The abortion debate is raging on. Everyone has an opinion which they share loudly and openly. For years I have listened to both sides. Sadly, I’m noticing a trend with Christians that is breaking my heart. My response to this trend has sparked this post, not necessarily the abortion itself.
The Stones We Throw
When it comes to abortion, there are a few common responses I have recently heard from my Christian brothers and sisters:
- If a woman has an abortion she should be forced to undergo a hysterectomy immediately following so that she is never able to conceive again.
- If a woman has an abortion she should be told that immediately following her abortion she will get to meet her unborn child in death (other words, be killed just as she killed her child).
- Just as everyone who gets a divorce has their name put in the newspaper, everyone who gets an abortion should have their name put in the paper (along with their address and what stage of development they were at in their pregnancy when they aborted).
The responses are passionate and Christians are jumping on the verbal retaliation bandwagon. But PLEASE, before you jump on a bandwagon, make sure you are on a godly bandwagon! And before you get on that bandwagon, put down your stones and ask God to set a guard over your mouth (Psalm 141:3)! We need to stop being the mouthpiece of Satan consumed with what others are doing wrong while we grieve the Holy Spirit with our words and actions towards others.
Your Words Have Power
In Luke 9:55-56, Jesus was rejected. His disciples were not pleased and offered to command fire down from heaven to consume those who rejected Jesus. (It sounds harsh but isn’t that what we are doing in our response to women who have had an abortion?)
Jesus turned to his disciples and rebuked them saying “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
He wasn’t saying they were speaking with the Spirit of God flowing through them but of the spirit of the evil one. Ouch! When you lash out in response to someone who had an abortion, would Jesus say the same to you as he did to his apostles? “You know not the manner of spirit you are of.”
When you refuse to show mercy and grace, you are not showing God’s love. Come on you guys. What are we doing??? Didn’t we learn anything from Jesus and how he treated people?
Our Godly Example
We know that Jesus was around sinners a lot. Let’s look at two popular examples of Jesus and how he handled sinners. I will sum up these accounts but I urge you to stop right here and read them for yourself. As always, read before and after these accounts so that you can get a good grasp of what the Holy Spirit wants to show you.
In this account, Jesus was traveling and went to Jacob’s well for a drink. A woman approached to draw water. To her surprise, he asked her for a drink. Now this woman was a Samaritan. That is important because she wasn’t Jewish (verse 9) and Jews considered Samaritans beneath them. (You know, kind of like we Christians sometimes consider the unsaved beneath us.)
Jesus spoke one-on-one with this woman. He shared his truth and exposed her sin. Please note he didn’t shout her sin from the rooftops or tell her what a horrible person she was. He didn’t attempt to draw attention or build a platform on her ungodliness. He could have demanded she was stoned for her sin. But he didn’t do any of those things. As a result of this one-on-one contact hearing God’s truth, she (and many others) became believers.
A few short chapters later, Jesus is teaching in the temple. A woman caught in sin was brought to him. In front of everyone, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees exposed her sin. They wanted her stoned and they wanted to see what Jesus would do about it.
You know what? He didn’t turn to the woman with astonished, accusing eyes and demand her death. He didn’t mock and condemn her. He could have made her his example of ungodly living. But again, he didn’t.
Instead, he knelt on the ground and began writing. Maybe he was praying while he wrote. Maybe he was getting his frustration at this crowd under control before he spoke. This was Jesus Christ, God Almighty himself, standing before them. He knew the sins of every single one of her accusers as none were sinless (1 John 1:8, Luke 6: 37-38 ).
After her accusers scurried away, Jesus told the woman, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” He didn’t say he didn’t care about her sin or tell her not to worry about it. He told her to sin no more and sent her on her way.
What Does Adultery Have To Do With Abortion?
I realize the above accounts involve adultery and not abortion. But they actually have much more in common than you might think. Abortion is murder; it ends a life, can never be undone, and is wrong. Adultery is the murder of a relationship between a man and wife. It ends a married life as the couple knows it, can never be undone and is wrong.
Both murder and adultery are sins. God sees all sin as equal and expects us to think of it the same way. We don’t get to pick levels of sin like this one isn’t as bad, as evil, as dark as that one. Nope. Those are human measuring scales and God doesn’t work that way.
The true horror of sin is that it separates us from God. If you continue in your sin, your heart becomes hardened and you become numb to the pain you are causing.
Sin always affects those around you. In the accounts of the two women mentioned above, we don’t know if they had children who had to live with what their mothers were doing. We don’t know if the kids were ridiculed and treated poorly because of their mothers. We don’t know if they had abortions (yes, they had them back then too). We don’t know how many relationships they killed with their infidelity or how far their sin took them.
We don’t know but Jesus did. He wasn’t clueless about anything these ladies had done. Yet, in his kindness, Jesus didn’t humiliate, speak to them harshly, or treat them badly. Remember, God sees sin as sin. Just because you think murder is worse than other sins doesn’t mean God does. Please take the time to read the following verses:
Matt 19:18, Mark 7:21, Romans 1:29, Galatians 5:21, 1 Peter 4:15, Revelation 9:21, Revelation 21:8, 22:15
Did you read those? According to what you just read in the Word of God, if you bear false witness against your neighbor it is the same as if you murdered them!
God Can Expose Anyone’s Sin At Anytime
As you say such hate-filled things to someone who has had (or is considering) an abortion, know that your sin is no better than theirs. I know we all want to justify and believe our sin is better than someone else’s sin but I’m sorry…it’s not.
How would you like to be treated if your sin was exposed and called out to the world? What if…
⦁ You got caught taking office supplies home from work and they fired you, put your name in the paper identifying you as a thief, and you couldn’t get another job because of it? In some countries, if you are caught stealing they cut your hand off.
⦁ You gossiped and talked badly to others. As a result of your sins, God struck you mute. Imagine not being able to speak again because of your venomous tongue.
⦁ You had lustful thoughts about someone. You didn’t act on your thoughts but you sure entertained and enjoyed them. But guess what? You’ve committed adultery in your heart. What if God shared your ungodly thoughts with someone who exposed them? What if you were kicked out of your church, lost your marriage, your job, etc? Read about David in 2 Samuel 12:1-13.
If your sins were revealed and you were treated so harshly, you would go to God at the unjustness. Your sins wouldn’t seem so bad, would they? Would you want to be treated the way you are treating those who have had an abortion? Or would you want your Christian brothers and sisters to treat you as Jesus (Marck 12:28-31) treated those who had sinned?
Christian, Put Down Your Stones!
What would the women in the above passages have done if Jesus said, “You piece of garbage, how dare you! You deserve to die for what you did!” He could have and like that *snap* it would have happened. It is his right to judge after all. How many of us would have grabbed stones (verbal or otherwise) if we had been present during these accounts?
Jesus didn’t grab stones. He offered comfort through his truth. He didn’t tell them it was okay or justify sin. He made it clear that judgment is his, not ours and we need to look at our own sins before pointing the finger at anyone else.
Why Should We? What Makes Us Different?
The unsaved react to situations in the flesh. Because they don’t know Jesus, they don’t have hope. They believe they are accountable to themselves and nobody else. They live in the moment, doing what feels good and what benefits them at the time.
As Christians, our hope and future are in Christ and his Kingdom. We know that one day we will give an account of everything we say and do. As we grow in Christ, we are to train ourselves to react to situations using our fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). We are to put others before ourselves regardless of how we feel or what makes us look better. That is what sets us apart.
God Hates The Sin But Loves The Sinner
Even if someone is saved as a child, they experience trials and tribulations before they give their life to Christ (at whatever age that ends up being). During those trials and tribulations, they might act in ways that are sinful. When they get saved, ALL of their sins are forgiven! ALL OF THEM, even abortion. You might not like it but its true. What’s more, we should follow God’s example and hate the sin (regardless of the sin) but love the sinner.
Is It Love Or Self-Righteousness?
It’s easy to react in the flesh. God says not to be a clanging cymbal of noise (1 Corinthians 13:1). Is that how the world hears you? When I was little I loved to watch Peanuts on TV. The adult voices were my favorite. Do you remember? The kids didn’t actually hear the adults say words but a bunch of noise like wah-wah-wah-wah-wah.
We are supposed to be living examples of Christ. If we aren’t speaking in God’s love to others, wah-wah-wah-wah-wah is what they are hearing. God’s words do not go out void but our words do (Isaiah 55:11). When Jesus talked with sinners, he operated in the fruit of the Spirit and shared his truth as revealed in Scripture. He didn’t speak whatever he felt like in the heat of the moment to make his point.
But Why Does It Matter?
If we insist on acting in an ungodly way (which is a sin on our part, by the way), why would this hurting soul want to come to Christ and be like us? They can get treated poorly from the world, we are supposed to be different and set apart. How many times are you willing to go up to a chained dog that lunges and bites you? Why would these women turn to the church for comfort and compassion when we bare our teeth and verbally attack? What reason have we given them to turn to us to seek Jesus?
Do you really think that Satan won’t use what you have said to shame and keep these women from seeking Jesus? We know that abortion guilt is a real thing. But if you, the embodiment of Christ, is telling her she is lower than scum and deserves nothing but death, she might verbally fight back but deep down, she believes you because Satan is whispering the same thing to her. We need to give them a reason to turn to Christ, not the world.
We Did This To Each Other
This might offend you but it needs to be said. We the church share responsibility for the abortion issue (and all the other hot button topics). Do you know why they are able to pass these ungodly laws? Because we the church don’t want to get involved. We don’t want to take time to learn about the political candidates and what they believe/support, or dirty ourselves and run for office. We think we are too busy to get out and vote and can become so self-absorbed that we don’t pray for current and potential leaders.
As a result, the leadership positions are being filled by ungodly men and women who have an agenda that is NOT found in the Bible. God has given the gift of leadership and wisdom to his children for a reason! Again, Jesus is our example. He didn’t stay in his circle of followers. He went out among the people, got involved, and made a difference.
Invest To Make A Difference
To truly make a difference in someone’s life, we are to be the light and hope of Christ. That means we need to stop the harshness and throwing verbal stones. You are not showing the love of Christ acting like that. If you are only given the chance to touch one life and make a difference, it is worth every second.
What you can do is to begin to pray for these women. So many have abortions because they feel hopeless, alone, unworthy, and inadequate. Our telling them how despicable they are only reinforces what Satan and the world are telling them.
This is our chance to shower them with the love of Christ. When you come across someone who had an abortion, develop a relationship with her by investing your time and talents in her. Let her know that you will be there for her, that she matters. Many of the women having abortions don’t have a single person in their life like that. No wonder they feel alone and inadequate to raise a child!
God wants us to make disciples of all men. That doesn’t mean we lead them to Christ, drop their hand, and run to the next person. Discipling involves walking beside someone teaching them about God, guiding them, showing them how to think about things biblically instead of responding in the flesh. It means always pointing them to Jesus Christ.
Investing in someone’s life is a lot harder and takes more work than casting stones of judgment and hate. But introducing them to Jesus in the flesh is the ONLY thing that will stop abortions.
Christians are quick to point out that we no longer live under the Old Testament law. Yet, we still want to pick up verbal stones and beat someone to death when they sin. Jesus never treated a sinner like that. As much as you hate the sin, you can’t hate the sinner. God was clear when he said Retribution is his, not yours or mine (Romans 12:17-20). If you are putting out hate-filled, vile messages to those who have had an abortion, please stop it!
We need to start putting our money where our mouth is. We say we value the child aborted but what about the lost child who had the abortion? Although we can’t help the child who has been aborted, we still have time to make a difference in the life of the one who had the abortion. We can’t turn our backs on them and treat them as vipers unworthy of living.
If we hope to make a difference in the abortion epidemic, we need to treat all involved as Christ would treat them. We need to stop judging their sin as worse than our sin. We must build relationships with them and allow Holy Spirit to lead them to salvation and forgiveness in Jesus. After all, Jesus didn’t come to destroy lives but to SAVE them!