“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
January 22, 1973. A day which shall live in infamy. Not for the loss of life in one single attack like that unleashed by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, but rather an ongoing attack on the heart and soul of a nation that was unleashed by seven unelected and unaccountable justices of the United States Supreme Court. To date, that attack has led to the loss of over 58 million innocent unborn lives.
This is the very definition of evil that German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer warned against. Therefore, to not speak against the evil of abortion is to speak. Especially on January 22, we should be willing to speak out in favor of life and against abortion and the culture of death that has become the norm in our nation. Abortion continues to be among the most pressing moral and Biblical issues of our day that we must address, particularly as Christians and the Church. And, while we must on this issue, like every other issue, speak with love and grace and redemption, we must nevertheless speak the truth of God’s Word, even when people don’t want to hear it and even when our own government and government officials take affirmative steps to increase the slaughter of defenseless human life.
California, which for better or for worse (usually worse) leads the nation culturally, recently made it easier for the unborn to be killed. In October 2015, the Democrat-controlled California State Legislature approved — and Democrat Governor Jerry Brown signed into law — the Orwellian-named Reproductive FACT Act. The law, which was challenged by faith-based crisis pregnancy centers, was recently upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act requires faith-based pregnancy centers in California — similar to the Alamogordo Pregnancy Help Center – to actually inform women and girls who come for help that they can go and get an abortion instead. Of course, Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are not required to inform the women and girls who enter their facilities that they have other choices available, including keeping their babies or giving them up for adoption. This is not only a perversion, but an assault on pro-life speech which requires Christians to speak in violation of their religious beliefs.
This should not surprise us. The pro-abortion lobby – and that’s always what it’s been – has never really been about choice. Planned Parenthood (and other abortion defenders), as we have seen through various videos this past year, has become more and more brazen and evil (if that were even possible) in their quest to make a buck off killing innocent human life. They are aided and abetted by politicians, corporations, Hollywood, the mainstream media, and even some so-called Christians and churches. Gone are the days when President Bill Clinton – who happened to be Southern Baptist at the time – would say that “abortion should not only be safe and legal, it should be rare.” Of course, Bill Clinton, much like he did with other issues confronting him, was not really being truthful with the American public. If actions speak louder than words, Clinton’s actions did much to advance the evil of abortion through the last decade of the 20th Century. Today, you have Bill Clinton’s wife, Hillary, herself running for the highest office in the land, advocating for government-funded abortion on demand, at any time of pregnancy for any reason. On a bright note, 70% of Americans reject government funding for the killing of unborn life.
How did we get to the point of 58 million unborn babies being slaughtered with government approval? It’s all because abortion and sexual freedom has become a god that must be worshipped – at any and all costs – by those who have abandoned any pretense of worshipping the One, True God. But, what does the One, True God say about life and the value of life? As it turns out, much. From the very beginning of creation, God has set humans apart, created specially in His image:
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping things that creep on the earth.’ So Go created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27
Because God, Himself, is worthy of our highest honor, those who are made in His image are likewise worthy of honor. In fact, Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 2:17 that we are to “honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” Everyone means everyone. But, when does that honoring begin and when does it end? Our culture – at least since 1973 and accelerating since then – has answered that question through judicial fiat that honoring certainly does not start unless and until a baby is born alive.
However, there are some politicians who would delay that point of honor until a baby not only is born, but actually survives birth for more than a few minutes or, in some cases, days. Some politicians, including our current President, would give no legal protection – hence, no honor – to babies who survive a botched abortion and are subsequently born alive. While it may be sincere to want to protect children from gun violence in our culture by passing what they deem “common-sense” solutions to the gun problem, leaders’ words ring hollow when they give their blessings to Planned Parenthood and when they do all in their power to block “common-sense” restrictions on any abortion and threaten to veto legislation that would protect those infants who survive a botched abortion.
As image-bearers, we are worthy of honor from the moment of conception until our last breath. The Founders well-knew the truth of God’s Word when they wrote that “we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” From those in the womb to those in the twilight of life and from those who are born healthy to those who are born with physical or mental challenges, all life is worthy of honor. That is because life is worthy to God, the one who has formed us and has set our days:
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! (PSALM 139:13-17)
Humanity is not a cosmic accident or the result of chance. Humans are so intricately made and held together that only a Creator could make such a wonderful creation. To believe otherwise is to have a false faith that is blind, deaf, and dumb to the truth. Life is God’s to give and God’s to take away. To play “god” with life – any human life – is to usurp the authority of God. And, God will not stand for His authority to be usurped by anyone or any government. When governments and cultures forget that truth, aiding and abetting the killing of unborn children with impunity (3,000 per day in the USA), it is incumbent upon the followers of Christ to speak and to act. If we do anything less, God will certainly not hold us guiltless.