January is the month when we observe National Sanctity of life Sunday, a day in which many churches deal with the topic of Abortion. Honestly, I’ve struggled with thinking about how to address this problem, because it is an issue that has been co-opted and politicized by both political parties in recent years. However, as I think and pray through this topic, I realize that at its core, this is not a political issue, it’s about the forty-two million unborn children every year who are being denied their most basic human right. The right to exist. It’s about the fact that in the last generation there are almost 100 million little girls around the world who never saw the light of day, simply because they were little girls and not little boys.
Most of us would agree that this is tragic, but abortion is just one part of the Sanctity of Life issue. Sanctity of life is also about the 5 million children worldwide who are trapped in the Global slave trade and the millions of little girls who are being denied basic education rights. It’s about tens of thousands of Christians dying every year for their faith and millions of Children who live every day under the shadow of impending starvation. It’s about children with disabilities in India who are being abandoned by their families and left to die in the streets; it’s about widows in Islamic nations who are being denied the right to own property and raise their own children. Sanctity of Life is about orphans, abuse, clean water and much more because Scripture tells us that none of this is acceptable in God’s coming Kingdom, and if it’s not acceptable in God’s coming Kingdom; it’s not acceptable now.
Throughout Scripture, there is a theme that every human is created by God, in His image, with inherent dignity and worth. As believers, we have a responsibility to defend that image wherever we see it. We are called to speak into these issues; to be informed, to pray, give, and to help wherever we are able; not necessarily to win a political debate, but to speak the life of the Gospel into the darkness of the fallen world in which we live.
Deep down, we all instinctively know this; try to explain the abortion issue to a group of children and see how many take a pro-choice position. It’s wrong. We know it’s wrong, but just like the people Isaiah writes about in Isaiah 5:20-23, we call darkness, light. We are wise in our own eyes declaring things to be good that we instinctively know are evil. We do this in every area of our lives, convincing ourselves something is understandable or ok. “It’s not really that bad,” we say, “It’s not like I was actually lying, I mean I can’t help if they got the wrong impression.” We rationalize away our bad behavior all the time, and it’s a very slippery slope, which Scripture tells us will end in destruction. This attitude is equally destructive whether we’re talking about global humanitarian issues or the secret desires that still haunt physical bodies. At some point in our lives, all of us have been guilty of looking into a sewer and try to believe that it’s a swimming pool, but we instinctively know what’s true. We know that Murder is always wrong, and protecting life is everyone’s responsibility. We know that gossip always hurts, racism is always destructive, and life is precious. No matter how hard we try to talk ourselves out of it – deep down inside – we all know it’s true.