3 ways pastors should engage the abortion issue

With a string of videos coming out of the past few weeks showing Planned Parenthood for what it is. These things are unavoidable for us and the kids we minister to. We have to understand how to logically understand these events so we engage rather shut down. My friend Scott Klusendorf writes the following argument in his book The Case for Life

The SLED Defense of Life

Philosophically, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today. As Stephen Schwarz points out using the acronym SLED, differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant in the way that abortion advocates need them to be.

Size: Yes, embryos are smaller than newborns and adults, but why is that relevant? Do we really want to say that large people are more valuable than small ones? Men are generally larger than women, but that doesn’t mean that they deserve more rights. Size doesn’t equal value.

Level of development: True, embryos and fetuses are less developed than you and I. But again, why is this relevant? Four year-old girls are less developed than 14 year-old ones. Should older children have more rights than their younger siblings? Some people say that self-awareness makes one valuable. But if that is true, newborns do not qualify as valuable human beings. Six-week old infants lack the immediate capacity for performing human mental functions, as do the reversibly comatose, the sleeping, and those with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Environment: Where you are has no bearing on who you are. Does your value change when you cross the street or roll over in bed? If not, how can a journey of eight inches down the birth-canal suddenly change the essential nature of the unborn from non-valuable tissue mass to valuable human being? If the unborn are not already human and valuable, merely changing their location can’t make them so.

Degree of Dependency: If viability bestows human value, then all those who depend on insulin or kidney medication are not valuable and we may kill them. Conjoined twins who share blood type and bodily systems also have no right to life.

In short, it’s far more reasonable to argue that although humans differ immensely with respect to talents, accomplishments, and degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal (and valuable) because they share a common human nature. Humans have value simply because of the kind of thing they are, not because of some acquired property they may gain or lose during their lifetimes.

Armed with that understanding what must we do with what we know to be true? What must we do?

1. We must stay engaged. I think if you work with kids you have to watch the videos that have been circulating. Why because until you see you will never feel. Until you feel you will never act. Every American should watch them. We have sanitized the genocide in our own country. You can not fully empathize with what you don’t understand. [Tweet “It wasn’t until Wilberforce smelled the smell of a slave ship or felt the irons of slave shackles that the slave trade became real.”]It wasn’t until Wilberforce smelled the smell of a slave ship or felt the irons of slave shackles that the slave trade became real. It is worse than you can imagine and until you see that and feel that your resolve will weaken.

2. Speak Truth and Speak Love. – We must do both. We must speak out boldly as boldly as we do for sex trafficking. We should speak out about sex trafficking it’s awful. But you know what breaks my heart is pastors and Christians who draw and X on their hand but say nothing about abortion. Leaders who rightly speak about injustice that happens to minorities in this country and say nothing about the 1876 black lives that are lost daily. I don’t understand. Do we really think that speaking up for the cool causes of the day is what the church is called to do? Is it possible that we are so hip that we have lost our way? Beware when all men speak well of you. We must speak the truth boldly and proclaim it loudly. We must however do that in love. In the midst of our rightful outrage at abortion let us remember that there is a whole family unit affected. [Tweet “The church must be a place of truth decrying the practice of abortion & a place of love for those who have had abortions. “] The church must be a place of truth decrying the practice of abortion and a place of love for those who have had abortions or performed them. The only thing that will heal the wounds abortion creates is the good news of the gospel. The irresistible grace of a father who loves you more than you can imagine. Here is 5 Steps to begin healing from an Abortion. So grateful for the compassionate ministry of CareNet.

3. Help kids we teach understand that every life is precious. That we are not our own but we belong to God. We must speak out and defend life anywhere it is threatened. What makes Christianity so different is we see all of life as precious. It allows us to care for and love our enemies because they are made in the image of God. In a world that tells our kids to trust their heart and they are basically animals with certain instincts we must paint a big picture of a big God who has a big plan for them from before the creation of the world. [Tweet “Our world is not looking for the church to be cool they need us to be clear.”] Our world is not looking for the church to be cool they need us to be clear. To Christians all lives matter because of the sacrificial life of Christ he gave value and meaning to every life through his life death and Resurrection.

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