The leadership of our nation is committed to the continuance of abortion: a violent act that kills a defenseless human being. This is nothing new; it’s been going on since Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton. It’s been going on under Democrat administrations and under Republican administrations. For many legislators (and justices under review), “pro-life” is nothing more than a check box that they tick in order to win the votes of a particular constituency. Once in office, they do little or nothing to protect the lives of the unborn — because, as long as the unborn remain out of sight, they will be out of mind. That’s why the Supreme Court’s decision is Texas is disappointing, but not wholly unexpected.
But before we rail at the Supreme Court for not doing enough to protect the lives of unborn children, let’s start by asking this question: What is my church doing to protect the lives of unborn children? I visited Biola University in Los Angeles about two years ago and watched a chapel speaker ask how many students had heard a sermon on abortion. Only about half of the students raised their hands. It’s not the question I would have asked. I would’ve liked to know how many students had ever heard more than one sermon on abortion. I’ll bet the number would have been a lot lower.
When pastors don’t preach, and Christians don’t live out, the message that all human beings are created in the image of God, and that they are, therefore, of inestimable worth; that abortion is not a “medical procedure,” but instead are a direct assault upon tiny fellow image-bearers; that we should really work to end the evil of abortion, while simultaneously extending the grace and mercy of the love of Jesus to those women and men who have been caught in a web of lies and have shed innocent blood — then two ugly conclusions follow:
1) Congregants assume that abortion is no big deal. After all, if it’s never mentioned from the pulpit, it must mean that God is unconcerned about it. It’s really our “choice.”
2) When some of those congregants act on that presupposition, and kill their unborn child, then the Enemy comes and tells them, “You knew all along you were taking a life. This is the unforgivable sin. God could never redeem or use someone who could do such a detestable thing.” The silence of the pulpit now appears to confirm that assessment. While other sins can be freely addressed, clearly the sin of abortion is not. Hope slides away, and the congregant becomes imprisoned in guilt.
If this scenario seems far-fetched to you, just talk to any post-abortion counselor at any pregnancy help organization and they will explain how the spiral of silence in the church is damaging women and men in order to save the pastor from the discomfort of addressing abortion from the pulpit.
Am I distressed that the highest court in our land frequently strikes down laws designed to protect the lives of unborn children? Absolutely. It will be a wonderful day when the law of our land reflects the truth about the value of every human being. But we cannot expect strong moral leadership from national government on the issue of abortion when far too many of our churches are too morally weak to address the issue from the pulpit. And if the pulpit remains silent, and our government will not protect the unborn, what are we to do?
Stop wringing our hands and wailing at a Supreme Court which is unlikely to provide any relief any time soon. Instead, commit yourself to make a difference. Each of us should pick up our cross and work, sacrificially, to stand in the gap for our unborn brothers and sisters. Learn more about the abortion issue so that you can make a solid scientific, moral, and ethical case for protecting the lives of the unborn. Learn to communicate that message. Volunteer to work for pregnancy help organizations in your area. If there isn’t one, get together with like-minded people and start one. You’ll be joining a network of over 2,500 such centers and clinics throughout the country. If you have no available time, donate money to such organizations. In that way, you will literally labor for them. And get the word out. If your pastor is one of the good ones, directly preaching about abortion and leading by example, send a thank you note of support. You don’t need an edict from the Supreme Court to do that.
What would happen if every community had a well-known, loving place where women with untimely pregnancies could go and receive the help and support they needed? Imagine if that place were not obscure but the first place people thought of when they found out about a friend’s pregnancy. Imagine if every middle school and high school student heard the truth about fetal development and understood the moral and ethical arguments explaining why all human beings should have human rights. Just think what your community would be like if abortion became unthinkable, even if, for some unfathomable reason, it remained legal.
Stop imagining. It can happen: first in the church, then in your community. We have to stop waiting for politicians (and many pastors) to develop moral courage. Instead, we can act. In doing so, we can help create a cultural consciousness that unmasks the horror of abortion, and reveals the beauty and worth of all those who, from the moment of their conception, are our fellow human beings.
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