After 40 years of public battles over this American holocaust there is no end in sight. Pro-life (or ostensibly pro-life as we shall see) activists have lobbied, picketed, introduced legislation, worked on committees, and in general made noise for their position. Entrenched against the pro-life advocates stands the unyielding pro-abortion crowd.
As we enter this fifth decade of battle it seems fitting to consider, or more wisely perhaps, to reconsider, how better to structure our resistance. Now, the very word resistance indicates a passive or defensive position. No one who is advancing in their cause uses the word resistance. Resistance is what you do when the dominant army approaches the gates. Resistance is when you build the city ramparts higher, store up extra fuel, and start tightening your belt for the siege ahead. Christians have been resisting now for 40 years. Even though we have won a few skirmishes we have continued to lose the war at a rate of over 3000 dead per day. It is with this history of the abortion battle in mind that I write my against-the-grain view of what we ought to do. I am not expecting to become popular over the following paragraphs, but I do hope to bring Biblical light on the church’s work to eradicate this stunning evil from our culture.
One of the troubles besetting the Christian camp is our tacit acceptance of the humanist definitions for a fair fight. By common agreement we have decided to argue the case within parameters non-Christian people consider acceptable. We contest with them over evidence for humanness at various stages of a baby’s development. When can we discern fingers and toes? When will brain waves be detected? At what week, precisely, may an unborn child feel pain? When does the heart begin to beat? All of these types of calculations support the Christian acceptance that a fetus is a baby, is a human, in rapidly developing form. Physical development, though it has not been completed by the pre-born entity, is human life, and deserves the protection and respect due all people. The science is on our side. The supposedly scientifically-oriented secularists, are refusing to embrace the science they purport to use as their source of absolute truth. Given the trouncing they have received in these science-related categories, we would expect the battle should long ago have turned in our favor. Yet, this has not been the case. Secularists struggle on with undying emotion in their now scientifically disproven cause. All of these physical marks of humanness begin early. Babies have beating hearts, feel pain, and can potentially live outside the womb long prior to a normal nine-month term. Why then the continued argument by the embracers of this wicked non-science?
Here we arrive at the place our theology ought to have delivered us 40 years ago. We believed we could have a reasonable discussion on their terms, using their (supposedly) scientific categories, and thus deliver society from a wrong science, and ill informed practices. But, what we always were fighting was a spiritual and moral battle, not a scientific one. We ought to have insisted that the controlling ideas come from Scripture, and the God of Scripture, rather than the god of science, so-called. We were afraid that our political enemies would only deride us if we offered our Biblical moorings as a broad societal tie-down. Now we know, they never respected their own supposed scientific methods for truth, and they despise us just the same. Where then was the wisdom in our choices?
There is a philosophical fork in the road ahead of us. It is the same fork that was there 40 years ago. Will we try to advance the kingdom and morality of Christ by instructing the larger culture in the way of Christ? Or, will we seek first to build His kingdom using humanist arguments we believe will be, now magically, acceptable to secular-minded people? It seems almost ludicrous we have to ask any of this. Why did we ever believe unredeemed men would act like redeemed men? Why did we think that correct science would elicit proper morals? We were, and are, expecting behavior that will never be. The unsaved do not have the power to act righteously. Their minds are at enmity with God. As a group, they will not turn toward the civilization of Christ without His Spirit and prevailing influence. Hence, we know what fork we must travel. Our only path to success is to preach and teach Biblical truth as it applies to the abortion issue. The only tool God uses to transform people is His word preached. The culture calls it foolishness, but we call it the power and wisdom of God. God truly transforms men, and the societies of men, through the word preached. This then, must be our chosen road for the future.
We really need to argue from our first premise. Instead of doubting God we ought to push forward the morals and truth of His Scriptures. This is the best and only answer we have. The world will mock us. They will shriek they do not accept our Biblical pronouncements. Yet, what would they believe? It is not our duty to convert them. It is our duty to teach unashamed the word we were given. Jesus said that if we are ashamed of Him in this world, He will be ashamed of us in the next. Who then will end up being ashamed of whom? We must confront the world with God’s truth. Let Him worry about the success of the message.
For Christian Culture,
Don Schanzenbach 1/20/13