Defending the powerless and ministering to the perpetrators can be a very difficult task that seems mutually exclusive, and yet it is what we are called to do as Christians, following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
So what does this look like? A great opinion article was written for USA Today where Mary Rose Somarriba mentioned the wonderful news that the head of Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson, “acknowledged the racist and eugenic beliefs of its founder, Margaret Sanger”. This has been a major talking point in relation to abortion issues for many years now. However, Mary Rose goes on to challenge the statement of Johnson in regards to the organization distancing themselves from Sanger’s racism and eugenic beliefs.
Mary Rose explains an interaction that she had with a doctor while pregnant. There was potential risk for her unborn child to develop Cystic Fibrosis. It was not confirmed (and cannot be confirmed while in utero via ultrasound), and yet the discussion continued to revolve around the need to make a decision about the future of the baby based on a potential diagnosis. Mary Rose states that she felt like the doctor “was trying to convince me to un-want my pregnancy”.
I do not know the worldview of Mary Rose, but what she said mid-way through her article was incredibly telling – “The doctor seemed unable to see my child’s humanity.” Speaking directly to the concern over eugenics in abortion, Mary Rose “wondered how many vulnerable moms [the doctor] had encouraged to remove their supposedly ‘imperfect’ children from the gene pool.”
For those who are unaware of the definition of eugenics, her statement sums it up. Eugenics is the removal of some “undesired” people-group from humanity’s gene pool. Historically, African Americans, Jews, and Australian aborigines were a few people-groups sought to be destroyed through eugenics. Today, both children with Down Syndrome and the elderly (when euthanasia is introduced) are sought to be removed from the population as some consider them to have no benefit to the community, and yet require much-needed resources. These are only examples of how eugenics can be enticing to some.
We might notice, however, that removing a people-group is never advocated by those within the group themselves! It is, very interestingly, always an external mentality forced upon particular people-groups by other self-titled “superior” people-groups. This unbiblical in-group out-group mentality is what ultimately destroys opportunities for the Great Commission to come about.
So, how does the Bible direct us to think about these things? Romans 3:23 teaches us that every single human being falls short of the glory of God making it impossible for anyone to point out others as less-than or unredeemable. This includes both the victims (children in the womb) as well as the perpetrators (Mary Rose’s doctor and any other who holds pro-abortion views).
In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus tells us of the unforgiving servant. This servant owed an unpayable debt and was forgiven by the king and released from prison. This servant represents every Christian, by the way, who has received forgiveness of sins and been washed clean. However, this same forgiven servant then finds another who owes him a much smaller debt and refuses to forgive them. There was a prideful mentality that the servant determined who deserves forgiveness and this simply is not an accurate teaching of the Scriptures.
Rather, our God commands that we hold His same view as laid out in John 3:16-17. I know that we have all heard these two verses many times, but it can be easy to forget them in everyday life. They tell us that judgmental mentality within our circles is not of God. These two verses along with statements like 2 Peter 3:9 help us grasp that, just as God is incredibly patient with us in allowing time for repentance because He loves us so much, so we must love others, regardless of how they live (Luke 23:34).
We have a call as believers to stand for life and defend the defenseless in the womb (Exodus 21:22-25). We also have a call to send the message of hope, forgiveness, and salvation to the ends of the Earth – yes, even to those who do things we find unbearable (Romans 5:8 – But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.).
Praise God that He allows us to present the same message that once saved us, and, perhaps, have a part in changing a person’s trajectory for eternity.
Love you all,
Young Adult Minister – Evan McNeff