Summary: On the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, this sermon points to the stark certainty of eventual judgment and also to specific actions which Christians may take in view of this.
Abortion: Where from here?
Today is the 33rd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision known as Roe verses Wade, the decision that declared that our national constitution contained within it an entitlement for any woman in our land to kill a human being if it were so unfortunate to reside in her womb. The judges didn’t put it quite that way, of course; they were careful to speak of fetuses, not babies, and they insisted every so gravely that no one was agreed as to the personhood of an infant while it was still confined in its mother’s body. But, with succeeding litigation over the past 30 years, including additional Supreme Court decisions, the law of the land is simply this: so long as any part of the baby’s body is inside its mother’s body, it is perfectly legal to kill it. So-called partial birth abortion is the legal equivalent to a morning after pill. As John Piper recently observed, “In the United States today, you can be fined $5000 and imprisoned for up to a year for breaking an eagle’s egg, you can be imprisoned and fined for stealing a sea turtle egg, and yet our babies are being killed daily with little outcry.”
Today, nationwide twenty-four out of every one hundred conceptions is aborted. In some places, such as New York City, that figure is forty out of every one hundred conceptions
(http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/features/15248/). The total number of deaths in America alone stands somewhere above 45 million at this time. And, yet, it’s hard to be certain, because reporting of abortions is often masked in otherwise anonymous gynecological treatment. Nor does that 45 million deaths include all those children aborted by misnamed contraceptive devices, which do not prevent conception, but rather generate a spontaneous miscarriage whenever there is a conception. The death toll is chilling – so chilling, I think, that it is only with great determination that we can even contemplate it.
And, yet, in the past three months, as we have followed the confirmation hearings of two Supreme Court Justices – John Roberts, and now Samuel Alito – hearings broadcast across the country and written up on newspapers and blogs, hearings in which senators pressed both judges to affirm that a woman’s right to kill a baby in her womb is settled law in the United States of America.
In view of the fact that abortion is – in the minds of so many – settled law, in view of the death toll that continues to rise by multiple millions each year in this country, what are Christians supposed to think? What are they supposed to do? Where do we go from here? On this 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I want to share some thoughts about where we go from here.
In order to know where we go from here, it is critical that we understand where we are. The Old Testament lesson for today shows us where our nation is today, at least as far as how God views this issue. The Old Testament lesson in the introduction to a section of that book which details a list of practices which God finds abominable, abominable to the point that he is moved to utterly destroy the nations which practice them. The first abomination mentioned in that list sounds rather antiseptic in version we heard read to us – do not let your descendants pass through the fire to Molech. What it refers to is the sacrificing of children, particularly infants, to a pagan god named Molech. His image was a hollow statue, inside of which a roaring fire was built, which make the entire image glow red hot, including its outstretched arms, onto which the living child was placed, there to be burned to ashes. Sounds barbaric and hideous beyond belief. But is it so very different from scraping a living baby out of a womb with a long-handled razor blade? Or ripping a baby’s body into shreds with a high-powered vacuum hose?
It was for things like this that God ordered the complete and utter destruction of the people who inhabited Canaan at the time Israel was delivered out of Egypt. And, these were not the only nations which God has removed from history. The Bible recounts many such instances, and history outside the Bible shows us similar things – nations which rise up, powerful and strong, nations which practice the things which God tells us pollutes the land, so that eventually the land itself vomits out its inhabitants. If God has done this so many times in the pages of Holy Writ, and if there are so many additional parallels to this in the annals of human history, why do we suppose that America today is not standing in that same polluted stream which flows to perdition?