Saturday, May 02, 2020

Pharisees and Abortion

Some Christians are saying that God has sent that coronavirus as a punishment for increasing numbers of abortions in the west. That is not true. First, God is not the source of the pandemic. More important, many Christians have the issue wrong.

Abortion has become a “Pharisee issue” for many Christians because it allows them to focus on sins that Christians don’t do, and ignore the sins of Christians that really hinder the advance of the Kingdom of God.

I am a male so I have never been in a position where I needed an abortion. None of the women I am close to have ever thought about having an abortion. That means that I am not in the place where I have the right to judge those that do.

A single girl belongs to a Church when she gets pregnant is in a totally different situation from a girl in the bad end of town who finds she is pregnant to a man that she now realises is a loser. The girl in the church has a chance to make something of her life, whereas the latter doesn’t. I don’t have the right to judge her from where I stand. I don’t have the right to judge a woman who gets beaten by her partner and finds that she is pregnant with a fifth child that she cannot afford after he forced himself on her.

I have observed that in many of these situations, the male walks away relatively unscathed, while the woman carries most of the scars. So it is odd that many of the organisations that fight against abortion are led by men.

The Pharisee stood and looked at the man who had sinned and thanked God that he had not committed the sins that the man had done. But he had never needed to commit those sins because he was rich. But he was totally blind to his own sin. Looking at other people and condemning their sins is a good way to make us feel better about ourselves, but it is hypocritical.

I believe that aborted babies go straight to be with Jesus, which is not a bad outcome for many of them. This means that abortion is really a self-punishing sin, so the people who suffer the most are the guilty women who had the abortions, and sometimes the people who have conducted them.

I don't think God is that worried about "their sin". He expects the world to sin. He is far more worried about "our sin", the sins of the church that hold back the advance of the kingdom of God.

Abortion is not a new problem. With virile young Roman soldiers wandering around the countryside, I presume plenty of young Jewish girls got pregnant, some willingly and others by force. No doubt some would have found a way of having an abortion to avoid the shame of carrying the baby of Gentile. However, there is no record of Jesus challenging the abortionists who operated in the towns he visited. He concentrated his criticism on unrighteous wealth and using the law to make people miserable.

The woman who anointed Jesus feet with precious oil in the house of a Pharisee was a well-known sinner (Luke 7:36-50). She had most likely been a prostitute, which would likely mean that at some time she had needed and obtained an abortion. Jesus did not condemn her by pointing out her bad sins, but told her that her sins were forgiven. Instead, he criticised the Pharisee’s lack of hospitality and hypocrisy.

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