Anger over issues is always present in our churches. That doesn’t make it right; in fact, it is wrong. One of the great blessings in reading the Bible from creation to Revelation several times a year is to see predominant themes. One theme above all else is God is love. Another is that we need to imitate Christ.
Let’s take the issue of abortion as an example. I have given a large part of my life to promoting saving the lives of unborn children. I carried many pieces of pro-life legislation while serving in public office. I’ve often taken time to speak out on this issue across the country. I worked with mission teams to establish Christian crisis pregnancy centers in Romania. I supported and encouraged my friend to establish the worldwide ministry of Life International.
Yet for many years, I showed unrighteous anger and forcefulness in my writing and speaking. I took this approach as a state representative, a state senator, and even as a pastor in a Christian Reformed Church. I thought it was part of making a powerful presentation. Looking back, I should have presented my views with Christ-like love.
Now, at age 76, I see more and more anger among Christians in the church. Angry Christians, in the name of Jesus, go after fellow Christians over politics, legalization of abortion, homosexuality, and more. This expression of anger is dividing churches, families, and friends. It is giving evil a foothold in the church. I believe we must be more Christ-like in our discussions, no matter the issue. But let’s focus on abortion.
I’ve always seen human life as sacred, born or unborn, people with disabilities or able-bodied, the aged, the young, and everyone in between. From the opening chapters of Genesis, throughout the Old Testament and New, it is very clear that we are image-bearers of God.
Furthermore, we need to recognize that at the very root of abortion is Satan’s goal of destroying the image of God. Is the legalization of the killing of babies different from the Old Testament’s worship of Molech by offering their children to their heathen god? Abortion, a spiritual issue, is flatly wrong. In fact, the CRC’s position is “that an induced abortion is an allowable option only when the life of the mother-to-be is genuinely threatened.” Satan delights in destroying the image of God.
We must in a Christ-like way share this insight with fellow believers with righteous anger tempered with Christ-like compassion. I know that many in the church today believe in what they call a woman’s right to choose, but don’t fall for Satan’s schemes. We as fellow believers must share the truth of the gospel on this spiritual issue. Most importantly, we must present our case in Christ-like love and compassion.