Today an undercover video was released of a Planned Parenthood official discussing in nauseating detail the process of aborting a baby to preserve its organs for medical research. While munching on a salad and sipping red wine, the official talks about “crushing” specific parts of the baby in order to save various organs, such as a liver, and the costs that would be associated with those available organs.
Father, have mercy.
My response to that video today has been surprising. On the one hand, my heart is broken for a world that is so lost and depraved. I am reminded that this lostness was my lostness, capable of the unthinkable, and if not for the grace of God most beautifully pictured in His Gospel, my heart would still be darkened to truth. Every second of every day I am dependent on the grace of God to keep me from falling away from His glory, for yes, I too was once like this, and I am nothing on my own (1 Corinthians 6:11). The gospel is only for sinners, of which I am chief, and that is humbling.
But on the other hand, I have found myself angry today. And that isn’t like me. I would not presume to say it is righteous anger, and I would not presume to say it is healthy. God will no doubt be hearing my confession by the day’s end. But I’m angry. How can such an “advanced” society embrace with public celebration something so barbaric and cruel as abortion? How can evangelical Christians remain silent in the midst of these daily horrors? Why are church leaders, committed to the truthfulness of Scripture and the supremacy of Christ, afraid to boldly encourage and equip the church to rise up and speak out on these issues?
That last one was a jab at me.
I have over the years fallen into the devil’s trap of confusing abortion as a political issue instead of a gospel issue. I don’t do politics from the pulpit – never have and never will. But I do preach the gospel. And the gospel includes the preciousness of every human life because every human life is created in the image of God, a God who so deeply loves us that he did the unthinkable for us. To preach the gospel and remain silent on abortion in my role as a minister of Jesus Christ is to be a coward. I haven’t typically led in cowardice.
It stops tonight.
I might lose church members. I might lose respect. I might lose friends.
But it stops tonight.
My intention is not to write a bunch of blog articles on the issue, but instead to take more practical action. Here are three immediate things I am going to do in light of today’s news.
1. A Loving Choice Pregnancy Center
My first action will be to arrive at the front door of my local pregnancy center tomorrow morning and ask them what more I can be doing personally and as the leader of my flock to come alongside their ministry. Our church already supports ALC financially and has done a great job teaching some Bible studies for clients and volunteering in various roles. I am so thankful for the folks who have done these things. But I want to foster an even greater support system for the wonderful team of folks who work tirelessly and thanklessly at A Loving Choice. That’s my first stop.
2. Evangelicals for Life and the March for Life
Me and my wife will be registering this week and attending the Evangelicals for Life conference that is in conjunction with the March for Life in Washington, DC on January 21-22, 2016. I have never participated in a march or demonstration for any issue. That will change this January. Want to go with us? Contact me here.
3. Gospel Saturated Church
The leadership at Graefenburg Baptist Church is working hard to keep the gospel at the center of all we do at GBC. As we continue to work in that way, I will be looking for opportunities to engage our church membership to serve and speak about the sinfulness and brutality of abortion. I know there is more we can be doing together as a church. Now is the time.
Taking a firm stand in the gospel to confront the evil of abortion does not mean we count as evil those whose lives have been impacted by abortion in one way or another. On the contrary, we are all in this together. Sin has killed us all. But there is life in Christ, forgiveness in Christ, and no guilt in Christ (Romans 8:1). Grace really is amazing.
Will you pray for me as I pray for you? I believe God is big and does big things. In the meantime, as we continue to hear and see these devastating stories of babies being torn apart, our prayers continue…
Father, have mercy.
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