Blog_020311smallIt can be frustrating, at times, to be a faithful Christian in the public square. Personally, two issues dominate my activism: abortion and immigration. While they are separate and complex issues, I believe they stem from the same root belief: every person born into the world was created in the image of God.

Christian ethics has to begin the sanctity of human life (Psalm 139). Because we acknowledge God as the author of life, we protest any usurping of that power. And we heartily defend the vulnerable, whose station in life denies them equal standing.

But it’s hard to get the entrenched sides in our political movement to fully embrace the sanctify of life. Conservatives, rightly, champion the unborn. I’m grateful that consistent, unyielding pro-life advocacy has caused a dramatic shift in public opinion. The horror of the Gosnell abortion mill has awakened a new generation of advocates. Along with new restrictions, missional efforts like adoption and crisis centers are helping stem the tide of the slaughter of innocents.

Liberals, on the other hand, rightly champion the rights of the immigrant. They see each person who has crossed the board as a person, not a statistic or a problem. Thankfully, public opinion is slowing turning in favor of a firm, but compassionate solution to the eleven million undocumented people who live in our shadows.

And yet there is a stunning dichotomy on both sides of the aisle. Liberals champion the lives of the immigrant, but speak of the unborn as an inconvenience. And conservatives champion the unborn while speaking of the immigrant as an inconvenience. For many conservatives, unbending allegiance to a movement matters more than compassion for the immigrant. And for liberals, slavish devotion to pro-choice ideology trumps compassion for the unborn.

Christians must carefully navigate these issues. We must not allow our political ideology trump our theology. We must not be motivated by “putting points on the board” but by the gospel story. We must see ourselves in that defenseless baby or that helpless immigrant.

A faithful, biblical witness champions the rights of the unborn, the immigrant, the trafficked girl, and the prisoner. Life is precious, whether in the form of an unborn baby, the shape of an undocumented immigrant, the diminished value of the elderly, or the damaged soul of a prisoner. The Christian worldview does not allow us to see any life as inconvenient to our upward mobility. If we reject Darwinism in the classroom, we should reject it in public policy.

Of course good people will differ on how our leaders should address these issues. But the discussion must begin with a recognition that life at all stages is a precious gift from God.

Daniel Darling is the Senior Pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church and the author of several books, including his latest, Real, Owning Your Christian Faith.  You can read more of his writings at

2 Responses to Left, Right, Immigration and Abortion. Politics and the Image of God

  1. Hope M says:

    I don’t agree with your statement that ‘liberals speak of the unborn as an inconvenience.’ I’ve actually NEVER heard that argument from the left side. If anything, many ‘liberals’ are frustrated that they are the ones fighting for policies that affect the quality of LIFE for ALL children, especially the ones who will be born into poverty or to teen mothers- like keeping our head start programs, food stamps, medicaid, immigration reform that respects the dignity of every human, etc. The Right side wants these babies to be born then ignores the fact of statistically what their lives will be like, then fights against welfare or government programs that will help the child. Without proper sex education in every state, without free and accessible contraceptives, we are not a losing the number of newborns that will be born to parents that are not ready or fit to be parents and the children will just get caught in the foster care system and statistically, a large portion will end up in prison in their adult life. Then the Right will not care about the sanctity of life when that now grown up child has landed on death row.
    Most Liberals don’t like the idea of killing an unborn child any more than a Conservative does, they just think there are other things we should be doing that will encourage parents that life will be okay if they keep their child, they have support, they have resources to be a good parent and to provide, and if they want to place their child into foster care or adoption, the child will find a loving home quickly. Why isn’t the Right spending their time championing a national movement for all able families to adopt the tens of thousands of kids ALREADY in foster care? Isn’t adoption the heart of God? Haven’t we been adopted into family of Christ? Let’s do something productive and something that makes SENSE!! Like promoting policy that is pro-LIFE not simply pro-birth.

  2. Hope M says:


    … we are not *lowering* the number of newborns that will be…

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