It happened. Roe v Wade was revisited by the Supreme Court. Roe is dead. But what now? Will Christians turn to saving souls instead of forcing our way in legal court challenges? Will we focus on helping people who consider having an abortion instead of hating them? Or, will we pat ourselves on the back, say job well done, and move on to something else that we love to hate?
My fear is that too many will say job well done and then turn to other issues that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said should be sent to them. Other issues we can make illegal and feel very righteous in the process.
But, like the figure in the image, let’s turn the page. Turn the page on how we view women who want or even think about having an abortion. And turn the page from whatever Bible passages we’re using to justify our actions, and check out some others that may say we’re wrong.
Don’t get me wrong. I think abortion, in most cases, is wrong. If you want me to say flat out abortion is always wrong – sorry but I’m not that arrogant. I’m not God. That’s for Him to say, not me.
On the other hand, I think we have done so much damage in the area of abortion.
Why do I say we when referring to Christians and abortion?
For one thing, I’m Christian.
For another, I used to want to make abortion illegal too.
However, as I said, I think we Christians have done far too much damage in this area. We need to change. But now that we’ve accomplished the goal of overturning Roe v Wade, I fear that change is going to be very much harder.
Please, read on and find out why I say these things.
If you’re Christian, I invite you to check out your own feelings against what you’re about to read.
If you’re not Christian, and especially if you’ve come to hate Christians because of the abortion stances that led to where we are now, I invite you to compare the way we act(ed) to how Jesus taught us to live. Told us to live. Even commanded us to live. Why? Because I truly don’t think we’re doing it when we get to where we are now. Or anywhere along the way to where we are.
I can do all things through God
Since Christians love to take verses out of context, I’m going to do just that. And this is one of our favorites.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Of course, we often think that means God’s going to give us the strength to do whatever we want. Or, maybe, we think that everything we want to do matches up so perfectly with God’s will that He just has to give us the strength to do it, because that’s what He promised with those words. Even athletes use this verse to explain why their team won an event.
Of course, that’s all wrong. Let’s see why, by looking at another verse. Also out of context. Why? Well, because that’s what we love to do!
“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.”
And now, with Roe v Wade overturned, we’re absolutely sure that God supported us. Right?
Roe is dead. We’re done. Not so fast!
Huh? Is there something wrong with that logic? You better believe it. We’ve got two verses out of context. And countless other applicable verses that we completely ignored!
I can do everything
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
I guess pretty much every Christian knows this verse. But how many know where it’s from? Or what it’s about? Let’s see. And while we’re reading it, let’s also see if it applies here with overturning Roe v Wade.
Phil 4:10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
OK. It’s from Paul. And it’s to the church in Philippi. But take a look at what comes next.
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
How many of us can say any of these things? Let’s go through them again, so you can focus on each one.
- I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
- How many of us are comfortable whatever the circumstances? If you’re happy about the Supreme Court decision and happened to say yes, I have a question for you right now. You say you’re comfortable, and yet why do your actions indicate that you’re so very uncomfortable over the issue of abortion?
- I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
- This runs the full spectrum from having nothing to having more than enough. Sure, we’re all in there somewhere. But Paul truly did experience the whole thing. He went from being the ultimate Pharisee to totally poor as a follower of Jesus. How many of us can say that? And again, if you think that Roe v Wade being overturned was cause to celebrate, why were you so upset when it was the law of the land?
- I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
- So let’s get to the bottom line. Are we so bothered by what somehow else can or can’t do that it keeps us from being content with what we can do? Because, let’s face it, it takes a lot of discontent about something to mobilize the hatred and anger that led to the decision to overturn Roe v Wade.
- Sure, we can say it’s out of love for the unborn child. But be honest. Is that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Won’t we find more truth when we turn the page of that visible defense of our actions? Something else that fueled our fire to get out and affect someone else’s life?
- I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
- That’s the context leading up to Paul saying he can do all things through God. How many of us can even come close to that kind of context? I think we should be very careful before we claim that for our own.
- Yes, God will give us the strength to do some things. But when we claim it for whatever we want, especially when our wants are fueled by anger and even hatred, we’d best better think twice. And then repeat. Indefinitely.
no plan of yours can be thwarted
This one might be a bit harder. Do you recognize it?
Job 42:1 Then Job replied to the LORD:
Yes – Job. The guy who went through all sorts of stuff. Things we’d be furious at God for. And yet, well, Job never sinned throughout the whole time. All that property lost. All his kids killed. His own personal misery. His wife against him. How many of us would respond like that? I know I went through a whole lot less than that in my life. And I also know I sinned in the process. Because I was very angry at God.
If you’re not familiar with Job, notice this is chapter 42. It took 40 chapters before God spoke to Job. And look how Job responded.
Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted.
Do you see what Job realized? God can do all things. Not Job can do all things. God can do all things.
So what do we miss when we read what Paul wrote and think we can do all things? We got a clue, some huge clues, in the passage we read. But here’s something else. Another passage, this time from Jesus, that we just love to extract and call it ours. No matter what.
But before we go there, look at what else Job said.
Job 42:3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
Job 42:4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.’
Job 42:5 My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
Job 42:6 Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job realized that He didn’t really know God. And even here, when He finally gets to speak with God, Job learned that God’s in control. God’s way is best. We just don’t understand. But do we learn that? We don’t seem to have learned it with so many things. Have we learned the important things about abortion?
you will receive whatever you ask
First off, please notice, that’s just a phrase. It’s not even a complete sentence. There’s no capital letter at the beginning. And no period at the end. But don’t we just love to pull out those six words. God’s gonna give us whatever we ask!
Maybe not? Let’s look at the passage from which those words come. They say something different.
21:18-22 pp — Mk 11:12-14, 20-24
Uh oh. Are we the fig tree?
Mt 21:18 Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
Sounds rather ominous, doesn’t it?
Mt 21:20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
Now it sounds even more ominous.
Mt 21:21 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
So, which one are we>. Are we the fig tree? Or are we the one who can receive whatever you ask for in prayer?
Let’s take a look at what this scene portrayed, and then we can examine ourselves.
Cursing the tree (vv. 17–22). That Jesus would curse a tree may surprise us. The same power that killed the tree could also have given it new life and fruit. Jesus certainly would not hold a tree morally responsible for being fruitless.
When we consider the time and place of this event, we understand it better. Jesus was near Jerusalem in the last week of His public ministry to His people. The fig tree symbolized the nation of Israel (Jer. 8:13; Hosea 9:10, 16; Luke 13:6–9). Just as this tree had leaves but no fruit, so Israel had a show of religion but no practical experience of faith resulting in godly living. Jesus was not angry at the tree. Rather, He used this tree to teach several lessons to His disciples.
God wants to produce fruit in the lives of His people. Fruit is the product of life. The presence of leaves usually indicates the presence of fruit, but this was not the case. In the Parable of the Fig Tree (Luke 13:6–9), the gardener was given more time to care for the tree; but now the time was up. This tree was taking up space and doing no good.
While we can make a personal application of this event, the main interpretation has to do with Israel. The time of judgment had come. The sentence was pronounced by the Judge, but it would not be executed for about forty years. Then Rome would come and destroy the city and temple and scatter the people.
Jesus used this event to teach His disciples a practical lesson about faith and prayer. The temple was supposed to be a “house of prayer,” and the nation was to be a believing people. But both of these essentials were missing. We too must beware of the peril of fruitlessness. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 77). Victor Books.
As it says, we can make this personal. So let’s do that. Let’s make it about the response of the Christian Church in general towards abortion. And about each of us as individual Christians. But let’s not stop there. Let’s also make it personal about the woman who had an abortion. Or who’s about to get one. Or the woman/couple/family even considering an abortion.
Why make it so personal? Because Jesus commanded us to do something very personal. One Christian person to another person, who may or may not be Christian. Yes, you may be surprised when you read it, but I do believe this command from Jesus also includes one Christian to another.
Mt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And .”
Let’s break this passage down.
- All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
- The next sentence begins with “Therefore go”. This is why the rest of what Jesus said is so important. He has the full authority of God to give this command.
- Therefore go
- As just pointed out, what follows is not a suggestion. Nor an option. Not a nice-if-you-can-do-this. It’s a command. And not just part of it. All of it!
- make disciples of all nations
- Make disciples of all nations. That’s all people. And not just people in other countries. It’s our own country as well. Our own state. In our own city or town. On our own block. And even in our own house.
- baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
- Ah yes, baptizing. Not by force either. It’s a choice that others are to make out of love. And, by the way, we aren’t supposed to hate them if they refuse. We’re supposed to just walk away.
- teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you
- It says everything Jesus commanded. Not just the parts we like. Certainly not the parts we added either.
- surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age
- And finally, Jesus is always with us.
Conclusion – Roe is dead. Will Christians turn to saving souls?
Jesus is with us. Always. Even when abortion comes up.
And remember, it is personal. It’s not just us as a church, it’s also us, as individuals. And it’s not just abortion in general, abortion for the masses. It’s abortion for every individual in every circumstance. Circumstances that we have absolutely no experience with. And we’re making their decision for them when we remove all options other than the one we like.
And Jesus is with us. All the time. While we think about how to remove abortion as an option. Even though we have no experience like the situations many of those considering abortion are in right now.
Jesus is with us, even as we plan, with no thought or little care for the consequences. We call it collateral damage. And think it’s all going to be OK. And it will be. For us. We’re not really involved though, are we? It’s someone else’s life being turned upside down.
Yes, Jesus is with us. Always. Even when we wish He wasn’t.
But ask yourself. With everything you’re doing to be sure abortion is never an option for anyone, what do you think Jesus is thinking? Does he care about the people we’re affecting? Does He think we’re acting in a loving manner? You know, God’s love? As in the kind of love where we love even people we want to hate?
Will He tell us, well done, good and faithful servant? Or will He tell us, but go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice?
There’s so much more about this issue. And I fear, little, if any of it, looks good for us as Christians. I fear we’ve lost God’s love for our own personal hatred. And to be honest, the only one who wins in this scenario is Satan. Why? Because for every person we turn off to Christianity because of our abortion stance, we’ve caused a soul to be lost. We’re supposed to be Jesus’ representative here on earth. But are we? I fear, not good ones.
I used to get angry over abortion. Very much so. Now, I feel sad. Very sad. To the point of crying sad. We’re dooming souls to Hell. And that’s not what we should be about. Roe is dead. Now, please, can we Christians turn back to God and to saving souls?
|Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 77). Victor Books.