Asking All the Wrong Questions about Abortion

I’d like to change women’s hearts to seeing the Image of God in our fellow man.  I want to emphasize how considering our souls are eternal and our bodies are temporary…ought to influence everything!

I want to change women’s hearts not only for the benefit of the babies, but also for the benefit of the woman who is pregnant and worried about what to do now.

You see, in my line of work, I encounter women all the time who confess abortions to me.  They are emotionally fragile and worried about what happens to them, if they were wrong.  Here are the heart-wrenching questions of a woman who chose abortion:

  • What happens if that baby was a child and not a choice?
  • What happens if there really is a God and if He created that fetus she aborted?  Will she go to hell for it?
  • What happens if she was wrong and if it was murder?  Is that the unforgivable sin?
  • What happens if she was sucked in by the passions of the moment and the politics of the day and denied God even though she claimed to follow Christ?  Does she lose her salvation?
  • What if she listened to some man who didn’t want her to carry his baby, instead of listening to her heart, will God forgive her because she followed a man’s leadership?
  • What happens to her if she was young and confused and made a decision that seemed right at the time but will she spend eternity in hell paying for it?
  • What happens to her if she bought the “just a choice” idea wholesale…and now has buyer’s remorse?  Maybe she has come to faith.  Maybe she has cancer and is worried about retribution or punishment.  Maybe she has given birth to children and has a new perspective on what it means to be a mother.  Maybe she has sunk into the depths of depression and relives that moment over and over again.
What if I was wrong?, she asks!

These are the questions I’m asked.  Some of the women were young and made mistakes.  Some of the women were older and had affairs they’re looking to hide.  Some have been raped.  Some just couldn’t bear to raise another child.  All of them were reliving their decision over and over.

So, everyone standing up at the DNC talking about a woman’s right to choose…they do not speak for me.  And after some woman has chosen, where are these choice advocates who will stand up and speak compassion and comfort for this mother who aborted should she regret it years down the road?

Where is the compassionate voice, the hand of friendship, the heart of love, and a fount of theological help?  They don’t come to Planned Parenthood for that.  They come to me.  And I point them to Jesus.

And this applies not only to women who have aborted.  I also hear from mothers who have miscarried or who have experienced, like I have, the deep questions surrounding stillbirth.  We wrestle with this question:

Does God send babies to hell?

Believe me, I think about this topic more deeply than any woman at the DNC.

If the soul occurs at conception and bears the Image of God well before his/her body was formed, then the embryo aborted, the fetus miscarried, the child whose body is deformed, the full term unborn baby who dies—all of these—fall into the same category:  Soul perfect, body innocent, bearing mankind’s sinful image, and the glorious Image of God.

You will find plenty of people in Christian circles who believe that God chooses to damn some of them. 

This is not a picture of the God I know!  Because I have a high view of the Image of God, I know His desire is that none of us perish, though some of us will.  Yes, He is sovereign, but His Image is precious to Him and He has gone to extraordinary lengths to save the bearers of this image.

But you will also find people in Christian circles who say you must choose God for Him to choose you.  This is not a picture of the God I know either.  I’m not sure that babies or those deformed could know how to choose God.

Here’s the passage of Scripture that gets in everyone’s way:

 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad– in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls– she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”  Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!  For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

(Romans 9:11-15)

This passage of Scripture cannot stand alone.  It did not all occur in the womb.  The problem is that many people think that’s where it all takes place.  But look:

The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.  The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:22-23)

The plan for their lives was from the womb, not their eternal destiny.  Had God’s plan been to have both Jacob and Esau miscarried, the nations would not exist or be able to serve anyone.  Had God’s plan been to have Jacob and Esau stillborn, there would be no love Jacob and hate Esau (hate, meaning love less by comparison) as they both bore the Image of God.

Once they were born and lived out God’s plan, Malachi records this regarding their lives,

“I have loved you,” says the LORD. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” the LORD says. “Yet I have loved Jacob,  but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals” (Malachi 1:2-3)

In the womb, both Jacob and Esau had souls bearing the Image of God.  His plan for each of them was unique to demonstrate God’s sovereign control over human history and that it was not formulaic or subject to human logic.

But God never lost sight even in the midst of His plan that both Jacob and Esau bore the Image of God.  The mercy of God stated at the end of Romans 9: 15 and His compassion shown reflects His love which is soul deep. Do you want to see Jesus’ view of this soul deep love?  Matthew 19:14 Jesus said,

 Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

The best way I can describe it is that the mercy of God is exerted powerfully upon those who are soul perfect, body innocent, bearing mankind’s sinful image, and the glorious Image of God, who have had no opportunity to do anything good or bad.

My view is that God does kind of a “Creator’s prerogative reach back” as part of His sovereign plan, and takes hold of those souls whose Image of God has not been tainted by rebellious acts against Him.   It’s a broken image because of humanity’s sinful inheritance, but this is why it’s key that He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy!  God pulls them by His mercy through the cleansing blood of Christ, and secures them in heaven so that they are saved in the same way—through the blood of Christ—as everyone else who will be saved.  There is no other way of salvation, but for the incapable among us–fetuses, stillborn, handicapped beyond an ability to process things–God is merciful and loving in accordance with His character.

So, I would like to reassure every woman out there who has ever miscarried, given birth to a stillborn baby, or yes, intentionally aborted a child, that the Image of God is soul deep.  The mercy of God upon His image bearers is so profound, His love so boundless that I cannot imagine heaven without your child and mine.  You and I are culpable because of opportunities we’ve had.  These innocents and their salvation depend utterly upon God.

This is the God I know: He is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness at all times, and yet forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin when we turn and confess our known wrongs.  He is faithful to forgive us.

For women who have aborted babies, I would offer this statement:

Your baby’s soul is not the one in jeopardy here.  It is yours I want to address…

…since you’ve had the opportunity to do good or bad, to serve God or rebel against Him, to seek forgiveness or reject it, and to make your choices by worldly politics or by faith in God.

Can women who have aborted babies find forgiveness or do they go to hell?

As long as you have breath, it’s not too late to discover the forgiveness that God offers in Jesus Christ. 

Our God is not a punishing kind.  He’s a forgiving kind.  Will He allow us to experience the consequences of our actions?  Absolutely.  But even in the midst of a world of pain we have caused and one for which we bear the consequences, God stands ready to forgive.  Jesus died on the Cross so that you won’t have to carry this burden all the way to your soul’s eternal destiny.  Jesus died to take that burden and to offer payment so that you can be forgiven.  Just come to Him and tell Him your burden and acknowledge your fear over abortion’s consequence.  Feel the forgiveness.

Write to me if you need to talk to someone.  I’ll point you to Jesus.

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Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on September 5, 2012

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