Many people will wonder at why a Christian apologist would take up the political issue of abortion. Apologetics is concerned with addressing the barriers that experience and education erect against a person coming to a belief in God and Jesus Christ. What does abortion have to do with these barriers?
Unfortunately, the church has made the issue of abortion relevant to those who do not believe by waging a political war to make abortion illegal in the United States and around the world. Non-Christians examining the issue of what they believe see the position of the church on abortion and conclude that there is no truth in Christianity. “How can God be good?”, these people reason, “and want to force additional suffering on a victim of rape or incest? The church of Christ is a bunch of totalitarian busybodies who want to enforce their notions of Old Testament law on the rest of society and thereby cause tremendous suffering.” Because abortion is an obstacle to faith in this way, it is an important topic to be addressed by a Christian apologist.
Are the concerns of non-Christians legitimate?
The first question to ask when considering this issue is, “Are non-Christians being fair when they characterize the position of the church on abortion? Is the church trying to enforce their notions of purity and righteousness on the rest of the world?” Let us consider some examples from popular culture.
Senate Candidate Todd Akin:
Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child. (Republican Senatorial Candidate Todd Akin in a television interview)
Christian apologist Kirk Cameron:
Piers Morgan: Could you honestly look a daughter in the eye if she was raped and say, “You have got to have that child.”
Kirk Cameron: “Yes . . . of course”
These two examples illustrate that the concern of non-Christians are legitimate. Many Christians would use the laws of the government to force their views of morality on others in ways that non-Christians find difficult to understand. How should a thoughtful Christian handle abortion?
Two Thought Experiments
To answer this question, let us imagine a young woman named Lisa who has been brutally raped and is found to be with child by a doctor a few weeks later. She comes to a thoughtful Christian and asks for advice, “What should I do?” A thoughtful Christian might answer:
Lisa first of all let me say how terribly sorry I am for what has happened to you. If there is any way that I can help you, please let me know. As for what you should do, I believe that God wants to work a miracle of healing in your life and I believe that God wants to use this child in that process. I honestly believe that if you keep this child and raise it as your own, that God will eventually give you such an enormous love for this child that you would not be able to imagine a life without him or her. I hope that you will choose to have this child and experience the healing that God has for you.
Now some people might argue that God cannot heal a woman from such a brutal act. The fact is, however, that God is more than capable of healing a woman from such a crime and we see evidence of these kind of every day miracles all around us all the time. To illustrate what I am talking about, let us perform another thought experiment.
Let us imagine a home invasion robbery where a woman and her daughter are assaulted by a couple of vicious psychopaths. During the crime, the mother is given a horrible choice. Either cooperate with a horrible rape and beating or see her daughter killed in front of her. Which choice do you think she would make?
Now it seems so obvious that most women would choose the brutal rape and beating option over the option of having their daughter killed in front of them that I am not even going to bother to provide evidence of this proposition. Examine the evidence for yourself and determine if God is capable of forming a bond so powerful that for its sake a woman would choose to endure a brutal rape and beating.
Pro Choice and Pro Life
In the world today, there are many immature Christians who seek to impose the will of God on those who do not share their beliefs. Spending billions of dollars and engaging in fierce political debates, they seek to take away the free will that God has given us and use their views of morality to formulate invasive laws that require totalitarian enforcement mechanisms. Their views are counter-productive and unscriptural. Consider the following verses:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV)
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live (Deuteronomy 30:19 ESV)