There is a certain term that Christians will often avoid in discussions about abortion, because of the sheer number of post-abortive mothers living in our culture. Not wanting to offend friends and family, the truth about abortion is often downplayed instead of being spoken with the same degree of severity that God uses in His word, as He watches abortions happen to beloved children day after day. Rather than present Jesus as the only hope that any of us have to survive God’s anger at our sin and bloodshed, we soften, alter and reduce the message of His law to the point of inaccurately representing Him.
Our terminology often betrays the compromised perspective that we have on various sins that we tolerate. With that in mind, I do want to address the possibility that some reading through this series may be personally guilty of the practice of abortion (the primary sin being attacked by the modern abolitionist movement), and I want to deal sensitively with you before leveraging a word which will have great personal ramifications.
You should know that I (Nate Schmolze) don’t come to you as someone who is sinless by any stretch of the imagination. Into my twenties, I held a decade-long pornography addiction stemming from a set of homosexual encounters that I engaged in as a child, with a friend who decided to introduce me to sex quite early for his own pleasure. My dad was a pastor; I was a Christian, and nevertheless I am guilty of crimes that would merit a death penalty in God’s form of civil government (Lev 20:13).
So when I say that abortion is a form of murder, the intentional killing of an innocent human being, understand that I don’t use that term flippantly, or with any form of self-rightousness or self-aggrandizement. I am equally guilty of a sin which is equally as heinous in God’s eyes; both homosexuality and murder warrant death penalties in the eyes of God, because both destroy the image of God in man — the very thing which makes human beings valuable (Gen 1:27, 9:6).
And the temptation for people like us then is to downplay how terrible our sin is, because we don’t want to be seen as terrible people. The truth however remains that we actually are terrible people (like everyone else in the world), but if we turn to Jesus Christ in repentance, our Father God forgives us and changes us into people of great honor. The correct solution to sin is never to cover over how terrible we are, but rather to bring our sin into the light of God’s word, so that sin can be destroyed and our lives can be healed.
If you are guilty of murdering a child, I would commend to you the testimony of my friend Theresa Cobb, excerpted from the video above, concerning how she was cleansed of her own guilt in this matter.
My heart starts racing, and I’m driving in my car, and [the pastor] says, “Abortion is no different than a parent, a mother taking a three-year-old by the hand, and walking that three-year old into a kill center of some sort, and paying someone to kill their child.” And I remember being really, really angry. I had never heard it put like that before, and I remember thinking that it was very insensitive, and I remember having to pull over on the side of the road, and really wrestling it out.
But you know, I didn’t belong to myself anymore, so I took everything to God. ‘Cause I was like, “Okay God, what is this that I just heard? Is that right? Is that true? Is abortion murder? Whatever you want to tell me on this, I’m going to change my mind and I’m gonna believe what you say.”
And as soon as I did that, I knew that that’s what it was, and He filled me with peace, instantly. Because that’s the kind of God He is; He’s a God that forgives murderers…
“But God says, ‘Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth, and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.’” When I read that, I knew God was talking to me. I mean I literally know that He had me in mind when He was on the cross. This word of His, He had me in mind; He wrote that for me.
And so I hold to that, and I believe it. And He’s not going to waste my shame; He’s not going to waste my pain. He owns me; He owns every part of me, past, present and future; I belong to Him. Those tears that I cried — all of it — they all belong to Him.
And if I speak about them, if I say abortion is murder, I know that I know a God that forgives murderers. There’s no doubt in my mind that I can trust Him with all of my shame, and with all of my pain, and He will make something really amazing and beautiful out of ashes. He’s not going to just put it back together where you can see all the cracks. It’s new; it’s a new vessel; it’s glorious. And that’s what I have to share.
— Abolitionist Theresa Cobb, God Forgives Repentant Murderers (2016)
As much as I would prefer not to use it, the term “murder” is an important one to apply to the killing of an innocent child, because it allows us to use other terms like ‘genocide’, ‘holocaust’ and ‘child sacrifice’ etc., some of which have specific application from God’s word which we otherwise could not make.
So even though Christians will often shy away from the term in their discussions, and pro-lifers will avoid it in their legislation, abolitionists embrace the term “murder” as an accurate description of sins which kill an innocent human being, of which many of us are personally guilty. As you encounter abolitionists who take an uncompromising stand on the truth about abortion, my encouragement to you would be to remember Jesus and His incredible sacrifice of love which bore the penalty for our sin that none of us could ever hope to pay.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God. (Jhn 3:16-21)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” (Rom 10:9-11)
Many Christians instinctively recognize that they have a God-given duty to help the needy and the oppressed. In a culture where the neediest people are the 1,000,000+ people being killed by abortion every year, they understand that Jesus does not give us the option to walk by these children on the other side of the road as they bleed into the ground (Luk 10:25-37).
Many Christians know that they should do something, but they don’t know where to begin. The Activate series is designed to give you a simple, free way to educate yourself about the abolition of abortion, and to make an impact on the people in your social network.
Five minutes out of your day can save the child of someone you know. Join the great social campaign to help shift the culture’s perspective on abortion toward repentance and trust in Jesus Christ.