While many may not know this, the third Sunday in January is a significant day on the calendar: Sanctity of Life Day. This year, Sanctity of Life Day falls on January 19. This is a time in the life of a church family or greater community to call awareness to the spiritual issues we face regarding the holiness of human life. Pastors are encouraged on this specific Sunday to preach on the biblical truth regarding abortion and to point to living alternatives that advocate for life and provide hope and healing in Jesus’ name for those who are post-abortive.
The issue of abortion can anger, shame and pain anyone bold enough to discuss this epidemic. I have been told, more than once, that because I am a man, I have zero right to even talk about abortion — let alone encourage people to pursue God’s heart for the value of human life, hope and healing in Jesus for past abortions.
With this tension in place in our lives regarding the value of life and the pre-born child, there is often a great deal of silence within the church regarding the sanctity of human life.
Perhaps like me, they have been shamed about holding to biblical truth regarding the sanctity of life. Perhaps for others, the issues of abortion is so raw and real in their personal lives that they look forward to a day when it is no longer present in their minds. Perhaps people stay silent and pastors fail to teach on the sanctity of human life because they fear upsetting those they serve and influence. Or they are simply not prepared to assist others in finding resources and help for crisis pregnancies or healing for past abortions.
Despite the silence from the church as a whole, I am seeing a great change happening with the way others think about the value of human life. I see it regarding immigrants and refugees. I see it regarding racial oppression and the marginalized of society. And I am seeing a change in many, as they seek to bring their lives under the authority of God’s Holy Word regarding abortion too. Together, we can advocate for every aspect of life and how precious and holy it truly is before God the Father.
Yet some still say that a baby isn’t as valuable as an adult or someone who’s already born. The Bible says that each person has tremendous value. In fact, the Bible says that we are God’s masterpiece: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT). A masterpiece is a prized possession, the best of the best, and God the Father says you belong to him and you have tremendous value.
Although not everyone understands how valuable a life is, I believe God is changing hearts among his church, and as Christ’s disciples, we should be champions for his redemptive work within the pro-life movement as well. Because biblically, our value before God the Father has always been a reality, not just because we were born. As we engage in conversation that leads to taking action, we begin seeing the value of a baby in the womb, just like we notice value in the lives of immigrants and refugees or anyone experiencing inequality and injustice.
I urge you to investigate how science agrees with Scripture about the value of a pre-born baby. Don’t merely share a post or someone else’s talking point on the issue. Learn and grow for yourself.
At the moment of conception, a baby’s features, gender and hair and eye color are determined. Just three weeks after, the brain and spinal cord begin forming. The heart begins to beat in 22 days. Within 6–7 weeks, arms and legs and organs like the kidneys begin to form. By 7 ½ weeks, a baby’s fingers are distinct, and the baby can even hiccup. By eight weeks nearly all the organs in the body have formed and just need to mature and fully grow. At this age, the baby is very active and can been seen during an ultrasound.
At just 10 weeks gestation, the baby begins to form fingerprints. Take a moment and look at the palm of your hands. Each set of fingerprints is different. Each set is special, and the fingerprints you have right now started to form when you were a tiny baby in your mother’s womb. On purpose. By God the Father. That speaks to your value. That speaks to the holiness of life.
The Bible and science agree. You are a masterpiece. You are special and unique and have great value. Embrace that truth. Teach that truth. Live it out. Do not stay silent. Advocate with truth and mercy about the value of human life, from the womb to the grave.
Embrace an attitude of love towards others and point to living alternatives. Many groups are standing for life and work hard every day to bring great grace and respect to those who are considering abortion or who have had an abortion. Connect those wrestling with this choice to those type of living alternatives and support those places, such as pregnancy centers.
We cannot stay silent. We must, in great grace and truth, speak to the holiness and the sanctity of human life. Simply posting an image on social media is not enough. We must learn the biblical foundation for the holiness of life and live by God’s truth. We must also understand how science teaches us — that from the moment of conception, we already have the very things that make us human and unique. Depend on the Holy Spirit for conviction. Let your convictions be rooted in Scripture. Reflecting God’s heart and his truth is what we can do to bring change as we live out his message of life and redemption.
Learn more about HEPHZIBAH62:4, a subsidiary of The Wesleyan Church dedicated to equipping and mobilizing local Wesleyan churches to transform the lives of vulnerable children, including the unborn.