This past week, Christians and pro-life advocates took to social media to compel the mainstream media to cover the Kermit Gosnell trial, an abortionist on trial for eight counts of murder, including seven babies who he allegedly killed after their birth.
The case is dark; it’s another evidence of the evil running rampant within the human heart.
There is no avoiding this fact. Despite what pro-choice advocates say about abortion, it’s evil, plain and simple. We can’t overlook this and Christians dare not. The Bible is too clear on the dignity of human life (beginning with Genesis 1:26-27) and God demonstrates great care for the defenseless and marginalized.
There are few as defenseless as babies, especially those in the womb.
Christians are right to be outraged when it comes to our culture’s flippant attitude toward children in general and abortion in specific. Here in Canada, we currently have no legal restrictions on abortion (it’s regulated by the Canada Health Act). The history of abortion law in Canada is long, complicated—and frankly there are no easy answers for how to properly restrict or allow access (depending on your perspective).
In other words, the situation is pretty much the same as in America.
So what is it about media silence surrounding the Gosnell case that has Christians in particular up in arms? It’s not just that it confronts us once again with the horror of abortion, which it does that quite well.
The Gosnell trial proves the Bible’s testimony true—and our culture desperately wants to ignore it.
The Bible is emphatic that the human heart—our will and desire—is bent toward evil. We’re told our thoughts are only evil continually (Gen. 6:5; 8:20). We deceive ourselves continually (Jer. 17:9), calling evil “good” and good “evil” (to which God says “Woe to those who do” in Isa. 5:20).
The testimony of Romans 1 is true:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.… they exchanged the truth about God for a lie… (Rom. 1:18, 25)
But how can Christians faithfully respond? Here are three ways:
1. Be charitable.
There’s part of us that wants to paint pro-choice advocates as being like Gosnell. Don’t do that. Remember, while some do so by virtue of our culture’s radical individualism, many supporters of abortion are moved to do so out of a sense of compassion for women in very difficult circumstances. It’s why the arguments against restricting abortion typically invoke rape victims and call back to the days of backroom abortions. Simply, they’re advocating for the compassionate option within their own worldview.
2. Know your facts.
Christians need to know the facts surrounding abortion in North America (or wherever we live). Do your research. Read good books (two I recommend are Innocent Blood and Stand for Life, both by John Ensor). As much as you’re able, know what you’re standing up against—and what you’re standing up for. And while you’re at it, remind people that children are not a burden.
3. Speak the truth in love.
Defend human dignity and human life, make it clear that abortion is a heinous evil—but remember, your best arguments aren’t going to win the day. The only thing that will truly change a person’s heart is the Holy Spirit bringing life from death through the proclaimed gospel of Jesus Christ.
Though the sin is great, it’s not so great the gospel can’t overcome it. On the cross, Jesus pays the penalty for the sin of abortion—and in His grace, both the abortionist and the patient can be made new in Christ. Both can be redeemed. Both can be reconciled and restored. Though the consequences remain, the stain of sin will be removed.
Our mission—regardless of our zeal for the cause—is to serve as ambassadors of Christ; to plead with the lost to be reconciled to Christ.
The Gosnell trial may help further the ministry of reconciliation—will you seize the opportunity?