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One of the most common Pro-Life mantras is, “save as many babies as possible this session.” This saying sounds compelling if you believe that all children in the womb are created in the image of God and have inherent value. After all, who wouldn’t want to save as many as they possibly could? It would be silly to strive for something other than that, right?

What if I were to tell you that when a pro-lifer says, “save as many babies as we can,” they are making a specific appeal and showing not only what their strategy is but also what principle they are trusting in. When a pro-lifer uses this mantra, they are making an appeal to pragmatism. Pragmatism can simply be summarized by the statement, “the ends justify the means.” When a pro-lifer claims that they will save as many as they can, they are turning babies who do not yet have heartbeats, who haven’t quite made it to the third trimester, or who have been conceived in less-than-ideal circumstances into means to get their political ends.

Politicizing the lives of babies to achieve a political goal for a season is more than wrong; it is downright evil. Now don’t misunderstand me. I believe many who march to the mantra of “save as many babies as we can” are well-intended and truly desire to see babies saved — they simply have not thought through the principle they are employing.

This pragmatism doesn’t just politicize the lives of our pre-born neighbors; it also stops short of obedience to God and trusts the strategies of man over the wisdom of God. Many pro-lifers gear up each legislative season to see how much political capital the movement has and where the culture stands. They then come up with various ways — some quite absurd — to curtail the holocaust of the most innocent in our land. It could be from a 20-week ban to a requirement for an ultrasound before Planned Parenthood kills your child to a neutral amendment to our constitution; all of these fall short of obedience to God and try to highlight the brilliance of our disobedience.

Do you think God is really impressed with man’s political strategies when He has prescribed the law for us in the phrase, “Thou shalt not murder”? The pro-life movement has not only been disobedient to God in their strategies, but, unsurprisingly, their strategies and pragmatism have proven to be abysmally ineffective. Take, for example, the simple fact that we have been trying these pragmatic steps for over 50 years. Consider that after Iowa passed the heartbeat bill (the first time), abortion ended up getting less regulated, and the bill was killed in the lower courts. Republicans then spent the next two years trying to get a neutral amendment to our constitution to prove abortion isn’t in the constitution, but neither is the right to life.

All of these have been fruitless attempts at trying to outsmart God instead of obeying Him. Truly, obedience is simple, and disobedience is complicated. It has been the path of this complicated disobedience that has led one of the most red states — a supermajority in the Senate, near supermajority in the House, a Republican Governor, and a majority of the Supreme Court Justices appointed by Republicans — to continue the legal murder of children in the womb under the banner of being pro-life.

We don’t have to go along with this disobedience that is rooted in the principle of pragmatism. We could change our principle to trusting in Providence by committing to abolishing abortion immediately. Trusting in Providence requires faith and obedience, or as the old hymn puts it, we must “Trust and obey.”

Consider what Abigail Adams penned to her husband John Adams on June 20, 1776:

“I felt no anxiety at the large armament designed against us. The remarkable interpositions of heaven in our favor cannot be too gratefully acknowledged. He who fed the Israelites in the wilderness, who clothes the lilies of the field and who feeds the young ravens when they cry, will not forsake a people engaged in so right a cause if we remember His loving kindness.” – Abigail Adams

Weeks before her husband signed the Declaration of Independence and committed his life, fortune, and posterity to the independence of his nation, his wife encouraged him to trust in the providence of God in such a righteous endeavor.

The British were certainly the world power at the time. It definitely would have been more pragmatic to see if they could get a lesser tax or reprieve from one of the grievances, but the people of America understood that obedience to God — simple yet difficult — was the only option. It was trust in God’s providence or bust; and as Mrs. Adams pointed out, God “will not forsake a people engaged in so right a cause.”

The life of our pre-born neighbors is most notably a cause that is right, therefore we can conclude that God will not forsake us in this great endeavor. God is simply waiting on us to do our part. What is our part? Our part is obedience. What has held us back from obedience in Iowa has been a commitment to pragmatism and a belief that we are wiser than God. We are not wiser than God; we have simply been faithless and disobedient and have reaped the results of disobedience for decades.

What obedience does God require of us towards our pre-born neighbors? He requires that we protect them equally under the law. Recognizing that they are made in the image of God and therefore have a right to life. This means we must have equal punishments for those who would intentionally destroy the life of a pre-born child just as we would with anyone who would intentionally destroy the life of any other person. We must truly view the pre-born as our neighbor — not just emotionally but legally as well.

Year after year, 3,000 or more children are murdered in our state. It is time that we try a new strategy — one of obedience to God and trusting in His providence. Tell your representative this year to say no to pro-life pragmatism and to support the abolition of abortion by trusting in the providence of God.

Author: Sam Jones

Pastor Sam completed an intense pastoral internship at Hagerman Baptist Church and served as a chaplain at Heritage Care Center in Iowa Falls, Iowa before accepting the call to pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Hudson, Iowa. He loves people and his goal is to make disciples of Christ by personally, prayerfully, and persistently investing the Word of God into others.


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