Many Lutherans are involved in the pro-life movement in America. We attend rallies and have a Life Sunday at our church. This is a good thing. It is good to be pro rather than anti-life. God is pleased with those who, in faith, protect and treasure the life that He creates and sustain. But what about those who aren’t pro-life? What about those who have abortions and the people who desire further progression in pro-choice policies? What does God think about them? Is it good to say that God hates those who have abortions, practice birth control, or people who believe that we are free to make a choice with our bodies? How should the church live amongst those who do not confess the Triune God as the creator and the one who sustains all life? How should we act toward those who do not regard life in the womb, but see the child as a fetus without a life of his or her own? Do these people really have a choice in their worldview concerning life in the womb, or are they under the influence and power of the devil?
Christ the Lord says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” (John 8:34-38). Anyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. We do not choose to sin, rather we are bound to sin. We are conceived and born sinful and unclean. Not that human nature is itself sin, but our nature is so corrupt that all we can do is sin and reject the truth.
Usually when we discuss this article of the faith we confess that man is fallen and therefore cannot accept the grace of God. However, we continue and say that man can still act according to what is good and carry out civil righteousness and conduct himself according to the laws of man. Man still can act good because of the natural knowledge of God, or the conscience. Man can be a good citizen, as we confess in the 18th article of the Augsburg Confession that man is able to “live an externally honorable life and to choose among the things reason comprehends.” However, man is sinful and wicked. His nature is twisted and enslaved to the will of the devil. Man can act ethically according to human reason, but he is guided by the devil. The Formula of Concord addressed this issue that “God’s Word testifies that the natural, unregenerated human mind, heart, and will are not only completely turned away from God in all divine maters, but are also perverted and turned toward every evil and against God. Likewise, they are not only weak, impotent, incapable, and dead to the good, but through original sin they have also been tragically perverted, poisoned through and through, and corrupted.” (FCSD II.17).
This is creation after the fall. Unregenerate man is bound under the tyranny of the devil and is captive to the whims of this corrupt world. Because of sin we love this world more than we love our Lord Jesus Christ. This should change the way we think about pro-life issues. We aren’t here to convince people that we are right. We can’t change someone’s mind and convert them. We shouldn’t try to make progress. All we should do is open our mouths and let Jesus do the talking and the Holy Spirit the converting. Proclaim the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation of all mankind. Preach repentance and forgiveness to every sinner that they may confess and be saved. Realize that you are speaking to a people bound in their sin and twisted by the lies of the devil that are proclaimed through the filth of society. Those that don’t have contrition for abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, and the prevention of life are blind and bound under the yoke of the ancient serpent. Our word and unity will not free them. Only the Son can free them from their slavery. Only the Word of Jesus can redeem them from sinful self-righteousness or false guilt. They don’t choose to be pro-choice, they are bound to be pro-choice. Let’s treat them that way and proclaim what Christ the Lord calls us to speak.