Grace in the Gray Area: Having Conversations About AbortionAug 14, 2023
Throughout the Christian community, people encounter a myriad of perspectives. On complex issues like abortion, the number of perspectives becomes endless. As such, we must foster an environment for open, respectful, and empathetic dialogue. Doing this among members of our own congregation is vital. When approaching the topic of abortion, it’s best to follow Jesus’ teachings of grace, acceptance, and kindness.
The Diversity of Perspectives
When discussing abortion, people have many different viewpoints based on their theology and experience. When we focus only on the different perspectives in the Christian community, we miss the opportunity to find out what we have in common. At the end of the day, all Christians want to care for and protect people. We can learn to focus on our common belief that God creates all life. And we can respect His design of pregnancy, where he has intertwined a woman and child in such a way that we can't try to help one while bypassing the other. As Christians, we are called to work for the dignity and welfare of both. When we remove the politics from the abortion discussion and commit to valuing both the woman and child equally, we can start from a place of common ground.
The Importance of Respectful Dialogue
Engaging in respectful dialogue allows us to learn from the experiences of others. This exchange of ideas can deepen our understanding and challenge our assumptions. With this new viewpoint and knowledge, it can help us grow in our faith. Moreover, it promotes unity within the Christian community. It encourages us to collaborate rather than divide. Through research and conversation, we have found that the top reasons women have abortions are lack of emotional and practical support. If the Church could work together in unity, we could provide this needed support for all impacted by unintended pregnancy and abortion,
Empathy: The Cornerstone of Dialogue
As Christians, we are to "rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15). This call to empathy extends to our discussions about abortion. Understanding the individual stories behind each perspective is vital. It fosters compassion and breaks down barriers of judgment or misunderstanding.
On one of our podcast episodes, we had the chance to talk with Skye Jethani. He mentioned that his youth pastor always approached difficult topics with compassion. He stated that she always said, "Make no judgment without compassion." We must remember that as we move forward with discussions about abortion.
Collaboration: A Collective Effort
When we approach conversations about abortion with empathy and respect, we allow collaboration. We can work to address the root issues causing women to experience lack of practical and emotional support, such as judgment, stigma, poverty and lack of access to healthcare. Both sides can work to find solutions that respect the dignity and worth of both the woman and the child.
Navigating discussions about abortion can be hard, but it's a journey we need not undertake alone. We need to foster respectful dialogues, promote empathy, and encourage collaboration. By doing so, we can refocus the conversation to focus on the needs of both the woman and the child. Through these discussions, we find that there are more similarities than differences. We need to work together for the betterment of our community.
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