By Jonathan Cavett
In a biblical society, what are the consequences of an abortion? Guilt? Sorrow? These are the consequences often cited by pro-lifers. On occasion, mothers who have had abortions are even referred to as “victims” – victims of their circumstances, victims of unsupportive boyfriends and husbands, victims of poverty. The list goes on.
But justice is missing from the equation. Where is the blood avenger in all this. Abortion is murder, and there are two manslayers involved in every abortion: the abortionist and the mother of the dead child.
Child Sacrifice Deserves Death
What is the sanction for murder? Because man is made in the image of God, the penalty for murder is the same yesterday, today, and forever: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9:6)
Abortionists and the women who use their “services” are responsible for devouring children made in the image of God, the abortionists for fortune, and the women, many times, for little more than sexual convenience and vanity. Some conservatives permit abortions in situations involving rape and incest or when the mother’s life is in danger, but this is heinous. Abortion is never justifiable – ever. And any mother worth the title would never sacrifice her child to save her own life. Love runs the other direction (John 15:13).
God’s law is unwavering: “Thou shalt not kill.” (Deuteronomy 5:17) “Murder,” as many modern translations have it, puts a finer point on it. Killing isn’t necessarily unlawful, but killing becomes “murder” when someone whom God has not authorized to take life takes a life.
Abortionists and mothers who have abortions are murderers; they are not authorized by God to take life (more on this later). Upon the evidence or two or three witnesses (see Deuteronomy 19:15-21), they must be executed by men authorized by God to do so. This rules out personal vengeance and brings us to the question, “To whom has God given the authority to kill abortionists and women who murder their children?”
Authority to Bear the Sword
In the 1990s, a Reformed Christian and outspoken opponent of abortion named Paul Hill took justice into his own hands, an act which was, biblically, unjust. He shot abortionist John Britton and Britton’s bodyguard to balance the scales of justice. He was lawfully executed September 3, 2003.
But Paul Hill slew a manslayer. Why were his actions unjust? Simply because he had no authority to take Britton’s life. Britton should have been on that table with poison being pumped into his veins instead of Hill, but Hill preferred his own law to God’s law and became guilty of the very crime for which he shot Britton.
So, to whom has God given authority to bear the sword? Only to the civil magistrate. Of the civil magistrate, Paul writes, “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:4)
The civil magistrate is a “minister of God.” Ecclesiastical ministers must be lawfully ordained – and this does not change when “ministers” serve in the civil realm. No biblical Presbytery would allow unordained men into the eldership of a local church. Men must be vested with the covenant authority necessary to the office which they occupy. Elders, deacons, and as we see in Romans 13, even civil rulers, have positions of authority, though their responsibilities and jurisdictions differ. But where does this authority come from? The people?
Biblically, authority doesn’t flow from the bottom up, but from the top down. And by “the top,” I mean the throne of God:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” (Romans 13:1-2)
Radicals like Paul Hill don’t have the authority to take life, but the civil magistrate does. The men serving in this office are the men God refers to in Genesis 9:6: “by man shall his blood be shed.”
What Can We Do Now?
Christians can do several things in the present to ensure the justice described above is carried out in our grandchildren’s America.
Take Non-Violent Action – In his letter to Paul Hill, Gary North observed that we do not have the right to take lives in this fight against abortion, but we do have the right to have our heads bashed in during non-violent protests. He’s right.
Peaceful protests are one way to fight.
Proclaim the Truth – Take every opportunity you have to proclaim God’s word – all of it. Preach forgiveness through Christ’s substitution for abortionists and murdering mothers who repent and believe, but also proclaim the civil sanctions God places them under.
Preach Law and Gospel – in season and out of season.
Vote – Cast your vote for men who will faithfully fight for biblical legislation. We need Christian Reconstructionists in office who will not only fight to have abortion outlawed, but who will proclaim with unflinching bravery that mothers who have abortions deserve the death penalty as much as the monsters holding the scissors.
If there are no candidates who advocate outlawing all abortions without exception, consider the costs of running for office yourself.
Nullify – At the individual, county, and state levels, it is your obligation before God to uphold his word instead of unjust laws imposed on you by human government. This means you must urge your state to practice civil disobedience and nullify unjust federal laws, no matter how much federal money it costs your state. Counties must do the same for unjust laws imposed by the state, and at the lowest level, you must practice civil disobedience when your county, state, and federal governments impose laws on you that require you to disobey God.
Serve – Be a counselor or financial supporter of faithful, biblically-based pregnancy care centers. These ministries bring you in direct contact with women who are contemplating whether or not they should butcher their babies.
Be Fruitful – Demonstrate how much you value little ones: adopt unwanted children; welcome as many babies into your home as God will give you; and raise your little ones to love the Lord. The wicked are cutting off the next generation of blasphemers every day at their abortion mills. The Church must increase in number, not diminish like the reprobate.
As you denounce abortion, do so with the full authority of Scripture. Don’t trivialize the slaughter by appealing to the guilt and sadness mothers will experience when they must carry on without their children. Tell them they deserve the sword if they kill their child.
There is no neutrality. Whether you enlist in the fight in one of the capacities listed above or in some other way, you don’t have the option to sit this one out. Fight.