Today in the anti-abortion community there is a stir about which strategies the Bible prescribes to end it’s practice. I have found myself being accused by some in the “Pro-Life” movement as being too harsh and others in the abolitionists movements as, “too soft.” However, I believe both accusations are wrong because they are not based on God’s Word but mere opinion. It is to address the issues of being “too soft” that I have written this article.
Below are the subjects I will address:
- How to Use the Bible for Godly Political Change
- Setting the Record Straight for the Legalists
- Three Biblically Based Strategies to End Abortion in the U.S.
- Answering Objections to the Strategies Given
- More Examples of the Strategies
I. HOW TO THE USE THE BIBLE FOR GODLY POLITICAL CHANGE
First and foremost, the Bible does not give any one specific political action to take in a democratic republic like the U.S. to end abortion; other than to command people who practice and approve of abortion to repent and believe the gospel. Furthermore, the Bible doesn’t say how to vote or not vote in our elections, how to appoint judges for the Supreme Court or what the qualifications for a political office should be- not to mention how to respond to all the other thousands of laws and codes we have in the U.S.
Second, as disciples of Christ we must use the Bible, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as our framework to make judgments that are righteous and wise without imposing human rules- for this was the sin of the Pharisees (Mark 7:13). To do this requires maturity and spiritual discipline. We cannot take what is a matter of personal choice or conscience and impose it as law to everyone in the Body of Christ. For example, the Bible teaches husbands to love their wives as Christ does the Church. One of the ways a husband may do that is by opening the door for his wife. We cannot, however, make a law for all Christian husbands, requiring them to open the door for their wives everyday, and say to those who don’t, “You’re in sin because you don’t love your wife.”
Certainly, the act of opening the door for one’s wife does honor her and will most likely produce good results, but it is not commanded for all husbands everywhere to do it. Similarly, when using principles from the Bible to combat abortion, we must not take one particular application or methodology and turn it into law for all Christians. In other words, some strategies may be good for some and not others; Paul wrote in Romans 14:4, “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.”
Just because preaching the gospel at abortion clinics for one group brings success doesn’t mean that all disciples have to preach at abortion clinics. Why not? Because despite its success and nobility God didn’t command it. However, Jesus did command that we preach the gospel everywhere (Mark 16:15) and in that command He may call certain people to go to the clinics but this is not a law found in the Bible for everyone at all times- just like how everyone wasn’t called to preach against Herod in front of his palace like John the Baptist.
Third, just like how the Bible doesn’t specifically address how a CEO should run a business in the U.S. within the laws of trade, commerce and the IRS (ex., “whether it is better to be a publicly traded company or private”); the Bible doesn’t speak directly to U.S. politics concerning the details; (ex., “which bills we should pass in regards to immigration”)., but that doesn’t mean the Scriptures don’t give godly principles and strategies that provide the moral framework for every good work.
It is true that we live in a modern time with a unique government but God’s Word is able to be applied to all people if we take the time to ask for His wisdom. Paul told Timothy, “16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Therefore, everything we do in the U.S., from your house to the White House, should be grounded upon the Word of God. Just remember in doing so the words of Augustine, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”
So what are the essential principles pertaining to abortion according to the Word of God? Abortion is sin- no exceptions (Proverbs 6:17). Therefore, every U.S. citizen needs to be taught God’s will regarding abortion, rebuked because of it’s sin, corrected in how we view life in the womb and trained to be righteous so we can make godly laws that protect the unborn.
Fourth, since we know the Bible doesn’t directly give us a political strategy in the U.S. other than preach the gospel and make disciples; we must rightly discern how to use the best strategies that please God and bring about abortion’s end in the government. We should do this with much prayer, under good church leadership, based on the Bible, in obedience to all of God’s commands and with love for God and people.
Strategies come and go, but the Word of the Lord endures forever (Isaiah 40:8)!
II. SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT FOR THE LEGALIST
Funny, but true; I have been attacked more lately from the extreme anti-abortion folks than the lukewarm church. These modern day “speck inspectors” have found joy in straining at gnats and swallowing camels with my videos online (you think they would rejoice in the gospel being preached and people being awoken to this modern day holocaust; yet they seem to care more about their minor differences than the task at hand).
Sadly, too often in these fringe groups, they’re white washed on the outside and dirty tombs on the inside (just like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day). You can see it in their pride, slander, hatred, private sins and jealousy. Because of these group’s divisive and slanderous ways I must correct their supposed “corrections” of my views.
(1) A person cannot be pro-life and be an abortion abolitionist at the same time.
Incorrect: The terms “pro-life” and “abortion abolitionist” are not contradictory by their very definition. You can be pro-life as defined as, “in favor of life in the womb as opposed to pro-choice,” and at the same time be an “abortion abolitionist,” as defined as, “taking actions to abolish abortion.” Just because a portion of people in the pro-life movement may have dropped the ball or have settled for certain exceptions doesn’t mean the whole is this way and certainly, the labels are not opposed to each other. I am a pro-life abortion abolitionist.
(2) A person cannot believe in the abolition of abortion and not be a Christian.
Incorrect: Though as a Christian I believe the only logical, non-contradictory ethical system is found in the Christian faith; this doesn’t mean a non-Christian can’t be an abortion abolitionist as the dictionary defines abolitionism. In other words, not everyone who was a “slavery abolitionist” was a Christian. To be an abolitionist about anything simply means you want to abolish or end a practice of some kind- it does not require one to affirm the Christian faith. A God-hating atheist can be an abortion abolitionist if they want to end the vile practice of abortion.
(3) A person cannot be an abortion abolitionist and support incrementalism.
Incorrect: Incrementalism as defined as, “advocacy of change by degrees; gradualism,” is not logically opposed to wanting to abolish something. I may not like nor want this method personally because I believe for immediate revival and change, however, nothing about it as a strategy is ungodly.
For example, if you are an exterminator you can be committed to abolishing the spread of roaches in a house and use incremental processes to do so. Like using small poisonous traps that roaches eat and bring back to their nests so all the other roaches consume it and die over a period of time. Likewise, a person can use the strategy of small steps over time to abolish abortion.
Lawmakers and voters alike can only be responsible for the sin of abortion if they actually did it or supported/approved it and had another option to oppose it (inaction is not an option). Passing incremental restrictive laws on abortion (like term limits) no more makes a righteous person guilty of abortion than passing a law that restricts the consumption of porn to 18yrs and older.
The Christian lawmaker would hate all porn and wish it rid from the U.S.; however, if he can pass one law in the right direction he can pray to pass a better law in the future. However, this requires humility and honesty on our part by assuming the best of our lawmakers until we are shown the facts to believe otherwise (I have no problem rebuking wicked people in government). For example, if “pro-life” politicians are using incrementalism to hid the fact that they actually approve abortion in the case of rape then this would be the issue (their neglect to acknowledge all abortion as murder); not the strategy itself.
(4) A person must support immediatism as a strategy concerning abortion in all votes, beliefs and practices or they are ungodly.
Incorrect: Immediatism as defined as, “a policy or practice of gaining a desired end by immediate action” is not the only way to end something that God hates. It was coined during the opposition to American slavery in the late 1800’s; however, it was ineffective because it didn’t consider using politics as a valid means (“God will do it!”). Yet, it was within the political system that war was declared and people rallied to fight for freedom. So just like there can be different variations of immediatism (political and non-political means), there can be different strategies used to end abortion.
Certainly God commands all men everywhere to repent and do so immediately but in the world of politics and ungodly goverments God can and has used incrementalism. For example, while Daniel was in Babylon God didn’t command Daniel (and the other Jews) to always and immediately resist everything the pagan nation did. God used gradual processes over time for Daniel and his friends to win the favor of the leaders. This favor built up until the time of Nehemiah when Artaxerxes, king of Persia, allowed him to go back and rebuild Jerusalem. The rebuilding of Jerusalem wasn’t immediate but rather gradual.
At the same time, there is validity in preaching and teaching people to immediately turn from their sins. This kind of approach will only bring about good, but it must be done in government with patience and diligence. For example, when the Jews in diaspora were asked to break God’s laws (like their diet or worship an idol) they resisted immediately- this was when it pertained to their personal responsibility. However, one can only imagine the amount of other laws governors like Daniel had to work within to continue to be a person of influence in Babylon to help secure the future of Jerusalem- this had to do with national responsibility.
Here is a small list of national sins where Christians (both lawmakers and voters alike) have to use other strategies than immediatism; (1) Pornography Laws, (2) Divorce Laws and (3) Unjust War Laws (meaning, how does or does not a Christian serviceman go to war for unjust reasons).
(5) God has only one strategy to end abortion in the U.S. and that is with the gospel.
Incorrect: God can use a hundred different ways to end abortion in the U.S. without the gospel. Now as noted before I do believe that God will use the gospel; but it is not logically neccersary. For example, other nations have ended slavery (like China) without using biblical foundations as Europe and the U.S. did. God could end abortion in the U.S. by allowing us to be taken over by a another nation that outlaws abortion. He could end abortion in the U.S. by allowing us to be destroyed by disease or nuclear war, etc. Remember, God used the Civil War to end U.S. slavery and Word War II to end the Nazi holocaust; war by definition is different than the gospel.
At the same time, I believe the gospel is the only way to end abortion in a way that saves men’s souls. Like my example above, a nation could conquer us and end abortion in a day but all those who have practiced and believed in this wicked practice will still go to hell. Therefore, the statement should be, “God has only one strategy to end abortion that involves sinners being saved and that is by the gospel of Jesus Christ!”
(6) The most important work of the church is to end abortion.
Incorrect: The most important work of the church is to glorify the Father by worshipping Jesus as the Son of God. This glorification will involve bringing justice to the world through the gospel but the justice and good deeds are the fruit, not the root. The root and branch was, is, and will always be Jesus. I do agree that the greatest evil of our time, aside from rejecting Jesus, is the sin of abortion. But if the church ever replaces it’s worship with its works, it works will be done in vain. It is from our worship of Jesus that our works are empowered and effective to bring forth the Kingdom of God.
III. THREE BIBLICALLY BASED STRATEGIES TO END ABORTION IN THE U.S.
Now that I have cleared the way by correcting the false views that often accompany the subject of strategies to ending abortion by the heretical groups (via being outside of the Body of Christ); I will now present some biblical strategies that I believe God can use to end abortion.
(1) Immediatism: A policy or practice of gaining a desired end by immediate action.
God could bring revival to the U.S. as He did many times in Israel’s history and in the early church and make abortion vile in the minds of every true believer and cause them to act on their conscience lest they die. The spiritual awakening like that which came from Jonah’s preaching in Nineveh could turn the U.S. from the sin of abortion within just a few months (if not sooner). All the branches of the U.S. governemnt could end this wicked practice once and for all and criminalize it.
(2) Incrementalism: Advocacy of change by degrees; gradualism.
God could use both wicked and godly men (citizens and elected officials alike) over time to wear down the consciences of our culture until finally all people see it as a sin and then take the steps needed to end its sinful practice. Just as God used the early church to wear down the pagan systems of Rome for 300 years, God could gradually set us free from this national sin (and even use plagues like He did with Egypt in the time Moses).
(3) Strategic Implantation: Taking complex, and potentially unmanageable strategic problems and making turning them into progressively smaller, less complex manageable proportions to accomplish a task.
God could use both immediatism and incrementalism as strategies at different times in different ways. Each unique situation calling for a unique set of actions that gracefully move the U.S. to end abortion. This kind of thinking leads towards basic pragmatism, not as a ethical or ministerial worldview but as a way to get complicated things done in an effective way. And yes, this kind of wisdom and patient planning takes just as much faith (if not more) than the other strategies. I see this kind of strategy within the context of discipleship- not to mention with Israel even to this day. Some things the disciples had to give up immediately to follow Jesus; other things Jesus gradually developed and changed in their lives- the same could be done in government.
This is the same kind of strategy that everyone uses when needing to tackle big issues in their lives. Some things we do immediately (like stop yelling at our spouses in front of the kids) and other things we do gradually (like losing weight); together these kinds of collaborative, yet different actions make for a happy home. When we break down complicated things into bit sized to-do-lists we can see God moving. Pertaining to abolishing abortion we can pray for God to give us the wisdom and discernment to be both wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
IV. ANSWERING OBJECTIONS TO THE STRATEGIES GIVEN
(1) Voting for anyone other than a Christian abortion abolitionist that adopts the immediatism strategy is hypocrisy and thus makes one responsible for the murder of the unborn.
Correction: If this were true, this would mean Daniel would be responsible (as a governor of Babylon) for all of Babylon’s sins. Or Joseph (as a ruler in Egypt) would’ve been responsible for all of Egypt’s sins. Though the Bible talks about bearing the consequences for supporting sinful people and laws; God makes a disctinction between the person working within the wicked system and the one promoting the wickedness. As of now, the U.S. has a wicked system in place that if we want to change we have to be willing to use it to our advantage; otherwise we can be like the Amish and just avoid it altogether.
This is why Jesus commended the shrewd steward in His parable; listen to His wisdom, Luke 16:8-9, “8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” If Jesus said we could use “worldly wealth to gain friends,” how much more should we use the “worldly politicians” to bring about God’s plans. In other words, if God could use a donkey to speak His word, He can use a politician!
(2) If you do not preach in front of abortion clinics you do not love your unborn neighbor.
Correction: Loving one’s neighbor as one’s self does not include commands of exactly where to preach. Yes, we are commanded to be public witnesses for Jesus and to preach the gospel to all the world. However, to make a command to preach at a certain place is not biblical but rather a rule of men (especially with signs and mega phones). It may be a noble and effective rule but it is nonetheless a man-made rule.
Man-made rules can be beneficial if they do not violate the Word of God and remain as a matter of conscience either in a church’s communal worship or in a person’s life; but once the rule replaces the word of God it becomes a sin and stumbling block. Jesus rebuked the Jewish leaders of His day for this same reason, He said, “their teachings are merely human rules,” Matthew 15:9b.
(3) God cannot use the wicked either in politics or in the church to accomplish his plans to end abortion.
Correction: As with ending slavery in the U.S. and with libertating the Jews during the Nazi halocaust (both which ended in war) God used many wicked people, along with the righteous to abolish these practices. Certainly, the disciple should not wait for the wicked to lead the way or be in moral agreement (yoked) with their wickedness; however, whatever light they have that is in agreement with God’s Word we should join forces with them for the common good. God even called the wicked king of Persia, Cyrus, His anointed in Isaiah 45.
As a matter of fact, this was how the U.S. was established; God used deists, atheists and Christians (both righteous and unrighteous) to build a nation upon the greatest governmental document in world history- the U.S. constitution. Plus, over time (gradually) even slavery was abolished with both the just and the unjust- not to mention desegregation in 1960’s.
(Note: I will add more as more come my way but as of now these seem to be the most common objections I hear.)
MORE EXAMPLES OF THE STRATEGIES
(1) “The Wicked Kings” (Incrementalism):
Imagine that you lived in a country that allowed its people to vote in their own king by popular vote. The king with the most votes would rule the land for four years at a time. Now imagine that this king could make any law they wanted too; as long as they made their laws known before the vote. In other words, no laws could be passed unless the people voting knew them in advance.
Now consider the race came down to two kings. The most controversial law of the first king was to make it legal for mothers to abort their children if they were raped. The second king, however, was far worse; he had two extreme laws; first he wanted to make abortion on demand legal at anytime (even up until delivery) and for any reason; plus, he wanted to make a law that the government could murder everyone that had blue eyes (around 10 million people). What would you do?
You have three options:
- Don’t vote for any person and let others decide who gets to be king.
- Vote for the king that allows abortion when raped.
- Vote for the king who will approve abortion on demand and murder around 10 million blue eyed people.
This is the biblical reason why God allows for incrementalism, to stop as much evil as possible at the time in which it is in your power to act. As a wise man once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Likewise, King Solomon taught in Proverbs 3:27, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” The key is doing good, “when it is in your power to act.” God will not hold His people responsible for what they were not responsible for. In other words, you can only do the good that is actually able to be done. Certainly, we should strive and have faith for more good to be done or rather the good that God desires to be done. However, we cannot do good in regards to things we have no power to change.
Nowhere in your vote for the lesser evil king would God make you responsble for the wickedness of his actions. Why? Because it was not in your power to stop him. You would only be responsible to do the good you actually could do and in this case the good you could do would be to save 10 million lives and the other children in the abortion mills. However, to not vote against the more wicked king would make you responsible for blued eyed people being murdered and for the more abortions (consider it another 5 million deaths for a total for 15 million more deaths compared to the lessor wicked king).
This would be an example of how U.S. citizens could keep taking steps by voting into office an abolition president. First, we could keep voting the lessor of two evils (or the better of the two) until the choice is no longer evil but all good. Second, we could then prayerfully believe a good president could be so inspiring, like Abraham Lincoln, that he could rally the congress to make an abolition bill for him to sign into law. This kind of patience and wisdom would take much more faith than not voting because to note vote would be to give up.
I don’t believe the “none” U.S. presidential voters will be held to this same standard in the U.S. because the laws are made differently, but I do sense in my conscience that there is something amiss to not do your best to keep the worst people out of governmental positions.
(2) “The Church in Revival” (Immediatism):
Imagine if the church rapidly began to grow and reach the lost with the power of the Holy Spirit as in the book of Acts. Then all those new believers became multiplying disciples. Now consider, like with the early church in Rome, the disciples take over the country from the bottom to the top- so that even the president and congress repent and immediately change the laws on abortion like Constantine changed the laws regarding Christianity in the Roman Empire. This is what immediatism could look like and I believe God could do it.
(3) “The Persistent Voters” (Strategic Implementation):
First, consider the way we make laws in the U.S.; first with the congress making and approving a bill and then the president signing the bill into law. Second, imagine if each state raised up one senator and two representatives that were abolitionists. Third, we keep putting them up for office until they get in. At the same time we get the best president we can with the best chance of winning and signing our bill into law. Then as the leaders are getting into office they keep pressing for the best bills they can pass until we can abolish abortion. This plan to end abortion would involve immediate action once the final bill comes up for vote but it would literally take hundreds of small incremental steps to achieve the goal. The difference between this strategy and basic incrementalism is that it would involve much more moving parts and planning.
I pray that I have shed some light on biblical strategies that God can use to end abortion. My prayer is that the church will rise up in unity to hate what God hates and love what He loves. God hates hands that shed innocent blood and He loves the unborn. May we see the sin of abortion be abolished in this generation as a mountain cast into the sea!
Godly strategies in politics empowered by the Holy Spirit in the lives of faithful disciples can end abortion in the U.S.!