More on Pro-life Christians Using Scripture

I'd love your thoughts on this everyone.

I'm always interested in the thoughts of others regarding the use of Scripture while we try to persuade women to choose birth. I've given my opinion and thoughts about this here. In short, I think that the crisis an unplanned pregnancy brings is not the appropriate time to talk to her about God unless (1) she asks or (2) she acknowledges that she is a Christian. Even at this point, I will try to draw out more of her beliefs before sharing Bible verses, etc., with her. I think that further down the road - that's the time to speak to her about God...once the crisis is over.

I wrote a popular website to ask their opinion. I didn't give them specifics about my ministry, just as I won't here. I shared my pro-woman approach. This is the response I received:

Let me say, first of all, that I appreciate so very much what you are doing to save the lives of unborn children. What a noble thing that is. Though I have great sympathy for what you are doing, I find it impossible as a Christian to divorce moral issues from the matter of God's existence and law. If the Creator of life is not brought into the equation, there is no logical way to really argue the case for the sanctity of life. No moral question can be argued effectively without appealing to God, for if there is no God, nothing is wrong. Man becomes his own lawmaker and whatever he chooses to do is right. One cannot argue, for example, that murder is wrong because it hurts the economy (or some other practical reason). There is a much more fundamental issue at stake.

Let me give you an example. There is a popular movement today called the "intelligent design" movement. The advocates of this view contend, and very effectively, that the universe cannot be the result of random chance. It is too intricately put together; it evidences "design." These men, however, are very careful never to mention "God" -on account of the prejudicial flag that such might raise. As noble as their motives doubtless are, there are seriously mistaken.

Paul, in his epistle to the Roman Christians, argued that when we do not give honor to God, as "God," we seriously err. Read Romans 1:21 especially. Perhaps you can give this matter some consideration.

So, I'm "seriously mistaken" too, I suppose. I haven't responded yet. But I have a few points that I'll make to this person:

- I don't usually make it a "moral issue" when I talk to women. Instead, I discuss their health, happiness, goals, dreams, etc. I agree that I couldn't make a statement of "abortion is wrong" without mentioning God, because that wouldn't make sense. Nor do I make a case for the "sanctity of life," even though I do believe in the sanctity of human life.

- As to the comment about intelligent design, I guess I don't draw the same parallel. I don't consider this a matter of teaching people about the unborn, God as the creator, etc. I consider this a crisis that needs to be averted. If someone was on a ledge ready to jump, would you toss them a Bible and tell them to open up to Psalm 23? Or would it make more sense to talk about the circumstances that brought the person to the ledge, his or her loved ones, why this would be a bad thing, etc? Perhaps after the person was off the ledge, we could have a discussion about his or her spiritual beliefs.

- Paul's letter to the Romans states: For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Hmmmm. I did make a point to mention to this person that my ministry is founded and rooted in prayer. I do not divorce God from my mission. My approach is strategic in that it allows many to pray for situations that are occurring with a woman, and each step taken to develop this outreach has been prayed over and is prayed over continually. I do glorify God and give thanks to Him. I'm no theologian, so I can't say what it is specifically that does not apply here, but something isn't right. I fall back on 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, which I did mention in my email and asked about. That went unanswered.

So, what do you all think? Is this just someone who doesn't understand the approach? Or is this person on to something? I'm interested in hearing your opinions.

Update - Here's the response I got back today:

Thank you for your note. You make some good points. I certainly don't have the "knowledge market" cornered relative to a complex subject of this nature. I appreciate what you are doing and pray that you continue to have success in saving the lives of precious babies.


Encouragement and Advice from Mother Teresa

I came across some quotes from Mother Teresa, and I thought that a lot of them were incredibly poignant. Many of them can be used in the line of work that we do - ministering to abortion-vulnerable, abortion-minded, and post-abortive women. Enjoy these, and choose a favorite to reflect on for awhile. It'll do your heart good.

- Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.

- Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.

- I pray that you will understand the words of Jesus, "Love one another as I have loved you." Ask yourself "How has he loved me? Do I really love others in the same way?" Unless this love is among us, we can kill ourselves with work and it will only be work, not love. Work without love is slavery.

- When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.

- You who have received so much love, share it with others. Love others the way that God has loved you, with tenderness.

- Love does not measure; it just gives.

- Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants.

- Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.

- Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

- The success of love is in the loving - it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done.

- There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in - that we do it to God, to Christ, and that's why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.

- There should be less talk; a preaching point is not a meeting point. What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone's house. That says enough.

- We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

- We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much for so long with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

- Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.


The Impact of Others

I know that we often hear how very few women have an abortion for the needs of others - the pressure of others - and this may be what they tell people after the fact...when the deed is done and all they have is their own strength to get them through. However, before the abortion occurs, we really see some of the most manipulative behavior that human beings can display.

"He knows that I love him, and I know that he loves me. I just can't understand why if he loves me that he would put me through this when he knows how much it would effect me...I don't want to see him in pain. He said if I had the abortion we could go back to the way things were before, but if I kept the child, he wouldn't feel that he could trust me and didn't know if he would want to continue a relationship with me."

"I need their support to do this. So I need them."

The people who make up a pregnant woman's circle of support have much of the control over her decision to abort. I know that's not particularly PC to say, but it's the truth. Sure, it's the woman who ultimately chooses to have the abortion, but that is only after everyone whom she loves has failed her. How dare these people fail her when she needs their support and love the most? These women are driven to abort because of isolation, manipulation, (...he wouldn't feel that he could trust me and didn't know if he would want to continue a relationship with me), a low self-esteem, a desire to please, and the belief in a lie.

The biggest deception lies in the belief that things will be okay once the abortion is over. If a woman aborts for lack of support, she's still going to feel that lack of support after the abortion. That isn't going to go away. The pain that comes from that is going to magnified by the emptiness that was created by the abortion - the knowledge that she wasn't strong enough to stand up for herself.

The best that we can do in this situation is to try to take the place of the people who are pressuring her. Often, this isn't enough though. When you're facing rejection from your parents, your husband or boyfriend, and your close friends (who think you should do what your significant other wants), it would be hard to turn to strangers for the support you should be getting from your loved ones. Therefore, our outreach needs to extend to the her circle of support. We need to help them stand up for themselves by giving them the words to use to convey that their feelings are completely valid. We should also try to open up the discussion to those who are involved in the woman's circle of support. They need to be held accountable for their lack of support before the abortion occurs and given the reasons why abortion is wrong for their loved one.


One Woman's Pro-Life Manifesto

This was written by a young woman as a rebuttal to Glamour's article entitled "The Mysterious Disappearance of Pro-Choice Woman." (This is a PDF file of the article.) All of her points are very well made. Here are some of the main points with commentary:

I believe I know more people who have been sexually active, who have been pregnant, who have had abortions, or kept their babies, or chosen adoption than my mother or my mother's friends did. I have witnessed the effects of the abortion revolution her generation brought about, and I say it has not solved anything. Abortion on demand has not made men respect women more, it has not made it easier for women to refuse unwanted sexual advances, it has not reduced the consequences of early sexual activity and pregnancy, it has not healed the emotional wounds of rape and incest victims....it has not given women the freedom to be men. We just aren't designed like that. We're designed to love and create, not destroy.

She hit the nail on the head here. Abortion does not make things better. It doesn't solve the root of the problem. Poverty, gender equality, rape, etc - these things are not solved or soothed by abortion. They are glossed over, and problems that already exist are often made worse in the case of the woman that regrets her abortion and begins to despair.

I believe abortion hurts the very women it was supposed to heal.
Yes, this goes without saying in my book, but at the same time, it needs to be said again and again.

I believe abortion gives men the freedom to be irresponsible.

It sure does. I have worked with so many women who tell their significant others that they are pregnant only to discover that the men aren't respectful, responsible, or even kind. Abortion has required men to be hostile. (Not all men - I know.) Men now know that if they just dig their heels in and demand that something be done, women will often give in out of hopelessness. What kind of advancement it that?

I believe abortion gives society an excuse to ignore and spurn young mothers.

Amen to that. Women are expected these days that if they are not financially secure and they are young, they need to have an abortion. The reaction to the story about the teens in Ohio where 13% of the girls at the local high school are pregnant has been interesting to watch. Everyone is no doubt wondering why they didn't just have abortions. Or maybe there are many more who did make the choice to abort, and the pregnant ones are the women that couldn't make that choice. It becomes expected - even demanded at times - that young women have an abortion, and if they don't, they are spurned, questioned, and made to feel uncaring.

I believe that motherhood is not the end of life, but its beginning.

I try to get this point across to women young and old(er). Unfortunately, our society does teach women that motherhood means all work and absolutely no fun. It also teaches that it's okay to put your needs before the needs of your child (not to mention that it teaches that your child isn't really your child if it isn't born yet). It's also hard to convey that the small moments are so joyous and unimaginable - the gummy smiles, looking deep into your child's eyes, teaching your child new things - small things, like what a flower bud looks like and will become, what noises a cricket makes, that gophers make the holes in the backyard - those happen every day. Those things are priceless. It is the beginning of a whole new life, and sometimes that life can be hard, but it is well worth it. Abortion doesn't allow women to feel those emotions. What a sad thing.

I believe in choice: I believe no woman should be raped, forced or coerced into sexual relations. I believe that a woman who partakes in consensual sex has already made a choice - she is choosing by her actions to accept the possible consequence of a child. After all, that is what sex is designed to do.

Abortion does make it easier for personal responsibility to go out the window (in the case of consensual sex). Sex was designed for husband and wife to enjoy eachother and to procreate. There are ways to avoid procreation naturally. (God doesn't just want it to be all about procreation obviously.) Taking sex out of the context of marriage creates a wealth of problems - one of which is abortion. Marital sex can result in an unplanned pregnancy, but this is less common, and women in a marriage do not need to deal with the weight of a stigma.

I believe that many women who choose abortion do so out of a feeling of desperation. These women need to know that we will not let them down. They need help to have their babies. They need healing after abortion. They need love.

Amen to that. See this and this entry for my take on this.

I believe that a mature, loving sexual relationship ought always to have room for a child. Any man not worth taking that chance with is not worth your time and is certainly not worth giving the precious gift of your sexuality to.

This would be a good guideline to follow. Every sexual relationship needs to be loving enough to accept the responsibility for the life of a child, and this is why sex should wait for the stability, maturity, and love that comes from marriage. It makes it easier and more healthy for women in the long run.

HT: After Abortion and Naaman.