Last June, the United States Supreme Court struck down the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that decreed that abortion is a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution. The Roe v. Wade decision resulted in the tragic deaths of more than 60 million children. The ruling that struck down the Roe v. Wade decision was welcomed and applauded by many in our country who have worked tirelessly to protect human life.
The ruling, of course, did not ban abortion. It simply stated that the individual states are now able to regulate abortion in whatever way they see fit. In some states, that will mean abortion is completely banned; other states will place clear restrictions on when abortions can be performed. Still other states will continue to allow abortion on demand at any point during a pregnancy.
Our synod will need to continue to make a clear confession on the sin of abortion. If you are not familiar with our synod’s doctrinal statement on abortion, here it is:
- Resolved, a) that we acknowledge when an abortion procedure is performed with the specific intent not to preserve life but to terminate life, it is rightfully called sin and condemned by God; and be it further
- Resolved, b) that we encourage the editors of our synodical periodicals, as well as our pastors and teachers, to continue fervently and faithfully testifying against sin and, in particular, the sin of abortion that involves the intentional and willful killing of any human life whether inside or outside of the womb; and be it further
- Resolved, c) that in those extremely rare circumstances in which a pregnancy directly endangers the physical life of the mother, or the mother’s condition directly endangers the life of her unborn child, we call for action towards preserving both lives however possible or preserving at least one life when preserving both lives is not possible; and be it further
- Resolved, d) that we encourage our membership to express its concern and compassion for distressed pregnant women by supporting all God-pleasing options in the face of unplanned pregnancies and that our congregations regularly review the teaching of Scripture on the high price of sin and of the inherent value of God’s gift of life; and be it finally
- Resolved, e) that we more zealously pursue the pure proclamation of the Gospel of Christ which alone can change wicked hearts from sin to righteousness and then to practice Christ-inspired love as we seek to care for both the mother and her unborn child.
Our synod’s role is not to change laws. Rather, its God-given mission is to make a clear proclamation of biblical truth, both law and gospel, and to change hearts through the powerful working of the Holy Spirit. Since members of our synod are also citizens of the United States, the synod’s role is to encourage them to exercise their citizenship in a way that reflects their Christian values and beliefs.
But not to be forgotten is what is mentioned in Resolved, d). We want to be known not just for what we are against but also what we are for. We want to protect human life and care for those in distress, showing Christian love and compassion—a love and compassion that provides gospel-based counseling and support for those experiencing unplanned pregnancies.
When it comes to the continuing tragedy of abortion (because it will continue), it’s a time for prayer. It’s a time for bold confession. And it’s a time for zealously showing Christian love and compassion.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Volume 109, Number 09
Issue: September 2022