In this episode, Ray will break down an article by Phoebe Cates from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission website telling believers to not preach against abortion from the pulpit.
Loose transcript of the video:
Today I going to talk about an article by Phoebe Cates published on the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission website about abortion, and why abortion should be condemned from the pulpit. Now, The ERLC is the political arm of the Southern Baptist Convention helmed by the progressive Russell Moore. Cate’s column is titled “Why our hearts matter when talking about abortion”
The article itself begins with citing a statistic that one in four women will have an abortion by the time they reach 45. This comes from the Guttmacher Institute, the pro-abortion research firm. One in four is a lot. The rest of the article does not seem to recognize the severity of the premise stated in the first sentence. The article goes on to say:
- 66% of women knew that abortion was wrong when they had it
- 67.5% of women said that having an abortion was one of the hardest decisions of their lives.
- Women reported symptoms of depression (14.4%), guilt (14%), shame, regret, self-hatred, feelings of worthlessness, feelings of being unworthy of love, drug or alcohol addiction (9%), low self-esteem, anxiety, and thoughts or attempts of suicide (6.2%).
Cates then says “These reveal that most women don’t need you to tell them that abortion is wrong; they know it is.”
Actually, 66% is pretty low. Do only 66% of women believe murder is wrong? The Southern Baptist Convention believes that abortion is murder unless to save the life of the mother. This has been the stance since 1980. She goes on to say:
God’s Word tells us that the law is written on our hearts, so that when we sin our conscience bears witness (Rom. 2:15). What women with abortion in their past, or who are considering an abortion now, need to hear most is that Jesus came, conquered their sin, and offers healing and eternal life. It’s what we all need to hear most.
Actually, if a woman is considering an abortion, they need biblical council. They need to hear that they are considering murdering their child. She stated that 67.5% said it was the hardest decision of their lives. If abortion was not murder, it would be an easy decision. The counsel she is offering implicitly promotes antinomianism. “I won’t tell you not to murder your child. Jesus came, conquered sin, and will heal you afterwards. By the way you still got eternal life.” Doesn’t quite sound like a biblical approach when you say it aloud. With her approach, it’s no wonder why the 66% of women who said they knew it was wrong went on to murder their child anyway. Moving on:
So, you don’t have to post internet memes and videos, display bumper stickers, or make rude comments to tell me how terrible abortion is. Nor do you need to shout it from street corners or pulpits—I know. My mother knows. Over 66% of women know.
The rest of this article seems to articulate a supposedly loving alternative. The pulpit line here is where much of the Evangelical Dark Web went off on this article. And for good reason. What she’s saying is that we shouldn’t preach on sin because we know what sin is. Again, there is a significant percentage of women who apparently don’t know, which completely undermines her point. But sin and repentance is embedded in the Great Commission. The first public message of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark reads:
14Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
This comes after John the Baptist preached repentance. Peter’s first Sermon in the Book of Acts preaches repentance to the same people that cheered the crucifixion of Jesus. Did they know! Only 66%.
Comparably, let’s say 66%, since we love that number today, of men struggle with porn. Should we not preach against porn because sin is written on our hearts? People struggling with sin need to hear that sin condemned. For the church to stay silent on matters of sin empowers the devil to twist the desires of our hearts to justify sin in the minds of fallen men. The prevalence of abortion, especially among congregants is all the more reason to increase our preaching on abortion from the pulpit.
Staying silent on abortion is not how we show God’s love. Staying silent on sin is not how we share the gospel. The fact that she cites statistics showing the prevalence on abortion yet wants the church to pacify its message on abortion shows that she is more interested in downplaying the severity of the bloodshed rather than share the Gospel. That’s the ERLC for you.
Instead, increased pro-life fervor has led to the passing of the most pro-life legislation post Roe. The ERLC should be promoting the message of abortion being murder, but instead they are publishing an article wanting us to stay silent on it. That’s not orthopraxy.
If everything fact about abortion Phoebe Cates said was true, we should be more vocal about abortion, not less.
That’s all I have for today. Like and subscribe. Let me know about what you think about what we think. I’m Ray and this is Bad Doctrine on Christianity Visualized.