Infanticide, Abortion, and Jesus

Infanticide has long been tightly wound with the Biblical storyline.  In fact, we see the killing of babies and young children surround some of the most important stories in the Bible.  Moses was rescued from the throws of Pharaoh’s plan to keep the Jews under subjection by killing the sons of Israel as soon as they were born (Exodus 1:8-2:10).  When God rescues the Israelites from Pharaoh in the Passover, God takes the firstborn children of Egypt and yet spares Israel by the blood of the lamb (Exodus 11:1-12:13).  When Israel and Judah are being kicked out of the Promised Land and Judah is being sent into exile, God allows Israel’s enemies to kill their children.  The Psalmists hopes for God’s wrath to be poured out on their enemies in the same way it was meted out to them in Psalm 137:9 even calling those “blessed” who will dash the little ones of Israel’s enemies against the rocks when God re-establishes Israel. This connection between different events in the story line of the Bible and infanticide is so strong that it has been posited that the societal killing of babies could be of eschatological significant, preempting changes in the history of salvation.

In our world right now we are witnessing the most unprecedented silent holocaust the world has ever seen under the cover of personal rights in the form of abortion.  Bryan Catherman of does a great job exploring the latest report from Planned Parenthood, where he reveals just a sliver of the American piece of the this world-wide war on the most defenseless among us.  Human life in its most fragile and hopeful state; unborn.

But how should we as Christians respond to this unthinkable epidemic?  In an early post this year I waded through the depths of what a Christian’s responsibilities are to influence the government that they are in subjection too in a article entitled Legislated Morality.  Some of the primary responsibilities I touched on for Christians were to be “Salt” and “Light” in the world; this having two parts, warning others when they are participating in sin, and urging for proper law and behavior that respects and is in accordance with the moral Law of God without advocating a theocracy. 

But what are we to do in the abortion situation?  The magnitude of this issue is so great and the timing so ever pressing that we must consider our response as believers and take action.  I think the Christian stance on abortion is clear, Christians regard the sanctity of life as important precisely and simply because we believe each and every human bears the image of God (Genesis 1:27).  We stand against naturalistic arguments that see life as only important because of the usefulness that a life brings to society or the quality of life that each person leads.  We understand the lack of usefulness or low quality of life to be related to our sinful fallen state as a whole, Romans 1 style.  Our sinfulness however does not negate the value of life, instead we must say that every life has value because God has breathed life into it and it bears his image and will one day praise Him as the Psalmist looks forward too in Psalm 78:6 and 102:18.

So here are a few ways I Christians can engage in the fight to save the most defenseless humans on the planet from being murdered through abortion.

1. Settle the Issue in your heart.  We don’t like to think about abortion and that is exactly the way the world around us would like to keep it.  Even as Christians we are guilty of wanting to keep this atrocity out of sight and out of mind.  We don’t want to even think about what is going on at the local abortion clinic.  But I would encourage you to take a fresh look at what is going on in abortion.  You must ask yourself, “Is an unborn baby a human life?” Next, understand the way the Bible speaks of human life and make a decision.  The issue is not about choice, it is about the life and death of another defenseless human being.  If the unborn have life, and I believe they do, then the implications and responsibilities for us to protect these lives are clear.

2. Be Salt and Light.  Being salt and light means bringing the truth of the Gospel where it is not, or more where it is weak.  Begin to fight for the unborn right where you are and with the opportunities God has given you on a daily basis.  Learn to be faithful in proclaiming the truth.  This means standing for the unborn among family members, friends, and co-workers.   This means bringing the issue to light and not sweeping it under the rug.  You may be the only light in your circle of acquaintances and it is your responsibility to speak up.  Being salt and light also means voting in accord with your conscience and standing for the truth in the other public opportunities that God affords you.

3. Embrace other Christians with the love and grace of Christ that have experienced abortion firsthand.  If the statistics hold true, there are many among our churches that have experienced and still reap the consequences of having been a part of an abortion.  Whether it is the young woman who has had an abortion, the mom who enabled her daughter to have an abortion, or the scared boyfriend that urge his girlfriend to terminate the baby; these people need the love, grace, and forgiveness afforded in the Gospel.  We must learn to speak to the surviving victims of abortion with the love of the Gospel.  1 John 1:9 tells us that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  These surviving victims of abortion need the Gospel to cleanse them from their sin and help them walk in new life.  Strive to be a Christian that shares the love of Christ with these usually silently hurting individuals.

4. If you are a Christian that has had an abortion, speak up.  If you are a Christian that has had an abortion and you are living in the love, grace, and forgiveness of the Gospel, then you need to be brave and bold to speak up about what you have experienced.  Become weak in the eyes of many by publicly bearing your sin (covered by the blood of Christ) so that Christ and the Gospel may be made strong in your weakness.  Take your scarlet A and turn it white through the blood of Christ.  By your witness others can hear of the personal costs of having an abortion.  Your witness will give fresh eyes to the issue before others rather than perpetuating cultural silence.  You can be an agent of light by bringing these atrocities to light.  In addition you can bring others that have experienced the same salvation found in the Gospel.  If you are a Christian that has experienced abortion you have a special place in this fight.  Speak up for the sake of the Gospel.

5. Consider the costs of further action.  If you have grasped the magnitude of the slaughter that is going on right in our own home towns, then you must consider the costs of further action.  This human rights atrocity is way bigger than shootings and gun control, biological epidemics and pandemics, casualties of war, and human trafficking.  If there is one human rights issue to stand up for it is this one.  As believers having settled this issue in our hearts, believing in the protection of life, being salt and light in our everyday interactions, and loving the surviving victims of this atrocity with the love and grace of Christ, we must ask ourselves if the magnitude of this problem calls for more action on our part.  Each one us must personally answer that question.

Finally, there is one other major Biblical event in which infanticide is intimately surrounded, and that is the birth of Christ (Matthew 2:16-33).  Let us remember that the mercy of God and the hope of Christ came in the midst of murder and take heart.  Maybe it is time for Him to come again.  If He tarries, let us continue to bring the Gospel into the midst of murder.

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