Thursday, February 28, 2019

Why Do Evangelicals Support Abortion?

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As abortion on demand, even at or following birth, (that's called infanticide) continues to find celebrated political support, one might think the support and celebration is from the secular Left progressives---one would be wrong.

Very wrong.

An astonishing number of Christians in churches from Catholic to Baptists to Assemblies of God to Nazarene to Church of God to Presbyterian oppose the overturning of Roe v Wade.

Spokane's (WA) plain-spoken Catholic Bishop Tom Daly is taking action in his Diocese.

Be informed.

The problem.

PEW Research has been following trends in various religious denominations for years. One of those trends is what religious people believe regarding abortion. Their report on public opinion is disappointing, but their survey of Christian Churches in America from 1995 to 2018 is alarming.

In fact their report, "American religious groups vary widely in their views of abortion" is both alarming and heartbreaking.

It's not surprising that most mainline Christian churches generally support Roe v Wade, but evangelical churches are seen as those who stand for righteousness, for biblical morality, for biblical marriage---and for the sanctity of life.

Here are the numbers of respondents to PEW, by denomination, who say abortion should be legal in all or most cases:

Presbyterian Church in America--54%
Lutheran Church, Miss. Synod--46%
Churches of Christ--36%
Southern Baptist--30%
Church of the Nazarene--27%
Assemblies of God--26%
Church of God, Cleveland--20%

We should note that any survey like this relies on self-identification by those surveyed. But even if the numbers were discounted by 10 or 20%, it is still heartbreaking.

No Christian, especially those who claim to belong to a Bible-believing evangelical church or denomination, should ever have any sense that the legal killing of unwanted unborn babies has any justification under any circumstances.

Not killing the unwanted children should be the minimum standard of belief and understanding for "Christians."

In fact, the surveys show that religious groups such as Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are more likely to oppose abortion than most evangelical denominations.

The Catholic response.

Spokane's Bishop Tom Daly is taking corrective action toward Catholic politicians who promote abortion rights.

February 1, he wrote in a letter to his diocese:
"Politicians who reside in the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, and who obstinately persevere in their public support for abortion, should not receive Communion without first being reconciled to Christ and the Church."

He went on to say, "Efforts to expand abortion, allowing murder of children up to the moment of birth, is evil. For a Catholic political leader to do so is scandalous."

He issued his statement just days after New York governor---and Catholic---Andrew Cuomo celebrated signing a bill that allows abortion through 9 months of the pregnancy.

And shortly after Bishop Daly issued his statement, Catholic Democrat and Washington Senator Patty Murray blocked proposed legislation in the Senate that would have expanded protections for infants who survived late-term abortions.

In an interview with the Catholic Register, he was clear about why he is taking this stand. He said:
"There is a very aggressive pro-abortion movement that is steamrolling its way across the US," noting that his diocese had heard from pro-life Catholics who were worried that their secular progressive state would soon adopt similarly extreme legislation.

He said, "It is shameful and sinful that so-called practicing Catholics are, if not in the driver's seat, at least on the ride for this."

The Bishop was also asked about the sex scandals in the Catholic church. If interested, you can read his comments on that issue as well. He was as straight forward in addressing that as he was in addressing the abortion issue.

The Bishop should be applauded for taking a stand.

I'm not a Catholic. I'm a Protestant. And I'm still asking myself why are so many people in Bible-believing Protestant churches opposed to over turning Roe v Wade? Why---and how can we support abortion?

A Protestant response.

I am a Protestant, but I obviously don't speak for Protestants. However, I have observed and listened to those who do.

There are a couple of thoughts for my evangelical readers.

PBS News on why evangelical leaders downplay potential Roe v Wade reversal.

PBS says, "For evangelical leaders like Jerry Falwell, Jr., this is their political holy grail."

PBS then proceeds to lay out the political case for "downplaying" the notion of reversing Roe v Wade. In doing so they lay out the politics of abortion and abortion legislation.

They correctly explain that for many evangelicals who voted for Trump, it was primarily about the Supreme Court and its direct connection to reversing Roe v Wade---and about concerns regarding religious freedom.

The article is well done and fairly accurate, but it only sees the issue from a political point of view---which is understood because abortion certainly contains a political component.

However, the evangelical motive that stands behind the political one, is the reality for why most evangelicals involve themselves in politics in the first place. They believe Judeo-Christian values and principles build a strong, blessed, free country.

The problem is not that women have abortions, it's that children die.

Although abortion has been practiced throughout the history of the human race, it is not ultimately a political issue. It is a spiritual one. And it isn't really about abortion-- it's about who has the right to live and who does not.

Not only are human beings created in the image and likeness of God Himself, but God is attentive to our identity in the womb.

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16).

The pro-life community, myself included, has long stood against abortion, but abortion is not the root problem. In fact, it's a symptom.

So the problem is not that women have abortions, but that children die. Children made in the image of God Himself.

We are selectively killing those whom we decide do not have a right to live.

And it only occurs because our nation has taken away the child's right to life.

Some churches have become so obsessed with "relating" to a culture that is going to hell, that the doomed culture cannot distinguish between the message of the church and the message of the culture.

Pastor Jack Graham has said this: "In the decade after Roe v. Wade was decided, nearly 60 million abortions were performed in the U.S. That's more than all abortions in the previous two centuries combined."

He continued.
"As a Christian, I knew with every fiber of my being that abortion was an affront against God, who places infinite value on every human life. And my faith compelled me to speak for the millions who couldn't speak for themselves. It was on one of these occasions, during a sermon on the devastating consequences of abortion, that I felt God speak to me. He asked, "What are you going to do about it?"

The real question becomes a simple one:

What are "you" going to do about it?

Pray for the Church.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Steadfast. Be Prayerful.