Our country.

Officially spun out on all the issues in the last two months.

How did we get to at the point of a national vote to ban infanticide–that did not unanimously pass–in America in 2019?

What is going on here?

When the governor of New York recently signed a bill that allows abortion up to the moment of birth, and the governor of Virginia eagerly sought to follow suit, describing in calm and eerie tones how the infant “would be kept comfortable” while the mother and doctor decided whether or not to kill the baby on the table, people rose up, enraged.

I listened to the Virginia governor’s interview, trying to comprehend this doctor– sworn to do no harm–describing a moment where people would decide whether or not to kill a live, viable child outside the mother’s body.

I was horrified. People everywhere were horrified. What kind of person does this? What kind of person thinks like this?

How did we get to this point?

And I think it’s good that we are horrified. I think it’s good that we are good and mad and abortion-woke.

But what infuriates me, and I think a lot of you get this, is that we could have been woke on this issue–and others–twenty years ago.

No.

Thirty. Forty. Fifty.

Because, the truth is–not one of these issues pertaining to abortion is new.

Infanticide did not just suddenly become a thing–we know this to be fact even beyond our reasonable suspicions because of the Kermit Gosnell case and others where abortionists have admitted to procedures used to kill born-alive infants.

And abortion to the point of birth is and has been allowed by federal law since Roe. All Cuomo did in January was exercise the state’s right to access all that is permitted–and practiced with impunity in other states–by federal law.

Not one of these issues is new.

This practice has been legal in this country since 1973–essentially no laws pertaining to Roe v. Wade have changed significantly in the last 45 years.

Why are we just now so enraged and disgusted as a culture?

We can’t claim ignorance, unless we claim it willfully–abortion activists have been telling us as much for as long as I can remember.

The truth is, abortion law could have changed already if this country had been determined beyond a shadow of a doubt to see it changed.

It’s good that we are good and mad and abortion-woke.

In fact, there is not one single reason why we are at this point in abortion law in this country today except that the majority of lawmakers want it legal, and citizens, including the church, have been content with the status quo.

Nothing significant changed in January 2019. But suddenly, we are outraged–and righteous outrage can be a good thing.

But what has kept us content until now? And what will keep us from sliding back into a place of complacency in a couple of months when something new captures the collective mind of the American church and culture?

Abortion law could have changed already if this country had been determined beyond a shadow of a doubt to see it changed.

What will keep us in the battle when we go from abortion-woke to abortion-weary, when the pictures and videos and arguments wear thin on our American sensibilities?

When I was growing up in the nineties, I remember hearing abortion called “the fig leaf of the church.”

I remember hearing about pastors who took their daughters to have abortions, and I remember being in bible studies over the years with women whose church-going parents took them to have abortions in their teens. Abortion was the great cover-up, and still is, not just for ‘the world,’ but for people of faith who wanted to cover their shame like Adam and Eve in the Garden.

A 2015 study by CareNet revealed that more than three out of ten women seeking abortion attended church regularly at the time of their abortion and consider themselves associated with a Christian church.

What will keep us from sliding back into a place of complacency? 

A pro-life friend of mine, Lila Shaw, has participated in dozens of abortion clinic protests, and she is an outspoken leader for life in her city. Lila told me, “You know what the problem is, don’t you? The problem is that so many people who claim to be Pro-Life, who are even in the fight, Christians, pastors, community leaders, none of them really want abortion to go away. I can’t tell you how many of them have looked at me and said that I am too extreme in wanting to acknowledge life at conception. They say, ‘Well, but if it were my daughter . . . if my daughter were the victim of rape or incest . . . I wouldn’t want her to have to go through with the pregnancy.’”

These are leaders in the “Pro-Life Movement”?

We have a problem.

The fact is, many people want to keep abortion as their contingency plan, regardless of religion or faith.

The majority of lawmakers want abortion to be legal, and citizens, including the church, have been content with the status quo.

And for many, there are political issues that are more important to them than protecting the unborn.

We are in a day of reckoning.

Killing babies is murder. Life begins at conception. I believe it, and science is on the side of life at conception.

As the great abortion-awakening happens in this country, I applaud the movement for life.

But as more and more preachers and activists rise up calling abortion “The Great Sin of America,” I find myself wondering, is it really?

It is certainly the most horrifying, although the ongoing torture of sex-trafficked children in this country is also horrifying, so would we call that crime a close second? What about the terrible ongoing abuse of children?

In fact, it would be easy to make a laundry list of sins willfully acted out by abusers in the United States, but that’s not the point. The point is that abortion is one horrifying step in a series of great sins.

The United States is the world’s largest producer and consumer of child pornography. Let that sink in a minute. Pictures and video of children and teens being sexually abused, raped, and tortured are sold around the world daily. It is a huge industry, valued at approximately 1.4 billion dollars annually in the U.S. alone.

Is abortion “The Great Sin of America”?

We know that abused teens are more likely to engage in “risky” sexual behaviors, and abused children are more than 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy. Seventy percent of reported sexual assaults are against children 17 and under. And approximately 30% of these young people will go on to abuse their own children, which keeps the cycle going for generations. (americanspcc.org)  Not to mention that pornography is often an advertisement for prostitution and that men that view pornography are more likely to commit violent crimes and seek risky encounters over time.

Thirty-three to fifty percent of Christian men admit to using porn, purelifeministries.com. Pornography is often used as advertising for prostitution, and the desire for edgier material and sex grows with use over time–not limited to ‘the world.’

And in terms of sex trafficking, 55% of trafficked women have forced abortions, and over thirty percent have had more than one abortion and many of these are not reported or misreported.  In the linked article, “Researchers Uncover Disturbing Link Between Sex Trafficking and Abortion,” a girl describes her experience being trafficked as a minor. She says that she obtained birth control from Planned Parenthood, and not one person asked her if she was ok, if she was being abused in any way. The study shows that this treatment is typical of trafficked girls in the U.S.

And what about divorce and absent fathers?

Absent fathers are such an issue that there is a syndrome called “The Fatherless Daughter” syndrome. And it’s not just the dads–women initiate 70% of all divorces.

According to studies from Texas Christian University and many others, daughters of absent fathers are more likely to be promiscuous and to become sexually active at younger ages. These girls (and also boys) are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse as pedophiles consistently admit to targeting single mothers with children on dating websites and in their communities.

According to the “Darkness to Light” website at d2l.org, “Family structure is the most important risk factor in child sexual abuse. Children who live with two married biological parents are at a low risk for abuse. The risk increases when a child lives with a step-parent or a single parent.”

We are in a day of reckoning.

That aborted baby did not suddenly appear in that womb–it did not spontaneously form and the mother suddenly find herself in an awkward situation.

Two people had to have sex, usually outside of marriage (83% of abortions are to unmarried women, according to prochoice.org), and many times in situations of abuse, trafficking, or neglect, for that baby to grow in that mother. Stating the obvious here, but when we call abortion, “The Great Sin of America,” I think it bears further examination.

The Great Sin of America?

Sex trafficking of children, teens, and adults leads to abortion, often forced abortion with no accountability by providers or the community.

Abuse of children and teens leads to promiscuity which leads to abortion.

Absent fathers often produce promiscuous daughters, more likely to engage in risky sex, which produces more unplanned pregnancies, which lead to abortion.

Clearly adults have responsibility for their choices, and not all abortions are to victims or abandoned children, but it is undisputed that the roots of abortion run deep.

“The Great Sin of America”?

It points a finger, and it does catch our attention. It makes the problems of culture seem, while still terrible, much simpler than they are. If the great sin of America is abortion, then that sin has a limited scope and practice, and there is an obvious fix.

Whether expressed through passivity, pornography, child abuse, child neglect, unbiblical divorce, prostitution, promiscuity, or myriad other behaviors, the great sin of America, like current abortion law, is nothing new.

It makes the problems of culture seem, while still terrible, much simpler than they are.

The great sin of America is what has always been the great sin of mankind: Selfish pride. Selfishness that says “I want what I want, and I don’t want to know who it hurts.” And pride that says “It’s right because I want it to be right. I don’t care who disagrees with me–I said, ‘I want what I want!’”

Just as Adam and Eve’s great sin was not limited to covering their shame, but began with the distrust of God and the disobedience that resulted in shame, abortion is a fig leaf that covers a much larger area of sin.

Selfish pride is not as dramatic or emotional as abortion, and we are all guilty of it. Pointing the finger at abortive mothers and abortionists is easier than looking in the mirror; it is easier than asking God to show me my own selfish pride and how I have participated in my country’s great sin.

I was recently at a conference in Dallas where we were invited to repent. And it was good. And it is necessary. And I agree that a needed awakening is happening as the enemy has drawn a line in the sand with conversations inspired by the recent New York and Virginia laws.

But repenting for abortion is not enough.

The Pro-Life movement will succeed if we become truly “pro-life,” falling in love with creation and the statutes of God, and fighting tirelessly to see the Kingdom of Heaven come to earth in every way, not just in America’s delivery rooms.

If we are not careful, when we call abortion “The Great Sin of America,” we may ignore root causes and set up abortion to be a scapegoat for all other sins, and forget our responsibility for the ones that came before.

***

I know that many of you get this. Many of you are repenting and crying out for the many complex issues that face our country in this hour.

Lord, help us to see our part without condemnation, but with a deep conviction of how our lives can change to become a part of Your Kingdom solution on the earth.

You are magnificent. You are beautiful. You are lovely, and You know the answers. We ask You to teach us Your ways, God, and we repent of our own selfish pride. We ask You to heal our land.

Let it begin with me. Let it begin with Your people. We are not our own–we want more than a comfortable life. We want to have kingdom impact, whatever it looks like. Show us how it’s done, God. Give us the grace to follow through on Your strategies. In Jesus.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 1Peter4:17