She was a Christian. She was pro-choice. She said that although she would never choose to have an abortion, she believed every woman should have the right to choose for herself. But one question changed her mind in an instant! Before I tell you what the question was, let me ask you a question.
How do you feel about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade? If you watch the news, you know many people have very strong feelings, pro and con, about the decision. The question is now in the hands of individual State legislatures—and the battles have only just begun. South Dakota immediately outlawed abortion, but now there is a strong pushback to permit abortion up to the moment of birth. Colorado allows for an abortion even while a woman is in labor. How do you feel about that?
Actually, it doesn’t matter how you feel. It doesn’t matter how I feel. It doesn’t matter how the Supreme Court feels. It doesn’t even matter how your pastor or priest feels. The only thing that really matters is how God feels.
This is where the one question that instantly changed the mind of the young Christian woman who was pro-choice comes into play. What was that question?
If God is love, who does He love more, the mother or her unborn child?
For this young woman, that was all she needed. She immediately realized that if God is love, He doesn’t love the mother more than the child. He deeply loves them both. However, some of our more skeptical pro-choice brothers and sisters, who deeply feel for the plight of the pregnant mother, need more. They need to hear from God what He Himself actually thinks. There’s nothing wrong with that.
In an attempt to give evidence that God considers abortion wrong, many Christians quote Psalms 139:13-16. Verses 13-14 say, “For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am wonderfully and fearfully made….”(NAS) It is a beautifully poetic and inspiring passage that gives us hope, but unfortunately those verses never clearly delineate at what point in the process the fetus becomes a person. Look at it closely. All it says is that God “wove me” in the womb, not that I was a person or even fully human in the womb. Personally, I believe the author assumed personhood from conception, but this passage does not provide explicit clarity for the skeptic.
However, there are other passages of Scripture that represent God’s point of view with far less ambiguity. It takes a little more work to get there, but if you really want to effectively communicate God’s perspective it’s worth the effort. Let’s start by looking at three verses:
Luke 1:41a “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb…” (NAS)
Luke 2:12 “’This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” (NAS)
Luke 18:15a “And they were bringing even their babies to him [Jesus] so that he would touch them.” (NAS)
What do all three of these verses have in common? They all use the exact same Greek word “brephos” to describe a baby both inside and outside the womb.
The first “brephos” is still in the womb. (Luke 1:41)
The second “brephos” is a newborn. (Luke 2:12)
The third “brephos” describes infants in general. (Luke 18:15)
God makes no distinction between babies in the womb and babies outside the womb. The word choices in the Gospel of Luke passages plainly imply God that sees the baby inside the womb the same as the baby outside the womb. The language is clear.
Therefore, if God is okay with killing a “brephos” in the womb, then it logically follows that God is okay with killing any “brephos,” including those outside the womb. Of course, that clearly violates the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not murder.” Conversely, if God considers it murder to kill a six-month old post-birth “brephos” then it necessarily follows that He considers it murder to kill a “brephos” still inhabiting the womb. Again, God makes no distinction. According to Scripture a “brephos” is a “brephos” is a “brephos.” In this case, segregated personhood (real or imagined) is irrelevant to the outcome. Either God loves every “brephos” or He doesn’t.
Although I regard this as sufficient information on which to make an informed decision about God’s view of abortion, let’s keep going and take a look at it from another perspective. Since many people do not believe that a human being in the womb necessarily qualifies as “person” let’s go to the lowest possible common denominator of what qualifies a person as a person: personality.
Let’s go back to the Scriptures again. Do we ever see a fetus portrayed as a person or as possessing personality?
Open your Bible to Luke 1:39-44. It’s the story of when pregnant Mary meets her pregnant cousin Elizabeth. What does the text say? “…when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby [brephos] leaped in my womb for joy.” (NAS) Did you catch that? The Bible indicates the in utero “brephos” leaped for “joy.” In other words, the fetus felt and expressed joy. In what world does a non-person feel and express joy? If you feel and express joy, you clearly possess a personality trait. And if you possess personality then by the most basic definition you are a person.
If you still remain unconvinced, let’s go back to Luke 1:15. This verse occurs in the middle of the story of the angel informing Zacharias that his wife Elizabeth will bear a son (John the Baptist): “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.”(NAS) A “brephos” in the womb was filled with the Holy Spirit. Every other instance of the phrase, “filled with the Holy Spirit,” in Scripture always denotes a person—no exceptions. No donkeys or rocks were ever “filled with the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, the most reasonable conclusion, based on the evidence in Scripture, is that God considered the fetus (“brephos”) in Elizabeth’s womb to be a person.
You get the point. God does not distinguish between a fetus (“brephos”) in the womb and a baby (“brephos”) outside the womb. However, just to be abundantly clear, God also made sure to let us know that babies in the womb are persons because they can feel and express personality traits thereby making them persons in the most basic sense of the word. And finally, God let us know that a fetus can be “filled with the Holy Spirit,” again implying personhood.
So, is it possible to be pro-choice and a follower of Jesus? I am not the Judge, so I’ll leave that between you and your Creator. It really doesn’t matter how I feel. You’re answerable to Him, and Him alone—not me. My intent is simply to give you the best information I can.
The critical question is, if God is love, who does He love more, the mother or her in utero “brephos?” Or to state it in plain English, if God is love, who does he love more, the mother or her unborn child? Both are created in His image. Both possess infinite, irrevocable value in his eyes. He passionately loves both. Therefore, I believe we must extend the love of God to both mother and child.
Let me strongly encourage you, the reader, as you cross paths with women considering abortion, or who have had abortions, never compromise God’s truth, and never compromise God’s love.
God is not Pro-Choice. God is Pro-Love.
GOD is the Issue.
© Brad Bright 2023, All rights reserved.