Pastor asks how Evangelicals justify sin of silence on abortion

baby-in-hand

Evangelical Pastor: How does the church justify the sin of silence on abortion?

by Rolley Haggard – LifeSiteNews – May 3, 2013
Pro-Life Activism Is Not a Mission of the Church. It Is THE Mission of the Church.
Now that I have your attention, permit me to explain.
There’s an ongoing debate in Reformed and Evangelical circles regarding the mission of the church. That’s good, because the Body of Christ needs to be clear on what the Head expects the hands and feet to be doing.
But the way one frames the question can greatly affect the answer. So we need to make sure we’re rightly framing the question.
Rightly Framing the Question
More often than not, the question “What is the mission of the church?” is framed so as to give either the exclusive mission, or the comprehensive mission, rather than the primary mission. As important as the first two are, the third is, by definition, the most important.
Exclusive mission means those things that the church and the church alone has responsibility for. There is no serious debate regarding the exclusive mission of the church. All parties are pretty much agreed that the church’s exclusive mission is to minister the Word of God, particularly in fulfillment of the Great Commission. If the church doesn’t do that, no one else will.
Comprehensive mission means all things the church has responsibility for. The comprehensive mission of the Church is what the aforementioned debate centers on. It involves determining what things are “official” church responsibilities and what things are not.
Primary mission means those things that are the church’s most important responsibilities: the things she will be held most accountable for by Christ. Unfortunately, neither side of the debate is giving much consideration to this, and, incredibly, it is falling through the cracks. Christ and His apostles laid it out so plainly it is difficult to understand how we are overlooking it, but we are.
The Church’s Primary Mission
So what is the church’s primary mission, her most important responsibility? Jesus summed it up in what He called “the first and great commandment”: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). He linked it inextricably with “the second [commandment]” which He said is “like unto [the first]: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (v. 39). “On these two commandments,” He asserted, “hang all the law and the prophets” (v. 40).
The apostle Paul was even more concise: “All the law,”  he wrote, “is fulfilled in one word . . . love. . . .”
Biblical examples of the primacy of love could be listed almost endlessly. The church’s primary responsibility, collectively and individually, is to love God and people. God is pro-people and expects His body, the church, to be likewise. It is impossible to be an obedient Christian or an obedient church without loving people, for to love people for God’s sake is to love God. It is hard to imagine anything being more clear. And yet.
We’ve Made Our Highest Priority Our Lowest
The church—the evangelical church in particular—is guilty of a spectacular sin of omission when it comes to loving people, especially the people Jesus referred to as “the least of these”: those we deem least important and easiest to neglect.
No people in America better fit the description “the least of these” than pre-born babies whose mothers choose, often under pressure and with subsequent regret, to abort them. Fifty-five million murdered now makes us statistically nearly ten times worse than the Nazis. And by “us” I mean the church, because it is largely our collective silence that has enabled the butchery to continue virtually unopposed.
I’m an evangelical, and I’ve been asking myself for four decades, how on earth does the church justify such egregious sins of omission as silence on abortion? The answers I’ve found center on the same thing: worldview. We rationalize our culpable inaction on the basis of flawed worldview.
We think we have a biblical worldview, and in many essential ways we do (that’s why I’m still an evangelical). But in many other, equally essential ways, we do not. I described two examples of flawed worldview impinging on the abortion issue in previous BreakPoint articles, here and here. This whole question about the mission of the church is a third. Owing to a defective worldview on the Church’s mission we have effectively made our highest priority our lowest.
The Rationale
There are at least two key aspects to the misguided rationale for our neglect of the church’s primary mission, love.
First, sins of omission are easier to commit and justify than sins of commission. A study published in “Psychological Science” suggests that this is because people know others will think worse of them if they do something bad, than if they merely let something bad happen.
Second, we mistakenly think we are loving people as we ought simply by sharing the gospel with them. The church today is characterized by words without works.
True, the words we share are the words of God. But we forget that talk is cheap, and we assume that because we speak God’s words our sparse actions are excusable, that our merely saying “be warmed and filled” is somehow reckoned an acceptable substitute for actually filling the need.
But even the words of God are cheap if the life dispensing them does not show the love of God it preaches. That is the whole point of James, chapter 2. We say “God is love,” yet demonstrate by our self-absorbed Christianity that this means exactly nothing except “God is willing to overlook the sins of those who speak well of Jesus, act religious, and win souls.”
This is not Christianity. And yet it is; it is what we have made of it. The body of Christ has more resemblance to the insular Pharisee avoiding lepers than to the unselfconscious Good Samaritan showing—not speaking, but showing—compassion for the needy, regardless of cost.
There is no difference between one who says “be warmed and filled” and does nothing, and one who says “I’m pro-life” and does nothing. Faith without works is dead; love without action is not love.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “The Church is the Church only when it exists for others.” The German Evangelical Church ignored him, and innocents within the borders of the Reich were slaughtered by the trainload, without opposition. Ironically, we vilify the German Evangelical Church.
Pro-life activism is not a mission of the Church; it is the mission of the church because the mission of the church is loving people. If we are to be the Body of Christ we must care about “the least of these” as our Master did. That, or quit calling ourselves the church.


“Lord, when saw we Thee naked, an unloved fetus, and did not march, did not preach, did not vote or write letters or hold signs, did not agonize over Thee, did not advocate for Thee?”


Transfiguration
How like this little fetus, Holy God,
You writhed, enwombed in suffocating pain,
Until sharp instruments unpumped your blood
And left your form transfigured to a stain.
How like a loving mother’s natal pine
Your prayer, encrypted as a primal groan,
Umbilical from heaven’s soul to mine,
Proved you unwilling to unpair your own.
How like a wand commanding miracles
Your hand, atwitch in death, transmuted blood
Of murder into healing pharmicals,
Coagulating evil into good.
How like one crucified, my little boy
Now makes me, sick with wellness, retch in joy.
(Dedicated to the precious women who profoundly regret their abortions)

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0 responses to “Pastor asks how Evangelicals justify sin of silence on abortion

  1. Thank you, Dr. Eowyn. Excellent article. Christians could put an end to abortion in less than two months… If they wanted to.

     
  2. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this wonderful post. Our Lord Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins and to open the gates of heaven for us. A self-proclamation of faith without living it through sincere and heartfelt good works offered to Jesus is dead. As St. James said, “Show me your works and I will show you your faith.” I believe this accurately sums up the Pastor’s message. Accordingly, we are not saved by faith alone. And in St. Paul’s letter to the Phillipians, Chapter 2, verse 12, we are told to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
    The Protestants and Evangelicals as set forth above by this clear-thinking and inspirational Pastor must sound the trumpet against abortion and actively work against it. The Catholic Church has done so, and has filed 43 lawsuits against the king and his regime to formally oppose their attack on our religious liberty granted to us by the Constitution by and through their illicit and illegal HHS mandate that requires people of all faiths to participate in abortion. It is my hope that other Christian denominations in large numbers also do the same and file numerous lawsuits. Wouldn’t it be tremendous if all of the Christian Faiths showed enthusiastic unity in this regard?

     
    • Joan, what would it take to unite all the Christian denominations on this issue? Perhaps you could spearhead such a movement! Wouldn’t that be wonderful!

       
      • Actually Mike, the Catholic Pro-Life movements have for years encouraged inter-faith participation. There has been participation in this regard, as reflected in the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and in California. Nevertheless, some of the Christian denominations as a matter of their belief system and/or doctrines, do not condemn abortion. It is up to each individual Christian denomination, and there are thousands of Evangelical denominations, to address this issue, and hopefully, to be VOCAL about it as the Pastor suggests.

         
  3. I’m angry because my Daughter in Law can’t carry more then 1 1/2 months. She such a wonderful person and would make a wonderful mother. Then these people murder their “mistakes”? There is no justice.

     
    • @ Racefish. Seems like my sister in law had this same problem. She actually did have a child but she was on constant bed rest, watch and I think they even (pardon how I say this please) sewed her up. She did have her child and seemed so very happy. I am not sure if they helps but I do know there are options out there for your sweet daughter in law. I will pray for her.
      ~lisa

       
      • She works as a nanny and I don’t think she’d go with bed-rest. By the way, the twins she watches have the same birthday as my son. Some coincidence. They had their 1st yesterday.

         
  4. Thank you from the depths of my heart, Dr. Eowyn. I’d like to share a personal story here. My Catholic doctor wanted me to abort my fifth pregnancy; as both doctor and friend he was sure I wouldn’t make it because of previous complications. He called it a therapeutic abortion and said it would be legal. I gently told him that I would leave it in God’s hands and we had another gorgeous baby boy. The irony of this: I now live with this incredible man and his wife and four children, he’s a respected lawyer in town, and every day I thank God for His leading in my life to make the only choice. Abortion – what a terrible word – if we are judged on any one sin, it will surely be what we have done to the most helpless.
    Speaking of that word “choice” – the choice is BEFORE conception!

     
    • Dear Patricia,
      Thank Goodness you ignored your Catholic doctor’s “advice”! Shame on him! Shame, also, on the too many Catholic priests and nuns who don’t speak out against abortion, which the Catholic Church identifies as an “intrinsic evil,” which means it’s un-negotiable. Shame also on the countless Catholic laity who actually approve of choice abortion. Only 1/3 of U.S. Catholics are orthodox; 2/3 are lukewarm or worse, “liberal.” Among the latter are Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden who, if their bishops actually had an ounce of steel in their spines, should and would be denied the Eucharist because they are in a state of grave mortal sin.

       

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