For a healthy discussion on some of the issues I have with “Sanctity of Life Sunday” you can read this post and its comments on Scot McKnight’s blog.
At my church I was very disappointed with the whole service. Our pastor declared abortion to be murder (citing Psalm 139:13) and then showed a fifteen minute video advocating adoption and parenthood. He concluded by saying that Christ can forgive all our sins and move us toward healing.
I have four critical concerns with the sermon. First, it was not Biblically based. The point of Psalm 139 is not the formation of a zygote, rather the author is declaring that there is nowhere he can go where God is not. God is with him in the day and in the night, in the past and in the future, before our birth and after our death. I believe that you can make a Biblical argument to oppose abortion. But throwing this one verse on the screen does not make that argument. I do not go to church to hear questionable statistics or video propaganda; I go to hear the revealed word of God.
Second, I do not believe that any woman sitting in that room who had previously had an abortion was brought closer to Jesus Christ by that sermon. At the conclusion of the sermon our pastor gave some cursory comment about his availability and that anyone in the congregation should be available if someone needs a loving ear. Unfortunately, by this point in the service the people who needed to hear this would already have tuned out.
Third, the sanctity of life does not end with birth. We need to care about war, poverty, discrimination, suicide, abuse, and a host of other sanctity of life issues. I was disappointed that Martin Luther King Jr. day was not mentioned once. This day honoring advancment in racial acceptance seems to go together perfectly with sanctity of life.
Finally, the congregation was not called to any action other than to feel smug that they agreed that abortion was bad. If we are going to speak out against abortion, then I believe we need to take physical actions to provide for those who would otherwise choose abortions. We need to provide support for the women who have had their child and either have given them up for adoption or are raising them. We need to provide support for the women who have had an abortion and are struggling with that decision. We need to provide support for the women who are considering abortion. We need to provide emotional, financial, psychological, and spiritual assistance. We need to share the love of Jesus Christ with those in need. If we are not doing this, then I do no believe we have the moral authority to speak to the issue of abortion.