The Delusion of Bodily Autonomy: Homosexuality and Abortion

Homosexuality and abortion are clearly two hot topics. I remember doing debates on them in junior high. And now I’m well past junior high, and they remain hot topics to this day. I’ve been putting off addressing these for some time because what’s new to say that hasn’t been said?

By way of reminder, this blog series is written for evangelical Christians who find themselves attracted to progressive culture. They find the Christian faith intolerant, bigoted, homophobic, misogynistic, and a barrier to the social justice movement. This audience sees little, if any, reasons for staying in the Christian faith. My driving purpose is to convince them otherwise. American progressive culture is attractive to this Christian because it presents partial biblical truths and disguises them as full truths. So far, we’ve discussed these tenets of progressive culture: social justice, self-love, modern feminism, and my truth.

However, these last two topics, homosexuality and abortion, don’t fit my blog formula. Initially, we defined the tenet and talked about how it’s a partial biblical truth but ultimately a false ideology. Afterward, I shared why Christianity offers more. But homosexuality and abortion are different. First, I don’t feel the need to define them. We all know what they are. Second, whether you agree with it or not, the Bible is very clear that it does not condone homosexuality (Lev 18:22­-24, Rom 1:27). The Bible is also very clear that human life begins in the womb (Ps 139:13-15) and condemns the killing of innocent life (Jer 7:6, 22:17). There are no partial biblical truths here.

So, the only thing we need to discuss is why Christianity offers more than homosexuality and abortion. This is tricky because I know that progressive culture is quite persuasive. Specifically, the slogan, “My body my choice,” comes to mind. Progressive culture teaches bodily autonomy – that our bodies are our own. Thus, we can do with them as we would like. They say men can have sex with men and women can have sex with women. After all, it’s their bodies. They also say that women can abort their babies during pregnancy. After all, it’s their body and their choice. Now, this makes sense if you believe that you have bodily autonomy. But consider this excerpt from Chuck Swindoll’s Mark Commentary,

 “The world is not ruled by humanity; ours is not a democracy in which people hold the reins of power. The world is a dictatorship in which Satan is “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). Fallen humanity is held sway by a delusion that men and women have absolute autonomy to think and act as they desire. The fact is, however, they are unwitting victims of that enemy of God, “the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2).”

The concept of bodily autonomy is, in fact, a false delusion! The fight for homosexual and abortion rights under the idea of autonomy is a scheme of the enemy. It’s a way he falsely empowers humans and leads them to use their bodies to disobey God (i.e., homosexuality and abortion). The enemy is clever because he makes them believe they have power, and it is their choice. But they are puppets in the end, and he’s controlling the strings. 

Conversely, God clearly tells us that our bodies are not our own. First Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God with your body.” As Christians, we are aware of this concept, but we either don’t hear it enough, or we don’t truly internalize its meaning. Plus, let’s be honest, our bodies feel like our own. After all, we control our bodies; we decide how we move them, use them, and feed them.

But God is clear that to wholly follow Him, we must give up the false idea of bodily autonomy. Our bodies are essentially on loan to us from God. We are no longer our own because we have been bought with a price, the shedding of Jesus’s blood on the cross. We house God’s presence, the Holy Spirit, inside our bodies. Therefore, the purpose of our bodies is to bring glory to God. In other words, our life’s goal is to seek to please Him by becoming more Christ-like (2 Cor 5:9). One fundamental way we do this is by submitting to his authority and exemplifying godly obedience in our thoughts and actions.

Satan’s promise of bodily autonomy sounds like the better bargain. And it certainly is attractive. After all, God calls for us to be obedient to Him by fighting the sinful desires of our bodies. Meanwhile, Satan gives us permission to roam free doing whatever we want with our bodies. But thank goodness for us, Christianity offers more in the long run.

Christianity offers more because in the end, when we live with God in eternity, we will receive new bodies, uninfected by sin! These bodies will be perfect. They will not have disease or be tempted into sin. In fact, obedience to God will be easy. We will have bodily autonomy because everything we do with our bodies will glorify God. We don’t think about or talk about this nearly enough. We can look forward to having perfect, incorruptible, and imperishable bodies one day. This is good, hopeful news!

Unfortunately, for now, we live in the enemy’s world where he falsely promises bodily autonomy. In the meantime, we must treat our current bodies, not as our own, but as God’s. It most certainly is going to be challenging. After all, it is a fight between our flesh and God’s Spirit in us (Romans 7). Beyond the internal battle, there is a war going on between the enemy and God’s people as he tries to tempt us into sin (Eph 6). But, God has entrusted you with your body to serve Him, not yourself, not progressive culture, and certainly not the enemy.

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