I am an Abolitionists
I want to make it clear right here and now I am an abolitionist. Yet, I do not think that abortion and the Gospel are inextricably linked.
I believe abortion to be murder no matter when it takes place. There are no justifiable grounds for the murder of the pre-born Image Bearers of God. Furthermore, I believe that abortion should be made a crime because God sees abortion as murder. He hates the hands that shed innocent blood.
Moreover, I tend to believe that much of the reason that abortion is so rampant today is because the Church has done little to combat it. Instead of battling abortion we have slunk off to our comfortable enclaves and closed our eyes to its horrific legacy.
Instead of dealing with the sin of murder head-on, we have placated murderers. An expectant mother may be the victim of a horrid crime such as rape. However, the moment she contemplates and plans the death of her preborn child she has moved from victim to perpetrator. She has become an accomplice to murder along with the doctor who takes the life of the child.
Not only should laws be passed to deal with this, but Christians should become emboldened to proclaim these things as true. Abortion and the Gospel should be in direct conflict with one another, often.
What is AHA
So just what, and who exactly, is AHA?
That’s an excellent question. Moreover, it may be one of the hardest to answer.
While AHA claims they are not an organization and that they have no leader, there is certainly a semblance of structure to it. Furthermore, they have a well-maintained website that explains their beliefs and practices. They also maintain a “store” where they sell AHA labeled gear and materials. Someone, somewhere, is responsible for organizing this and maintaining it. (The store seems to be shut-down for a rebuild.)
Moreover, despite not having a leader they certainly do have at least one very public face. This titular head is known for radical tirades and vitriolic attacks on other Christians for daring to challenge him on almost any issue. This model of behavior bleeds into the interactions that those who admire him have with others.
AHA rightly promotes the presence of Christians at abortion mills as they plead for the lives of the preborn. In addition to this they have also established what they call the “Church Repent project”. More on that later.
All of this is done under the guise of being a loosely affiliated group of like-minded Christians. Subsequently these Christians are rightly bent toward bringing abortion and the Gospel into conflict with one another.
Abortion and the Gospel, My Concerns
If you are astute, you will have picked up on the fact that I have deep concerns regarding AHA. These concerns are not with abolitionism, but with AHA and her practices. Furthermore, AHA practices seemingly foster a very unorthodox mindset towards ecclesiology.
In a recent conversation on social media I was told by several promoters of AHA that it is imperative to preach about abortion. When I asked for clarification the answers were resounding. Even when open air preaching in the public square one must preach about abortion. One individual went so far as to suggest that to not preach about abortion when preaching the Gospel is to not preach the Gospel at all. This mindset demonstrates that AHA has blurred the lines between abortion and the Gospel.
Furthermore, another individual clearly stated something staggering:
“In every conversation that I have every day I talk about abortion.”
I asked if this was hyperbole and maybe overstated. The individual doubled down and asked me why I would not speak about abortion to every person I speak with daily. One person compared not preaching about abortion when preaching the Gospel to not preaching about homosexuality at a gay pride event.
Time and again AHA and those who seem to orbit around her link abortion and the Gospel. For AHA, abortion is the greatest of sins. According to AHA, to fail to preach on abortion is to miscommunicate the Gospel.
Any Christian familiar with Paul’s epistle to the church in Galatia is also familiar with the Galatian heresy. AHA borders on the this heresy with their view. I know many who would state that AHA doesn’t merely border on the heresy but has fallen off into it willingly.
Abortion and the Gospel Leads to Church Repent
As I previously stated, AHA has a project they refer to as Church Repent. This project has a two-pronged approach.
The first prong is aimed at apostate congregations and denominations actively promote abortion. These congregations will frequently twist the bible to support their positions. As recently as the last several years many high-profile leaders in the ELCA, UMC and the PCUSA, have blessed abortion clinics. I am not entirely opposed to the idea of preaching outside of such places and calling them to repent.
However, this isn’t enough for the AHA folks. They are convinced that even sound congregations need to be “exhorted to do more”. I have at least three friends, two of which serve on my board of oversight, that have had their local church bodies accosted during worship services. AHA defends this tactic claiming that they are merely encouraging sound Christians to do more.
In several instances, AHA folks showed up outside of some theologically orthodox churches with an active presence at abortions mills. They did this several weeks in a row. They held signs that would lead people to perceive that the church AHA was “exhorting” was supportive of abortion.
When pressed to explain this tactic AHA supporters try and pass their actions off as being misunderstood. “We aren’t protesting these churches we are encouraging them to be more active.” Of course, the standard that AHA has established is their level of activity.
It has been suggested to me that I am not doing enough if I am not at abortion mills every day they are open. When I suggested that I have a career that helps provide for my family and that it would be sinful for me to neglect that calling I was accused of complacency and idolatry. My salvation was even questioned.
Abortion and the Gospel; When You Aren’t Doing Enough
AHA tends to define anything other than their exact methodology as being insufficient. In some cases, I find this not entirely without merit. I have been accused of this when it comes to evangelism. Furthermore, when Christians will drive hours to watch an athletic event but can’t be troubled to travel across town to go to an abortion mill we have a problem.
However, AHA doesn’t seem to be able to stop there. In a recent video shared with me and several others, a group gathered outside of a PP location. Their purpose? They had a “church” service. Sounds innocuous enough right? Yet it wasn’t. Moreover, this “church” service became a long rambling political screed wherein the “pastor” railed on local churches. He went so far as to question if those local bodies even met the biblical definition of what a church is.
This is normal rhetoric for AHA. Any Christian and any local body that does not meet the standard of AHA level abolitionism is apostate. As I mentioned before, abortion and the Gospel must be preached with equanimity for AHA supporters to be satisfied.
I was recently preaching outside of a college football game during the tailgating. For me to meet the apparent AHA standard of Gospel work, I should have been holding graphic signs and preaching about abortion.
However, from my perspective, I wasn’t there to deal with abortion. I was there to preach the Gospel to lost folks who needed to hear the Gospel. Holding a graphic sign depicting abortion at a sporting event isn’t the answer. What purpose does it serve?
Abortion and Gospel go hand-in-hand in certain settings, but not in all settings.
Keeping My Distance From AHA
I know that there are many genuine Christians that align themselves with AHA. I also know that for many of them the heart behind why they do so is genuine. Abortion is tragic and devastating, and it is abject rebellion against our God.
Much as genuine Christians fought against the African slave trade in the 1800’s and the NAZI agenda in the 1930’s and 40’s, Christians are obligated to fight this battle now. How can we claim to love God with every fiber of our being and neighbor as self and not be invested in this fight?
When it comes to abortion and the Gospel, I will keep the main thing the main thing. Furthermore, I will not affiliate with any person or loosely bound group that targets solid local churches with calls to repentance. Especially when those calls to repentance are built on personal subjective standards.
AHA has melded abortion and the Gospel into one thing. Abortion has been tacked onto the Gospel as a standard that they hold all other Christians to. Moreover, they have appointed themselves the arbiters of what meeting that standard looks like. Furthermore, unless your efforts are equal to theirs, your efforts are lacking.
Therefore, I will keep my distance from AHA and any person who supports their tactics and their rhetoric. Trust me, If Only Even One is not above being labeled radical by the broader church. However, you will never find me picketing a theologically orthodox church who doesn’t send open air preachers out on the streets. I will not publicly accost other Christians for failing to hand out tracts. I will not engage in AHA tactics.
The ministry of If Only Even One supports the work of abortion abolition. Abortion like any other sin is dealt with head-on through the proclamation of the Gospel. I will never compromise on how wicked abortion is.
On the main page of the website you will find links to strong ministries fighting for the lives of Preborn Image bearers of God. Those two ministries are Preborn and End Abortion Now. These two ministries are biblically solid and Christ exalting works.
If I can be of assistance to you or your local church in establishing an abortion outreach, please reach out to me. Or if I can travel to you I will. If I can connect you with genuine brothers and sisters who understand the clear distinction between abortion and the Gospel I will.
I know I run the risk of coming under fire from AHA for this. I have seen their handiwork many times. However, I am willing to run that risk. I believe them to be doctrinally dangerous and theologically misshapen. The best thing that we can do is pray for the most ardent of their folks to turn away from blurring the line between abortion and the Gospel. When this happens, I believe they will be profoundly used of the Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria!