It’s scary how easily the media swing our attention away from what really matters to what really doesn’t.
As I write this, newspapers, television, and the Internet are abuzz with the latest on airport security procedures. The topic of debate is whether full-body scans and pat-downs are over the top or merely common sense. This while thousands of abortions take place in North America every single day.
But abortion stopped being news a long time ago, so we forget about it. We allow Diane Sawyer and Lloyd Robertson to set our agendas. And that’s wrong.
The position of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) on abortion can be found at www.crcna.org. (Type “ethical positions” into the search bar.) Here’s a summary:
From the point of conception on until we die, all human beings are made in God’s image and have unique value.
“The church condemns the wanton or arbitrary destruction of any human being.”
“An induced abortion is allowable only when the life of the mother is genuinely threatened by the pregnancy.”
Believers should show Christian compassion and offer support to women experiencing unwanted pregnancies, as well as to women who have undergone abortions.
Christians should “promote action and legislation that reflects these biblical teachings.”
Christians should reject all violence toward those who perform or assist in abortions.
By and large this position still enjoys a good deal of support among us, with the possible exception of whether abortion should also be considered an allowable option in cases of rape or incest.
But governments in both the U.S. and Canada have moved on. We’re dreaming if we think that either country will toss this “hot potato” back on the political agenda anytime soon. That doesn’t mean we should stop trying to bring it to their attention—and we do, through such agencies as the denomination’s Office of Social Justice and Hunger Action and the Committee for Contact with the Government in Canada.
In the meantime there are countless CRC folks who quietly and steadfastly continue the battle against abortion. Agency employees and volunteers offer counsel and essential support to women and families faced with unwanted pregnancies. Others support single parents who face overwhelming challenges. Still others work diligently to bring people out of the cycle of poverty and the heartrending moral dilemmas it brings. These efforts have brought the number of abortions down significantly in both countries.
At the start of this New Year, consider making a resolution to seek out these sisters and brothers. Thank them for their work. Encourage them. And, if you’re in a position to do so, join them in those efforts.
And don’t do this only once. Regardless of the direction the news hounds may be off in at the moment, keep this in your prayers. Standing in line at a security counter could jog your memory—or witnessing a baptism.
Let’s care enough to routinely take note of all God’s children who could have seen the light of day but were needlessly denied the opportunity. Then let’s lend a prayer and a hand to bring Good News into that painful tragedy.
About the Author
Bob De Moor is a retired Christian Reformed pastor living in Edmonton, Alta.