Abortion, Mailbag

The Mailbag: Potpourri (Ectopic pregnancies… Selfie vanity… Staying single… Devotionals)

Welcome to another “potpourri” edition of The Mailbag, where I give short(er) answers to several questions rather than a long answer to one question.

I like to take the opportunity in these potpourri editions to let new readers know about my comments/e-mail/messages policy. I’m not able to respond individually to most e-mails and messages, so here are some helpful hints for getting your questions answered more quickly. Remember, the search bar (at the very bottom of each page) can be a helpful tool!

Or maybe I answered your question already? Check out my article The Mailbag: Top 10 FAQs to see if your question has been answered and to get some helpful resources.


A question on your post regarding abortion if I may. I am most definitely pro-life. You stated that every attempt should be made to save the life of the mother and child — including in cases of ectopic pregnancies. Can you direct me to articles of the professionals you mentioned who have stated publicly that ectopic pregnancies can be saved?

My first and only pregnancy was both an anembryonic pregnancy and a tubal pregnancy. I was told that I was 5 minutes until death, and that the tubal pregnancy could not be saved. I have wondered about this for many years but cannot find any information regarding a tubal pregnancy that can be saved. Thank you.

My deepest condolences for the loss of your baby. May the Lord continue to comfort you and give you peace.

I’m so sorry, but I think you may have misunderstood that part of the article. Here’s what it says:

Abortion is never necessary to save the mother’s life. Numerous OB/GYNs and other medical professionals have stated this publicly. In cases in which the mother’s life and/or health are at stake (including ectopic pregnancies), the biblical and medically ethical approach is to make every attempt to save both the mother and child (which can often be done through early delivery, not abortion). If the child dies during the attempt to save him and his mother, that is a grievous tragedy, but it is not an abortion. Abortion is the intentional, proactive killing of a child.”

The statement, “Numerous OB/GYNs and other medical professionals have stated this publicly,” refers to the previous sentence (“Abortion is never necessary to save the mother’s life.”) and link. In other words, these medical professionals have stated that abortion is never necessary to save the mother’s life, not that babies in ectopic pregnancies can be saved.

With ectopic pregnancies, “the biblical and medically ethical approach is to make every attempt to save both the mother and child…”. As I understand the situation, at this point in medical technology, it is not possible for a doctor, while attempting to save the mother with an ectopic pregnancy, to also save the life of the baby. However, it is my understanding that, through research, an attempt is being made to discover ways to save these precious babies, possibly through re-implantation or other means.

I think you will find the video below to be helpful as well as its companion article:

What about Ectopic Pregnancies?

One of the things Sarah mentions in the video that I found enlightening is that ectopic pregnancies are fairly rare, and that it is rarer still for the ectopic pregnancy to be nurturing a live, normally developing embryo.

She says that in every case she has personally seen in her career, either the baby in the ectopic pregnancy has already died by the time the mother is treated, or the cells in the blastocyst are so aberrant that normal development of a living fetus would be impossible, or both.


Is there a Biblical way to approach Christian friends about the appearance of vanity when they regularly post pictures of themselves on social media?

It is so kind of you to care about your friends’ reputation in the eyes of others.

There is a biblical way to approach them. There is not a way to approach them that comes with a guarantee that they won’t get mad. Those are two different things. In fact, it is likely no matter how gently and kindly you biblically broach the subject, they will get mad. That’s just how people respond to what they perceive to be criticism these days – even professing Christians.

And (assuming that what your friends are doing actually violates Scripture and isn’t just a matter of opinion – which I have no way of knowing) that’s OK. The fact that they get mad doesn’t automatically mean you weren’t being loving or biblical. As Christian women, we’ve been taught by society and by most of the popular evangelical women celebrities that the cardinal, unforgivable sin is hurting someone’s feelings. And that is what’s not biblical. You won’t find a single passage of Scripture that says, “Confront sin … unless it would offend somebody.”

Since the appearance of vanity is a highly subjective and sensitive issue, and one most Christian women aren’t familiar with, I would suggest broaching the subject privately and gently, keeping in mind that there’s always the possibility that you may be misreading the situation:

“Suzy, you know I love you and care for you, and I love looking through the pictures you post on social media. That picture of your dog last week was really cute! I’m just wondering if there’s a reason why you’re posting so many selfies? I know you love the Lord and I wouldn’t want others who see your pictures to get the impression that you’re vain or self-centered, but rather to see the godly young woman I know and love.”

If she’s teachable and willing to discuss the issue, you might wish to work through these Scriptures with her. (For the 1 Timothy 5 passage, I highly recommend listening to the section of our A Word Fitly Spoken podcast episode, Biblical Women’s Ministry, that explains this passage.)

You might also find the podcast series Amy and I did on modesty to be informative. “Modesty” doesn’t just mean refraining from dressing in a sexually provocative way. It also means dressing and conducting yourself in a way that doesn’t make you the center of everyone else’s attention.

Modesty: part 1 part 2 part 3– at A Word Fitly Spoken


Would you be so kind as to help me Biblically on the single/divorced woman. I would like to know if it’s OK to make my own way in life without remarriage. I am very successful in my profession, and content in my walk with the Lord and being single. (Or direct me to one of your articles)

It’s a great question, and one I’m sure a lot of single and single again Christian women wonder about.

There are a few different possibilities of how you might have arrived at the state of being single:

  • You’ve never married
  • You’re a younger widow
  • You’re an older widow
  • You initiated a divorce for unbiblical reasons
  • You initiated a divorce for biblical reasons (adultery, abandonment)
  • Your husband initiated an unwanted divorce (abandonment)

If you’ve never married, you’re an older widow, you initiated a divorce for a biblical reason, or your husband initiated an unwanted divorce, my general counsel would be to get up every day and serve the Lord faithfully wherever He has planted you – in life, in your church, in your job, and in your relationships. God says being single can be a good thing:

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am.

1 Corinthians 7:8

But never say “never”. There’s no requirement for you to pursue marriage, but don’t tell God “no” if He seems to be leading you toward marriage at some point in the future. Marriage is a good thing, too, especially if you struggle to control yourself sexually:

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband… But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

1 Corinthians 7:2,9

If you’re a younger widow, 1 Timothy 5:14 encourages you to remarry (a godly man, under godly circumstances, of course). In our culture, I think the principles behind this particular passage would also include younger divorcees who either initiated a divorce for a biblical reason or whose husbands initiated an unwanted divorce.

If you initiated a divorce for an unbiblical reason Scripture seems to indicate that you should remain unmarried:

To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11

If you have not repented for initiating an unbiblical divorce – whether before or after you got saved – you should definitely not remarry, and you need to repent. However, if you have repented, there is some disagreement among reputable Bible scholars as to whether this prohibition on remarriage applies to any divorce you’ve initiated for unbiblical reasons (pre- or post-salvation), or only to post-salvation divorce, since Paul is speaking to Christians in 1 Corinthians 7. If you initiated a divorce for unbiblical reasons, it is imperative that you seek godly counsel from your (doctrinally sound) pastor if you’re considering remarriage.

In fact, in any situation in which marriage or remarriage is being considered, pastoral counsel is a must. And even if you’re contemplating lifelong singlehood, I would encourage you to seek pastoral counsel as well.

Whatever your future holds, while you’re single, steward your singleness to the glory of God.

Additional Resources:

All the Single Ladies at A Word Fitly Spoken

Imperishable Beauty: A Study of Biblical Womanhood (lesson 13 deals specifically with singlehood)

The Mailbag: Is it all right for a Christian to get divorced?

The Mailbag: Potpourri (Remarriage after divorce…

The Mailbag: Potpourri (…Remarriage Forbidden?)


I read your articles on recommended women to follow but could not find that any of them had a devotional book. I am involved in a ministry at our church and put together goody bags for them. I’d like to give them a devotional book. Do you have any recommendations?

That’s awfully kind of you to make these women feel special and loved. Thank you for serving your church.

On principle, I do not make recommendations for Bible study books or materials, or devotionals. Instead, I encourage women to study straight from the text of Scripture (see my article The Mailbag: Can you recommend a good Bible study for women/teens/kids? for more information).

May I recommend instead that you give them a lovely copy of “God’s devotional” – the book of Psalms or Proverbs? Here are a few I found (I didn’t vet all of these websites, so I’m not recommending them, just suggesting a few books to consider):

ESV Scripture Journal: Proverbs

Psalms for Joyful Living

Proverbs for your Daily Path

Mini Book of Psalms

Vest Pocket New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs

Or if you’d like to go with a copy of the gospel of John, check out these designs from the Pocket Testament League. (I would strongly recommend the ESV versions.) You can even design your own cover!


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Abortion

Abolition or Pro-Life?

Originally published June 8, 2022

Sanctity of Life Sunday is this Sunday, January 22.

Do you know the differences between the abolition movement and the pro-life movement? It’s a good thing for all Christians to be informed about.

Watch A Storm Comes Rolling Down the Plain, then listen in to our A Word Fitly Spoken interview with Brett Baggett, one of the key figures in the documentary.

I also thought this interview with Samuel Sey, Nathaniel Jolly, and Ekkie Tepsupornchai on the Truth Be Known podcast was insightful and helpful:

Abortion, Basic Training

Basic Training: Abortion

For more in the Basic Training series, click here.

Sunday, January 22, is Sanctity of Life Sunday.

Originally published February 8, 2019

I rarely write on abortion. But it’s not because I don’t feel strongly about it. It’s because it seems like it should be a given. That Christians shouldn’t have to be told that we don’t support abortion any more than we have to be told to breathe or eat. When I think about writing about abortion, I think, “What could I possibly say that hasn’t already been said a million times, and by people who have more experience in this arena than I do?”.

But the more I look out over the landscape of contemporary Christianity, the more I realize we can’t take any aspect of theology for granted. Because when we take the basics for granted, they don’t get taught to the next generation and we end up assuming they know things they don’t actually know. And that’s on us – those of us who knew and didn’t properly and explicitly train those who came behind us.

So if you’re recently saved and you’ve just walked in to this brand new, unfamiliar, and counter-intuitive worldview of biblical Christianity, or if you grew up around some form of evangelicalism but nobody ever took the time to sit you down and teach you properly, let’s look at some of the basics about abortion.

🍼 Abortion is murder. When you intentionally and unjustly end an innocent human life, that is murder. Abortion takes a living human being (it’s not a chicken or a hippo or a platypus) and intentionally and unjustly causes the death (causes heart, brain, and all other organ functions to cease) of said human being. That’s not even a theological argument, that’s a medical fact.

🍼 A baby in utero is not part of the “mother’s body.” The pro-abortion side often makes comments like, “No one has the right to tell a woman what she can and can’t do with her body.” This argument is beneath the intelligence of most of the people who make it for a couple of reasons: 

First, we tell men, women, and children what they can and can’t do with their bodies all the time. Children can’t use their bodies to drive a car or serve in the military. Men can’t use their bodies to rape. Women can’t use their bodies for prostitution. People can’t sell their kidneys for transplant. See how that works?

Second, this isn’t the twelfth, or fifteenth, or eighteenth century. Modern science has left in the dust any notion that a baby is an appendage of his mother’s body like her arm or her liver. Pre-born babies have their own unique DNA, blood type, heartbeat, organ systems, and so on. When we say a woman shouldn’t have an abortion, we aren’t telling a woman what to do with her own body … except in the sense that we are telling her she can’t use her body to murder someone else. (Which, technically, is already a law that pertains to both men and women.) A pre-born baby may be dependent on his mother for food, shelter, and care, but so is her two-year-old, and, so far, no one is using that line of reasoning to suggest it’s OK to kill a child of that age. Yet.

And, finally, if you’re a genuinely regenerated Christian who is holding on to the “my body my choice” mantra, your body, your life, and your eternity were bought and paid for by Christ. He owns you, and He has every right to tell you what to do with your body. It doesn’t matter one whit what people say you can or can’t do.

If you’re a genuinely regenerated Christian who is holding on to the “my body my choice” mantra, you were bought and paid for by Christ. He owns you and has every right to tell you what to do with your body.

🍼 Abortion is never necessary to save the mother’s life. Numerous OB/GYNs and other medical professionals have stated this publicly. In cases in which the mother’s life and/or health are at stake (including ectopic pregnancies), the biblical and medically ethical approach is to make every attempt to save both the mother and child (which can often be done through early delivery, not abortion). If the child dies during the attempt to save him and his mother, that is a grievous tragedy, but it is not an abortion. Abortion is the intentional, proactive killing of a child.

Abortion is NEVER necessary to save the mother’s life.

🍼 Medical care for miscarriage and stillbirth is not an abortion. Saying that it is is like saying that burying someone who has died is the same as murdering that person. In a miscarriage and stillbirth, the baby has already died in utero of natural or accidental causes. Abortion is proactively and intentionally killing a living pre-born baby.

Medical care for miscarriage and stillbirth is NOT an abortion.

🍼 Rape and incest are horrible sins that no one should ever be subjected to, but in the tiny number of pregnancies that result from these heinous crimes, we do not execute the child for the sin of his father. The Bible is clear on that. And the practical results of obeying this biblical mandate bear out its truth. The overwhelming majority of women who get an abortion after having been raped regret it and say it caused additional trauma, while women who go through with their pregnancies after rape do not.

The overwhelming majority of women who get an abortion after having been raped regret it and say it caused additional trauma.

🍼 Because abortion is murder, it is a sin. If you have ever performed, assisted in, encouraged, or received an abortion, you have committed the sin of murder. You are a murderer. It is good and right for you to feel guilty about that and to grieve over both the sinful person you are who has offended a holy God, and to grieve for the life of your baby. Don’t try to skip feeling your guilt and grief over this sin. It’s a vital part of the process of dealing with it biblically and in an emotionally healthy way.

🍼 If you’re counseling someone post-abortion, I know it can be painful to watch, but you must let her process through the guilt that comes with this sin. Don’t immediately skip ahead to forgiveness. She can’t get to repentance and forgiveness if she has nothing to repent of and ask forgiveness for. 

🍼 Also if you’re counseling someone post-abortion, do not just give her blanket absolution. I recently heard a pastor (with the best of intentions, I’m sure) stand in the pulpit and rightly call abortion a sin, and also rightly offer women Christ’s forgiveness of that sin. But he skipped the middle part where you have to confess and repent of your sin and ask Christ for forgiveness. That’s not a step that can be skipped for abortion or any other sin.

🍼 If you repent of the sin of abortion, Christ will forgive you and make you clean. He delights to cleanse the foulest of sinners and welcome them into His Kingdom with open arms of grace and mercy. Trust Him to keep His promise to forgive you.

🍼 Christians should support doctrinally sound anti-abortion endeavors. Volunteering at crisis pregnancy centers, donating to anti-abortion causes and services, adopting, housing and providing for pregnant women who need assistance, supporting Christian orphanages, etc. Just be discerning and check out the theology of the organization first.

🍼 Christians should not join with apostate “churches” or other religions in anti-abortion causesThe Bible is absolutely clear that we are not to partner in ministry endeavors with unbelievers, especially those who claim to be Christians or teach false doctrine(Yes, this includes Catholics. They may be very nice people and they’ve been fighting against abortion for a long time, but Catholic doctrine as contained in church documents teaches many false and anti-biblical doctrines including anathematizing {condemning to hell} those who hold to the biblical teaching of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. Those who hold to such doctrines are not Christians despite what they may claim.) Partnering with unbelievers who claim to be Christians is an even more dangerous sin than abortion because it confuses people about what salvation is and muddies the gospel. It sends the message that you can believe things contrary to Scripture and still be saved, and that is a message that sends people to an eternity in Hell. Plus, it doesn’t make any sense to commit one sin in order to fight against another sin. That is not God’s way nor is it in keeping with His Word.

🍼 For Christians, abortion should be our highest priority litmus test when it comes to deciding which candidate to vote for. If you’re willing to have children murdered so you can get more money back in your tax refund, or better highways, or more social programs, or whatever, your attitude is anti-Christ. Where would we be if Jesus had had such a selfish, self-serving worldview? Christianity says, “I’ll lay down my life for you,” not, “You lay down your life for me.”. Besides, if your candidate is so ensconced in evil that he advocates murdering children, he won’t think twice about a lesser sin like breaking the very campaign promises that caused you to vote for him in the first place.

🍼 Pastors, youth pastors, and teachers in our churches need to clearly and proactively preach and teach what the Bible says about sex and abortion through the lens of the gospel. Having a largely regenerate congregation will prevent abortions primarily through girls and women getting saved, but having a gospel-saturated culture in your church will also encourage those who do sin sexually and get pregnant to reach out to a brother or sister – instead of an abortion clinic – for help.

🍼 God is the creator, sustainer, and giver of life. If He values life so much, how can we who claim to be His followers treat a human life as inconvenient, cheap, and expendable when it suits our own selfish purposes?

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:13-16

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Psalm 127:3

Abortion is the murder of a human being. You cannot support that at any level if you truly belong to Christ. If you’re a Christian, you must submit your attitudes and actions regarding abortion to the teaching of Scripture, and obey God’s Word.


Additional Resources:

Guest Post ~ On the Subject of Abortion

Abolition or Pro-Life?

Rescue Those

Free the States

Abortion, Southern Baptist/SBC

Abolition or Pro-Life?

Do you know the differences between the abolition movement and the pro-life movement?

It’s a good thing for all Christians to be informed about, but especially for Southern Baptists right now. It’s sure to be an issue at the Southern Baptist Convention next week, after the ERLC recently helped torpedo an abolition bill in Louisiana. (For more info., click here and scroll down to “May”)

Watch A Storm Comes Rolling Down the Plain, then listen in to our A Word Fitly Spoken interview with Brett Baggett, one of the key figures in the documentary. (And please keep Brett in prayer.)

I also thought this interview with Samuel Sey, Nathaniel Jolly, and Ekkie Tepsupornchai on the Truth Be Known podcast was insightful and helpful:

Abortion, Gospel

Throwback Thursday ~ Planned Parenthood: There, But for the Grace of God…

Originally published August 15, 2015

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You walk into your doctor’s office for your annual check up—flu shot, cancer, cholesterol and blood sugar screening, blood pressure check—you know, routine maintenance on the ol’ bod. You’ve chosen this doctor because you don’t have health insurance and he’s kind enough to lower his prices and work with you on a payment plan. His office is clean and bright, beautifully decorated, and the staff is always friendly. You even get a lollipop at the end of each visit.

But this year, as you’re walking down the hall to exam room four, you happen to notice that in exam room three, there’s a playpen in the corner with an adorable baby girl in it, cooing away and playing with a toy.

“Odd,” you think, since this is not a pediatrician’s office. You continue to your own room, don that scratchy paper gown, and wait for the doctor. By the time he comes in and begins the exam, you can no longer contain your curiosity. Whose baby is it? Why is there even a baby in the office?

“Oh, yes,” the doctor says matter of factly, “that baby was abandoned by her parents. Nobody wants her, so when I get finished with your check up, I’m going to torture her to death and then sell her organs to medical researchers.”

Your jaw hits the floor. Your stomach turns. You can’t believe the monstrous words you’ve just heard.

“How could you do such a horrible thing?” you scream over your revulsion. The doctor looks surprised that you should ask.

“It’s really no big deal,” he says. “We only do a few of those a week. The vast majority of my practice is providing health care and counseling for patients like you.”

Let me ask you something—would you use that doctor and think that the care he provides you mitigates his atrocious behavior? I hope not. Yet I have heard people defend Planned Parenthood (an organization which has been torturing babies to death for decades, and, we recently learned, profits from the sale of their organs) because Planned Parenthood ostensibly performs a minimum number of abortions and mainly provides health services, such as the ones mentioned above, to women who need them. Somehow, in these people’s minds, the health care Planned Parenthood provides makes up for the heinous murders they commit day after day.

Does it really all balance out? Of course not.

In fact, let’s say, Planned Parenthood had only ever tortured fifty babies to death (instead of the millions they’ve actually killed). And let’s say they provided free health care to everyone on the planet, cured cancer, and brought about world peace. Those are some wonderful things, but does it erase the fact that they brutally ended fifty innocent lives? Do all those good deeds make up for even one murder?

No. They don’t. Good deeds can never make up for heinous crimes. Planned Parenthood’s hands are drenched in blood that all the free health care in the world can’t wash away.

They’re hopelessly guilty. Just like we are.

Apart from Christ, we are Planned Parenthood. We come before God with blood on our hands. Not the blood of millions of babies, but the blood of one child. God’s child. Jesus. We are responsible for His death. It was our sin that caused Him to be tortured to death. Our sin that brutally murdered Him.

“Oh, but it’s no big deal. I’m mainly a good person. The vast majority of my life is spent doing good things and helping people. That totally makes up for those few sins I’ve committed. My good deeds outweigh the bad.”

No. They don’t. Good deeds can never make up for heinous crimes.

But, grace… But, mercy… But the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior intervenes and wipes away the guilt. Washes our hands of Christ’s blood. Cleanses us from all unrighteousness, if we only turn to Him in the repentance and faith that He is gracious enough to give us.

Good deeds can never make up for heinous crimes, but the grace of God can.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7


This article was originally published at Blogging Theologically. Photo credit: Aaron Armstrong