It is so easy to see abortion and other life issues as political. That is how they are framed in our media and in our culture. But that is a grave mistake, a misunderstanding of the issue, and even idolatry. A political issue can be dealt with by an election, a new law, a Supreme Court reversal. We think that if we elect the right people and pass the right laws, we have done our good deed to protect life. And there is some truth to that; the evil of abortion is protected by law, and so the law must be changed. But life is much more fundamental than politics; a human being deprived of life is excluded from politics. Life comes before, it stands above politics. Trusting in princes and presidents, in laws and court decisions is nothing else than idolatry. Only God can change hearts, and He changes them one at a time, through His Word.
God loves life, and He protects and preserves life in the same way that He preserves and protects all other good gifts, through Law and Gospel. Christians are obligated to declare to the culture, as I have done this week, that abortion is a great evil. Mothers and fathers considering abortion, and all those who support the abortion culture, are to be called to repentance, they are to be told that the Fifth Commandment applies also to the human being within the womb. But the Law can only rail against sin, it cannot change individuals or society. Only the Gospel can do that. To those broken by the Law, who see their great sin, we proclaim the Gospel. Abortion isn’t an unforgiveable sin; even that great evil has been covered with Christ’s blood. Elections and laws are important, but only the Gospel changes hearts.