Our, ‘What About?’ series, aims to answer the most common questions we get asked as a Christian Church in Texas.
Watch the sermon or read the manuscript to find out where we stand on Abortion.
What About, Abortion?: Sermon Manuscript
This morning we are continuing our series called, “What About?” You can look through the devotional to see where we are going over the next 8 weeks, and we’re engaging these conversations, because these conversations are happening all around us, and for most of us these conversations are really uncomfortable.
There’s like 2% of the population that enjoys these types of conversations, and the rest of us find them really difficult.
Our emotions get involved, our brains lock up, and then we walk away from the conversation, and spend the rest of the day thinking about all the great things we could have said.
Therefore, my desire throughout this series isn’t to press buttons, but instead I want to increase our level of comfort in these conversations, because more than likely our exposure to these types of conversations is only going to continue. Does that make sense?
We might only move 10% in our level of comfort, but hopefully we have a positive experience together throughout this series, and hopefully that will carry over into our other relationships in life.
Last Sunday we talked about the importance of women in our culture today, you can go to our YouTube Channel to catch up, and this morning we are going to talk about a conversation that is incredibly personal and complex, and it is the conversation of abortion.
Not only does abortion reach into areas of science, biology, theology, ethics, and politics, but the challenges around this conversation are personal, and that makes it difficult, therefore we are going to break our time into three sub-points this morning; 1. Define The Conversation. 2. How Does God’s Word Engage The Conversation? 3. How Do We Respond Practically? Lets look at the first sub-point; 1. Define The Conversation.
- Define The Conversation.
Listen to me, I don’t want to shock you this morning, or get swept up in sensationalism, but at the same time we can’t candy coat such a difficult conversation, therefore, we do need to get into the details of abortion.
Abortion is the act by which the fetus is prematurely exited from the uterus, which ends the pregnancy, and results in the death of the fetus.
The reason this happens could be a miscarriage, which is involuntary and unplanned, but when it is voluntary and planned it is technically termed an induced abortion.
The conversation we are having this morning is not about an unplanned miscarriage, but a planned process with a medical professional with the intent of removing the fetus from the uterus to terminate the pregnancy.
While we can find examples of abortive practices throughout history, the most notable is Roe. v Wade in 1973 when the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion.
There are several means by which an abortion can take place. In the first 72 hours of pregnancy a woman can use a pill known as “Morning After Pill” which you can pick up at Walgreens to terminate the pregnancy.
In the first 10-weeks of pregnancy a woman can use an “Abortion Pill” that you have to get through a medical professional to terminate the pregnancy, which will induce cramping and an emptying of the uterus.
Outside of 10 weeks a woman needs to go through the process of a surgical abortion, which is done with anesthesia, and a tube empties the uterus, and beyond 14 weeks forceps are used to insert a tube combined with medical tools to forcefully remove the fetus.
Around the world there are there are 125,000 abortions every day. In the United States, Guttmacher, a pro-abortion research group stated 862,320 surgical abortions were performed in 2017. Just to give contrast, 679K have died from Covid in the last year and a half.
The most common reason women are giving for abortion are to post-pone childbearing, and the second is for socio-economic concerns which include disruption of education or employment, lack of support from the father, desire to provide for existing children, and unemployment.
In 2019 Pew Research reported that 6 in 10 Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, so that 60% of adults think abortion should be legal.
We could take time to critique arguments around when life begins, and perhaps in the 1980’s and 1990’s that would have been viable discussion, but due to the advancement in technology we are seeing more and more people on both sides of the argument conclude that life begins at conception.
Writing for The Atlantic, Caitlin Flannigan in 2019 acknowledges the fetus as a human being because of the 3D Imaging we have available today.
“The first time I saw one of the new 3-D ultrasounds of a fetus in utero, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking at. It wasn’t anything like the black-and-white images I was used to seeing….
For a long time, these images made me anxious. They are proof that what grows within a pregnant woman’s body is a human being, living and unfolding according to a timetable that has existed as long as we have. Obviously, it would take a profound act of violence to remove him from his quiet world and destroy him.”
Probably the most influential arguments for abortion in our culture today are grounded in women having the same rights as men.
The assumption is that if men can walk away from a pregnancy, then women should be able to walk away from a pregnancy, which makes sense on some level, but I never understood why the baby needs to suffer so that men and women can exercise sexual freedom.
In fact, in the context of abortion the unborn baby suffers, the woman that goes through the abortion suffers trauma and pain that is rarely talked about, and yet still today the man still walks away with minimal cost. How is that a win for women?
I always thought we should pass laws that if a man gets a woman pregnant that she doesn’t want then the state takes 50% of his income for the life of the child, or even more severe. That would be a win for women and children. Let’s look at God’s Word. Let’s look at Psalm 139.
- How Does God’s Word Engage The Conversation?
Now, let’s talk about God’s Word. How does a follower of Jesus respond to this conversation? Before we read God’s Word, I want to acknowledge the potential for shame and guilt to be layered in this conversation.
I know in my personal life I know of at least two abortions that took place in my family, so I realize this conversation hits all of us at different levels.
Our emotions might be sensitive because of a friend or family member, it might be our personal experience, it might be because we worked in those clinics, so that over the last 50 years we can be confident this isn’t just a academic subject, but it is a personal subject, therefore, as we transition to God’s Word you need to know we transition to God’s Word with a great measure of grace. Let’s look at Psalm 139.
139:13-18, “13 For You formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”
The psalms in general are a collection of poetical writings about the God of Scripture. Psalm 139 specifically addresses the attributes and characteristics of God, so when you read Psalm 139 on your own you will see the first 12 verses focus on the all-knowing attributes of God.
In verses 13-18 we see the God of Scripture is involved even in our prenatal development. He is sovereign over life, both inside the womb and outside the womb, and until we are face to face with Him.
Note the tender words of our Heavenly Father through the psalm. There is intimacy. There is relationship. There is intentionality. There is purpose.
Those two words “inward parts” literally mean kidneys, referring to a person’s vital organs, so that something like that of a supernatural potter and the clay is taking place inside the womb of mother.
Illustration: That 3D image earlier was actually an image of my son Tucker. When you look at his face it looks like a thumb is coming across his face much like a sculptor’s thumb would come across a piece of clay as the piece is molded together.
I am sure it’s just a glitch on the screen, but it’s a reminder of what Psalm 139 is teaching us this morning, which is the God of Scripture knows us inside and out, beginning to end, and the God of Scripture leaves His fingerprints all over us.
We need to hear that this morning. The fingerprints of God on humanity is a dominant theme throughout Scripture, which means our value in humanity isn’t because of our titles, finances, strength, or beauty, but our value is because the finger prints of His glory are all over humanity, and as a follower of Jesus this shapes how we see all of humanity.
Listen to me, there is a critique that followers of Jesus are very passionate about pre-birth, but tend to be less interested in post-birth, and as followers of Jesus we need to own this critique. This is a principle we want to learn through this series, and it is to hear the other perspective.
Scripture makes it clear that followers of Jesus are to care for women, orphans, and widows. In our church family we have one family that has participated in adoption, and our prayers is that story would multiply.
Not only in the area of adoption, but in foster care, homelessness, the elderly, the sick, the vulnerable, and in all areas to care for those who are hurting, because we want to be passionate for life at every level, because Jesus is passionate for life at every level.
Jesus is the One who spoke life into existence. Jesus is the One who took on flesh, born as a baby. Jesus is the One who comes for the wounded, oppressed, sick, and Jesus is the One who takes our flaws and failures at the cross, so that we might have life in Him.
This morning I don’t want you to just hear those words, but I want you to see those words lived out in the life of someone we asked to share her story, and how she has found hope and life in Jesus. Will you give a round of applause for Erica Menchaca?
- Tell us a little about who you are today?
- Can you share a little about your understanding of abortion?
- Can you share a little about how you found healing and hope in Jesus?
Thank you, Erica. Can you give her a round of applause? Let’s look at our last sub-point; 3. How Do We Respond Practically?
- How Do We Respond Practically?
How do we respond? Listen to me, I don’t want to shock us this morning, but I do want to move us this morning to take action.
I realize advocating life is unpopular in our culture today, but as followers of Jesus we want to be a voice for the voiceless, therefore, these are just a few practical ways to respond:
- We pray. There is power in prayer. We want to intercede on behalf of the poor, needy, hurting, and overwhelmed. We want to pray that our hearts would be softened to those who are hurting. We want to pray that the Lord would open our eyes to ways to we can help.
- We want to educate ourselves. There are resources online. There are books to read. There are agencies that we partner with called The Source here in Austin starting a study here on Tuesday night to help women heal.
- We can celebrate life. I love seeing our children run around after the worship service. I love taking my children with me into all contexts. I love talking about the joy of parenthood. I love seeing mom’s get pregnant and celebrate their pregnancy. I am saddened when followers of Jesus mock children and bringing children into this world. Children are a gift. Life is beautiful and needs to be celebrated.
- We can support women. We want to make it easy to have children. We want to celebrate marriage. We want to celebrate weddings. We want to celebrate pregnancies, so that women are excited to have children. I would encourage you to look for opportunities to find creative ways to be generous toward young moms.
- We can support fathers. I think it is far too easy for a man to put the responsibility of pregnancy on the woman, therefore, we want to educate our men, we want to encourage our men, and when we see our men working hard to bring life into this world, then we want to support them and encourage them.
- We can share the 3 Circles Gospel Presentation. We want “Look Around” to point people to Jesus. The darkness of abortion can only be solved by the light of Christ. It is His gospel that is powerful to save.
- Political involvement. I understand this is a one-sided issue today, but it wasn’t always like that. Even 15 years ago you would see a robust pro-life wing of the Democratic Party. For me personally, I am praying the Lord would raise up men and women who care about life before birth, and after birth. Men and women who will welcome refugees, stand against racism, people of character and integrity, and the life of an unborn child. (I do briefly want to touch on the Senate Bill 8 that just passed in Texas that bans abortion after a heartbeat is detected, which I support, but the bill also empowers citizens to file lawsuits, and I find that inconsistent with Scripture, and something that is going to do more harm than good.)
- Posture of humility. A person’s moral clarity doesn’t give them the right to be arrogant, harsh, and insensitive to others. Might the people around us find God’s people to be strong, but also gracious, kind, tender, and empathetic.
- We want to take action. It can’t be enough to just land on a philosophical view, but we must all look for ways to provide practical support on some level (a meal, gift, time, foster, adopt) in the act of new life coming into this world.
For those who have had an abortion or know someone who has had an abortion then you know there are layers of despair, regret, sorrow, shame, and I want you to know there is hope for you today.
There is hope for the broken-hearted, hope for the medical practitioner, hope for the boyfriend, or husband who didn’t say anything, because the good news of Jesus is available to all people.
We have all chosen death, and yet our Heavenly Father didn’t give up, He pursued us, loves us, and extends compassion to us, by Jesus taking our sin at the cross.
Our guilt has been paid. Our hearts can be made clean. Please don’t sit in any despair but see this as an opportunity to turn to Jesus and find living hope.
Please know we will have people to pray for you at the front, our pastors are available to talk with you, and we have partnered with resources to bring professional support alongside you so please know you don’t need to sit in the despair, but you can respond.
North Village Church
This sermon is brought to you by North Village Church, a non-denominational church in Austin. established in 2009 and built around Jesus and Bible teaching.
Are you looking for a church in Austin? At North Village Church we put Jesus at the center of our church family. We worship together every Sunday at 10:30am, encourage Christ centered fellowship through groups, and host special events such as Bible studies and Theological Training, to ensure that we are rooted in in God’s Word. We also serve our local community in association with several Austin based organizations.
North Village Church is made up of professionals, married couples, singles, and families who are wanting to experience the life-transforming power of Jesus. If you are a family with children or teens, we can support you with either or both our Kids Ministry and Youth Ministry.
You are welcome to contact us if you would like more information.
Unable to attend this Christian Church in Austin? Don’t worry, because, through God’s provision, we have created NVC online, an Online Church streaming a worship service every Sunday from 10:30am Central Time. You can also watch our short, powerful sermons on demand and follow us on Instagram for daily Christ centered content.