By Lowell Highby, Lutherans for Life
The word “abortion” does not appear in the Bible. Yet, God’s Word has plenty to say that relates directly to abortion. Here’s the reason: God’s Word is about life (John 10:10).
In a “successful” abortion at least one life is always destroyed—and many more lives are affected. These are lives—these are people—created by God for His purposes. Physical life is destroyed by abortion. Spiritual life is also greatly damaged by abortion. While the Church is compelled to speak up for life—and the value of all human life at whatever age or condition—the Church also needs to restore people spiritually, through God’s Word, who are heartbroken and who, in many cases, feel what they have done is “unforgiveable.”
Lutherans For Life offers around 200 different resources on life issues from abortion to adoption to end-of-life and more. For this article, I want to highlight a few resources—a Top Ten—we have to help you apply God’s Word to abortion—both you personally and in your congregation.
Abortion and the Message of the Church (LFL205T) – Abortion was an issue the Church dealt with long before Roe v. Wade. Up until the last 50 years or so, the Church—east and west—was united in its opposition to abortion. The Church rightly called abortion sin. This brochure, by Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb, reviews church history that is often ignored or overlooked and calls the Church to apply its most powerful message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A Lutheran Catechism on Abortion and Life (LFL104B) – This very popular booklet, by David A. Kaufmann, Ph.D., F.A.C.S.M., offers a wealth of basic information in the traditional question and answer format of Luther’s Small Catechism.
Speak Up For Life (LFL212B) is a catechism-sized booklet—great for students—that takes a look at life issues based on Luther’s Small Catechism. The Fifth Commandment—and explanation—has a lot of direct application for what God forbids and why. This little booklet is also an encouragement to the Church to speak up For Life! Many Scripture verses are included.
Our Scripture Quotations (LFL204T) booklet includes even more life quotes from the Word of God (using the English Standard Version) all organized under helpful headings.
Defending the Right to Choose? (LFL124T) booklet takes a look at what is really being defended under the noble-sounding, but highly misleading, phrase “right to choose.” We cannot assume people really understand what happens in an abortion. This booklet makes it clear. (A word of warning: graphic images are featured.)
After the Abortion, There is Hope in His Healing (LFL405B), by Linda Bartlett, is a wonderful booklet that offers hope to those who are struggling with an abortion decision. Linda reminds her readers that, “Through the power of Christ’s death and resurrection, you are set free to rejoice in the newness of life!” The Church needs to stand up For Life. The Church also needs to offer healing and forgiveness to those who, for whatever reason, chose death as a solution to their problem.
Our Word of Hope (LFL404T) brochure is a great way to let women and men know there is help available for those who have made an abortion decision and are suffering with the consequences. Word of Hope (www.word-of-hope.org; 877.217.8679) is the post-abortion healing ministry of Lutherans For Life.
In our Confessions of an Executive Director (LFL407T) brochure, our former executive director Dr. Lamb shares his life-changing experiences from a 1996 trip to Romania. “It was not at all what I expected. She sat on the floor, back against the wall. Fear filled her eyes and tears spilled over. It was not at all what I expected from a woman waiting to have an abortion …” This is a very compelling story that includes moving photographs from the trip.
Implementing a Pro-Life Theology in a Lutheran Congregation(LFL208B) is a great resource to help you and your congregation and your pastor speak up For Life when it comes to abortion—and all the life issues. In this booklet, Dr. David Adams seeks to help congregations put their pro-life convictions into action! He says that unless our congregations take action that make those convictions a part of the way we do our ministry work, “we shall cease to be a pro-life church body within a generation.” And he’s right.
Dr. Adams offers a three-point plan to teach the faith, to care for people in need, and to witness publically to the teaching of God’s Word. (Here are two other booklets that can be a great help in this area too: Life Issues and the Pulpit: a letter to pastors by Dr. Lamb; Help in applying the Gospel to abortion (LFL100B), by Lowell Highby highlights 200 practical ways you and your congregation can speak up For Life—in both words and action. All of these materials offer great help, information, and insight on what you can do right where you are.
Teaching For Life – This is our Lutheran day school curricula. I am including this amazing set of very colorful materials in an article on abortion resources for this reason: If we teach our youth the incredible value God gives to each and every human life, abortion need not ever become an issue! Teaching For Life is unique in that the lesson plans are designed to be used with the teaching materials they are already using! The goal is to help teach one key life concept each month of the school year—in all kinds of ways.
The key concepts share how we are For Life … from the Beginning of Time: The Importance of a Six-Day Creation; Because God Is—The Trinitarian Value of Human Life; From the Very Beginning of Life; In the Womb; For Chaste and Decent Lives; and Loving them Both; and Healing Broken Hearts. All key concepts are applied to the life issues in age-appropriate ways. Lessons plans (with a CD of additional resources) are available for grades PK-8.
I also want to encourage you and your congregation to look into LFL’s Renewal for Life (RFL) program. With RFL, Lutherans For Life wants to help and equip Lutheran pastors and congregations to be Gospel-motivated voices For Life. RFL and Life Teams are a great way for congregations to make applying God’s Word to life issues a regular, ongoing part of ministry—just as is now done with stewardship, evangelism, and missions. The need is great—but so are the opportunities!