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The Burgeoning Business of Death

On Jan. 22, 1973, the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized the practice of abortion. This year, America observes 39 years of abortion and more than 50 million aborted babies. Think about two things related to this. First, this means for those of us who are under the age of 39, we never have known a world without legalized abortion. Never. Second, think of the more than 50 million aborted babies and imagine how many people might have worked with you, might have walked the streets with you, might have worshiped in your church…if they had not been aborted.

We live in a world where the following phrases are common:
"Safe and legal abortion is every woman's right."
"Abortion is a personal decision between a woman and her doctor."
"Freedom of choice is a basic human right."

Advocates of abortion try to make this an issue of "who decides?" when really it is an issue of "who is dying?" We live in a world where what once was considered a crime is now considered a constitutional right. Some Christians hear this and think of it as a political issue. It isn't. It's a theological issue, and not a secondary one. This is an issue from which we cannot shy away. As believers, we cannot remain silent—not on this.

What do we say? How do we respond to those who are considering abortions? How should we treat those who have already had abortions? What about abortion activists? What should our approach be with them? As is the case with all controversial matters, we must "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). We will deal with the love part in a moment. For now, let's begin with the truth part. How does Scripture inform our response to the burgeoning business of death? There are at least five life principles we can draw from God's Word.

1. The Bible teaches us that God is the Creator of all life (Genesis 1:1). This principle is important and I begin with it for one main reason: It shows us that God values each and every life. If God creates all life, then He loves and values all life. There is a great line in the movie, The Poseidon Adventure (the 1972 original). The ship has just been hit by a massive wave and the cruise vessel floats upside down in the middle of the ocean. Rev. Scott (played by Gene Hackman) is trying to motivate the surviving passengers to find a way out before the boat sinks into darkness and they all drown. He wants them to travel up to the bottom of the boat and try to cut their way out, but the passengers aren't yet willing to follow Rev. Scott's escape plan. Some want to sit still and wait for a hero to rescue them. "Why should we try to go up there?!" they protest. "Why not just stay put here?" Then came Rev. Scott's great speech—only a few words, but they pack quite the persuasive punch: "Because up there, there's life! And life always matters very much."

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