Updated: Jul 13
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion.” It is the end of an era that millions of Christians have waited for, voted for, protested against, and earnestly prayed for. And yet this is not the finish line. This cannot be the end of the race for Christians. We may not take a deep sigh of relief as “our battle” is over.
A Victory for Image Bearers
Of the polarizing things that have happened in the last decade, this court decision will be relatively accepted by most Christians. You probably won’t hear of or see churches — nor denominations — splitting over this issue. The church has been widely behind banning abortions.
And the truth is this feels like a major victory in the minds of most Christians. To be honest, when the rumor of this came out, and then the actual decision, I said a prayer of thanksgiving. This is a great day for creatures made in the image of God.
Yet this is not where we leave this issue
The fight for abortion cessation may have been won, but the fight for the fair treatment of creatures made in God’s image is far from over. This cannot be where the church leaves this issue. This fight is not won in total. It would be best for churches and Christians to think of this monumental moment as a battle won. To think we may end the same fervor we had for seeing this end is naive.
The danger of ending the fight
If you and I lay our weapons down now and don’t fight for the rights of image-bearers of the most high king, we will be making one of the worst praxis choices the church has made in church history.
What gives me the right to say that?
To give up now will confirm everything that people supporting access to abortions believe about us.
And it’s not just about what they believe, but it’s about the truth. We would be hypocrites. It would prove that we truly only care about the sacredness of unborn lives and not of those who are born. It would confirm that care about the unborn because they cannot speak, we don’t need a relationship with them, and once they are born they don’t need our advocating.
As Christians, we don’t believe this. We know that both the unborn and the born carry a distinct quality that gives all humans dignity, respect, and certain rights. And if that is the case, then we must step in to the call of Christ. The call to love and protect is the least of these.
A biblical challenge for the universal church
Jesus tells us in Matthew 25 that he will judge the world based on how we love “the least of these.” Not as a way to earn our salvation, but as a way to show how the gospel has transformed us.
So now, who are “the least of these?” It is the widows and orphans.
James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep one unstained from the world.”
While we — as Christians — may want to read this passage hyper-literally, to do so would endanger us becoming hypocrites to the world. We should apply the word orphans in the passage to include those children who would have been aborted, and the word widows to include those women who are mothers who wouldn’t have been if they could have received an abortion.
It is the call of the church — now in this present era — to step up like it never has before. If you thought Christians were zealous to end abortion, I hope we see the church respond to these widows and orphans with twice the zeal. If we don’t it will be to our shame.
This will require Christians to be willing to be even more open to adoption. It will require the church to foster fostering. It will require the same brilliance in strategy to get Roe V. Wade overturned, directed at systemic efforts to “visit orphans and widows in their affliction.”
Church rise up! This is not your finish line. This is the starting gun to the actual race. The race, believe it or not, we have been getting ready for this whole time.
This is the moment the church was made for. It is not just our duty, but our obligation to respond and see God glorified in our actions, and sacrifice to see image-bearers loved and cared for.