CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

How Not to Think About Abortion

Oct 12, 2015

That the pro-abortion camp is happy to push myths, misinformation and falsehoods about abortion is fully expected, but when Christian leaders do much the same then you begin to realise why the church is in such a mess. One of the more unhelpful and mischievous articles I have seen for a long time on this issue was recently penned by a Melbourne evangelical pastor.

You know it is going to be a pretty bad piece when he begins by happily adopting the language of the pro-abortion side, calling those of us who are prolife “anti-choice”. I expect this from the secular left pro-aborts, but not from one who is supposed to represent Christ – and truth.

And it is a complete falsehood anyway: where is the choice for the baby? They have no choice in this matter whatsoever. And we actually do favour choice: the choice of the unborn to live, and for society not to think that this slaughter is simply a matter of preference. But I discuss this in more detail here: billmuehlenberg.com/2008/09/09/even-more-abortion-myths/

abortion 14He asks four questions which we hear all the time from the pro-abort activists. The first two ask if we really care about the babies and the women. The simple answer is this: yes we do. Instead of just parroting all the usual pro-abortion camp lies and furphies, maybe this guy should get out of his office and actually spend some time with prolifers, and see their loving, prayerful and Christlike work with women and babies.

Not only have many babies been saved, but many women have been lovingly cared for and looked after as well. This is all part of the prolife response. It always has been. But you would never know this of course if you never actually spend time with them, but simply regurgitate all the usual useless criticisms of the pro-abortion camp.

And it is a logical fallacy – one of many he commits – to suggest that unless we care for every single baby born that would otherwise be aborted, we cannot speak against abortion. That is as helpful as saying that unless you are willing to care for every single emancipated slave, you lose the right to speak out against slavery.

Not only did prolifers and those in the abolition movement seek to do both, but even if they did not, when something is wrong, it is wrong regardless of whether one can personally deal with every single situation. Slavery is wrong, and baby killing is wrong – end of story.

His second point is filled with so much confused and jumbled material that I am surprised anyone could actually write this stuff. He manages to completely twist figures from a prolife group for example. The 97 per cent figure is designed to show that actual physical threats to the life of the mother are very few indeed.

The real reason for aborting is to further a career, for lifestyle reasons, etc – those are the actual psychological reasons being referred to here. I discuss all this in my forthcoming book, as well as here: billmuehlenberg.com/2013/06/04/abortion-for-the-health-and-life-of-the-mother/

And incredibly he raises the old canard about backyard abortions! This is such a thoroughly discredited myth that he should be ashamed for even mentioning it. He is obviously utterly clueless as to the reality of this, which I deal with in great detail in my new book, and in articles like this: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/07/13/the-myth-of-backyard-abortions/

His third point is the tired old objection thrown around by lefties: you cannot be prolife for babies unless you are also against capital punishment. Um, of course you can. But this confusion is all due to the failure to think critically and biblically. It is a sign of mental and moral mushiness that basic distinctions cannot even be made here.

Both Scripture and Western legal tradition have always distinguished between murder and killing. The former involves the morally illicit killing of innocent people while the latter involves the morally licit killing of guilty people.

Thus it is always wrong to kill an innocent baby – that is murder. But it is lawful and biblical permissible to take the life of those who are guilty. Thus the Bible clearly allows for licit killing: capital punishment, self-defence, and just war. This is basic Christianity 101, and the fact that our leaders cannot even get this right is quite mind-boggling to be honest.

God has ordained the death penalty. It was his idea, and it was never rescinded in the New Testament, but is in fact further confirmed. The killing of innocent babies was never God’s idea and always stands condemned. But to foolishly and irrationally make the logical fallacy that we cannot defend babies because we do not buy the lefty spin on capital punishment is just plain bizarre.

Because there is so much fuzzy thinking on the topic on the death penalty, not just from this guy but from so many others, for those who want a bit of clarity on it I refer to the 21 articles I have carefully, biblically and in detailed fashion written on it as found here: billmuehlenberg.com/category/ethics/capital-punishment/

His last point is to simply raise the rather lame objections found in the 2007 book unChristian by David Kinnaman. I thought this was such an unhelpful and jaundiced book that I actually wrote an entire review of it some years back: billmuehlenberg.com/2010/04/04/a-review-of-unchristian-by-david-kinnaman/

The main thesis of this book is that Christians are too negative and judgmental, and that is why non-Christians are not flocking to Christianity. Are some Christians sometimes? Yes, but it is ludicrous in the extreme to suggest that if we just were “nicer” and just stopped talking about all these grievous sins of our time, such as abortion, porn, homosexuality, etc., everything would be just peachy.

Not to deal with the sins of the age is not to proclaim the gospel of Christ. In fact, these “we must never rock the boat” types would have made the same criticisms about Wilberforce: “Wilby old boy, you are just too unloving and unChristian. Stop going on and on about slavery and just love all these slave-owners. We need to accept them just as they are you know.”

Not only did Jesus never once shy away from naming sin or calling out sinful activity, but he was also the most loving, gracious and wise person ever to exist. Yet what was his fate? We find that the crowds were always divided over him, folks constantly took offence at him, and he was eventually put to death by the masses.

This silly idea that if we were all just “nicer” and sought to please men we would all be accepted is a lot of malarkey. We are always to stand for biblical truth. Sure, we speak the truth in love, but no matter how loving we are, sinners will of course always hate having their sin pointed out to them. As I wrote in my review:

I find the chapter on judgmentalism to also be problematic. Consider how the term is defined: “To be judgmental is to point out something that is wrong in someone else’s life, making the person feel put down, excluded, and marginalized”.
Is that bad? Is it unbiblical? To be honest, it seems to be a perfect description of just what we find in Scripture. Consider the story of Jesus and the rich man as found in Matt. 19:16-30. This seems to portray the very thing that Kinnaman is condemning.
In this pericope Jesus pointed “out something that is wrong in someone else’s life” (the rich man), and what was the result? The rich man went away sad, we are told, because Jesus was judging his love of riches. That sounds a lot like making the rich man “feel put down, excluded, and marginalized”.
The truth is, whenever we proclaim that a person is alienated from God because of his sin and selfishness, and that he needs to repent and ask for forgiveness, that is going to result in such feelings. It cuts right across human pride to point out such things, and the first reaction many will have is, “you are being so judgmental; you are putting me down!”

There is just no getting around this. People hated Jesus and killed him. And Jesus promised us that people would hate us too. So we must forget the unhelpful baloney being pushed in trendy men-pleasing books, and go back and actually read the New Testament for starters.

In sum: I am rather stunned to even read an article like this. It is filled with one myth after another which have all been ably dealt with time and time again. Indeed, my new book on abortion which should be out next month rebuts all these bogus myths and then some.

And why do some folks seem to prefer to just peddle the wisdom of the world instead of offering us a carefully informed biblical worldview on such topics? Regrettably, the entire article could easily have been penned by a secular pro-abort seeking to attack Christians and prolifers.

This guy clearly knows nothing about the prolife movement in Australia and elsewhere. Like all the leftist activists, he does not seem to have spent a day with any of these folks, but instead just does a few quick Internet searches to get his quite dodgy and misleading info.

That is not how you deal with important moral and social issues. And that is not how you rightly shepherd the flock of God. I am really taken back by this. As I say, I fully expect it from the Sex Party, the Socialist Alliance, the Greens and the other radical secular left activists who regularly misrepresent, vilify, malign and defame the prolife movement.

I sure do not expect it from those who claim to represent Christ and the Word of God.

baysidechurch.com.au/are-pro-lifers-really-pro-life/

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14 Responses to How Not to Think About Abortion

  • It’s no wonder that the church is so dead in this country when we have Pretendecostal megachurch “pastors” refusing to speak out against the death of the unborn!!
    So because Corrie Ten-Boom’s family couldn’t hide every Jewish person In the Netherlands during the 40s she ought not to have denounced Nazism and anti-semitism?
    I’m sure this pastor would look fondly on Corrie today but now frowns on the “Corrie Ten-Boom’s” in the pro-life movement today.
    But Israel hated the prophets God sent to her too…

  • Hi Bill,
    I posted this on his site. Who knows if it will get through to his heart, let alone his comments.
    Dear Rob,
    I am not sure how many active prolife people you actually know because I can assure you that we are exactly what you call for…
    “Our actions should be merciful, respectful, gentle and careful especially towards those whose opinion is different to ours. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12). Jesus put it this way: “In everything treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Matthew 7:12).
    It seems that you have bought the lies that the abortion industry has sold you. They tell unsubstantiated wild stories of our behaviour and then when pressed to show proof from their security cameras that they have poised on us, they are silent. The fact is that we care deeply for these mothers and offer real, practical, immediate, material and social help for these mothers and their babies. My husand and I are personally Godparents to a family that took our offer of help and chose to keep their baby. After a young woman had an abortion at our town’s clinic, she rang me. When she became pregnant again(a common occurrence “replacement babies”) she asked me to be her support person at the birth of her baby. So it is quite wrong to say that we don’t care about the mothers. We can’t guarantee that we can provide for every single need for a mother and child. Can anyone? But we can walk with her to the best of our ability, and that is what we do. Rob, real human beings die at these clinics. We aren’t able to save all of them, but we can save some and the rest die with dignity, their existence being acknowledged by somebody. From the dawn of mankind, human beings have reached out to help one another when they are in need and have accompanied the dying in prayer. Let’s not forget James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Who could be more of an orphan than the unborn? Who could be more of a widow than a woman whose father of her child won’t step up and take responsibility for fatherhood? And who is more polluted by the world than “Christians” who judge other Christians who step out of their comfort zone to defend the “least of my people” ?

  • Many thanks for that Anna. I guess the real question to ask this pastor is this: “Just how many of these struggling mums have you personally helped out, taken into your home, and assisted as they give birth?”

    Indeed, does his church have an active and sacrificial pregnancy action centre where these often scared young mums can go to for help along the way? Many such prolife places of course exist, and some churches are fully involved in such work. Is his? If not, why then does he lash out at others?

  • Hi Bill, I have read comments about bills to introduce exclusion zones for protestors, so that would-be abortors can get “safely” to the clinic.

    Surely pro-lifers are not so antagonistic as to justify such a measure! I gather this is a typical MSM misrepresentation of how prolifers go about evangelising to abortors.

  • It is actually quite worrying to see how many people supported his article in the comments.

  • As I was reading his dribble, I wanted to throw my computer across the room. I really don’t have anything more eloquent to say than that. I will add this; the only thing more distressing than his incoherent, ignorant and condescending ramblings was the comments from the people who were just lapping it up.

  • Evangelical Melbourne pastor is, wisely, vague. As is the very term ‘evangelical’ in view of the many ‘evangelicals’ who are not evangelistic. Big on words and lite on action. Having spent many hours counselling parents and pregnant teen daughter who wanted the baby against parents demands, to finally gain grudging parental consent, along with the behind the scenes prayer and research (all back in the 1990’s), to later receive humbling accolades from a grateful, later, married mum and repentant grandparents, your MEP obviously hasn’t experienced the power of the gospel applied to save the life of an innocent God-formed, womb supported living soul.’How shall they hear without a preacher?’
    Trust your visit to the states will be soul-refreshing even if, probably, body-wearying.

  • Her Choice My Daughter – HD video 1

    A father’s pain and grief when losing his child to abortion decided by Her “CHOICE” is an overlooked tragic consequence of today’s cavalier attitude about abortion.

  • Thanks Bill, Many thanks for your reasoned and thankfully sound Biblical perspective on this. So grieved by what I read and posted a comment on the website. Doubt they’ll allow that one to go to air. Still the truth will prevail. I just wonder about these pastors who allow worldly thinking to cloud their first love. Abortion hurts mothers and babies it’s really not that hard to get. His compassion and gentleness sure don’t extend to these little ones or their mothers. The whole article made me cringe. Didn’t get any negative feelings when I read your article. Not a hint of anger as he suggested. Thanks again

  • The simple fact of the matter is that a life will always be a precious Life.

    And if we were the baby we would be so very thankful that someone tried to save our life. And we wouldn’t care what label they were given as long as they reached out their hand to help.

    It really doesn’t have to be more complicated than this.

    Keep the beacon burning brightly Bill.

  • Take heart Naomi, that the vast majority of people amongst his audience already agree with him.

    On the other hand, we must come to the realisation that the vast majority generally will end up disagreeing with our Christian viewpoint, even on clear-cut moral issues.

    Any action MUST be supported with constant prayer, and we must act as well as pray.

    Keep up the good fight Bill.

  • I read the Rob Buckingham article and could not stop myself responding to the various comments in support of it. One in particular which said abortion is not black and white.

    There isn’t anything more black and white than abortion. Every abortion kills a baby. A pro-abortionist who performed abortions said that.

    What Rob and everyone else should be doing in Victoria is protesting the horrendous abortion laws that Labor introduced and the fact that under this government, dogs get better treatment than babies.

  • Thanks Bill…I’m speechless…not to mention outraged, disgusted and grieving for the error in the Body of Christ. How many people are being led away from the narrow road by these wolves? God help Your people and bring them to repentance!

  • I note the ‘pastor’ in question now seems to be back-peddling and claiming to be pro-life. Such claims are hard to believe given the tone and uninformed nature of his original blog-post. If he wants his critics to believe that he really is pro-life then I suggest some kind of retraction is in order. There are already far too many Christians who pay lip-service to being pro-life but whose actions (or inactions) demonstrate otherwise. Ironically, it is this category of ‘pro-life’ people he now claims his original comments were directed towards!

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

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