An Open Letter to The Pastor of Your Pro-Life Church
I would like to collaborate with you. For two reasons. First, I would like to help you reduce the numbers of abortions among the members of your church. Second, I need your help in reducing and even eliminating abortion in the broader culture. It’s in your power to make a huge difference to the babies and moms in your congregation, and in the broader culture as well.
I know. There is no end of people trying to project their respective missions onto your schedule. They often believe they have found the silver bullet that will change the world. If only you would drop everything and take up their respective banners.
Maybe it all comes down to whether abortion is truly the Holocaust of our time, or not. If it's not the moral issue of our time, then your pro-life ministry is no more important than the choir or your sports ministry. It's optional.
But if killing a baby really is the moral equivalent to killing a born person, won't God judge the nation that kills 1.2 million children every year? Isn't it worth your time to pray and consider how God might want you to respond? If 3 or 4 dead babies will die in your own church this year, what are their lives worth? I’m only asking for a few minutes.
Our obedience to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20a) requires us to teach believers to obey all that Jesus commanded. Unfortunately, the church—even the "pro-life" church—is not teaching believers to obey the Sixth Commandment, as it relates to the unborn. Not really. They are being TOLD to obey, but not TAUGHT to obey. Big difference.
Consequently, the abortion rate in the church is very high. In fact, one of every five women who has an abortion identifies herself as a "born-again" or "evangelical" Christian. (We may assume that one in five aborted children are fathered by men who are "born again, evangelical" Christians.) In 2008, America elected the most pro-abortion President and Senate ever, largely because "pro-life" Christians voted for them in droves. I am convinced that you are pastoring a church in which 10-20% of the children are being killed before they are born and in which almost all of the adult members are enabling the system of abortion to continue unabated because of their complacency.
We believe that for many young people, the problem is not lack of commitment to the Christian life—even committed Christians sin and fail—but rather a lack of knowledge about whether abortion (something that many Christians are doing) is truly an act of murder every bit as serious as killing a born person (which no Christian I know would do). They are perhaps being TOLD to equate abortion with murder, but rarely TAUGHT to equate the two.
We go on college campuses and teach everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike, the most important two facts about abortion they need to know. They don’t have trouble with "Thou shalt not commit murder." Even pagans are committed to that principle. The problem is whether abortion is an act of murder or not. We know that two facts will compel most people to conclude that it is, but these two facts are strangely absent from the Christian curriculum. These are facts that most "pro-life" churches never get around to teaching, leaving our own children vulnerable to Satanic lies. We have to change that.
Over and over again, Christian young people approach us on college campuses and tell us, "I am a Christian, but I had come to believe that abortion is a matter of choice. But now that I am seeing what abortion is and does, I realize that I was wrong." We ask what is to us a rhetorical question, "Did your pastor or youth minister ever show you pictures that demonstrate the humanity of the child and the horror of abortion?" We know the answer before we even ask.
I could tell you the story of the married couple in Montana who almost had an abortion, despite hearing many sermons against it, but cancelled their abortion appointment (scheduled for the next day) only after seeing pictures of abortion. I could tell you about the student leaders at Liberty University who became convinced that abortion is absolute evil only after I showed them pictures if it. These were not evil young people; they were ignorant. Their ignorance was, I believe, the direct result of church negligence.
Would you please make this a matter of prayer? May we meet to discuss it in greater detail? Please contact me and I would be pleased to arrange a meeting.
C. Fletcher Armstrong, PhD
Center for Bio-Ethical Reform