The Pro-Life Label Has Outlived Its Usefulness


“Woe to those who enact evil statutes and to those who constantly record mischief, so as to turn the poor away from their cause and rob the afflicted of My people of their justice, so that widows may be their spoil and that they may plunder the orphans. Now what will you do in the day of visitation, and in the devastation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your glory? Nothing remains but to crouch among the captives or fall among those killed. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn back and His hand is still stretched out.”

Isaiah 10:1-4 (LSB)

The “pro-life” label has outlived its usefulness. In fact, its “sell-by” date expired years ago.

Think about the term for a moment. When someone tells you that they are pro-life, what do they mean? They often mean that when they vote, usually once every four years, they vote for whoever the Republican pro-life candidate is for president.

If said candidate is endorsed by any number of pro-life lobbying groups, the candidate is a shoo-in for the nomination. Never mind the fact that Roe has been overturned and the worn-out cliché about nominating Supreme Court justices is no longer the litmus test for a presidential candidate. Marketers have bills to pay too, you know.

If your friend is a little more involved in the life issue, they might donate to a crisis pregnancy center or go march in a papist processional at either the national capital, a state capital, or their own city once a year. Appropriately, they march in circles. They might pray with a bunch of Roman Catholics or blow a shofar with some Word of Faithers in front of a clinic for forty days.

The pro-life movement is nothing if not a religious smorgasbord for people who like their idolatry with a side of blasphemy, served lukewarm.

If your friend has an activist gene, they probably support bills that regulate how abortions may continue in their state or nation, as if regulating evil ever really accomplished anything that pleases God (Isaiah 10:1-4).

From top to bottom, the pro-life subculture is chock full of compromised nonsense that no self-respecting or Bible-believing Christian could endorse without plugging his nose first and donning scuba gear.

Which is why my preferred pronoun is no longer “pro-life.” It is “abolitionist.”

As an abolitionist, I can preach the gospel in front of an abortion clinic without being aligned with a statue of Mary or a rosary. The biblical gospel is sufficient to save both the abortive mother and the deceived, Vatican-believing activists. I can refer women who have kept their babies from Molech to local churches rather than to parachurch organizations that have no real commitment to the true gospel. I am free to ignore the political theater every four years and work on initiatives that are Biblically consistent on the state and local levels, while discipling candidates in Biblical principles and the gospel.

Not only “can” I do these things, but I also GET to do these things because I am not beholden to any multimillion-dollar interests. I am free to do these things because I am not in bondage to smoking incense, flowing robes, burning candles, or pervert priests who are trying to either buy their way out of purgatory or who proselytize evangelicals with the mantra, “Rome has been against this from the beginning.”

Despite protests from big money interests and some parts of academia, such as the Southern Baptist Convention’s own ethics and public policy center, abolitionists influenced by Reformed Baptist doctrine have authored important statements and resolutions which can guide faithful pastors in their response to the child sacrifice of our day.

Article 1 from The Norman Statement says:

“WE AFFIRM that abolitionists are ambassadors of Christ’s kingdom and ministers of reconciliation.¹ We affirm that the only answer to sin is the gospel of Jesus Christ,² that abortion is the sin of child sacrifice,³ and that the darkness of child sacrifice can only be meaningfully pushed back by the light of the gospel.⁴ The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy all works of the devil, and we strive to follow Christ, who leads the Abolitionist Movement, in so doing.⁵ We affirm that abolishing abortion, while not the content of the gospel (see Article XI), is an implication of the gospel, thus, a Great Commission issue, wherein Christians are charged to teach people to obey all that Christ has commanded⁶ (See Article X).

WE DENY that anti-abortion activism detached from the gospel and a Christian worldview is sufficient to address abortion because abortion is, fundamentally, sin resulting from suppression of the truth.⁷ We deny that activism centered on a false gospel is abolitionist in nature.⁸ (Scripture: ¹2 Corinthians 5:16-21. ²Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5-6. ³Luke 1:39-44; Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5; Exodus 21:22-25. ⁴2 Corinthians 10:4-6; Matthew 7:24-27; Romans 1:18-32. ⁵1 John 3:8; Matthew 16:24. ⁶Matthew 28:16-20. ⁷Romans 1:18-32. ⁸Galatians 1:6-9.).”

I challenge anyone to find a pro-life organization that will state their commitment to the Biblical gospel as clearly.

If that is not enough, consider the final “resolved” statement from the Southern Baptist Resolution On Abolishing Abortion, adopted by the messengers in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2021:

“RESOLVED, that, because abolishing abortion is a Great Commission issue, we must call upon governing authorities at all levels to repent and “obey everything that [Christ] has commanded,” exhorting them to bear fruit in keeping with repentance by faithfully executing their responsibilities as God’s servants of justice, and working with all urgency to enact legislation using the full weight of their office to interpose on behalf of the preborn, abolishing abortion immediately, without exception or compromise (Mark 6:18; Matt 28:18-20; Rom 13:4, 6).”

Theologically astute Christians are no longer enslaved to an allegiance to Rome if they care about the issue of ending child sacrifice. Now they can unite with like-minded believers found in like-minded fellowships such as Founders Ministries, G3 Ministries, End Abortion Now, Rescue Those, Abolitionists Rising, and The Five Solas Alliance. These organizations are committed to the gospel as the driving force behind the end of abortion in our nation and to biblical principles in writing consistent legislation to provide equal justice for the lives of the preborn.

The question might not be whether such organizations exist and can provide theologically consistent outlets for ending this modern holocaust. The question, more likely, is whether you care enough about your preborn neighbor to do anything about it. It is a lot easier to farm our responsibilities out to parachurch organizations than it is for our churches to get in close contact with the pollution of sin that comes with the territory of child sacrifice.

For further reading
The Doctrine of Balaam by CR Cali
Biblical Strategies to Abolish Abortion by Rusty Thomas
The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate by Matt Trewhella
Preparing for Eternity by Mike Gendron
Jon Speed

Jon Speed

Jon Speed is married to Kim and they have five children and two grandchildren. He is the Pastor of Missions and Evangelism at By the Word Baptist Church in Azle, TX. Speed is the author of Evangelism in the New Testament and co-produced Babies Are Murdered Here (2014) and Babies Are STILL Murdered Here (2019). He planted Christ is King Baptist Church in Syracuse, NY (2011-2019) and is a co-founder of Loor.tv.

September 6, 2023

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