I cannot tell you how many pastors throw this at me as an excuse for not getting involved with pro-life work or even talking about it from the pulpit. It actually surprises me that a pastor would even try to justify his apathy and lack of involvement in standing up for life.
Obviously we all know that as a Christian s our main focus is to spread the Gospel and share the hope we have in Christ. We are commanded to “ Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15
The idea that taking a stand for the almost 4,000 children that are being ripped limb from limb every day by surgical abortion is contrary to the Gospel , is simply ludicrous. In fact, I would say that when we do not stand up for the voiceless or love our neighbor as ourselves, we are not truly preaching the Gospel.
I remember one pastor in particular who told me that I had no business telling anyone that abortion was wrong. He said I should only tell people about Jesus and nothing else. I laid out a situation for him to answer using his logic. What if you came upon a man beating a woman in an alley? Would you walk up to the man and tap him on the shoulder and tell him about Jesus or would you first stop the man from beating the women and make sure she was taken care of?
He tried to wiggle out of answering the question at first but eventually said he would first stop the man from harming the woman and make sure she was ok. I asked him why he would not just tell them man about Jesus and not worry about his behavior? He said because the woman was in imminent danger and needed to be rescued.
The fact is we are also called in Scripture to “Deliver those who are being taken away to death. And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back. If you say, "See, we did not know this," Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?” Proverbs 24:11-12
We are also called to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
We can also look at Matthew 25 where we are taught that when we do not feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty and clothe the naked then we are not doing that for Christ. I could fill this commentary with pages of Scripture references that would show us that preaching the Gospel is more than just mere words.
When babies are being killed by the thousands every day, are we loving our neighbor as ourselves when we ignore this? Is our neighbor just the guy who lives next door? Did the Good Samaritan stop to see if he knew the man in the ditch or ask God if he was called to a ditch ministry before he helped the man? No, he saw his fellow human person in distress and he stopped and helped him.
So many people tell me that their pastor will not talk about abortion from the pulpit. They don't want to talk about political issues or possibly offend anyone in the church.
Here is a question I would ask them: if you were told as you were walking up to the pulpit to deliver your sermon that a man with a knife was heading to the nursery to stab all the children in the nursery, would you warn people from the pulpit or would you say that the pulpit is only for preaching the Word ? Of course they would warn people, I don't know a single pastor in the world who would not jump up and immediately warn everyone about the danger the children were in.
If that same pastor were told before his sermon that they were opening a new abortion mill down the street where about 20 babies a day were going to be aborted daily, would he feel the same urgency to warn his congregation about the danger facing those children?
Most of the time it would have to go through some kind of committee or vote to see if the church wanted to have some kind of official outreach to that abortion mill. There would be so much red tape that it may take a year to even get an announcement in the bulletin about a possible ministry team being formed.
Are the children that would die in the nursery more valuable than the children that would die in the abortion mill? Why are we not just as horrified about children being killing in an abortion mill as we would be about children being killed in a church nursery?
There is no excuse for the apathy and lack of involvement of the church when it comes to abortion. We have allowed the government to politicize abortion to the point that we just don't pay attention any more. We are more than happy to let our votes on Election Day be our only action we ever take as we leave it up to politicians who never deliver on their promises.
Preaching the Gospel is not just leaving cheesy Bible tracts with a lousy tip on the table at Applebee's after church. Preaching the Gospel is not just saying “ Jesus loves you” to your friends as work after laughing at all their dirty jokes. Preaching the Gospel goes far beyond our words and must also include action. Feeding the poor, giving water to the thirsty and yes, speaking up for the voiceless IS preaching the Gospel.
What do you think?
To read all of the Tough Questons Series, go to www.standtrue.com and click on the "educate yourself" section.
For Christ I Stand,
Bryan Kemper - firstname.lastname@example.org