Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Life, Choice, Abortion

Life is made up of a series of choices. Some choices, like deciding what to have for dinner or what clothes to wear, are every day mundane choices. Other choices, like deciding on who to marry or what career to pursue, are more important decisions. Most of our choices fall some where between these extremes.

Whatever the choice there are consequences. They may not be bad consequences, but good and bad things do happen as the result of the choices we make. Your choice of clothing may make you too warm for the day and your choice in a marriage partner hopefully results in years of happiness and a wonderful family. Choices are essential to life.

I believe that we must honor choices, because God honors choices. He has given us the decision to choose to follow His Son Jesus or to follow whatever other path we think is right. God wants us to choose; He will not make the decision for us.

No matter how hard I try I cannot make a choice for you. Even though I might think you are making a horrible choice it is not in my power to force you to choose something else. People every day choose to disobey the laws of this country in order to do what they want to do. The law doesn't prevent them from making a choice. One of the functions of law is to help people understand what the best choice is. The best choice is not to steal, but people choose to steal anyway. Law does not negate choice.

In this aspect I am pro-choice when in comes to abortion. Just as God is pro-choice when it comes to salvation. "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live!" (Deuteronomy 30:19; NLT). To help the Israelites with their choice God gave them a Law to guide them. God understood what was best, and so the Law was designed, not to force people to act a certain way, but to point them in the right direction. God wanted them to choose life, but it was still their choice to make.

Life is always the better choice than death. To abort human life, in whatever stage it is in, is a crime against humanity and a sin against God. Our counsel should always be to encourage the nurture of life.

Here is where we lose our way when it comes to abortion: we don’t equate the mass of cells that are growing in a woman’s womb as life. Yet it is. It has it’s own DNA structure, it is using nourishment to grow, and in time will grow into what we will recognize as a baby human. This is not only life, but it is human life. Those cells that are dividing and growing will not become anything else but a human baby. To end this process, to terminate the growth, is to end human life.

Since the best choice is always life then we as mature, responsible, and intelligent people need to protect life. One of the ways we protect life is to have a law which protects it. Remember law doesn’t negate choice, but only points out what the best choice is. If a woman or a couple still has a desire to terminate life that is still an option open to them, but there will be negative consequences for that decision.

Ultimately the debate on abortion isn’t about pro-choice or pro-life it is about whether or not it should be legal to terminate life so that the person making that choice will not have to face legal consequences in the form of punishment if they choose to terminate life. One could argue that there are other negative consequences of abortion that pale any legal consequence, but that is a separate discussion. What I want to point out is that to make abortion illegal in no way removes choice. A woman’s ability to choose is still part of the equation.

Further more a woman has other choices to make besides the one about abortion. Remember all our choices have consequences. A woman’s choice to engage in sexual activity has as one of its consequences pregnancy. If a woman does not want to have children, then at the very least she should make sure that she is protected, and the surest way to avoid having children is not to engage in sexual activity. There are choices the woman makes before the choice of an abortion is ever an issue.

What about the small percentage who get pregnant and didn’t have a say? Those who are raped or where involved in incest? My mother had a saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” By ending the human life in the womb of these victims doesn’t heal them, it doesn’t take away the pain, it doesn’t dull the memory, and it doesn’t make things better. Tell me how an abortion makes things better for the woman who has been abused and victimized? It doesn’t. Sure it is unfair that she has to carry a child that she did not plan for and fathered by a man who victimized her, but to terminate that life growing inside of her doesn’t make the pain go away or turn back the clock.

One reality of life is that we have to live with the consequences of other people’s actions. Some people are disabled because a drunk driver hit them, other people have had their property destroyed because of a fire intentionally started by someone else, and the list could go on and on. We cannot erase the past. All we can hope to do is face the future by making the best possible choices.

Abortion is the greatest evil this country has ever seen. Why do I say that? Abortion is taking the life of the faceless, the voiceless, and the helpless. It exists for the sole purpose to remove perceived negative consequences that are the result of irresponsible choices people have made. The only reason abortion exists is because people want to do what they want to do regardless of the consequences. This is one issue that the Church of Jesus Christ must be vocal about, because Christ Followers are called to protect the innocent and the helpless.

The best way to be vocal is not to have protests and demonstrations. I am not even sure pressuring for a law is the best way to begin. I believe where we have to start is to show a world that devalues every life but their own, that all human life is important. It begins by serving pregnant women who are lonely and scared. It begins by adopting and loving unwanted children. It begins by ministering to the homeless on the street. It begins by offering a helping hand to people in prison. It begins by giving the addicted a chance to break free from their addiction. It begins by valuing life, every life no matter who they are or what they have done.

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