Bad timing kills babies.

bad time to save a baby

“Now is a bad time.”

“How can I convince my pastor to engage on abortion?”

We hear that question all the time.  We have all asked that question, and we are down to only one answer, but we’ll need help doing it.  If you will help, please contact us.

Abortion cannot be outlawed in America without the massive involvement of Christians, both individually and corporately.  Christians, however, are massively uninvolved in this struggle.  After decades of futile attempts to mobilize the church, we see tokenism at best and indifference at worst.  We and many of our pro-life colleagues have tried in vain to establish a dialogue with countless Christian leaders who have ignored or rejected our requests for meetings.  The few who would meet with us have often temporized interminably or explicitly refused to adopt effective pro-life programs.

They might say that their church is “not ready” to deal with abortion in a meaningful way.  By “meaningful,” I mean showing abortion images, like Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor did recently.  The pastor’s willingness to simply show truth saved at least one baby that Sunday morning.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Anything less delivers babies to be killed, and we can prove it.

But most pastors don’t get to that point.  In fact, they aggressively avoid any discussion of it.  They are afraid.  Early in my pro-life career, I would contact “pro-life” pastors in Knoxville.  No more.  Here is the typical progression:

  1. Pastor:  The timing is bad.   We’ve got Thanksgiving and Chistmas coming up, and we are busy with lots of stuff.  Please call back after the first of the year.
  2. I’d call back.
  3. Pastor:  We’ve got the Sweetheart Banquet coming up, and that’s a big deal at our church.  I’m tied up with that.  Please call back in late February.
  4. I’d call back.
  5. Pastor:  Our big Easter Cantata is coming up, and everybody is tied up with that.  Please call back after Easter.
  6. I’d call back.
  7. Pastor:  The timing is bad.  Everybody is gone for Spring Break.  We’ve got a mission trip coming up.  Folks are out of town.  Call back after that.
  8. I’d call back.
  9. Pastor:  It’s almost the end of the school year.  Our programs until then are set, so it’s too late to talk about abortion this year.  Please call me back at the beginning of the next school year, and we’ll do something.
  10. I’d call back.
  11. Pastor:  We’ve got a lot of stuff going on at the beginning of the school year.  And then it’s Fall Break soon and then Fall Festival after that.  Everybody is busy with that.  Call back after that.
  12. I’d call back.
  13. Pastor:  Woah!  The timing is bad.  We’ve got Thanksgiving and Chistmas coming up, and we are busy with lots of stuff.  Please call back after the first of the year.
  14. I didn’t bother any more.  I’d rather be surrounded by a dozen screaming pro-aborts than to be burdened with one more apathetic and cowardly Christian “leader.”

The bottom line is this:  Babies are dying in the man’s church.  If he really cared, wouldn’t he do everything possible to save those babies’ lives?  Wouldn’t he beg every pro-life activist in this city to help him save the children in his own church?

But with your help, we can break through this apathy.  If you will help, please contact us.

The historic church response to injustice has been half-hearted and ineffective.

“Pro-life” Christian leaders routinely say abortion kills 1.2 million children every year in America, that it is a modern-day “holocaust” of epic proportions.  But has the response been anything more than ineffective half-measures, at best?  Is that a surprise?  Not if we look at how the Body of Christ responded to genocide against Jewish people and countless other crimes against humanity.  To our eternal shame, the church has often been more concerned with saving face than saving lives.  We can hear the heartbreak in the writings of reformers:

1.  What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?,  Frederick Douglass, 1852 (TeachingAmericanHistory.org):

The American church is guilty, when viewed in connection with what it is doing to uphold slavery; but it is superlatively guilty when viewed in connection with its ability to abolish slavery.  The sin of which it is guilty is one of omission as well of commission.

2.  Abolitionism and American Religion, McKivigan (Taylor and Francis, 1999):

… [E]xamination … [of evangelist Charles Grandison Finney’s] … theology and his antislavery activities reveals not only a firm commitment to abolitionism, but also a conviction that Christian indifference to slavery impeded the great work of spreading the gospel.

3.  Indifference of the Church to Child Labor Reform, Rev. John Haynes Holmes, 1910 (Sage Publications/American Academy of Political and Social Science):

… [I]t is a matter of no little surprise … to find the Church named among the forces described as antagonistic to child labor reform … [despite] what such a rich and powerful institution as the Church might do in the education and inspiration and direction of public opinion …

4.  International Handbook of Violence Research, Heitmeyer and Hagan (Springer, 2003) V. Coexisting with Violence:  The Bystanders, pp. 157 – 158:

Only a small minority of [German] Protestant Christians openly rejected the persecution of the Jews.  The weak resistance to the National Socialist persecution of the Jews was particularly apparent in the relative failure to assist Christians of Jewish descent, who, irrespective of their religious beliefs, were fully subjected to the persecutions …
* * *
… Germany’s Catholic bishops were unable to find the resolution to protest publicly against the persecution and murder of the Jews.

5.  Becoming Evil:  How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing, Jim Waller (Oxford University Press, 2002) author interview, Whitworth Today, Whitworth.edu, “Failing to Meet Christ’s Highest Ideals?”, Spring 2007, speaking of the response of religious institutions to the Holocaust, Rwandan genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina:

… [G]enocidal responses include sins of omission (silence and denial) and sins of commission (accommodation and active participation in killings).  In the Holocaust, church hierarchies followed their own narrowly defined best interests …  Such interests were best advanced by silence and denial, rather than by protest or heroism.

6.  The Anthropocentric Predisposition of Revivalism, inlightoftruth.com, J. Seth Wallace, 2004:

Even recently, years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Reinhold Niebuhr urged Billy Graham to preach more about racism in a country where revivalism prospered in the midst of this great sin that was as prevalent among the “born again” as those who were not.

7.  Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr., April 16, 1963:

My Dear Fellow Clergymen:

… I have looked at the South’s beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward.  I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings.  Over and over I have found myself asking:  ‘What kind of people worship here?  Who is their God?  Where were their voices … when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons …?’

8.  Message of the Month, R. C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries, April 2007:

Of the books that I’ve written, over fifty, the one that went out of print the fastest was the book I wrote [titled] The Case Against Abortion.  … [Y]ou couldn’t give it away.  And we would ask pastors, “why won’t you use this series?”  And we heard the same answer again and again …  “We can’t do that.  It will divide our church.”  Because our churches are as divided on this question as the nation is.

The church often seems preoccupied with other matters during times of great injustice.  Like the priest and Levite in Christ’s parable of The Good Samaritan, our inclination is to focus on our own agendas.  Of course, Christians say God has called them to these priorities.  But that assumption means one of two things concerning abortion:  Either (1) God doesn’t care enough about this slaughter to call His church to make it a high ministry priority or (2) He does care but His church is ignoring His call.  The priest and Levite might well have felt pity for the beating victim, but the Good Samaritan took pity on the beating victim.  James 2:16 says, “If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.  Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.  (Martin Luther,1483-1546).

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One Response to “Bad timing kills babies.”

  1. July 30th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Pro-life blog buzz 7-30-13 says:

    […] Fletcher Armstrong writes a stinging rebuke of church leadership’s excuses for refusing to address the abortion with their congregations. Many pastors have become social activities directors instead of getting involved in abolishing this “great injustice.” But this is nothing new: […]

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