Just weeks ago, I had the privilege of walking in my first March for Life. I was there as a volunteer for The Radiance Foundation – an educational, life-affirming organization that inspires people to live a life of meaning.
I had no idea what to expect at the world’s largest gathering of pro-life advocates, who made their way to Washington D.C. from all over the country and even Canada. I don’t consider myself a pro-life activist – at least not in terms that media often defines it, with anti-abortion banners and staged protests. I am just a Christian woman, raised in a ministry family, surrounded by Christian friends and family, who has always held a strong belief in the sanctity of life.
We participated in the first-ever evangelical worship gathering at the March for Life, called OneVoiceDC. This was a non-denominational event – open to all – to pray and worship to end abortion and bring healing to our country which has allowed legal abortion for 42 years.
Pro-life believers from across the nation came together at OneVoiceDC (Photo: Aaron Wong)
Hundreds of people were gathered to pray for an end to abortion in our country; I was personally moved by well-known pro-life leaders who came to the gathering to bow before God and humbly seek the answer to abolishing abortion.
However, there was a point in the worship service that I felt such great conviction and I couldn’t stop crying. One of the leaders prayed about the church’s “sin of apathy over abortion.” His words hit me with such great conviction. I kept hearing that phrase over and over again in my head.
I have been guilty of the “sin of apathy” over abortion. That apathetic notion that Abortion is legal and I can’t change things, so why dwell on something I cannot change? That was once me, but tragically it is the state of most of the evangelical church in America.
The church has become lethargic on the issue of life (Photo: Pithawat Vachiramon / Flickr)
I grew up in ministry, attending various Protestant churches all my life, and I can’t remember one time where abortion was ever a focus of a sermon or a mission of the church. Of course, I have sat under biblical teaching – preaching forgiveness and grace for sins. I know and have witnessed the healing power of Christ in lives of women and men who were healed from the pain and destruction of past abortions; but I don’t see the church taking up the pro-life cause to end abortion.
The sin of apathy has led me to the question: “Where is the church?”
Grappling with my own sin of apathy and questioning why the church has been so silent, I came across a timely book by Online for Life President Brian Fisher titled Deliver Us from Abortion. Like me, he too has questioned and “discovered that the American church, on the whole, is not actively defending and protecting innocent life.” In his introduction he addresses this great concern:
“In many churches, abortion is never mentioned from the pulpit. If abortion is discussed at all, it is once a year on Sanctity of Life Sunday, the sad reminder of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It is rare to find post-abortive recovery and healing ministries in churches…
Precious few pastors or priests write about abortion, and few will publicly defend the unborn. Most denominations have no organized effort to assist families in a crisis pregnancy. Though a child dies every twenty-five seconds in America due to abortion, God’s family, the church, appears ambivalent.”
Online for Life has made Deliver Us from Abortion available as a free download
Why has the church been so silent when it comes to abortion?
Most of my own questioning is regarding the protestant evangelical church in America, not necessarily the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has often been outspoken warriors for life; they are, without a doubt, a strong presence within the anti-abortion movement. However, even a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute (a pro-abortion research group) reports that 27 percent of Catholic women and 37 percent of Protestant women received abortions. A large population of Catholic and Protestant women are taking the lives of their unborn children.
Where are you, church?
Abortion is an epidemic that the church, as a whole, has refused to acknowledge. One out of every five unborn children are murdered through abortion. Fifty-seven million people have died since 1973. Let that staggering number sink in and ask yourself if you have seen your church be a voice for this abortion holocaust.
What difference will I make?
This is a question I am asking myself over my own sin of apathy over abortion. How do I defend the unborn, stand for the sanctity of life given by God my creator, bring healing to the post-abortive community, and help the church to wake up and be a pro-life voice? I don’t know the answer yet, but I know God instilled a conviction in my own heart as I was worshiping and praying with other pro-life believers. That still small voice that convicted and tugged at my heart is the same voice that God wants to awaken in the church of America.
If we, as Christians, truly believe that God is the author of all life then we need to stand boldly against abortion and be the Church that Christ has called us to be – reaching the lost and saving souls. The church cannot be silent anymore!
As Jesus said in Matthew 25:45, “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’”
Wake up, church!