A Pastoral Letter Concerning Roe v. Wade

On June 24, 2022 the Supreme Court of the Unites States voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, a classic case which established a national precedent for abortion. With such an unexpected turn of events, no lack of opinions and responses have arisen, both in celebration and dissent. What follows below then is a Christian response to this surprising display in God’s providence.

June 24, 2022 is a historic day for our nation. We have seen before us the overturning of Roe v. Wade. As much as people would like to remove politics and the discussion of it from the church, this is an impossibility. We dwell in a particular land, and as citizens of that land, we yearn for God’s Word to guides us in every sphere.

Today is a day worthy of our celebration and our hearty thanksgiving to God for hearing our prayers. Scripture- in more places than I wish to note – reveals God’s concern for the helpless. We know that God is not indifferent about the choices of peoples and nations. We also note that Christ is king.

We mark and note that God’s mercy has been displayed even in this reality before us. But it does call us to several actions.

1) Praise and Thanksgiving. As I have had the joy of studying the history of the church, it was commonplace throughout her life that the church would set apart particular days to thank God for special demonstrations of His mercy. The ending of Roe v. Wade does in fact give us a point to celebrate. In our national commitment to disregard God as Creator and Sovereign, God has not completely handed us over to our sin. Stephen Marshall, puritan preacher and member of the Westminster Assembly wrote, “If praise be in the heart it will not be kept in” and “Mercies are not mercies, deliverances are not deliverances to men who are not glad of them.” We have a responsibility to thank God just as publicly as people despise God. Therefore we must praise Him.

2) Prayer for the protection of those Supreme Court Justices who performed their job in accordance with the simple law of God, “You shall not murder.” We have, as a nation, seen that violence has become an acceptable means of protest. We do not have a concern for the sanctity of life in the womb, why would we presume the same for those outside of the womb. We are already called to pray for those over us (1 Timothy 2:1-4), but especially as they are under the real threat of violence.

3) Prayer for the protection of crisis pregnancy centers and churches. Christians recognize that there is more to life than what we can see, smell, taste, touch, and hear. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12) Meaning then that we must pray against the attacks of the enemy. We have a duty as Christians to pray for those who are serving young women in need. But we add the specific note of protection as we have seen that violence and vandalism has no qualms against places that do not bow the knee to our modern surgical Molech. Pray that pastors would have spines, and not capitulate to their denominations which have abandoned the Scriptures, and even congregation members who are not in step with their leadership.

4) Continued prayers for the States who will now have to decide on the legality of abortion in their jurisdiction, and that their leaders would honor Christ. Contrary to public opinion, abortion has now been shifted from the federal level to the individual states. Pray that the leaders and representatives would choose life consistently throughout the union.

5) Pray for those who are mourning the overturning of Roe v. Wade. People are genuinely concerned about the loss of their rights. But I would suggest rather than avoiding conversation about this weighty, emotional matter, we should use it to share Christ. For example, “Does the State really give us and take away rights?” “Does it have that much power?” “Are our rights really to enable us to quench the life of another being according to our will?” “What about its rights?” Or “If there is no God, then how can we articulate what we do or don’t deserve, seeing that we are cosmic accidents and the products of chance?”

We need to pray for God to open up the eyes of those who have called for the elevation of the creature’s will above the Creator God. Scripture teaches us that this is impossible. It’s going to take a miracle. But as Christians, we know that God is in the miracle-business because He resurrected our cold, dead hearts and enlivened them with His Spirit. Pray for opportunities to share Christ. Do not be shy about your celebrations. Praise God publicly. Celebrate how such a move is a display of God’s mercy and a tangible display that He has not rewarded us with the justice we so deserve as a nation.

In short, we must thank God but the work is far from over. Praise God for His mercy and fidelity. “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 2:10-12)