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When Christians Have Different Convictions on Roe v Wade

Peyton Garland | iBelieve Editor | Friday, June 24, 2022
When Christians Have Different Convictions on Roe v Wade

When Christians Have Different Convictions on Roe v Wade

“How can [Christians] have the same Holy Spirit yet have different convictions?” I asked. 

My theology teacher paused for only a second before replying that we all have different weaknesses and different pasts. Thus, our convictions in particular situations might be more sensitive and vary in urgency or priority. 

Regardless of the answer I received, I wrestle with this same question today as news-breaking content fills my phone, my computer, and my conversations. Roe v Wade is overturned, but how can believers have the same Holy Spirit yet polarize themselves on such a soulful issue? 

I have always been deeply pro-life. Within my spirit, I can’t waver on this unshakeable idea that life is life, and there is nothing more valuable than allowing life to live. 

In fact, just yesterday, I told my husband that if I ever go into labor and medical emergencies arise, if I’m unresponsive, he must tell the doctor to save the baby. I am no longer the priority. Just save the baby. After all, what greater gift has the Father given me that I can not only hold life in my womb but volunteer personal sacrifice in order to introduce my little one to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? And better yet, I can introduce them to a world where God’s glory, light, and life permeate the darkest places. I want to introduce my little miracle to a world revolutionized by the greatest Miracle. 

With my personal convictions unwavering, this gnawing thought mulls in my mind, the notion that different believers somehow have different convictions regarding Roe v Wade based on past experiences, sins they once struggled with, traumas, and abuse. 

Life is life, right? Let life live. Shouldn’t this be simple enough? 

So what do I do, what conversations do I have, and how do I lead with God as my banner when other believers are angered, scared, or wary of this federal decision? I know what it means to sit back and watch social media wars. I am fully aware that mankind has mastered pettiness and pride. But I don’t want those things. I want to comprehend the measures I must take to properly share truth with those who, though we worship the same God, feel so different on the issue of abortion. 

The big, big question remains: do I believe that we can truly have different convictions if we have the same Holy Spirit of God residing within us?

I don’t know how to answer this. I can’t comprehend the full gravity that Christians feel they are led by God in different directions. I find it hard to believe a believer can dismiss any legislation that protects the work God so delicately, so endearingly, stitched in the womb. 

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139:13-14). 

Yet, just as theology didn’t save the Pharisees, it won’t save me. It won’t save our country. It won’t save babies in the womb. 

Instead, love will. 

Making Christ my Lord meant that I surrendered to a life of love, a life that lets sacrifice and humility overshadow any questions, angsts, or opinions I might have. In fact, love will always be better than answers I scour for because love—Love—has always been the answer, the antidote that keeps earth hinged on her axis and keeps hearts and minds fixed on glory despite chaos. 

Though a fire of rage and judgment rises in me when I hear fellow Christians explain why they think abortion is acceptable, in any circumstance, to approach them in word, thought, and deed laced in a fire of fury is nothing because it is without love. After all, my words by themselves are nothing but “a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).  

While I respect that different Christians have different takes due to their own experiences, and we as humans tend to navigate life based on what we know from the past, I can’t settle my soul and accept that a believer should cling to any notion that life is disposable. Yet, what does settle my soul is that truth, when shared in love, with a heart that is fervent for justice, is what changes the tide; it’s what protects not only the life but the soul. 

In word, thought, and deed, may I lead in love. May you lead the same. 

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/September15

Peyton Garland headshotPeyton Garland is an author and coffee shop hopper who loves helping others find beauty from ashes despite OCD, burned bridges, and perfectionism. Follow her on Instagram @peytonmgarland and check out her latest book, Tired, Hungry, & Kinda Faithful, Where Exhaustion and Exile Meet God, to discover how your cup can overflow, even in dry seasons.