Today’s question: How should a pastor direct his church to interact with legislation on the life issue?
Well, you know it’s kind of like parenting and child-rearing issues. If someone were to say to me, “How should I raise my children?” There are certain general things that I would say that would apply to all Christian’s that are there. And then there are some things where I would say, what is your family like? What is your child like? So, how do you get your child from point A to point B where you want that child to be? It largely would depend on where point A is for my congregation. If I’ve got a group of people in my congregation that are already with me across the board on the life issue, and what I’m trying to do is call them to be more engaged in mission, I’m going to handle that a different way than I would a congregation that thinks abortion is something that’s meaningless or passé.
Probably what I would do on an issue like that is to use that controversy in order to teach people Biblical convictions. For instance, as time goes on with this ballot measure you’re going to have people who are saying, “This is Christians who are coming in and trying to take over the culture and to make us believe the way that they believe” or “These are people who have a war on women.” I would use those types of examples to do really two things. To stand up and to say, here is the reason why Christian’s along with other people of good will, but Christian’s particularly are concerned about the abortion issue. Because we think these are people made in the image of God, because we think that abortion hurts and harms women. And because we are all going to be held accountable for the way that we use the sword. God has not permitted us to use the sword against the innocent, and when we go in to vote on a ballot measure like this we’re essentially handing somebody a sword and saying, “Use it in this way.” We’re going to give and answer to God for that.
Secondly, to spend some time saying, “There are a lot of people in this church who have had abortions and there are a lot of people in this community who have had abortions.” One of the things that the devil wants to do is convince those people that either they’re too good for the gospel or they’re too bad for the gospel. And that somehow they have sinned so badly that they are outside the reach of the blood of Christ, that’s not true, and here is why. You spend that time talking both justice and justification and you ground all that in the gospel. That’s the way I would largely handle that.