The sixth, seventh, and eighth videos are now out on Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts. If you have not yet watched them or shared them, I’d encourage you to do so. As many of us transition from the end of summertime into the school year, it might be easy to feel a slight tug to coast. There’s much to do, much to get done. But let me throw my oar in and hopefully encourage you to keep up the fight with the following reminders.
First, remember that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. This doesn’t mean that our struggle vanishes in a puff of white “spiritualized” smoke. It just means that our victory for the unborn will be won by the Holy Spirit working through the faithfulness of men and women, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, teachers, politicians, judges, bloggers, journalists, doctors, and everyone doing their duty before the Lord with integrity and joy. While we certainly may learn tactical lessons for war from our enemies, we do not confuse tactical lessons with the foundational mission. We’re disciples of Jesus and therefore we are driven by His grace not by megahertz of outrage. There is good reason to be outraged, and we want the vast majority of Americans to have the distinct taste of a mouthful of turned milk when they hear or see the name “Planned Parenthood” — but we also want our testimony for Christ, our joy in the Lord, and our love of the lost to be just as prominent, just as obvious. So don’t let up on the pressure, but remember that along with hashtags and sharing articles and having meaningful conversations with your neighbors, your joyful demeanor with your husband, your faithful love of your children, your honest labor at work is also part of that pressure. We want our pressure to be consistent and solid all the way through, not just a veneer of righteous anger, which means we need to keep confessing our sins, forgiving one another, telling the truth, and worshiping Jesus every Sunday. This is how we will be able to stand fast for the long haul. Anything less will burn out and fizzle.
Second, and very much related to the first, is that one of the most important lessons we need to learn in this struggle is faith in God. Yes, I know that lots of people will hear or read that and roll their eyes because they think that means not really doing anything to help anybody, like I just read them a Hallmark card or something. And yes, we’ve got plenty of empty, syrupy platitude problems in the American Church. But frequently this eye roll shows up in a certain kind of pessimistic attitude about the whole Pro-Life push. And don’t get me wrong, we need people thinking critically about what we’re doing and good feedback mechanisms will poke holes in strategies that can’t or aren’t working. Yay for critical thinking skills. But on the one hand, pure optimists tend to keep doing idiot things because maybe it’ll work this time, and on the other hand, pure pessimists can’t get behind anything because nothing ever will. This is precisely why we need real, true, honest to goodness faith in God, Abrahamic faith, what my friend Douglas Wilson calls evangelical faith. This kind of faith sees the void, sees the darkness, sees the corpses, sees the ghoulish Planned Parenthood and StemExpress CEOs and all the political and cultural impossibilities, all the reasons why we should never succeed or make a dent in the Empire of Death, and then proclaims with full assurance the hope, light, and life of Jesus anyways. This is not shallow optimism or pious platitudes because the darkness would be far too depressing and they’d have wet their pants five minutes into the program. The graveyard makes optimists feel sad and depressed so they pretend it isn’t there. But evangelical faith is certainly not pessimism either because we are preaching resurrection in the graveyard. We are preaching light in the darkness. We are preaching hope in the face of unquenchable despair. This is what faith does. It sees outrageous impossibility and then believes God anyway. It is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Third, this faith in God means that we need to beware of the temptation to settle for less. The so-called realists out there are already trying to get us to make various deals. One settlement being offered is that we trade a defunding of Planned Parenthood for an expansion of Medicaid. But this is like trying to get the vampires to stop sinking their fangs into our necks by offering to schedule regular blood draws. It’s the very nature of a bloated federal bureaucracy that demands blood. You can’t rack up trillions of dollars of debt and not sacrifice to the demons of lust and greed. Yeah, the monster may not be gutted overnight, but let’s get this straight: you don’t hire the monster to take care of orphans and widows. Yes, the Church has her job cut out for her, but you are swallowing a line if you think that what is now being offered by the feds should be increased by a dime. That’s like insisting that if you make Hitler close down Auschwitz, you at least have to let him keep taking care of the Jews. Um. Let me think about it. No.
And finally, part of the reality that we need to get ready for when the last Planned Parenthood shutters its doors, when the last abortionist is put out of business, when the murder of children is outlawed in every state — what we need to be ready for then is an explosion of life. Yes, there are cycles of poverty and addiction and crime, and yes, the end of abortion will certainly bring more people into a sinful and fallen world. But let’s get this straight, we don’t believe in the inevitability of sin. We don’t believe in the power of death. We believe in the power that has shattered sin and death. And we believe that every human being born into this world has the opportunity to be part of the gospel tidal wave inundating this place. Because of Jesus, human life is being remade. Because of the cross, death is losing, sin is being crushed, Satan is on the run. Because of the resurrection, all things are being made new. With the abolition of abortion, there will be new challenges, but most of all there will be an unleashing of life and creativity and industry and technology and exploration and fruitfulness. We are currently dumping life down the drain, but if God gives us this moment, this victory, He will be giving us an explosion of life in this land. That’s what we’re believing God for. We’re not believing God for the survival of millions of children who will then (statistically) go on to lead mediocre to criminal lives before dying and going to Hell. We’re believing God for the salvation and eternal glory of millions upon millions.
Think about it this way: If we believe that the 50+ million children that have been slaughtered by abortion have been ushered directly into the presence of their Maker and have been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb and now stand before the throne and sing their Maker’s praises (as I do), we have every reason to believe that 50 million more children saved from slaughter and born into this world will result in far more glory than that.