Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pastors Need To Take A Stand For The Unborn In Their Churches

This has been a revealing week in terms of what a pro-abortion world view is all about. We had twin boys killed for merely being the wrong gender and we had at least seven instances of infanticide at an abortion providers clinic. It should hopefully be clear to Christians in general, but pastors in particular, that they can no longer ignore the issue of abortion. Just as the faithful in the Old Testament could not ignore the murder of children to false gods of the age then, so today the faithful cannot ignore the murder of children to false gods of today, even if that murder takes place in the womb. From Eternal Perspective Ministries:
We must model how to address the painful issue of abortion with grace and truth. We also must stop thinking of abortion as a side issue. Addressing life issues has always been central to the Christian’s calling. Church is more than a social club. We are not here simply to help each other feel good; we are here to help each other be good. And sometimes that means taking some medicine we’d rather not take in order to get well. The abortion issue isn’t about the church needing to speak to the world, it’s about the church needing to speak to itself first, and then to the world. One out of five women having an abortion in America claims to be a born-again Christian. Yet pastors tell me, “I don’t talk about abortion because it will make our people feel guilty, since many have had abortions.”

Isn’t that exactly why we should talk about it? To help men as well as women — since every child has two parents — recognize and deal with their guilt and receive Christ’s grace? And to help others avoid the sin that creates guilt?

Many have experienced God’s forgiveness and profound healing after abortions. Those who suffer most are those who do not face the truth. Deep inside they know it, their consciences accuse them, and they often pursue self-destructive behaviors. Our silence isn’t grace — it’s cruelty.

Sometimes showing grace requires silence. Other times it requires speaking up. If you see a friend making poor choices that may result in later grief, you owe her the truth. Share it, then offer grace and help. We should help women with unwanted pregnancies see that abortion will hurt them, not help them. Many women believe that abortion is wrong, but they think it’s better than raising a child or surrendering a child for adoption. We must show them that, while the alternatives are challenging, abortion is the only one that kills an innocent person. And because it does, it has by far the most negative consequences in a woman’s life. We should love and care for pregnant women who feel pressured toward abortion. We should also love women who’ve had abortions and do all we can to help them recover from abortion’s trauma.

A man at our church, in his 60s, told me of a girl he got pregnant 39 years ago. She asked him to choose what she should do; he chose abortion. It has haunted him ever since. He thinks about the son or daughter he lost and wonders about the grandchildren he’d now be holding. He said to me, “Tell people about the consequences. Warn our young men — tell them God will hold them accountable for what they do with their children.” Then he broke down in tears and said, “I don’t want any of our young men to do what I did 39 years ago.”

There is a great spiritual warfare associated with the issue of abortion. Killing children is Satan’s way of striking out at the very heart of God. If he cannot kill God, the next best thing is killing those created in God’s image. He is killing God in effigy.

To combat this evil, we must proclaim the truth to our congregations first, then to our community: No matter what we have done, no sin is beyond the reach of God’s grace. God has seen us at our worst and still loves us. He loves us as we are, but he loves us too much to let us stay that way. He is determined to bring us to our knees to confess, repent, and be healed...
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one." Ezekiel 22:30