Preaching to the Choir — on Purpose


“When we shrink from the sight of something, when we shroud it in euphemism, that is usually a sign of inner conflict, of unsettled hearts, a sign that something has gone wrong in our moral reasoning.”

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The above is an astute observation, all the more impressive for describing in 50 words or less the chief reason we’re still letting abortion flourish 40-plus years after Roe v. Wade: There’s something terribly wrong with our moral reasoning.

But it came from a book titled “Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy.”

That’s right, animals.

Human beings? That’s another story.

Please understand, I am very much an animal lover myself and often quote Jonah 4:11 in defense of my God-given affection for them. But try to find admissions similar to the one above regarding the callous irresponsibility we’ve exhibited with respect to the brutal extermination of pre-born people. Most of us have grown so accustomed to unprotestingly coexisting with industrialized murder that it hardly elicits the least little twitch on our moral galvanometer. If EKGs could measure emotional upset over abortion, the majority of us would be flatliners.

We’ve plain gotten used to babies being killed in America at the stupefying rate of two per minute. Our response to the silent screams of those being aborted has been, for the most part, to simply drown it all out by “singing a little louder.” We deem it more tolerable to let the massacre go on than to live up to our responsibility to end it.

Most of us manage to live relatively normal, carefree lives fully aware we are in the midst of a holocaust. We not only don’t lose sleep over it, we deliberately shrink from (or complain about) the display of it. We avoid like the plague the implications of the Second Great Commandment (“love thy neighbor”) in connection with it. When it comes up in conversation, we treat it as an unwelcome intruder into our “positive and encouraging” abundant Christian lives. We shroud it in euphemism, calling it almost anything but murder. And we regard as guilt-manipulators those who try to rally us to what, in reality, is just basic compassionate Christian duty.

Why do we do this? Why do we act as if the unbridled slaughter of innocents is something we don’t need to be utterly consumed to see abolished? Why are we not daily in unmitigated anguish over allowing this atrocity to continue decade after decade? Why do we have so little burden to take responsibility for it? Why do we treat it as merely some despicable thing that, if we just hide our heads in the sand long enough, will eventually go away on its own?

Like the man said, we do it because something is wrong with us. Desperately wrong.

What is that “something”? And who is the “us” and “we” smitten with this dread moral disease?

Listen up, choir. If you didn’t pick up on it, the “us” and “we” is you and me—i.e., Christians.

Say What?

Please don’t misunderstand: Almost all Christians dutifully concede that abortion is “just awful” and that “something needs to be done about it.” But if you’re waiting for an uncoerced confession that something has gone wrong in our moral reasoning, don’t leave your engine running. The number of those willing to admit that we Christians are largely to blame for the proliferation of commercialized child-killing, for allowing the earth to be turned into a giant abortion factory, is only slightly greater than statistical zero.

The reality is, most Christians regard abortion as a problem attributable to anyone but us. “After all,” the reasoning goes, “we’re pro-life. We’d love to see abortion end. Abortion isn’t the church’s problem; it’s the culture’s problem. If anyone needs to change anything, it’s pro-choicers, not pro-lifers.”

Would that it were so. But we know better than to let such monstrous evil thrive unresisted; the world doesn’t—at least not like we do. And yet here we are, 522 months into this nightmare, still afraid to thunder unremittingly from every pulpit in the land Love’s mandate to rescue those being led away to death.

So, yes, this is a message for the church, for born-again, Bible-believing Christians. Judgment begins at the house of God for good reason. Because if salt loses its saltiness, there is no substitute; the corruption of society will continue, and even accelerate, unchecked. To put that in the vernacular, if we don’t do the work of unitedly, heroically advocating for our pre-born neighbors, it won’t get done.

So hearken, beloved. There will be a test at the end of the period. We need to get this down because the Headmaster, according to reliable sources, has no pleasure in fools.

Just What is Our ‘Disease’?

If we were to interview the aborted, they could tell us in a heartbeat what our disease is. But since (thanks largely to us) they have no heartbeat, others must tell us what we’re too proud to admit: that we love ourselves, not our neighbor. We’ll share the gospel, but we won’t live it. We’ll declare “God is love,” but we won’t show it. Not if it costs. And it would cost to show sacrificial love to “the least of these.”

But to share the gospel of Christ’s love without living the gospel of Christ’s love is to deny the gospel of Christ’s love. It is to say in words “God loves people,” and then argue tenfold more convincingly by actions, “well, not really.” As long as we neglect the pre-born children Jesus loves, we mock Jesus and His gospel.

What abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison said of slavery is precisely where every one of us should be on abortion. In 1831 he wrote:

I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen—but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.

If Garrison’s words don’t epitomize our attitude and intent with respect to the pre-born, the diagnosis is indeed dire: We are sick unto death with that moral psychopathy the Bible callshardness of heart.

So What Is the Cure?

The cure for our illness is repentance. Break the silence and apathy; give no more “moderate alarm.” Advocate publicly, passionately, for those being led to slaughter, until this holocaust is a thing of the past or Jesus returns.

End of sermon.

Image courtesy of Mike Watson Images at Thinkstock by Getty Images.

Rolley Haggard is a feature writer for BreakPoint.

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