Editor’s Note: Jonathan Darville recently published an article titled, “Set the Little Ones Free.” He argues the unborn should be extended what Martin Luther King Jr. called one’s “God-given and constitutional rights.” In a series of follow-up articles, Darville answers three frequently asked questions about abortion. (Read the first FAQ.) Here is the second in that series:
Q: Is forgiveness available for those who have had abortions?
A: It depends on which view of the world is accurate. If humans are cosmic accidents living in an a-moral world, then there is nothing any of us need forgiveness for and no one to whom we owe an apology (Atheism). In fact, if atheism is true, then all human action is determined (i.e. there is no free-will). Therefore, we wouldn’t be responsible for any of our actions. As Jean-Jacques Rousseau famously said, “to remove all liberty from his (humanity’s) will is to remove all morality from his acts.” On this view of the world, human death is as normal, natural, and morally insignificant as a lion eating an antelope. Death isn’t a punishment for which we need clemency, as there is no afterlife.
But, if humans are karmic illusions only existing within the karmic game, then no, there is no forgiveness (Pantheism). On this view, the way we escape the karmic cycle is to pay off our own karmic debt or attain our own enlightenment. In other words, we have to save ourselves from death and rebirth by playing and winning according to the rules of the karmic game (e.g. Buddhism’s eightfold path). In the event that we earn our escape, we would be re-absorbed into the All-Soul or Nirvana.
However, if humans are hand-crafted masterpieces living in a moral universe, then yes, forgiveness is available (Christian Theism). According to Christianity, the divine artisan has offered to “cancel the legal charges which stand against us by nailing them to the cross” (Col. 2:14). This is why the cross and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ are considered such good news. God not only settles the moral debts we owe Him, but pays for us to have new and eternal life if we repent and put our trust in Jesus.
You see, forgiveness, like life, is a gift. It cannot be earned, only given. And in Christ, God has freely offered a complete forgiveness and healing from all sins, not just the sin of abortion. As the Psalmist writes, “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:10-2). If you have not, I plead with the reader to accept God’s offer of pardon in Jesus.
Editor’s Note: Come back next week for the third installment in this series.