2013 brought about the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the controversial bill that legalized abortion in the United States. Since this bill passed, 52 million abortions have been performed on women ending the life of unborn children. In 2009, almost half of all abortions performed were on women in their teens- mid twenties. The top reasons women list for wanting an abortion: Financially unready, and lack of responsibilities.
Hopefully the above statistics have resonated with you in some way. I know for me, it was making me physically sick to read them and then write this blog. I am unapologetic in my view on abortion.
Abortion seems to be a war against God and sadly that war is being waged in many churches. It's starting with the refusal to speak in defense of life from the pulpit. I believe it is a pastors primary job to care for and protect the spiritual, mental and some times physical well being of those in the congregation. But yet sadly, we all know a pastor who will not touch the issue of abortion let alone preach about it from the pulpit. And while they may believe they are being progressive and uncontroversial, the reality is that their silence contributes greatly to the death of thousands of aborted children. While they preach on grace, community outreach, and faith they forget that without the protection of life from conception, they would be effectively out of a job.
So what are some reasons pastors fear talking about abortion?
1. Will i be insensitive to women who have had abortions who may come into my church?
That's a great question, and the answer is: NO. Abortion, though we should condemn it as murder, does not mean that forgiveness and healing become inapplicable. By addressing the issue, we show that we are in fact sensitive and care. Silence on the other hand, creates a mixed reaction.
2. What if i alienate the members of my church?
Another great question. Alienation of some members is inevitable. If it's not over leadership, it will be what people are wearing, what the bathroom wall paper looks like, or how much the salary of a church staff is. While all these things come up short and looking petty, pastors ought to be more concerned with the possibility of alienating members based on Biblical truth. Issues of Life and Death. As a pastor, your job is to reconcile others to Christ. Take heart in that work.
3. Will I endanger our tax exemption status by speaking on abortion?
One the most commonly given reasons by pastors for not speaking on abortion to congregations is the use of the tax ID. There is NO law that forbids clergy or pastors from speaking on public policy issues. That is free speech and it is protected under the First Amendment. What is prohibited is endorsements of candidates partisan elections. For further knowledge on this, pastors should see the brochure put together by the National Association of Evangelicals.
So pastors, now you have some helpful facts to guide you in your sermons on abortion, it is a topic that must start being talked about from the pulpit. If we don't, we might as well take out the pews and put in bowling alleys.
So church leaders, join the right to life movement again. We welcome you back with open embraces!
"Love is Patient. Love is Kind."