The Pro-Life Position is the Only Appropriate Gospel Response to Abortion

A favorite verse used by pro-life advocates to exhort the Church to action on behalf of the unborn is Proverbs 31:8:

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute."

Christians should see this verse as a command to engage in pro-life advocacy on some level.  While Proverbs 31:8 isn't specifically talking only about abortion, there is no getting around the fact that the unborn cannot speak up for themselves.  There is no larger group of people so utterly incapable of speaking on their own behalf than the unborn.  We have the privilege and obligation to speak up for these little ones.  God commands it and there is no ignoring Him.  If that were the end of the story, that should be enough for us because the creator of the universe has spoken; but to isolate Proverbs 31:8 is to forget the larger narrative of scripture and how the Gospel functions as our lens to interpret scripture.

This verse is not just a call to boldness, but also a call to humility.  We are not the champion of the story.  The focus is not on our voice and ability to speak for those who cannot defend themselves.  Our obedience to Proverbs 31:8 is a response to the gospel.  How can we not speak up on behalf of unborn children when Christ spoke up on our behalf when we couldn't?

"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One"  -1 John 2:1

"Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them"  -Hebrews 7:25

In our sin, we are those who cannot speak for themselves, but Christ spoke up for us and in doing so, took our sin and punishment.  To refuse to speak up for the unborn is to forget the height from which we have fallen and to forget the beauty of the gospel: that someone spoke up for us when we were all together incapable of doing so, and He will do so again on the day of judgment when Christ acts as our advocate.  When Christians engage in pro-life advocacy and activism, they are simply positioning themselves in an appropriate response to the Gospel.  They are loving because they have been loved (1 John 4:19).  They are resolving to save others because they themselves have been saved.

Is Abortion the Responsibility of the Church?

Is Abortion the Responsibility of the Church?

One of the most frequent responses I hear from pastors when asked why they don't address the issue of abortion in their congregation is this:

"The pro-life mission is not the mission of the Church. The Church is responsible for the Great Commission."

That may sound like a spiritual answer that shows high concern for keeping the call of making disciples at the top of the Church's priorities; but in reality, this answer shows a deep misunderstanding of the responsibility of the Church. 

So what is the correct understanding? 

To answer that question, let's go straight to the Great Commission passage in question: