5 Things Christians Must NOT Do in the Overturn of Roe v. Wade
On Friday, June 24, 2022, a 6–3 decision of the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that permitted abortion during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.
After nearly 50 years of federally legalized abortion, the Court’s ruling now gives individual states the right to determine their abortion laws, and the result is a divided nation.
How should those who follow Christ respond to this highly controversial ruling?
On a recent episode of my Moody Radio broadcast, Equipped with Chris Brooks, I flipped that question on its head by equipping you instead with five ways you, as a believer in Jesus Christ, should NOT respond — five things you must NOT do in the wake of this historic ruling.
All five are intended to answer the defining question, “How do we leverage this moment, like every other, for the Gospel?” When we orient our response to this cultural moment around this critical question, we begin to model the radical love of Christ — the kind of love that ultimately leads men and women to salvation in Him.
Therefore, as those who are Biblically-informed and Gospel-motivated, we must view this issue not as primarily political, but as a matter central to the heart of God. The same God who, in His Word, establishes the sanctity of human life and the dignity of all people, revealing that He has fearfully and wonderfully made every person, that He has knit each one of us together in our mother’s womb, and that every human being has been fashioned in the very image of our Creator God.
Accordingly, as those who uphold the sanctity of human life with the love Christ calls us to, the following are five things we must NOT do in response to the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
1️⃣ Assume the mission is complete.
It’s imperative to understand the Court’s ruling does not eliminate abortion in America. More accurately, it makes the legalization of abortion a state’s rights issue, meaning that each state will now determine whether abortion is legal within its boundaries.
This is a critical point of clarification as we consider that our mission as individuals who uphold the sanctity of life is far from complete. In fact, the results of a May 2022 Gallup poll reveal pro-choice sentiment is on the rise in our nation. As Gallup’s Lydia Saad reported,
“A Gallup poll conducted mostly after the draft of a Supreme Court decision addressing abortion rights was leaked finds a marked shift in public attitudes over the past year. After a decade in which Americans’ identification as ‘pro-choice’ varied narrowly between 45% and 50%, the percentage has jumped six points to 55% in the latest poll, compared with the prior measure a year ago. Pro-choice sentiment is now the highest Gallup has measured since 1995 when it was 56% — the only other time it has been at the current level or higher — while the 39% identifying as ‘pro-life’ is the lowest since 1996.”
As I reflect on the results of this poll, I’m reminded of the critical distinction that public opinion does not equate to morality. I consider there was a time when the majority of Americans believed slavery to be acceptable, or the segregation of humanity by color of skin to be an improvement on society. As believers, then, we define morality not by the shifting sands of public opinion, but by the immutable Word of God.
As such, we are convicted that our mission is not yet complete, and we persevere in demonstrating the unchanging Truth of Scripture not only in word, but in deed.
2️⃣ Stop supporting pregnancy resource centers.
In many ways, pregnancy resource centers are the compassion arm of the pro-life movement. These centers exist to care for some of the most vulnerable in our community, providing food, clothing, diapers, and additional resources for at-risk mothers and babies up to the point of birth and beyond.
And, now more than ever, these heroes need our support.
The news is rife with reports of vandalism and violence against pro-life organizations, including an attack on the campaign office of U.S. Representative Tim Walberg, which shares space with a pregnancy resource center in Jackson, MI. A recent Detroit News article on the attack reveals this is just one of “more than 40 incidents of violence, intimidation, and vandalism at pregnancy centers and churches in recent weeks.”
Now is the time to demonstrate your support for these boots-on-the-ground organizations providing compassionate care to at-risk mothers and their unborn children. I invite you today to find a pregnancy resource center near you and invest your time and resources in keeping their life-saving services available to our communities.
3️⃣ Stop loving and advocating for women.
One of the most saddening and altogether false accusations that have been levied against those who advocate for the protection of children in the womb is that a pro-life worldview positions you against women.
As followers of Christ, we must overturn this way of thinking not through stronger rhetoric, but through radical acts of compassion as we lovingly care for at-risk mothers as well as women who are post-abortive.
In fact, I believe the Church should be the safest and most supportive place for a woman to be. It grieves me to hear of churches and pastors who haven’t lived up to that standard, where women have been unprotected and abused. As those who defend the dignity and worth of every human life, we must be courageous, vocal, and vigilant in asking ourselves,
“Is my church not only a great place to worship, but a safe place to worship? A place where women feel safe, supported, and empowered?”
Central to creating this environment in our churches is to shift from a disposition of judgmentalism to one of compassionate discipleship. Far too often the issue of abortion incites judgment and condemnation in the church, when it is instead a humble, empathetic voice coming alongside a woman to say, “God has something better in store for you and I want to walk with you through this season,” that ultimately results in that mother choosing life or finding healing after an abortion.
When we walk in the footsteps of our Savior, we find ourselves opening our hearts and homes to at-risk and post-abortive women. And as we demonstrate the same grace to these women that we ourselves have received in Christ, I believe we’ll see hearts and souls transformed by the Gospel.
4️⃣ Stop fostering and adopting.
Adoption and foster care are at the center of the Gospel. In the first chapter of Ephesians, we learn all believers have been adopted into the family of God. As an expression of that adoption, the Church is called to open our homes and families to children in need.
In the state of Michigan alone there are approximately 8,000 children waiting for a home — yet our state contains an estimated 10,000 churches. This means that if only one family per church opened their home to foster care and adoption, every single waiting child would be cared for.
Would you be that one?
It’s acts of selflessness, kindness, and compassion such as foster care and adoption that allow us not only to win political battles, but the souls of men and women to Christ. Put simply, it’s called walking what we talk.
5️⃣ Forget that, at its root, this is a worldview issue.
The way you view the world shapes the way you view life in the womb.
As a matter of fact, no one would have an abortion if she thought she was carrying in her womb the next great leader: the doctor who would cure cancer, the politician who would negotiate world peace, or a groundbreaking poet or playwright.
The trick to abortion is to devalue the life in your womb, to assure yourself it’s nothing but tissue, has no value, and that the prospects of his or her life are bleak and unfruitful. But the Bible tells us otherwise — that every child has been fearfully and wonderfully made.
As such, our mission is not debate, but discipleship. It’s to graciously point people to Christ not through political disputes or cutthroat social media comments, but through love. The same steadfast, longsuffering love that won you and me to Christ holds the power to transform the hearts and minds of our neighbors, families, and leaders today.
So, pray today for your own heart, that you would receive an increased measure of compassion for those who are at risk for abortion. Pray for grace-filled patience, as well as the courage to stand firm in the protection of life.