ABORTION AND THE BATTLE OF WORLDVIEWS
Updated: Jan 29
January 2023 commemorates the 39th year our nation has observed the sanctity of human life, and this year, we celebrate the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The National Sanctity of Human Life Day was established by President Ronald Reagan in January 1984 to recognize the importance of protecting human life. But as we all know, not everyone celebrates the sanctity of ALL human life nor the overturning of this landmark case. So, let’s get to the matter at hand.
THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE DEBATE
Abortion has been a hotly contested topic for some time, and the end is nowhere in sight. For example, whether it would seem alarming or not, some religious leaders have recently stepped forward in support of abortion in Missouri, filing a lawsuit to block the ban recently passed in that state. And this is disturbing on many levels: governmentally, morally, ethically, and religiously. Even so, this move is quite telling about the worldviews that drive this debate.
The lawsuit claims that when religious beliefs are turned into law, it infringes on everyone else’s rights by making them adhere to a specific set of ideas. And to them, such is harmful. So, we’re genuinely looking at a battle of worldviews. A worldview is a belief system that affects how one thinks, knows, and acts. For simplification here, the two worldviews addressed in this discussion are contrasts between secular and biblical worldviews.
ABORTION AND THE SECULAR WORLDVIEW
A secular worldview is predominantly atheistic, understanding humankind as a product of evolution: random chemical processes that, over time, accidentally mutate into order. Therefore, life is, at best, a short-lived, existential experience. In this mindset, what is presently experienced is the fundamental nature of reality and truth. Consequently, aborting the yet unborn improves the present experience of the people involved, and to them, this is what is most important. They want to convince themselves and others that the inviability of a fetus makes the unborn child’s existence inconsequential compared to the improved experience of the other. That is, they justify a person’s choice to end one life to improve the life of another.
A Gallup poll from May 2022 shows that more Americans now support the idea of having access to abortion, with 55% being pro-choice and 39% being pro-life. This represents a 14% increase in pro-choice views and 11% decrease in pro-life views compared to a similar poll taken in 2012. Also, 5% of people polled in 2022 had no opinion or didn't know, which is less than the 10% in 2012. (https://news.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx)
These statistics indicate a decades-long shift in philosophy with an increased acceptance that ending one life for the improved existence of the other is morally acceptable. Of course, the argued point by abortion advocates is that the unborn do not represent sentient life anyway.
ABORTION AND THE BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
On the other side of this debate, Christians have (or should logically have) a biblical worldview, and such affects their position on this subject. (For the purpose of this discussion when the term “Christian” is used, it refers to one who holds to the plenary, verbal inspiration of Scripture along with the implications intended by those words.) This mindset understands that all life has value because God sovereignly creates it. Because of that, Christians believe that life begins at conception and that murder is wrong. Consider these two Scripture passages from the NKJV that build the two premises of a valid, deductive conclusion.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13–16).
“You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
A valid deductive argument means that the premises are true, and the conclusion logically follows. In other words, if the assumptions are correct, the conclusion must also be correct. In this case, the first two premises are not designed to deceive or mislead from their Scriptural contexts. So, as a result, a logical conclusion follows. It presents itself this way.
Premise 1: God creates a human life and knows that life from the earliest stages (Psalm 139:13-16).
Premise 2: Killing human life created by God is murder (Exodus 20:13).
Conclusion: Killing human life at any stage is homicidal.
Therefore, according to the teachings of Scripture, it is considered murder to intentionally and premeditatively take the life of someone. And we’re speaking here of one whom God has created, one of whom He is personally aware from their earliest stage of life. This is the only way to understand this concept if one believes in the authority of Scripture, follows God’s guidance, and sees life through God's perspective.
WHAT'S DISTURBING EVEN FURTHER
Of course, there will most certainly be those who disagree with the deductive reasoning suggested and with the view that Christians have to understand this issue through such thinking. And that brings us to one of the disturbing points in these most recent events concerning the lawsuit against Missouri’s banning of abortion. It’s that religious leaders are spearheading this effort. Some of them say they believe in God but disagree when human life begins. Others suggest that they don’t want to suppress the beliefs of others in favor of their own.
For example, one of the plaintiffs in this suit and a retired minister and a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, argues that an abortion ban should not be part of state law. She affirms her belief that God is the creator of life, but that it is not the responsibility of the state of Missouri to impose this belief on all citizens. She contends that the Missouri abortion ban is based solely on one religious belief. (https://wordandway.org/2023/01/19/clergy-sue-to-challenge-missouri-abortion-ban/)
Also, another lead plaintiff is the associate general minister of justice and local church ministries. She argues that legislators don’t have the authority to force their religious beliefs onto others, as she believes it goes against the principle of separation of church and state. In her opinion, without this separation, there can be no religious freedom or fair laws. Now, this plaintiff’s mistaken understanding of purpose behind the separation of church and state is certainly a topic for another discussion. Let me say this; it is one thing to argue how the ban is worded specifically. However, it’s altogether different and condemning for anyone, especially religious leaders, to defy the Scriptures, God, and righteousness to continue ending the lives of those whom God has created. (Ibid.)
The lawsuit and the statements of these leaders are quite telling about their worldview compared to “religious” beliefs. And what I find especially disturbing here is that it is religious leaders who say they believe in God as the author of life but who spearhead this suit to ban the ban!
For religious leaders to state belief in the Almighty God but deny His will concerning that life is unequivocally inconsistent. It’s the position of refusing God’s right over His creation when He is responsible for bringing it into existence. And it shows the contradictory view of any who don the name “Christian” but denies the straightforward teaching of the texts that constitute Christianity.
Those holding to the deliberate ending of life, such as in the case of abortion, cannot genuinely view God as sovereign over that life. Neither do they consider the Scripture as absolute in the decision. A biblical worldview, therefore, has no bearing on the value of human life for them. Instead, some are still trying to hold on to a God of their own conscience that allows them to feel secure in religious trappings while placating modern social ideals. In such cases, one’s philosophy will constantly change to match the “sinking sand” of public opinion rather than God’s Word forming the “rock” of one’s thinking, which will also challenge secular thought.
LET'S CONCLUDE MATTERS
We all have different beliefs about important things, and those who are the subjects of this discussion have deep-seated ideas which they express with great conviction. But we need to understand that they do so through a worldview that is secular in origin, and not biblical. A biblical worldview is one formed within the parameters of the Bible’s teaching.
The issue of abortion is just one of so many issues illustrating where we are today. Our world is one of increasing secularism which lessens morality, devalues Scripture, disregards the Sovereign, and as a result, cheapens humanity. However, there is one hope concerning the trends we observe around us, and it’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our national conscience can change on this and many other issues as the gospel affects people one by one. Without doubt, we need to see a national revival in America. May God help us see that difference as we share the good news found in Christ!