Man I have no idea why I am getting ready to write this… It feels like that moment in a scary movie when you are watching the person on the screen reach for the door handle to open the door of the scariest room in the house and you are yelling at them – DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR YOU IDIOT! And yet they can’t seem to stop themselves… So here goes…
Last week (and weeks before that) I heard a candidate running for office – on the Republican ticket – literally say the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Last week Richard Mourdock discussing the topic of whether abortion was ever warranted said, “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Before that Todd Akin, also running for public office said women have natural defenses against pregnancy from “legitimate rape.”
Now both came back after their comments went viral (and they became some of the most reviled men in the country) to try to better word their statements… but there really is no way to get around what they said. Both handled a very sensitive issue in the most insensitive ways possible.
The Right To Life Movement has a terrible reputation with everyone outside of their own movement. It’s so strange to me how a movement started around the desire to protect life has come to be seen by so many as about anything other than love. Right To Life supporters would vehemently argue with me I am sure and say that they really are about love … but reputation sometimes is a hard thing to get away from. Whether it’s abortion clinic bombings, protestors with vile signs and hateful words and scare tactics or clumsily worded sound bytes from pro life politicians … the reputation is not a good one. Honestly the same thing can be said about the groups on the Pro Choice side of the aisle… Their rhetoric can be and is just as mean and hate filled. And I just don’t understand either side really.
I will tell you that I am a believer in the sanctity of all human life. I love Psalm 139:13-14 and I know that for someone who doesn’t believe in God – the scriptures have little meaning… but for me of course they have great meaning. I fear that those who claim a walk with Christ and yet take a stance that abortion is ok or that it’s a matter of choice… May not enjoy that conversation with God one day.
Even aside from scripture I am so confused how anyone could think that killing a baby – as long as it hasn’t been born – is ok… 1 second before birth it is a “medical procedure” and 1 second after birth it is manslaughter or murder.Yes – I know late term abortions are not practiced regularly… But babies can and do live being born at 28 weeks and even last year there was a baby that was born and lived at 21 weeks! Even without the time stamp issue – I find it crazy ironic that the government which says abortion is ok because it does not deem the unborn infant as a child but instead a fetus or a tissue lump will charge a person who commits murder with two charges of murder if the person they killed was pregnant. I think on the second issue they have it right – double murder! So how can standards be applied differently to unborn children?
But I also believe that any of us who claim Christ and yet don’t show compassion and love for singe moms or women struggling with what to do or orphans or anyone in need will not enjoy their conversation with God one day either. We don’t want to be guilty of taking a moral stand that says A or B or C is wrong but not offering real solutions built around love. For us as Christ followers who would desire to see Roe v. Wade overturned – we better have some real solutions in place for women affected by that decision.
The last thing I will say is this… that anyone looking to the government to supply the solution – you are wasting your time. The solution doesn’t exist in regulations one way or the other. The solution exists in us being about what God called us to be about… Love. If you say you want abortions stopped and you think the solution is to outlaw abortion… in reality you won’t stop abortions. They will still happen and not only will unborn children die – so will their would be mothers as they seek out solutions in back alleys by untrained, uncaring hands. The real alternative to abortions is to start showing young men and women that they have meaning. That they are not worthless. That they have potential. That they are loved. That the world is a better place because they were born – not a worse one. They need good educations. They need warm, safe places to go to bed at night. They don’t need hand outs they need us… they need to be cared for so they in turn learn to care for others.
A missionary in India met with a Hindu philosopher named Bara Dada… He asked him what he thought about Jesus and his response was cutting: “Your Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians – you are not like him.” Ouch. I want him to be wrong.
As Christ followers our instruction is simple… I John 2:6 “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” It’s time to put down the banners and the rhetoric and the anger and the hatred and it’s time to start following in Jesus’ footsteps. So it’s time to start showing people we really love them and not talking about things that prove the opposite.
Jason Rehmel is the Lead Pastor at Eastside Christian Church on the east side of Cincinnati. If you are someone who has had a terrible experience(s) at a church or churches – stop by some weekend and give it one more shot with Eastside. Whether you have felt judged, or dismissed, or unwanted – wherever it has been – Eastside is different.