Abolition Is Gospel-Centered

Abortion is sin, and the only way to abolish sin is the gospel, through repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ.

Often pro-life activists will exclude the gospel from their efforts because those with whom they are engaging don’t believe in the Bible, and it is therefore concluded that they must be won over by reason built on common ground. However, Jesus says that there is no neutrality, and no common ground between those who are with Him, and those who are not.

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Mat 12:30)

To persuade someone that abortion should be abolished requires the activist to appeal to an ultimate standard of right and wrong. If the foundation of that standard is anything other than Jesus Christ and His word, law and gospel, then the activist has built his thinking on a foundation that cannot logically stand (1Co 3:10-19, Mat 7:24-29, Jas 4:4).

As biblical Christians, abolitionists believe that the gospel is central to changing the hearts and minds of those in our culture. Those who want to leave the gospel out of the discussion are leaving out the cure; parents are sacrificing their children precisely because they do not have the gospel, and we aim to bring that truth as salt and light into conflict with the evil of our age.

Some Christians agree that the gospel is the only answer to sin, but then criticize any attempt to legislate biblical morality, claiming that this is a distraction from (or perversion of) the gospel. This perspective tends to be prevalent among those who believe, whether explicitly or implicitly, that the impact of the gospel extends only to the personal salvation of individuals — excluding national salvation from God’s wrath, such as what is seen in the book of Jonah.

The Bible’s use of the term “gospel” however seems to be broader in scope than describing just the atonement that Jesus provides for individual sins. Some descriptions reference only judgment, with no mention of grace (Rev 14:6-7). Our right standing in Christ has nothing to do with our works (Eph 2:8-9), yet the gospel is viewed as something to be obeyed (Rom 10:16, 2Th 1:8, 1Pe 4:17), and something that results in obedience to God (Rom 1:1-5, 15:18-19, 16:25-27). It includes doctrines that Christians often consider secondary, such as eschatology (Rom 2:16), or the lineage of Christ (2Ti 2:8).

In the opening of his book on Christ’s ministry, Mark refers to the entire document as, “the gospel.” (Mar 1:1) This includes more than chapters 14-16, the death and resurrection of Christ. It includes His life, His miracles, His law, His coming judgment, the example that He set for us to follow, and His teaching on numerous other topics. The apostle John also gave a broad description of Christ’s purpose in coming to the earth, stating that He appeared “to destroy the works of the devil.” (1Jo 3:8)

Abortion is a work of the devil, the shedding of innocent blood, thus Jesus came to destroy abortion; this is part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So when a Christian claims that fighting abortion is a distraction from the gospel, the abolitionist would view that position as embracing a “truncated gospel” — an abbreviated, or deficient form of the gospel that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Finally, other Christians will agree that the gospel is the answer to abortion, and that it impacts all of creation, but then arbitrarily believe (whether explicitly or implicitly) that this national and cosmic impact will come exclusively at or after the second coming of Christ, when all of creation is judged and/or restored. In this view, progressive sanctification is praiseworthy on the personal level, but Christians should not be distracted with attempts at national sanctification at this point in history. A simple study of western history and scripture should demonstrate that God both requires and empowers rulers to bow the knee to the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ our Lord (Psa 2), and that this submission necessarily impacts their legislation (Dan 3:1-29).

Through His death on the cross, Jesus abolished death (2Ti 1:10), and through our union with Him, we are commissioned to do likewise (Eph 5:8-14, Rom 16:20, Luk 10:25-37). The abolition of abortion must be gospel-centered, and the gospel must progressively extend as far as the curse is found.

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