Abortion: Redemption above the Rhetoric - Posted 10/13/2017

From Pastor Chris

The political debate over abortion may be the most depressing example of intractable partisanship today. Since the 1980s, the Right has focused almost exclusively on the plight of the unborn, resulting at times in a harsh, callous tone toward women in excruciating circumstances. Meanwhile the Left frames the issue exclusively as “women’s health” and “reproductive justice,” refusing to acknowledge the existence of another human being in the equation. So the party that most frequently champions science in other debates pleads ignorance about what exactly resides in a newly-pregnant mother’s womb, while the party that rarely builds their platform with concern for the most vulnerable pleads the cause of the voiceless million who are aborted every year.

Thankfully for us, we are a church, not a political entity. And we follow a Savior who transcended the political options set before him. Jesus’ answer to “Is it A or B?” was always “C,” some combination of the two. Jesus was the most pro-woman advocate of his day, exploding chauvinistic norms in his interactions with females. And Jesus was the champion of the weak, the voiceless, the outcast, the talked-over. The Gospels never describe Jesus’ facial expression, but I picture bewildered wrinkles forming around our Lord’s eyes and mouth when given the choice of loving pregnant women or the babies they carry. For surely he intended both when he commanded, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

This both/and mandate to love the unborn and their mothers drives my enthusiastic support of Crisis Pregnancy Centers in general and Sanctity of Life Ministries in particular. I have toured the NOVA Pregnancy Help Center in the Sacramento neighborhood off Richmond Highway and have spent time with Margery Williams, CEO of the ministry.  What impacted me most during my visit was the Christ-like tone of the center. They offer sonograms, STD testing, parenting classes, post-abortive counseling, and a host of other services with compassion and grace. In all of this they promote “Life in Christ. Life in the womb.” The staff takes every opportunity to not only show Christ’s love but also to speak of his saving power through his death and resurrection on our behalf.

How can you get involved with this important work? You can begin by familiarizing yourself with the ministry on their website, https://slmgetinvolved.org/. This month you can help by taking a baby bottle from the church foyer and filling it with change or check. Consider volunteering at the center, especially if you have a medical or counseling background. If you have had an abortion, pray about being part of the post-abortive Bible study and ask God how he would have you steward your story. If you love shopping for babies, you can purchase new clothing, furniture, and diapers for the center’s store, where mothers taking classes at the center can earn currency to purchase needed items for their baby. 

Our church has as much political diversity as we have ethnic diversity, and I celebrate the perspectives brought by both right and left. But when it comes to the well-being of pregnant mothers, their husbands or boyfriends, and their unborn children, let us follow Christ in transcending ideological battle lines and loving all our neighbors sacrificially as Christ has loved us.

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