[This first appeared at LifeChurchNC.com]
August 27, 2015
This past weekend we stepped into the tension of a very sensitive issue in our culture – abortion. As you know, this debate has resurged in recent weeks, especially here in the U.S. Since the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision handed down by the Supreme Court in 1973 that legalized abortion in the U.S., there continue to be strong and differing opinions surrounding this issue. Although followers of Jesus are not considered to be of the world, we are most certainly called to go into the world for the sake of the world, which is why we believe it becomes all the more necessary for the Church to be informed about God’s heart on issues such as this.
We want to make clear that as a church, we believe that abortion (regardless of the circumstances or how we may try to justify it) is the murder of a human being, and therefore sinful and wrong. At the same time, this does not give any of us the right to condemn anyone who has had any part in abortion, who is considering abortion, or who may disagree with this conviction altogether. We believe that Jesus came into the world to save the world, not to condemn it (John 3:17) and that there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ – those who have found forgiveness, healing and restoration in Him.(Romans 8:1-2) In other words, there is absolutely no sin that is greater or more powerful than the Cross of Jesus Christ. Where sin abounds, grace always abounds more. (Romans 5:20)
This weekend, I wept with several men who confessed to being responsible for pressuring and funding abortions for girlfriends and family members, whose consciences have bore the guilt of these decisions for years, but who have found grace and forgiveness in Jesus Who has already begun to heal these wounds within them. I sat with a friend last week who made the regrettable decision years ago to terminate an unplanned pregnancy who has since been used by God to counsel women in crisis-pregnancy situations, as well as those who are healing from their own decision to have an abortion. This is what the Gospel does; it creates beauty from ashes. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
It’s this balance of grace and truth that defined Jesus’s ministry here on earth and should continue to serve as a distinctive of His Church in the world today. (John 1:14, 17)
It’s when we lose this balance that the church can easily become known by what it’s against instead of what it’s actually for. Therefore, it’s important for us to be clear what we are FOR. We are for life. We are for the vulnerable, the helpless, the marginalized, the poor, the oppressed, the crushed. We are for those who have no voice to speak-up for themselves. We are for repentance before God and the subsequent forgiveness and healing that are available in Him. We are for reconciliation with others and the full restoration of each individual life.
So how do we demonstrate what we’re actually for when it comes to this issue of abortion? Because words are important, but words can also be cheap unless they are backed with action and application. I was so proud to get this email on Monday from the Pregnancy Support Center of Rowan County.
Great news! We have already had 2 men from Life Church call the office this morning (Monday) that would like to volunteer. One of them is picking up needed items such as diapers, wipes, etc from Walmart to bring in as donations! I am so excited about having some men interested in counseling and volunteering! I have been wanting to start evening group classes for our clients and would love for one of those to be a men’s FOB support/Bible study group. Please pass this information on…
This was one of the opportunities we recommended at the end of our services this weekend, which I’m so excited to know that we as a church are already responding. I firmly believe this is an issue we can’t ignore, be indifferent towards or remain unconcerned about. May the things that break God’s heart break ours as well. And may that brokenness compel us to take action.
Below are some of the challenges we issued at the end of services this past weekend to equip and mobilize our church toward action on this issue. Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can support in any specific ways.
What do we do?
- Ask God to forgive our indifference to abortion
- PRAY and ACTClearly and respectfully voice your concerns with government representatives (be a citizen)
- Give consideration before voting to a politician’s stance
- Participate in ministries that are taking action in this area
- Pregnancy Support Center of Rowan County (www.rowanfriendsforlife.org)
- Open-up your home/your life to a single and/or expecting mom in crisis
- Prayerfully and seriously consider foster care or adoption
- Ask God to forgive the part we have played in abortion
If you or someone you know has had or is considering an abortion:
Contact Pregnancy Support Center of Rowan County: