Lutherans for Life National Essay Contest from Our Shepherd, Avon IN

Published on August 15th, 2019

The seventh and eighth-grade students at Our Shepherd Lutheran School participated in the Lutherans for Life essay contest in the spring. Eighth graders Matt Abernathy and Amber Stutz placed 1st and 2nd in the state, respectively. Matt’s essay was then entered into the national competition, and he won 1st place! We congratulate Matt for his essay and the thoughts behind it.   He shared his writing during all of the services at Our Shepherd the last Sunday in July.

Here is Matt’s essay:

Abortion is one of the most controversial subjects in both mainstream media and in the Church. The world continues to ask whether it is morally right or wrong, but the Church has answered for years. We find our answer rooted in the Bible, all throughout the Old and New Testaments. Our answer is God’s command in Exodus 20: ‘You shall not murder.’(Exodus 20:13, English Standard Version)

Those who question whether the Bible mentions abortion and its place in society, and those who ask “Did God really say” not to murder, to them I ask this: When is a baby deemed to be life? God blatantly answers this question as well. In Jeremiah 1:5, God says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…”(ESV). This alone shows that God has specially made us, and that we are his life from conception to death. The abortion of this life is none other than murder.

Not only does the Bible provide us with answers from the Lord’s own word, but the world itself has answers to the controversy. Abortion clinics worldwide claim that abortion isn’t murder, and that it is morally acceptable to terminate a pregnancy. The world agrees, and presses that abortion isn’t murder. An interesting contradiction, however, falls in our legal system. If someone were to kill a pregnant woman, anywhere between day one of pregnancy to week thirty-six, they would be charged with two counts of murder ( As long as pregnancy can be proved, the baby is recognized as life that was ended. This is nationally known as the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, passed in 2004 ( Although not every state enforces this act, 38 states have added this into their homicide laws. (

Understandably, there is some reasoning used to promote abortion. Many women insist that it is the ‘only solution’ to an unwanted pregnancy. A better solution would be to not risk an unwanted pregnancy in the first place, but the best solution is to turn to God. In John 6:68, Peter says “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”(ESV) Placing our trust in God and letting him guide us through even times of struggle lets us make the right decisions. We as Christians need to share the love of Christ and encourage those who struggle with a decision as difficult as abortion.

Matthew Abernathy

Deaconess Karen Blank, Lutherans for Life Fort Wayne Area Chapter President, Lutherans for Life Indiana Federation, Essay Contest Chair is pictured with the students.