Abortion

When Life Matters Worldwide's President, Tom Lothamer, speaks in churches, he makes a point of sharing the forgiveness that can be found in Christ after an abortion. He doesn't know who's listening. Perhaps someone with a guilty conscience, or someone contemplating abortion.

Once upon a time not that long ago “everyone” knew with scientific certainty that human life began at conception. A mere three years after this editorial was written, “semantic gymnastics” made abortion-on-demand the law of the land. Would that pro-death people today could be as honest and forthright about their tactics. 

Walk in the light

People don’t make it an aim in life to kill their own children. In fact, when such a thing happens accidentally, it’s a great tragedy. 

As the pro-choice side puts it, “No one wants to have an abortion.” Yet there are an estimated 50 million abortions a year worldwide. How is it that so many of us arrive at that choice?

Many explanations are given, but Jesus said evil comes from our hearts (Mark 7:20-23). Abortion is a grave spiritual matter.

We come to the brink of abortion by following the “counsel of the ungodly:”

It’s your life; no one can tell you what to do.

You don’t owe God anything.

Nothing bad will happen to you.

God doesn’t hear you, or see what you do.

God can’t (or won’t) help you.

God doesn’t know what your life is like.

There is no God.*

So, while a person may not set out to get there, he or she may wind up in a situation where abortion “makes sense” . . . is “the only thing to do” . . . seems as though “it will save me from a lot of other problems.”

How do we avoid abortion? By tracking closely after God (Psalm 17:5, 23:3). The person intent on walking in “paths of righteousness” -- following hard after God, familiarizing herself with His ways, conforming to His patterns -- will be spared horrible choices.

What if you’ve had an abortion? The good news is Jesus died for people who follow ungodly advice, and even for those who give it (Romans 5:6-8).

While we were still unrepentant sinners, He paid the penalty for sin. In Him, we have eternal life and freedom from sin. This promise includes people who’ve had abortions.

Since abortion begins in the heart, its remedy begins there, too. Psalm 32 recommends quick and thorough confession. Because he knew firsthand the shame of guilt and the joy of forgiveness, David advises everyone to be open with God about sin.

If you’re thinking about having an abortion, ask God to show you another way (1 Corinthians 10:13). Your local church or pregnancy care center can help, too, with good counsel and support.

*Psalm 1:1; 2:3; 3:2; 10:6, 11, 13; 12:4; 14:1; 22:8; 42:3, 10; 53:1; 59:7; 64:5; 71:11; 73:11; 78:19; 79:10; 94:7; 115:2.

This text originally appeared on our bulletin insert for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday 2009. It sold out, but is worth revisiting here on the blog.

Are we responsible for the shooting at Planned Parenthood?

As news unfolded of the rampage at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, I prayed there was only a coincidental connection. My heart sank to learn the shooter muttered something about "baby parts" upon his arrest.

Life Matters Worldwide and other pro-life groups disavow violence against abortion providers. By its very nature, being pro-life does not permit killing in the name of life. We've had a policy against violence since 1993, and we highlight it every time a murder is perpetrated by a self-proclaimed pro-lifer. (NOTE TO OTHER WOULD-BE VIGILANTES: SAYING YOU'RE PRO-LIFE DOESN'T MAKE YOU PRO-LIFE ANY MORE THAN SAYING YOU'RE A CHRISTIAN MAKES YOU A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.)

Is it enough, though, for us to publish position papers? Or should we do more to prevent violence? Let's take this opportunity to again emphasize biblical truth:

• Violence separates people from God. (Psalm 11:5, Isaiah 59:2-8)

• Violent people are not like God. (Ps. 54:3, 86:14; Is. 53:9)

• Violent people should not be envied or imitated. (Proverbs 3:31)

• Violent people often meet a violent end. (Prov. 21:7)

• Violent people will be judged by God. (Ezekiel 7:11, 23; 8:17; 12:19; 28:16; Joel 3:19; Obadiah 1:10; Habakkuk 2:8; Zephaniah 1:9)

• Victims of violence are precious to God. (Ps. 72:14, 140:1)

• God redeems violent people. (1 Timothy 1:13)

• One day, God will bring violence to an end. (Is. 60:18)

While it's doubtful someone who is a bit deranged and bent on destruction would first check with us before shooting up an abortion clinic, we can and will repeat these words: The pro-life movement does not "persuade" opponents by pointing guns at their heads.

Yes, we call abortion murder, and yes, we shared the links to the Planned Parenthood "baby parts" videos. We also said this at the time: God is the Avenger of innocent bloodPP workers need Christ, we need to continue working through legal means to defund PP, and we need to pray our government will do the right thing.

Pro-life rhetoric is not responsible for these murders any more than organizations that hold police departments accountable are responsible for the killing of officers. Abortion clinic violence does, however, give our movement a black eye.

In response to the Colorado shooting, Abby Johnson (former Planned Parenthood director) said, "I am so thankful that the anti-abortionists who made threats against my life when I worked at Planned Parenthood never made good on them. I'm thankful that I have been able to repent from my past and find mercy in Christ...and with God's help have hopefully saved more lives than I took."

And Carol Everett, the former director of an abortion clinic, said, "Thank the Lord that I was not killed before I came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and what He did for even me on that cross!"

Yes, let's keep praying for abortion providers and sharing the Gospel with them.

Related reading --
Noah: Violent or Righteous?
Should We Use Violence to Fight Abortion?

Photo credit -- CTRLF5

WHAT DOES YOUR CHURCH DO TO MARK SOHLS? We'd love to know. And to include your creative ideas in our Fearfully & Wonderfully Made pastor's handbook. Put them in a comment below, or in an email

OUR THEME FOR 2016 -- What do the cities of refuge teach us about God and the sanctity of human life? It's carried out in our bulletin insert, slideshow DVD, two new sermons, and one Bible study/SS lesson. And it touches on larger biblical themes of bloodguiltiness, vengeance, brother-keeping, and forgiveness.

CHECK OUT THESE ITEMS FOR YOUR CHURCH:


PASTOR'S HANDBOOK UPDATE 2016 - for those who already have the 3-ring binder Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

  • 2 new sermons - "But I've Never Killed Anyone!" and Project the "Image"
  • 1 new Bible study/SS lesson - The Case of the Unknown Killer
Baby parts for sale, part 4

Yesterday in the U.S. Senate a bill was defeated that would have reallocated funds from Planned Parenthood to federally qualified health centers that do not perform abortions. Like the legion that possessed the wild man in Mark 5:1-13, PP will do whatever it takes to avoid being cast out.

Few places in Scripture describe pro-death forces as profoundly and accurately as Psalm 10. Verses 8 through 11 say:

[The wicked man] lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent.

His eyes watch in secret for his victims; like a lion in cover he lies in wait.

He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.

His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength.

He says to himself, “God will never notice; He covers his face and never sees.”

But the truth is, God does see what is done in secret (v. 14). He does take every human death into account, despite the unbeliever’s denial (v. 13). In view of the ridicule heaped on pro-lifers when we scrutinize PP, this emerges as a vital article of faith.

This is a fundamental principle going back to Genesis 9:5-6. At that time, God promised Noah and his offspring: "For your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind." 

Three times: "I will demand an accounting." As loudly and insistently as Abel's blood cried out to God from the ground, so too does the blood of all innocents (Psalm 106:38, 2 Kings 9:26, Joel 3:21). A day of reckoning is coming.

Despite injunctions against the Center for Medical Progress, a 5th video has been released. It contains further proof against PP and disturbing footage of what remains of babies after abortion. 

Yes, God has always had His eye on what goes on inside Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics. Some prefer not to watch these disturbing videos, but if we don't see AND share them, babies will continue to be heartlessly crushed by the wicked.

Scholars point to links between Psalm 9 and 10. In 9:11-12, David alludes to Gen. 9:5-6. He also reorients our perspective toward worship of a sovereign God and comforts our distress over failed efforts to defend the unborn:

Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion; 

proclaim among the nations what he has done. 

For He who avenges blood remembers; 

He does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.

The 4th video from The Center for Medical Progress is available, and also quite graphic. Please, don't let that stop you from viewing and sharing it.

Baby parts for sale, part 1

Thanks to investigative videos produced by The Center for Medical Progress, we’ve learned that what we thought had ceased a decade ago is still happening, and that the country’s largest abortion provider is deeply involved.

Whether or not this campaign results in Planned Parenthood’s demise, we must continue steering attention toward ultimate truths:

• It doesn’t matter if the sales are legal. The real outrage is abortion on demand.

• It doesn’t matter if Planned Parenthood is profiting by the sale of baby parts. They’ve been feeding at the federal trough for years. These are your tax dollars! We've participated by silent consent. (Calculate how much you've given them over 10 years.)

• Tax dollars also support the research that uses aborted baby parts ($76 million last year, according to the Washington Post). 

• PP isn’t the only source of aborted baby parts for research, just the largest and most well-known. 

• Planned Parenthood workers are people who need Christ. They are blinded by the god of this age. Hatred and vitriol won’t help the Kingdom's cause. 

What will help is bookmarking the CMP website so you can access unedited versions and transcripts for skeptical friends. And educating yourself on how baby parts are used in research.

OTHER ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE

1. Pray – This fight will not be over without a struggle. PP and other pro-abortion forces are hitting back, accusing CMP of fraud and illegal activities

2. Defund PP – Bills have been presented in both houses of Congress. Read "Senate Will Vote Soon on Bill to Immediately De-Fund Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz" and then contact your U.S. Representative and Senators. You may also sign an online petition here or here, but I believe personal communication that identifies you as their constituent is more powerful.

3. Personally defund PP - Boycott companies and charities that support Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue research. Learn more here and here.

Samples and order forms are on their way to churches. Pastors, watch your mail!

Or get a head start and order now.

Featured resources include:


The focus this year is on men and abortion, and the actual "war on women." Life Matters Worldwide welcomes men in the battle for life. They make a big difference by working, praying, and giving alongside women all over the world. READ MORE

Reading Erwin Lutzer's Hitler's Cross (Moody Publishers, 1995) over the past week, I came across a passage that underscores the reason Life Matters Worldwide has always focused on the primacy of evangelism in pro-life ministry:

For years evangelicals have cooperated with a broad spectrum of religious groups to fight such scourges as abortion, pornography, and the imposition of special laws that favor homosexuals. They have worked together to form crisis pregnancy centers and provide food for the hungry. That work is of course commendable since in a democracy we must join forces with all those who hold to family values, regardless of their religious commitment or lack of it.

We can organize a moral crusade, raise a flag, and work with anyone who will salute it. But let us not be so naive as to think that this is America's great hope. Darkness can only be dispelled by light, and light comers through the gospel of God's grace. Let us never forget that the world's greatest need is always to see Jesus, to understand why He alone can reconcile us to God.

Even when we engage in our cultural and political battles our primary objective should be that the world might see Christ. Yes, we can be grateful for our political and legal victories, but what have we won if people are not introduced to a Savior who can reconcile them to God? That does not mean that we preach a sermon every time we attend the PTA or help a young woman choose to give her unborn child life. It does mean, however, that we conduct ourselves in such a way that we have credibility in sharing the Good News.

And if the choice should be between winning our "cultural war" and maintaining our commitment to a pure gospel, we must let the cultural battles take second place so that the Cross gets a hearing in the hearts of men and women. Of course the choice is never that clear-cut, but we must remember that God did not put us on this earth to save America but to save Americans.

When eighteenth-century England was decadent, with alcoholism, the exploitation of children, and rampant immorality raging, God graciously sent a spiritual awakening through the preaching of George Whitefield and John Wesley. Some historians believe this revival spared the nation from a fate similar to the French revolution.

While we pray and wait for a revival we can do nothing better than to revive our confidence in the power of the Cross to do what moral reform cannot. Let us remember that the reentry of evangelicals into politics is commendable, but it is not the answer; it is only a means to the answer. Whether evangelicals act as lawyers in a court of law, protesters in a pro-life demonstration, or politicians, every vocation if s bridge to witness to the saving grace of God in Christ. (pp. 202-203)

Related: What is the Gospel?

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