If you have listened to the politicians and “TV preachers”, you know that we have a nice little handful of hot issues. Well, I would like to share my thoughts on a few of them. For my first, I share my thoughts on abortion.
I will start this by saying…I do believe abortion ends a human life. Yet, I also believe that this is a difficult decision for women who face unintended pregnancy and that it is wrong to judge and vilify a woman who has made that difficult decision (or the doctors who are performing a medical procedure). There are reasons people get abortions, but I am not here to argue those points or defend “pro-choice” or pro-life” stances.
The reason we have abortion is largely due to the lack of compassion from the Church.
“Hold on just a minute, John! Are you blaming the Church for abortion? How dare you! The Church certainly is not responsible for such a heinous crime against humanity!”
Thank you for your concern. But, I meant what I said and I am sticking to it. If it were not for the judgmental attitude of Christians, abortion would be far more rare than what we see. But, since Christians choose to place labels on people, bring law on people as well as spew hateful words, phrases and accusations, putting shame on peoples’ heads, many feel they have little choice than to attempt to hide what we have said is a shame.
“So, now you’re saying that fornication, adultery, teen pregnancy, babies born out of wedlock and all is just fine? Do you really think that we should live in a sexual free-for-all society? It’s sin!”
Uh, no. I am not advocating these things. But, they are due to where people’s hearts are. People live and act according to the condition of their hearts. What I am saying is, the Church has largely placed great shame on people for living a certain way. True, people’s own consciences remind them of the importance of marriage and commitment. But, this is still no reason to place shame and guilt on another person. After all, Jesus didn’t do that to people.
This shame and guilt has convinced parents to reject their daughter if she becomes pregnant, or if their son gets a girl pregnant. This shame and guilt has also convinced people to hide their own shame, feeling guilty for not having a father around, not being married or not having enough income to raise a child. The legalism we place on people forces them to live secret lives, avoid revealing their “sin”, prevents parents from accepting this “shame”.
We have spent so much time telling people how much we are against them and what they do, that we have forgotten to draw people with God’s love, tolerance and patience. There is much time spent on attempting to legislate sin rather than focusing our efforts on loving people, having compassion and extending God’s grace.
“So, what you’re saying is, we need to just let it all slide. Are you out of your mind? If we don’t hold people accountable, this country will be overrun with sin. We just can’t have that. I mean, there are just some sins we can’t allow to have run rampant in our society and killin’ babies is right up at the top of the list!”
Noooo, what I am saying is that, instead of focusing on sin and “hating the sin and loving the sinner”, we need to simply love what God loves. What does God love most? His favorite and best creation…people. We don’t need laws to make us more comfortable in our own alleged righteousness, we need to live the law of love.
Women do need alternatives to abortions as many feel trapped into feeling like they have to get an abortion. Women do not need to feel forced into the alternatives, either…they do not need to be manipulated, cajoled, “convinced” or “encouraged” (these two are in quotes, as they are often not done in their true defined manner). What women need is understanding, compassion, grace and unconditional love…regardless of the decision they make.
Give women a “soft place to land”. When a teen shows up pregnant, if her parents are not accepting of her, she needs help and hugs. When a single mother doesn’t have enough money to raise her child, find her a home that will take her in until she can get on her feet (maybe even your own home?). When a woman had to have an abortion because of her overbearing husband, she needs someone who will listen to her. If a woman has had an abortion, don’t even mention the words ‘kill’ or ‘murder’…let her know how much she is accepted and loved, simply by accepting and loving her.
Too many in the Church have placed too much focus on what people do rather than who people are. Let’s look at what Jesus sees. What He sees is His beloved creation, each of whom He deeply loves. Our actions are not approval winners, but we all have His approval. For Him, it is not a matter of what we do for His approval…it is simply who we are.
We need to see others just that way…loved and approved by the Living God. After that, what they do becomes less important.