2. Abolition is work of the Body and Bride of Christ; it proceeds out from the Church. (We are a work of the Church)
3. Abolitionism is “Salt and Light”: It is the visible expression of Truth, Love, and Justice in a darkened and depraved culture. (We are evangelical)
4. Abolition is Urgent and Consistent: We reject Incremental Abolition and the gradual regulation of social evils. (We are immediatist)
5. Abolition Relies upon the Providence and Sovereignty God: All we must seek to do is be faithful and follow Him as we leave the results in His hands. (We walk in line with Providence)
The coalition claims to be salt and light. Is this what Jesus meant when He said you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world? We turn to Matthew for this answer. Jesus said, You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
The command to let our light shine comes within the immediate context of keeping the commandments. In other words, the good works referenced by Christ do not emphasize social works. They mean living out the Christian ethic before the world. Peter says as much when he quotes Christ, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." 1 Peter 2:9-12
Notice that Peter was speaking to the Church in the very same context of Christ’s command. He is pointing out the role of the Church before a world in which it exists as strangers and pilgrims. He clearly connects good deeds with avoiding lusts which war against the soul. If we expand Peter’s context we discover that he is very concerned with holy conduct. Hence, the light and salt argument that AHA puts forth is based on a misunderstanding of Christ’s command. While it may extend to caring for widows and orphans because this is indeed Christian love, it is entirely unrelated to the cause of exterminating social evils such as abortion.
AHA claims that it is both urgent and consistent. The implication is that if a person believes that abortion may be moral in cases where the wife of the mother is in danger, then they are being inconsistent. This is a very complex issue and beyond the scope of this blog. However, if one could begin with the elimination of 95% of abortions now and move to eliminate the rest later, does this indicate that such a person is inconsistent. Of course not. Let me think about this for a second. I could save 950,000 babies this year and move closer to saving the remaining 50,000 per year in a year or two, but I won’t because that is being inconsistent. I think that a very bad way to look at it.
Human abortion is a very wicked social evil. There is no question about it. It is the law we live with in America. Is it going away? I don’t think it is. What should the Church do? The Church should preach the gospel, condemning abortion along the way without getting distracted by it. The gospel is not “abortion is murder, Jesus died for sinners, place your faith in Christ.” That is not the gospel. More than ever, the Church must distance itself from even the appearance of being a political movement. We are not a wing of the conservative party. We are the Church of Jesus Christ. We are not called to end social evils! Let me say that again: The Church of Jesus Christ is not called to put an end to social evils. We are not called to end abortion. We are not called to end poverty. We are not called to end human trafficking. We are not called to end adultery. That is NOT the calling of the Christian community. We are called to make disciples! We are called to preach the word! We are called to live holy and to let the word see that holiness because it is the light of the world and the salt of the earth. We may or may not influence the culture through our sanctified preaching and our sanctified living. That is God’s business. The work of the kingdom is spiritual, supernatural, not social, not temporal. It is only in the sense that we make disciples that we are called to end social evil. It is a by-product of disciple-making.
The only way to truly end social ills is through a changed heart, a regenerated mind. That comes from preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every work, and every ministry should ultimately be the ministry of the local church, under the supervision and direction of the pastor and his elders. The Church cannot afford all these distractions. We have serious work to do that has eternal consequences. It is clear, not from the condition of the world, but from the condition of the Church that there is more than enough work to go around. We must get busy equipping ourselves to serve the body, proclaim and defend the truth, and be what God has called us to be.