How to converse with Christians who hold pro-choice beliefs

How to converse with Christians who hold pro-choice beliefs (Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash)

Those of us in any kind of pro-life ministry, including pregnancy help ministry, may run into folks who disagree with us—and some of those who disagree with us may be Christians. 

Given our passionate conviction that God loves every image-bearer He creates and that Christians who value the lives of the preborn are upholding God’s commands, how should we deal with situations like this?

It may help us to remember some important principles.

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First, it is not our job to judge whether a person who thinks of themselves as a Christian is a true follower of Jesus or not. 

Just because they hold to a pro-choice point of view doesn’t automatically mean they don’t have a relationship with God based on faith in Christ. 

God knows where they are at spiritually, and He is their judge—we are not.

Second, people often take a stance based on emotional factors, especially when they are conflicted and want to rationalize their behavior. 

Consider the woman who had an abortion and is troubled by ongoing guilt. 

She may join the pro-choice cause as a coping strategy to make up for her lack of peace, to drown out the voice of guilt, and to gain a sense of self-righteousness. 

The same could be true about a man who pressured a woman into an abortion decision and thereafter is driven by unresolved guilt about the death of his child.   

Since it is not our responsibility to judge another’s spiritual condition, and since people are often driven by past pain, straight-up arguing the pro-life position may not be an effective way to have a fruitful conversation with a pro-choice Christian.

That is not to say we shouldn’t work on articulating our pro-life position—the importance of keeping our pro-life apologetics sharp and readily communicable requires ongoing discipline as we do this ministry.

However, in the case of conversing with or relating to a pro-choice Christian, apologetics will probably not win the day—at least, not as a first step.

That said, every person wants to be shown respect and love, and every person deserves honor as an image-bearer of God, regardless of their viewpoint, doctrine, or practices. 

So, here’s what we can do.

We can demonstrate our belief in the value of every human life by the way we treat those with whom we disagree—and we can do so even as we hold fast to our convictions that such value extends to the preborn among us.

We can pray for them and demonstrate love and respect to those who oppose our position. 

We can ask God to open their eyes and remove any blind spots that may have caused them to embrace a pro-choice stance. 

We can ask Him to open their ears and speak to them in a way they can hear and receive.

We can ask Him to heal the pain of the past in their hearts so that rationalization (which fails to heal) is no longer necessary.

After we have made our loving attitude and actions a priority, along with prayer, we can also ask God to give us opportunities to ask the right questions and/or share our perspective.

Once we are confident that our heart is in the right place—in other words, we don’t just wish to shoot down the other person’s argument and prove we are right—then we may find that we are able to speak into the situation.

This requires walking in the Spirit rather than in the flesh (Rom. 8:4; Gal. 5:16). It requires sensitivity to God’s timing.

“There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.” – Eccl. 3:7b

As a rule, the time to speak is not when we are angry or frustrated, or otherwise tempted to come up with a knee-jerk response.

The time to speak will more likely be a moment you recognize as a “setup” from the Lord—an unexpected opportunity that opens up in His timing.

As you demonstrate love and value to those who oppose you, as you pray for them, as you stand firm on your convictions with kindness and humility, I believe God will open opportunities for you.

Tweet This: As you demonstrate love and value to those who oppose you, God will open opportunities for you.

You’ll be able to share truth in a way you didn’t even anticipate—and you’ll hear timely wisdom come out of your own mouth which you didn’t plan.

May the Lord bless you in your labor to rescue preborn image-bearers, and may you walk in the Spirit to accomplish this great work.

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