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Archive for January 25th, 2013

sandy hook school shootingThe Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre caught the attention of most Americans.  It should.  The brutal killing of students and teachers is a national wound.  It should be.  Parents and families mourned the loss of 26 human beings whose lives were cut short.  We all should.  What happened at Sandy Hook was evil.  Evil should always be resisted.

On this 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, 54 million other deaths should also capture our attention.  Be felt as a national wound.  Bring us to our knees in mourning.  But, 3,500 preborn babies are aborted every day in this country and people act as if nothing is happening.  An evil of monumental proportions is taking place before our very eyes, yet people who call themselves by Christ’s name appear unmoved and indifferent.

How can this be?

Rolley Haggard, writing for Breakpoint, observes that apathy and silence on abortion are evidence of a theological problem.  He notes that some will argue that Scripture is silent on abortion; after all they say, the term does not appear once in the Old or New Testament.  Nor are there any commands to “vote pro-life” or “peacefully demonstrate in front of Planned Parenthood.”  So, some Christians actually believe they have discerned the “letter of the law” and are obeying it by keeping silent.

But, asks Haggard, what about the “spirit of the law”?   The purpose and intent of the law?  St. Paul was  inspired to write, “He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.  If there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.  The whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14; 6:2).

Haggard begs the question of us all: Can we hear and believe God’s commandment to love our neighbor and still maintain passivity on abortion?  “The sober reality,” Haggard writes, “is that ‘he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).  Modern technology allows us to see inside the womb.  Having seen, can we un-see?  Are we not compelled to speak of what we have seen?

It’s possible, Haggard writes, that our error in not speaking has been an honest one.  “Perhaps our embrace of the letter rather than the spirit of the law has been unwitting.  Perhaps.  This much is certain: ‘When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken, or cease to be honest.’” (Note: This quote is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln).

Have those of us who call ourselves “Christ followers” heard the truth?  Knowing the truth, how do we respond?  When we see babies (woven together in the womb by God’s own hands – Psalm 139:3-16) being denied their God-given right to life, how do we respond?  When we know that the majority of abortions are done for convenience (not the life and health of the mother), how do we respond?  When we know that abortion says “no” to a new generation of creativity and hope, how do we respond?

(My appreciation to Rolley Haggard, “Brilliant Darkness,” www.breakpoint.org 1/23/2013)

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