A plea to the Church
I sometimes have the occasion to visit with pro-life pastors on behalf of the 1.2 million children being killed by abortion annually. My plea is always the same: We can help you stop abortion in your church; we need your help to stop abortion in the culture. The result is almost always the same: “No, thank you, we’re doing enough already.”
After one recent e-mail from a pastor, I wrote back (edited):
Thanks for getting back to me. I wish that I could just delete your e-mail and go seek help where I can find it, but I feel as if it’s my duty to respond.
I don’t know much about your ministry, so some of what I have to say might not apply, but I would ask you to consider how much of this, if any, might be useful to you.
In all candor, I have to tell you that abortion is happening in America with the permission of the “pro-life” church. We say we believe abortion is systematic murder, but we don’t act like we believe it. I don’t know what you are already doing on behalf of unborn children at your church. I can’t know all that you are doing. But I can tell you that when we look at what the “pro-life” Church is doing as a whole in this country, it all adds up to almost nothing. The lone exception is the network of pregnancy support centers that are run by Christians. They do heroic work. They are woefully under-funded, under-staffed, and under-visited by Christian couples who, in large numbers, patronize abortion clinics instead.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 1 in 5 women having an abortion identifies herself as a “born-again” or “evangelical” Christian, and the rate of abortion among practicing Catholics is almost the same as the rate of abortion in the general culture.
Christians are aborting their babies in staggering numbers and Church is not doing much at all to stop the killing, neither within the walls of the church nor in the culture at large. Christians are complicit and/or complacent, in large measure, because nobody has shown them pictures that prove abortion is an act of violence. They know only what the abortion industry has told them: that the preborn child is a blob of tissue and abortion is just the removal of some cells. If we don’t show pictures of abortion in our churches, then babies are dying that might have been saved.
If we don’t show pictures of abortion in our communities, then babies are dying that might have been saved. Every pro-life Christian leader with whom we converse believes that he, his ministry, and his church are doing everything they should be doing. They are doing everything that God is calling them to do. They make these claims despite the fact that they are not even warning their own young people of the horrifying truth of abortion. Nor are they doing very much at all, if anything, to stop the killing outside the church. This compels us to one inescapable conclusion: Either (1) God doesn’t care about abortion and truly is not calling His church to respond, or (2) God is calling His people to be a witness against evil, and His people simply are not answering His call.
We believe the latter to be the case. In your e-mail, you mention that there are “widespread concerns about the approach” that we take to educating people about abortion, yet you never articulate what those concerns are. I am particularly perplexed when I reflect on the fact that we are taking the exact same approach as William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, the abolitionists of the 1800s, Lewis Hine, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In fact, even Jesus Himself used a horrifying graphic image to help us understand the consequences of sin.
Not trying to be flippant here, but what did all these guys do wrong? If anybody on your leadership team would be willing to meet with me to discuss that question, I’d welcome the opportunity. Frankly, if I’m wrong, I’m desperate to know that I’m wrong, so that I can change. But if I’m right, then babies are dying that could have been saved.
If there is any progress to be made, I’m open to whatever next step you suggest.
This offer is open to all pro-life pastors. Please contact me here to see (1) how we can help you stop abortion in your own church and (2) how you can help us stop abortion in the larger culture.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 at 7:37 am and is filed under Abortion and the Church. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.