One of the first lessons in pro-life activism is that it is undergirded by Christian theology. Pro-life activists are mainly Roman Catholics, Reformed Protestants, Evangelicals and Charismatics. The pro-life ethic relies on either Thomistic Roman Catholic theology or Augustinian/Reformed theology. There are such groups as Atheists for Life, Feminists for Life, The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, Pagans for Life. The names of these groups may seem self-contradictory, but they do exist. However, they are oddities and don’t represent the pro-life movement in general.
As a whole, we pro-lifers are Trinitarian Christians. Even members of Bible-based religions that are pro-life in ideology with few abortions among their members – such as Muslims, Orthodox Jews, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, “Jesus-Only” Pentecostals – are not involved in activism. These are people who ought to be there according to what they claim to believe, but simply are not. Occasionally, we’ve seen non-Christian religionists, cults and hate-groups – as far out there as the Ku Klux Klan, The Nation of Islam, militia groups – on the fringes of the movement, but they are by far the exception, not the rule.
While one may find it odd at first that these groups disqualify themselves from pro-life activism, the reason becomes obvious when we examine the big picture. The battle between the church and the abortion industry is merely a reflection of a larger cosmic battle that is being waged between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. The church triumphant, which is in heaven, is represented by a woman. The church militant, which is on earth, is represented by a male child. And Satan, who has been cast down to the earth, is represented by a dragon.
The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
The well-known pro-life activist, George Grant, was asked to participate in a debate with National Organization for Women (NOW) president Molly Yard in the 1980s. Part of NOW’s attack on pro-lifers at the time was the suggestion that abortion has been around for thousands of years and rarely illegal in most societies. The anti-abortion movement, they argued, has only been around since Roe v. Wade. Resistance to “women’s reproductive rights” is an anomaly and will soon be discarded on the ash-heap of history. George Grant came armed with some little-known but factual information in the form of numerous quotations from Christians opposing abortion from the first century church fathers to the present. God’s people have been involved in the fight against not only abortion, but also ritual murder and child sacrifice, since Old Testament times.
This is the church’s role – to war against the dragon. One might argue that the church is not really “the church” unless we are involved in this battle because there has been eternal enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman since the beginning of time.
So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:14,15).
When we fast-forward to Revelation 12, we see the fulfillment of this prophecy:
Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:13-17).
We see this battle expressed again and again throughout scripture and history. Satan always stands poised as a dragon to devour the “Male Child” who is about to come on the scene as a deliverer to the remnant of God’s elect in that generation. This is the reason why, almost without exception, that the pro-life movement is led by Trinitarian Christians. The orthodox standard of the Trinity is the very Truth and the standard upon which we base pro-life unity. The Church’s government, ministries, sacraments and evangelism expresses the way that God exists – as the relationship between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Unless we are involved in turning the tide against child-killing, we are bastard children who do not express the image of the Godhead.
And this begs the question: Understanding from what great heights the church in our generation has fallen, is it still possible for God’s people to turn the tide towards righteousness? Most modern Christians are ignorant of the historical precedent for revival even in the face of militant paganism. With immorality being codified at the highest levels of government, there is a great need for the Church to fulfill her prophetic role in resistance to idolatry.
We would do well to remember the words of Proverbs 28:4: “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them.”
Most Christians realize that it is our duty to strive against wickedness, but few have a hope and strategy for victory in our own generation. So that we don’t succumb to defeatism, let’s consider the dark days Israel experienced when she was in bondage to slavery in Egypt. In that day, thousands of baby boys were slaughtered by Pharaoh in an attempt to stamp out the prophetic deliverer who was about to come on the scene.
Although Satan tried to do away with Moses, his life was spared and he grew to be a man within the Pharaoh’s own courts! Later Moses delivered Israel out of bondage.
In Elijah’s day, the prophets of Baal sacrificed thousands of the first born on altars in defiance of God’s law. Yet Elijah slew the prophets of Baal and God later raised up a company of 7,000 young men who defeated King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.
Then just before Jesus was born, the wicked King Herod learned through the Magi that another King was about to be born in Bethlehem. A great slaughter of innocent baby boys ensued. Yet the baby Jesus’ life was spared and He grew to be the One that would deliver the entire cosmos from the bondage of sin and Satan.
Often throughout redemptive history, a season of great darkness, sometimes punctuated with a massacre of innocents, is the very womb from which God brings forth a deliverer – and a great deliverance.
Could history be repeating itself? Although the hour is dark for America and over fifty million children have been slaughtered, there may yet be a prophetic generation from among the survivors who will go forth in the spirit and power of Elijah to confront wickedness, stop the massacre of innocents and see our nation turn back to God.
In simple terms, Christians can never forget that we are at war. This is a battle between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. This is the reason why it is Christians alone who are the targets of Satan’s wrath. This is the reason why is the Church, God’s militant force in the earth, is forever warring against Satan and the gross act of rebellion and hatred against God’s Son and the redeemed of our generation.
Active opposition to abortion is therefore not an option. We should not be distracted by those who claim that “Abortion is not Gospel issue” – “You cannot legislate morality” – “There are other issues that are just as important” and a host of other nonsensical excuses. No, in fact, abortion, the ultimate act of rebellion against God’s creation, is nothing less than idolatry and witchcraft. It must be opposed by the Christian Church with all our might.
When we consider the word “witchcraft,” one Bible personality stands out. Jezebel, more than anyone else in scripture, represents the corrupting influence of witchcraft. In the book of Kings, the prophet Elijah mentions Jezebel along with two satanic deities. He asks to see: “…the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table” (1 Kings 18:19).
Nearly on thousand years later Jesus spoke to the church at Thyatira in Asia Minor about another Jezebel:
But I have one thing against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess and she teaches and leads my bond servants astray so that they commit acts of immortality and eat things sacrificed to idols (Revelation 2:20).
This admonition cuts to the heart of the church today. Truly, the church here and throughout much of the world has become the modern equivalent of Thyatira. Jezebel has not only been tolerated, she has been celebrated, even ordained.
According to WORLD magazine:
One of the Religious Left’s premier organizations is the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights. RCAR is a hard-line supporter of federally funded abortions and the Freedom of Choice Act (and) represents groups of liberal Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Brethren, Moravians, Jews, Humanists, and Unitarians (Steve Beard, WORLD, May 22, 1993).
Likewise, George Tiller, the infamous late-term abortion doctor who personally killed over 60,000 babies – many of them viable children who could have lived if they had been removed by C-section – was a member in good standing of a Lutheran church in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas. He was actually serving as an usher, with his wife in the choir, when he was shot and killed. While we condemn the vigilantism of his killer – the fact remains that one of the worst mass murderers in history was not only tolerated; he was allowed membership and even a place of service in a church that called itself “Christian.”
God’s command is that the Church “repent of her deeds” and drive Jezebel out of the Church and from our nation.
To help us understand the magnitude of the battle this represents, the prophet Malachi announced that God would send the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord. 400 years later, Jesus connected John the Baptist with the ministry of Elijah. The distinguishing feature of both Elijah and John’s lives was their boldness in confronting wickedness and their command to repent. Scripture calls this ministry “Preparing the Way of the Lord.”
In the same way that Elijah confronted the wicked rulers of his time and John prepared the way for the advent of Christ by preaching repentance, so God’s man in the earth, the Church, has the responsibility to confront injustice, particularly as it is directed against the weak and defenseless, the “least of these” in the words of Jesus.
There are many ways in which the Church has been called to “prepare the way” – the most notable being the Great Commission – “to go into all the world and preach the gospel.” But just as Jezebel was Elijah’s greatest challenge, we too, must confront and defeat the forces of witchcraft that have manifested through abortion. And just as Elijah was almost defeated by Jezebel and John was killed by the witchcraft of Herod’s wife, we must also realize that this is no easy battle.
There can be no victory without the radical commitment to fight.