6 Ways Pastors Can Champion the Sanctity of Life

In the last 50 years, over 63 million babies have been aborted in the United States. While not unique to this country, it is a crisis of epic proportions. As Christian’s, we know that from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible affirms the sanctify of life. Life is a precious gift of God, and we must do all that we can to protect and celebrate human life, from the womb to the tomb.

If you were caught killing a bald eagle, you would be fined thousands of dollars and possibly even serve prison time. Remarkably, there are more protections in place for an eagle than there are for unborn children in this country!

Inaction is simply not an option. Christians in general must do all that they can to stand against the evil of abortion. However, pastors carry a unique leadership responsibility.

Here are 6 ways pastors can champion the sanctity of life.

1. Preach and teach the Word of God

Pastors have the high calling of preaching the very Word of God (2 Timothy 4:2). As they unpack the riches contained in Scripture to their people, it won’t be hard for their people to see the sacredness of human life.

The first thing God tells us about humanity is that we were created in His image (Genesis 1:27, 5:1). We bear the Divine stamp, and were created to show forth something of His character and glory. Indeed, all human beings have great dignity and worth.

Furthermore, Scripture gives a clear prohibition against murder (Genesis 9:6, Exodus 23:7, Proverbs 6:16-17). The 6th commandment resounds loud and clear, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).  

As pastors consistently expound the Bible, their listeners will inevitably catch this pervasive theme of “the sanctity of life.” Job said, “Your hands fashioned and made me” (Job 10:8). David said, “you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). Solomon wrote, “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11).

As pastors are faithful to preach God’s Word, the sanctity of life will shine through, no matter what passage they preach. Having said that, there may be times where it is appropriate to preach a topical message on this subject. I would not encourage making this into a preaching “hobby horse,” but the Lord may lead you to set aside a Sunday sermon for this purpose.        

2. Point your congregation to good resources.

You need to be informed about the horror and reality of abortion, as do your people. Thankfully, there is no shortage of good resources available.

As a place to begin, Focus on the Family has a ton of helpful resources.  There are also plenty of great books on this subject, including The Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf, and Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments by Randy Alcorn.    

Years ago, I watched a powerful film by Ray Comfort called 180. This documentary compares the abortion epidemic to the holocaust, and it is definitely worth a watch.  

3. Support your local pregnancy center.

Those involved with crisis pregnancy centers are on the frontlines of the pro-life movement. For women considering an abortion, these centers can be a real lifeline. These centers offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. They teach parenting skills and offer a host of other services. With most of these centers, local churches offer invaluable volunteer and financial support.

Pastor, if your community has a pregnancy center, do what you can to mobilize your people, and to support the vital work that is happening there.          

4. Cultivate a counterculture where life is treasured

I don’t have to tell you that abortion has become hugely political. Evangelical Christians are often accused of only focusing on one or two issues, to detriment of other “life” issues. Sadly, sometimes these criticisms ring true.

If abortion were completely eliminated in America, are we prepared? Would the church be ready for an influx of unwanted children? Even with the recent Supreme Court ruling, which struck a blow to Roe v. Wade, that day is a long way off. Yet caring for those who are most vulnerable has always been a part of genuine Christianity. 

James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.” Aside from certain political agendas, the world has no place for the widow, the orphan, or the poor. The last thing we want to do is to follow suit and ignore the very ones God has called us to care for.

Justin Taylor writes, “Let us commit not only to being ‘pro-life,’ but to being ‘whole life,’ working for the good of our neighbors and the dignity of human life in all stages of life.” 

5. Walk alongside those who have had an abortion

As we continue to fight against “the culture of death” and the horror of abortion, the reality is that some will still choose abortion. It is estimated that one in three women under the age of 45 have had an abortion. That translates into literally millions of women. 

This is where the church comes in. While one cannot change the past, there is forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and the power of the gospel. Many pregnancy centers offer post abortion counseling, which is a huge need. However, the church is in a unique position to offer a community of love and forgiveness.

Pastor, do all that you can to create a culture within your church that is saturated with grace, such that even those who are racked with guilt feel the acceptance and welcoming love of Christ (Romans 15:7).  

6. Pray! 

The most powerful thing we can do in this battle against abortion is to pray. It is natural to look at the current state of affairs and be discouraged. But don’t despair. Pray!

John Piper writes, “We are not able in ourselves to win this battle. We are not able to change hearts or minds. We are not able to change worldviews and transform culture and save 930 thousand children (aborted every year). We are not able to reform the judiciary or embolden the legislature or mobilize the slumbering population. We are not able to heal the endless wounds of godless ideologies and their bloody deeds. But, O God, you are able! And we turn from reliance on ourselves to you.”

Inaction is not an option for the believer. We must not be silent. We must not sit on the sidelines. There is much we can do. But pastor, in all that you do, point your people to the power of prayer. Model and teach that where we are weak, God is strong. He is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17)!

This battle, in an ultimate sense will not be won in our own strength, wisdom, and diligent efforts. It can only be won on our knees, and through the power of the gospel.

May God alone be glorified! 

This article was first published on The Focussed Pastor.

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