Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Opposing Abortion without Losing Your Salt
Planned Parenthood has yet another video exposing them for the murderous organization that they are. The Center for Medical Progress has revealed a video exposing Planned Parenthood for intact harvesting. The behavior is incredibly disturbing. But I find American shock to be outrageously hypocritical and extremely inconsistent. After all, if the fetus is not really a human life, then why not harvest the organs? Is selling the organs any worse than murdering the child? What this admits is that deep in their conscience, Americans know what abortion really is. It is murder. And they have known this all along with few exceptions. Still, it remains high on their list of demands. Don’t worry America, God has some demands of His own and sooner than later, I suspect you’ll be paying the piper his due.
There is no question that the sin of lust, the sin of murder, and the sin of greed combine to create a tsunami of demand for the murder of the unborn in this country. Unrestricted sex, undisciplined greed, and a wholesale disregard for the sanctity of life have created a country that is about to become drunk with the wrath of the divine barring radical repentance. What is the Church to do? It should be noted that the ancient Church of the first-century had to deal with conditions far worse than the ones we deal with in modern America and the West, to include abortion, homosexuality, idolatry, and extreme persecution of the worse kind imaginable. We haven’t even scratched the surface of the sort of environment that early Christians lived in. Not even close. In fact, most of the Church has lived in much more desperate times across the world and throughout her history than modern Christians in American culture. Indeed, we have been incredibly blessed and there are more than a few that think it is high time we join the rest of our persecuted brothers and sisters in the world. And perhaps it is.
The issue of abortion has become one of contention even within the body of Christ. The manner in which some people approach the subject can be classified as quite extreme. Some within the Church preach about the sin of abortion within the context of calling the culture to repent in general of her rebellion against God and to place their faith in Christ trusting in Christ alone for forgiveness and redemption. Others, however, are not so measured in how they take up the issue of abortion. For them, abortion stands out above other sin or at least their actions indicate that such is the case. These people, in the name of loving their neighbor, and in the name of showing mercy march down to the abortion clinics, hold up signs of ripped up little babies, and use megaphones to preach (scream?) to/at women who are going in to get an abortion. While I am perfectly fine with abortion clinic ministry so long as its main aim is to preach the gospel and make disciples. However, when it graduates to holding up repulsive signs, screaming on megaphones, and even exposing one’s children to such an environment, I am seriously opposed to such practices.
To approach women at an abortion clinic calmly in order to have conversation with them, handing them a track, and perhaps some accurate information on abortion I think is a good deed. Perhaps asking them how you can help with their situation could be the sort of loving act that might actually influence more of them than we might imagine, to not kill their babies. But to take it to these extreme measures is without justification in Scripture regardless of what abortion activists claim. It is unnecessary to carry signs of dead babies in order to preach the gospel at abortion clinics. It is unnecessary to use megaphones or scream at people entering the clinic in order to preach or give the gospel at abortion clinics. Preaching/Screaming at women entering abortion clinics is not required to love your neighbor or to show mercy. The approach undertaken by these individuals has nothing to do with God-given convictions about a calling and everything to do with their own personal preference for how to stand against abortion. I am not saying their approach is prohibited at all. What I am saying is that their methods are entirely the product of their own personal preferences. And if these methods are a matter of personal preference, no amount of Scripture at all can be used to defend them. At best, Scripture defends opposing abortion and evangelism. But it does not defend the carrying of these signs and it certainly does not defend bringing young children in such an environment. If you think young children ought to be exposed to screaming down at the clinic and signs of twisted, mangled babies in order to expose them to the truth, something is surely wrong with your thinker. While it is true that Scripture provides no imperative for engaging in such activities, the next question is does Scripture provide any prohibition against engaging in such activities.
A friend of mine says the Church has been complacent about abortion over the years. He thinks the Church must change. In other words, the Church is partially to blame for legal abortion. Seemingly, he thinks the Church ought to focus more time on the activity of making abortion against the law in America. And apparently he thinks this is loving your neighbor and showing mercy. I think focusing on making abortion illegal is a misplaced goal for Christians. Christians are not called to end murder, adultery, stealing, war, or world hunger. We are called to shine the light of the gospel into a dark and sin-loving, God-hating, self-worshipping world. We can end abortion, but for the most part, only in cases where the gospel has produced the supernatural change of regeneration. Has the Church been complacent about abortion? The Church has been complacent about a lot of things. But surely the reality of abortion is not the fault of the Church and those who use such rhetoric ought to be ashamed of themselves. Such tactics are nothing more than emotional arguments designed to guilt people into signing up for their cause. And their cause is usually, hook, line, and sinker their way.
Where does that leave us as Christians grappling with the sin of abortion? It leaves us in the same place we are in grappling with every other sin in our culture. We don’t do it. I think it is a mistake to single out one sin, such as abortion, or homosexuality, or human trafficking and focus more on those sins than on others. Jesus commanded us, where the culture is concerned, to focus on one and only one sin: the rebellion of unbelief. The Church, where the culture is concerned, is to condemn all sin equally. American culture is guilty of rejecting God at every level. The Church must preach Christ and Him crucified. The law of God convicts the human heart of its need for radical change. Repentance from their rebellion against God means entire repentance. It does not mean peace-meal repentance. When the gospel of God overwhelms the sinners heart, that sinner will be set free from sexual sin, murder, lying, stealing, idolatry, and the whole lot of wickedness.
What does this mean? It means that Christians do not need to feel guilty that abortion is a reality of American culture nor feel like they are responsible in some way. It means that Christians do NOT have to go down to the abortion clinic in order to avoid sinning against God in not loving their neighbor or not showing mercy. It means that Christians do not have to carry megaphones in front of abortion clinics to oppose and condemn the sin of abortion. It certainly means that Christians do NOT need to carry signs and images of babies ripped apart by the pernicious procedure of abortion in order to oppose abortion. And it certainly means that Christians have much better means available to them than carrying their young children down to abortion clinics and exposing them to this environment and especially to such disturbing images in order to educate them on this sin. This means the Christians who engage in anti-abortion activities are engaging in an activity that is not the product of any divine imperative. Christians are not instructed, encouraged, or commanded anywhere in Scripture to engage in these kinds of activities. And this means that Christians who do this, are doing what they want to do, not what God has commanded them or called them to do. Is it wrong for Christians to go to abortion clinics and give the gospel? It depends on their motives for doing so. If their primary motive is to stop abortion, rather than to glorify God by giving the gospel, it is possible that such a motive is misplaced. Is it wrong to hold up signs of dead, ripped apart babies? It could be. I think great wisdom must be brought to bear here. We should not allow our tactics to give offense and detract from the gospel. And such tactics can have the tendency to do precisely that very thing. Offense, if it exists, ought to be caused by the gospel itself and not our personal method for delivering it if at all possible. Should we take young children down to the clinic or expose any young child to these images? A resounding no is my response! Where is the wisdom in exposing young children to such horrific images? Where is the discernment?
Let it be the gospel opposition to abortion that causes offense and nothing more! That is my point of view.