Must Pro-Life Christians Cite Scripture?

This is a wonderful blog entry about why using secular reasoning in a secular world will work and should be used.

I know many many wonderful pro-life counselors who use the Bible every chance they get to point out why women should choose life. These counselors also often point out the path to salvation in the same setting. I also know that these dear men and women do this with the best of intentions; however, this does not work well for the women faced with this choice. If they disagree with you based on your Christian faith...if they disagree with you as the messenger, they are going to reject your message.

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
This is the verse that is commonly held up by pro-lifers (and many other groups in other settings) claiming that the Bible is sufficient to make the case to choose life. There is a problem though. Do you notice the phrase "that the man of God...?" This verse clearly states that the Bible is good for teaching, reproof, correction, and training for the believer - for the man of God. So that he (or she) might be equipped for every good work. It does not state that all men will be equipped through biblical teaching. Gregory Koukl from Stand to Reason does a great job of explaining this in further detail, and I encourage you to read it.

If a woman is a Christian, I certainly encourage you to share Scripture with her. If she has faith in God, it's important that she consider and be reminded of what His Word says on the matter. However, when the woman shows no history of faith, a time of crisis is not the time to share God's Word with her. Why? It does not get to the root of the problem as she sees it. If you’re upset about not having enough money and I supply you with a gret cookie recipe, you’re going to wonder, “Is she even listening to me!?”

In no way am I downplaying the importance of the Word of God. I love the Bible and enjoy searching it for answers to life's questions. I am saying that this parallels her thought process. She needs answers - concrete help: money, a friend, a place to live, answers, medical treatment, support to stand up to pressure, etc. She does not want to hear about how much God loves her or her baby, how sinful abortion is, how God won't tempt her beyond what she can take, etc – even though you and I know this to be true. As a matter of fact, this approach is likely to be damaging in 2 ways, (1) it's going to push her away from you, making it difficult for you to reach her with the crucial information and support that she needs to choose life, and (2) it's going to cloud the way God Himself appears in her eyes, making Him seem distant and unaware of what her needs and concerns are.

This time of crisis is not a good time to approach her with God. You might as well serve her filet mignon on a trashcan lid because the presentation is totally wrong in this case. She’s jumping head first into disaster. A pro-woman approach would be to first talk to her about what is going on in her life that would bring her to this. Listen to her concerns. Find answers to her problems. Get the core of the immediate problem out of the way. When you’ve “talked her down” – then you can share your faith with her. Until then, live the Gospel – don’t preach it.


Rachael said...

Also the issue with citing scripture comes when one is counseling a person who may not believe in God. Citing the Bible risks pushing the person away and led to the person becoming defensive and closing their ears. I think there are times when citing scripture is appropriate and when it is not. It's a matter of good judgement.

The Pro-Woman Pro-Lifer said...

Yes, that's absolutely right Rachael! If the woman does not believe in God, she is going to reject what you say based on that and that alone.

Why not start the conversation on a neutral basis...something she is bound to be concerned with - her own health and happiness?

GrannyGrump said...

Amen. The Apostle Paul met the Romans where they were, and had an amazing track record of leading them to Christ. Why reinvent the wheel?

The Pro-Woman Pro-Lifer said...

Yes, he sure did. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 states:

"Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

GrannyGrump said...

Ooohhh! PERFECT Scripture for the occasion! Blog on that one! It deserves its own entry.

The Pro-Woman Pro-Lifer said...

I plan on it someday soon. :)