Keep Alert With All Perseverance
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. — Ephesians 6:10-20
Things are about to get heated! The war is about to be intensified tenfold! If Roe v. Wade is overturned, this will be our landscape. As Christian abolitionists stand in the gap to protect all of our preborn neighbors, we will be fighting enemies from both sides even more—whether they are pro-choice or pro-life. While the former eagerly cheer for the blood of children, the latter compromise on the actual abolition of abortion such that the bloodshed continues unabated. How do we prepare for this? So many faithful Christians have been on the front lines for so long and with recent events—especially the gutting of Louisiana’s HB813 the work has been heavy. With the Roe decision looming, how do we make sense of what is to come?
In this brief analysis, my hope is to shed some light on what may lie ahead, so that the body of Christ can be equipped to engage in the warfare that is ramping up before us.
A Fundamental Starting Point
If Roe is overturned, there will no longer remain an excuse for states that fail to abolish abortion. The “precedent” and “law of the land” will be gone, so that Roe will not be a corner to hide behind anymore. The Constitution focuses on the need for each state to provide equal protection for all people—which includes people in the womb. The reality is that each state should already be upholding the Constitution by giving equal protection under the law for all people, but due to the Roe decision, states have submitted to the erroneous decisions of the court and not to the Constitution itself.
They have not defied the court as their duty has required—because the Supreme Court does not make law, and the highest authority of our land is the Constitution, which calls for equal protection.
Each state’s submission to the Constitution—and ultimately to God—is where we should be and should have already been. This has not been the case. It is therefore the Christian’s continued duty—perhaps intensified now—to interpose and call all unjust authorities to repentance and obedience to God in this matter.
If Roe is overturned, many states claim they will immediately “ban” abortion through pro-life trigger bills—even though many of these bills merely prosecute abortion as a civil offense rather than a matter of criminal justice. Nevertheless, women in these states will flee elsewhere for abortions. This would increase the zealousness of the religion of self to new heights. The bribe to have your best life now instead of true justice and living with the consequences of your actions (Proverbs 17:23) is a tenet of this new—yet very old—religion. These sentiments constitute a wicked intent of the heart that needs to be changed by the grace of God alone.
No matter where women flee to murder their preborn children, believers must follow—so that they will continue to be confronted with the gospel of Christ within the context of this sin. No doubt if this happens there will be greater hostility as women try to protect their worship of self through child sacrifice.
This brings in the question for which we ought to be preparing—what would “banning” abortion mean in some states?
What is just before the eyes of God is that abortion be criminalized across the board, so that those who would go through with an abortion would be charged with murder. It is not enough to merely “ban” it—whatever that may mean. This “banning” could easily be bent to the whims of compromise to appease—as we have already seen—the pro-life agenda.
The HB813 incident has clearly revealed that the pro-life movement does not consider abolishing abortion to be their end goal. Instead, they lift up the idol of the mythical “innocent woman.”
Just as thieves are not victims of their heists, abortive mothers are not victims of their abortions. The mother’s core calling is to protect the livelihood and future of her children at all costs. Yet while suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, she willingly believes the lies of the world—namely, that one ought to end their preborn children’s lives if they interfere with one’s freedoms. She is no victim in this choice. She knows that she has a baby inside of her. God has created her with that innate instinct. Abortion must specifically be criminalized with the charge of homicide for all conspirators in the death of the child—which therefore includes the mother.
This must be the case applied to all stages of pregnancy, beginning with fertilization, because God calls for impartial justice. When a baby is in danger, it is first the duty of the mother to protect that life—but if she recants her duty and brings her child to the slaughter, it is the government’s job to protect that human life rather than legally sanctioning that slaughter. The government is to be a minister of justice, bringing the sword on the evildoer and rewarding those who obey what is good.
God’s law functions as a restraint to evil and a mirror through which the sinner can know his or her sin. This is, in turn, the catalyst that drives them to their need for Jesus as Lord and Savior, as freely offered in the gospel. When civil laws accurately reflect God’s law, sinners can be directed toward the gospel within the context of society, and sin can exist in the darkness where it is supposed to be. This reality demands justice for the preborn, which therefore demands the criminalization of murder.
The Line Has Been Darkened with a Sharpie
Whether or not Roe is overturned, the pro-life agenda and methodology must be abandoned—once and for all. Will this happen? Sorrowfully, some government officials, aided by many pro-life organizations, have already voiced that they will continue to push pro-life bills that regulate abortion rather than abolishing it. This was the reason why HB813 came to a halt.
The pro-life industry’s end goal is not abolition. Because they have codified their stance against abolition in their recent confession , more people have and will continue to see the injustice and bankruptcy of the pro-life movement. By God’s grace, we pray that they would repent and join the fight for the complete abolition of abortion. Americans must be called to Christ and to follow in that which honors Him.
The unequal weights and measures of pro-life bills do not honor Christ in true justice. If this was not clear before, it is now.
This fight should not exist—but sadly it does. More evangelical figureheads are siding with America’s leading pro-life organizations. Confusion is a mark of God’s judgment. Much like visible Israel, the visible church is under judgment for its idolatry. This calls for the faithful watchmen to sound the trumpet (Ezekiel 33:1-9).
We must continue to be the prophetic voice of God in this world. Many more Christians need to rise up, get to work, and speak out. We must come alongside the giants who have paved the way in this. Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good (2 Thessalonians 3:13). God is sovereign and Christ is King. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Wilberforce labored in proposing abolition bills for sixteen years until he finally saw the abolition of slavery take place. Be strengthened in the Lord for the cause of righteousness.
Is it time for an Abolitionist Confession from the church that makes leaders decide? Would this propel us forward in a unified stand to establish justice for the preborn? May the infantry stand shoulder to shoulder, with our swords of the Spirit drawn. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
The Other Side
If Roe is overturned, there will be an intensified war from the pro-choice side as well. This side is not known for its subtlety and compromise, but its zealous hostility and destruction. What will we see in the streets if Roe is overturned? It would be no surprise if the George Floyd response looks like child’s play in comparison to the fervent anger of zealous murderers. “Their feet are swift to shed blood” (Romans 3:15). If idolatry is threatened with this sort of magnitude, do you think this level of wickedness will go quiet into the night, retreating from the fight in submission? The media is already priming the pump.
Similarly, the intensified push to codify Roe into law will not go away. Those in favor of Roe have known for a long time that Roe is not law—and they have thrived in the ignorance and disobedience of the church and many other Americans who have wrongly believed the ruling to be the law of the land. The overturning of Roe would give the opponents of God’s justice—including President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders—an incentive to enshrine Roe as federal statute. The failure of their first attempts by no means implies that they will not try to codify injustice again. With the overwhelming support of the media and much of the public, they will use every pragmatic tool at their disposal to turn the law in their favor.
In the face of the greatest evil of our day, let us heed the commission that was given to Jeremiah. Let us arise, go, and be the prophetic voice of God in the world—even as we are sent out by Jesus, to whom has been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you. — Jeremiah 1:17-19
Written by Matt Kenitzer.
Matt Kenitzer is a husband to his wife, Shea, since 2008 and a father to three girls. He has been senior pastor at St. John’s Reformed Church in Friedensburg, Pennsylvania, since 2018.