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6 Ways Pastors Can Champion the Sanctity of Life

Christians in general must do all they can to stand against the evil of abortion. However, pastors carry a unique leadership responsibility. Here are 6 ways pastors can champion the sanctity of life.

In the last 50 years, over 63 million babies have been aborted in the United States. While not unique to this country, it is a crisis of epic proportions. As Christians, we know that from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible affirms the sanctity of life. Life is a precious gift of God, and we must do all we can to protect and celebrate human life, from the womb to the tomb. 

If authorities were to catch you killing a bald eagle, they would fine you thousands of dollars, and you could even serve prison time. Remarkably, there are more protections for an eagle than there are for pre-born children in this country! 

Inaction is not an option. Christians in general must do all they can to stand against the evil of abortion. However, pastors carry a unique leadership responsibility. 

Here are 6 ways pastors can champion the sanctity of life. 

 1. Preach and teach the Word of God 

Pastors have the high calling of preaching the very Word of God (2 Timothy 4:2). As they unpack the riches contained in Scripture to the people whom they shepherd, it won’t be hard for these people to see the sacredness of human life. 

The first thing God tells us about humanity is that He created us in His image (Genesis 1:27, 5:1). We bear the Divine stamp, and He created us to reflect something of His character and glory. Indeed, all human beings have great dignity and worth. 

Furthermore, Scripture prohibits murder (Genesis 9:6, Exodus 23:7, Proverbs 6:16-17). The 6th commandment resounds loud and clear: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).  

As pastors consistently preach the Bible, their listeners will inevitably catch this pervasive theme of “the sanctity of life.” Job said, “Your hands fashioned and made me” (Job 10:8). David said, “you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). Solomon wrote, “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11). 

As pastors faithfully preach God’s Word, the sanctity of life will shine through, no matter what passage they preach. There may be times when it is appropriate to preach a topical message on this subject. I would not encourage making this into a preaching “hobby horse,” but the Lord may lead you to set aside a Sunday sermon for this purpose.        

 2. Point your congregation to good resources

You must inform yourself and the people of your church about the horror and reality of abortion. Thankfully, there is no shortage of good resources available. 

Focus on the Family has many helpful resources. There are also plenty of great books on this subject, including The Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf and Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments by Randy Alcorn.   

Years ago, I watched a powerful film by Ray Comfort called 180. This documentary compares the abortion epidemic to the holocaust and is worth watching.  

 3. Support your local pregnancy center

Those involved with crisis pregnancy centers are on the frontlines of the pro-life movement. For women considering an abortion, these centers can be a real lifeline. These centers offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. They teach parenting skills and offer a host of other services. With most of these centers, local churches provide invaluable volunteer and financial support. 

Pastor, if your community has a pregnancy center, do what you can to mobilize your people and support the vital work happening there.          

 4. Cultivate a counterculture that treasures life 

Abortion has become highly political. Opponents often accuse Evangelical Christians of focusing on only one or two issues to the detriment of other “life” issues. Sadly, sometimes these criticisms ring true.

If we eliminated abortion in America, are we prepared? Would the church be ready for an influx of unwanted children? Even with the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck a blow to Roe v. Wade, that day is a long way off. Yet caring for the most vulnerable has always been a part of genuine Christianity.  

James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.” Aside from certain political agendas, the world has no place for the widow, the orphan, or the poor. The last thing we want to do is ignore the ones for whom God has called us to care. 

In his book, Don’t Call it a Comeback, Justin Taylor writes, “Let us commit not only to being ‘pro-life,’ but to being ‘whole life,’ working for the good of our neighbors and the dignity of human life in all stages of life.” 

5. Walk alongside those who have had an abortion 

As we continue to fight against “the culture of death” and the horror of abortion, the reality is that some will still choose abortion. Estimates show that one in three women under 45 has had an abortion. That translates into millions of women.  

This is where the church comes in. While one cannot change the past, there is forgiveness through Jesus Christ and the power of the gospel. Many pregnancy centers offer post-abortion counseling, which is a huge need. However, the church is uniquely positioned to offer a community of love and forgiveness. 

Pastor, do all you can to create a culture within your church that is saturated with grace, such that even those who are racked with guilt feel the acceptance and welcoming love of Christ (Romans 15:7).  

 6. Pray! 

The most powerful thing we can do in this battle against abortion is pray. It is natural to look at current affairs and be discouraged. But don’t despair. Pray! 

John Piper writes in A Hunger for God, “We are not able in ourselves to win this battle. We are not able to change hearts or minds. We are not able to change worldviews and transform culture and save 930 thousand children (aborted every year). We are not able to reform the judiciary or embolden the legislature or mobilize the slumbering population. We are not able to heal the endless wounds of godless ideologies and their bloody deeds. But, O God, you are able! And we turn from reliance on ourselves to you.” 

Inaction is not an option for the believer. We must not be silent. We must not sit on the sidelines. There is much we can do. But, pastor, in all that you do, point your people to the power of prayer. Model and teach that where we are weak. God is strong. He is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17)! 

This battle, in an ultimate sense, will not be won in our own strength, wisdom, and diligent efforts. It can only be won on our knees and through the power of the gospel. 

May God alone be glorified!  

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