“The Overturn of Roe v Wade: How Should Christians Respond?”

“The Overturn of Roe v Wade: How Should Christians Respond?”
By Scott Wakefield, 
Lead Pastorfccgreene.org

Intro to Great Questions Answered (GQA)
(found at fccgreene.org/introtoGQA)
  • Why GQA? What is GQA? When/How/Where Published?
  • Not All Questions Carry Equal Weight: The “Essentials–Convictions–Opinions Chart”
  • Sometimes I Will Simplify, Wait for Folks to Catch Up, Link to Definitions, Offer Helpful Explanation, Etc., But Don’t Count on It
  • Formatting & Grammar Notes
  • My Methodological and (Mostly) Theological Assumptions1
  • To Those Claiming, “Well, I’m Just a ‘Biblicist!’” I say, "Nigh Impossible!"
“The 2022 Supreme Court Overturning of Roe v Wade: How Should Christians Respond?”

Note: GQAs are written over time, in installments. At this point, it speaks to how to weigh the question’s importance, begins to refute the typical pro-abortion objection to how Christians have already been responding, and lays some groundwork for answering in more practical terms in the coming installment(s).

Essential? Conviction? Opinion?2
The question of how much emphasis to place on a proper Christian response to the overturn of Roe v Wade is complicated, not because the Scriptures are unclear about showing compassion to orphans and widows (James 1:27-2:1) or whether abortion is the premeditated killing of an innocent human being in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16)3, but because it involves issues of application that are less clear and will differ based on personal convictions about the role of government, the relationship between church and state, etc.

Do not misunderstand, abortion is a grave evil and our church is not confused as to the question of its moral abomination. Amos 5:15 makes the point that to “establish justice” is to “hate evil, and love good.” We hate the evil of abortion, full stop.

But this particular question is not about whether abortion is a moral good or even the Bible’s case against it. Rather, this is about what might be a proper Christian response to the overturn of Roe v Wade, in practical terms, which involves questions like: What does being thoroughly “pro-life” entail? Is it pro-life "enough" to raise and disciple my children? How do we best serve the unborn and mothers? By advocating politically? Marching on Washington? Relying on government assistance? Praying outside abortion clinics? Financially supporting and volunteering at pregnancy resource centers? Fostering and adopting? Etc.?

Why I Want to Place This in the Category of “Conviction”
  • Ever since high school, when pro-life pioneer Barbara Willke spoke at my church, I read her book Handbook on Abortion,and I first learned about the horrors of abortion, I have been grieving at the mass delusion that enables an entire society to sacrifice its weakest and most helpless to their god of personal comfort.5
  • Because I believe abortion—the premeditated killing of an innocent living human being in the womb—is a moral evil that is especially egregious and historically poorly attended in our nation and churches, I think it deserves more importance than it has received.
  • Maybe it’s an effect of the internet, social media, entertainment culture, and the marketing and commodification of ideas, but the hyperpoliticization of everything makes me think many would naturally place this in the category of “conviction.”
  • My convictions about consistent application of the Lordship of Christ over all of life and the proper roles of and relationship between church, government, and culture would mean more closely attended practical consequences than typical for our particular church’s history and nondenominational heritage.6
  • If there’s anything I don’t want to be, it’s a theological waffler who lacks courage to name evil regardless of the consequences. Not placing this in the category of convictions feels like waffling.

Why I am Placing This in the Category of “Opinion,” (But Just Barely)7
  • While I believe a Christian’s view on a proper pro-life response is at root a theological and moral question that is directly tied to their understanding of, and interpretive assumptions about, Scripture, it is not ultimately a question of one’s standing in Christ and it’s unhelpful to conflate salvation and political strategy.
  • I want those in our congregation who may disagree with our church’s pro-life convictions8 or how to flesh out that stance in practical terms to know they’re loved and welcomed here. To make the point practical: Though I would not regularly attend or place membership in a church that is pro-abortion from a moral standpoint, I might do so in a church that is pro-life but not as conservative as I and where strategies of fleshing out that support may differ. Said plainly, though I am a crazy conservative abortion abolitionist nutjob, I want those in our congregation who are less politically conservative to know I am personally invested in protecting an environment where we do not conflate salvation and politics, we preach only the Word of God and not partisan politics, and they and their family can grow to become who God created them to be despite our differences.9
  • Sometimes what seems like lack of courage might be the wisdom of waiting for enough information or allowing for others’ opinions. While I have outlined below plenty of practical suggestions for how we as a church and as Christians should respond, it seems wise to wait until emerging state and federal responses to the overturn of Roe v Wade take shape such that best practices become clearer. I also want to wade through enough responses and articles from those who have deeper personal knowledge and wider scope than I before jumping in too definitively.

So while I have plenty of practical thoughts and responses, they are slightly provisional and I am placing this question of “proper Christian response”—and not the question of its morality—in the category of “opinion.”10

The Red Herring of Not Being “Pro-Life Enough”
Because many dismiss existing pro-life strategies out of hand, before addressing the practicalities of proper response I want to clear up the popular red herring that Christians are being hypocritical if they claim to be pro-life but “don’t do enough” to prove it by being “thoroughly pro-life from womb to tomb.” You’ll often see this sentiment in print or hear someone say something like, “You pro-life Christians don’t really care about women and are only concerned with the pre-born but not what happens once they’re born.” If this sounds like an unfair picture I’m painting, as if I’ve inserted “only” to set up an easily defeated caricature, their own words reflect this false dichotomy. Going all the way back to 1983, an official National Abortion Rights Action League publication paints pro-lifers in this light when it says, “The ‘prolife’ concerns of abortion foes are only for fetal lives, not the lives of women or unwanted babies.”11 

The basic underlying assumption is that, unless you are willing to personally care for the “unwanted children” resulting from mothers not aborting their babies or at least support a government-sponsored social strategy that does, you have no right to moralize to others.

There are quite a few problems with their claim.
  • To assess from afar the effectiveness of your interlocutor’s alternative social welfare strategies based on the outcomes of your own commits a few informal logical fallacies:12
    • Special Pleading – It denies or ignores elements unhelpful to the pro-abortion cause, in this case the many empirical evidences outlined below under “What Pro-Lifers Already Do”. This has the effect of lionizing one’s own strategies to the exclusion of others’.
    • Circular Reasoning/Begging the Question13 – The conclusion is hidden in the premises: ‘You pro-life Christians don’t really care…” and the functional reason given is ‘because they are not our strategies,’ (or at least they are not strategies that pro-abortion groups typically support. It’s like saying, “We do this, you don’t, therefore you don’t care.” It would be entirely different if they said, “Pro-lifers don’t really care because their strategies have these harmful consequences…” and then provided actual reasons and data that show pro-life strategies are harmful, but you can search for a long time in vain for pro-abortionists who argue this. It is circular to presume lack of care in the assertion because of a different strategy.
    • Straw Man – It argues against a distorted and oversimplified caricature of the pro-life argument. Whether the caricature is purposeful or not doesn’t matter. Whether the person making the argument is aware of the caricature doesn’t matter. If the claim is made against a distorted or oversimplified caricature, the claim lacks substance because it’s made against something that doesn’t exist.
    • Confirmation Bias – It cherry picks evidence that corroborates its argument and rejects readily available evidence that doesn’t fit its assumptions about best strategies for caring for women and pre-born babies.
    • False Dichotomy/Dilemma – This is a bit complicated to understand—and explain! And though it initially sounds extreme, on balance, it is a key assumption that undergirds the pro-abortion objection that pro-lifers aren’t “truly” pro-life because they ‘don’t thoroughly care about babies and women from womb to tomb.’ There are two parts to this either/or error—the question of the ground of moral authority and the question of acceptable metrics to satisfy the objection—both of which assume that pro-lifers must perfectly care for all aborted babies for all time according to their own pro-life strategies or that pro-lifers must agree with strategies held by pro-abortion advocacy. In fact, the essence of this objection is simply that pro-life strategies are not the political strategies of pro-abortion advocates! First, the objection assumes that no one can justifiably claim moral authority over another unless from a place of moral righteousness defined in the objection itself. Here the false dichotomy sets up a standard that either pro-lifers provide care for all 65 million dead babies since 1973 or the objectors' standards of care. We see this standard in the second part of this error: it assumes that the fix to ‘the problem of unwanted children’ is ‘do everything according to our metrics’ of care for all 65 million dead babies since 1973. So, according to the pro-abortion objection, it is all or nothing, to which I have many questions: Are we to believe these babies would not have had even their biological mothers to care for them?! Do the taxes pro-lifers are forced to pay, which help to fund government programs pro-abortionists say qualify as “throughly pro-life from womb to tomb,” count less because they disagree with them? And what exactly would satisfy the pro-abortionist's objections? How many Christians doing how much pro-life work? How much federal social programming qualifies as being “thoroughly pro-life from womb to tomb” by the pro-abortionist’s standards? Enough to reduce abortions by a certain percentage or perhaps to eliminate what they call the ‘need’ for abortion altogether? The truth is that this "not truly pro-life enough" objection is not about what pro-lifers actually do or don’t do to satisfy the objection as much as it is about communicating an overtly political ideology to which pro-abortionist advocacy is almost always committed. It’s either ‘apply our standards’ or ‘you’re not actually as pro-life as you claim.’ That is a classic example of a false dichotomy. Ironically, the pro-abortionist is the political idealogue here.
  • It is founded in politically charged media narrative more than empirical data, let alone meaningful anecdotal experience. We will address this below under “What Pro-Lifers Already Do.”
  • What it expresses is rooted in a fully secularized worldview of progressivism-without-limits that cannot successfully build a flourishing culture long-term—even for those it purports to help—because of its inherently contradictory values that are increasingly held without restraint.14
  • It presumes a political philosophy that uses federal taxes to fund large-scale government social programs that, it can be well argued, create the unintended long-term consequences, ironically, of political advocacy and economic dependency more than personal and societal moral responsibility that cares best for babies and creates more duty-bound mothers. (Stick with me social/modern liberals, my ultimate point is less political than it sounds.) So, while the specifics of the economic value of social liberalism versus fiscally conservative capitalism is obviously a debatable point when it comes to the efficacy of caring for “unwanted” babies and their mothers, what remains an important distinction to keep clear is this: an argument based on the inherent moral value of all life that comes from the created order—the Bible’s claim—is a categorically different, and I would argue, better foundation for societal flourishing than human-defined and sociopolitically-constructed special interests and identity politics.

To insist that pro-life strategies be measured against what pro-abortionists count as being “thoroughly pro-life from womb-to-tomb” is a logically troubled assertion that is essentially rooted in a politically partisan lionizing of government social programming. It assumes in its very assertion that other strategies are ineffective, implies an impossible standard of care for objectors even as it proposes no viable standard, entirely dismisses what pro-lifers actually do, and is ultimately no less hypocritical than insisting that federal taxes be used to fund my salary. The claim is, “Do it our way or you are wrong and a hypocrite.”

God as Creator of Life: A Continuum of Proper Christian Response
Far from pro-life strategies being inadequate, and based on the Scriptural foundation that life begins, is sustained, and ends in accordance with God’s power and purposes,15 there is a continuum of proper Christian response rooted in promoting and preserving life that goes from merely holding a pro-life stance all the way to adoption and everything in between.16 Therefore, one is pro-life “enough” to raise a child and not abort it! All additional pro-life advocacy and participation—voting, praying for the abolition of abortion, giving to the church or other organizations that support orphan care and pro-life causes, caring for and grieving with mothers who have had abortions, fostering, adopting, etc.—is icing on the cake of not killing babies! To act in acknowledgment of God as Creator and Sustainer of life—its beginning and end—is to be pro-life “enough.”

What Pro-Lifers Already Do
Perhaps the main problem with the womb-to-tomb objection is obscured vision. When pro-abortionists assume the moral superiority of their political strategies and trust a well-worn misleading media narrative that becomes the social imaginary, it requires nary a glance at the empirical data nor any meaningful consideration of what pro-lifers actually do. However, beyond the narrative, at pregnancy resource centers, in churches, and in Christian families, there is an entire unseen world of pro-life activity where God’s people are doing exactly what they believe about the sanctity of life and the dignity of all humanity as created in God’s image.

Study after study provides ample irrefutable statistical evidence proving that, on average, Christians overwhelmingly put their money and actions where their mouths and beliefs are much more than the pro-abortionist objections, wider cultural perceptions, and common media narratives would have you believe, and even moreso, when compared to the actual practice of the average person holding to pro-abortion views.
  • It is estimated that there are now 4-5 times as many nonprofit pregnancy resource centers17 than abortion mills nationwide, none of which receives government funding, whereas Planned Parenthood has been receiving over $500 million in federal tax funding during every year since 2010.
  • SCW: Much moore needed here…

What Pro-Lifers Need To Do
Despite all previous points, some of what motivates some pro-abortionists’ womb-to-tomb objection is an important question: How do we properly care for mothers and babies needing support? This is a root-level concern we share, but in a post Roe v Wade era, where the question is returned to the state level, does a proper Christian response change? Do churches need to be more or less involved? What changes in strategy might be needed? Does Christian participation in our local community need to change?

On the one hand, as already stated, participating in God’s Kingdom by “merely” raising one’s kids, helping raise others’, teaching them the things of God, and not contributing to the pro-abortion culture of death is to be pro-life “enough.” The biblical Christian vision for the flourishing of the world is itself a throughly pro-life strategy that accounts for what government social programs never will.

Nevertheless, here are some thoughts on practical ways to help build and maintain a pro-life culture that comprehensively cares for mothers and babies in a post Roe v Wade world.

What Now?
Evidence and argumentation and explanation, yada, yada, yada…

Scott, don’t forget to link the Elders’ Position Paper and germane BB&B episodes.
*Footnote Note: The numbered link that got you here only gets you here. I.e., you may have to scroll down to find the note you're looking for and you'll definitely have to scroll all the way back up to get back to where you came from. Also, our blog site doesn't yet format correctly, so some things like bullets, numbers, line spacing, and superscripts may be wonky.

As of July 24, 2022, now includes a new fifth section, “I Also Write GQAs as a Burkean Political Conservative, But That Will (Mostly) Only Emerge on the Practical Exigencies of Moral Issues on Which the Bible Speaks, But Again, So What?!” There’s also a smidge of new content re the myth of political neutrality and the scary monolith of pastors and churches never speaking politically in the final section, “To Those Who Claim, “Well, I’m Just a ‘Biblicist!’” or “I’m Apolitical!” I say, "Hogwash!"

For an explanation of our “Essentials–Convictions–Opinions” Chart, what each section means, and how much importance to give to one’s answer to the title question is covered in the Intro to GQA, under “Not All Questions Carry Equal Weight: The ‘Essentials–Convictions–Opinions Chart’”.

3 While at this point I intend to focus on questions of application and leave the biblical/theological case against abortion and the answering of objections against the pro-life case for later GQAs, for now, I may make moral claims with little argumentation beyond Scripture references, theological asides, and noting authors, schools of thought, etc. Also—for my abolitionist friends already freaking out because I didn’t call abortion “murder”—of course abortion is murder. But I want to be careful to avoid inflammatory language when it isn’t necessary, given my audience, and when, statistically, perhaps as many as 40% of women in America have had at least one abortion (https://www.newsweek.com/about-40-percent-american-women-have-had-abortions-math-behind-stat-222664). In an average congregation, that may mean quite a few women. Sometimes avoiding offense may seem like lack of courage until proved as wisdom. For anyone reading this who has been involved in abortion and hasn’t yet dealt with God, repented, and received God’s healing grace, His forgiveness and help are available. Go to hopecentergreeneville.com. For more on our official church stance on abortion, see the links at footnote 8.

The most reliable estimates of the number of babies killed by abortion since its federal legalization in 1973 are between 60-65 million, based largely on statistics from the Guttmacher Institute, which is a major pro-abortion lobby and research foundation. See https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/06/24/what-the-data-says-about-abortion-in-the-u-s-2/, https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/article_files/abortion-incidence-us.pdf, and http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/communications/stateofabortion2022.pdf.

6 2 things: (1) This may also be as much a reason for placing it in the category of “opinions” as in “convictions”. (2) While wading into the relationship between church, culture, and politics will have to wait for further GQAs, and some may disagree with me, here’s some of my thinking. It seems obvious to me that the prima facie intent of the First Amendment to the US Constitution to create and manage a tension between freedom from federally compelled religious observance (“Establishment Clause”) and freedom for religious practice (“Free Exercise Clause”) has skewed, not just toward, but beyond freedom from compelled observance toward an absolute freedom from all moral persuasion that militantly privatizes religious practice and discourse. As a result, we are quickly becoming a morally, culturally, intellectually, and emotionally impoverished nation. We now hardly know how to meaningfully discuss anything beyond trifling amusements. (So, yes, I absolutely believe Christians are called to be a moral conscience in their communities. And no, the “separation of church and state” isn’t a phrase nor even a “wall” in the Constitution. That was Jefferson’s later informal summary of the Constitutional guidance, found in correspondence with Baptists in Danbury, CT, to help reassure them, ironically, that their religious freedoms would remain undefiled from federal interference. Btw, here’s a good summary of my stance re church and politics: https://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/03/putting-first-things-first.) Back to the task at hand—I see at least a few problems with this ‘absolute freedom from all moral and religious persuasion in the public square.’ (1) At the risk of offending political progressives, historians, and lawyers with this oversimplification of categories, from my perspective the framework that interprets the Constitution as a “living document” whose meaning changes with culture tends toward an unwise denial of natural law. Natural law assumes that moral values are derived from the created order and are therefore infused into the Constitution as a priori rights the framers called “unalienable” because they were not created by the Constitution but were being defended by it. This is why an originalist/textualist framework that at least seeks authorial intent and then applies meaning to modern culture tends to do so not from the majority consent of the governed but from a more deeply rooted and divinely derived moral code. There’s a huge difference between “rights” that are instituted by humans passing laws by fiat (“unconstrained”) and rights that are recognized as inherent in nature and protected by codification in law (“restrained”). (See here for some introduction to the whys and whats of various approaches to Constitutional interpretation: https://bit.ly/3ASRkVq. Also, the “Interactive Constitution” is a helpful nonpartisan resource for learning about how these different approaches play out in practical terms. To know some of where I root the aforementioned categories, see Thomas Sowell in A Conflict of Visions re the “constrained” and “unconstrained.” For more on Sowell, who I believe is a national treasure and the most important public intellectual you've never heard of, see this Prager U video.) (2) This ‘absolute freedom from…’ is impossible by any name. Remaining apolitical sounds like a nice theory and may provide you the emotional margin to deny responsibility for living one’s claims, but there is no such thing as moral neutrality. All laws—democratically voted upon or imposed at gunpoint—are rooted in personal beliefs about and desires for the world. So, while it is true that the government ‘cannot legislate morality’ such that passing laws will change peoples’ hearts, produce moral virtue, or belief in its presuppositions, nonetheless, laws are not morally impotent. In practical terms, laws affect actual behavior. Not only do they perform a teaching function by conveying moral virtue but they restrain evil and threaten its prosecution. (See Brown Bags & Bibles episode #15 for more.) (3) Christian antipathy toward any and all political involvement that is rooted in fear of tone policing or those who abuse the “Establishment Clause” in the name of privatizing faith will mean Christians never speak the truth in public about anything—the gospel included! (Or at least, to be entirely transparent, I am referring to those who call themselves Christians but aren’t. Yeah, I said it! Those who are Christians, who don’t fear man, are ready to die for truth that benefits our fellow man. ← Btw, how absolutely stupid that this sounds naive and radical to our enlightened modern mind. We don’t have Bibles in our hands if not for countless untold Christians who were truly centered in Christ such that they were willing to die for much less!) To summarize, while some US Supreme Court justices have justifiably used the commonly cited “wall of separation between church and state” as a framer-sourced precedent for their arguments, this needn’t scare us away from cultural or even political engagement. For it is not actually in the Constitution, it may obscure more than help because the intent was to create and manage a relational tension rather than establish total separation, it is bad for our nation to entirely privatize religious faith, and at the least, it is certainly not a mandate to ‘never discuss religion and politics.’ (And btw, the Scriptures do not teach total submission to governmental authority. Again, see BB&B Episode #15.) This is not an argument for anything remotely like a “state church” nor the “Christian nationalism” that many would have you believe is the conspiracy of anyone who values Scriptural sufficiency or voted for Trump. But remaining silent on issues made clear in the Scriptures may be less about the wisdom of keeping our relationships smooth and more about prizing personal comfort that is lack of courage and obedience to the world.

7 With apologies to my Reformed Presbyterian and mildly Theonomic Postmillennial friends, I’m not ready to make proper Christian response to the overturn of Roe v Wade and the particulars of pro-life strategies a matter of “conviction.” For those confused with all the previous jargon: In basic terms, “theonomy” is an intramural debate about the extent to which the Old Testament law (especially the moral law summarized in the 10 Commandments) still do or don’t apply today, after Jesus’ fulfillment of them. “Postmillennialism” is the conviction that Jesus’ second coming is “after” (“post”) the “thousand years” of Revelation 20, meaning they see the gospel spreading in triumph such that God’s Kingdom will reign in peace and righteousness over the earth before He returns to judge and fully establish His forever Kingdom.

8 For more, see Brown Bags & Bags Episodes #29 and #30 which explain and work through our Elders Position Paper on the “Sanctity of Human Life,” and our Confession of Faith, which says, “We believe in the sanctity of life and that life begins at conception” (Psalm 139:13-16).

9 As proof we at fccgreene.org are careful not to conflate faith and politics, check out a 3-week series we did preceding the 2016 presidential election called “Primary Politics”. Here’s some of the verbiage we used as intro: “Has political idolatry distracted you from living as God intends? What if, according to the Bible, a government, regardless of its worldly power, political structure, or claim to authority, doesn’t establish but only protects what we call rights that were given to us by God? And yet, despite this audacious claim to ultimate power, God asks us to wisely submit to the authority of our civil government. What if real protection for the follower of Christ has literally nothing to do with military might, political power, and passing of legislation that make our lives ‘better’? If we understood clearly the almighty power of God and what He is doing in the world, we would understand our existence here and now to be about participation in a citizenry where our lives are votes that reveal the truth of God’s sovereignty. Because Christ makes us citizens in a kingdom with no end, ‘Your life is your vote!’ for a King whose reign brings true and lasting peace and freedom.” Also, if you haven’t yet read the two sections toward the end of the “Intro to GQA,” they will also provide some context: “(5) I Also Write GQAs as a Burkean Political Conservative, But That Will (Hopefully) Only Emerge With the Practicalities of Moral Issues on Which the Bible Speaks, But Again, So What?!” and “To Those Who Claim, ‘Well, I’m Just a ‘Biblicist!’’ or ‘I’m Apolitical! I say, ‘Hogwash!’”

10 If a particular aspect of the ensuing discussion warrants a different assessment, I will specify as much.

11 Polly Rothstein and Marian Williams, “Choice” (New York: Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion, 1983), printed and distributed by the NARAL Foundation, Washington, D.C.

12 For a fantastic Christ-centered introduction to logical fallacies that goes way beyond typical summarized sources you’ll find online (like logicalfallacies.org and fallacydetective.com, to which I often refer), read Dr. Jason Lisle’s Introduction to Logic. It’s perfect for a homeschool curriculum, btw.

13 Btw, I know it’s popular to use this phrase as if it means the question is “begging” to be asked, but that’s an improper begging of the question. “Begging the question,” translated from the Latin petitio principii, essentially means “assuming the original point,” and it is a form of a circular argument that means to avoid and argue around the question! See https://www.logicalfallacies.org/begging-the-question.html, https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/articles/begs-the-question, https://www.grammarbook.com/blog/definitions/begging-the-question, https://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2021/11/beg-the-question.html, and https://www.overthinkingit.com/2008/10/23/thursday-grammar-begging-the-question.

14 Pro-abortion advocates have long tied this particular critique of pro-lifers to a political worldview that is increasingly wed to a secularism that takes it far afield from even social/modern liberalism’s goals. (By “social/modern liberalism” I do not mean anything pejorative, but simply the belief in large-scale government programs to address economic and social issues such as poverty, welfare, infrastructure, health care, education, etc., as distinct from “classic liberalism,” which holds to many tenets with which most modern conservatives would most certainly agree. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_liberalism for more. Also see “(5) I Also Write GQAs as a Burkean Political Conservative, But That Will (Mostly) Only Emerge on the Practicalities of Moral Issues on Which the Bible Speaks, But Again, So What?!“ toward the end of the “Intro to GQA”.) This means pro-abortion advocates are usually philosophically and politically tied to a worldview that perceives the “right” to speak to the morality of another’s circumstances at all—whether abortion or otherwise—is an unwarranted source of objective truth because it doesn’t adequately account for the “standpoint” of the oppressed or underprivileged. Regardless of the debatable questions of epistemology, any secular system of civics that rejects God’s moral law as the foundation for producing and protecting an unalienable common grace for all will eventually implode. (In fact, I believe that common grace, which is the theological father of natural law, is the only viable moral foundation for truly pluralistic societal flourishing. (See Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, for a basic definition of “common grace,” which is distinct from “saving grace”, https://ref.ly/o/stberkhof/1262841?length=291. See also BB&B Episode #73 at the 23:23 mark and https://www.gotquestions.org/common-grace.html. Nevertheless, to nail the point a bit further, the contradictory modern societal values of individual autonomy at any cost and insistence on measuring human agency according to sociopolitically constructed categories of power—especially neo-Marxian “oppressed” and “oppressor”—cannot long coexist. We know this from the ugly history of 20th-century political movements resulting in, conservatively, hundreds of millions of deaths. However, more germane to my point, at the local level, the effect of constantly redefining human rights according to emotional whims and the relativizing of objective truth in subjective terms (standpoint epistemology, retributive justice, intersectionality, victimization, etc.) inevitably results in a rampant identity politics that when, embodied in everyday relationships, militates against the selflessness required to raise families that build healthy long-term cultural institutions. To make it simple, if our younger generations continue buying into subjective values, cultural victimization, and increasingly calling themselves LGBTQIA+, genderfluid, pansexual, etc., they will not bear and raise children and will actively seek to destroy and/or redefine existing institutions that do not affirm them. Paying even passing attention to the content produced by most media sources is evidence enough that we are already experiencing this. Now don’t misunderstand, the Scriptures are clear that Christians are on the side of those who are unjustly oppressed by evil. The categories of “oppressed” and “oppressor” are per se valid, but not as sociopolitically-constructed and intersectionally-defined special-interest groups would have us believe, i.e., apart from biblical categories of the evil of partiality, unequal weights, etc. Take, for example, how well-known Critical Theorist José Medina describes objectivity in relative terms that are mediated according to sociopolitically-constructed categories of power: “[T]here is a cognitive asymmetry between the standpoint of the oppressed and the standpoint of the privileged that gives an advantage to the former over the latter. … [T]he perspectives from the lives of the less powerful can offer a more objective view of the social world, a view based on their experiences of being underprivileged that captures real disparities, instead of a view that ignores (or even erases) experiences of oppression and is more likely to be oblivious or blind to disparities and insensitive to injustice” (Medina, José. The Epistemology of Resistance: Gender and Racial Oppression, Epistemic Injustice, and the Social Imagination. Oxford University Press, 2013, p. 197). Granted, there is some truth worth acknowledging in Medina’s suggestions—that others’ experiences add objective truth value and such intentional ”erasing” of real oppression for an advantage can be a form of injustice—but not only is true retributive justice apart from omniscience impossible, but on Medina’s own terms, is there any greater injustice than the murder of an unborn child—who wields the least socio-cultural power—merely to avoid the economic responsibility, career inconvenience, or societal shame of carrying that child to term?! The issue is not whether we are to help those who are hurting but rather clearly defining who that is, how they are being unjustly hurt, the method and effectiveness of the help offered, and the extent of fruit for human flourishing. I just happen to believe that innocent babies in the womb are categorically the most oppressed and underprivileged among us—those whose experiences of oppression are the most culturally erased by being killed.

15 The specific biblical and theological case will come in further GQAs.

16 While that may include government social programs, it needn’t of necessity and I don’t intend to suggest as much in what follows. Not only do I believe they aren’t nearly as helpful as suggested, but I believe God’s Spirit working through His Word in the hearts of His people is more effective.

17 Btw, for the record, using “crisis pregnancy centers” language has—rightly I believe—fallen out of fashion, not because pregnancy does not sometimes involve crisis, but because they provide much more positive help than most are aware. Rather, as “pregnancy resource centers” like our own Hope Center (hopecentergreeneville.com), they help with counseling, pregnancy tests, sonograms by licensed medical professionals, baby formula, diapers, clothes, strollers, car seats, other baby equipment, parenting classes/mentoring for mothers and fathers, as well as, in the case of the Hope Center’s “Honeysuckle Studio,” providing single mothers housing, food, Christian community, and ongoing mentoring and training in all aspects of raising a child—learning to cook, budgeting, writing a resume, and finding a job—for upwards of a year after pregnancy! That’s much more than responding to crisis!