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Victimhood, Coercion, Even Threats of Death are Not Valid Excuses to Commit Sin Before a Holy God

by | Nov 30, 2023

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Jesus warned that following him would not be easy and that because of Him, we would be hated by the world. At the heart of the Christian faith lies a call to commitment and sacrifice, a demand for allegiance that transcends the earthly realm and grounds itself in the eternal. This call, articulated by Christ Himself, resonates through the ages: “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).

This declaration sets the stage for one of the most important principles of the Christian faith, which is, that to be worthy of Christ, one must be willing to forsake all, even unto death. This truth challenges every believer to examine the depth of their devotion in the face of trials and tribulations.

In the ongoing discourse surrounding the murder of innocent children in the womb, a scandalous narrative has emerged within certain Evangelical circles, notably within the Southern Baptist Convention and its Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), that portrays women as “second victims” of abortion. This claim, while presenting itself to be loving and compassionate, obfuscates an important fundamental truth. In the light of God’s Word, abortion is sin, and all involved bear moral responsibility. The Bible affords us no latitude for compromising God’s justice with worldly definitions of victimhood, especially in matters as grave as abortion.

In Luke 14:27, Jesus tells us that “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” This passage is not a mere call to passive faith, it is an active summons to endure hardship, even unto death, for the sake of Christ. Similarly, Jesus teaches us in the gospels that choosing to save our own lives over obedience to Him will lose it. These truths frame our understanding of what it truly means to follow Christ—a path that may demand everything from us, including our very lives.

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In the context of abortion, these Scriptures challenge the prevailing narrative that women are merely victims. Even if a woman faces immense pressure to kill her child, righteousness demands resistance, aligning with God’s demands rather than succumbing to temporal fears or desires. To label women solely as victims in abortion scenarios is to rob them of their agency and, more importantly, their responsibility before God. While acknowledging that women may indeed be pressured or misled, this does not absolve them of their culpability. Abortion is a direct violation of the commandment “Thou shalt not murder” (Exodus 20:13), and participating in it, under any circumstances, is a sin against a holy God.

Throughout the history of the Church, the legacy of martyrs stands as a testament to the unwavering commitment to Christ’s teachings, even in the face of death. These faithful believers, from Stephen in the Book of Acts to the countless unnamed saints who have laid down their lives throughout the ages, embody the essence of true discipleship as depicted in Luke 14:26: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Allegiance to the God who saves must supersede all earthly ties and fears, even when faced with the ultimate sacrifice.

This principle, as challenging as it may be, applies unreservedly in situations where one is coerced or pressured into committing abominations against God. The gravity of breaking God’s laws remains, irrespective of external pressures or threats to our mortal life. This is a difficult yet essential truth that we, as Christians, are called to acknowledge and uphold. The biblical directive is clear and unwavering as Christ warns, “But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33). Capitulating to sin, even under duress, represents a denial of Christ and His lordship over our lives.

As harsh as this may sound, it is a vital aspect of the gospel that we must convey with clarity. The gospel does not offer an exemption from moral responsibility under the guise of victimhood or coercion. Instead, it calls for a radical obedience and trust in God’s sovereignty, even in the most dire circumstances. Yet this call to faithfulness, while seemingly daunting, is not without hope or grace. The gospel also assures us of God’s unfailing love and forgiveness for those who, in genuine repentance, turn back to Him.

The issue extends beyond the act of committing an abortion. It touches on the core of original sin and the universal human condition. Romans 3:23 declares, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are all perpetrators of sin, and the gospel does not recognize us as victims of our circumstances but as individual people in need of salvation through grace that can only be found in Christ. When we label mothers as “victims” of abortion, we are making a declarative statement that their choices do not necessitate repentance and faith. And this is a grave distortion of the gospel.

True justice, as defined by the Scripture, must reflect the justice of God. It does not allow for a bifurcation of responsibility where one party is seen as wholly culpable and the other as entirely innocent. The mainstream narrative that absolves mothers of their responsibility in the wholesale murder of their children does not align with the biblical understanding of sin and repentance. We must recognize that every participant in the act of abortion, regardless of their role, stands guilty before God and in need of His grace.

But thankfully, the gospel of Jesus Christ offers redemption and forgiveness to all who repent and believe, regardless of their sins. By acknowledging their sin, and by acknowledging their unwillingness to trust God over coercive men, the abortion industry, or anyone else involved, and turning to Christ in repentance and faith, people can find true freedom and salvation in Christ. This is the message the Church must proclaim, a message of our guilty standing before God, but also a call to faith, redemption, and the regenerative power of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

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