Abortion, Basic Training

Throwback Thursday ~ Basic Training: Abortion

This coming Sunday, January 23, is Sanctity of Life Sunday.

(Yes, the proclamation is officially for the third Sunday in January, but it is my understanding that when the fourth Sunday falls closer to the 22nd {the anniversary of Roe} that more churches choose to observe SLS on the fourth Sunday.)

Originally published February 8, 2019

For more in the Basic Training series, click here.

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.

🍼 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, 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.

🍼 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.

🍼 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

A Storm Comes Rolling Down the Plain

Rescue Those

Free the States

Uncategorized

The Word on Wednesdays

Hi ladies! I hope you’re looking forward to our next new Bible study as much as I am. I’m in the middle of my second time through the text we’ll be studying, and I can hardly wait to introduce it to you! I think you’ll enjoy it and that it will edify you as you seek to grow in Christ and His Word. (The picture above does not mean we will be studying James. :0) Stay tuned to start soon, and keep an eye on the blog on Wednesdays.

In the meantime, I’ll be posting some Bible study articles and lessons from the archives that I think you’ll find helpful as we make our way toward our next study. (This week’s lesson is actually not from the archives, it’s new, but the Wednesday’s Word study {see below} it’s now part of is from the archives. Apparently, when I originally wrote the WW series, I took a break somewhere in the middle to write my Bible study on the book of 1 John, and I never went back and wrote a stand alone lesson from 1 John for the WW series. So I’ve remedied that with the lesson published today. Clear as mud, right? :0)

Here is this week’s lesson:

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday is Bible study day here on the blog. In my Wednesday’s Word Bible study series you’ll find miscellaneous, one lesson Bible studies from each book of the Bible. One chapter of Scripture followed by study questions. This sampler series demonstrates that there’s nothing to be afraid of when approaching those “lesser known” books and that every book of the Bible is valuable and worth studying.

Wednesday’s Word ~ 1 John 4

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already…Continue reading..

Wednesday's Word

Wednesday’s Word ~ 1 John 4

For further study on the book of 1 John, try my study, Am I Really Saved?: A First John Checkup, from which this lesson is excerpted.

1 John 4

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


Questions to Consider

1. What is the theme or purpose of the book of 1 John? What is the historical backdrop for the book of 1 John?

2. Which Spirit is controlling true Christian teachers? What spirit is controlling false teachers according to verse 3? True or false: If you’re following a false teacher, you’re following a demonic spirit. What does it mean to “test the spirits”? (v1) How did the noble Bereans test the spirits?

3. According to verses 7-8, who defines, originates, and is the embodiment of, love? How does this tell Christians Who and what is to motivate any love that we might feel or show to others? Is the “love” that non-Christians feel or show to others motivated by God or by other factors such as affection, selfishness, lust, etc.? Can you truly love others if you do not know God? In verses 9-10, what is the ultimate definition and demonstration (what action did God take) of the phrase “God is love”?

4. How do we know, according to verse 13, that we belong to Christ? How can we tell if we have the Spirit? In what ways do our actions show that we have the Holy Spirit?

5. What does our love (or lack of love) for others say about whether or not we truly know God? (20) What does verse 20 call people who claim to love God but do not love others? Are such people saved?

Sermons

Dale Johnson ~ An Intro. to Biblical Counseling

Image courtesy of ACBC.

This past Sunday at church, we had a guest speaker during the Sunday School hour. Since we’ll be hosting ACBC training soon, Dale Johnson, Executive Director of ACBC (the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors) presented to us a very helpful, encouraging, and biblical introduction to the concept of biblical counseling and soul care.

If you’re not familiar with biblical counseling, the term might sound like it’s just another name for “Christian counseling” or a regular therapist who happens also to be a Christian. But both of those tend to use traditional secular psychological methods. Biblical counseling is a whole ‘nother animal. It’s more like what some have described as “deep dive discipleship,” or correctly applying the authoritative, sufficient Word of God to your problematic situation. You can learn more, find a certified biblical counselor near you, and find out about becoming a certified biblical counselor at the Biblical Counseling Resources tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

If you’re in, or can get to, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area this spring, and you’d like to attend the ACBC training sessions, click here. Other upcoming training sessions are being held soon in Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, and California. If none of those are close enough to you, contact ACBC for more information on training. We all counsel others every day. Why not make sure the counsel we give them is biblical?

Click here to listen to Soul Care by Dale Johnson

Mailbag

The Mailbag: Modesty and having a male OB-GYN (Plus: “I’m working on it.”)

Similar to the public breastfeeding question, what is your perspective regarding women having male gynecologists? It seems to me they would be just as vulnerable to lust as any other man.

Well…it certainly would seem so, but I think this situation is a bit different. Great thinking, though!

Scripture is clear that godly women are to dress modestly in public…

and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 1 Corinthians 12:23

likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 1 Timothy 2:9

…and that men are committing adultery of the heart when they lust after women:

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28

My article, The Mailbag: Should Christian Women Cover Up While Breastfeeding addresses a public situation in which there are several alternatives to a woman exposing her breasts to any and every passerby, and most of them are not earth-shatteringly inconvenient. Furthermore, the men in a public setting who may see a woman who’s nursing are random onlookers who have no business seeing her…um…business.

Having an OB-GYN exam isn’t quite that simple nor is it the same. An OB-GYN has to look at, and touch, your exposed anatomy. You can’t cover up and still receive a proper exam. And that’s what an OB-GYN signed on for. He expects to see, and assumes responsibility for seeing exposed female anatomy as part of his job. That’s not the case for random men in a public place. Those men do not expect to, nor agree to see women’s exposed body parts when they go to the store or the dentist or the library. There’s an assumption that people in public places will have their body parts covered. And speaking of public places, an OB-GYN exam does not take place in public, but in private. You’re not exposed for the world to see, only for the professionally trained doctor who’s performing a specific service for you that not just anyone is qualified to perform. Scripture’s admonitions to women about modesty pertain to dressing modestly in public. That applies to nursing in public. It does not apply to undressing for a doctor’s appointment in private.

Another thing we need to keep in mind when considering this issue is that seeing a certain body part doesn’t automatically equal lust for every man. When you’re out in public exposed to a bunch of random men, it’s likely lust is an issue for many of them because for the vast majority of men, female nudity is connected only to one thing – sex. But when you’re seeing a trained OB-GYN, it’s unlikely he’s lusting after you because his main connection – 40 hours a week or more – to exposed female anatomy is work. He’s used to looking at female anatomy all day every day, and he’s used to looking at it in a professional, clinical, sterile context, not in the context of sex, so that, in the context of his work, he probably doesn’t give your anatomy any more thought than an ENT who’s treating your ear infection or a gastroenterologist who’s treating your ulcer. Any OB-GYN who struggles with the sin of lust in that situation needs to get a new job, just like anyone who struggles with gluttony probably shouldn’t be working at the Krispy Kreme, and anyone who struggles with greed, coveting, and stealing shouldn’t be working at a bank.

If it makes you uncomfortable to have a male OB-GYN, you can certainly use a female doctor instead, if that’s an option, but sometimes it isn’t. You might live in a small town where the only OB-GYN is a male. Your insurance company may not happen to offer a female OB-GYN as one of their preferred providers. You might go into labor while your female OB is on vacation and the only doctors covering for her are male.

Bottom line: It’s very unlikely your exposed anatomy is causing your OB-GYN to lust after you, and if he does, that’s on him, not on you, because, in the context of his exam room, you’re not disobeying Scripture’s admonition to dress modestly in public.


I’m working on it, I promise.

A whole passel of y’all have asked me two questions of late:

1. What do you know about The Bible Recap with Tara-Leigh Cobble? Is it doctrinally sound? Should I use the books, podcast, or Bible reading plan? What about D-Group?

As long-time readers may know, I hiatus every year from about mid-November to early January. I run a lot of holiday-themed article reruns, I don’t create a lot of new content, and I lay off the research. The questions about TBR / TLC started flooding in around Decemberish in the middle of my hiatus, so I’ve only just started my research on this. I’m listening to the podcast and I’ll start digging in to the other aspects of TBR / TLC soon. I know you want answers, but I also know you don’t want a knee-jerk, poorly substantiated answer. I’ll get it to you as soon as I can, either here or on the podcast.

In the meantime, if you’ve run across anything problematic with TBR / TLC, I’d appreciate a heads up. Email me with the specifics: links, page numbers, screenshots, exact quotes, video, etc.

2. I’ve heard Francine Rivers’ book Redeeming Love is being made into a movie. Can you comment on this? The book seems so explicit for a Christian novel. Is it OK for teenage girls to read the book or watch the movie?

Well, I bit the bullet (I really don’t like romances, secular or Christian), checked the book out of the library, and I’m a little over halfway finished. I plan to see the movie soon. Two things on this:

First, if you have specific concerns (not just “this is an awful book” or other generalities), about the book or movie, email me.

Next, it’s my understanding that RL has been revised several times over the years. The one I’m reading is the 1997 / 2007 copyright version. If you’ve read that version and any more recent versions and you’ve noticed major differences between them that would affect whether I would give the book a thumbs up or thumbs down, can you please email me and let me know?

Thanks for your patient understanding and your help.


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.