By Jesse Horton / Cowboys of the Cross
Last week, a monumental decision was made: The Supreme Court of the United States voted to overturn its 1973 decision in the Roe v. Wade case. The 1973 decision struck down a ban on abortions enacted by the state of Texas, effectively legalizing abortion in every state. In other words, abortion was made a federal issue and taken out of the hands of the states to determine how they would operate with respect to the issue. For nearly five decades since, every state has been forced not only to allow abortive procedures, but even to fund them as part of “women’s health and reproductive services.” That meant that the tax dollars collected from those who take any exception, religious or otherwise, to the procedure of abortion were being used to fund organizations that performed abortions. The federal government took away the voice of the people of each state; last week, they corrected this error.
Pro-lifers across the U.S. are celebrating this victory for the unborn while lamenting the millions of aborted lives that could have been prevented had we held the sanctity of life in higher esteem (even in the exceptional cases for which it was presented like rape, incest, etc.) 50 years ago. At the same time, pro-choice advocates are protesting the decision, concerned about women whose lives and health might be at risk due to pregnancy, wondering how they will find and afford the care they need.
The events and attention to the situation has even had the rodeo cowboy crowd speaking up about it.
Some in the greater Christian community, have asked why they aren’t seeing an outward celebration from all the pastors and church leaders they know; why aren’t they visibly happy about this decision? Some are even condemning faith-leaders who have not openly rejoiced over this monumental victory. Let me explain to you why I rejoice personally but not openly.
In our celebrations, I’ve seen people who claim the name of Christ act childishly toward all who are pro-abortion, like a school-yard bully who was held back a grade beating kids a year younger than they are in a basketball game. I’ve seen those who claim to be recipients of grace judge and condemn supporters of abortion to the fires of hell. I’ve even seen preachers being pitted against “this evil world”; you know…the one God so loved that he gave his only Son.
Why am I not openly celebrating? Because I’m ashamed of how many of my brothers and sisters have behaved in this victory, and I don’t want to be a part of that kind of celebration. I don’t want to be a part of increasing the divide between left and right, between pro-choice and pro-life. I don’t want to be the reason someone sees all Christians as ungracious, judgmental, and condemning. Is the overturn of Roe v. Wade a huge victory? Yes! But as many celebrate this victory obnoxiously, they prove to those who consider it a loss why Christianity is not for them. We are NOT in a battle against this evil world nor the unbelievers in it! We are in a battle FOR this evil world against the devil and his demons, that their souls might be delivered from depraved thinking and so the final judgment of God and the fires of hell by the renewal of their minds through the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and they will never see that when we cannot be gracious victors, choosing instead to stand over the “losers” making fun of them and condemning them.
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Our battle is not against the evil world, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Celebrate, but be gracious. Many from the world will be called to repentance by the grace of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, but they will not be drawn to repentance by judgmental, condemning, “turn or burn” messages. They will be saved by grace through faith, the same as we have been. Be a part of showing them God’s amazing, abundant, redeeming, restoring, transforming grace!