Is the Pro-Choice Position Aligned with the Teachings of Jesus?

I want to share a unique perspective that I have in my heart—a perspective that challenges us to explore the alignment of the pro-choice position with the life and teachings of Jesus.“, said Roland Warren, President and CEO of Care Net in his keynote address to attendees of Care Net’s 2023 National Conference in Mobile, Alabama.

The theme of the conference was “Abundantly More” based on Ephesians 3:20, and true to our theme, this was Care Net’s largest conference ever. More than 1,600 Pregnancy Center staff and volunteers gathered to sharpen their skills to reach the compassion of Christ to women and men considering abortion. Watch Roland’s keynote discuss whether the pro-choice position is consistent with the life and teachings of Jesus.

Watch the full keynote: Roland Warren

Portions of the following are excerpts from Roland Warren’s keynote address to attendees of the 2023 Care Net National Conference in Mobile, Alabama. Watch the video above for the full message.

Roland began his keynote by recalling, years ago, after speaking at a life-affirming church, a young man approached him with regret etched on his face. He admitted that he had taken his girlfriend to Planned Parenthood for an abortion a few days before. This encounter deeply moves Roland and prompts a reflection on the sin of Christians who perform abortions.

This issue took on greater importance for Roland when Roe v. Wade is reversed. He recognized that many pro-life Christians were met with unexpected rejection and hostility, even from those they thought shared their beliefs. The troubling truth has emerged that the abortion rate among Christians is alarmingly close to that of the general population.

As we face this issue within the Church, it is important to examine the theological framework that informs our stance. Systematic theology categorizes beliefs into absolutes, beliefs, opinions, and questions. Abortion, no doubt, falls into the absolute category, given the biblical foundation of the sanctity of life. However, disunity arises when some reclassify this absolute as a mere opinion or question, reminiscent of the Garden of Eden when absolutes were distorted into uncertainty.

You can watch Roland’s full keynote address in the video above, or download the transcript below. In this post, I want to give you the four questions Roland covers in his keynote that will guide your exploration:

1. How is support for abortion consistent with the Great Commission and the Great Commission?

Jesus emphasized loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves. The unborn child is undoubtedly our closest neighbor, the one shared in the mother’s womb. The decision challenges the essence of sacrificial love—how does it fulfill the Great Commission?

2. When did Jesus’ human life begin, and how should this fact influence Christians’ views on abortion?

In examining the personality debate, we must examine Jesus’ experience in the womb. The Bible provides ideas on his development before birth, which prompts us to reconsider when life actually begins.

3. What does Mary’s unplanned pregnancy teach Christians about the decision to have an abortion?

Mary’s unexpected pregnancy with Jesus challenges our views on unplanned pregnancy. If God deemed an unplanned pregnancy suitable for the birth of the Savior, how should we deal with similar situations?

4. How should the uncertainty of when life begins influence Christian views on abortion?

Recognizing the uncertainty surrounding the exact moment life begins, Christians should approach the abortion debate with humility, guided by the principles of love, compassion, and the pursuit of abundant life.

The Great Commission teaches us to love our neighbor, and the Great Commission calls us to make disciples. Aborting the unborn contradicts both, for it is an act that is neither love nor disciple-making.

Additionally, the character debate challenges us to look at Jesus’ experience before birth. His presence in Mary’s womb is a testament to the sanctity of life from the earliest stages.

Mary’s unplanned pregnancy reveals God’s sovereignty over situations we might find uncomfortable. If God chose such circumstances for the birth of His Son, shouldn’t we reconsider our views on unplanned pregnancy?

In the face of uncertainty about when life begins, Christians are called to approach the abortion debate with compassion and humility. Our focus should be on advocating for an abundant life and showing the love of Christ.

As we talk about abortion within the Church, let’s use the Great Commission as the lens through which we view this issue. Only by aligning our views on love for God, others, and ourselves can we truly understand the gravity of the abortion problem.

The pro-choice position within the Church requires careful examination of its alignment with the teachings of Jesus. Let our discussions be marked by compassion, humility, and a commitment to promoting abundant life.

May our hearts be open to the transformative power of Christ’s teachings as we navigate the complexities of the abortion debate within the Christian community.

Find the full transcript of Roland’s keynote address to attendees.

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