January is Sanctity of Life month; a time to celebrate God’s gift of life. Yet what is meant to bring rejoicing often produces shame in many who made a tragic choice – people like myself.
Is abortion the unforgivable sin?
I’ve heard many express fears that abortion is the unforgivable sin, even (or perhaps especially) among those inside God’s church. While it is true that all sin breaks God’s heart and injures our communion with Him, to the truly repentant, no sin is unforgivable. To understand the “unforgivable sin” referred to in the Bible, we need to examine the context. The events recorded in Mathew 12:31-32 include three important points.
- The sin was committed by a specific group of people (religious rulers)
- At a specific time (while Jesus lived among them on earth)
- In a specific context (Jesus performed a miracle by freeing a man possessed by demons)
In effect, the tragedy lies in the fact that though the rulers of God’s beloved nation did not deny the miraculous healing, rather than recognizing Jesus as their promised Messiah, they instead attribute the miracle to Satan.
There are countless articles and sermons on this topic, but I’d like to pose another question. If abortion is not “the unforgivable sin,” then why do so many men and women torment themselves with fear that they’ve committed it?If #abortion is not “the unforgivable sin,” then why do so many men and women torment themselves with fear that they’ve committed it? #unforgivablesin Click To Tweet
I believe part of the answer is this: the silence of the church. Not that the church fails to condemn abortion in general or that some pastors and leaders do courageously speak on the issue (praise God!) but rather, that when forgiveness is preached, abortion is rarely mentioned. This, despite the fact that a third of the women (and men) in church have suffered the shame and heartbreak for this tragic choice. If abortion is mentioned at all, there is often little communication on how to find the hope and healing so many desperately need.
While there are addiction recovery groups, divorce support groups, pornography accountability groups—there is often no mention of abortion recovery, despite the countless resources available.
Why the silence?
One reason, I believe, is the failure to recognize that there is more than one victim in an abortion. Clearly the most tragic loss is the life of the child, but abortion targets so much more. Then enemy seeks not only to kill, but to wound, divide, manipulate, and destroy. Abortion leaves many wounded in its wake. But there is hope! Here are some things you can do:
- Watch and share these 2-minute YouTube videos “Silence in the Church” or “Abortion in the Church” on my Sanctity of Life speaking page
- Invite your church leaders to consider partnering with their local life-honoring pregnancy center
- Give Worthy of Love: A Journey of Hope and Healing After Abortion to your pastor or women’s ministry leader
We can work together to break the silence. If we don’t, the belief that abortion is the unforgivable sin will only further take root. It will slowly solidify within the hearts and minds of those still suffering. Why? Because if abortion cannot even be mentioned in church, they will naturally conclude that it must be the unforgivable – even unspeakable – sin. How this breaks the heart of God! Nothing grieves God more than for us to fail to recognize and receive the grace and forgiveness He offers through Christ, Who died for all sin- including abortion.Nothing grieves God more than for us to fail to recognize and receive His #forgiveness through Christ, Who died for all sin- including #abortion. Click To Tweet
“‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’ For ‘you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:24-25; see also Isaiah 53)
Finding Hope After Abortion
If you or someone you know has suffered the heartbreak of abortion, Worthy of Love is an 8-lesson Bible study for post-abortion healing that has helped many women find hope.
Visit the Worthy of Love page to download a free sample, find an online group, order copies, watch the promo video, or find resources (including Leader’s Guide) to start a group. We all know someone who needs hope!