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Monday, June 1, 2009

Abortion Doctors, Depravity, and the Cross

I’m sure many of you have heard of the late-term abortion doctor who was murdered on Sunday. The Bible is clear that it is against God’s moral law to take revenge on our enemies (Rom 12:19). Instead of seeking to kill abortion doctors, we should be earnestly praying that God would grant them repentance and faith in Christ.

To me, the most striking thing about this story was not that the doctor was killed in church. Nor was it that the doctor had survived other attempts on his life. Nor was it the security measures taken by the man to preserve his own life as he made a killing killing the unborn. Rather it has been the moral outrage spewed forth from abortion proponents over the taking of an “innocent” life. Some of the quotes I’ve read over the past couple of days have reminded me that I live in a culture that has been given over to a depraved mind.

In the futility of their minds, abortion proponents are blind to the irony of their outrage. Try to wrap your mind around this quote from Dr. Suzanne T. Poppema, board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health: "Violence and murder will never end the need for abortion." In other words, violence and murder will never end the need for violence and murder.

Or try this one from Nancy Keenan, president of abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America: "Dr. Tiller's murder will send a chill down the spines of the brave and courageous providers and other professionals who are part of reproductive-health centers that serve women across this country.” Such comments characterize Tiller as a selfless hero fighting on behalf of women.

No outrage for the untold numbers who died at Tiller’s hands.

Further indication of our society’s moral bankruptcy is the announcement by US Attorney General Eric Holder that the US Marshalls have been tasked with protecting other such high profile abortion providers. Meanwhile, there will be no such protection for the unborn.

We live in a nation that protects the guilty and abandons the innocent. On second thought, “abandons” is not the right picture. Our nation – our government – condones, champions, facilitates, and funds the mass murder of children.

It reminds me of the book of Judges. There are a couple of lines that are used repeatedly in the book. It says that “Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” (Judges 2:11, 3:7, 3:12, 4:1, 6:1, 10:6, 13:1). For the first 13 chapters of the book, the author describes the depravity of Israel in terms of God’s holiness. They did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. It seems to that point, Israel at least had some consciousness of God.

But the last two editorial comments on the moral state of Israel are different: In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6, 21:25). There are two things that are very scary about this transition. First, God is no longer mentioned as the standard. And second, everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Rampant idolatry was right in their eyes (Judges 17). Homosexual sex was right in their eyes (19:22). Abandonment of the weak was right (19:24). Gang rape was right (19:25). Murder was right in their eyes (19:26-28). These things were right and good to them. That is how far they had strayed from God.

But there was hope for Israel. The book of Judges points to man’s need for a Savior. And we know that a Savior came.

There is a temptation when reading such things in the Bible or seeing such things in our own culture to see only hopelessness and darkness. But such things are intended to be the black backdrop against which the glory of Christ may shine brightly. He came to seek and save the lost, and the most hardened abortion proponent poses no challenge for His grace.

It is right to look at the moral decline in our culture and be disturbed and saddened by it. But let’s then turn the corner and be reminded of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, by whose power we have been saved. We are not called to be fainthearted, but to love the lost, live the cross, and speak the truth no matter how our culture receives us.

We may believe that these are terrible times, and in some ways that is true, but these are the days in which God has sovereignly placed us. Let’s pray for a Christ-centered perspective that looks on our nation and sees a field ripe for the harvest with unparalleled opportunities to speak the Name.


Duane Green said...

Very well said. I've been reflecting on this story for the last day. While I do not condone the actions of the accused murderer in this case, I have a hard time in my humanity condemning him. As you stated, this "doctor" has taken hundreds or thousands of lives. He participated in the arbitrary death sentences of the children he aborted. And as it turns out, he was on the other side of a similar sentence. Ultimately, I think he's meeting his maker and answering for his atrocities a few years earlier than he might have anticipated. But the final verdict will be the same -- albeit with fewer aborted babies along the way. I wonder if our society will ever wake up to the horrible reality of the last 35 years?

Greg Birdwell said...

I think all men will one day see the truth of this most heinous holocaust...just like Tiller is today.