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SOUDER: God is pro-life (and pro-choice)

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The Bible explains both sides quite well.

By Chuck Souder

There’s an old joke in which an atheist scientist comes to God and says, "We've figured out how to create life without you."

"OK, let me see you do it," God replies.

As the atheist bends down to the ground and scoops up a handful of soil to begin his work, God stops him and says, “Oh, no you don't. Get your own dirt!"

The point, of course, is that the first verse in the Bible (Genesis 1:1) is true: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

The biblical narrative then goes on to describe in some detail how God brought life upon the earth – first plants and trees, then fish and birds, then land animals and, finally, Adam and Eve.

The New Testament reiterates the point, telling us that in the beginning, Jesus was there and that “through Him all things were made, without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life…” (John 1:1-4).

The Bible makes clear that God is the creator, author and sustainer of life.

So, that God is pro-life should be a given – and not just in the narrow-politically-against-abortion sense. Of course, God is against abortion. No one could read the Bible and conclude otherwise.

Just a couple of verses should be evidence enough.

Psalm 139:13 says “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

To the prophet Jeremiah, God said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you…” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).

If that doesn’t do it, consider Proverbs 6:17, which tells us that God hates “hands that shed innocent blood.”

And shed innocent blood we have. The statistics are staggering. Each year, there are well more than a million abortions in America (about one every 8 seconds of every day during “business” hours. So in the time it takes you to read this column, more than 30 babies will have been killed.

All told, there have been more than 50 million abortions in the U.S. since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was tragically decided on bad science and worse law.

That infamous decision was based in large part on the idea that science couldn’t prove when life began.

Though there was never a moral or Biblical question about it, there was a time when the science concerning abortion was unsettled.

Now, however, with the advancement in ultrasound and our understanding of genes, there is no longer even any question scientifically. Life begins at conception. Period.

Make no mistake – God is certainly against abortion.

But it is much, much bigger than that. When I say that God is pro-life, I mean that He is for human flourishing at every level. (After all, remember, He invented it!)

Jesus said in John 10:10, “A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life – life in all its fullness.”

Therefore, as his followers, Christians must be people who are unreservedly committed to human life at its fullest and people deeply pained by human life at its worst. This is why throughout history, Christians have been (and are still) at the forefront of ministering to “the least of these:” from abolishing slavery to fighting for civil rights and against modern-day human trafficking, to visiting prisons to caring for AIDS patients and their orphans – Christians are unashamedly and demonstrably pro-life.

That’s why the vast majority of crisis pregnancy centers, homes for unwed mothers, food pantries and soup kitchens are funded and staffed by Christians. It’s why Christians built most of our first hospitals and established most of our first colleges.

Indeed, God and his people are pro-life!

As I have said, usually when that term is used, the focus is only on abortion. But this principle is much bigger than that, encompassing nearly every other issue as well.

It includes issues such as abortion, embryonic stem cells and euthanasia that you might think of – but also issues such as war, capital punishment, welfare, poverty and taxes that you might not.

Although I don’t have time to go into it here, there are “pro-life” positions on all of these issues. (Indeed, capital punishment, when applied correctly, is actually a pro-life position – but that’s another column.)

I have found that most of the time those who get the abortion question wrong are also not on the pro-life side of these other issues either. Actually, that is to be expected.

As Mother Teresa said, “We cannot fight credibly against other social and moral evils, including poverty and violence, while we tolerate mass killings by abortion.”

Again, God is absolutely, 100 percent pro-life!

However, to be fair, it should be noted that it is also true that God is pro-choice. He created each of us with free will – and the fact that we so often make the wrong choices accounts for most, if not all, of our trouble.

Fortunately, through what Jesus did, he also provided a solution so that any bad choice we have made – including abortion – need not be eternally fatal for us. He sets before each of us every day a choice of whether we will follow him – to real life, the way it was intended to be – or whether we will follow the path that seems right to us, but in the end leads only to death.

I conclude with God’s own words from Deuteronomy 30:15-19: “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live [really live, live abundantly] and become a great nation, and the Lord your God will bless you…day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

 

Chuck Souder is on staff at Shelby Christian Church. He can be reached at csouder@shelbychristian.org. More of his columns can be found at www.SentinelNews.com/columns.