Is it possible we have become inconsistent pro-lifers? Advocates of the dominion mandate, but traitors to it at the same time? Lovers of children, but keeping them from Jesus’ benediction? We need to strive for consistency in this important matter. So we must ponder how we answer these questions: How do we as a church encourage new mothers? Do we provide them meals to ease the new challenges they will have? Do we welcome children into our church with the same joy Jesus did in the Gospels? Further, what about the elderly among us? Are they simply inconveniences? Have we given thought to how we can learn from their wisdom? What about the younger folks in our church: have we listened to their concerns? Or have we simply separated them from the rest giving them over to their specific millennial set of interests? There are times when activities for certain age groups are good and right, but has that become our norm, rather than the exception? If our desire is not incorporation, but segregation, in what sense can we foster a culture of life when we have developed a culture that disintegrates family structures and church life? Is it possible, I ask once more, that we have become philosophically and practically inconsistent with the agenda of life we treasure so deeply?
Originally published at Kuyperian Commentary
Response to Comments: I am pleased with the enormous response. As of now there have been over 500 views. The vast majority of responses were very supportive and expressed in one way or another the sadness, but also the hope that a new generation will turn this evil tide in our country.
As I expected there were a couple of negative responses. The response can be summarized in the following manner: “Abortion is such a difficult issue, and to expose a four year old to such an issue can be unhealthy.” One comment referred to the topic of abortion as “intense.” I do not wish to spend too much time with a lengthy response, except to say the following:
First, we have largely sanitized abortion in our evangelical culture. We looked at the Gosnell case with absolute horror, but then treated it as something completely different than what happens every single day in the abortion clinics of America. Approximately, 4,000 babies are suffering the same fate every day. Instead of sanitizing, we need to call it for what it is: barbarism.
Secondly, we have also minimized the ability of our little children to understand big issues. My four year old has been raised in a covenant home where the gospel is brought to her attention every day through singing, Bible reading, discipline, and conversations that vary from the Trinity to tying shoes. Children can grasp more than we can imagine. During our lunch time today, my daughter called my wife to tell her something. She whispered to my wife: “Thank you for loving life.” Yes, there were some tears, but ultimately it was a confirmation that the covenant promises of God are yes and amen.
Third, one comment addressed the fact that we need to show more love to these mothers. I agree. And I think that pregnancy centers like Safe Harbor in Pensacola do a marvelous job. Last year alone they–through their counsel–prevented over 150 women from taking the life of their unborn children. At the same time, when these women are walking into these abortion centers, they are mostly making a conscientious choice to take the life of their unborn child. This is tragic, and my daughter’s response was far more mature and pure than my own at times. Death is death. Death is a reality. We cannot keep our children from it, and when we see it we need to despise those who work iniquity (Psalm 5:5).
May God grant this new generation courage and a fresh passion for the glory of God and the purity and value of human life.
It was a morning like any other, except my daughter was wide awake at 4:45 AM. I work hard at not being a morning person, but for her it came rather easily. I got dressed and made the quick decision to take my vivacious four-year old with me. It was an ordinary morning, but at the last abortion clinic in Pensacola it was a morbid morning. Young ladies full of life were entering the house of death.
I am an ordained minister. I have sat through a presbytery oral examination. After having studied for six months, I felt fairly confident as I sat before six other pastors. The Bible verses and the theology flowed from my lips with tremendous ease. This morning, however, I was examined by my four year old. Suddenly I found my rhetorical abilities being challenged as I tried to explain to this beautiful little girl just how un-beautiful this place was. “We are going to a place where mommies don’t want their babies,” I said. “Why do they not want their babies,” she asked. “Well, they simply don’t love life.” She paused and looked outside in silent wonder.
We arrived at the clinic and the signs were beautiful. The faces of lovely little children brought a temporary sanity to some of us. Another sign pictured a bloody and shattered body of an aborted image-bearer. She saw the image.
We joined the other saints. We read a psalm, prayed, and sang Psalm 92. They may not have heard us inside, but God did, and God acts through the prayers of his people. We sang of how the enemies of Yahweh grow like weed, but they are caught in their own evil schemes. Lord, hear our prayer.
We saw the vehicles as they drove by us. They reminded me of young college students flying through the college campus to get to class on time. In this case, they were young college students flying by in their expensive cars to terminate the life of their unborn children. It was a devastating sight to behold.
My daughter asked me to lower myself and quietly asked me: “Are the mommies going to kill their babies?” “They are, baby girl! That is why we are here. We don’t want them to make this horrible decision.” “But daddy, I don’t want them to kill their babies.” “We don’t either. We need to let them know that God loves life, and that He loves babies.” She was visibly shocked. In her world, mommies treasure babies, and daddies are not cowards. But in this world, mommies are bad characters in this unending movie, and daddies are participants in one of the most cowardly acts of history. “Daddy, I want to go home.” I excused myself and took my four year old to the car knowing that I was going to be examined again. “Are they really going to kill their babies?” Now she asked with greater conviction. Once again I said yes. We need to let them know that babies are gifts from God and that we cannot refuse his gifts. We then talked about how precious her baby brothers were. She told me she wanted to go home and kiss her 9 month old brother. Once again, she silently looked out the window in a contemplative manner. Then she burst into righteous anger: “I don’t like those mommies! They will never be able to kiss the babies! I don’t want to come back here.” I didn’t respond. She then pondered for a minute or two. “Maybe I will come back,” she said. “Just let daddy know, and I will bring you with me,” I said.
It was a morning like all others, but this morning my daughter learned that not everyone treasures life. And her heart was broken, and so was her father’s.
Uri Brito is a husband, and a father of three lovely children.
One of the great problems of our society is the problem of prioritization. We have not disciplined ourselves. We have a disjointed hierarchy. Since this is the case we walk around limping as a culture. Christians, the architects of society, have a particular distaste for priorities. They want to tackle too many issues with the same level of enthusiasm and dedication. As a result, we have lost our battles again and again. I am not implying that we need to forget certain issues, but that we need to give more attention to others.
One such example of this is the recent cases of Kermit Gosnell and the Boston Marathon Bombing. The media has overwhelmed us with terrorist experts. They have played images again and again. On the other hand–by comparison–the media has avoided the details of the Gosnell case. Where are the terrorist experts when we need them? The grand jury transcripts are all available. The details are gruesome. While Planned Parenthood laments how dirty Gosnell’s facility was and how much cleaner their deaths are, we need to keep first things first. One monster who keeps body parts as souvenirs is no different than another monster who prefers to dispose of body parts. They are all guilty and filthy in every way.
We weep and expect quick judgment to befall the protagonists of the evil that occurred in Boston. The Boston Marathon bombing offered us a glimpse into sin ( I offered a prayer here), but the slaughtered body parts of born infants offers us a gigantic display of the barbaric nature of sin. This is what priorities look like. Though Christ bore every sin, not every sin is alike. Though people die, not every death is alike. Though catastrophes happen, not every catastrophe is alike. We know this instinctively, but at times we are afraid to bring it to light. Some may fear we are trivializing an atrocity to bring light to another. This is not the case. I am simply pointing out that certain atrocities are so humanly appalling that it deserves more light than others. I am trying to reverse the prioritization of a culture. I am asserting that not all evil acts are created equal. I am also affirming that God’s wrath burns brighter in some cases over others. I am asserting that when what God so wonderfully made (Ps. 139) is torn and broken, our weeping should last longer.
Marc Lamont Hill made clear his priorities when he stated the following recently:
“For what it’s worth, I do think that those of us on the left have made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry that it’ll compromise abortion rights. Whether you agree with abortion or not, I do think there’s a direct connection between the media’s failure to cover this and our own political commitments on the left. I think it’s a bad idea, I think it’s dangerous, but I think that’s the way it is.”
This type of clarity is rare, but refreshing. It is refreshing in an extremely morbid sense. Hill is one of those that acknowledge that his ideology is to be preferred over what is good, true, and beautiful. Simply put, a philosophy of death needs to prevail. Robert Frost once humorously observed that “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” The humor vanishes when we consider that for those dismembered infants life barely started. We lack moral prioritization.
So while we offer our prayers to the suffering and grieving in Boston, let us remember and keep reminding everyone through whatever means that what monsters do to the least of these must not be forgotten. Let us keep reminding everyone and ourselves that what monsters do seconds after birth or seconds (or months) before birth is no different. Let us keep reminding the world that God will not overlook evil. Let us keep first things first.
This morning a group of us from Micah 6:8 joined to read Scriptures and pray at the only abortion clinic in Pensacola. It was a short time of reading and prayer. As the cold weather froze our bodies we realized that we were witnessing young women entering what I would assume was a pleasantly heated building. As they entered they were most likely treated kindly. As they waited they were most likely reflecting on the freedoms they would enjoy with this thing called “a human being” out of the way. Perhaps they were struggling with their decision. Perhaps they were forced into this concentration camp. And like a concentration camp they were led to a place that they thought was a refreshing shower, but instead turned out to be poisonous gas. As a “doctor” performed his surgery, the patient was slowly being seduced by the gas of death. “The right-winger and evangelicals can’t be right about this. They just want to take away our ability to choose over our bodies,” they rationalize. “My boyfriend will leave me if I decide to keep this child.” Whatever reasons they choose, and however detailed they may be, the telos is still the same: a living, breathing, God-formed human being was being obliterated without a chance.
I was struck while listening to the reading of Psalm 10 that “in secret places he doth slay the innocent.” How appropriate to our situation. This building is well-hidden to those who pass by. The Psalter says also that “they lie in wait to catch the poor.” Those in poverty are those who have relinquished their roles as mothers. In this case, the one in poverty of heart comes willingly to the trap set before them.
When that woman raised her fist at a pro-life activist this morning she was in defiance of God. “Those who defy verbally still have a chance,” opined the experienced activist near us. They are actually fighting with their decision was the implication. The ones who walk in quietly inhaling their first cigarette of the morning is set on their duty. Just as they puffed away on the cigarette, they were about to experience that unborn child puffed away from planet earth.
There is much work to do. I don’t do enough. I don’t pray enough. There is so much I can learn from those who have given their lives to declaring the message of life. To them I am grateful. John tells us that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. In this clinic, it is in the darkness of the early morning that evil operates. As these ex-moms recover from their surgery, their consciences will never recover. May they never recover until God grants them repentance and their hearts find rest in the God of life.