Today I am taking my pastor’s challenge from Proverbs 31:8, to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Please know that this topic is controversial, and may be upsetting to some.
In ancient times pagan civilizations offered up their children as human sacrifices to appease their idol gods, in the hopes of improving their circumstances. Perhaps the offering would result in more rain, better crops, better hunts, or better lives. The people danced and chanted as their children screamed, burning alive. This kind of culture is unimaginable to us as civilized Americans. How could anyone ever do that to their precious children?
We imagine ourselves so much more educated, so much more enlightened, so much more virtuous. Such barbaric behavior would never be tolerated in America today. We love our children. We have laws in place to protect them from abuse and neglect. We have agencies whose sole function is the enforcement of those laws. We highly esteem the education of our children, and we prove it through the money we pay, not only for taxes, tuition or curriculum, but also for all the additional educational opportunities and supplements we deem necessary for their learning. We congratulate ourselves on this forward-thinking philosophy. We are good parents, good stewards, and good citizens, because we care for our kids.
But we are kidding ourselves. We have exchanged the truth for a lie. Every day, thousands of American children are being offered up to the idol gods of self, society, and fear. Do we really think that, because this is done privately, in modern, sterilized doctors’ offices, rather than corporately, in community temples, God cannot hear their screams?
There have been many debates in many places about the issue of abortion in all its forms. These debates reach the highest political arenas in our land. But abortion is not a political issue. Abortion is a human rights issue. The very debateableness over the “humanness” of an unborn child is mind boggling. How can we Americans, who love our children so much that we glorify youth above all other life stages, allow this federally sanctioned homicide? Because, while we do love our children, we love ourselves more. Children are inconvenient. Children are expensive. Children are disposable.
“Amen,” the Christian utters in dismayed agreement, “amen.” But there is a problem, fellow Christian; many women in terrible, impossible situations see abortion as their only hope. Shame on us. We offered no other hope.
“But there is another option,” says the Christian. Yes, there is. There is always another option: “Choose Life.” So easy to say. So easy to slap on the bumpers of our cars. So easy to chant behind condemning signs and condemning stares. But for the fearful, expectant woman, it is not so easy.
Oh, that we would embrace her instead! Embrace her in our sanctuaries, our hearts, our homes. Embrace the truth that we are all, every one of us, wretched sinners in need of a Savior. Then, oh then! Then we could show her another way, THE ONLY WAY, for her to ever find hope and life for herself and her unborn child. If we would only stop debating and start embracing, the love she receives through us may be enough to lead her to the Savior of her soul, and save her unborn child’s life too.
But what of the woman who has already chosen abortion? Is it too late for her? Christians shudder at the thought of this heinous act. We shudder at the woman who could commit such an act. But what if that woman sits next to us in church? What if she teaches our children in Sunday School?
Do we really believe God can forgive sins? Then God can forgive hers. Dear woman with an empty womb, an empty home, an empty heart, even if you are empty by your own choice, God can fill you up. God is calling you to be filled up. He can forgive your sins. Even if your sin is taking the life of your unborn child. God promises that if you confess your sins, truly confess them, then He will forgive them. Completely. There is NOTHING you could ever do that God cannot redeem. Really, God is that good.
To those Christians who today are welcoming expectant mothers with unexpected pregnancies, may God bless the love in your hearts and the work of your hands. You are doing the work of Christ. This is true religion, to visit orphans and widows in their distress. To seek out those who cannot, and to show them that God can. Perhaps if we spent less time debating the issue, and more time helping those whom it affects, then we could really turn the hearts of the mothers, and the fathers, back to their children. Even the unborn ones. In a free society, the laws of the land reflect the hearts of the people. But laws cannot change human hearts. This is how we change the law of the land: one heart, one life at a time.
This article was originally posted in 2013. I am reposting it today, January 27, 2017, in celebration of the 43rd annual March for Life, and to honor the memory of the almost 60,000,000 babies who have been murdered since 1973, the people who work tirelessly to help women surprised by pregnancy, and the women who, against all odds, chose life.
1. Psalm 139: 13-14 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV)
2. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (NASB)
3. James 1:27 “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (NASB)
4. Malachi 4:6 “He [Jesus] will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” (NIV)