The Uniquely Kingdom Approach to Abortion
The unique Kingdom approach to abortion doesn’t focus on figuring out the “right” political solution, getting “the right” candidates into office or getting the “right” bills passed. As with everything else about the Kingdom, it rather focuses on manifesting the self-sacrificial love of God towards women with unwanted pregnancies and towards their unborn children.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. An unmarried 18-year-old woman I’ll call Becky became pregnant. She was afraid to tell her strict Christian parents because she was convinced they would disown her in disgrace and make her move out of the house. This, in turn, would severely jeopardize her plans to attend college and fulfill her dream of becoming a veterinarian. Consequently, she was planning on having an abortion.
Becky confided in a neighborhood friend of the family I’ll call Dorothy. Dorothy was a middle aged divorced woman who over the years had developed a special relationship with Becky. When Becky told Dorothy of her plan, Dorothy didn’t judge her or dump her opinions about abortion on her. She simply offered to help. If Becky chose to have an abortion, Dorothy offered to help with her post-abortion recovery. But, believing that abortion was not the best solution to Becky’s dilemma, she lovingly encouraged Becky to think seriously about her planned course of action.
Even more importantly, she offered to do whatever it took to make going full term feasible for Becky. It is at this point, I believe, that Dorothy began to address the abortion issue in a distinctly Kingdom manner.
If Becky’s parents kicked her out of the house (which they did), Dorothy offered her basement as a place for her to stay. It wasn’t much, but it was something. Dorothy also offered to provide whatever financial and emotional support Becky would need throughout the pregnancy to whatever degree she was able (she ended up taking out a second mortgage on her house). If Becky wanted to give the baby up for adoption, Dorothy offered to help with this. If Becky wanted to keep the child (which she ended up doing), Dorothy offered to help her with this as well (she became the Godmother). And, on top of this, Dorothy promised to work with Becky to help make it financially possible to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian.
As a result, Becky went through with the pregnancy, moved in with Dorothy, and pursued her dream part-time while both she and Dorothy raised her daughter.
This is an example of being “pro-life” Kingdom style, for Dorothy was willing to sacrifice on behalf of Becky and her unborn child. Dorothy’s sacrifice wasn’t rooted in a particular way of resolving the complex, ambiguous questions mentioned above. In fact, Dorothy didn’t claim to know much about these difficult issues. She only believed it is better to affirm life whenever possible rather than to terminate it, and she was willing to communicate this conviction in any way she could by paying a price.
The price Dorothy paid was much greater than the price of a vote, carrying a picket sign or signing a petition. But this is precisely why Dorothy’s way of being “pro-life” manifested the Kingdom. It has nothing to do with one’s opinions about which ambiguous kingdom-of-the-world option is “right.” But it’s got everything to do with replicating the self-sacrificial love that Jesus displayed when he gave his life for all people on Calvary. There is nothing distinctly Kingdom about having all the right opinions in the world about what government should do. But when a person like Dorothy instead asks, “What can I do?” that reflects the beauty of a life over which God reigns.
It may be worth noting that, for a variety of complex reasons, Dorothy tended to vote “pro-choice.” Yet, I submit Dorothy was far more pro-life than many who profess to be “pro-life” because they vote a certain way.
The Church is called to be a Church of Dorothy’s, not just on the abortion issue, but on every issue. We’re not called to pretend we have more wisdom or righteousness than others when it comes to political problems. We are rather called to imitate Jesus in manifesting God’s love for all people at all times — including women who are considering abortion.
On the abortion issue, as on all other issues, the Kingdom is not about how we vote. It’s about the sacrificial way we live.
Link to full article: https://reknew.org/2012/10/qa-what-is-your-stance-on-abortion/