For over three years I’ve participated in the Pro-Life community. I have attended several mission trips, been to multiple trainings, started a club at my High School, and received accolades for my work. My time with fellow Pro-Lifers has been incredibly eye opening, and I have had the privilege to make many friends, increasing in my knowledge of apologetics, tactics, and conversations. By God’s grace alone, I have awoken to the atrocity that abortion is; abortion is a crime that ends the life of nearly 3000 infant girls and boys ever single day. I believe that the church has been called to action on this topic, and I believe that abortion is only still legal as a result of the laziness and nonchalantness of the body. However, the failure of the body is a topic for another blog post. My goal today is not to convince you that abortion is wrong, as I hope you will agree with me, or even call you to action. Rather, my aim is to change the way that Christians perceive and engage in apologetics regarding this topic, specifically regarding our method of engaging unbelievers in a righteous way.
From the very beginning of my time in the Pro-Life Movement, I was taught that it is possible to give solid, Pro-Life arguments based solely off of scientific and philosophical reasoning apart from the Word of God. For 2 years I believed that I didn’t even have to use Bible verses and scripture to change peoples’ minds, but that I could do it with pure logic and reasoning! I spent months sharpening my intellectual skills and rhetoric regarding the status of a baby from the moment of conception. Using scientific proof, quotes, and data, I was more equipped than ever to change the world! I was prepared to prove that the pre-born child was a human and that no circumstances ever justified an abortion. By giving an example of one of the syllogisms (arguments) I was given in my training, I will attempt to demonstrate the folly of my apologetic method at that time.
Syllogism Apart from the Word of God:
1) Killing any innocent human is wrong.
2) Abortion ends the life of an innocent human as proven by science.
3) Therefore, abortion is wrong!
I believed that all I had to do was prove that the unborn child was a human being, and poof! It would be smooth sailing from there. Yet the unjustified assumption we forgot to account for was the belief that murder is necessary wrong. Why is murder even wrong? What I quickly realized was that this wicked and twisted world didn’t care if pre-born babies were humans or not, they still thought that it was the mother’s right to terminate the life of her child whenever she desired. The argument was no longer over whether or not the pre-born child was a human, but over whether or not he or she should be able to be killed for the convenience of the parents. It was at this point I realized I had no possible way to answer these people with my current apologetic system, because I had absolutely no basis for morality with my apologetics worldview! I remember speaking with one man on the Campus of FGCU and he asked me, “This organization you are with claims to be nonreligious— but how can you say abortion is wrong without having any appeal to higher authority?” I then realized that it didn’t matter how much I “proved” the unborn were human: if my apologetics didn’t include some sort of basis for morality, I could throw it out the window. For a long time I was told to “secularize” my answers to so called “Pro-Choicers” so we wouldn’t scare them off and they wouldn’t be able to blame our beliefs on our religion. Brothers and sisters, if you believe that this is the route to take, you’re taking a very wrong approach to this discussion, as I was for a very long time. It doesn’t matter how intellectually superior or skillful we are in arguments and discussions, if you don’t have any type of basis for your morality, you are being just like the Athiest during their arguments. When you make either yourself, science, or philosophy, as opposed to the Word of God, the basis of why you think something is right or wrong, you become exactly like the godless world we live in today– making humanity the standard for all ethics and morals. Proverbs 26:4 says:
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.
By ridding our arguments of their basis in the Word of God and making worldly systems our standard for right and wrong, we become exactly like the fool. We should not be begging the question stating, “I can prove to you that abortion is wrong without using any type of religious argument.” This is impossible to do! Without any appeal to a higher authority, there is no possible way that abortion is actually wrong. So obviously, as a Christian, our objective morality should come from the inspired Word of God in the Bible. Scripture expressly states that murder is wrong; after establishing this, you can move to prove the humanness of the unborn. Without the assumption of Scripture, however, words like right and wrong have no actual meaning! Moral Relativism, which states that all truth is relative, or up to everybody to decide for themselves, is a very tempting worldview apart from the sure foundation in the Word of God. A question that I would those who think we should argue against abortion solely on the basis of “science” is: “How is your argument any different than those of atheists? Are you not simply saying that you think this- therefore your opinion is right? What makes your opinion right more than anyone else’s? Why is murder wrong?” The answer is: apart from God, murder is not wrong. It is impossible to argue that anything is wrong, unless you have an appeal to a higher authority. Although it is far more comfortable and convenient to argue against abortion by using science, philosophy, and reason, all of these are ultimately arbitrary and useless unless we have Scripture to build our foundation upon. A better syllogism than the one I shared above would be:
1) God expressly says that murder is wrong.
2) Abortion ends the life of an innocent human being, by definition, murder.
3) Therefore, every abortion is wrong.
Without the first point, even our finest arguments will fall to pieces. Without objective truth, every worldview is reduced to absurdity because nothing matters whatsoever! Socially constructed truth can not possibly fulfill our need for objective morality because it changes over time and is altered daily! For example, people who believe in socially constructed morals say that society determines ethics and what is right or wrong. So if the culture of that day says something is correct, it is without a doubt. If their view is consistent, they must agree that what Hitler did in Nazi Germany was not morally wrong because it was the belief of the society at that time that Jews needed to be eradicated! They would also be required to agree that slavery was permissible because society accepted it. If rape was determined to be acceptable by the majority, these relativists not oppose “rape culture” because their worldview upholds no transcendent moral standard. Through bringing up points like this, a worldview is reduced to absurdity, your opponent is forced to backtrack. From the Christian worldview, Scripture gives us an actual reason for our beliefs; reasons that are comprehensive, non-contradictory, unchanging, consistent, and true.
I am not saying that arguing based off of Scripture is easy to do when you’re facing a flaming feminist liberal, but it is what the Word of God commands us to do. It takes courage, and that of which only God can provide. When we start to use God’s Word as the basis for all of our conversations with unbelievers (and believers for that matter), our worldview and strategies drastically change. Abortion will never end apart from the Gospel, and as long as we continue to argue apart from Scripture and the good news of Jesus Christ, thousands of children will continue to be killed each and every day. I am not here to condemn anyone for the tactics that they use, but I have now realized that strategies that have no appeal to higher authority are ultimately worthless and inconsistent. I believe it is necessary to spread awareness and a warning to fellow believers that arguing using anything but the Word of God will never work. As Christians we should be using only the Bible as the basis for each of our arguments, because abortion laws will only be changed by the same God who worked in our hearts to change us, never on our own strength but His alone.