being neglected.
I was troubled by this, because I believe in many ways, these accusations are true. And because of these accusations, I began to recognize how the overturning of Roe v. Wade will impact the Church in America. When I say “Church” I do not mean individual churches, I mean every person that believes in and follows Christ. I mean the individual. I mean you. The overturning of Roe v. Wade does not just effect unborn children and the women who are carrying them, it effects every single Christian who is rejoicing today. Because now, more than ever, the eyes of the world are on us, scrutinizing every move, picking apart every word, and watching and waiting to see what we will do.
So often, in the fight for life, the focus is completely on the unborn child. This is incredibly important if we hope to protect their life. However, if we become so focused on the unborn child that we also forget to protect the life of the mother, we become hypocrites. Or, if we protect the life of the unborn child and encourage and support the mother until she gives birth, but neglect both once the child is born, we become hypocrites and fail to represent Christ.
Often, the choice for abortion is not made because all options have been carefully considered, but because there is a lack of options. Women, who are fearful, lost, and stuck, are searching for a way to preserve their life, and view their pregnancy as a roadblock or dead end. Abortion means removing the roadblock. Or, these women may be financially, mentally, or physically unable to support and protect their unborn child after birth. Fearfully, they come to “save” their child from a life of poverty, malnourishment, disease, or abuse. These are only a few examples of the many reasons a woman may seek out an abortion. Every woman’s story is unique and presents its own challenges and difficulties.
One of the biggest issues in these cases, is they often have not been presented with an option which saves both the child’s life and helps them through of the difficult situation they are in. Simply saying “don’t kill your child” or holding up posters outside abortion clinics is not enough. The mothers, regardless of their reason to seeking out an abortion, are in need of direct support, encouragement, and prayer, and should be heard. And, with others gathering around to support them, it is possible to save both the life of the child and meet the needs and concerns of the mother. This is where the Church should be stepping into action.
Christians, Scripture is filled with a call for us, as followers of Christ, to protect and provide for the “orphans”, the “fatherless”, and the “widows”. We are called to provide food, water, shelter, clothing, and support to those who are in need. This is not just something we are meant to do to be nice to others, it is an incredibly important part of what is means to follow Christ. In fact, Jesus specifically mentions some of those things in Matthew, as he speaks about the day of Judgment. In this passage, those who did provide for “the least of these”, were the ones he said would spend eternity with Him.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’Matthew 25:35-40
Why is this so important? Because we, as Christians, make up the Body of Christ. We are a representation to the world around us of who God is. In the Psalms, David sings and says:
Father of the fatherless and protector of the widows is God in his holy habitation.Psalm 68:5
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.Psalm 27:10
God is the Father of the fatherless. He is the Protector of the widows. He takes in the orphans and those who are abandoned. And so, as image bearers of Christ, we are called to do the same. In fact, we should strive to do the same, not just because we are representing Christ, but because we were also direct recipients of this as well.
In John, Jesus shares with His disciples that He will no longer physically be with them on the earth, but He is sending His spirit to be with them. He says:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live”John 14:18-19
“Because I live, you also will live”. Every single one of us, before we knew Christ, was dead in our sin. We were alive in this world, but dead because we lived apart from God. We were fatherless and orphans until He was our Father. We were widowed until we became the Bride of Christ. And we were dead until He brought us life. Christ came, died, and rose again so that we may live. And as His disciples, we are called to bring others into Life as well. And, because he took us in, protected us, cared for us, and loved us, we also should do the same.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.John 13:34-35
We are called to love one another as Christ loved us. Christ does not love with an “all inclusive” or “anything goes” love. Christ came to show us that our sin was destructive and wrong, and He called us away from it. He calls us to leave our sin so we may be His children.
We are not called to love others in a way that ignores sin. We cannot ignore the killing of unborn babies. However, in showing others that it is destructive and wrong, and calling them away from it, we must welcome them into something better. We must then provide protection for the widows, be a father to the fatherless, and take in those whose father and mother have left them.
This means bringing mothers into your home and having dinner with them. This means providing her financial support if needed. This means providing a place to stay if she needs a safe home. This means caring for her in every way possible. This means showing her the love of Christ. And maybe, this means taking in her child after she gives birth. It means adopting, fostering, and caring for the children that are in need. It means showing both the mother and child in any and every way possible, that they are loved and cared for both here and now, and by a Creator that is calling them to be His child.
By this ALL PEOPLE will know we are His disciples.
Diaper drives are wonderful, but we are called to more than that. As the Church, every individual is called to action. Now, more than ever, we must be examples of Christ in our communities and to all those around us. This means directly supporting the women and unborn children who are facing the decision of abortion. It means directly stepping in and offering support. It means providing whatever is necessary, including food, water, shelter, clothing, and finances.
If we are going to protect these children at all cost, that means sacrificing. It means it will cost you something. But that is the example of Christ.
So, finally, I present both a warning and an encouragement. For Christians, Roe v. Wade being overturned is a reason to rejoice. But please do not get caught up in rejoicing and forget all you say and do is meant to be an example of who Christ is. The world is watching, more than ever before. So let us serve others, protect life, and love the way Christ loved us, so we may be a light in this broken world.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and keep oneself unstained from the world.James 1:27
If you are a mother facing an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy, please feel free to contact me. I want to be available for you and your child in whatever ways you may need.