Woodside's Statement on Michigan's Proposal 3
In just a few short weeks, citizens throughout the country will exercise our nation’s greatest freedom as we cast our vote in yet another election. As Christians, we believe that the right to vote is a gift that should be stewarded for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). We are also aware of the danger of politicizing the church. Scripture is clear that Jesus did not come to establish an earthly kingdom (John 18:36). There is no precedent of Jesus endorsing a political candidate or party. As a result, Woodside has abstained from such endorsements. The hyper-partisan politics of this world should not imprison Christ’s church. Woodside is not beholden to any one political party. Rather, our full commitment is to the Scriptures, which reveal the Moral law of God and the fulfillment of the Great Commission. We believe that where Scripture is silent, we must remain silent. However, where Scripture speaks, we must speak. It is this understanding of the public duty of the church that drives our civic engagement.
History has also proven that, while all elections are important, some are far more consequential than others. This November is one of those cases for those who call Michigan home. Among the many items that will appear on our ballot, we will be called upon to express our convictions concerning the broadest-reaching piece of proposed legislation our state has seen on the sanctity of human life and the value of women. Because of the numerous requests from many of you for spiritual guidance on Proposal 3, the Elders of Woodside deemed it essential to respond. Below you will find our official statement.
Woodside highly values the agency of women and seeks to encourage, empower, and equip them to live abundant lives in Christ. We serve tens of thousands of women locally and globally through various ministries that center on advocating and advancing opportunities for them to flourish practically and spiritually. Their voices inform every aspect of how our church fulfills its mission in the world. We desire for every woman to receive the best care possible for her body, soul, and spirit. We also acknowledge that pregnancy is a beautiful blessing full of wonderful joys and complex challenges for some. These challenges require truly compassionate healthcare that leads to healing and wholeness. We must avoid false solutions that only multiply brokenness and pain.
We also believe that all human life has dignity and is worthy of our full and unwavering protection. This includes those who are most vulnerable to exploitation and mistreatment, such as the disabled, the poor, immigrants, orphans, widows, and children in the womb. The Bible commands us to speak up for the voiceless and to advocate for their rights (Proverbs 31:8). It is because of these values that, upon careful review of the exact language and underlying implications of Proposal 3, we believe it is dangerously out of step with the gospel and opposed to the teachings of Scripture. We acknowledge that the wording of Proposal 3 includes some commonly agreed-upon aspects of medical services for women, such as prenatal care and postpartum counseling. When reading the language of this proposal, please be aware that a person’s support for these basic needs should not blind them to its underlying lack of morality. What is clear is that the proposal intends to expand abortion in our state. Because abortion is the termination of an innocent life and has many devastating effects on women’s physical, mental, and spiritual health, we must express a moral disdain for any proposal to spread this harm.
Proposal 3, according to its own words, would seek to amend our State Constitution permanently by eliminating current legal protections for pre-born children and their mothers. Also, it would codify the “right” to an abortion on demand without restrictions on who administers the abortion, the cause of the pregnancy, the source of funding for the abortion, or the baby’s development stage. This would mean that a child’s life could be ended while in the womb for any reason, using taxpayer dollars and at any point in the pregnancy, including partially born children during delivery. We believe this is immoral and extraordinarily harmful to women. Scripture is clear that the Lord hates the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6:16,17). Proposal 3 would also do away with state laws regulating quality, safety, and inspections for abortion clinics and would increase access to extremely dangerous in-home abortions. Additionally, it would remove the requirement for parental consent for minors seeking an abortion, sterilization, or gender-transition treatments. All of these realities are an affront to God’s moral law, and undermines the long-term health of families.
We recognize that this brief statement in no way describes the harmful ramifications of Proposal 3. However, we hope it clarifies our Biblical stance on the matter. In the words of Augustine, “An unjust law is no law at all.” We want to faithfully communicate the grace of God that is available to all who turn to him for salvation and healing. If you have had an abortion or experienced a miscarriage or complicated pregnancy, we want you to know that we love you, and so does Jesus. Counseling and pastoral care are available for you at each of our campuses. Additionally, we are providing an extensive list of resources that further explain our values concerning the dignity and sanctity of life. Finally, as we prepare to vote this November, let us all pray that we would stand united in affirming the most fundamental of all rights, the right to life!
To view the Sanctity of Life Resource Guide, click here.