Abortion: Attitudes For Action
Does this scene sound familiar to you? The enemy was at war with the Army of God and they picked their biggest guy to do the fighting. Not only did he stand nine feet, nine inches tall, but he was covered in bronze - from his helmet to his shin guards, with 125 pounds of armor in between. He carried a 33 pound iron spear and slung over his shoulder was a bronze javelin.
His own personal shield carrier walked before him. An awesome sight, to say the least. Just imagine the sunlight glinting off of all that hardware! His name was Goliath, and he challenged the Army of God to send someone to fight him. “Kill me,” Goliath said, “and we Philistines will serve you - but if I win, you will serve us.” The battle lines were drawn. It was all or nothing.
Morning and evening, for 40 days, Goliath stood snarling on the battlefield, shouting, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.” But his fierce threats and visual impact alone were enough to keep the Army of God paralyzed. They were afraid. God wanted to give them the victory - but they were losing by default!
Enter young David with his bread and cheese delivery. Strong in faith and practical in conviction, he couldn't bear to see God humiliated. He says, “Who is this uncircumcised (ungodly) Philistine, that he should taunt the Armies of the living God?” When David told King Saul that he would fight Goliath, Saul said, “Are you crazy? Goliath was killing people before you could even walk. He'll have you for breakfast!” (My paraphrase.) But that didn't scare David. He had risked his life killing wild animals to defend sheep, how much more zealously should he defend the name of the Lord? God's honor was at stake.
Wearing no armor, and visibly vulnerable except for his shepherd's staff, a pouch of small stones, and a sling, David approached Goliath. Goliath, full of contempt and insulted that David was even considered a worthy match, said with sarcasm, “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?”
“You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. . . that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands.”
As Goliath came forward, David confidently ran towards him and took his best shot. The stone sunk deep into Goliath's forehead, and he fell to the ground. David grabbed Goliath's sword, killed him, and took his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they made a hasty retreat. However, they were overcome and defeated by the Army of God. (I Samuel 17)
Amazing? A miracle? It was neither. David simply believed God. What was in David's heart for God was translated into action. Love is as love does.
We are in the 21st century, but there is a giant roaming the land today. Much like Goliath, this giant, through fear and intimidation, has almost totally immobilized the Army of God. He is overwhelming in size, and his shadow alone sends the bravest of heart into pains of unbelief. The scary thing about him is that he is very hard to see. Occasionally a few of his victims appear to tell their story, but many people never see him face to face - they only hear terrible rumors about the damage done elsewhere. (Actually, some refuse to believe the “horror stories” are true, and prefer to live peacefully, totally ignoring the supposed problem giant.) But in reality, this giant is loud and ugly, and he possesses an uncanny power to scare off almost everyone who even thinks about opposing him. As Goliath of old, he holds his ground for lack of a challenger. Some leaders who are responsible for different segments of God's Army seem to be saying, “It's terrible, but it's to be expected. Things are getting worse in these last days. There's nothing we can really do about it, so why try.” And so, life goes on - for some people that is.
The giant's name is Abortion and the vast Army of God is shivering in their boots.
Recently a good friend looked me in the eye and said, “Do you believe you will see abortion defeated in your lifetime?” I opened my mouth to speak but couldn't make a sound for several seconds until I stammered, “... uh, well, I've never thought of that... But I'll sure spend my life trying!!” I was cornered, and I knew it. I was embarrassed, too. There I was, writing, marching, speaking against abortion… and all without a clear vision of victory. I'd been going in obedience because I knew I must. Win or lose, it was the right thing to do. But all of a sudden I saw that something was missing. Where was my faith? Could I close my eyes and see a time in the future when abortion would be outlawed? I couldn't. I was marching in the army, but without hope of winning the battle. I was walking in the sin of unbelief! Ididn't have the faith because I hadn't asked for it… “whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Rom. 14:23)
Later in prayer I asked Jesus to please forgive me for my unbelief. He did. He also encouraged me and showed me that we Christians are a lot closer to victory than we think. We just need to get out into the battle!
Here are a few questions for you:
Does God approve of abortion?
What do you think God would like to do about abortion right now?
Why isn't He doing it?
Do you believe abortion can be defeated?
Why are most Christians so apathetic when it comes to really being involved in seeing abortion defeated? I used to think that ignorance of the facts was the reason. But I don't think that's a valid excuse anymore. If anyone is uninformed today (in America, anyway) it's because they want to be. A purposeful “sticking your head in the sand” so to speak. The facts are readily available to anyone who cares enough to find out what they are. No, ignorance is not the reason. We are not active in seeing abortion defeated because:
1. We Are Not Close Enough to God
Most of us are not as close to God as we should be. How can we boldly trust Him for “the impossible” if we are living in a state of unbelief? How can we make personal, sometimes very costly, sacrifices of ourselves and our time if we are self-centered instead of Christ-centered? Obviously, we can't.
As we get closer to God, we will understand the things that He has on His heart - for us, and for our nation as a whole. I'm not speaking only in regards to the pro-life issue, but most importantly, for the eternal life issue of our souls. Get close to God so you can love Him and serve Him with a whole heart in everything He asks you to do. (However, remember that an active involvement in anything except the Lord Himself does not necessarily indicate a deep relationship with Jesus.)
2. Because We Are Not Close Enough To God, We Don't Have the Faith To Believe Abortion Can Be Defeated
If David had anything, he had faith. Remember slavery? It wasn't that long ago in this country that the Supreme Court said it was legal for one person to own another person. Slaves were property. You could beat them, sell them, trade them, or kill them. Black people were not fully human, they said. Slavery was convenient for those of the “right” color, just as abortion is convenient for those of the “right” age. In those days it was probably difficult to imagine life without it. However, today slavery is not only illegal, but even the thought of it is repulsive. Slavery was never right even though it was legal for a time. Just as slavery was overturned, let's grab onto an overcoming faith that can believe God for the defeat of abortion as well.
As David proved, one with the Lord is a majority. But our apathy renders us useless. David had faith that Goliath would be defeated. He was also willing to be the instrument that God used to do it. “Greater Is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.” (I John 4:4)
3. We Dont Want To “Get Involved In Politics.”
Many Christians say, “I want to do something about abortion, but I don't want to get involved in politics!”There is a misconception that political action is unspiritual and that the truly righteous would never be involved. Yes, it can be ungodly, and sometimes it is, but it doesn't have to be. Politics in itself is not evil.
What does “not being involved” actually mean? Does it mean not voting or picketing or lobbying or counseling or marching or praying? I hope it doesn't mean not caring. But for many Christians the whole realm of abortion has been driven to the “political junkyard” and left there to rot. Hopefully, “someone else” will clean up the mess.
Let's take a closer look. Politics is “the science and art of governing a country." Now, for a Christian to say, “I don't want to be involved in governing my country," sounds a bit like dropping the ball to me. The enemy is singing us a lullaby of praise for “not getting involved in politics.” Meanwhile, during our nap, he has gathered power and momentum for himself. I suggest that it's time to wake up. If abortion laws are to be changed, it will be through political action. Through “the system.” And to a large degree, we will need to be involved - at the very least, vote. To ignore or deny this fact is totally unrealistic. When we leave the decision making to the godless, we have no right to complain about the laws we end up living under. “With good men in authority, the people rejoice; but with the wicked in power, they groan.” (Proverbs 29:2)
One final note on this. Many people who say that they don't want to be involved with politics actually mean they are afraid of becoming like some people they've seen in politics. Or they don't want to get caught up in “political machinery.” In other words, they are afraid to be involved. Afraid that God will not help them maintain their Christian witness. Afraid of what people might think. Afraid it will be too much trouble. Afraid of defeat. Afraid to face the giant. Afraid.
Whatever the fear, it is effective in blocking a major flow of godly influence in the world today.
“The good influence of godly citizens causes a city [state or nation] to prosper…” (Proverbs 11:11)
Not one Christian should be silent when itcomes to abortion. Christians are not in favor of abortion, but only a few are doing anything about it. There's a creative way for each person, no matter what their limitations may be, to be active.
Let's look at David. He was just making a food delivery to the front lines when he encountered Goliath. His response could have easily been, “This is terrible, but it isn't really any of my business. This could get pretty messy. I'm going back to my sheep…” But David didn't say that. As a lover of God it was his business. He had no choice but to fight. So God bypassed the “Israeli SWAT Team” and honored Himself through David.
The Army of God cowered for 40 days before David came along. But we have shrunk back for over 10 years! God has been humiliated long enough. It's time to move! The weaker you are, the greater the potential there is for God's glory. Today we need hundreds of thousands of Davids. When you become a Christian you're automatically drafted into God's Army, flat feet and all. We must fight for what is right. We are not talking about a slight infraction of an insignificant law. Abortion is murder. Cold-blooded, premeditated murder. Every Christian must speak out loud and clear. It is our business!
So what can we do? The answer to that is A LOT. However, the issue of abortion is such an emotional one that there's a temptation to let those emotions rule us to some degree. There are many avenues of action to talk about, but first let's make sure we're not running off to battle with faulty hearts and faulty ammunition. We must have the right motives and the right priorities if we expect to see a victory.
We have much to learn from David when it comes to facing giants. Using him as an example let's look at a few things we will need for victory:
Jesus is your strength and your foundation. This point cannot be overemphasized. David was prepared to take on Goliath because of his deep relationship with the Lord. His skills were sharp both in the physical and the spiritual because he walked faithfully with God. We need to be prepared too. Before you get up on your feet, get down on your knees. Ask God for a move of His Holy Spirit in your life and then let Him direct your steps.
In order to fight the enemy, we need to know who he is. Sounds simple, but many times we lose sight of the obvious. Satan is our enemy. He hates God and hates those who love God. He's so wicked, he even hates the people who love him. Satan delights in destroying what God loves, and abortion is only one of the ways he does it. We are dealing with high powers and principalities here, so sharpen your swords. David was clothed in the full armor of God before he went out to fight. Make sure you are too! (Eph. 6:10-17)
Love for God
David's motivating force was his love for God. In dealing with abortion we need that same love. We need to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength; and to love our neighbor as ourselves. That's the correct order. Only when we love God as we should, can we truly love others.
Abortion is breaking God's heart. How would you feel if you could see every abortion taking place, not to mention every other wicked and horrible thing happening on this earth? God sees it all. He carries that pressure and hurt everyday. He hears every broken cry and sees every broken body. What a comfort it must be for Him to feel our love in a world that has largely forsaken Him. We must let God work His will through us, for His glory-because we love Him.
Love For the Victims
It's easy to love the innocent little babies who are the victims of abortion. Their slaughter is an unspeakable evil. Why do we love them? God made them lovable. He also gave us the capacity to love.
These little children like all of us are made in His image and they belong to God. They are totally defenseless. They cannot speak for themselves. It's not hard to see why we must speak up, not only for their sake but for the Lord as well.
Some people find it more difficult, although still relatively easy, to love the young women who are getting the abortions. They too are victims. Not wholly innocent victims, but victims of their own sin and their lack of relationship with Jesus. Some seeking abortion are in very desperate situations, others are more casual about it. Whatever the reason, we need to love these young women as much as we love the babies they are carrying. Their souls are equally precious to God.
Love For Your Enemies
Perhaps the hardest people to love are those who are in some way promoting abortion. But Jesus tells us to love our enemies. Does that mean we are to love the abortion doctors, nurses, clinic workers, women's libbers, and too-liberal lawmakers? That's exactly what it means. These people are not our enemies, they are pawns in the enemy's game. Willing pawns, yes, but God wants to reach them anyway. Sadly, I've seen tremendous amounts of bitterness expressed towards these people. They have been mocked and made fun of in the most unkind ways. If we fall into sinful attitudes it just blocks our fellowship with God, giving Satan one more victory.
We should hate the things these people do, and we must oppose them at every turn. But we cannot hate them. Remember the saying, “God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.” Isn't this what brought most of us to God? Knowing that He first loved us, in spite of the sinful state we were in.
We need to be channels for God's love. It's true that pro-abortionists are taking a segment of society, the unborn, and declaring them to have no value. But if we aren't willing to love the proabortionists, in essence, we are saying that they as a “people group” have no value. We must find creative ways to share the love of Jesus with them. Obviously, unless they turn to Jesus in humility and repentance, they will have to account for their acts before the throne of God. It will be an awesome and terrible day when all they can receive from God is justice. The time for mercy and grace is now. So in your rescuing, see if you might also snatch some of these out from the fire. (Jude 23)
David went to Goliath in truth. He went boldly in the name of the Lord. David didn't expect victory because it was a good idea, but because he knew he was on God's side. In fact, he boldly predicted his victory because he was coming in the name of the Lord. He didn't go into battle trying to hide anything. If we are ashamed of the Lord, He will be ashamed of us. (Luke 9:26)
What is the truth? You can argue about the age of viability, the pain the baby suffers during an abortion, the guilt the mother suffers, medical ethics, the pros and cons of adoption, etc., until you're blue in the face. They are all excellent points, but if someone doesn't have an understanding of absolute right and wrong, it's all open for debate. Without a biblical foundation of truth, it's all opinion - and everyone has a right to their own opinion! However, when God speaks, we are not dealing with just anyone's opinion - we are talking about God's opinion. His opinion is called truth. He will uphold His truth with His power. The bottom line is this: God says abortion is wrong. Every other pro-life argument only further supports the fact that God is right.
Sometimes people's opinions happen to agree with God's truth, but they don't have a relationship with the God of that truth. Merely fighting for a godly cause does not necessarily mean you are a godly person. God may call you to work with people who do not know Him. Remember to love them. Their work towards defeating abortion shows that they already have strong convictions. That they know at least a part of the truth when they see it - and that they are committed to it. You just need to hook them up with the Author of that truth. You may have a mission field in your local pro-life office. Don't overlook it on the way to the clinics.
How did David deal with Goliath? He ran towards him! He didn't wait for Goliath to chase him down. He didn't back off into a corner and wait until the last minute to sling his stone. He was the aggressor. He took the initiative and defeated him in an act of courage that stunned everyone.
Don't wait for abortion to “come to your door.” Find out where it is and go out and meet it head on.
Goliath was covered in armor. All of his vital organs were protected. But David carefully appraised the situation and went in with a plan. I'm sure he had already seen Goliath's vulnerable spot, and so knew exactly what he was aiming for. He went to the brook himself and carefully picked his stones - a good time to seek God. A stone too big may have crashed into part of Goliath's helmet, not giving enough impact to down the giant, and one too small would be ineffective. But David knew what would be too much and what would be too little because he had a plan. A strategy. He knew where he wanted to place that stone before he hit the battlefield.
Wisdom. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Look for the hole in the armor. Ask God to show you the enemy's weak spots. Ask Him to give you a plan.
Be ready for some “fiery darts” when you step out. They may hit you in the streets talking to young women, from your family, or even from Christian friends. Whatever the source, be assured, they will come. I recently spoke with two girls who were very discouraged because many people in their church thought they were “weird” because they were so actively against abortion. There's potential for real hurt when your friends don't understand. But look at David. His own brother accused him of wrong motives, and his king didn't exactly give him a vote of confidence. But David didn't let those things interfere with his decision. He had heard from God, and he wasn't going to be sidetracked. Just keep a humble, teachable heart and always respond in love.
We Christians are sometimes tempted to compromise our beliefs since there are so many other good reasons to be opposing abortion. Maybe we want to “fit in” or want to see bigger numbers in our ranks. When we water down the Gospel, we are watering down our power and effectiveness as well. If glorifying God is not your ultimate goal, something else is. Maybe political power, recognition, or just personal good feelings of value and worth. These things are substitutes for the peace and joy that only Jesus can bring. Although you may get great gratification from being involved with a worthy cause, good deeds don't get anyone to heaven.
Christians working for pro-life must be pro-Jesus first. He must be our focus. We must be careful not to allow ourselves to be consumed by a cause, rather than consumed by Jesus. Giving even a godly cause priority above our personal relationship with God will grieve Him. Jesus must be our foundation - otherwise we may see our own eternal life sacrificed on the altar of worthy causes.
Jesus is the hub of the wheel. Everything else in our life must radiate out like spokes from that central point of faith, worship, and devotion.
Everyone knew Israel said they believed in the One True God. But their lack of action made a very loud statement. If their God was real then why were they so afraid? Didn't they believe their God would give them victory?
The average man on the street knows that Christians are against abortion. If the millions of Christians in this nation alone stepped out, it would cause quite a stir. But all is quiet on the western front. Our passiveness tells the world that we don't really believe what we say we believe. If we did, we couldn't stand to live in the midst of these murders without doing anything about them. Have we simply “adjusted our theology” to accept these acts of violence? If our God is real, then why haven't we met the challenge of the enemy?
Our lack of action implies consent. Agreement. All talk but no action. No threat to the enemy. God says, “Thou shall not murder.” We act like either He didn't actually say it, or if He did, He didn't mean it.
David went against Goliath because he wanted to prove to the world that God is real. His goal was “...that the earth may know that there is a God.” (I Samuel 17.46) That must be our final goal as well. That the earth may know that there is a God!
Getting the abortion laws changed is an excellent short-term goal. The sooner abortion is outlawed the better. A change of laws will glorify God in this nation and around the world as well. God will be honored, and people will be able to see that His way is indeed the best way.
However, if getting the laws changed is your ultimate goal, you're stopping short of the mark. After the laws are changed, then what? A self-centered, godless mentality is the soil in which abortion is flourishing. These laws are only a reflection of our rebellion against God. You cannot legislate morality or spirituality into people's hearts. When abortion is outlawed, people who want one bad enough will still find a way to get one. It's against the law to shoot people with guns. It still happens.
May I suggest that on the way to seeing the laws changed we have an even higher goal: Changing people's hearts. Bringing the reality of Jesus to everyone we encounter. Only a relationship with God can change people's hearts. When hearts are changed, right choices are made. Think on this: Someone visited our ministry recently and asked if people around here were allowed to smoke. One of our elders answered, “I've never thought about that before. We've never needed a smoking rule. No one's ever wanted to.”
Prayerfully consider each point before moving ahead into action. Everything you do will be so much more effective when you have a strong foundation in Christ. When you are in communion with God it releases Him to release you! Only then will you have the power and anointing needed to defeat this, or any other, giant. Wherever you see a weak area, ask the Lord to help you be what you need to be and I know that He will. Remember, in our weakness Christ can be strong. I believe God wants to use Christians to defeat abortion. If we don't fight, who else is going to? He wants to use each of us in a special way. We need to move out quickly, but in His strength, not our own.
When you're ready to go, please read Abortion: Avenues For Action (Ref. #062). It tells you about the different things you can do to take a stand with God against abortion. Hopefully, you'll even come up with a few ideas of your own!
With the Lord, the victory is ours. Can we refuse to step out and take it?