The Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade is a reminder of the sanctity of life. As God's Word reveals, and as Evangelical Convictions describes, every human life, from conception to the grave and beyond, was made in the image of God and therefore has intrinsic dignity and worth.
“All human life—at whatever stage of development, from conception to death; at whatever socio-economic status; and at whatever level of physical or intellectual capability—is sacred, because all human beings are created in God’s image. Even when this image has been corrupted by our sin, every human being is still worthy of honor and respect. There is nothing more valuable in all of creation than a human life.” —Evangelical Convictions p. 75
The ruling on Friday, June 24, 2022, presents EFCA churches with an opportunity to provide compassion and support for pregnant mothers and their unborn children, along with their families and the communities where they live. Sadly, ending life through abortion will continue as states create their own legislation on the matter. In light of this reality, we must display what it means to be pro-life in the era post Roe v. Wade, especially in communities where access to abortion is now limited.
As voices across our nation continue to elevate the discourse surrounding abortion, we must listen to the Lord and His heart for the unborn, women, families and all who have experienced the brokenness of abortion.
To recommit to our convictions and consider how we should respond to this ruling, reflect on these truths found in the Holy Scriptures and the EFCA’s Statement of Faith.
To begin, the brokenness of sin should not come as a surprise, but we praise God that Jesus paid the penalty for sin through His sacrificial death. Through Him we have hope. Article 3 of the EFCA Statement of Faith grounds us in the grace of God as we respond to the issue of abortion.
"We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed."
As Article 3 states, sin affects us all. Paul shares in his letter to the church in Rome, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Let us remember that all of humanity is dead in sin, "sinners by nature and by choice," and in need of redemption.
Thankfully, Paul goes on to share wonderful news in Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” and further in Romans 10:9, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Finally, in Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
We praise God for the work of Christ and the hope of the gospel. That same hope is available to those who have experienced the brokenness of abortion. While sin separates us from God, we must remember that we all, including those who decide to terminate a pregnancy or participate by some other means, can experience freedom from condemnation and receive His unmerited favor.
Not only should the grace of God inform how we respond to this ruling, but we must also consider our responsibility as followers of Christ as we engage with our family, friends, communities and world.
Article 8 of the EFCA Statement of Faith gives us guidance as we navigate Christian living:
"We believe that God's justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed."
Let us draw our attention to three questions based on this article.
- Are we rooted in the Scriptures? Our devotion to the inerrant Word of God will reveal His compassionate heart for those who know intimately the brokenness of sin—particularly the taking of life through abortion. In this circumstance—and all others we ever encounter—what we learn, obey and trust in the Scriptures will help us bear witness to the gospel in word and deed.
- Are we attuned to the Spirit’s power? Without the guidance, empowerment and indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, we will not be conformed into the image of Christ and adequately represent His Kingdom in our society. In our own strength, our efforts to stand for the sanctity of life will fail.
- Are we fervent in prayer? We must not forget that our almighty God responds to the petitions of His people and is at work in our world. Be confident in your requests for wisdom, discernment and provision as you seek His will in your life following this ruling.
EFCA family, the sanctity of life will remain under threat from issues beyond the termination of pregnancies. Let us continue to combat the spiritual forces of evil "with God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name.” Reflect on these questions and ask how God is calling you and your church community to respond.
Moving forward, consider what it means to be truly pro-life. May we, the EFCA, as followers of Jesus and people of the Scriptures, reflect the heart of Christ for those who bear the image of God—from conception to the grave—and serve as ambassadors of His compassion and restoration in our hurting and broken world.
Pray and respond with the EFCA to that end.
Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing
Chair EFCA Board of Directors
Chair EFCA Board of Ministerial Standing