Church: Let’s Talk About Pro-Life and Abortion
When it comes to the issue of abortion, one would expect the church to have the loudest voice in the pro-life movement. Unfortunately, too many churches feel that speaking about pro-life topics will produce a negative response from their congregation.
With such a strong biblical view on the sanctity of life, what is holding pastors back from speaking about pro-life to their congregation? How can we, as those who stand for the pro-life movement, equip the church to advocate for the unborn?
First, we must understand some of the reasons that pastors hold back from speaking about pro-life issues and how we can help equip them to better support the women in their church.
Belief #1: Being pro-life is a political issue that should not be discussed at church
If the pro-life movement is usually identified as a political movement. But this often masks the seriousness of the true matter at hand: abortion hurts the unborn and it hurts women. Being pro-life should never be minimized as solely a political issue. It is, and always will be a biblical and human rights issue. Pastors who fear “being too political” run the risk of denying biblical truth to their congregation. As Christians and teachers of the Word of God, pastors should uphold scriptural teaching. John Piper said, “the Word of God is the standard of truth, not a political ideology or camp” (CareNet).
Belief #2: A fear of being associated with extreme pro-life activism
For many years, being pro-life was akin to standing outside of abortion clinics with gut-wrenching photos of aborted babies and yelling horrendous insults at any women who walked into the clinic. So, what has changed? The new face of pro-life is focused on love and compassion; meeting women where they are and helping them through their situation; praying with them. All of this to, hopefully, make abortion completely unthinkable.
Rather than fearing association with the “extreme” pro-life activists, pastors can model God’s heart of compassion and create their own pro-life ministry. Pastors have the opportunity to show love and grace while partnering with pregnancy resource centers or other local ministries.
Belief #3: The fear of being inadequate or not well-equipped to be able to discuss abortion
As a teacher of Biblical truth and leader of a congregation, it can seem overwhelming to speak about something that you don’t feel fully equipped to discuss. Because of this, many pastors put off pro-life talks all together. But there are resources available on the topic. Pastors have a wonderful opportunity to learn more about this subject in order to better serve their congregation through the Word of God. The more these resources are utilized, the better equipped our pastors will become to speak about pro-life issues.
Belief #4: Speaking about abortion may drive away people in the congregation who have had past abortions
When a pastor is silent about such a serious subject, those affected by abortion are inadvertently told that their pain and their past is too shameful to be addresses from the pulpit. Being concerned about not hurting individuals in the congregation is a valid fear. This fear, however, should not prevent a pastor from teaching on the grace
How do we help equip the church?
No matter what may keep a pastor from addressing abortion from the pulpit, we can help introduce them to tools and resources that can provide a helpful, holistic, and grace-filled way of approaching the topic. Knowing the Biblical truth about abortion as well as what God says about redemption is critical. When church leaders continue learning to better serve their church, they have the opportunity to aide in the healing process for many women, or even save women and babies in their congregation from the heartbreak of abortion.
Partnering with local pregnancy centers and churches, when partnered together, can be a valuable asset to people in the church dealing with abortion in their past. By connecting with a local pregnancy center, churches are able to serve their community and learn about starting a post abortive recovery ministry or counseling programs.
Save the Storks partners with over 60 pregnancy centers nationwide with nearly 60 mobile medical units operating around the country. In 2019, affiliate pregnancy centers reported over 2,100 positive pregnancy tests and over 1,800 choices for life aboard their mobile medical units.
To help find counseling resources near you, visit https://www.aacc.net/
To read stories of women who have found healing after an abortion, click here.
For crisis pregnancy resources near you, click here.