“Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you?”
These words were written on February 24, 1791, from the deathbed of John Wesley, the great Methodist evangelist. One might suppose Wesley’s last letter would be composed to a family member or fellow minister or one of the many converts of his unparalleled preaching ministry. Instead, his last written words were directed at a politician: the diminutive spiritual giant, William Wilberforce. The very thing for which God had raised Wilberforce up was the abolition of slavery in Great Britain, which Wilberforce’s tireless work and God’s blessing accomplished a mere three days before Wilberforce’s own death in 1833.
If Wesley were to write such a letter today, I have no doubt that his heart’s cry would be against the greatest moral evil of our day: the sin of abortion.
The underpinnings of a pro-life theology show up early in God’s Word. Genesis 1:26-27: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness... So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” And in Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.”
Here, God’s Word gives foundation to the theological concept called the imago Dei, Latin for “the image of God.” The image of God concept is not so much that human beings look like God, or that we inherently have all of the divine attributes of God in and of ourselves, but that He made us for the purpose of communicating who He is to the world He created. We bear His image in this world for His glory.
This is why human life is intrinsically valuable. We—not the earth, not the sky, not flora or fauna, nor anything else—image the divine Creator. We alone are capable—through the saving work of the God-man, Jesus—of becoming vessels of the indwelling power of God Himself.
As C. S. Lewis once put it, “There are no ordinary people.”
The Bible teaches us plainly that the preborn child bears no less of the image of God than does a human being of any other age and stage of development.
In fact, the Greek word used for baby in Luke 1:41 to describe preborn John the Baptist is the same Greek word used to describe the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger in Luke 2:12. Just as the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 139:13, we are knit together by God in our mother’s womb.
So, what is the Christian—particularly the Holiness believer—to do about the bellowing giant of abortion that ravages our land and has taken the lives of somewhere near 65 million preborn children since the now overturned ruling of Roe v. Wade in 1973?
Obviously, we should exercise our God-given right to vote for—and only for—political candidates who are truly for ending abortion in our land. This is how Roe was overturned. However, many Holiness believers see voting the right way every four years as the full extent of our duty. This is an error. While the political battle rages on, there are lives and souls which hang in the balance. Something must be done to stem that tide. This is where two major lines of defense come into play.
First, every Holiness church should financially support and volunteer at the crisis pregnancy center closest to the place where their congregation meets. These centers offer alternatives to abortion for women and babies in need free of charge, and many help women fulfill their greatest need: having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Second, every Holiness church that is within one hour of an abortion center that performs surgical or chemical abortions (locations are easily found online), should have some sort of active sidewalk outreach to that center. Christian groups like Operation Save America, Save the Storks, and Love Life USA can help your church learn how to do effective outreach to these centers—not with a harsh spirit, but with the love of Christ shown to these women—saving babies and souls until the day when abortion is abolished in our land.
If you have never been to an abortion center, praise God! Too many women in the church (the statistics say around one in five) have already been there to have their own abortions performed. However, I believe all Holiness churches should go with a group to the sidewalk nearest their local abortion center to pray and observe what happens there. When you see women enter the building, carrying an image-bearer of God in their wombs, and when you see them exit later, knowing that life has been snuffed out before its time, I believe the Holy Spirit will convict you to do more than just vote. That very thing happened to me in 2008, and my life has never been the same since.
Unless God has raised up Holiness believers to abolish abortion in our day, we will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for us, who can be against us?