This past Sunday was “Sanctity of Life Sunday” in the United States. As a result I chose to teach on abortion and the need to speak up for life. It was a difficult message to preach – and yet one that needs to be heard. Yet in the midst of recognizing that there is a life other than the mother that is involved which needs to be protected, I also wanted to emphasize the need for us to be compassionate as we advance the pro-life message.
I am vitally invested in the ministry of the Pregnancy Resource Center. This is a group of people who are committed to sharing the love of Christ and the truth with women who are facing crisis pregnancies. One of the key things we emphasize again and again in this ministry is the need for every woman who walks through our doors to feel our love and the love of Christ. There is a very good reason for doing this. Let me explain.
The vast majority of the women who walk through our doors do so feeling like they have no other choice than to abort their child. The announcement that they are pregnant hits them like a ton of bricks. For those who are single (as well as some who are married) there is a panic that comes with an unplanned pregnancy. They may be on a career path or in the midst of getting a college education where a baby will seriously derail the plans that they had made. Often there is a sense of dread when family and others learn of their pregnancy. Some, who already are dealing with poverty in their life, are overwhelmed at the thought of how they will pay for a child – and in some cases – another child. These mind of these precious women are often flooded with many different conflicting thoughts.
Then there is the relational issue many of them face as this crisis hits. What about my boyfriend? How will he react? Will he stick around – or will this cause him to dump me? Let’s face a fact – many men are cowards who just turn and walk away from something they’ve helped to cause. And because they don’t have to carry the baby – they feel a freedom (albeit a perverse one) to walk away from the situation they’ve caused. So the young woman who walks through our door has this thought going through her head as well. While we are at it – there are also problems relationally with regard to parents. Will they freak out – even in some cases threatening to disown their daughter because of an unplanned pregnancy? How will friends receive this information? If they are religiously minded – they are also going to face the problem of shame and possibly be ostracized by those around them.
We’ve had women come through our doors who face possible medical problems due to diabetes or other conditions. And in very rare cases (most often not ever revealed to us) they were the victim of a rape or of incest. Since justice in these cases can often result in a court case where they are treated almost as badly as the actual crime, many of these women do not come forward. They simply suffer in silence as they have this horror added to their already emotionally overwhelming circumstances.
Then there are those women who call us because they’ve already had an abortion. What we hear the most from these precious women is that they feel like they will never be able to be forgiven for what they’ve done. They are plagued by a consistent depression over their choice to have an abortion. Some cannot even see a baby without a sense of loss and guilt. They suffer from a PTSD because of what has happened in their lives, but struggle to even tell anyone about it. Therefore many choose to suffer in silence, thinking there is nothing they can do about their abortion.
This is what we face as we advocate for life with the precious women that God sends us. We want them to know that we love them dearly – that Jesus loves them dearly – and that even though we believe abortion is the wrong choice – there is forgiveness available for those who have had an abortion. Make no mistake – I am pro-life all the way. But because of a desire to minister to those women who face the crisis of a decision about an unplanned pregnancy we choose to address every situation we face with a tremendous amount of mercy and compassion. We do this because we know that we may be the only ones who will have a chance to advocate for life in their lives.
Most of these articles are taken from the Calvary Courier, a weekly newsletter that is sent to the folks who attend Calvary Chapel Jonesboro. Due to the response to these articles, we've decided to print some of them which proved to be very helpful to God's people at the fellowship.
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