For starters let me say this: I think Carl Lentz’s biggest mistake was going on The View. There’s not really a way to win as a male pastor when the host of a very pro-choice show asks you a question that, as a man, is really a lose-lose to answer:
Is abortion a sin?
Knowing this show thrives on cheap controversy I can’t say I’m too surprised by the question they asked Lentz. But there he was, sitting on national television, deciding what to say about one of the most controversial topics in America today.
In his defense, if he actually answered the question, he would have been chewed apart either way. If he says, “Yes, it’s a sin,” then The View has a field day and rips him apart in what would be a one-sided argument. He likely wouldn’t have gotten another word in. If he said no, well, even worse things happen.
So he made generic and vague statements and basically said nothing. Now, here’s why that sucks for a guy who’s pro-life.
When it comes to the issue of abortion, there are two victims. The child, of course, and the woman. The antagonist in this story is culture. Culture has sold us lies and one of them is that men can’t have a voice in this conversation. This is frustrating because women are pressured into abortion… by men.
The sad thing is, abortion in America has always been about men. The legalization of abortion in this country was started by men and has always benefited men. (Don’t believe me? Look up the early advocates of abortion: Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Lawrence Lader, Dr. Alan Guttmacher, William J. Robinson, Dr. A.J. Rongy, and Dr. Frederick Taussig… just to name a few!)
That’s why men need to have a voice in this conversation, especially if God’s given you a huge platform to do so.
First, this question needs some context. In America, 1 in 3 women will have had an abortion before the age 45. Meaning, statistically, in an audience the size of Hillsong NYC’s, there will be A LOT of post-abortive women. So this isn’t a topic one should enter into lightly, especially as a pastor responsible for the spiritual well-being of the women in his congregation.
It’s complex and messy and needs to be handled with love and care. And with so many lives affected by abortion, the topic warrants a thoughtful answer.
So here’s what I’d say if asked this tough question and hopefully it would be my response regardless of my audience.
Yes, abortion is a sin for so many reasons that no one is talking about.
Abortion is sold as a “quick fix” and an easy way out of a pregnancy. If that’s the case, why are women who have abortions at an 81% higher risk of having mental health problems? Why the high suicide rate? Why the depression and guilt?
Not only that, but 3 out of 5 women said they were pressured into their abortion. How is forcing someone to do something ever okay? I know that as a dad, Carl would never let his daughters be pressured into anything, especially something as harmful as abortion.
Abortion clearly isn’t good for women, in fact, it’s abuse.
And not talking about abortion is actually a disservice to women, especially those who have had abortions. Carl mentioned he has the obligation to use his platform to take a stand for injustices like Black Lives Matter. Here’s the thing—in his own city, more black babies are aborted every year than are born alive.
And on a national level, 258 black people were killed by police officers last year, while 259,336 black babies were aborted. Both are horrible injustices, but if we’re going to fight hard for the 258, shouldn’t we fight as hard for the 259,336?
As someone who believes in the Bible, there’s no way to get around this answer. God created man in His image and knit us together in the womb. Therefore, God values life in the womb.
So yes, abortion is a sin in the eyes of God. And as Christians, we can’t be silent. We have to stand in the gap—for the unborn and for women. Not speaking is leaving that gap empty.
Men are a huge part of why abortion is legal in America today. As a man, I have to stand up for life and stand against the men who are pressuring women to have abortions.
It’s a sin to force a woman into abortion. It’s a sin to take a life. It’s also a sin to sit back on the fence and let bad things happen because you’re scared of the ground.
So Carl, we know it’s hard. Abortion isn’t an easy topic to talk about, but it is worth it. It’s worth the extra time and thought. It’s worth the unpopularity. It’s worth the criticism.
Standing for life is worth it all.