A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture

Youth group praying
Christopher Futcher

In this day when social issues are creating clear dividing lines in society, moral or political neutrality is no longer an option for those who believe the gospel. It’s simply not enough to focus on only those issues that are most comfortable—and least costly—to us.

But what if the main issue is not poverty or homosexuality or abortion? What if the main issue is God? What if the same God who moves us to war against sex trafficking also moves us to war against sexual immorality? What if the same gospel that compels us to combat poverty also compels us to defend traditional marriage? What if all of these cultural hot-button issues are all connected to our understanding of who God is and how he relates to everything around us?

Consider the way the Bible describes the relationship between God and an unborn baby. The psalmist writes to God:

You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)

As we read these words, we’re reminded of the core gospel truth that God is the Creator. He alone has the power and authority to give life. Elsewhere in the Bible, Job says, "The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life" (Job 33:4). He also says, "In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:10).

God is not only the Giver of life; he is also the Taker of life. Again, Job confesses, "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away" (Job 1:21). God himself declares, "I put to death and I bring to life" (Deuteronomy 32:39, NIV). This is why murder and suicide are both sins. It is God’s prerogative alone, as Creator, to give and take innocent life.

In light of these biblical realities, it becomes abundantly clear that abortion is an affront to God’s sole and sovereign authority as the Giver and Taker of life. Abortion, like murder or suicide, asserts human beings as the ones who control life and death. But God the Creator alone has the right to determine when someone lives and dies, and abortion flies directly in the face of his authority.

Dr. David Platt is the pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama.