Is the Bible Really Pro-Life?

By Jess Ford
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A man reading the Bible
According to the Bible, life is more than just potential, and it is valuable from the moment of conception.

A large number of people, including myself, began to support the Pro-Life movement because of their faith. For Christians, the Bible is the written, inspired Word of God. The Bible is the world’s standard of Truth, and our lives should be built upon the doctrines and promises within the canon. It is phenomenal that the normative Christian belief system opposes abortion. However, it may be counterproductive, and even sometimes harmful, to be Pro-Life simply because “Christians oppose abortion.”

Saying vs Knowing

Each Christian that opposes abortion should dig into the scriptures and find the truths that support a baby’s right to life. Without knowing what the Bible says, our beliefs are not solidified, and we hold no credibility within the world. According to the scriptures, we are to be prepared to give an answer to anyone who questions our beliefs:

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” — 1 Peter 3:15

Objective truth is a strength of the Christian Worldview. Let us not waste away our potential to change the hearts and minds of those that think differently. Instead, let’s stand on truth.

Current Politics and the Bible

In 2019, Mayor Pete Buttigieg criticized Republicans for swaying religious people’s minds with the “doctrine of abortion.” Pete Buttigieg is a self-proclaimed Christian that has made several attempts to challenge the assumptions of the Christian Church. I would argue that it is not a bad thing that Buttigieg raises these challenges.

The Church has an obligation to know why they believe what they believe. Buttigieg is pro-choice, and has stated, “there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath, and so even that is something that we can interpret differently.”

Pete’s argument is a simple one: abortion does not oppose biblical doctrine because the Bible states that life begins at a baby’s first breath.

Is the Bible Pro-Life?

As previously mentioned, when politicians and world leaders make claims about what the Bible says regarding abortion, the Church must be ready to respond with their biblical evidence.

I’m afraid I have to disagree with Pete Buttigieg. The Bible is a set of books, inspired by a Holy God, who deeply desires to see His children experience the world. God is a pro-life God, and the Bible is a pro-life book.

The Pro-Life Evidence You May Have Missed

There are several inspired writings throughout the wisdom literature throughout Psalms that point to God’s care and attention towards those in the womb (Psalm 51:5-6, Psalm 139: 13-16). These are great passages that display God’s heart. However, I believe the very best passage of scripture to study on this issue is Luke 1:39-45.

Luke 1:39-45

The Gospel of Luke paints the most beautiful picture of our Savior in the womb of his mother, Mary. The passage reads:

“In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.”

Elizabeth’s preborn child, John the Baptist, recognized the presence of Jesus! For Elizabeth, this was a sign that there was extraordinary life in Mary’s womb.

“And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.'”

The Takeaway 

One of the most amazing contextual realities of this passage is the age of Jesus while he was in Mary’s womb. Just a few verses before this exchange, an angel appears to Mary and gives her the message that she is pregnant. In the very same narrative, we see John leaping in his mother’s womb as Mary approaches.

One or two weeks into Mary’s pregnancy, Jesus Christ was recognized with joy by another preborn baby. Elizabeth and her child recognized preborn Jesus as Lord. A preborn child, just a few weeks following conception, was honored rightly. And the presence of Jesus filled Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit.

The Bible: A Pro-Life Book

In conclusion, the Gospels give us a glimpse of the power of Jesus in the womb. It is undeniable that preborn Jesus Christ held immense value. He also carried recognizable individuality, despite Mary only being a few weeks along in her pregnancy.

According to the Bible, life is more than just potential, and it is valuable from the moment of conception. Additionally, there is no valid argument for abortion in the Biblical text. I could continue to write about passages in Exodus, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Galatians about the value of preborn life, but the preborn Jesus narrative is enough evidence.

The Bible is a pro-life book, and our God is a pro-life God.

– Jess Ford

© 2020 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved.

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