An abortion in Rembrandt’s studio


By Mark Ellis

Rembrandt self-portrait
Rembrandt self-portrait

Theologian R.C. Sproul maintains that the reason life in the womb is so valuable – why there is dignity assigned to every human being – is that we are made in God’s image. His imprint gives life its dignity.

When God prints his image on a human creature, that image is precious and sacred. It is almost like a tiny self-portrait He is painting in the womb. When someone willfully assaults that sacred space, while God is fashioning together human life, He considers it an assault upon Himself and His creative prerogative.

My wife, Sally, is an artist. If I walk into her studio while she is painting and interrupt her concentration and creative process, she gets upset.

Allow me to take this a step further. Let’s say it is 1658 and Rembrandt is in the process of creating one of his famous self-portraits at his studio in Amsterdam. The painting has a certain dignity because of the greatness of its creator, one of the great artists of all time. It has his unique imprint.

If someone burst into Rembrandt’s studio, pushed him away from his painting, and began to slash the canvas with a knife, how would the artist respond?

More than 3,000 times a day in America such a scene unfolds in God’s studio, as His creation is slashed, burned, injected, suctioned – literally torn apart limb-by-limb. Then God’s great artistic achievement is thrown away.

R.C. Sproul has said, “I believe that if the Christian community knew how God felt about abortion, there would never be another abortion in this country legally. Christians would turn this nation upside down. If I know anything about the character of Almighty God, whose person and work I have been studying for many years, I know that God hates abortion on demand.”


  1. I am a Messianic Jew (Jewish Christian). When I was about 11 I wondered why the German people allowed Hitler and the Nazis to persecute and subsequently butcher my people. I think for the same reason many today, including Christians, vote for pro-abortion candidates — they prefer to see the talents these candidates have in other areas (foreign affairs, finance, etc.) We would be shocked to hear of a German who supported Hitler because he brought forth the autobahn, but in the same breath would vote for a pro-abortion candidate who helped fund a ball stadium in our community.

    In 1993, while on a missions trip to Poland and Ukraine, I visited Auschwitz Birkenau. Except for the gas chambers, ovens, and a few other parts, Auschwitz looked like a small military base. Except for abortions, I’m sure Planned Parenthood looks like a normal clinic. But Auschwitz isn’t Auschwitz without the gas chambers, ovens, etc. Likewise, PPH isn’t PPH without abortions. Both are places of great horror! Today one is a museum, the other continues genocide. One day there will be a Nuremburg for abortion clinics.

    Abortions will continue until either Christ returns, or Christians view abortion clinics as death camps. Abortion isn’t a “social” issue, it is a “moral” issue. You cannot compromise, nor negotiate “moral” issues.

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