There’s an aspect of the Easter story that most people don’t often connect to the pro-life issue. Barabbas! What can we learn from the story of Barabbas related to doing pro-life ministry? Perhaps one of the most dramatic and tragic stories in the Bible is when Pilate asked the crowd if they wanted to release Jesus or Barabbas. As we know, the crowd chose Barabbas, a known criminal, who most likely engaged in murder and insurrection.

It’s easy for us to get angry at Pilate for giving in to the crowd. After all, he declared that he found no fault in Jesus and tried to release him. But the Jewish religious leaders were able to take a moral issue – Jesus’s challenge to their hypocritical practices – and make it a political one. Since Pilate was essentially a politician, he faced the choice that every politician faces, the choice between giving the people what they think will make them happy even if doing so will not make them holy. I call this Pilate’s Dilemma.

Watch the full LifeChat:
Pilate’s Dilemma and Why We Must Cry Out for Life


The following text is a portion of the LifeChat from Roland Warren. For the full LifeChat, watch the entire video

Sadly, it’s the nature of politics to give the people what they want, even if it’s unholy.

You can contrast this with a pastor’s call and Christ’s mandate. A good pastor gives the people what will make them holy even if it does not make them happy.

As I reflected on this dilemma, it occurred to me that choosing holiness is generally not part of the political calculus. That is why those who want to promote immoral practices generally want to frame them as political issues. They want to put these issues before Pilate who does not value what is true.

Think about this in the context of the abortion issue. It’s become clear, since the overturning of Roe V. Wade, that many American people are the crowd calling for abortion. Accordingly, both political parties, like Pilate, are trying to determine how to respond.

Interestingly, when I started at Care Net in 2012, the pro-life legislative position was to end abortion. There was a morality-based debate about exceptions like rape and the health of the mother. With these exceptions, abortion would be banned in about 97% of cases.

But today, the pro-life legislative position has moved from an exception-based model to a week-based model with a target of 15 weeks.

According to the most recent CDC data on when abortions occur, a 15-week ban would legalize abortion in over 97% of cases.

Unfortunately, too many politicians are making the Barabbas-like decision, even as they say they find no fault in the innocent child in the womb.

Now, this may sound like a hopeless view of things, but the point is to question whether we are putting our hope in the right place. If you want things to change, if you want politicians to give us what is holy, we must change the crowd.

That’s why Care Net has focused so much effort to reach those who are pro-choice especially those who are Christians who profess to be pro-choice. Change what the crowd is yelling for and you change what the politicians give us.

Indeed, I think this is especially important for Christians to grasp. We must focus a disproportionate amount of our time, talent, and treasure on changing the crowd by providing compassion, hope, and help to women and men at risk for abortion, and by making abortion unthinkable so that we start yelling for life.