Church and Society

A Pro-life Methodist Pastor

After prayerful consideration I believe it is my duty as pastor to speak out and advocate for protection of the unborn.

The material on this page consists of my commentary on the abortion issue in the U.S.A. and Internationally, and links to organizations that work to protect human life in the womb.  If this interests you, you are warmly invited to read, and to engage me in conversation.  If this is not something you feel the need to do, then please, with my blessing, leave this page and pursue your desire to know and serve Christ in some of the many other ways our church makes available.  We do not divide our hearers into ‘good Christians’ who are politically active, and “bad Christians’ who are not!

Do I Preach About Abortion?

As of this writing, I feel that the best way to educate and advocate on this issue is in this forum and through online notices. I have preached Pro-life sermons and used sermon illustrations that highlighted the evil inherent in abortion as it is practiced in our nation.  The church has always listened carefully to these messages, nor have I ever been pressured to not refer to abortion.  However, three current realities have me convinced that the airing of the abortion debate in the context of the Sunday sermon is unhelpful.  1. Abortion is seen as a political question by most people, and people are not just uncomfortable talking politics, they actually despise doing so. 2. Sunday Sermons are best at the fifteen to eighteen minute length, and they represent the whole presentation of the gospel and the total Bible study that many of the hearers ever do.  This setting is not adequate to discuss this issue, to issue a compelling call to receive Christ, and to make the scriptures that are being studied clear. 3. Abortion is known to be a contentious issue with strongly worded opinions on all sides.  Justice would dictate that the chance to respond, disagree, and ask questions be offered to the hearer.

Is the United Methodist Church Pro-life or Pro-Choice?

The United Methodist Book of Discipline Paragraph 161, On Abortion

161 J) Abortion—The beginning of life and the ending of life are the God-given boundaries of human existence. While individuals have always had some degree of control over when they would die, they now have the awesome power to determine when and even whether new individuals will be born.Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion.

But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child. 

We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures. We support parental, guardian, or other responsible adult notification and consent before abortions can be performed on girls who have not yet reached the age of legal adulthood. We cannot affirm abortion as an acceptable means of birth control, and we unconditionally reject it as a means of gender selection.

There  are a number of ways to define “Pro-life” today.  The UM position, as stated above, if it were to become national policy, would preclude abortions except in cases where there was a “tragic conflict of life with life.”  This is not the position of some pro-life churches and organizations, who disapprove of all abortions.  While no one should say that an abortion must be performed if there appears to be a tragic conflict of life versus life, (courageous doctors have rescued the lives of mothers and their children in such cases,) we would feel that the prudent public policy decision would be to not try to legislate or inject the full force of civil authority into the difficult decision that must be made.

Lifewatch, a ministry of Pro-life United Methodists – view site

Zenit.org current pro-life news from a catholic perspective – view site

Institute for Religion and Democracy – view site