Last year, a National Association of Evangelicals Generation Forum held at Wheaton College addressed the goal of reducing the abortion rate both inside and outside the church as it also released its helpful study document Theology of Sex. Wheaton College provost Stanton L. Jones spoke about how churches could deepen and refocus their message about sexuality. The following is a portion of his address.
There have been over 45 million legal abortions in the U.S. since elective abortion was legalized in 1973. This loss of human life is roughly equivalent to the numbers exterminated in the Soviet gulags during the Stalinist repressions or the Communist purges in China under Mao—statistics I have used in other contexts to epitomize the depths of human depravity.
What can Christians really do to help reduce abortion? The church's response must be multifaceted:
- We must educate and shape our young people, indeed all of our people in a deeper and truer understanding of sex. Evangelical Christians need to learn to celebrate and embrace their sexuality and to live out their sexuality in holiness, and thus to have no occasion for abortion.
- We must shape the consciences of our congregants and of our communities, especially on the value of human life.
- We must create communities that support sexual restraint and responsibility for the unmarried adults in our midst who often are lost in a "meat-market" culture.
- We must empower church members to be articulate citizens who understand the moral bedrock on which civic law and liberty is ultimately grounded, articulate citizens who exercise their democratic rights to shape the law of the land.
- We need to support those who articulate a thoughtful and effective prophetic witness against killing unwanted human beings.