Was Jesus Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?
Outside of race, two of the most divisive terms out there are “pro-life” and/or “pro-choice.”
Understandably, most tend to avoid these conversations because of just this… a topic clouded with emotion, there’s far too much risk in nobody winning; all the while the both of you walk away having destroyed (or irreparably set back) your relationship.
What’s most bizarre to me as a Christian having grown up within “Christendom” (so I’ve heard it called) is how we can be so incredibly and passionately pro-life yet, not give two shits about the despairs of our neighbor(s).
Is There a Middle Ground…?
I’m not a guy who likes to say “never,” but, possibly the closest I’ll come to this is in acknowledging that it’s extremely tough to claim one is pro-life while simultaneously being anti-refugee, anti-adoption, anti- anything having to do with something that is for life; that is, to be clear, pro- existing and/or enhancing the quality of.
Similarly, it’s extremely tough for me to conceptualize or understand how one could read about the life of Christ and yet, act against the interests of the poor and powerless; particularly, interests that would provide them life.
Which, brings me to this thing called social conservatism (A.K.A. Social justice in favor of the rich; i.e. a means of distracting the poor by leveraging religion and mixing it into politics for the sole purpose of manipulating the masses into voting against their own interests).
Social-conservatisms most prominent work has been primarily surrounding the topic of abortion.
In this already convoluted mix of toxicity, it’s good to acknowledge, distractions are always helpful for those propagating this rhetoric.
What I’ve noticed being a progressive within primarily conservative circles is that nobody openly says they despise the poor; very rarely, if ever, would you hear intentional conscious bigotry being spouted so openly.
Similar to patriarchy, I’d agree that it’s so ingrained within our theology and church structures it’s far too easily missed and, therefore, ever so subtlety poisons and divides our churches.
Comparatively, like a musicians ear being trained to pick up on subtle nuances, others can’t hear, there’s a training necessary in order for one to pick up on these types of toxic theological and/or ecclesiological subtleties.
Was Jesus Pro-Life or, was He Pro-Choice?
Part of my personal reformation (you can read more about this here and here…) has been reorienting how I do and live life; moving from a deconstruction towards a more productive type of reconstruction.
Instead of fighting against planned parenthood and protesting outside of their abortion clinics what if we started campaigning for adoption agencies, lobbying for better health care, and supporting struggling single mothers [or fathers]?
What if creating an image of hope looked less like anger and more like simple acts of love?
Practically speaking, at least for myself, this has been using words of encouragement instead of words that have a primary focus and agenda based upon a discouragement.
It’s the difference between knocking down and building up.
This, in my opinion, is far more powerful than any type of hate speech; it’s far more effective than any type of attack or wrongful mischaracterization.
Jesus didn’t come to serve the desires of the rich; Jesus came to lend hope to the poor.
I’ve never understood how churches can separate Christianity from caring for the poor and the powerless. Mainly because to separate the church from the poor and the powerless is to completely strip the bride of her mission.
Furthermore, if Jesus is our mission (which He is) and Jesus is one with oppressed persons (Matthew 25:31-46) then, to separate the church from this mission (Jesus) is to make the church completely devoid of Christ.
Possibly, this is why the American church has recently come up so empty…
It’s simple: If you want meaning in your life, you’ll find it through a giving of yourself.
There’s no better example of this than the life of Christ. I believe Bonhoeffer called this a form of “incarnation.” It’s not that we’re God; it’s that we’re called to incarnate (that is, to embody and emulate) the life of Christ.
When I look at the life of Christ, I don’t see a depiction of a man that would be condemning abortion clinics or [inadvertently] shaming women who choose to go this route. It’s true the bible never explicitly mentions abortion; it’s also arguable that many Christian principles point to both sides of this spectrum; nonetheless, I’m not convinced that Jesus was caught up in these debates. If anything, it seems as though Christ was more interested in loving the lost and hurting than perpetuating political agendas that seem to make more of us lost and hurt.
Jesus, I think would understand and empathize with the woman overwhelmed with guilt and shame because of this toxic type of political rhetoric; a rhetoric that cares less about life and more about winning a vote. I think Jesus would see through the clutter and distractions and yet, still, somehow figure out a way to transcend these political, theological and philosophical divisions.
I’m left with this question: if the church is, in fact, the hands and feet of God’s, if the Spirit of God truly dwells within us then, what the f@ck happened…?
We’ve strayed from the message of Christ and created a culture that somehow is more disturbed by the use of profanity than our wounded neighbor(s).
So, was Jesus pro-life or, was He pro-choice…?
Maybe our call isn’t to answer this question or work within this system and their framework; maybe our call is to incarnate the love and mission of Christ by simply caring for the poor and the powerless and to become “Wholly Other” creating a Kingdom turned upside down.
I’d love to hear your constructive thoughts on how we could do this together!
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