Much has been said, and will continue to be said, by small voices around the country as undercover videos continue to be released that expose Planned Parenthood’s illegal practice of harvesting and selling human organs and tissue for profit in the wake of an abortion. Little has been said by well-heard voices in normal media venues. But Christians are left at a very unique point in history. Since the passing of the legalization of abortion in the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973, a variety of amendments have been made to the laws surrounding the topic such as types of allowable abortion procedures and time frames for abortions (i.e. partial birth abortions, late term abortions, etc).
But today we stand at the brink of what could be the most monumental step forward for the pro-life camp. The fundamental reality that a fetus is indeed a baby has been confessed, albeit unintentionally, by a major proponent of the pro-choice camp. The fetus has been finally called a baby, defined by sex, and cut to pieces in a dissection dish as a potential organ/tissue buyer looked on, offering money for intact organs.
As Christians we understand that God is sovereign over life, and that a fetus is indeed a child. We are taught the glorious truth that God ordained our life before the foundation of the Earth, and that He knows us and intimately formed us while we were still in our mother’s wombs.
“For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.”
– Ps 139.13-16
Many have been making logical arguments and even apologetic arguments in light of the recent scandal such as:
“Why would a bacteria be considered life on Mars and a heartbeat not considered life on Earth?”
And the recognition of the nature of a fetus, human life in it’s developmental stage, is finally starting to grip some of those who would seek to dehumanize an unborn child for the sake of the mother. The debate is intricate, ranging from the infanticide who cannot survive for the sake of harvesting their organs to save other infants (a debate in the late 90’s), to the moral and ethical of dilemma of which life to choose in the even that a pregnancy would endanger or assuredly take the life of the mother. These are extremely sensitive topics and have far-reaching implications, and I do not seek to minimize the gravity of the conversation.
But in the case of the every-day abortion: the child who would interfere with life and therefore is thrown away out of convenience, Christians must take a stand. Scripture teaches us that all governments are set in authority by the sovereign hand of God:
“For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”
– Rom 13.1b
Every authority that is in place and that has been in place was established by God. Even those that persecute[d] and murder[ed] Christians. God uses each of these people and regimes to His glory and to the ultimate good of the Church. Because God has sovereignty over these rulers, we are commanded to submit to them:
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.”
– Rom 13.1-2
When you are living within a society, the governing rules that are in place – even if they are not morally absolute – restrain us. And to break these governing rules is a sin. To break the speed limit is to sin and will be condemned by God. Thus Scripture instructs us not only to obey, but to render as the office demands:
“Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
– Rom 13.7
Pay your taxes, observe the customs, and honor the office of president, king, dictator. Not only that, we are to pray for them:
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”
– 1 Tim 2.1-2
There is one exception to this rule of submission, and that is when the law of the land would condone or require the breaking of God’s law.
When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
– Acts 5.27-29
God did not state in Scripture that the speed limit for interstates outside of city limits should be 80 MPH. Therefore, if you state limits you to 65 MPH, you are not Biblically given freedom and command to drive 80 MPH. God also did not state in Scripture how much a government is allowed to tax it’s citizens. So if you live in a country with a high tax rate, you are commanded to pay it. However. God did, unashamedly, command us to make disciples of all nations. So if you live in a country that would prohibit the preaching of the Gospel, you are Biblically expected to break that law. You are not simply given allowance to break it, you are under command of God to break it. And our response to the authority that would condemn us is simple: We must obey God rather than man.
Therefore, we are now at the topic of abortion. We have already seen that God is the creator of life and that He forms us while within the womb. He has known us from before time, but also from the moment of conception. Scripture teaches us to be people of justice, and the most foundational exemplification of that is to defend the helpless and resue the weak:
“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
– Ps 82.3-4
We must, as God-fearing Christians, stand up for and deliver the defenseless from the hand of the wicked. What more vivid picture is there than the deliverance of the infant from the hands of those who would murder it?
“You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.”
If we do afflict the helpless, or stand by idly while it happens, there will be dire circumstances.
“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
– Is 1.17
Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?
– Prov 24.11-12
What does this look like for you? Ask the Lord. We, as Christians, do not fight violence and murder with violence and murder. But we do stand up. We do intercede. We do proclaim truth and seek to change the government that would allow murder. I cannot tell you what your personal next step should be. But do know this: the realities that are being unveiled by this Planned Parenthood undercover investigation are giving us a new platform and more ground to make known the fact that abortion is murder and we are here to help the woman who feels trapped and without choice but to end her pregnancy. We, as the Church, must be the support and the help for those who see no other way out. We can, by compassion and love, support those through the difficult choice of keeping an unplanned child.
Honor the law, dear Christian, but obey God first. And let us rescue the perishing. All of them.