The issue of abortion is a huge moral debate in our culture. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, abortions have risen from 775,000 to 1.6 million annually. Abortion has increased to the point that abortion is the second most common surgical procedure in the US. In the United States, one in four pregnancies are terminated by abortion. That means 1/4 of the next generation is being destroyed in the womb. In response to this, many Christians have rallied to fight the decision of Roe vs Wade arguing that life is precious, even in the womb. Christians argue that all of humanity is created in the image of God and that as a result human life should not be killed, even in the womb. For Christians, abortion is murder. Now my goal in this blog isn’t to argue for the pro life position from the Bible, but to show that Christians fighting for the cause of life is nothing new. Even from the beginning of Christianity, Christians were known for protecting the defenseless and helping the helpless.
When Christians first arrived on the scene, the culture of the day had a hard time figuring them out. They were so counter cultural that the Roman Empire thought that they were just bizarre. The culture just thought they were weird. Here is an excerpt from a testimony of a Roman writing about what the Christians were like in the 2nd century:
“They marry, like everyone else, and they beget children, but they do not cast out their offspring. They share their board with each other, but not their marriage bed….They busy themselves on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven….They love all men, and by all men are persecuted….To put in simply: What the soul is in the body, Christians are in the world.”—Letter to Diognetus (2nd century).
In the Roman era, there was a common practice of casting out unwanted children after birth. If you had a child and you didn’t want the responsibility of taking care of the child, you would simply toss them out with the rest of the garbage. It was no big deal and culturally acceptable. You can see in this excerpt that the early Christians were known for not casting out their children. The culture thought they were weird for not committing infanticide. In fact the early Christians were often called “Baby Lovers”, because the early Christians would actually go to garbage heaps, get the cast out infants, take them into their homes, and care for them. Throughout church history it was the Christians who would take care of the orphans and provide a voice for the voiceless.
You see, the issue of abortion is not a new issue that Christians are facing. Christians have been fighting for the cause of life since their beginning. The question for us is this: Are we going to stand in the long line of historical Christianity and defend life? You see Jesus himself came to save the forgotten and despised of this world. That includes those of us who have been saved by grace through faith. In response to the amazing grace we have been shown, we must be compelled to imitate our savior and defend the cause of the unborn. The fight will be difficult and persecution is sure to follow, but just like the early Christians may we seem bizarre to our culture because of our love and concern for the unwanted. May we be the ones who support ministries like the Wilson Pregnancy Center. May we be the ones who volunteer to adopt these children rejected by the world. May we be the ones who help the helpless and provide a voice for the voiceless. This means fighting against the silent holocaust of abortion and being a voice for the 50 million souls in the US who had their lives taken in the womb.