DAY 17: Reasons Pastors Don't Preach On Abortion

For decades evangelical pastors have wrestled with how to, when to, and whether to preach against abortion.  Surveys show the vast majority of pastors rarely – if ever – preach on the subject, and here are some of the common reasons they give.

Reason #1 – Abortion is too controversial.  If I preach on the subject it will create division, some people will leave the church, and visitors won’t come back.

Response – The word of God is controversial by nature because it is absolute truth – it offends those who disagree with it (Mt 10:34-35).  Since when did controversy determine what we should preach?  If we preach the gospel without compromise it will offend people (1Cor 1:18; Gal 5:11), and that’s a sign we’re doing something right (Jn 15:20; 2Tim 3:12).  We should not let the fear of man, or the fear of reprisal, dictate what we preach on (Josh 1:9; Gal 1:10).

Reason #2 – Abortion is too political.  I don’t want to be identified with a particular party or get into politics.

Response – Abortion is first and foremost a moral issue that transcends political parties, and we have a moral obligation to oppose it (Ex 20:13).  We are commanded as believers to seek justice and correct oppression (Isa 1:17).  We are commanded to open our mouths for the mute and defend the rights of the poor and needy (Prov 31:8-9).  Besides, it’s false to assume that politics is secular and the church has no right to take a stand on issues.  Where the Bible is clear, the Church must be clear also.

Reason #3 – Abortion is a distraction from the gospel.  I prefer to just preach the word and not get caught up in topical issues.

Response – Abortion is inseparably linked to the gospel because it’s sin.  It’s not our place to pick and choose the sins we address and the ones we ignore.  In fact, given the prevalence of abortion and what’s at stake – the lives of unborn children – pastors will be judged for neglecting such an enormous crisis in our culture (Jas 3:1).

Reason #4 – Abortion is not a problem in my congregation.  

Response – The sad fact is about 24% of all pregnancies in end abortion.  So it’s ridiculous to think that men and women in church have not been profoundly impacted by this issue – either in their own personal lives, or the lives of their friends and family members.

Reason #5 – Abortion is too painful to bring up.  It will hurt some of the women in my church if I preach on the subject.

Response – It hurts women more if you don’t bring it up.  There are countless men and women in church suffering from the guilt and shame of abortion, and they will never find healing and freedom until they deal with their past. Silence in the pulpit fosters silence in the pews.  Pastors set the example for their congregation, and if they don’t preach on abortion they unintentionally send the message that this subject is taboo.  They also send the message that it’s okay to bury our heads in the sand and do nothing to help the millions of children being aborted every year.

On the other hand, when pastors do speak out on abortion, congregations are twice as likely to get involved in pro-life activities.

Pastors, it’s time to lead by example!

1 John 3:18 – “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

Suggested things to pray for:
  • Pray for pastors – that God would grant them uncompromising courage and boldness, power and anointing to proclaim the truth of His word, and wisdom to know how and when to do that.  Pray they would lead their churches by example.
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