Planned Parenthood: We Must Be More Than Shocked
Two weeks ago an undercover Planned Parenthood video about selling baby parts shocked us. Now today we’ve been shocked again. Another undercover laissez faire price negotiation over baby parts has been released. Not to mention the Center for Medical Progress says they have “at least 12, really solid videos” and that they’l be doing this for a while.
In a sense I was never shocked by abortion. It was normal by the time I was born. In 1981 the abortion rate had already been steady at over 1,000,000 a year for six years. A rate it has not gone below since.
But I’d never heard of selling baby parts in America. That was shocking. It is shocking. It is wrong. Wrong things happen all the time. But this is a systematic, organizational, and federally-financed injustice.
What do we do? We must be more than shocked. We can’t be silent, but we must do more than talk!
We Must be More Than Shocked
We must live with conviction. We must firmly believe that abortion and the by products of the abortion industry is wrong and we should do something about it. Make no mistake, we ought to be shocked. We ought to be horrified. We ought to thoughtfully communicate our utter dismay on public media.
More shock came last week when the ERLC of the Southern Baptist Convention posted an article stating that the “despicable practice of selling the body parts of aborted children is likely to be legal and an accepted, if not common practice, among abortion providers.”
More shock came on July 21 at the release of another video.
I’m glad there was shock. It would have been more disheartening for there to be no shock by anyone. But lets not to quickly equate shock with righteousness. Our shocked state never saved anyone’s lives nor changed any laws.
At least we’re not all numb. Good. But that is not enough.
We Must Not Be Silent
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
We can’t walk by the samaritan silently. We cannot ignore what we know and what we see. The Center for Medical Progress, who posted the two undercover lunches, has made us even more liable as a nation.
We must speak out. Whether it be to local or federal officials, or church members, or family, or friends—we cannot be stand idly by and pretend that we are not part of the problem if we remain silent.
We Must Do More Than Talk
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8.
In Generous Justice, Tim Keller discusses how “doing justice” and “loving mercy” are one thing. The hebrew for “loving mercy” is the motive and “doing justice” is the action. It is one endeavor. There is no “loving mercy” without “doing justice”. Keller’s explanation means that we don’t love mercy if we aren’t doing justice. We aren’t doing justice if we are only talking about how shocked we feel.
We Must Know Where the Injustice Is
We must do more than talk. But what do we do? Keller gives three levels of doing justice.
Relief. This is the immediate relief and rescue of the oppressed and helpless. You see someone oppressing another and you personally step in to save them, feed them, and cloth them with your personal resources.
Development. There must be organizations and community movements to assist communal change and long-term support that actually makes a difference. We need more than short-term mission trips or protests to abortion facilities. When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert is a great resource.
Social System Reformation. This is seeking to change social norms and structures which cause or permit the injustices. In many cases this means legislative and legal changes in the government.
Keller says, “Many Christians resist the idea that social systems need to be dealt with directly. They prefer the idea that ‘society is changed one heart at a time’, and so they concentrate only on evangelism and individual social work. This is naive. (Keller, 127)
We have to know that issues such as abortion and the ensuing selling of infant body parts cannot only be confronted at the first two levels. Planned Parenthood, for example, receives over $500million dollars of federal revenue and refunds. This is not only a “one heart a time” offer relief issue. Planned Parenthood needs to be defunded.
Two articles with about Planned Parenthood from the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee:
The Sale of Fetal Body Parts: Gruesome—and Shockingly Legal
10 Numbers You Should Know About Planned Parenthood
We Must Seek Justice With Resolve
Abraham Lincoln has been dubbed the great emancipator. This is true, President Lincoln did free the slaves of the south through an executive order during wartime. But if Lincoln pulled the trigger it was John Quincy Adams who built the gun.
After being “gagged” through the infamous Gag Rule, he was forced to fight for the freedom of speech so that he could continue to fight for the abolition of slavery—which is what he did until the day he died. The year that Quincy Adams died a young freshmen representative from Illinois joined him on the floor for the fight of abolition—Lincoln. There was no celebration of John Quincy Adam’s fight against abolition. He is hardly even a memory. Most of his fellow representatives at the time thought he was nothing but a nuisance. But he gave his life for justice—breathing his last breath in the capitol building.
Not everyone gets to make the emancipation proclamation—we need John Quincy too.
Job said, “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban” (Job 29:14).
Doing Social Justice
Write Letters. I have heard several times in the last year how much letters and presence matter. Write a letter or make a phone call to your representative.
Marches and Public Events. Join local and national events which educate, lobby, and speak out for justice.
Annual Texas Event. https://www.texasallianceforlife.org/walk-life/
National Event. http://evangelicals.life
Adopt. Do something positive to adopt a child who was either an unwanted pregnancy or in foster care. There are plenty of adoptions available in the U.S. without going to China or Africa.
Support. You may consider financially supporting an organization.
Relief. What is your church, other churches, or other organizations doing to meet immediate needs of injustice? How can we meet immediate needs? Where can you volunteer regularly?
Partner. I don’t agree with every method nor share ever conviction of Texas Alliance for Life, for example. But they are resolved to see systematic change. We’ll never find an organization that completely agrees with everything we ever think (unless you start your own..and even then?). But I am happy to support TAL and to join with them, when I can, as my conscience over injustice is greater than that of my disagreements. Perhaps we should say, “if they are not against us they are for us” and link elbows.
Help Your Local Church Help Others. Help your church where your church is helping locally to relieve or develop ways to fight injustices. If your church is not helping fight an injustice you see, help them do so. Maybe God has shown you something no one else can see because God wants you to help (and help the church help). Speak with your pastor or elder, ask them, “What are we doing?” “What can we Do?”. Listen to your pastor’s counsel. Get together with others to discuss ways to help locally.
As Russell Moore, President of ERLC, posted recently, “Keep writing letters. Keep speaking. Keep praying that God would open the eyes of our governing officials to call "evil" what has been called "good" for far too long”.
For His Glory,