Get ready. For the next eight weeks, you can expect the public square to be loud. And maybe violent. The words have already started flying. So have rocks, aimed at police.
For almost half a century, there has been passion debate about abortion in our country. Every year, tens of thousands of people have traveled to Washington DC for the annual March for Life. When President Trump was elected, there were, in cities across our country, a number of Women’s March events where the right to abortion was central. Since the 1980’s, anytime there has been a vacancy on the Supreme Court, the question of how a prospective justice might rule on cases involving abortion has been a central part of Senate confirmation hearings.
But with the court now expected to rule to overturn Roe vs. Wade this summer (based on the leaked draft opinion that exploded on the web this week), we can anticipate the already kindled rhetoric to continue to burn hot for the next few months. And the issue will be front and center in the upcoming mid-term elections.
You can expect talk shows and op-ed pieces to suggest that if the court overturns Roe, it will have laid the groundwork for the erosion of all kinds of legal rights the court has granted in recent years, from access to contraception to the redefinition of marriage.
There is one central, fundamental truth that sets the abortion issue apart from other issues the court has considered in recent years. Every time an abortion happens, a human life is lost. An innocent victim dies.
In the midst of all the arguments you will hear in the weeks ahead and the weeks following the Supreme Court ruling, don’t forget that whatever hardships or tragedies may be involved in facing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, the decision to end the pregnancy is the decision to end the life of someone who is made in God’s image.
I spoke on this issue a few years ago in church. As passions begin to rise in the public square, I think it’s important for me to remind you of what’s at issue.
Abortion is not the termination of an unwanted pregnancy. Abortion is a procedure designed to end the life of another human being.
Not a potential human being.
Not an embryo.
Not a fetus.
Not a clump of cells.
In fact, those ways of describing a baby in a mother’s womb are terms designed and employed in a satanic attempt to disguise or to obfuscate what is going on when someone has an abortion.
What is inside a pregnant woman is a person.
A human being with both body and soul.
With DNA that is different than the DNA of its mother.
It’s a new life that is entirely dependent on its mother for protection and for care.
The infant child in his or her mother’s womb is attached to its mother. But the child is not part of the mother’s body, like a kidney or a pancreas. The child is a person.
This is the defining central issue in the abortion debate.
We can talk about a woman’s right to choose or about overpopulation or about keeping the government out of the bedroom or whatever other issue we want to discuss.
But the question that governs every one of those questions is this question. Does an abortion end the life of a human being?
If it doesn’t, then it’s a simple surgical procedure and we shouldn’t worry about it.
We would all agree that a woman has a right to have a medical procedure. She can decide to inject botox or have a hysterectomy or have her wisdom teeth removed.
But if an abortion ends the life of another person, then we have a whole different issue on our hands.
It would be unthinkable for us to imagine giving a mother the right to end the life of her infant child if that baby became an inconvenience or a problem. We rightly recoil at the very thought of that.
So the question on the table here is whether the decision to terminate a child in the womb is somehow different than the question of terminating a child outside the womb.
Every time a child is conceived in a mother’s womb is a miracle that we regularly take for granted.
But when we read the Bible, the miracle is clear. “You formed my inward parts,” David says. “And you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14).
Fearfully. That’s an interesting word, right? We are fearfully made. What does that mean?
It means that we should be in awe of the God who designed and who embeds in every new human being a human soul. The God who has that kind of creative intelligence and creative power is not a God we should ignore or trivialize.
And wonderfully. Each new life is a cause for wonder. We should be astonished. We should marvel. Each time a human egg is fertilized and conception occurs, body and soul are fused together. An image bearer is created by the One whose image he or she bears.
As the debates rage in the days ahead and as the passions rise, do not lose sight of what is ultimately at stake. You will hear about the need for Christians to have a comprehensive pro-life ethic. And we should. You’ll hear about the need for care and compassion to be provided for those women who face an unplanned pregnancy. Again, it’s true. We should be the arms and feet of Christ for these women in need. We still have work to do as followers of Jesus in caring for those in need.
But none of that should obscure the central issue. Abortion ends a human heartbeat. A life is taken. In Deuteronomy 30, God says “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil… Now, choose life so that you and your children may live.” Whatever else you may hear in the days ahead, don’t forget what God has said. Choose life.
baby/child dedication – sun may 8
This Sunday at the beginning of our worship service, we’ll be joining with moms and dads as they follow the example of Hannah in 1 Samuel and offering their children to the Lord. I hope you’ll make an extra effort to be with us on time so we can participate as a church family in this special time.
MEN’S BREAKFAST – SAT MAY 14 8:30A
|Men (of all ages) – are you ready to chow down?|
Join us for a big breakfast get together Saturday, May 14 at 8:30 at church. In addition to grits and biscuits and the rest of the food, we’ll a brief devotion and a testimony, along with plenty of time to get to know one another better.
If you’re planning to attend, help us get a head count so we can make sure we have enough food. Sign up now by clicking here.
membership meeting – sat may 14
|And right after the men’s breakfast on May 14, we’ll have our new members meeting at church. There is some advanced reading and a few videos to watch before the meeting takes place. So now is a good time to connect with Pastor Matt and make plans to attend.|
men’s book study – Lies men believe
|And guys, if you haven’t requested your copy of the book Lies Men Believe for the Friday morning GunLap group that will be starting up again in June, now’s the time to let Jim McMurry know you need a copy.|
quick look ahead
|Here’s a quick guide to all that’s coming up in the next few months at RCC.|
YOUTH SUMMER EVENTS
|And here’s a look at some of the special activities we have planned for students this summer.|
| What do you and the Holy Spirit have in common? Before you answer too quickly, you might want to review what Jesus tells His disciples on the night before He is crucified. As it turns out, we are called to collaborate with the Spirit of God in the work of advancing the Kingdom of God on earth. We’ll examine that assignment as we turn again to John 15 this Sunday. |
See you in church.
Soli Deo Gloria!