40th Anniversary of Row v. Wade

Title: 40th Anniversary of Row v. Wade

Text: Daniel 3:16-18

Time: January 26th, 2013

 

A couple of weeks ago I submitted this article for publication in the local newspaper here in New York:

40th Anniversary of Row v. Wade

Time magazine recently ran a most ridiculous cover story entitled, “40 years ago, abortion rights activists won an epic victory with Roe v. Wade – They’ve been losing ever since.” It’s ridiculous because abortion is still permitted in all 50 states for virtually any reason at all. Abortion activists today talk about the threat to so-called “reproductive rights,” but this phrase is nonsensical. Who is trying to deny anyone a right to reproduce? A real example of denying a bona fide “reproductive right” is in China, with it’s one child policy or forced sterilization campaigns. But in the United States there is no threat to the right to reproduce, despite what abortion rights activists would tell us. What they mean is a woman’s right to an abortion, a right to kill an unborn child, a right to pre-birth infanticide. This has nothing to do with the right to reproduce. When two people consent to sex they de facto consent to reproduce; they are exercising their right to reproduce, even if they don’t have that in mind. But what abortion rights activists actually want is the right to kill, yes, murder the child that results from the natural act of procreation. So when abortion activists talk about “reproductive rights” they are speaking falsely. On the other hands, when pro-life activists speak of fighting for the right to life of unborn babies, they are speaking truthfully. There really is a “right to life” issue at stake. It’s bad enough that millions upon multiple millions of unborn babies have been killed through abortion, let’s not let abortion activists now try to play the victim by claiming their “reproductive rights” are being threatened. There is no threat to reproductive rights. Abortion isn’t a reproductive right – it’s murder, period.

 

The reason I decided to address this issue now is because every year around January 22nd to mark the anniversary of the infamous Supreme Court abortion decision, I always try to say at least something about this tragic situation. I figure that at least I can continue to speak out against baby killing even if our politicians won’t do anything about it. At least I can continue to remind people that abortion is murder, that it has killed millions of babies, and that it must be stopped. My attitude is that whether abortion can be outlawed or not, we must continue to oppose it on principles. That’s what I’d like to speak on today – opposing abortion on principle, using the biblical example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego found in Daniel 3:1-30 (read). 

 

First, we must stand on principle – abortion is wrong. Daniel 3:16, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.” In the case of the three Jewish young men, they were asked by the pagan King Nebuchadnezzar to bow down to a golden idol in his image. They refused on principle. They didn’t compromise. They didn’t fudge with the truth. If God alone is worthy of worship, if God alone is worthy of praise, then to bow down to a human image or idol is wrong. These three young Jewish men took a stand; they refused to bow to idolatry. Today, in respect to the issue of abortion, we Christians are being asked to also bow to a human idol, although it isn’t in the form of a cast idol of gold, it is in the form of a law that allows for baby killing, abortion. The abortion activists say, “Nearly everybody has accepted that abortion is a basic American right, just go along with it now that it’s been established as law these forty years.” In other words, the forces in our secular society are pressuring good Christians to go along with abortion, tolerate it, accept it as established law. We are being asked to adjust our understanding of right and wrong, true and false, just and unjust. We are being asked to violate our biblical principles in order to fit into modern, secular society. The three Hebrew young men were also asked to adjust their principles concerning truth and what is right, but they refused. They proclaimed, “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.” Or in other words, what’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong. Operating on the basis of moral absolutes, they refused to even argue the case, or even defend themselves. Now in respect to abortion, we’ve been arguing the case and defending our pro-life position, but it hasn’t turned or reversed the pro-abortion laws. But at this point in time in our country, after forty years of abortion, we are being pressured and tempted to simply cave in and compromise on principle, to simply make it easy on everyone and tolerate abortion, accept it, and move on with our lives. But we must resist this pressure; we must resist this temptation. Even if they won’t listen to our arguments against abortion, even if things haven’t changed much or there’s little progress evident in doing away with abortion, we must not ever get to the point where we give up or stop resisting evil. In other words, like the Hebrew men, we need to stand on principle. Abortion is wrong, it’s murder, it’s baby killing. I don’t have time to go over the biblical arguments against abortion. But let me summarize quickly – the Bible teaches in Exodus 20:13, “Thou shall not kill,” it’s one of the Ten Commandments, and abortion is the unjustified killing of an innocent life, therefore it’s wrong. That’s why abortion is wrong, and that’s why we must stand on principle against it.

 

Second, we must stand on principle that abortion is wrong, and trust God to someday give us victory in the struggle against it. Daniel 3:17, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand.” The three Hebrews stood on principle; they stood for what was right, good and true. They refused to bow to idolatry. Then they gave their rationale, their reasons – their God would rescue them from the negative consequences for defying the corrupt authorities that were pressuring them to do evil. They had hope that God would stand with them as they stood against evil; that God would deliver them from any evil brought against them. In respect to opposing abortion, we Christians need to take a similar stand and attitude towards our corrupting society that is pressuring us to go along and accept abortion in America. Today, it’s popular to be for abortion rights; it sounds progressive, tolerant and open-minded to say, “Well, I guess everyone has a right to make up their own mind and make their own decisions concerning abortion; after all, it’s such a controversial topic.” That’s the safe response today. Hardly anyone will fault a person for taking such a “politically correct” position. But as Christians we can’t be so wishy-washy, because at stake is what is true, right and good. If abortion is murder, the unjustified taking of an innocent life, then we can’t treat the matter so casually. If it’s wrong, then it’s wrong. Yes, society is moving away from the Christian argument against abortion. Society is moving in the wrong direction on it, towards an open and tolerant attitude towards baby killing. After forty years of legal abortion that’s what happens to a population of citizens – they basically adjust their thinking and move on in life. But as Christians we must not adjust our thinking, because what was wrong forty years ago is still wrong today. We must trust that God will bless us for our strong stand against abortion, even though the presently things don’t look encouraging in the fight for life. For example, it was over thirty years ago in college that I first learned about the horrors of abortion, and I’ve been concerned ever since. I’ve prayed daily for change, for the end of abortion, but it hasn’t come. As Christians, we’ve helped elect presidents who promised to change the Supreme Court through their appointments, but this strategy hasn’t worked either. But despite frustration on political attempts to end abortion, we must continue to stand firm on principle and oppose abortion. We must continue to hope and believe that God will deliver or rescue our nation from the sinful abortion status quo. Above all, we must not compromise on principle or simply accept or tolerate abortion, as our opponents would have us do. We must look to God for hope, courage and inspiration as we continue to fight for life.

 

Third, we must stand on principle that abortion is wrong, and trust God to change things, but even if change doesn’t happen, we must still stand for what is true, right and good. Daniel 3:18, “But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” These Hebrews stood on principle that they would worship only God and not bow down to any human idol. Then, they expressed hope that God would deliver them from any negative consequences for taking their stand. Finally, they state that even if God doesn’t deliver them, they’ll still stand for what is right, good and true. They won’t compromise. What a great example for us all in respect to our stand against abortion. We need to stand against abortion, and pray that God will somebody reward our commitment by reversing the evil and sinful right to abortion in the U.S. But even if God doesn’t end abortion, even if public opinion turns more and more in favor of abortion, even if abortion grows more and more accepted in society, we still must stand against it on principle. The Bible teaches against abortion. Our Christian faith teaches us that abortion is wrong and sinful. It’s an evil. We don’t base our convictions on majority vote or popular consensus in society. We don’t base our beliefs on what is politically possible or what appears to be “the direction of history” – which is just another way of saying what the blowing winds of change are bringing. As Christians, we believe in absolute truth, in moral absolutes. Yet society is moving in the direction of moral relativism, or in other words, the belief that all morality is mere human opinion. But the Bible teaches differently, and we must reflect God’s Word rather than society. That doesn’t mean we can’t compromise on lesser issues, for example, on the best way to practically oppose abortion. Frankly, as a Bible-believing Christian who really wants to see all abortion end, I think after forty years of so little progress in ending abortion in the U.S. I’d settle for abortion to be a state issue instead of a federal issue. That’s not the long-term solution, but it might be an intermediate step to take. I’d rejoice if the Supreme Court ruled that abortion could be settled state by state. Although I’d be sad for some states that would continue to permit it, I’d be glad that at least some states would be able to ban it entirely. Then at least there would be some areas of our nation where people could be rid of abortion in their communities, towns and cities. Again, that’s not the ultimate or best solution, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. We could continue to oppose all abortion, everywhere, but at least we could see it banned in more places than today.

 

But after forty years of abortion in the U.S. with no realistic sign that it will end, should we continue the fight? Isn’t it a lost cause? No, because we stand on principle whether it brings us victory or not. The Hebrews stated the same thing when they told the king, “We won’t bow to your idol, we pray God delivers us, but even if he doesn’t we still won’t bow to your idol.” That’s the attitude we need to take today towards abortion, “We oppose abortion, and we pray that God will help us see it end, but even if abortion doesn’t end, we will still oppose it because it murder, it’s wrong.” The Republican Party has lost the last two presidential elections and is currently re-evaluating why. Now Republicans have traditionally opposed abortion while Democrats have traditionally promoted it. But after back-to-back presidential defeats some Republicans are starting to wonder whether the party should change its opposition to abortion, whether conservatives should compromise on abortion. I hope that Republicans don’t give in to the temptation to compromise on abortion to win elections. If they think they can become more like Democrats who are pro-abortion in order to win elections, if they think they should follow the social trends that point toward more liberal views on abortion, then they’d better stop thinking like that because it’s compromise. It’s surrendering principle. And what is victory if you have to surrender your principles? As Christians we need to continue our prophetic stand against abortion even if it means losing every election from now until the end of time. Again, what is winning an election if you lose or surrender your core values or convictions? Like the Hebrews said, “Even if we aren’t delivered, we won’t bow to idols.” As Christians we need to take a similar stand – “Even if it means we are on the losing side of every political election in the future because of our stand against abortion, then so be it.” There are more important things in life and in society than winning elections. It’s more important that we stand for truth and for what is right, than for us to abandon our principles in order to be on the winning side of a political issue. Is abortion a losing political issue? I don’t know, and frankly, it doesn’t matter. Again, we don’t look at issues of right and wrong, true and false, good and bad, in terms of whether it’s a “winning issue” or not. I believe in the days ahead we’ll be greatly pressured and tempted to compromise our stand against abortion, by both friends and foes. We must courageously refuse to compromise. We must continue to prophetically oppose abortion even if means we pay a costly price. We look to God to be our strength. That’s what the Hebrew men did, that’s what we must do also.

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: