Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Are abortive women murderers?

A powerful trailer for the upcoming documentary "Babies Are Murdered Here" has been making the Internet rounds, and the creators of the film have been busily promoting it, as well they should. It promises to be a very important addition to the abolitionist arsenal of societal agitation. If the trailer is any indication of the finished product, it is a very necessary and very solid rebuke to the fundamental problem that leads to abortion in the United States - a culture of uncaring, indifferent, sinful apathy that has pervaded not only the society at large but also most of the church and virtually all of "the church".
The creators of the film, among them Marcus Pittman, have made some noise recently in their proclamations that women who abort their child are themselves murderers.

We have some thoughts on the matter.

Legally speaking?
First, for mutual understanding, everyone must understand that these brothers who are labeling abortive women as murderers do not mean they are murderers in the legal sense. They do not mean that under the current structure of law relating to homicide these women must be arrested today and brought before a judge and convicted of murder in a court of law. This is a category mistake. Of course the way that American law currently reads would not support such actions. We all know this.
These brethren are digging deeper when they say this. The laws of any given society and any given government are transient and can change. The law of Almighty God never changes, however, and that is what they mean. God has made it very clear throughout His Word that He does not tolerate murder.

-Genesis 9:6 - (God said,) "Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man."
-Deuteronomy 5:17 - You shall not murder.
-Matthew 19:16-19 - And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
-Romans 13:9 - For this, "You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
-Revelation 21:8 - But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
-Revelation 22:15 - Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

God's law is higher than American law, higher than the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the Supreme Court of the United States. And it is very real, so in very real ways, those who violate it are guilty of that of which it convicts them.
Listen to the words of Jesus for an analogy.
Matthew 5:27-28 - “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Looking lustfully upon someone to whom you are not married is not illegal in the USA. One could probably make a strong argument that it is actually encouraged. So a man who looks lustfully at women his entire life of 80 years, say, will never suffer any legal ramifications in a human court. Even if such a law were on the books, it would be nearly impossible to enforce and it would also land pretty much everyone behind bars.
But that man, at the moment of his death, will stand before God for judgment (Hebrews 9:27), and at that time, the fact that he never experienced consequences for his legalised sins during his earthly life will be no comfort for him at all. He will be found guilty for that sin of looking with lust, for in God's eyes, he has spent 80 years committing adultery.

In God's eyes, he is an adulterer.

He had no punishment on Earth, but his punishment in eternity will be more severe and longer-lasting, for it will be an eternal punishment.

God seeing you as a criminal is a much bigger deal than the society in which you live seeing you as a criminal.

Fully recognising the abortician's greater guilt
Secondly, when our brethren say that abortive women are murderers, they are in no way absolving the aborticians of their horrible crimes against God and humanity. In fact, this identification actually heaps more guilt on the abortician. In that case, the abortician is in league with other murderers (the abortive women) and aids and abets them in their crimes against the weakest, most helpless, and most innocent members of humanity. They do it for money, lots and lots of it, and it is blood money. Over and over again. The abortician in our locality, Larry Burns, drives an awfully nice car, lives in a mansion, has a lakehouse and a boat, and performs ~50 abortions per week. If he does not repent, he will stand before God one day, and his rap sheet will be indescribable. A man with the blood of literally thousands from the systematic murder of tiny children on his hands and a life lived in luxury as a result of that blood money... how will he justify himself before Almighty God?
BurnsVirmaniPatelGosnell, and all the rest are serial murderers in the eyes of God.
If one murder is horrible, thousands of murders are absolutely indescribably awful.

Not all women are the same
Thirdly, we must not forget that not all women who choose abortion are in the same situation. Let's also be clear - the vast majority of abortions are performed for what amounts to an attempt to escape, say, the inconvenience of another child, anxiety about the future and how the parent(s) will pay for another child, potential disruption in education/internship/job situation, or lack of desire to have a child at all. When weighed against the fact that abortion actually and intentionally terminates the life of the child, this is abominable. Women in this position are numerous, and according to my experience to date standing at the local abortuary, this indifferent attitude toward murder is rather common. Many women flatly do not care that they are ending the life of their child.
Other women face some level of pressure from outside influences (e.g., family, partner, etc.) to abort. There may be no way to know for sure what sort of threats or hurts have been applied to a particular woman, and some women are of course more pliable and prone to bend to bad influences than others. We can certainly say that the indifferent and well-off woman who uncaringly chooses to abort is more disgustingly reprehensible than, say, the 16 year old girl who is threatened with expulsion from her home by her hot-tempered legalistic father if she refuses to abort.

Yet consider this analogy: A young woman lives with her boyfriend in a town thousands of miles away from where she is from and in which she knows no one. This woman's boyfriend is overbearing and borderline abusive, but she loves him anyway and stays with him. One evening the boyfriend takes her for a drive, to an abandoned house on the outskirts of town. There she finds a woman tied up and gagged, and the boyfriend hands his girlfriend a gun and, in an obvious hurry, tells her that he needs her to shoot the restrained woman dead and then bury her in a hard-to-find location. As he rushes out the door, he turns back and adds that if she refuses, he will kill her and hide her body too. What should she do?

Would we not all conclude that she must do what she can to save this hostage and get them both to safety, rather than accede to the evil desire of her boyfriend?

We can all sympathise more with the difficulty of her situation, compared to a psychopath who of his own volition starts shooting into a peaceable assembly of people for fun, of course. Yet if the woman shoots and buries the hostage, she is still in the wrong, is she not?

Isn't society to blame?
Let us consider also that our society does lie to all women (the cavalier and the coerced) about the true nature of abortion by telling them that it isn't really a child, they aren't really killing him, and while we do hold society (and ourselves, and the church) accountable for complicity in the culture of death and aim to change it, that does not absolve the mother of any guilt. She has the law written in her heart (Romans 2:12-15), she was given a mind capable of reason, and she has access to accurate information.

Society actively encourages and excuses adultery. Many people have been relentlessly indoctrinated to believe that adultery is acceptable if the circumstances are sympathetic enough. But an abandoned or abused spouse who has "sought comfort" in someone else’s arms and a cold, calculating womaniser are both equally adulterers. The indoctrination to believe that fornication is not only acceptable, but desirable and healthy, is even greater, yet fornicators are not absolved of guilt despite being "victimised" by the lies of society. Society has power and influence, yes, but it is not omnipotent, and human beings know that sometimes society gets it wrong and so are responsible to seek the truth in other places.

So, the question of moral justifiability hinges entirely on whether the preborn child is a human being, created in the image of God. That's the main question at every single juncture of the abortion debate. If the preborn child is human, then abortion is the unprovoked killing of an innocent human. The bar for justifying that act is set at a very high level by God Himself. A person who has the choice to do evil or suffer evil is obligated to suffer evil and entrust her life and circumstances to God.

Our brethren are very concerned about the widely pervasive victim mentality present in the modern discussion regarding abortive women. There are many who speak of abortive women almost exclusively in terms of their victimhood, and this results in an obvious diminution of guilt in people's minds, not least in the minds of the abortive women themselves. If the abortive woman is a victim only, then she hasn't done anything wrong. This attitude must not stand.

Why doesn't God do something?
Jesus the Messiah is God in human flesh. He left the glories of Heaven, a paradisiacal environment, and limited Himself, restrained the full expression of His power, and came to walk this Earth in the company of dull, foolish, sinful people. And if that weren't enough, He chose to give His life in a violent and horrible way, dying on a cross.

Why did He bother? What was the point of all that?

He said why. He said He had come to seek and save the lost. He said He had come to give His life as a ransom for many. He said that no one is good but God alone. His main message was "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand." Repentance is incomprehensible if one has not sinned, if one has done nothing deserving of punishment or correction. One does not repent of being victimised.

The resolution to this problem, that we human beings have done wrong, that we have disobeyed God, that we have refused to do what is right, is Jesus. He has died in the place of sinners and offers full forgiveness and pardon, eternal life, transformation of heart, and freedom from sin so that we can do what is good and right, on the basis of His death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection from the dead.

I myself, according to my own merits, am a wretch and a filthy sinner. Yet because of Jesus, I am free and clean. If I were not a sinner, but rather merely a victim, I would not think that I'd need a crucified and risen Savior. Yet Jesus is the best that any person can have. If someone were to fill my head with notions that I am only a victim and not a sinner, they would be denying me the fantastic wonders of a relationship with Jesus, who has forgiven me and given me everything I need.

Such is the concern of our brethren. A victim does not think she needs Jesus, but that is a lie from the devil. We all need Jesus.

Whether we are victims is a moot question in the grand scheme of things. And let us be clear - the Word of God never clearly says anything about human beings being primarily victims. I can't even think of one biblical instance where such an inference is even marginally justifiable. All sinners have also been sinned against. Take the case of convicted murderers – we’re all familiar with how most have some partially-sympathetic back story (abuse suffered as a child, for example) or motivation/justification. Most (if not all) criminals have been victimised in some way in their life. All sinners have been victimised in some way in their life, yet we continue to sin. If having been a victim at some point and/or having sympathetic motives absolves criminals and sinners of guilt, then there is no such thing as a criminal or a sinner. We can't call anyone a murderer/p√¶dophile/adulterer/rapist. Let us do away with the imaginary wall between "really evil" murderers and "victimised" women. Rather, God has revealed that we humans are sinners, violators of God's law, doomed to richly-deserved torment in Hell, haters and enemies of God.

Isn't that harsh and hateful?
Yes, it's harsh, but it is true. We do not decide this. We must deal with the reality of the situation. Either we will repent and accept the mercy God has provided, or we will hold fast to our self-destructive victimhood and self-righteousness.

Anyone who clings obstinately to the claim that abortive women are primarily victims is not showing love to those women. Love seeks the best for the beloved. The best for any human is full repentance before God and faith in the Lord Jesus the Messiah. Someone who seeks to hold you back from the best thing you could possibly have is acting in a hateful, or at minimum sadly ignorant, way toward you. We must not waste time talking about whether abortive women are victims. We must do what Jesus did and what He told us to do - proclaim the law of God and the Good News of Jesus, so that sinners can be forgiven and transformed by God.

In light of that, we must "destroy pretensions and every obstacle that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). Don't waste time and do harm to people by diverting attention from the fact that sinners need a Savior. Rather, let us join with our brethren and call out the truth for what it is, for the glory of Almighty God.

A final plea
Finally, let me issue this plea. If you are an abortive woman, please read carefully.
If you carry guilt for your abortion, you don’t have to.
If you feel anger at having read that God sees you as a murderer, you don’t have to carry that anger.
If you bristle at someone pointing out your wrong to you, you can have freedom from that.

Jesus has died for sinners. Come to the cross of Jesus. Submit to Him in all that He has said. He wants you to admit and confess your sin. He wants you to have peace because the sins of the repentant are fully forgiven, on the basis of what He has done on the cross. He wants you to reach out to others and let them know that Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light, and the guilt and shame of abortion are washed away along with the rest of the forgiven sinner’s transgressions because Jesus has suffered a torturous death on sinners’ behalf because of His great and deep love and kindness. Stop defending yourself. Fall on Jesus. Repent and be fully forgiven.

(Please leave any comments at the Abolitionist Society blog.)