Abortion and the Theology of a Purposeless Life

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By Brian Chilton

While I am intentionally not one of the political voices of the day, I do find that many times politics crosses over into theology and vice versa. One of the more troubling news I have read is that states like New York and Virginia have either passed or considered passing legislation to permit a baby to be aborted even if it is the day of the child’s birth. I have always been a pro-life advocate. Proponents for abortion have noted that the practice should be allowed in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or the child is a product of rape. However, it is extremely difficult to imagine how even the best of Planned Parenthood’s apologists could defend the blatant murder of a child on the day of its birth.

Abortion and the Theology of a Purposeless Life

The core root behind this issue is a theological one. Where does a person find purpose in life? The reality is that without God there is no purpose. If God does not exist, then everything is nothing more than a cosmic accident. This extreme version of abortion shows deep-rooted purposelessness in those who advocate such practices and the ones who participate in such murder in three ways.

  1. Purposelessness in the Theology of Life. If there is no God, then life has no purpose. For one to uphold extreme partial-birth abortion, one must think that the child’s life has no value. Some will claim that the child is nothing more than a clump of cells. This is far more difficult to defend when a child has reached the point of birth. However, for the one who accepts a fair rendering of the atheistic worldview, no life ultimately finds any meaning. Your life doesn’t matter. My life doesn’t matter. No life matters. Atheism leads to bad ends when it comes to upholding the value of life. However, if God does exist, then every life matters, including the child in the womb.
  2. Purposelessness in the Theology of Ethics. I am not a professional political analyst… and I don’t even play one on television. However, it doesn’t take a professional political analyst to know that something is driving this push for abortion. If I were to take a guess, I would say that money is the driving force behind the legislation. How ethical is it to kill an innocent child for the sake of financial security? How ethical is it to sacrifice children for the sake of research? The answer depends on your theological underpinning. If God exists, then everything has a purpose. If God doesn’t exist, then nothing does. Thus, everything is left as a free for all in a godless universe. Even legislature itself loses meaning. Why obey the law of the land if nothing matters? Yet, if God does exist, our lives not only hold great purpose but how we treat one another has immense value especially if God is a loving Being as noted by the apostle John (1 Jn. 4:16).
  3. Purposelessness in the Theology of God. This final point may seem a bit redundant especially since purpose and value demand God’s existence. The point here is that devaluing life’s value comes from a rebellion against God. Atheists like Richard Dawkins claim that they do not have a problem with intelligent design, just the concept of God (see the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed). Why is that? Most likely, the problem is with the thought that we are not the owners of our own domain. We desire freedom to the point that we do not want anyone or anything overseeing us. Human beings do not like the idea that there might be Someone greater than ourselves who will ultimately hold us accountable even if that Someone is a loving Being. Arguments such as, “My body, my decision,” illustrates an inherent desire to be the sole master and commander of one’s body. Yet, if there is a God, then each of us will be held accountable for what we do (Rm. 14:12) which is unsettling for some.

My life, my ministry, and my writings are devoted to providing a defense for the existence of God and for the authenticity of the Christian faith. If I am wrong, then it doesn’t really matter because nothing matters. If I am wrong, then abortion isn’t wrong because nothing is wrong or right. But if I and my Christian apologist colleagues are right, then God does exist, Christ is the Savior, life has value, and abortion is the unjustified murder of innocent children. Not only does each person’s life matter in a world governed by God, but the lives of each child in his or her mother’s womb also holds substantial value as well. The abortion problem is not a political issue, it is a deeply rooted theological one.

 


Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years and serves as the Senior Pastor of Westfield Baptist Church in northwestern North Carolina.

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