Last month was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. So I have had a month to ruminate on this topic. I read several Facebook and blog posts about abortion. I appreciated many of them for the thoughtfulness and graciousness in which they approached the subject. But at the end of the day, I was left with a gnawing in my gut. Something was wrong. Something was missing.
Please understand, I truly appreciate much of what was written. I agree with many who say that we cannot simply demand that abortions stop. We must do all we can to alleviate poverty, accept orphans into our lives, and promote a culture of life that also is concerned with things like the death penalty, war, euthanasia, etc…
But I have a nagging fear. Maybe I am wrong but I can’t seem to shake it. My fear is that we are beginning to believe that circumstance is the root cause of something like abortion. And therefore, if the circumstances are fixed, abortion would disappear. I think that is naive. And I also think it misses the point of the gospel.
Jesus, Paul and the early Christian writings make it clear that the problem in our world is sin. The human heart, human institutions and human relationships are all suffering under the power of sin. Jesus came to change the human heart and break the power of sin and death.
Imagine, if you could for a minute, living in the same country we do now, the only difference being that murder is legal. You can kill someone with no fear of government prosecution. I am assuming that as Christians this is something we would be against. We would really want the government to outlaw murder. Some of us might protest, or write letters. Now, we would be honest about the murders that happen. Some of them have alcohol as a contributing factor. Others are committed by people who are under-educated or stuck in a cycle of poverty. Many grow out of family problems. We would (I hope) work diligently to help with these contributing factors. However, at no point would we say that we are going to fix those factors and murder will disappear. Because we understand what murder is: it is the unfortunate outgrowth of what the power of sin does to our hearts.
Abortion is as well. It is the unfortunate outgrowth of what the power of sin does to our hearts.
To say I am against abortion or that the root cause of abortion is the power of sin in no way diminishes my love or sympathy for a woman who chooses one. In fact, it is because of love that I am against it. Rather, I am saddened that sin has deceived us to the point that we think of children primarily as a financial burden. I am distraught that sin has deceived us to the point that women truly believe they have no other choice. But I am also distraught that this deception has become acceptable for far too many of us (including me).
I am not saying that every one of us must take to the streets in protest, or the key is get certain laws changed. But to castigate those who do protest because “what they should be doing is adopting a child” misses the point. If someone knew my wife was going to be murdered, I would hope they would do everything in their power to stop it. Yes, alleviate whatever might be a contributing factor to her death. But also, make some noise. Try to stop it.
Again, let me be clear. I am not for bombing abortion clinics or yelling murderer at women who are walking into them. The love of Christ is what is needed to change hearts. But my fear is that we no longer believe hearts need changing.