I believe abortion is murder.
Some of you reading this will raise both hands in the air and say “Amen, Michael – thanks for proclaiming truth.” Others of you will read that statement and declare “Michael, you have NO idea the circumstance and situation that women face leading up to the decision to abort, so to make such a blanket statement like that is not fair. Your declaration is insensitive, judgmental, divisive and even dangerous.”
My aim in this post is not to defend the belief, but to point out the major flaw within the statement itself. I don’t see the flaw to be in the words themselves but in the little dot at the end of the sentence – the period.
I realize there is much debate as to whether or not abortion is actually murder. There is disagreement as to when life actually begins. And I realize there are many questions that can be asked about the morality of abortion and situations that can be cited as examples for the validity of abortion. But to be as clear as I can – I am not seeking to address or answer any of those questions within this post.
My aim is singularly focused – I want to apologize for the punctuation. I, along with other Christians, can make big declarative statements, but I don’t often follow it up with anything after the period. Followers of Jesus can be a really loud voice when it comes to the topic of abortion, but the silence following their declarative statements is deafening and sadly damaging.
Is there really nothing left to be said other than ‘Abortion is murder’? Is our mission as Christians to simply state what we believe to be wrong – period? Does God desire for those who follow Him to tell the world around us where they are missing it – period? I don’t think so.
I’ve been so convicted by this question: “If I’m willing to say, ‘Abortion is murder’, am I equally willing to say to any woman battling that decision, ‘If you are willing to save a life, I will care for the life you save?’”
In short, are those who argue against abortion willing to practically and actively care for pregnant women and the children they want to protect?
You might argue, “Well Michael, I can’t possibly care for the estimated one million babies that are aborted every year.” True, you can’t, and neither can I. But what about just one?
If 882,000 women in 2017 decided not to abort their child, who would step up to care for all those children? Can the very people who scream at the top of their lungs against abortion begin a new sentence after the period? Would they, would you, would I be willing to declare: ‘I will care for and provide for the life you save?’
Should we refrain from speaking up if we’re not willing to help? I don’t know if I’d go that far. But I do believe that our words need to be consistent with our actions to create any lasting change. If they are not, we will make no difference and in time actually cause more damage and division.
I cannot apologize for the entire church, but I can apologize for my silence after the period. I can apologize for my inactivity. I can apologize for making declarative statements and then doing nothing to support the women facing such tough decisions. I can apologize for saying that I care deeply about the lives of the unborn and yet do nothing to support the brave women who choose to bring life into the world.
As I type these words, I’m uncertain about what God wants me and my family to do moving forward, but I apologize that I have not represented the heart of God well in this. I believe that God’s heart breaks with every decision to abort a child because He cares deeply about those who bear His image. But God’s heart also breaks at the inactivity of those who claim to know Him and His heart. This is where Christians need to repent. This is where I need to repent.
Christians must continue to speak up on matters near and dear to the heart of God – abortion, racism, sexism, emotional, physical or sexual abuse to name just a few. But we must marry our words to our actions. If we don’t, not only will we not see the change we’re longing for, but worse yet, people will miss seeing and experiencing the heart of God because they don’t see it in those who claim to know Him.
God did not merely say that He loved us, period. His words were married to His actions when He incarnated Himself in Jesus into a broken world to show us just how much He truly loves us. The cross speaks and demonstrates the love of God. It’s time for me and all Christ-followers to stop merely speaking, and instead, to follow the example of Jesus and demonstrate the love of God in tangible ways to those who are making life and death decisions.