With the recent passing of a new abortion law in New York, my Facebook feed has been full of discussions about abortion. I’m always thankful when I see Christians stand up in defense of human life. However, I am often saddened by some of the angry and almost hateful ways I see Christians lashing out against pro-choice supporters and law-makers. So I posted a plea for Christians to voice the truth lovingly and reasonably. Soon after, I saw that my good friend Jacob Rutledge posted something which made me realize, while we are both very much pro-life, we may not totally agree on how Christians should voice their pro-life convictions online (see both posts below). But instead of arguing with my friend and brother, I invited him to join me in the following discussion, so that all of you can hear how brothers who don’t see eye to eye on something should discuss their agreements and their disagreements. I hope you find this conversation encouraging and helpful.
For context, here are the two Facebook posts which prompted this conversation. Obviously, neither of us would disagree with the other, but we certainly approached the issue from different angles:
Here is the question that interests me: What sort of dialogue is actually going to lead to fewer abortions? What if we really tried to understand the motivations of people with whom we disagree? What if we committed to only posting things on social media which might lead to someone reconsidering their position; or might help a desperate woman, considering abortion, feel like she has another viable option? Let’s not see who can shout the loudest, but see who can be the most loving and the most reasonable. Let’s “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
We need to be careful of creating an environment in the church where zeal and righteous indignation are scorned.
If God’s people follow him, they will be righteously angry over evil and iniquity in society (like the recent events surrounding the abortion laws in New York). Following our Lord we “Love righteousness and hate iniquity” (Heb. 1:9); as the Psalmist says “O you who love the Lord, hate evil!” (Psa. 97:10).
The righteous are to be bold (Prov. 28:1)—not rude or callous, but also not timid and insipid. Every time some new evil is propagated in our society, and faithful Christians react in a godly way, I know what’s coming next: posts declaring we need to settle down and temper our response.
No doubt, we should be reasonable and loving in all that we do. But if we can’t get righteously angry about the slaughter and dismembering of innocent children, then what can we get upset about? A holy hatred for abortion, and speaking out against those who sign laws enshrining such evil, is at the very heart of the church. To speak truth to power with boldness, being firm in our conviction, and loving in our articulation of those principles.
I’m more concerned about creating a church that doesn’t speak out against such. A church who’s moral vigor and passion for truth and goodness has so been doused by guilt and shame that their timidity keeps them from speaking out boldly against such evil.
We speak the truth on abortion BECAUSE we love women. We passionately reveal the horror of it BECAUSE so many women are victims to the agenda propagated by the pro-choice movement. Many are unaware of the advancements in technology and the development of their child within the womb. We cry out for all the baby girls that have been lost because they were an inconvenience or unwanted. Our battles against this evil in our society is the very fulfillment of Paul’s command to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:5).
If we don’t speak out—if we allow guilt and shame and timidity to keep us from crying out for these innocent children—then their blood is on our hands.
And God helps us.
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