Abortion and the Image of God

“If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house, then in a field…it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.” — John Calvin

Abortion is the pre-meditated killing of an unborn child. In other words, it is murder.

I thought I’d put my cards on the table before I began this post. My attempt is not to be controversial, but at the very same time I am not going to shy away from writing about things that are controversial when I feel led to do so.

Though abortion is arguably the most contentious political issue of our day — are you pro-life or pro-choice? — I need you, the reader, to understand something: regardless of what you believe, abortion is not ultimately a political issue, but a theological issue.

Abortion is a theological issue because it deals with the imago Dei — the image of God. The image of God is the doctrine in Christianity that teaches all humans — regardless of location, development, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. — posses inherit value, worth, and dignity. Moreover, all humans possess this because we are created by God, according to His image. And it was good.

Now, let’s talking about abortion more in light of what it means to be made in the image of God. Why is abortion such a heinous sin? Because it literally rips people (in some circumstances) apart who are made in God’s image. It slaughters the image Dei. My goal in this post is to not convince you why abortion should be illegal. In this post, I want to show you why Christians take it so seriously: because it kills the image of God.

Psalm 139

The Bible teaches that God “formed [our] inward parts,” and that He “knitted [us] together in [our] mother’s womb” (v. 13). Even more, it proclaims that all people are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (v. 14). Additionally, this Psalm teaches that our frame was not hidden from Him (v. 15) and that He saw our unformed substance (v. 16).

In other words, Scripture is very clear that what is inside a mother’s womb is a tiny human being just like us. Does the baby need to develop? Yes. Is the baby dependent on the mother for survival? Yes, up to a certain point of gestation. Is the baby inside the mother’s body? Yes, but the baby also has his or her own DNA—in other words, it’s own body.

The Bible is explicit in saying that life begins at conception. If you are not convinced of that reality by what Scripture teaches in Psalm 139 and other places, then look at science. Science tells us, inarguably, that life begins at conception. Many claim to be people that “believe science,” yet have no regard for the science behind when life begins.

“When it comes to abortion, everyone knows what’s happening — all the world knows,” John Piper once said. “We are killing children. Pro-choice and pro-life people all know this. Sinful hardness of heart, not innocent ignorance, lies at the root of this carnage.”

At this point in human history, it’s hard to take anybody seriously when they say what is inside the mother’s womb is not a human life. It is unmistakable. It is a human. A person may have misconceptions or something like that — in that case, we educate them — but for the most part, society knows.

Yes, We Are Angry

You may be reading this and asking, “Why are Christians so angry about abortion?” We are angry—and righteously so!—because abortion kills an innocent human being. The safest place in the world should be the mother’s womb, yet it’s the opposite. It was reported that over 42 million babies were abortion around the globe in 2020.

42 million.

We’re not talking hundreds. We’re not talking thousands. We’re not even talking hundreds of thousands. We’re talking millions—with an M. Forty-two-million little ones killed via abortion. The image of God is being suffocated in the womb, so yes: we’re upset about it.

This doesn’t mean we don’t care about people outside the womb. Have you seen the pregnancy centers and other agencies that exist to help new mothers? They are almost all faith-based in some form or fashion.

We see the atrocity of abortion and know it’s not right. That doesn’t mean we demonize people who have had an abortion or those who supported it, but it does mean we will not mince words about the horrors of this grotesque practice.

We do not have the right to take the life of what God has created. God decides that. He created all of us in His image and we want to destroy that.

Pressing Forward

Friends, you may disagree with me. And that’s okay. We can have disagreement and still have respect and love for each other. Christians, specifically, are called by God to love all people–including those who are so pro-choice that it leaves us speechless.

However, our loving disagreement doesn’t mean we’re going to stop fighting on behalf of the unborn. They don’t have a voice–we do. They don’t have a say–we do. We will speak up for the unborn until the day we die, because we know what’s happening. Innocent children are being suctioned out of their mother’s womb and left to die; they are being ripped apart limb by limb because they are too big to be suctioned. Does this make you uncomfortable? It should. Because that’s exactly what happens in countless abortions.

You can tell us to stop. You can tell us we’re hateful and that we’re restricting “women’s reproductive rights.” It doesn’t matter. We’re going to keep fighting because the unborn baby is made in the image of God. The most vulnerable among us need advocates. We will be here.

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