Simone Biles, regarded as one of the greatest gymnasts in US history, has stirred controversy and criticism following the Tokyo Olympics.
A few days ago Biles requested her Instagram followers to share “unpopular opinions.” In the beginning, most were rather benign and non-controversial. Until one person posted, “abortion is wrong.”
Biles, who won silver and bronze medals in the Olympics, responded, “ “I already know this is going to start the biggest argument & may even lose followers BUT I’m very much pro-choice.”
“Your body. your choice,” she added, reciting a famous slogan of the pro-choice movement.
The thread quickly devolved into a discussion of adoption, the foster care system, and a woman’s right to control her personal decisions.
Typically around the anniversary of Roe v Wade, ThePreachersWord offers some Biblical insight into the issue of abortion. However, today let’s just focus on this popular mantra–“My body. My choice.”
How you feel about this repeated refrain will depend on your worldview and your understanding of Scripture.
In the first century, there were basically two views of the human body. One was that it should be worshiped for its beauty and idolized for its strength. The body was something to be proud of and to flaunt.
On the other hand, some believed that the body was inherently sinful. That the body didn’t matter, only the spirit mattered. In fact, the body was only a shackle and a prison house. It was something to be despised and even ashamed of. There was a popular proverb, “The body is a tomb.” Epictetus said, “I am a poor soul shackled to a corpse.”
Christianity presented a third view. It is one that Paul advanced in his letters to the Roman and Corinthian Christians.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).
The apostle argues that the body is to be consecrated to the Lord. It is not to be worshiped, nor it is to be abased. We should not glorify it, but neither should we be ashamed of it. It is given to us by God. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
From these passages, I draw four important conclusions.
#1 My body doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the Lord.
God, the creator, has the right to direct how we use our bodies. In the Corinthian text, Paul reminds Christians that the body is not to be used for sexual immorality. We are not at liberty to satisfy every natural urge of the body. Since the body belongs to the Lord, He has the right to place restrictions on how we use it.
The virtue of self-control even regulates our eating. We are not to be gluttons. Nor are we to engage in and satisfy unbridled lusts of the flesh. God has placed the sexual relationship within the bonds of holy matrimony.
Your body is not yours. It’s the Lords.
#2 My body is to be consecrated to God’s divine purpose.
When one obeys the gospel of Christ, his body is submerged in the water of baptism. The Bible says that “our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” Heb. 10:22). In that act, God applies the blood of Jesus and washes away our sins (Rev. 1:5; Ax. 22:16).
We are no longer Satan’s slaves, but servants of Jesus Christ. He calls us to be holy. To be separate. Set apart. And sanctified. The body is a “living sacrifice.” Whatever the scripture says about God’s will for our lives, must be realized, applied, and practiced by my mind, body, and spirit.
#3 My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
How does the Spirit dwell within us? While there are various views on this topic, the fact is affirmed. The very indwelling of the Holy Spirit prompts Paul to pen, “you are not your own.”
To abuse, misuse, mistreat, exploit, pervert, or corrupt, God’s natural use of the body is to displease, despise and disdain the Holy Spirit.
#4 My body ought to glorify God.
We’ve been “bought with a price,” the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Since He now owns us, He exercises control of our lives, including our bodies. All that we do in the flesh should honor Him. I am not conformed to the sinful desires, deeds, and devices of the world, but daily seeking to be transformed and changed to become more like Him.
While this doesn’t specially address the issue of abortion, it does debunk one of its most fundamental beliefs–“My body. My choice.”
The Lord’s body. His choice.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
9 responses to “My Body. My Choice. Right Or Wrong?”
Wow! So well said.
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I must say. My body, my choice is also biblical. Remember the Woman who sits at the feet of Jesus the Teacher in Martha’s home. Seeing her sister Mary siting there, making google eyes at the Teacher worries Martha. Martha wants the Teacher to subordinate Mary to her. Martha thinks Mary should be helping her run the household, as mistresses or second wives did in those days. Jesus the Teacher, then says “Martha, Martha you are worried and upset about many things. But Mary has chosen the good portion and it will not be taken from her.”
The Woman Jesus called Mary sits at the feet of Jesus the Teacher and chooses to do so. Her choice is the important thing…and even if it worries and upsets Martha and the other disciples, Mary’s choice will not be taken from her…so says Jesus the Teacher.
Many will argue “but hey…Mary made the best choice and Martha did not.” Although I would come right back and say. Jesus the Teacher repeated the name Martha twice so that the people listening would know. Martha is the “Lady” of the House and the Teacher’s “good housewife” whom he loves. Martha has nothing to be worried about. The Teacher’s love for Mary and Mary’s love for him will not diminish the Teacher’s love for Martha, nor destroy it or put Martha to shame. The Teacher knows Mary does not want to be a concubine and will not cling to him for he is not her “Jo”, her sweetheart, her “Cephas”, her chosen Bridegroom (John 3:29). The Teacher knows Jesus the Woman called Mary has already chosen her Lord and is sitting in the Teacher’s house waiting and preparing herself for her wedding day, the day when the Teacher’s joy will be complete in Bethany as he stands up and hear’s the Bridegroom repeat his vows (Luke 24:50).
The point is. Mary was not forced to marry or obligated to marry to make the prophecy come true or to obey the moral code of the day. Her love for the Lord of Song compelled her. Mary’s choice came from within her heart, mind, body, and soul. Not just her body. Not just her heart. Not just her mind…her whole being. She supposed for a time that the Teacher was her Bridegroom…but she knew deep down in her soul…he was not the gardener (John 20:15) because he wasn’t the gazelle (Song of Solomon 8:14) he didn’t make her heart sing.
Mary is a stumbling block for many believers! For as Paul says in “1 Corinthians 1:23 we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” and as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1: 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? and in Galatians Paul says…in Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. And as the Son of God said to Martha…Mary has chosen [Christ the Everlasting Father…the Gardener] the better part and her choice will not be taken from her ( Luke 10:42; Isaiah 9:6; John 15:1; Psalm 128:3;).
You know something, Brother Ken? I would hate to be any—-any—-of those mothers on judgment day who had abortions performed, and have the souls of those innocent babies standing right there with them! How about you?
I would trust the souls of those innocent babies would be standing up and offering their heartfelt forgiveness and understanding.
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