How to be Christlike on the abortion issue

How to be Christlike on the abortion issue October 18, 2020

Jesus never talked about abortion per se, but we can tell from his conversations how he might have handled the issue (hint: he would have been Christlike).

(I’ve written about abortion before – here, here, here, and here. Please read and share. We need to give this issue actual consideration, not just assume we’ve already got it figured out. And please subscribe to my newsletter.)

That poor, infamous woman who was “caught in the very act of adultery,” did she ever imagine her story would live on and on and on? She must have been so embarrassed. She must have wished the anecdote wouldn’t make the cut when the Gospels were being edited. But there she is, for all to see, in the best-selling book of all time!

So let’s review the incident (John 8). Remember how the scribes and Pharisees dragged this poor woman into the Temple and threw her before Jesus, sneering their accusation?

“This woman was caught in the very act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

Remember Jesus’ response? I think he asked the woman,


No wait, that’s not what he said. He actually said,

“I do not condemn you (I condemn the scribes and Pharisees). Go and sin no more.”

Then what? Then Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees,


Just kidding. Jesus actually said,

“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.”

And then even though he was sinless, he did not condemn the woman caught in adultery. He did however condemn the Pharisees for self-righteousness.

Just sit with that a moment.

Jesus says: get your own house in order before you condemn sinners around you. And when you think your house is in order, it’s not.

This next bit is going to sound off-topic, but bear with me:

One day, back when I hung out with a conservative Christian community, a single young woman among us turned up pregnant. She was the daughter of one of the community leaders.

The grandma-to-be announced on Facebook what was going on, and voiced her full support, as her daughter decided to keep the baby and raise it on her own as a single mom.

The community, to its credit, was so very supportive and encouraging. As far as I know, there was no judgment, no disgust – nothing but love.

Imagine if the Church was known for embracing and supporting young pregnant women like this? What if, when a woman found herself unexpectedly expecting, she could find a loving community to help her in her distress? And to love her even if she decides to abort? 

Isn’t that what Jesus was getting at? Compassion, unconditional love?

This is not a trick to get anyone to vote contrary to their conscience, or to let so-called “baby killers” run the country.

This is a call to be Christlike.

We’re fooling ourselves if we think we’ll save babies by cozying up with evil.

I’m so glad I realized this before the Trump era. I would hate to be in the position of having to advocate for him, just in hopes that maybe he could overturn Roe v. Wade. I’m so relieved I don’t have to try to dig up dirt on Biden just to make Trump look a little better. I don’t have to manufacture support for those other folks in Congress whose sole redeeming quality is that they claim they are pro-life.

I found so much peace when I turned my back on that business. I feel like I can see the possibility of Christlikeness on this path.

FEATURED IMAGE: “A little kindness goes a long way” by Ed Yourdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Browse Our Archives

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

One response to “How to be Christlike on the abortion issue”

  1. I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. ~Gandhi

    Here’s the issue. Christianity isn’t a religion based in any way, shape or form on Christ’s teachings. Maybe it was once a long time ago, but it has been utterly corrupted. For example, christians have an obsession with the Ten Commandments. They don’t seem to recall that Jesus actually replaced them with two commandments.. Love your god with all your strength and might AND Love your neighbor as yourself.
    The abortion issue isn’t a real issue.
    Carlin had the best response.. (1996 btw … it’s the end of 2020). I wish that more Christians would just stop acting as if it’s a legitimate position. Because at it’s core, it’s a crime against humanity to be anti-abortion.

    What the anti-abortion line is saying is not spelled out but it must logically be inferred. The fetus is a person. That person has rights to use the woman’s body. The woman has no rights to her body. The woman is not a human being because only human beings have legal rights to their bodies.
    The nazis said this about the Jews. White Americans said this about the enslaved Blacks. Europeans said this about other countries led and populated by non-whites. It was always nice at first… they were bringing the gospel to “save” them. They were protecting Christianity. But the end was always a crime against humanity. Before you can extend rights … you must preserve the rights of the current human beings. This is the flaw of the anti-abortion – anti-woman white supremacist position.

    (Yes, it’s white supremacy. These same anti-abortion freaks had no problem forcing China and India to have abortions to ensure fewer brown and yellow babies. When I see a “pro-lifer”, I see a white supremacist. It’s all about race wars and white GeNoCidE. That’s why all the imagery is with white babies. They pretend about planned parenthood and black babies because it gives them cover. I guarantee that if white girls were denied abortion access but that other girls weren’t… this so-called pro-life community would be fine with it. )

    Oh… and as a person who was on that chopping block, I’m definitely in the pro-choice category. There are a bunch of us who are definitely pro-choice. We exist. But strangely enough, the “pro-life” crowd isn’t interested in our perspectives at all.

    This is why I hate this debate. Some things are not up for debate. The idea of dehumanizing 50% of humanity because they have a uterus is wrong. When the pro-life morons talk… I consider it a threat of violence that should be countered as violently as possible. The “pro-lifers” should be frightened out of their minds and fear for their lives.

    The only people who don’t support this idea of pre-emptive violence are the people who aren’t being attacked. Remember, the “pro-lifers” are the ones who are putting forth the violent idea that women aren’t people. Women should have the right to fight against their attackers … even if the attacks are just dehumanizing words. Because the next stage is always more violence. (Same with abusive relationships. Boyfriend uses mean words. One day, he slaps her. The next day, he punches her. The following day, he kills her. And at each point, the “civilized person” demands that the victim be defenseless rather than picking up a gun and shooting that evil boyfriend.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.