Anthropology… the study of man. The Bible has a very specific anthropology; it defines and describes people in no uncertain terms. What you believe about man and his problem will greatly influence what you do to help man, if indeed you think he has any problem at all.
The Bible identifies man’s main problem as sin, since the fall in the garden of Eden, every ill that has plagued mankind is a result or consequence of sin; including the natural disasters as the earth groans longing for the return of Christ (Romans 8:22). The only solution to this problem then is the gospel, since it is God’s power unto Salvation (Romans 1:16). What are the implications then of this simple understanding? Where does it leave the Christian when faced with so many issues calling for his/her attention?
Well, for one thing it should make it clear, that no problem is merely a social, economic or material problem. Abortion is not at its root a social problem, it is a heart problem- thus to deal with it apart from a gospel stance is dishonest and a mere treatment of symptoms. If I convince someone not to kill unborn babies based purely on humanistic reasoning what will happen when that individual is themselves put in the frying pan of human turmoil? Will not their over-reaching desire to please self, rage against their intellectual commitments? And say, even for conscience sake, that they do what is correct, what will the fruit be for their eternity? Apart from Christ, they will experience the full wickedness of abortion for eternity.
Or consider the issue of racism, if it were possible to humanisticly argue convincingly against hatred based on skin colour, will that conviction override the natural leanings of the heart, especially in situations that aggravate such feelings? What will happen when the reformed racist meets the Maker of all races, and the one Who made mankind in His image?
To take it a step further, apart from admission that the Holy God of the Bible is the God Who is there, how can one talk about right and wrong? Now often people know that there is right and wrong, but they don’t know why; their worldview doesn’t allow for consistency. Are you content to convince someone with an argument you know to be defeatable?
To try and convince someone away from a pro-choice position or a racist position with humanistic arguments is like trying to help a leper with cooking lessons from Sesame Street- the ‘cure’ has nothing to do with the problem and the source of the ‘cure’ is not the place to get ‘cures’ from in the first place.
Am I happy every time an unborn baby is given the chance of life? Yes! Am I happy every time someone is treated fairly, and with the value befitting a creature made in the image of God? Yes! We must rejoice in righteousness. But far greater the joy, when someone is transferred from the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of God’s Son. Similarly, far greater the sadness when someone stores up for themselves more wrath for the day of Judgement, as they give in to their sins.
Consider also the greater influence of gospel-centred polemics against abortion. If someone has in sin had an abortion, what does a gospel message give to that person, it gives them hope for forgiveness and peace with God, a humanistic approach though leaves them in guilt and shame. What does a gospel approach do for a young lady who has been raped and is pregnant as a result, it offers hope, that there is a loving Father who cares and will provide and bring healing, whereas a humanistic approach just leaves the lady to deal with cold hard facts, everything left in the arena of a biology book when she needs answers for real life.
In short, let us not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it transforms not just the intellectual commitments, but the deadness of a sinner’s heart. It brings peace not mere conscious appeasement, it grants hope not just dogged determination to an uncertain end.