Pro-life

Today I saw this:

“The reason people want abortion is because they do not want to submit to God’s moral commands.”

I need to speak about this, for I find it shameful and not Christian at all.

But first, I need to repeat something over and over and over and over.

I am pro-life, and believe that abortion is morally wrong. I believe that Roe v. Wade was the wrong decision.

That being said, lets talk about shame.

Millions of people in this country believe that outlawing abortion will be a blow for women’s rights. I’ve heard those arguments my whole life. I used to brush them off as the arguments of stupid, immoral people who just wanted to do what they wanted to do.

And then I met people. Life is rarely as black and white as we wish it to be. We would love to have our own agency removed and just have someone older and wiser telling us what to do.

But we aren’t in a musical, are we? (So now I need to repeat something:

I am pro-life, and believe that abortion is morally wrong. I believe that Roe v. Wade was the wrong decision.)

Lets move on.

We might argue with our opponents for being wrong on this issue, but it isn’t because they are stupid. We might actually learn something about human nature and something about God if we will stop shouting and actually listen to people.

Why do so many connect abortion rights with women’s dignity? (and yes, I believe they are on the WRONG track – but it isn’t because they are stupid.)

We could ask the question “Why is abortion a thing? What makes a woman so desperate that she will take the life of her own baby?”

And when we seek to honestly answer that question, we may be on the right track to actually be able to put a stop to abortions no matter what the legislatures and courts decide. But waiting for others to pass a law is the easy way out, isn’t it?

We believers don’t actually derive our power from Supreme Courts or any law-makers. We have tremendous power, but it isn’t like any other power in the world. We have the power to be salt and light, if only we had the courage to be. Our power is in taking the lowest place, not learning how to enforce laws.

Why is abortion a thing? NOT because of Roe v. Wade. It was a thing before then, and millions of Americans supported abortion rights – and NOT because they were stupid or any more rebellious than anyone else. They had all sorts of reasons, but I think the real reason is the reality of shame.

It has to do with shame.

I know that this is hard, but try to imagine yourself as a young woman growing up in a typical conservative Christian family.

You were being prepared to submit to your husband. You were being prepared to be a chaste virgin to serve at the feet of the husband God would have for you.

You were NOT encouraged to use any gifts that God gave you, unless they fit into submission to your husband. You were not encouraged to go to school. You were told to keep your body covered at all times or grown men would lust after you, because that is how they were made.

(For documentation on all of this, one only needs to look at Bill Gothard’s manual after manual after manual of “training material.”)

If your uncle leered at you or groped you, you were told that “that is just how men are. We learn to deal with it.”

If you were assaulted, you were asked what you were wearing, what you did to lead him on. Perhaps you were even publicly shamed in front of the church for being a harlot, a crushed rose that no one would want.

In other words, you were created in the image of God with gifts and honor and dignity, but you were repeatedly shamed, dishonored, unheard, and shunned.

“Run along dear. This is men’s work.”

“Not today, honey. Let the men do their work.”

“You get your period because God cursed women after the fall.”

“You don’t need a job, let the men-folk take care of you.”

“You don’t need to buy a house. You don’t need a credit line. You don’t need a bank account.”

And, yes, every one of these things was a “thing” in my lifetime. In most states, a woman couldn’t get a bank account, a credit line, a house, a car, without a man’s signature.

All of what she saw and was taught in church contradicted what she knew in her heart. That she was an image-bearer of God, with dignity and worth and deserving of honor and respect.

And when there is a conflict between how we were created and how we are now, the gap is called “shame”. A longing for Eden. A longing to again belong and use gifts and be honored as a woman.

Because an animal wasn’t suitable to be a fitting helper for Adam, God created a woman – to fit him as in front of his face. To stand upright, look him in the eye, work alongside him, have dominion alongside him, and cultivate the earth along side him.

But you were sidelined by your church and trained for a life of servitude, to be kept barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen.

“Now run along, dear, and fetch my drink.”

Shame is intolerable. It is like water, in that it won’t stay where it is put but it will always burst forth one way or another.

So a boy comes along. He is handsome. He looks at you and treats you like an equal. He makes you feel valued, like you have never felt before. He makes you feel safe and makes you feel like it is OK for you to take up space. He makes you feel like a person, which you have never felt before. And one thing leads to another, and now you find that you are pregnant. Maybe he was sincere. Maybe he was a rake. The effect was the same.

Because you are a sinner; and because you have never been taught how to address your shame. You have only been told how to behave. You didn’t have any of the tools to protect yourself, because you were never taught wisdom. You were only taught shame. (See Proverbs 2-3)

Now what do you do?

Tell your father?

Tell your pastor?

You remember when they made your friend stand up before the whole church and “confess” the sin of fornication.

You remember how your other friend was raped by a deacon and forced to confront him and forgive him but instead she left town and never came back.

Do you remember how the church took up a collection and got a lawyer for the pastor who had been beating his wife and children?

How they shamed the 14 year old for wearing a tank-top, but looked the other way when the deacon’s computer was full of child porn?

You remember how your father told you that if you ever got into trouble he would disown you and have nothing more to do with you.

You remember how they talked about women who were “loose”.

So what do you do?

I am pro-life, and believe that abortion is morally wrong. I believe that Roe v. Wade was the wrong decision.

I am pro-life, and believe that abortion is morally wrong. I believe that Roe v. Wade was the wrong decision.

I am pro-life, and believe that abortion is morally wrong. I believe that Roe v. Wade was the wrong decision.

The reason that Roe v Wade was the wrong decision was that it did nothing to take away shame.

The reason that I am so afraid of it being overturned is that it will do nothing to take away shame. It will only increase the power of the bullies, the hateful, the rapists and pornographers – especially the ones in positions of power in the church. I fear this to be true because I see the character of those who were elected because of the fear of abortion. Thugs, charlatans, conmen, and thieves.

I hear how everyone talks over on Twitter and fear for the future. What are we going to do?

Stand them up in front of the church again?

Call them the stinky rose that no one wants?

Make sure that they are outcasts, constantly reminded that they aren’t really as clean as the others? Make sure that everyone knows that they are “fallen”?

I heard years ago about a young man who was sexually assaulted as a child. The young women were warned away from him. “He will always be broken” they were told.

So now, back in the mind of the young woman. Suppose the “fornication” wasn’t consensual. Suppose it was your youth pastor. Suppose it was a frat boy in an alley.

What will you do?

Report it? Remember what happened when your friend was raped and she was kicked out of school her senior year for violating her purity oath?

Remember how you had to sign a non-disclosure oath and never talk about it?

Remember when your mother and your father didn’t even believe you?

And suppose you got pregnant from that rape.

Do you report it to the police, knowing that the rapist will get custody of the child?

Do you put his name on the birth certificate and be forced to deal with him your whole life?

Did you know that most states allow a rapist to sue for custody?

I assure you that every single scenario here is true. It happens over and over and over. It has been well-documented with more evidence and more unimpeachable testimony than any court would require in any other situation. It has been documented again and again by all of those who have been or are currently being run out of the establishments for being “feminists. Liberals. Socialists.” Only because they dared to speak the truth.

But we don’t want to “ruin a man’s life” over “20 minutes of action, do we?”

We don’t have a problem with ruining HER life, after all, if she weren’t a sinner, she wouldn’t be in trouble now, would she?

I am pro-life, and believe that abortion is morally wrong. I believe that Roe v. Wade was the wrong decision.

I am pro-life, and believe that abortion is morally wrong. I believe that Roe v. Wade was the wrong decision.

But it goes a lot deeper than the “single issue voters” want it to be. Knowing that something is morally reprehensible, and knowing how to stop it are two different things. Is our calling as the church to enforce law? Or is it to proclaim the gospel? We keep getting sidetracked.

The law was given by God himself from Mt. Sinai and enforced with thunder and lighting and fire. The ground opened up at one point and dragged whole families down to hell. The threats and the curses were real.

But that wasn’t the gospel. And that never dealt with the problem of shame. The law on stone could beat someone to death, but it couldn’t bring life. It still can’t. All it can do is increase shame, which increases guilt, which increases sin.

So, if you recognize yourself in this scenario, let me give you the gospel.

Your shame is real, and I am so, so sorry for all of those who sought to control you by heaping more shame on you. Jesus didn’t come to heap shame.

He was stripped naked on the cross in front of the world and hung there to die. He took all of our shame upon himself, so that he might unite himself to you.

And he did this because he wanted YOU. He wants to embrace you and give you life. He wants to wash away all of your sin and misery, and wants to restore you to how He created you to be. With dignity, with honor, with beauty.

And because of his work, you ARE beautiful. If you have gotten pregnant, you are still beautiful and your baby is beautiful. You aren’t ruined, you aren’t second best, you aren’t spoiled. You are His daughter, and he is making you beautiful, without spot and without blemish. You are welcomed at His table and if the organization that calls itself a church doesn’t welcome you to theirs, then they don’t know Him. Flee from there into the arms of the One who loves you and gave himself for you.

For everyone else, who are you to judge another man’s servant? It is so much deeper than “they just don’t want to submit”. We have more work to do that goes deeper than picket lines, protest lines, and single issue voting.

Maybe if you think about this a little bit, you will see what Jesus meant when he said to the woman caught in the act, “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.”

I am pro-life, and believe that abortion is morally wrong. I believe that Roe v. Wade was the wrong decision.

And that is true. But it isn’t the gospel. The gospel is something far, far more powerful. The gospel goes to the heart and causes men and women to bend the knee, not because they are afraid, but that they have been overwhelmed by the power of love.

That’s a different thing.

11 Comments

Filed under abortion, Gospel

11 responses to “Pro-life

  1. Annette

    Thank you. You so thoroughly exposed the problem. I am prolife. I worked with pregnancy clinics and action groups for 35 years. Then I walked away. To many of the girls I. Post abortion counseling rooms were from ‘Christian’ homes- abortion was their only option when they faced a crisis pregnancy- in some cases their elder father drove them out of state to get that abortion.

    When Christian’s begin to love unconditionally the ‘need’ for abortion will begin to lessen.

    I too am prolife
    I to have roe vs wade
    I too am not convinced repealing roe vs wade changes anything 😢

  2. Kelly

    I have been thinking so much about the role of shame lately and how it keeps people from God and the life He intends for us.

  3. Tears and hugs from Australia xx

  4. FreshGrace

    Thank you for stating this so clearly. I have come to think this way but have never been able to articulate it so succinctly. I don’t know how we can get more Christians to view the issue this way. Your words are a great start.

    “I am pro-life, and believe that abortion is morally wrong. I believe that Roe v. Wade was the wrong decision.”

  5. I am so, so sorry for the unimaginable pain in your childhood.
    Remember that God is far greater than our sins and brokenness.
    You were a child suffering from unspeakable trauma.
    Try to have forgiveness and compassion for the girl that you were. She was in great pain.

  6. Aussie

    Hello Sam,
    I’m prolife. I live in Australia so am not very familiar with the whole Roe v Wade overturning that took place recently. In reading old posts on Melanie Green’s fb page recently I read replies that should alarm any person.

    The claims were made that the legislation that was about to be enacted would result in total bans on procedures to remove ectopic pregnancies, and on performing a d&c to assist a woman whose pregnancy had miscarried.

    The dangers to a woman’s life in both instances are very real, especially in the first instance. I understand that ectopic pregnancies are almost always in the Fallopian tubes and these NEVER result in a live baby.

    It reminded me, too, of a rant given the disgraced Doug Phillips of Vision Forum in one of his “ family” conferences in which he said that ectopic pregnancies should not be removed but a “wait and see” stance adopted. A horrible opinion to impose on a woman’s conscience…. let’s hope he was ignored for it would surely have resulted in deaths of mothers if followed.

    Any thoughts on this?

    • The American system is like this: each state makes their own laws, but all are governed by the US Constitution, as well as their own constitutions. The US constitution takes precedence over the states’ constitutions. The US supreme court interprets the constitution. If it determines that a certain law is contrary to the constitution, the law is null.
      Roe vs. Wade was a US supreme court decision that made all laws against abortion unconstitutional. They all went away. It wasn’t a good decision from a judicial perspective, but I am not a constitutional scholar.
      The current supreme court, after 50 years, overturned that decision. What that means is that any laws against abortion on the state’s books are now in force again – 50 year old laws, in many cases.
      In some states, the most radicalized people, like Philips, are making the most draconian laws and show no understanding or care as to how a woman’s body works. They are passing horribly oppressive and dangerous laws, and those worry me.
      I believe that there ought to be laws against abortion, but I also believe that these laws ought to be crafted by men and women who are wise, compassionate, and who understand the issues and complications involved. Otherwise, opinions such as the despicable Doug Philips will prevail, and it will cause untold misery and even more death.
      We have lawmakers state that women who are raped can’t get pregnant because their bodies shut down, that ectopic pregnancies aren’t real, and some of the most unbelievably idiotic and purposefully ignorant statements imaginable. I fear greatly for the laws that these sorts of people will pass.
      In the US, each state will be crafting their own laws, so there will be many types of laws. Here in California, I don’t expect any “pro-life” laws, since our state is heavily weighted towards pro-choice.
      Texas, Florida, and Mississippi, on the other hand, will most likely have the most oppressive and unyielding laws possible, I fear. Some law makers are even starting to talk about death penalties on mothers who get abortions. I don’t think that would be too likely, but I didn’t think Trump would be too likely either. So what do I know?
      We’ve gotten to the place where the most horrible people are being elected and i think that there will literally be hell to pay for it.

      • Aussie

        Thank you Sam,
        I can see that the situation in your country is very troubling.

        One lady had said she’d have died were it not for Roe v Wade. She’d been expecting triplets, but one was in her Fallopian tube which ruptured, causing her to lose HALF of her blood volume. She needed immediate surgery and a d& c to save her life.

    • Aussie

      Thank you Sam. It’s a very troubling situation that you describe in your country.

      One lady who recounted her situation that would have resulted in her death without Roe v Wade had been expecting triplets, one of which was ectopic. Her Fallopian tube burst and she lost HALF her blood volume. She needed immediate surgery and a d&c to save her life.

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