Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Shame of a Christian Church: We were at a banquet for Baptists for Life Thursday night. The keynote speaker was a Christian lady who does pro-life sidewalk counseling outside of a local abortion clinic. Pro-life sidewalk counselors need our support and prayers. It is a daunting task God has called them to.

What was most heart rendering of all the stories she told were the young women who have some kind of obvious Christian background, evangelical or otherwise, who come to the abortion clinic for an abortion. One case in particular struck a nerve with both my wife and me. Here is a summary of that story as told by this sidewalk pro-life counselor.

The young lady was pregnant outside of marriage. She came to the abortion clinic for an abortion. The sidewalk counselor was able to engage her in conversation, and sought to dissuade this young lady from going through with the abortion.

It turned out she was a member of a local church affiliated with one of the Dutch Reformed denominations in this area. If I was to give the name of this particular Dutch Reformed denomination, those familiar with this particualr group could tell you that sadly, what follows would not be unexpected from this particular denomination.

Why was this young lady from a Christian background so adamant about going through with an abortion? She told the sidewalk counselor that though she knew it was wrong, she would rather kill her baby then have the elders of her church find out she had gotten pregnant outside of marriage. The counselor told her they would help her find another church that would be more supportive of her and her baby, but that offer was to no avail. She went on into the clinic and another baby died.

Why? Where was her church? What kind of church is it that has an atmosphere and culture where a young un-wed mother would rather abort her child then have the elders find out she had engaged in sexual sin outside of marriage? Would this happen in a church whose atmosphere and culture was characterized by the compassion, forgiveness, mercy, and love of Jesus Christ? Possibly, but much less likely...

The shame in this story is not that a young lady got into "trouble". The shame is in a local church that evidenced an atmosphere and culture that became a stumbling block to a frightened, vulnerable young lady. Such a thing is not of the Spirit of Christ.

Shameful! Absolutely shameful!
"It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, then that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble."
(Luke 17:1-2)

In His love and tears,

~ The Billy Goat ~

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