Yesterday’s passage in the book, THE GOD OF YOUR STORY, by Brian Hardin, got me thinking about all the chaos brought on by the overturning of Roe v Wade in recent months. I have undergone such turmoil in my own mind about it all that I’ve been very silent, as a friend put it. I was not overjoyed when that day came. As a volunteer client advocate at a faith-based local pregnancy center I should have been.
Condemnation is not my thing
Just like my dear friend and co-worker said, and the CEO of Care-Net said, “changing laws doesn’t change hearts.” Pointing fingers, condemning people with harsh baby-killer verbiage, and nasty signs in picket lines at abortion clinics serves to fan the flames of violence and hate towards Christianity in general. I know someone has to do it, but I hate it. It puts ME on the defensive, so how do unbelievers feel? They hate us even more!
Women are up in arms about the government taking away their right to choose. I get it. When I first volunteered at the center I was very honest about my gut feelings surrounding government being involved in abortion at all. I felt that our government has no business getting involved, and although I believe that abortion is NOT the way to handle an unexpected, accidental pregnancy, our government has no right to make that choice for us.
So what am I? Pro-choice AND pro-life? I cannot be both.
My office coordinator and I had that discussion last year, long before any of the recent turmoil erupted. She said these words when I voiced my struggle with this whole subject: “We believe we are not taking away the women’s right to choose, but advocating for the rights of the unborn child when we help her to choose life for her baby.” Wow. That statement stopped me in my tracks. I had never looked at it that way. My wild-child heritage, my self-centered life, my rebellious nature wouldn’t allow me to look at it that way.
Our center supports, loves, and educates pregnant women, and their men when possible, so that they know all of their options and can make an informed decision about the pregnancy. We do not advocate for abortion, but we do not turn them away should they choose to terminate the pregnancy. We are still there to help them with yet other avenues of support after their abortion, being the hands and feet of a forgiving God who aches for them as He welcomes that baby into His loving arms. We are there to refer them to agencies that will place their baby in a loving family should they choose to carry but not parent the child.
But can we back up a little? Did we forget that age-old idea of sex being reserved for marriage?
Did I just say that? (No, I typed it, but you know what I mean).
Seriously, though…if we weren’t having sex out of wedlock the abortion issue would not be much of an issue anymore. I know. ‘Are you kidding me?‘ you’re thinking. I’m not judging. I’m jus’ sayin’. I was as bad as bad could be in this department! But that’s what I mean about getting back to basics. So here’s what made me think when I read Brian’s commentary yesterday.
We are in the books of Ezra in the Old Testament, and 1 Corinthians in the New Testament. It’s no coincidence that both passages are so intermingled with “…the same kind of willful rebellion taking place…” five hundred years apart.
“It is the same for us now as it was 2,500 years ago for Ezra and 2,000 years ago for Paul. The reason these behaviors are so problematic is that they establish a new normal. What was once avoided slowly becomes acceptable. We don’t realize that sin has taken hold of us, and we don’t usually become aware of it until destruction is upon us…the voice of deception will tell us that there is no problem. It will tell us that real freedom allows us to have no boundaries and rule of life. In fact, it will twist us into believing that a moral code is only a cage to control us…In today’s world, sinful behavior is often considered acceptable. It is so pervasive that at times we have difficulty even recognizing its presence.”Quoted from pages 220 and 221 of https://dailyaudiobible.com/shop/the-god-of-your-story/
In Ezra, the exiled Jews have been allowed to return to Jerusalem from Babylon, in about 538 B.C. It did not take long for them to return to the rebellious ways that got them banished from the Holy Land to begin with. You can click >here to read the passage. But remember…Jews were not permitted to intermarry back in the day, so don’t get all indignant when you read it!
In the book of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul is writing to the people of Corinth, a big city with all that goes with being a bustling trading port. Think of Miami, LA, New York…where anything goes. Where it’s party time all the time, only around A.D. 54 or 55. He is warning them of their penchant toward sexual immorality and all forms of evil, encouraging them to conform to God’s true standards. You can read this passage >here.
Am I Making My Point Clear?
It seems almost silly to consider those old-fashioned values that have been left behind so long ago. We are so desensitized to our bad behavior that it doesn’t seem bad anymore, like Brian said in his commentary. And my kids, most of my peers, and anyone who hates God are now all pointing their fingers, rolling their eyes and laughing hysterically at me, saying I’m out of touch with reality. Right?
Nobody wants to hear that truth. Because we all have it wrong according to how God intended life and love and sex to play out in His beloved human race. In a million years I could never shun my gay friends or family members, those who are trans-gender, trans-sexual, transvestite…whatever. But it still doesn’t make it okay with God. And it sure hasn’t made life on earth all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.
Can you imagine if we could actually abstain?! What?! People have been breaking that rule since the beginning of time. I
Yep. They have. But they owned up to it an awful lot more when the choice to dispose of a life wasn’t there.
If we could just be a little more responsible. If we could only be more considerate, less narcissistic, maybe care more about others’ needs as much as our own…
I guess the toughest thing to believe, out of all of it, is that God loves us anyway, no matter how despicable we are. We are His kids, and if we turn to back to Him He embraces us.
What would that look like in your life?