I Knew This Would Happen: Replying To Our Critics

Even as I was writing my articles discussing our recent pro-life march, I knew that within hours, if not days, all the usual Christian critics would start coming out of the woodwork. These armchair critics will blast things such as what was done at the rally, even though many of them have never even lifted a finger to help the unborn.

They chastise us, claiming that this is something that Jesus would never do. They claim it is a provocative and controversial thing to do, it did not help anyone, and Christians should just avoid it. They think it just is negative and judgmental, and does not give our cause a good look, and we should simply steer away from all such activities.

They effectively claim that Jesus would never resort to such things; he would never speak out on controversial issues; he would never march in a public rally; he would never make a public commotion; he would never rattle cages or cause controversy. Indeed, we all know that Jesus was a little mouse who hated any public commotion, and did his best to always keep the peace and just lay low.

Jesus, these critics say, would want us to stop these rallies and have us be more “positive”. And who are we to judge anyway? Some people have abortions – some people do other sins. We are all sinners so it is not our right to judge. And they claim we can only stop abortion by changing human hearts, not human laws, etc, etc, etc.

Well I for one am not buying any of this. In fact I am really fed up with such whingers and critics. Indeed, I find it rather offensive actually. Not only do they not seem to know what is in their own Bible, but so many of these folks are mere armchair critics.

Most have never done a thing in their life for the unborn, or to protect marriage, or to advance the Gospel. Yet they are quite happy to attack others who are seeking to do something about these matters. They are really just being hypocritical – you know, the thing Jesus repeatedly condemned and judged.

But let me respond a bit more specifically here. Let’s start with the ‘change hearts only’ foolishness. To argue that we can only stop abortion by changing human hearts is ridiculous of course. One might as well say we should abolish all stop lights, because only a changed heart will stop people running red lights. Duh.

God of course created government and laws to be used in a fallen world. It is unbiblical and unhelpful to claim that only by getting people saved can we stop abortion or other evils. Evil is to be opposed all the time, whether a person is saved or not.

Wilberforce did not wait for all of England to become Christian before he fought against slavery. He stood against it because it was wrong. He knew the majority of his countrymen were not believers, but he pressed ahead anyway. Sure he evangelised as well, and prayed, and worked to change hearts, but he also was salt and light, doing what was right regardless.

And even if we do wait till everyone – or most people – are saved first before we work for social change and resist evil, that does not solve all our problems. Christians can often be as guilty in running red lights or doing other evil acts as anyone else. So in this fallen world we must work for just laws and legislation to restrict and oppose harmful and bad activities. But I speak to all this more fully here:

billmuehlenberg.com/2013/07/31/changing-hearts-laws-or-cultures/
billmuehlenberg.com/2011/12/06/christianity-society-and-false-dilemmas/

As to the more generic complaints about pro-life rallies and the like, let me offer a few more replies. Those who don’t like public rallies and think they are harmful or counterproductive may prefer their own means of being pro-life. If they are actually doing something, then I am thankful. But they should not be attacking others for doing what they feel called to do.

We of course should do anything and everything we can to help save the babies. There is so much that can be done: we must spread the word and alert others, we can join lobby groups, do letter writing, sign petitions, open and staff crisis pregnancy centres, attend public rallies, create blog sites, visit MPs – the list is endless as to what can be done.

And of course we must all pray. This is a spiritual battle as well. But the main thing is to actually do something. Yet there are some who do nothing while happily complaining about those who are doing something. But those 3000 saints who risked so much, even their own personal safety on Saturday, were heroes. They brought tremendous attention and coverage to the issue, and never should be minimised or criticised for what they did.

It is never a question of just doing one thing and rejecting all the other things. Pretending that just one course of action or tactic is superior to all the others is not very helpful here. We all must do all we can as God leads us. In this light, I love what D. L. Moody once said to a critic about his evangelistic style: “Well, I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it!”

And some of these critics will raise the ol’ WWJD canard here, as if he would never make a public commotion over anything. Do they even recall the very public cleansing of the temple by Jesus? Do they recall all the very public and confrontational things done by the disciples in the book of Acts?

The truth is, the Father’s heart is broken over 100,000 unborn babies slaughtered every year. Our hearts should break over what breaks his heart. And that should spur us to act for those being slaughtered. Those who are actually working to save lives get my vote any day over those who do nothing except complain about the work of others.

Those critics who think we were amiss to march and should have done something better are in good company here. Critics of Wilberforce said exactly the same thing. They criticised him for making such a public and graphic stink about the issue of slavery. They wanted him to tone it down and stop being so provocative and offensive.

Wilberforce of course rejected these critics who were doing nothing for the poor slaves, just as we should reject the critics who are doing nothing for the unborn. Indeed, I suspect that many who disapprove of such public rallies are actually little more than cowards who would never make a public stink about anything. But I have written about the sin of cowardice elsewhere: billmuehlenberg.com/2013/01/28/in-search-of-christian-vertebrates/

And the critics of Wilberforce said much the same thing as the critics today are saying about the pro-life cause: “You can’t judge them. You can’t be so critical. You don’t know their stories. Maybe they need money to feed their families so they have to have slaves.”

Sorry, but murdering babies is never right. Of course many women are coerced into it. Of course many are forced by boyfriends or loved ones. Of course they need our prayer, help and support. And all that and more is already being done by pro-life groups.

The various critics seem not to be aware of what the pro-life movement is in fact doing all the time. The pro-lifers of course are pro-women as they are pro-baby – just as many signs and posters said quite clearly in the march on Saturday.

These critics must be asked just what it is they are doing for the unborn. If it is nothing, then they need to either put up or shut up. The armchair critics are a dime a dozen – but those who are actually doing something for the unborn whom God loves so deeply – even at great personal risk – are in very short supply sadly.

And these critics will say we should be doing positive and helpful things, not negative things. Well, if they bothered to actually read some of the reports about this weekend, they will see that all sorts of practical acts of love and mercy were shown to these activists and anarchists.

We were there copping all the abuse and hate, and we were there literally offering them cold glasses of water – even free meals and drink. The love of Christ was clearly and demonstrably on display yesterday. Yet the critics apparently know nothing about this – or don’t want to know about it.

And they will come out with the same tired ‘biblical’ criticisms. A chief one is always the “let him without sin” excuse. That is really very reckless and unnecessary in this context. Telling people that there is hope and healing for abortion, and that God loves them and can help them, and that there are real life-affirming answers to their problems, has absolutely nothing to do with Pharisees wanting to stone a woman caught in adultery.

Not only was she told clearly to go and sin no more, meaning that Jesus in no way affirmed or made excuses for her sin, but the real Pharisees here of course are those who will criticise pro-lifers for seeking to rescue babies and help women while they stand by and do nothing.

I again ask these critics: just what are you doing to help the unborn? These criticisms are a slur on thousands of brave Christian men, women and children who risked everything and took bucket loads of hate and abuse to point a better way to women about their own babies.

Those who suffered so much on Saturday and showed such overwhelming love and grace, straight out of the heart of Jesus, really deserve better treatment from those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ and just sit back on the easy chair and offer their unhelpful criticisms.

So here is the scoop: I will continue to march for the unborn, as will many thousands of others. And we will do so until abortion is no longer killing 100,000 poor babies every year in this country. If the armchair critics don’t like that, well, tough. I for one am getting real tired of all their whining while they do nothing about this great moral evil of our day.

[1736 words]

38 Replies to “I Knew This Would Happen: Replying To Our Critics”

  1. Thank God for the Christians who stand publicly against this con and against the torture of the unborn. May God bless them, and the Christians who don’t attend thank and honour them.
    And shame on pastors who ban this issue from their pulpits.
    Rusty Boden

  2. There is a responsibility on part of the Church to stop abortion whether in a secular country or not.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. Seriously…What type of Christian would actually condemn this?
    Giving a voice to the voiceless…
    Standing up for truth…
    Loving and praying for those who persecute you…
    Turning the other cheek…

    Sounds pretty Christlike to me what went on Saturday!

    Daniel Ruggeri

  4. Thanks Daniel

    Sadly there are many such Christians around. And I am not just referring to the usual suspects here – theological liberals, etc. Incredibly many so-called evangelical Christians are making these sorts of complaints and criticisms as well. Go figure.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. Well said Bill and thank you. Your work is a blessing to many.
    The shameful truth is that even if just a fraction of people who attend church each week stood up on this issue, the laws could potentially change overnight.
    Annette Williams

  6. Thanks Annette, and yes you are quite right. There are hundreds of churches in Melbourne alone, with many of them holding thousands of people. Yet less than one per cent of them bothered to show up this weekend. Just why is that? Where were they? Don’t they care? Even if we can find good excuses for 50 per cent of them, that still leaves many tens of thousands who should have been there, or done similar things for the unborn.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  7. When the self-styled “champions” of individual freedom accept “death-for-the-defenceless” as their chief stock-in-trade, it is no surprise that their revolutionary ardour spills over into bullying peaceful citizens seeking to make a point in a public and law-abiding manner.

    Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth: Each on Heaven’s side and each criticised by self-righteous or powerful persons who thought THEY had the moral high ground. Wisdom is vindicated by her actions, not her inaction [Matthew 11:19]!

    John Wigg

  8. 100,000 Australians, 20,000 Victorians never getting named each year means that there are 100.000 Australians, 20,000 Victorian “mothers to to be” each year who have made that decision to kill their unborn child. Multiply that by the number years x 4 years when abortion became an even easier choice that is 400,000 Australian women walking around with blood on their conscience. Some Christians would not want to face offending so many women as well as their men folk. It may just be down to fear.

    Keith Lewis

    .

  9. Hi Bill, thank you (and the rest of the marchers) for the strength of your convictions. Can you advise when there will be a march in Brisbane?
    Blessings, Mark Westaway

  10. I would warrant that some of these critics would be fine about the media glorification of Chopper Read (who is alleged to have murdered 19 people). They are caught in the spirit of the age in which we live where good is made to look evil and evil is glorified.

    Rodney Gynther

  11. Let us pray for the three girls from the “hate squad” who broke ranks to talk to Kay Painter on Saturday – in tears. Had it not been for the march and rally they would not have heard what Kay had to say. there would have been no tears, hopefully of repentance; just more of the same defiance.
    Yes, I marched on Saturday; I was right up in the thick of it there in Flinders St; and I will be marching again next year!
    Yes, with D.L Moody, I much prefer my way of doing things to your way (i.e. the detractors) of not doing things. Until you show in practical ways your concern for the unborn and to campaign for the repeal of this wicked law, hold your peace. In a word, put up or shut up!
    And remember, you detractors and armchair critics: God’s judgment will fall both on this nation for its murder of the unborn, and on you too, for your failure to speak up about it.

    Murray R Adamthwaite

  12. Oh, and one other thing for the WWJD crowd: you think you can ‘second-guess’ what our Lord would do (or not do). I simply do not believe you. I believe in the Divine inspiration and supreme authority of God’s Word written (the 66 books of Holy Scripture). I definitely do not believe in the Divine inspiration and supreme authority of your speculations about WWJD! They have no authority at all – none.

    Murray R Adamthwaite

  13. Bill,

    If you haven’t seen this already, please read and watch. Hazelmary Bull and husband on the equivalent of our Today show in the UK. They’re the couple that recently had to close their B&B due to harassment by homosexuals. They’ve owned it for 28 years with a no double beds to unmarried couples policy without a problem…until now.

    Listen to her response when Aled Jones (ex: gospel singing wünderkind) challenges that isn’t her God a tolerant one?

    Hazelmary: I think it’s a myth to believe that entirely. He is a loving God, that’s true. He’s a forgiving God, but there is—

    Aled: and a tolerant one?

    Hazelmary: He is a longsuffering God; He’s not entirely tolerant because the Bible is full of cases when He does finally bring judgment about.

    This is a 70 year old woman who would put most ‘modern’ Christians and their pastors to shame. Our God, father, son and spirit, is not a wilting violet.

    Read: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/41323-an-older-christian-woman-puts-today-s-compromised-preachers-to-shame#comment-1078029501

    Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4a3814MC8Q&feature=share

    Graham Jose

  14. Thanks Graham. Yes it is a great video and they are a great couple. The same hate and abuse is being poured on those who stand true for marriage as those who stand for life.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  15. As a result of this and the mismanagement by the police of the whole situation, I will be supporting a Pro life organisation.

    Wayne Pelling

  16. Hello Bill,

    I’ve just finished writing a letter to Victoria’s Chief of Police with a cc to the Minister for Police. I will send them tomorrow.

    Letters, Bill, letters!

    Actual snail mail letters with stamps are the keys to getting noticed by MPs.

    My now retired MP, Mr Tony Windsor, was a very good local member frequently holding meetings in all the little towns in New England. He told us that MPs ignore email and petitions. Why? Because they know it’s so easy to sign a petition or click a “like”. The results don’t give any indication of involvement.

    He said MPs do take note of phone calls and especially physical mail. He said a stamped letter carries a lot of weight because MPs know that for every one person who actually bothers to write a letter there are many more in the background who agree.

    Recently retired, I’d be happy to use my computer to provide snail mail addresses for any pollies you name.

    Regards

    Antonia Feitz

  17. Bill,

    I don’t think God’s people should necessarily succumb to relentless persecution like the world expects of us, but to be shrewd and use the modern system to the advantage of the Kingdom. I understand there was someone or some people taking footage of the violent abusive crowd on Saturday. Could I appeal to those who have footage to not only send it into the police, many of whom it seems sat on their hands, but also to those in the media who even though they may not be Christian, are nonetheless sympathetic to the cause of the unborn. Andrew Bolt is one example that springs to mind. He may well be partial to posting the footage on the Bolt Report. I think this may be the only way to get a lazy police force and politicians to act. Through shame if that is what it takes. This should lead to true justice and for that reason I see no compromise before the Lord in doing this.

    Ken Matthews

  18. Thanks Ken. Yes I think religious liberty is worth fighting for, and we need not be doormats here. I believe many pics and videos have been sent to politicians, media people, police, etc. Let’s pray they do some good.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  19. It is a common thing. In an area of a million and a half, we only have a handful of Christians. Even if they don’t criticise where are the rest?
    Rev Donald Spitz

  20. Good article.
    Let’s not forget our target is the Victorian government and that we are calling for them to repeal their immoral law. The Victorain government needs to be held accountable to protect babies and uphold life.
    Tasman Walker

  21. By the way Bill these armchair critics are deafening in their silence and conspicuous in their absence. Long live Truth and may it ever Reign.

    Leigh D Stebbins

  22. Well all I can say is keep up the good work, fight the good fight, run the race. I was so excited to read Melinda’s post the other day, how she saw the difference between the two sides and has made the decision to carry through her pregnancy! Every such story should encourage us to keep standing for what is right.

    Alison Stanley

  23. Bill,
    My gratitude for the courage of fellow pro-lifers in Melbourne. In Perth, we have evening rallies at Parliament house which are very well attended but are completely ignored by the media. The hateful reactions on Saturday, to me, reflect the realization of the pro-death people of the strength of their opposition.
    With my husband I pray twice a week outside an abortion clinic in the Perth suburb of Rivervale. Sometimes only the two of us are there but that is enough to provoke obscene and blasphemous comment from passing motorists and occasional heckling and acts of vandalism to our signage from people inside the clinic (not staff but people accompanying the mothers of the infants).
    We have seen reluctant women frogmarched by family, friends or partners into the clinic and have prayed with and shared the grief of fathers who have failed to dissuade their wives from the act of killing their baby.
    I feel that taking a positive, active stand for life is a calling worth praying for.

    Sandra Robinson

  24. Even if the only good to come out of the march it was worth it to save 3 baby girls – Melinda you will be a great Mum – pity you are not in Tasmania or I would volunteer to babysit but hopefully you will have heaps of support from other Pro-lifers – do’t be proud – accept it for your children’s sake please – God Bless you.
    Patricia Rogers

  25. Jesus was leading the March for the Babies, because He is love and would not support the armchair Christians, the unChristian Christians who talk the talk but don’t March for the Babies.

    Next year I am coming down. God bless you all for your faith and for your belief in doing what is right.

    Mary Lou Carter

  26. Yes Mary Lou there were so many tangible, visible and demonstrable acts of Christ’s love and grace on display by the pro-life marchers. Truly Christ was present in a very real way on Saturday. There were so many heroes there that day standing true for Christ and his Kingdom. It really was a moving experience, despite all the hate and abuse from the anarchists and rioters.

    See you next year!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  27. Have we got a skilled video editors who would volunteer to collect and edit footage and stills sent to them?

    I know that next time I’m going to record the number, place and time of every police officer who fobs me off with non-answers and declines to take action when an offence has been committed. Perhaps we need people with action cameras to record it all.

    Peter Newland

  28. Bravo Bill. Some things in life can only be solved by confrontation. This is such a basic knowledge. Never in the Bible are we taught to sit back and let satan’s servants run rampant. Why else would almost every disciple and Jesus Himself have suffered such violent deaths if they didn’t ruffle feathers? Try telling the Christians in the persecuted church that they should just sit down and shut up.

    Dee Graf

  29. I don’t think it would matter what honorable or dishonorable cause people march in support of, there will always be that clutch of street blackguards who want to fill-in their miserable lives by assuming their walking dead status besetting people who peacefully go about exercising their civil rights.
    Where these unfortunates need to be, is looking over the shoulder of a doctor performing an abortion and then to experience the horror as a baby is extracted from the womb and whose life has been mercilessly done away with.

    Michael Mercier

  30. To the Premier & 2 of his ministers, to police complaints, and to the Herald-Sun, I sent the following:

    “Are the police now supporters of anarchy? This is the inescapable conclusion judging by their lack of protection for law-abiding marchers protesting against abortion on Saturday. We turned the other cheek, while the abusive haters spat their way from one angry confrontation with innocent mums and dads to another; all the time being watched by impotent police. Like lifeless statues they stood, disinterested in the difference between right and wrong. Upholding the law seems not to be part of their job description? Shame on the police; your lack of moral fibre is a green light to anarchy!”

    At least I have now let off some steam; I will sleep better tonight!

    Thankyou Bill for inspiring me into action.

    Paul Reid
    Berwick

  31. Because we’d been asked to take someone who couldn’t walk the distance we tried to join the march from the end and missed the mayhem. I couldn’t hear the speaker. But I was encouraged by the “young” man I saw speaking quietly with a group about the reason we needed to give doctors back the right to freedom of conscience. And Kay Painter’s book “from sin and sorrow to service” is a worthwhile read.(www.nccpublishing.com)
    Katherine Fishley

  32. If you deduct the interstate marchers, how many Melbournites would have been left, Bill?
    I also got a similar comment for simply passing on an email, sadly from a good friend of whom I had not expected such.
    I believe there are 2 things these people misunderstand. 1 Jesus said I have not come to bring peace but a sword and he also predicted the division between families. “Father will be against son and mother in law against mother in law and children will put their own parents to death.” They think Jesus brings peace, so when they see confrontation of opinions, they are worried that the Lord does not reign there. In my hippy days we used to call it “graveyard” peace and we didn’t want it. We didn’t want peace on the surface with all the arguments, misunderstandings and hate bubbling under the surface. Even we didn’t want such “cultural conventions” and now as a Christian I know the reason for this dislike.
    2 They believe that if the world sees Christians do disagree that would diminish the glory of God. I think, anyone who can see people disagreeing civilly, respectfully and rationally without violence and with friendships remaining at the end of it, that would be a far greater witness to the freedom that is ours in Christ, the truth that is spoken and the glory of God.
    In response to the report of the B&B owner, why should God be tolerant of sin? Why should he be tolerant of something that hurts his most beloved creation? Why do people understand so little about the God they profess to worship and the nature of sin and stalks and seeks to destroy us every day?
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  33. Hello Bill !
    Following on from last Saturday’s march, the thought occurred to me of encouraging a different approach to our march for next year.

    Firstly, let me remind you that when the people of Australia wanted to denounce the Vietnam war, they too marched – 100,000 of them in Melbourne alone!
    I well remember the gasps of surprise from the media commentators as this vast throng marched down Bourke Street. Led by Jim Cairns, wave after wave of arm-linked people marched in the middle of Melbourne for a cause they believed in. It was an impressive sight and certainly made a statement.

    What I propose here is something similar for our babies.
    Lets recruit and encourage 100,000 Christians to march next year – each individual marcher representing each one of those babies killed in a year.
    I shall write to the Heads of all the represented Christian Churches in Melbourne, as well as of other Faiths, asking them to support the idea of having 100,000 marchers – each one representing a baby aborted each year. I shall also ask these Heads to lead such a march themselves and also to inspire their congregations to do so.

    John Ferwerda

  34. I wasn’t able to march and unfortunately didn’t get wind of it early enough to announce. Hopefully next time. Id hope that the march would have double the amount of marchers when its next on in protest of not being able to peacefully march.
    I’ll be sure to have our guys armed with video cameras to grab any of the carnage and report it, and I feel sorry for anyone that gets close enough to some of our guys to attempt to physically assault them…we believe in self defence lol.
    Dorian Ballard

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