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Is it one of ours?
Is rescuing children from abortion more important than other vital ministries of the Church?
Is it more important than homeless ministry, marriage counseling, or capital campaigns?
The answer is yes. Let’s say you’re walking down the street. On one corner you see a child being beaten to death by an assailant. On the other, you see a married couple having an argument. Which situation would you run to first? Every sane person would rush to rescue the child.
This is called moral priority. Scripture teaches, and we instinctively know, that some situations are more important than others. If 500 children are being killed every year within two miles of a church building, it is morally more important for the church to stop the killings than do other important work.
Apart from leading people to faith in Christ (which is the greatest moral priority, because eternity is obviously longer than the temporal), there isn’t a more pressing act of a church than to stop the killing of innocent children. That isn’t to say that other works aren’t good (i.e., homeless ministry, premarital counseling, etc.). But other works should not take precedence over rescuing innocent human beings from oppression, victimization, and death.
Q: But a church isn’t necessarily a social justice intervention group. Isn’t the church designed for instruction, corporate worship, sacraments, etc.? Are they set up to serve as a human rescue mission?
A: That’s debatable. Some churches are directly and effectively involved in all sorts of justice work, from foster child advocacy to human trafficking rescue, from maternity homes for abused moms to pregnancy centers. And many churches confine their work to acts of worship and teaching.
That being the case, if 5-year-olds were being killed within steps of a church door, wouldn’t that church be aggressively involved in some manner? Would they at least teach and preach on it until the killing stopped? Would they encourage and aggressively support congregational efforts to stop the killing, even if the efforts weren’t official church programs? If those 5-year-olds have the same moral value as preborn children, then why wouldn’t a church respond in the same way?
Q: But there are systems already in place to rescue human beings. Firefighters rescue victims of fires. Ambulatory services and emergency rooms exist to rescue people in health crises. Why should a church change its focus so much to engage the abortion genocide?
A: The simplest answer is, “Who else is going to do it?” Why would we expect secular institutions to adopt a worldview based on Christianity at this point in history? Throughout time, Christians have established rescue and transformative institutions to reach, rescue, and restore human beings. Hospitals, educational institutions, mental health facilities, natural disaster relief efforts – there are thousands of examples of rescue efforts started and run by Christians when others failed to do so. Many of them are now normalized in our culture. We no longer need to defend why education and proper medical care are so important.
At this time in history, however, preborn children are the most discriminated people in America. And because their value is grounded in Christianity, Christians should lead the charge for equality and restoration.
Christians must boldly, courageously commit themselves to ending abortion in America and around the world. If we won’t do it, the genocide will continue unabated.
Q: What about being sensitive to the people in their congregations who’ve had an abortion or, in your dystopian example, killed their toddlers? Won’t churches upset them if they continually talk about the killing?
A: I’ve heard this explanation numerous times, and I’ve concluded it’s a smokescreen in most cases. Church leaders use their congregation’s feelings as a way to avoid the topic.
First, the cross of Christ is bigger than the sin of abortion. Any church can have a profoundly positive and healing impact on its congregation by regularly preaching and teaching about forgiveness and restoration through Christ for those who’ve aborted their children.
Second, those Christians who’ve aborted and repented don’t want ANYONE else to abort. Knowing firsthand the grief and devastation of abortion, post-abortive people want nothing more than to be involved and to spare others from the pain they’ve experienced. Out of compassion and hope for other people, post-abortive men and women desperately want churches to be overwhelmingly involved in ending the killing.
Third, if your church doesn’t upset you on occasion, then you should find a new church. The Gospel can be difficult, offensive, and tough at times. If we aren’t challenged, provoked, and disturbed by what we are being taught, then we aren’t hearing the Word of God.
Fourth, saving a child is more morally pressing than trying to avoid upsetting a congregant.
I once heard a lead pastor, whom I deeply respect, explain why he wouldn’t preach on abortion from the pulpit. He didn’t want to bring up an emotionally charged topic that would drive people away before they had a chance to hear the Gospel.
As much as I respect this pastor, his reasoning is wrong. If he truly believes the preborn and born have the same value, and if thousands of God’s image bearers are being murdered every year just steps away from his church, then he would have preached on it with regularity and would have set up rescue operations for local families. Yes, he would have upset some visitors, but he also would have saved countless humans from death. Would he have ruined some people’s chances to hear the Gospel? Perhaps.
But everyone who walked into his church later walked out alive – giving them future opportunities to hear the Gospel. The preborn in his neighborhood had no such opportunity.
Read the other blog posts in the Abortion and the Church series:
- Part 1: It’s Our Job to End Abortion
- Part 2: Our Calling to End Abortion is Urgent
- Part 3: Is Ending Abortion One of God’s Pressing Moral Priorities?
- Part 4: Want to End Abortion? ACT.