I have long said that the most important ways Christians can uphold the sanctity of life are by teaching their children and church families what the Bible says about the value of human life and by being present to support single mothers in need.
At the same time, I believe that government policies do matter—a point people don’t seem to struggle with when it comes to any other issue of moral significance. This is why, over the years, I have consistently voted for whichever candidate—in any election—is closest to a pro-life, pro-family, and pro-Israel position. I believe these are key biblical issues that serve as anchor points of decision when evaluating flawed candidates.
Our last presidential election was tumultuous in many ways. But one of the most surprising to me was the number of pro-life Christians who apparently determined that government policies do not matter when it comes to abortion. I understand the reality that grassroots efforts and personal ministry to mothers in need can continue regardless of whether or not abortion is legal. But I can’t in good conscience suggest that government policies don’t matter to this important issue.
Yet, it was amazing to me in the weeks leading into the presidential election to watch as leaders such as John Piper and Russell Moore argued against voting for the pro-life presidential candidate because of some of his character flaws in other areas.
Those who, under the auspices of taking a moral high road encouraged people not to vote for a party platform that supports life because the personalities on that platform were distasteful have since sacrificed important policies that had protected vulnerable lives. The most immediate of these policies is what is commonly referred to as the “Mexico City Policy,” which prevented federal tax dollars for funding abortions overseas.
In an interview with The Christian Post this week, Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, shared the significance of this and other policy changes that—one month into the Biden presidency—have impacted the pro-life movement:
She estimated that as a result of the executive order [overturning the Mexico City Policy], approximately $100 million would “be shifted to destroy life abroad.”
In addition to the Biden administration’s abortion policies, Nance expressed concern about Biden’s executive order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in healthcare, housing and education.
“It’s telling schools that they have no ability to make distinctions between male and female when it comes to women’s private spaces,” Nance said. “It has to do with how charities like domestic violence centers and homeless shelters for women and their children, women’s prisons, how they’re able to make distinctions and protect women.”
There are pro-life Christians who feel that overturning Roe v. Wade is unlikely and perhaps ineffective anyway and for those reasons do not feel bound to vote for pro-life candidates. I don’t share their view regarding Roe v. Wade, but describing why is beyond the scope of this article. More importantly now, we need to recognize that making abortion illegal is not the only issue or policy that impacts the sanctity of unborn lives. As Penny Nance pointed out above, even policies that at first glance don’t seem to relate at all (such as gender identity in healthcare) can have profound effects on what could be spaces to help support moms in need (such as domestic violence centers).
So while I agree with every Christian who points out that government policies are not the only tool to support pro-life change, it is short-sighted to suggest that government policies are unrelated to pro-life needs. These policies have tremendous bearing on even the grassroots, boots-on-the-ground work needed to serve and support moms in need and their preborn children.
The immediate lesson we should take to heart is that when it comes to elections, policies matter more than personalities. Let’s not be so swayed by reactionary rhetoric—even when it comes from Christians—that we fail to discern the real policies at stake.
In two years, we will again have the opportunity to impact government policies by who we vote into Congress. I urge every Christian to simplify this decision by going back to the key moral issues that face us and determining to vote along the lines of which candidate most closely aligns with life, the biblical family, and supporting Israel.
Meanwhile—and most importantly—let’s be fervent to actually make a difference where we find ourselves now. Let’s provide practical help and assistance to mothers and families in need. Let’s encourage Christian families providing foster care and support pregnancy centers that are making a difference. Let’s teach our children the value of life. And most of all, let’s be pro-life Christians who share the essential message of eternal life. Who knows, but that God may use you to lead an expectant mom or her boyfriend or family member to Christ—and to a new way of life.