Many people find themselves in churches in which ministers rarely, if ever, preach against abortion from the pulpit. The abortion issue is also a subject we rarely address in social circles or with family, even though we know it touches the lives of so many. Perhaps because abortion is so prevalent we end up avoiding the topic in order not to offend. Abortion, however, is a subject that must be addressed openly, particularly among Christians, and it can be done both in truth and grace.
Recently, theologian R.C. Sproul Jr. published a blog post in which he explored reasons why pastors do not preach on abortion. He mentions that pastors often think abortion is a political issue, that discussing it will upset the congregation or that it is not in the Bible, and thus, should not be brought up in a sermon. Sproul carefully dismantles each argument and discusses the fact that pastors are often wrestling with their own guilt on the issue or just have no idea how to preach on the subject. He then notes, “Abortion is THE great evil of our day. The preaching of the Word is the great power of any day.” Finally, Sproul targets the most effective message against abortion – preaching repentance.
I suspect this problem of “messaging” or HOW to address the issue that plagues many people who would like to preach or speak against abortion. Sproul’s suggestion, that we seek and teach repentance and act from a spirit of repentance would be an incredibly effective formula in the fight against abortion.
I was also reminded recently of anarticle by Dr. Russell Moore called, “W.W. Jay-Z?: How Christian hip-hop could call the American church back to the gospel—and hip-hop back to its roots.” Dr. Moore highlighted a few Christian rap artists who are making a real difference for the Kingdom. One of these artists, Trip Lee, wrote a song called “Beautiful Life,” in which he lays bare the evils of abortion with incredible emotion, bluntness, and grace. The structure of the lyrics immediately struck me as a wise model of how to address abortion with others – particularly those who are currently considering abortion or who have had abortions.
You can find the entire song with lyrics here. The first verse addresses the mother who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. The second verse addresses the father of the child, and the third verse focuses on those who have had past abortions and who are living with pain and regret.
Throughout the song, Lee acknowledges the difficulty of an unexpected pregnancy while emphasizing the fact that the baby in the womb is a person made in God’s image. The chorus is a simple affirmation that life is beautiful and created by God. In the end, he highlights the importance of ministering the love of Christ to those who have been through abortion. It is because of Christ’s sacrifice that they can receive true healing, forgiveness, and joy.
It is up to us to consider how to address the issue of abortion and then to be bold in proclaiming the Truth. Abortion destroys the very image of God and we must stand against it. We can do so with confidence that God’s Word and His message of forgiveness is power.
Beautiful life inside
Living, moving, breathing
So let hope arise
God knew what he was doing when He gave
Beautiful, beautiful life
Dear friends, I know this probably hurts
For those of you who wish you would have gave that baby birth,
But it’s too late now ‘cause you’re child ain’t around
I know it hurts to your core, that guilt that’s weighing you down
But I’ve got good news and some healing for your hurts
Christ Jesus came
He descended to the Earth
But he ain’t come for good people, or even the just
He came into the world just for sinners like us…
Confess it and believe it on the One who paid the cost
He died in your place
There’s forgiveness at the cross
– Trip Lee, “Beautiful Life”
Anna Higgins writes for the Family Research Council blog and she is director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council.