DIVIDED We Stand?
This 2016 political season has been hard on all of us. Most of us never anticipated just how nasty it would become through the campaigning, debates, and the daily onslaught of media coverage. My stomach is sick and I can only imagine yours is too.
It is our great honor and responsibility to vote for the next president of our nation. But I am left wondering how in the world do I vote for any of these candidates? Their views and plans are so diametrically different and it seems that each candidate, will give America a massive pill to swallow whether it is regarding healthcare, immigration, the economy, or dealing with enemies at home and abroad. We are indeed, a nation divided.
And unfortunately, so is the Church.
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25
One major division I have seen in the church is over the issue of abortion and this disturbs me as I look at the data just from the last 43 years. Since the Roe v Wade decision in 1973, it is estimated that 59 Million babies have been aborted. 59 MILLION! That is more than the populations of the states of California and New York.
Few issues this political season have as far-reaching moral and social implications and long standing consequences as that of the upcoming appointments of the Supreme Court Justices, and more specifically, on the future of abortion. And on the issue of abortion, the Church is strangely divided. A recent study shows that 40% of women who have had an abortion attended church regularly at the time of their abortion, yet even more participants identify as Christians, raising the statistic to nearly 70%. These numbers are staggering!
In conversations with friends, I have been brokenhearted by the pro-choice stance among my Christian brothers and sisters. I have heard the rationale: “It’s the oldest medical procedure in the world- this way at least the women are protected… [some] women have no where else to go and feel they have no other option…society couldn’t support all of the additional children this would create…until the Church changes how it meets women with unplanned pregnancies, this is the best course….”
I understand there are so many issues that complicate these situations and this decision, but does that make it right? Does a law that legitimizes something done to a person one day- (inside of the womb,) but would be abhorrent and unthinkable– and of course illegal to do to that same person days or weeks later- (outside of the womb,) negate any objections and violation of conscience simply because it is now legal?
Do we ignore the laws of God simply because man has made his own law on a matter?
Now I do not wish to condemn or judge those who have made this decision in their lifetime and add guilt and shame for their decision- I hold to the Scriptures that tell us when we recognize our sin and ask for forgiveness, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). For those who made this choice and have experienced the emotional toll it has taken on their lives, I pray to see you fully restored emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And yet I plead with you to help guide others away from this devastating choice.
Where the Church should be in agreement on this issue and working to address the many needs and problems that lead women to feel they have no better option than to abort, instead we have become confused and divided.
How can we base right and wrong solely on circumstances?
Do we not have the answers in Scripture? Do we not read the same Bible that tell us not to commit murder (Deut 5:17), that children are a gift from the Lord (Ps 127:3), and that we are all created in His image (Gen 1:27). Now I know that for those outside of the Church, these passage hold little sway, but how can WE as followers of Christ be divided on this issue? Why are we so confused?
I have read countless Christian blogs and articles professing the importance of love for others, justice, equality, and freedom, yet remain silent or supportive on the issue of abortion. How can this be?
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…” (Prov 31:8)
It is time the Church comes together on this. It is time we speak up for the unborn children denied the very right for life. It is time we include these among those who deserve love, justice, equality, and freedom! Abortion is wrong, legal or not, and we should not support it.
“…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.” Deut 30:19-20
I am convinced that on the issue of abortion, the Church must unite! We must stand against abortion and any further expansion of this deadly and destructive issue. For many of us born after 1973, abortion rights were not our choice. But now, with the election of the next president, we see an opportunity to make our choice by electing a president that will bring balance to the Supreme Court with justices that value life and rights of the unborn! We can choose life and the blessings that come with it or we can choose death and its consequences.
And here’s the good news…
As we read through the Scriptures and see many instances of God’s people struggling to follow His law, to remain faithful to Him, and to resist being deceived and ensnared by those around them, He always offered a way to correct what they were doing wrong. When they repented, it created the course-correction they needed to renew fellowship with God and opportunity for Him to bless and restore their society. Isn’t that what we truly desire?
Injustice was replaced with justice. Starvation and poverty were reduced and their prosperity returned. Unfruitful fields began bearing bearing crops and bumper crops. Warring neighbors were weakened and God’s people enjoyed peace and safety in their land. In short, God poured out His blessings when His people turned from their sin and once again acknowledged Him as Sovereign over all things.
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chron 7:14)
Only God can heal our land…not the next president. But that’s not in the job description anyway. I know there are many other issues that create difficulty in voting for any of these candidates, as I admitted, this political season has been revolting. But we have been divided as a Church on an issue where there should be no division. We are charged to speak up and defend those who cannot defend themselves, and the unborn represent the absolute most vulnerable of all mankind. This election, we have the privilege and opportunity to select a candidate who respects ALL life and will defend the rights of the unborn.
It is time to end this division in the Church and unite for life. A house divided cannot stand. It is time we humble ourselves and repent of our wrong. God will hear us! And who knows the countless ways that He will bring health and healing to our land?