Posted by: minnow | April 23, 2009

Making a Difference

A few days ago as I drove home from the library I passed by the local abortion clinic. Out front a young couple was in an embrace. As I watched (at the stop light) they parted and she entered the building. This is not the first time I have witnessed such a scene in this spot and sadly will probably not be the last. These young people looked to be high school age. The reactions that stormed through my mind were primarily angry and judgmental. I had to talk myself down from wanting to punch that young man in the nose for his selfishness and shake that young lady silly for hers. Worst case scenario a baby was about to be killed through no fault of its own. Best case: the young woman was heading in for a test, would find out she was not pregnant, and would learn to be more careful. Sadly the statistics do not lean in that direction*.
Even though I could do a lot of finger shaking toward those young people, toward the entertainment industry, toward parents, and toward society in general I was most angry at the Church. We ought to be doing something more then what we are doing.  We like to protest; we will even march in front of clinics on occasion.  And, we love to play politics, if it happens to fit our schedules, but when it comes to personal involvement–being inconvenienced–we are not as likely to volunteer for duty. 
Real people in real circumstances need real solutions.  Yes, they have made mistakes.  Yes those mistakes are serious.  Yes, we in the Church recognize those “mistakes” as sin, maybe even a series of sins.  And yes, sin has consequences, even long lasting consequences and in the case of unwanted pregnancies and abortion life long.  BUT, looking down our noses at the lowly sinners accomplishes nothing for God or the Kingdom.  Except for toward the religious leaders of His day, Jesus never started a discourse with sinners by reprimanding them for their sin.  Following Christ’s example and scripture’s rule love and forgiveness ought to be the Church’s lead message.  So, taking the situation at the abortion clinic as a case study the question we need to ask ourselves is: how can we, the Church, show  the gospel to a hurting, sinful world?  How do we love the sinner (the mom, the dad), hate the sin (abortion, pre-marital sex), and witness Jesus (His love, His forgiveness, His redemption)? 
I think my little city of under 100,000 people is probably pretty close to a microcosm of the rest of the United States.  We have all of the same problems just in smaller numbers.  Our demographics are skewed white which I know impacts some of the data but since this is where I find myself…  Here are a few statistics I have found interesting.  We have twice as many places that offer abortion services as offers alternative solutions and help.  We have one (secular) home for unwed, teenage moms and moms to be.  It has six beds and in a single year receives an average of 70 referrals.  (Who knows how many of those 70 see a place to live as the one thing that could come between them and an abortion).  We also have close to one hundred places of Christian  worship (according to the phone book).
What would happen if every ten Churches got together and sponsored one house, like the one that currently exists in our city, with the distinct difference that Jesus would be at the heart of our activities?  Our motivation for becoming involved would be Jesus.  Our message to these young women would be that Jesus loves them and has taught us to love them too.  What would happen if, like Jesus, we decided sin was worth defeating and the sinner worth saving?  What would happen?  The need for group homes would nearly be wiped out.  Ten Churches; one house.

* By the time most women visit abortion clinics they already know they are pregnant.  That clinics say they have numerous visits just for “tests” is because they require all the patients who come to the clinic even if they already know they are pregnant to take a test.

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Responses

  1. I appriciate your consideration of this issue. It is more helpful to offer solutions, than merely express outrage and old slogans. I hope you get a chance to attempt what you have suggested. It has always been my argument that in order to eliminate abortion one must first lower the demand for it, and that an integral part of lowering that demand is providing easily accessible alternatives.

  2. Minnow

    I think you have a good Blog here. I’m interested in hearing what your next step will be.

  3. “Real people in real circumstances need real solutions.”

    I used to live near an abortion clinic myself. Every Saturday morning protesters would be out there, angrily making noise and preaching eternal fire. Solutions they didn’t have, or if they did, they didn’t offer. Abortions were still scheduled, just less of them on Saturdays. I wonder if the daughter of one of those protesters ever got pregnant, would there be a solution for her that would show godly compassion and love, or just condemnation?
    I grew up in a church where on an occasion some girl or other got pregnant. The parents, so vocal against abortion, chose it rather than bear the ‘shame’ a child out of wedlock would bring upon their name. Of course, it was all hushed. Truth has a way of leaking out, though.


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