Saturday, August 29, 2015
Why I take Certain Anti-Abortion Practices to be Unwise
First, preaching at women going into an abortion clinic is, in my opinion, not the wisest approach in our culture. And yes, we do have to pay attention to such things. The reason I think it is unwise is because the method has the effect, most often, of drowning out the message. In other words, the women in that setting generally only here anti-abortion rhetoric rather than the gospel. The gospel takes a back seat in their mind to the tactic that is being employed.
Rather than use a megaphone at the clinics, I would suggest that you simply do your best to approach the women calmly, respectfully, and politely. Ask them for their permission to speak to them for a moment, or to just ask them a few questions. Or, you could simply provide them with a gospel track and ask them to read it before they make a decision and ask them to contact you. Tell them that you would like to help them make a fully informed decision about their future and that you may be able to provide assistance in their circumstances.
Second, holding up signs of dead babies having been ripped to pieces during abortions is not at all a wise approach. Not only do such images distract from the gospel, they make you seem calloused and insensitive to the woman’s plight. They do not communicate love in any sense of the word love. And in most cases, they only desensitize people that see them, over and over and over again. I must confess that I am not at all a fan of this method in any way. Some conservative fellows are afraid to speak out about this for fear of being painted as soft on abortion. I am not at all soft on abortion. This has nothing to do with abortion. It has to do with a tactic. Those who employ this tactic are no more opposed to abortion than I am and if they think using these tactics means that they are, then they are sadly mistaken. It simply isn’t true.
Instead of holding up these kinds of signs, if you insist on holding up a sign, hold up a sign of a baby at whatever stage that is completely intact so that mothers can see what their baby looks like at that stage. That is a much better, more tasteful, less distracting, and more sensitive approach. And in my opinion, it is an approach that is far more consistent with Christian charity even if we are demanding repentance while holding up those signs.
Third, you should never, ever, under any circumstances allow young children to enter the anti-abortion protest environment. They will be exposed to these images and that is not something young children ought to be exposed to. You may think your children can handle it. But that is a hollow response that has little to support it. It rings empty. The truth is you have no idea what impact these images could have on your children’s psyche. To think that you’re doing this with the approval and endorsement of God is another error in judgment. God has nothing to do with your decision to expose your children to such nonsense. That decision is all yours. It isn’t good ministry and in my opinion, it isn’t good parenting. A second reason you should not bring your children into that environment is because you have no control over who will be there and what tactics they may employ in the name of God. Once your children are exposed, they are exposed. Third, it can be a dangerous environment and one that children should not be placed in if it can be avoided. Going to an abortion clinic is not nearly the same thing as going shopping or whatever. These locations attract all sorts of people for and against abortion who will resort to all sorts of tactics to protest or defend abortion, even violence. It is exactly the wrong environment for young children. If these facts are not enough to give you pause, and to help you get over yourself for a moment, and rethink your actions, then I suppose there is no argument that would convince you to do otherwise.
Abortion is a very wicked practice in this world. It is one that we have to expose and reprove as Christians living in a very dark, very fallen world. It has been around for thousands of years. Christians have had to deal with it for 2,000 years. Let us take care to deal with it using all the wisdom we can acquire and let us not allow our desire to end abortion (something God has not called us to do) bring division and disharmony in the body (something God has certainly called us to avoid). That’s right. Some people are willing to disregard God’s command for unity in order to engage in certain tactics that have no divine imperative behind them at all. And that is a very sad state of affairs. We must all be willing to assess our passions, motives, and actions to make sure we are attempting to be kind of New Testament witness to the New Testament message we all have a duty to carry.