It seems that there are a myriad of different efforts among the small community of active abortion opponents. Often times,
abolitionists are accused of having a limited set of methods and being unwilling to recognize the legitimacy of methods employed by other christians who are trying to oppose abortion. Just the other day I read an email from a pastor in which he stated that “AHA” views anyone apathetic if they aren’t doing exactly what “AHA” does. Is this assessment true?
When I look at the different autonomous local abolitionist societies across the world, I find that there are actually quite a few different tactics employed as well as different ideas on how, when, and where to employ them. But even with all of the differences between abolitionist societies and among individual abolitionists themselves, I must admit a few common principles that are universal to our methods. The first principle is that we seek to engage this world in not only a ministry of agitation but also that of assistance. The second principle which I would like to highlight is that we participate in direct action. The reason that I would like to highlight this difference is that I really believe it to be one of the largest gaps in between the strategy of abolitionists and that of our evangelical brothers and sisters. For the past forty plus years most of the action that evangelicals have taken has been indirect action. The chief way that we see this indirect mentality made manifest is the “crisis pregnancy center” or “pregnancy resource center.” Just as evangelicals tend to view the church building as the primary vehicle of evangelizing the world around them they likewise view the “CPC” as the primary vehicle for opposing the evil of abortion.
These are both forms of indirect action and are not in keeping with the commands of our Lord who said “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. GO therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Where Jesus has said GO we evangelicals have said STAY. I cannot speak for each individual but it is my supposition that we have done this because it insulates us from the bad weather and bad wishes of the community. We have chosen to be “called” to that which makes us most comfortable. No person in their right mind would respond to the systematic slaughter of defenseless preborn children by setting up a storefront and advertising free sonograms and diapers. I am not meaning to poke fun but it really seems that there is an utter denial of the severity of the problem itself inherent in these tactics. I would ask all those who are persistent in advocating for this type of indirect action if they would take the same approach if it were their own children scheduled to be put to death. In fact, I have asked that question. It is troubling that some would answer yes. Such is the desire to justify the peace that we have all made with child sacrifice.
I am well aware that there are exceptions to this epidemic. I am well aware that there are those who operate within the visible evangelical church in America who are evangelistic in the community as well as in their day to day lives. I have also seen evangelicals venture out beyond the walls of the church building and the storefront of the CPC to try and be a voice for the voiceless preborn children slated to die. But, these individuals are certainly the exception and not the rule. When you look at the tactics enlisted by the majority of organized evangelicals they too have a common vein. They are event driven, lest they have the appearance of fanaticism; and hidden out of sight, lest they offend the general public. How can the leaven work it’s way through the lump unless the dough is kneaded? How can there be crops without first plowing the ground? How can there be progress without a struggle? How can we claim to love these people if we do not GO to them? The solution to the evils of this and every age is the Gospel of God, and the solution must be directly applied to the problem.
Let me take a moment to clarify our understanding of the problem. The problem is not the abortion clinic. The problem is not the government. The problem is not planned parenthood. The problem is a fundamentally sick and diseased culture and, more specifically, and desalinated and dim church. I am not advocating that we cease to visit the abortion clinics and plead with women to not murder their children, quite the opposite. I am advocating as an abolitionist that we directly apply the solution to the whole problem. Any time that we leave the comfort of our homes and fellowship halls(or any other place where it feels safe and comfortable to speak the name of Jesus or to express dissent about the current holocaust) and engage the community around us with the truth we are using methods of direct action. Any time that we avoid conflict and discomfort, any time that we compromise or shy away from confrontation we are employing methods of indirect action. Let me leave you with a promise as well as an encouragement. Christ said that the gates of hell would not and will not prevail against His body, the church. The imagery of gates seems to be fitting as gates are something to be stormed rather than something that must be defended against. We as followers of Jesus, ambassadors of Christ, members of His Kingdom must be on the offensive like light pushing back darkness and salt confronting corruption.