I’ve lost count of how many videos have surfaced revealing the horrific practice of Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of aborted babies. Supporters of Planned Parenthood claim that the videos have been edited, but completely unedited versions have also been released. The grisly reality is that babies are being killed and their body parts are being sold. If you didn’t know the context, you would think this would be some archaic, pagan practice of some culture from the Dark Ages. But no…this is happening in 21st century America.
As the church, there are several realities that we need to understand and proclaim to a world that is growing increasingly dark.
Reality #1 – An unborn baby is just that…a baby. Arms, legs, even heads of aborted babies are being sold. You know what has arms, legs, and heads? People do! This is not some glob of cells that we’re talking about. It’s a baby. And ending a baby’s life is murder. Abortion is the medical term. Murder is the accurate term. A baby is dismembered, bit by bit, and experiences excruciating pain as it happens. What would you call that? The answer is torture and then murder.
Reality #2 – Abortion is a sin. The Biblical prohibition against murder quite obviously applies here. To call abortion anything other than sinful is to ignore either the reality of abortion, the truth of Scripture, or more likely, both.
Reality #3 – The effects of abortion are dreadful, both for the baby and the mother. This is what abortion providers don’t want us to know. Not only does abortion end the life of a baby, but it also has the power to wreck the life of the mother. Sin has that effect. Sin ravages and ruins our lives.
Obviously I’m not a woman, but I have talked with women who have had abortions. I’ve heard their stories firsthand. They have cried on my shoulder. I’ve seen the lifelong damage that abortion has caused. I’ve seen hearts broken with guilt and pain and regret. It’s impossible to measure the devastation that abortion has brought into these ladies’ lives. It is far from a victimless crime. Every abortion has at least two victims…the baby and the mother.
Reality #4 – Hope is available. This may be the most overlooked reality of abortion in a lot of churches today. A lot of Christians would give a hearty “Amen!” to the first two realities that I wrote about, but they’re not so sure about this one. But I’m absolutely positive about it.
If you have had an abortion, let me state it as succinctly as I can: God can forgive you. God can forgive your abortion. Jesus’ blood is enough to cover your sin…all of it. His death and resurrection are enough to set you free from the guilt and shame of your past, including your abortion.
To all the legalistic, religious types who want to withhold forgiveness for certain sins such as abortion, I would say this: to hell with your condemnation. When Jesus met a woman who was caught in the act of adultery, He told her to leave her life of sin. But He also told her just as clearly that He didn’t condemn her. (See John 8:2-11.)
Jesus was full of grace and truth (John 1:14). It wasn’t grace OR truth. It was grace AND truth. And as followers of Jesus, we have to follow His example. We can speak the truth (abortion is a sin), and also preach grace (it is a sin that can be forgiven). If we fail at either one, we fail completely. When it comes to grace and truth, it’s not either/or. It’s both/and.
If you are suffering the guilt and pain of an abortion, you need to know that, because of Jesus, there is freedom and joy and life after abortion, both here and in eternity. If you are in Christ, you have been forgiven and freed from your sin. And you also have the promise of eternal life in the presence of God…a life that will exceed anything you can imagine. Just think about this…how beautiful will it be when you get to hug the baby that you aborted? Because that’s what is going to happen in eternity.
That’s what heaven is going to be like. Heaven is the completely restored world that God always intended. It is a world free from sin’s influence and effect. Everything that is broken in this world will be made whole and complete in the next. And that goes for abortion, too.
I’m sure that the debate will continue to rage. More videos may surface. Politicians will try to score political points from their stance on the issue. And tragically, many more babies will die and many more mothers will suffer.
But this has to be our message, church. When Jesus is present, hope is never absent.
Mike Edmisten is Senior Pastor at Connect Christian Church.