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The Abortion of Meaning

The unspoken reason for BOTH the pro-life and pro-choice stance comes down to our eternal search for MEANING. Let me explain.

The pro-choice argument determines a woman’s meaning falls somewhere in the spectrum of her privacy/safety and her career hopes/dreams. If a woman roots her MEANING toward the side of safety/privacy she may have a moderate view of abortion “rights”. If she places her MEANING more toward the advancement of her career, she would most likely be very progressive in her view and oppose any restrictions on abortion.  I am assuming a lot but let me continue.

The pro-life argument says one thing: All life has meaning, including EVERY new life. The old adage, “only God can make a tree” reminds us life is born from that eternal mystery which moves us toward faith, hope and love. A pro-life person affirms every being God initiates brings with him/her Divine purpose not simply for his/her own life but for the general promotion of human flourishing. There are ZERO illegitimate pregnancies, births, children or people. Every life is a chance to experience God’s glory reflected through His image regardless of whatever less-than-desirable context may have brought it about.

For the Biblically minded Christian, conception is a gift that brings us both wonder and mission. Consider the conception and birth narratives of John the Baptist and Jesus. At John’s birth, his father’s mouth was miraculously opened after he scribbled the name to affirm Elizabeth’s words. The audience wondered, “What then will this child be?” (Luke 1:66). When Christ’s conception is announced to Mary, her simple declaration of faith affirmed readiness for the mission God had assigned without asking her permission: let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). The two neighboring narratives drive home this truth: God is on a mission to do something wonderful THROUGH humanity and we should always embrace it. Conversely, the child-killers in the Bible, the notorious Pharaoh and Herod the Great are both threatened by how new life may adversely affect their status and position. Consider their similarity with some of today’s pro-choice mantras.

The pro-choice side demands total autonomy over one’s being while disregarding science and DNA evidence supporting the individuality of the unborn. They make this argument not out of vicious hate for the unborn, but rather out of a misappropriated source of MEANING (My life matters more). Therefore, there can be no element of Divine purpose in an unplanned conception. Her limited view of Providence forfeits her opportunity to watch God amaze her by bringing good out of what she may have deemed a mistake.

This line of thinking begs a few questions. Did God give us the answer to cancer but her mother ended her chance of life before birth? Did God send us a political mastermind who would have brought peace to war-torn nations but his mother chose to terminate his life in favor of her personal ambitions? We are left to wonder and struggle onward. For those who say, “but some children are born into conditions that eliminate potential,” I would suggest you spend some time discovering what other ways your earth-bound nature builds walls around your life. I speak as someone whose mother’s obstetrician counseled her toward abortion because my conception happened later in her life.

Those who seek to be faithful to scripture regarding the unborn (see Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:15-16, Galatians 1:15), get to experience the mystery of God’s handiwork unfold throughout history. A consistent reading of scripture affirms that God’s purpose continually brings good out of evil. Joseph tells his brothers, “what you meant for evil, God intended for good, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20). Moses’ exile becomes the training ground for leading Israel through the same wilderness for 40 years. Esther’s beauty pageant win aligns her life with a Divine appointment before king Xerxes. Jesus’ death and burial become the seed God plants in the Earth to produce the hope of our personal resurrection. Christians should be pro-life because we are affirmed in scripture to stay hopeful even when darkness abounds (Romans 12:12). We are commanded to pray, “your kingdom come” AND “lead us not into temptation” in the SAME PRAYER because we trust God’s power is stronger than our nefarious appetites. Pauline theology declares we wrestle with sin AND yet stand perfectly justified before God at the same time in order that we may live out the triumph of God’s goodness over our own wickedness (see Romans 7).

My prayer is for the end of abortion because every instance destroys an opportunity for God’s goodness to overcome our badness. Christians embrace the cross, an instrument of death, not because Christ was brutally murdered (he was) but because His death and resurrection illustrated our propensity to misunderstand what God is doing in conditions that seem hopeless. To stand against abortion is to center meaning where it belongs – in the Divine prerogative to do with our lives what He wills, to affirm the universe is not centered on our convenience, comfort, happiness, plans or EVEN personal safety. The skeptic will call this foolishness and fatalism, the Christian calls it faith.


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4 People Replies to “The Abortion of Meaning”

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you for this blog, it is extremely helpful when speaking to others about my pro-life position. There is one scenario that leaves me questioning my stance though. As an example: a 10 year old girl is raped by her father and becomes pregnant. As much as I believe every life has value & purpose according to God; is the fact that a 10 year old should not have to endure the trauma of a pregnancy and delivery because she was violated traumatically have any bearing to the validity of an abortion?

    1. Steve F

      Hi Anyonymous, if it helps at all, my 6 year old nephew is the result of rape. My sister in law wasn’t 10, but she was young enough to be in school, in the middle of pursuing her degree. From culture’s standpoint she had every reason to get an abortion – pressure from friends, teachers, even her own mother. She chose life… And almost daily she talks about how she thought motherhood would be the end of her, and it’s been precisely the opposite. I’ve yet to hear someone who chose NOT to have an abortion say “I regret my decision” because God grace is sovereign and literally unrestrainable! The culture has developed the horrendously false and misleading narrative that the process of laboring and giving birth and raising a child is actually MORE traumatic than terminating it’s life… It’s heartbreaking. Birth and delivery and Parenthood are intended (in different ways) to ultimately point us back to our Creator and Father, and yet here we are exchanging the truth of God for a lie and continuing to reap rotten fruit. As difficult as certain situations may be when considering an abortion, Tim is right when he says that this issue essentially boils down to our very identity. If we truly believe the Scriptures when they explain who God is, and who we are in light of Him, then NOTHING will sway us when we have to answer the question: Is there even a shred of hope for this unborn child? This mother? This family? The answer, by God’s grace, is Yes and Amen! 🙂

      1. Tim

        YES. This. Wow. Well said. I was the youth pastor of a child of rape as well. The girl gave him up for adoption. He was the most incredible kid in that ministry. Talent was coming out of his ears. Girls thought he was very handsome. He was a strong believer and a great person all around who made everyone he met feel immediately connected to him. We must never judge one evil with another evil, for God is able to take what is meant for evil and use it for extraordinary good.

    2. Tim

      I agree this situation is extremely tragic. It is also extremely rare. Is there a real-life example we could point to? That would be somewhat important. The question you are asking really comes down to this: What level of evil is required to justify another form of evil? I don’t believe we can justify evil with evil. Your question also brings up a stark, albeit difficult reality pertaining to creation. Humans are EVIL (Genesis 6:5). The rape of a minor is ONE of MILLIONS of forms of evil the human race perpetrates upon one another and upon God’s good creation. If we use evil to eradicate evil, where does it end? What is the line? Where do we stop determining what evil we should perform to counter the evil we experience? I am afraid we have no idea where that line is and I fear what becomes of a culture that plays fast and loose with such a determination.

      On a different note, perhaps future limits on abortion will create some form of allowance for abortion in such cases. Each Christian will then have a decision to make in accordance with the civil law and their conscience (led by the Holy Spirit) to consider taking advantage of such allowance. I would not endorse abortion in such cases but still trust the role of government as God’s agent in restraining human evil (Romans 13). Under such laws, I would not, as a Pastor, in good conscience, advocate for terminating a pregnancy.