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Current Page: Opinion | Tuesday, January 05, 2016
Can You Be a Christian and Pro-Choice?

Can You Be a Christian and Pro-Choice?

Shane Pruitt is director of Missions for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

It's time to draw a proverbial "line in the sand" on the abortion issue and how it relates to our Christian faith.

As Christians, we cannot continue to dance around the genocide that is taking place in our midst, and while many incredible individuals and organizations have been doing hard work fighting against this unimaginable injustice, it's time that we all stand with them.

So who I want to address this to is Christians who have been wavering in their opinions on whether or not abortion is compatible with their faith, because we need you to recognize abortion for what it is and join us in the stand against the murder of unborn children both in our country and around the world.

The Guttmacher Institute (http://www.agi-usa.org) reports the following statistics concerning abortions: worldwide, there are approximately 42 million children aborted per year, or around 115,000 per day, while in the United States alone, there are 1.2 millions abortions per year, which comes out to just over 3,300 per day.

These numbers represent more human deaths each year than any individual war or genocide since the dawn of human history except for World War II. In fact, let's just go ahead and call this the largest genocide mankind has ever seen because it has been going on for decades.

Sadly, our government in essence even helps fund this genocide, millions are spent on the fight to keep this genocide legal, and this gruesome activity is praised as a human right. And, just because we are all good at justifying our actions, let's go ahead and put these statistics out there — only 1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest, and a mere 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems with either the mother or the child; while 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (that is, the child is unwanted or inconvenient).

The most concerning statistic involved in this injustice, as far as I'm concerned, is that 61% of all abortions are obtained by women who claim to be evangelical Christians. This statistic is gut-wrenching, and is indicative of the lack of sound Biblical teaching that is coming from our pulpits concerning the value of life over the value of convenience!

And, it begs a very difficult question, "Can you truly be a Christian, and pro-choice at the same time?"

This is not to ask, "Can you be a Christian and at one point in your life had an abortion?" Of course you can, and there is forgiveness to be found for all of our sins at the cross, including the sin of abortion. But this question is about supporting abortion, fighting to keep it legal, and counseling others to have abortions. Can you be a Christian and habitually do those things? Can you be a Christian and pro-choice?

To properly answer this question, we must begin by answering the question, "What exactly is a Christian?"

The church has done itself no favors by regulating Christianity down to simply believing in a higher power, repeating a prayer, filling out a card, or joining a congregation. You'll see none of these examples used in the Bible to describe a true follower of Christ. What makes someone a Christian revolves around the truth of the gospel and how it changes them from the inside out.

The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus, the Son of God, lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well-being but for His people. He has done for us what we couldn't possibly do for ourselves. However, He did more than live a life of perfect obedience, He also offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice on the cross to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God. Then, three days later, He literally and physically rose from the grave, showing that God the Father accepted God the Son's sacrifice and substitute on our behalf.

With that in mind, abortion is fundamentally more than just the ending of a human life, as incomprehensible as that is. Abortion represents the pinnacle of an anti-gospel message. Where the gospel proclaims a perfect Savior who came and died for our sins, abortion proclaims than another human must die for us, slain on the altar of our convenience and personal desires.

How can we believe a gospel message where one man's sacrifice is sufficient for our redemption, while proclaiming that we require additional sacrifice to meet our needs?

So what is a Christian? A true Christian is anyone who turns to Jesus and places their faith in the truth of his death and resurrection for the forgiveness of their sins. But it's more than just believing or assenting to facts from history, there is a true spiritual change that happens to us and in us. A true Christian participates in the Gospel work — the old person was crucified with Christ, buried with Christ, and now a new person is alive because of the resurrection of Christ. What makes a Christian alive, new, and different is the very real presence of Christ in them through His Spirit.

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20)."

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)."

Furthermore, the abiding presence of God inside of us cannot help but radically change us. Think about it, how can a God so big and powerful that He spoke all of creation into existence live inside of me, and I not be radically changed and affected by that reality? His presence in me places life, hope, joy, and a new perspective inside of me. That new perspective means that I begin to see things the way God does, I begin to feel about things the way that God does, and I begin to be bothered by the same things that bothers Him.

The true characteristic of a Christian is someone who seeks to honor God in everything they say and do, someone who is led by God, and someone who allows Him to live through them. So, for a Christian to be pro-choice, they'd have to say that "God is honored by abortion. He has led me to participate in, and/or support the ending of millions of defenseless lives. God has placed a clear conscience in me that is okay with the dismemberment of the very lives that He has intricately created."

At the end of the day, it requires being able to say that God is pleased with people supporting genocide, and He is glorified by those same people choosing convenience over life. Can someone, being full of the Holy Spirit of God, believe that there is nothing wrong with abortion?

Let's truly think about that, let's just say this statement out loud, so that we can truly hear absurdity of it: "I love Jesus, the Author of Life, and I have no qualms about ending a human life that He created because it is an inconvenience to me. I have a clear conscience in choosing convenience over life."

Sounds absolutely ridiculous doesn't it? Well, unfortunately, I believe that is the answer to our question, "Can someone be a Christian and pro-choice?" It's absolutely ridiculous to think that is possible.

This article was originally posted here.

Dr. Shane Pruitt is director of Missions for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. He writes for I Already Am.

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