God and Politics: Abortion

Yesterday the annual March for Life converged upon Washington, DC and it has caused me to give God and politics a second thought. I am Christian. I identify most closely with evangelicals, but hesitate greatly (now) about using the label ‘evangelical Christian’. I used to think this was a term that characterized one’s doctrinal beliefs, but it seems to have morphed into a description of one’s political platform. I’m beyond disturbed about this on many fronts, but today I’ll just address the abortion issue.

I have a huge problem with the mainline Christian assumption that GOD is Republican. Without addressing any other characteristics implied by the term, He most certainly is not conservative. The dictionary defines conservative as, “Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change. Moderate; cautious.” Now, at the risk of sounding blasphemous, does this really sound like the God of the Bible to you? The God in my Bible knocked up a virgin, sacrificed his innocent son, and…hold on to your seats…commanded his people to kill women, children and, yes, infants!! (Oh, and men too although we all too easily dismiss the lives of men as casualties of war and move on.) God is not safe. He is not cautious. He is wild. He is unconventional. His ways and his purposes and reasoning are far beyond human comprehension and we kid ourselves if we think we can stuff him neatly into this box called conservatism!

I have always had a very difficult time, personally, with the issue of abortion. While I have never had to face that choice myself, I have been alongside many women who have either been contemplating the decision or who were dealing with the aftermath of a decision to terminate a pregnancy. One thing rings true for all of them, (and arguably for any woman who finds herself at this place) it is not, was not and will never be an easy decision to make. The truth is that despite her strongest convictions, nowoman can predict her ultimate choice until the time comes to make it.

There are so many factors that play a part in making that choice. I could try to examine what some of them might be, but there is no way I can be exhaustive and do justice to all of the possibilities. And besides, once you start making arguments for, or exploring the merits of arguments in favor of any issue, you run the risk of constructing the very walls of the box you’re hoping to break out of . And the last thing I want to do is to communicate that I have determined the list of factors that are “acceptable” for deciding to have an abortion.

What I do know, to my core, is that I do not serve a one-size-fits-all God. The same God who said, “thou shalt not kill” turns around and says, “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ ” (1 Samuel 15:3). Yet, He is good. I don’t presume to be able to reconcile these two statements. And, I am frustrated with those who attempt to because to me, what they are attempting to do is make a wild God safe and cozy by rationalizing away his ferocity. I am not suggesting that God would say, “thou shalt abort.” But, what I am saying is that to each woman who makes that choice, He does say, “I love you.” And to the woman who is on her 8th abortion and seems callous, flippant, and irresponsible, I’m sure He says, “I love you and I’m more concerned about the why than the what.” Even for her, the choice is not easy and callousness is survival. I’m quite familiar with survival.

This is from an article in today’s Washington Post:

On the Mall at Seventh Street, tens of thousands of antiabortion activists were listening to the Rev. James Nesbit, whose invocation was so passionate that his voice cracked and warbled as he delivered the jeremiad.

“It has been told by the prophets in the land that there is a president coming out of Texas, a Burning Bush,” Nesbit prayed. “He will deal with abortion in the land. We ask you to give him an executive order and mantle him and give him a mandate with the fear of the Lord.”

I’ll let it speak for itself.

You can’t legislate morality. God calls us into relationship with him. That relationship is individual and personal. What’s sin for one man may be perfectly permissible for another. That’s not relativism. That’s Bible. Romans 14 to be precise. I believe in moral standards and principles to guide our decisions. But God has shown us in scripture time and time again that neither of these is rigid. He wants us to depend on him when it comes to making choices for our lives, not on the legislature. Maybe it’s just me.

I’ll take my God without politics, thank you.



2 thoughts on “God and Politics: Abortion

  1. hmm…not sure how to properly handle this statement.

    I do know one thing for sure. God created all that exists. Anything and everything that he feels like doing is perfectly justified. It makes absolutly no sense to us because we are not the creator. We are the creature. It does not seem fair to us that he gets to choose what happens and what doesnt, what the rules are and when they are allowed to be broken. It’s like a child that makes little people out of play-doh. The play-doh people dont get to choose which are the favorites and get to stay with the child (heaven)and which get mashed back into a ball and thrown away. It’s not fair plain and simple. and you know what? i’m glad it’s not fair. i’m glad God decided to “break” his own rules. cause if that werent the case then there would be ZERO “vessels of mercy” and all “vessels of wrath”

    Romans 9:18-24

    18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    Sorry for those who choose not to believe it but, he is the sovreign of all existence and he alone calls the shots. we in comparison are as insignificant as a figment of our imagination. Fortunately for some of us (mercy vessels) and not so fortunately for others (wrath vessels) God’s chooses to make the figments of His imagination more than just figments. It’s why we owe Him our all. It’s the reality that none of us by nature want to accept.

    I personally dont believe in abortion, BUT those same aborted babies still fall in one of two catagories. wrath or mercy. and it’s obviously not our choice which. we are no more real and able to make choices than Gumby.

  2. I can’t even describe to you how much being a mom has affected my life. I changed in ways I did not expect. And though I conceived my children in marriage, neither of my pregnancies was planned. I don’t know what it means to “try” to get pregnant. I know very well what it means to try NOT to get pregnant, as I conceived both of them on birth control. Neither of our children came at a “good” time for us, financially, logistically or emotionally. It was part of a larger lesson in trust that God was trying to teach me at that stage in my life — that I wouldn’t fall out and die if I was somehow not in control of my life. And that (gasp!) I couldn’t always take care of myself.

    I wish I remembered my pregnancies with joy and excitement. I didn’t have a pretty nursery with mobiles and a rocking chair. People weren’t rejoicing with me, they were counting backward to see if I had gotten pregnant before or after the wedding. And I was sick during both pregnancies, on bedrest and medication — that I had to inject into my own leg — and came near to dying and losing my son in labor. I had post-partum depression while recovering from a C-section the first time and thought my life was over.

    Somehow, even in all that, my children are two of the best things to ever happen to me and I wouldn’t give them back if I could. Neither would I change the timing of God in which He chose to bless me with them, looking back from where I am now.

    Now that you know my story, here’s my view. Children are a gift from God and life cannot occur without Him breathing it into a vessel. Therefore, pregnancies result from sex exclusively by His doing. I do not advocate abortion, which is different from believing in it. I believe that if at all possible, a woman who becomes pregnant should always seriously consider having the baby. God can carry us through any situation if we trust and follow His guidance. However, I refuse to lay a blanket statement over every abortion as sin.

    I don’t think we can make a bullet list and check off what constitutes an okay case and what does not. I agree with Alexis. God is radical. We cannot put Him into a box or say what or when he will allow certain things. What does God look at for every action we take? Our heart, our motivation, a place human eyes cannot see.

    When I was 16 and thought I was pregnant, my pro-life views were challenged, to say the least. How was the youth pastor’s honor society daughter going to explain that she was having a baby for that thug he couldn’t stand? I decided that I would have to live with it and have the baby. Then my body took a turn and no baby was on the way after all. But had I been, I believe a abortion would have been sin for me.

    We need to be careful how we judge. God is working with a fallen world here. He hasn’t placed any of us on His throne. He sometimes asks, allows, orders or mandates that things are done that we can’t understand and may never agree with.

    And I want to talk about this politics thing more. Republicans are going to Hell at the same rate as Democrats. Trust me — I can’t prove it, but I know! This is why that Janet Parshall drives me nuts!! NO every Christian doesn’t believe what you believe, Janet! How dare you put me into YOUR box!

    I’m a little angry.

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