It’s that time again! It is that time of year when all the local churches start filling their front yards with little white crosses symbolizing all the children that have died in abortions. That’s good, right? Shouldn’t the church publicly denounce sin? Well….yes. And shouldn’t the church try to encourage those considering abortion to instead seek other options? Again, yes. So while I agree with these statements, let me perfectly clear about something else: We are only telling half the story, and to tell half the story is to tell the wrong story.
Let me explain what I mean by asking you to wear a different pair of shoes for a moment. For a moment pretend that you are the would-be mom that had her child aborted: You are driving down the street one morning on the way to work 6 years after your abortion and you pass a school. Seeing all the cute little boys and girls running from the bus and into the school with pony tails flopping and hearing shouts of excited children, you suddenly realize that your baby boy or girl would by now be old enough to be running into that same school with them if you hadn’t terminated your pregnancy. And then the guilt hits, like it has so many times before. You know in the back of your mind that you didn’t just “terminate a pregnancy”, but rather, you killed a little baby. It seemed like a good move at the time, your career was taking off and the father really wasn’t the right guy, money was tight… but when the guilt came after the abortion, it never went away. You continue driving and are trying to push the guilt and heart and tears back down inside where you keep them buried when you come up to a church. In the front lawn are rows of white crosses and some banners explaining that each one represents an aborted child. The whole scene is carefully designed like a graveyard to remind you that abortion is murder, and murder is wrong! But the problem is that you already know it was wrong!! You have been living with the pain and guilt of it for six long years! Often you lash out in anger loudly declaring it is a woman’s right to do whatever she wants with her body, and her life, but often it is those very same nights that you cry yourself to sleep. And you wonder to yourself if God could ever forgive a person for killing a little boy or girl like those ones at the school… like the one you killed? But you think to yourself, “I don’t know what to do, all hope is lost… it’s too late. I can’t talk to anybody about this! My friends are all pro-choice and the people at that church think I am a monster and remind me of that every day. Maybe I am a monster!? I must push this pain down, and try to get through another day…”
If you think this story is stretch, it isn’t. Guilt haunts many, many women who have had an abortion and they go through life with it crushing down on them daily. And what do those little white crosses do? They preach God’s law (Thou shalt not murder) but to the passer-by they offer no hint of the good news that forgiveness is available. These crosses are Law with no Gospel. They are like a doctor telling you have a horrible disease and then walking away leaving you in confusion and despair. These abortion campaigns all focus on the victims while completely forgetting that the great commission is to go out and preach the good news of the gospel to the lawbreakers. Think of your favorite sins for moment. Were you an alcoholic? When crying over your addiction, would you seek a savior at a church with a yard full of beer cans and huge banners saying “Drunkenness is a horrible, horrible crime!!” Or maybe you struggle with pornography. Are you expecting to hear of the forgiveness of sins at a church that has hundreds of wooden “XXX ” statues in the yard and a banner proclaiming “If you look at porn, you are a pervert!”? We are all criminals and guilty of breaking God’s laws. It is the good news of the Gospel that caused us to look with astonished adoration at our savior who paid for our crimes while hung on a Cross. But it is this good news of a savior that we are denying to those driving by, instead offering them only the condemnation that the law brings and, ironically enough, doing it with the symbol of God’s grace (the Cross).
Campaigns like this are all law with no Gospel, and simply announcing condemnation to the lost is not what we are called to do! So this year, how about a new approach? Get all those crosses out (it would be a shame to let them go to waste) and use them to proclaim the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ our Lord. Put the crosses out, and this year make the banner bigger than ever. Let it read, “Abortion is murder – but Christ died for sins such as these!!”
Folks, taking a stance on abortion and encouraging pregnant women to choose the right path can both be done while fulfilling the great commission. We do not have to crush the countless women who have already had an abortion to do these things. Please stop preaching law without Gospel. Instead, preach both…preach the “Repentance and forgiveness of sins” in Jesus name!
NOTE: For every aborted baby there is a mother, and there’s a very good chance that this ex-mother now has a sea of guilt, confusion and turmoil deep inside. The need to preach the forgiveness offered by Christ to these women is HUGE, as there are over 150 abortions a day in the U.S. alone. Chances are, you know someone who had this done, and they might even be in the pew next to you. They need the Gospel!!