Last week, I had the privilege of attending the 2015 March for Life conference and walking in my first March. I was there as a volunteer for the Radiance Foundation – an educational, life-affirming organization that inspires people to live a life of meaning. (Check them out here.)
I had no idea what to expect at the largest gathering of pro-life advocates who made their way to Washington D.C. from all over the country and even Canada. I don’t consider myself a pro-life activist –at least not in terms that media often defines it with anti-abortion banners and staged protests. I am just a Christian woman, raised in a ministry family, surrounded by Christian friends and family who always held the sanctity of life and the pro-life belief.
At the conference, there was the first-ever evangelical worship gathering called OneVoiceDC. This was a non-denominational event- open to all- to pray and worship to end abortion and bring healing to our country which has allowed legal abortion for 42 years. Hundreds of people were gathered to pray an end to abortion in our country and I was personally moved by well-known pro-life leaders who came to the gathering to bow before God and humbly seek the answer to abolishing abortion.
However, there was a point in the worship service that I felt such great conviction and I couldn’t stop crying. One of the leaders prayed about the church’s “sin of apathy over abortion.” His words hit me with such great conviction. I kept hearing that phrase over and over again in my head. I have been guilty of the “sin of apathy” over abortion. That apathetic notion that abortion is legal and I can’t change things so why dwell on something I cannot change. That was once me but tragically that is the state of the evangelical church in America.
I grew up in ministry, I have attended various protestant churches all my life, and I can’t remember one time where abortion was ever a focus of a sermon or a mission of the church. Of course, I have sat under biblical teaching preaching forgiveness and grace for sins. I know and have witnessed the healing power of Christ in lives of women and men who were healed from the pain and destruction of past abortions but I don’t remember the church taking up the pro-life cause to end abortion.
The sin of apathy has led me to the question, “Where is the church?”
Grappling with my own sin of apathy and questioning why the church has been so silent, I came across a timely book by Online for Life President, Brian Fisher titled, Deliver Us from Abortion. Like me, he too has questioned and “discovered that the American church, on the whole, is not actively defending and protecting innocent life.” In his introduction he addresses this great concern:
In many churches, abortion is never mentioned from the pulpit. If abortion is discussed at all, it is once a year on Sanctity of Life Sunday, the sad reminder of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It is rare to find post-abortive recovery and healing ministries in churches, and almost all of them are for women. Support for post-abortive men is virtually non-existent. Precious few pastors or priests write about abortion, and few will publicly defend the unborn. Most denominations have no organized effort to assist families in a crisis pregnancy.
Why has the church been so silent when it comes to abortion?
Most of my own questioning is regarding the Protestant evangelical church in America not necessarily the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has often been outspoken warriors for life and they are without a doubt a strong presence within the anti-abortion movement. But unfortunately, even a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute (a pro-abortion research group) reports that 27 percent of Catholic women and 37 percent of Protestant women received abortions. A large population of Catholic and Protestant women are taking the lives of their unborn children.
Where are you church?
Brian Fisher’s book has important facts regarding abortion in America that I have never read before. He challenges all Christians to understand the biblical, moral, ethical, and social ramifications of being silent on abortion. It should be required reading for every pastor, youth pastor, and leadership staff in every church in America. Abortion is an epidemic that the church, as a whole, has refused to acknowledge. One out of every five unborn children are murdered through abortion. Fifty-six million people have died since 1973. Let that staggering number sink in and ask yourself if you have seen your church be a voice for this abortion holocaust.
What difference will I make?
This is a question I am asking myself over my own sin of apathy over abortion. How do I defend the unborn, stand for the sanctity of life given by God my creator, bring healing to the post-abortive community, and help the church to wake-up and be a pro-life voice? I don’t know the answer yet, but I know God instilled a conviction in my own heart as I was worshiping and praying with other pro-life believers. That still small voice that convicted and tugged at my heart is the same voice that God wants to awaken the church of America.
If we, as Christians, truly believe that God is the author of all life then we need to stand boldly against abortion and be the Church Christ has called us to be- reaching the lost and saving souls. The church cannot be silent anymore!
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ –Matthew 25-45 (NLT)
Wake up church!
To learn more about Online For Life and order Deliver Us From Abortion go to: http://store.onlineforlife.org/collections/book/products/deliver-us-from-abortion
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.