by Caleb Sattler
Human life is under fire.
Its definition faces revision, and Lutherans face cultural and political pressure to get onboard with it. Instead of seeing unborn life as a gift from the Creator, we’re told convenience trumps life. Meanwhile, the national political discussion on abortion remains mired in ineffective discussion.
This shouldn’t be surprising.
Abortion has been part of politics for decades. The exposure is continual. Pressure lurks online and on television concerning women’s rights—pressure against viewing procreation as life’s loving and precious beginning. Yielding to this pressure leaves people without empathy for the unborn. Even less helpful is the secular difficulty of defining when life actually begins. The definitions vary: Life starts at birth. Scratch that; life starts with the heart. No, life starts upon viability or with the mother’s intention. Which edition goes? Which stays?
This “beginnings debate” is the problem.
It’s not saving lives.
It’s buying time. It’s creating a little gap where the fight can rage on. Politics happily occupy this space and wallow in the arguments to avoid facing the complete authenticity of conception. And as the conception debate continues without sighted end, tiny casualties accumulate. Ultimately, only when human individuality is universally—and lawfully—recognized as beginning upon conception will the debate end and unborn life can receive the universal significance it deserves.
Fortunately, God’s Word speaks on this.
God made life. Life and especially children are His blessings (Ps. 127:3-5).
God intends for new lives to begin with conception between two loving parents. He biologically designed His creatures to bear fruit and multiply—to conceive offspring, which His creation has done (Gen. 9:7). Furthermore, God knew Jeremiah before birth (Jer. 1:5), which means He knows us too. Certainly, our unborn can hear God’s Word if John heard Mary from the womb (Luke 1:41). Children then hear God as sinners, repent and are baptized (Acts 2:38), becoming heirs possessing hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7). God makes and affirms life, and His Son redeems life!
But this entire narrative, including the eternal part, can only happen to children when parents conceive them. What a joyous task for Christian parents! And don’t forget: Jesus loves the little children. He wants each one of them, unhindered, to come to Him (Matt. 19:14).
Life is precious. And although what defines unborn life comes under fire and faces revision, daring Lutherans, by God’s grace and according to His perfect plan, can and will resist the pressure.