A sincere question was appointed to me to answer. It was, at what point did abortion enter into the church?
That’s a very difficult question. To accurately answer this question, we need to realize one key component. There isn’t a specific time where abortion Entered into the church as morally acceptable. The point at which abortion creeps its way into the church is when the woman seeking an abortion believes the lies of the enemy telling them to be ashamed, hide their sin, they can't afford it, they're too young or a litany of other lies.
If we look at abortion from a statistical viewpoint you can easily identify when abortion started to become accepted as a plausible option in America. The rise of Second-Wave Feminism in the ’70s and '80s directly correlates to the decline of Christian values in the American family and increased numbers of abortions in America.
Feminism at its roots is a great thing. I am all for women having equal rights with men. This movement started in a pure sense with women wanting the right to vote, right to education, equality in employment, equality in property rights and many of the topics that feminist still stand for now. In the second wave of feminism focused more on sexuality, family, the workplace, and reproductive rights.
Second-Wave feminism opened the door for Roe Vs. Wade. In 1973 Roe Vs. Wade set the standard for abortion by stating that a state law that banned abortions (except to save the life of the mother) was unconstitutional. The declaration of the court said that a woman's right to privacy extended to the unborn child she is carrying.
This decision has since drastically divided the nation into two basic categories of pro-Life and Pro-choice. Pro-life/abolitionists supporters believe that abortions should not be allowed. Pro-choicers believe that a woman has the right to choose what she wants to do with her body and that the government should not intervene.
If you were to look at any charts about the decline of religion in America and correlate that to abortion rates you would see that in the mid to late sixties Religion started to drastically decline. At the same time, when Roe Vs. Wade was approved, abortion rates increased reaching its climax in the 1980s. Today, abortion rates have decreased drastically from 29.3/1000 to a record low of 14.6/1000, that’s nearly half the abortions since Roe vs. Wade went into effect.
While researching this topic I discovered a startling statistic. Nearly 70% of women who have had abortions claim to be Christian, whereas 28% had no religious affiliation, and about 2% were other religious affiliations. The Christians in this study claimed to go to church once a month or more at the time of the abortion. This made me angry, appalled, and extremely sad. I am certain that God is grieved severely by this startling statistic. The statement, “Christians are more likely to get an abortion than unsaved people” should never be a thing.
After I discovered this, I had to know why? What is happening in the minds of Christian women that are getting abortions? As I stated previously, they have believed a lie. There’s still more to it than that.
Upon researching this enigma, I learned that the primary cause for Christian women to get an abortion is to avoid judgment or condemnation from the church. According to a study by CareNet, only 38% of Christians who had an abortion would consider the church a safe and inviting place to discuss parenting options such as parenting, adoption, or abortion.
The most common thing I hear from Christian women who want to get an abortion is that they don’t want to face their parents and tell them that they got pregnant. They are afraid of what their parents will say or do. I can understand, that’s something that anyone would dread if they were raised in a religious household. Your conscience convicts you and then the devil comes along and puts you under condemnation knowing full well that they were responsible for leading that person to commit the act that caused you to get pregnant in the first place. Abortion enters into the church when someone believes a lie.
The next thing that I took away from this statistic is that more than half of those getting abortions who claim affiliation to Christ does not feel like the church is welcoming or inviting. I feel as though this is an indictment on the state of the church. The church is called to be Jesus to the world. If we are truly representing Jesus then we will not come off as one who condemns but as one who loves yet does not condone sin. It is possible to create a welcoming atmosphere for someone to feel as though they can turn to you for help and still hold a person accountable without making them feel like Jesus has repealed his blood covenant with them because they have sinned.
You have to remember that we are not fighting against flesh and blood. Our struggle is against the spiritual forces at work around us. When you are presenting Jesus to the people around it’s important to mindful that you are accurately portraying the love of Christ. One of the main things that women said they were worried about was that the church would gossip in a condemning manner. We are very expressly told in Proverbs 20:19, ‘He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore, do not associate with a gossip.’ We also see in Proverbs 17:9, ‘He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.’
I am not, nor is the Bible, trying to tell you to cover up your sins and hide them. That's contrary to the requirement of James 5:16, 'Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." We are supposed to confess our faults to one another daily. What proverbs 17:9 is saying is that to forgive and overlook sin is to seek God. 1 Peter 4:8 says, ‘Above all, love one another deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.’
As the body of Christ, we need to stop approaching pregnancy outside of wedlock with an overtone of condemnation. The person that got pregnant does not need you to tell them that they sinned, they know this already. They don’t need you to make them feel condemned, the enemy is already well ahead of you. What they need is to know that you are going to love them through this hard time. They need to know that even though they messed up, that you are going to be there to help them. They need you to be the unconditional love of Jesus.
When someone approaches you and they are going through hard times like this I want you to remember where you were when you encountered Jesus for the first time. What act was committed that made you feel his unconditional love the first time? Was it an answered prayer? Was it a word spoken in due season? Was it an act of kindness from a total stranger?
One day, someone approached me at work. They were pregnant and about to give birth and they needed a stroller. They came to me and asked me if I had any money that I would break company policy and put it on hold for them so they could get it when they had money. I told them, “No, that’s against the company rules, but... let me just buy you the stroller.’
I didn’t condemn them or tell them that this was their fault for having sex before marriage. They were aware of this. They were raised in the church. I didn’t make them feel like I was judging them. I did what Jesus would do. Several months later this person came to me and told me that because of this act they gave their life to God and decided to be abstinent until they got married. To be honest, I cried. One act of love led that person to eternal salvation through Jesus Christ.
When someone comes to you saying that they got pregnant. They coming to you from a place of utmost vulnerability and shame. You have been allowed to save a child’s life and possibly save the soul of a future parent. Be careful about how you present Jesus to the people around you because your actions could save countless lives.
to learn more about the history, ethics, and apologetics of preventing abortion, please enroll in our online, self-paced course: The Ultimate Abortion Prevention and Intervention Course at www.firesidegrace.com/challenges
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