The desire to avoid deeply disturbing realities by ducking into some alternate mental universe is a natural human reaction. The political vitriol coupled with the awful implications of the things we see and hear on any given day makes looking for some emotional escape hatch almost irresistible. Believe me, I would much rather be scanning the web for a video of somebody’s pet aardvark getting stuck in a doggie door than contemplating the hellish implications of what unfolded this past week in New York and Virginia. I’m referring, of course, to the legislation passed in New York and proposed in Virginia that allows the killing of babies not only up to the point where they’re ready to be born, but that even approves the killing of those that come out of the womb alive if the mother decides she doesn’t want it.
There are questions that we simply must not avoid. The first is, how on earth did we get here? How did we get so cold and callous as to allow a woman’s womb to become a crime scene for more unprosecuted homicides than any place on earth? How did we become so blind and foolish as to suppose that granting legislative approval to any behavior condemned by God somehow changes what it really is and makes it right?
The second pressing question is what on earth are we going to do about it? Are we going to seek another escape from reality while we hide and hope that somehow it all goes away? Does our fear of being attacked by the trolls on Twitter or Facebook trump all sense of compassion for the weak and helpless?
The sad truth is that this territory isn’t new, and the path that led us here was not a hidden mystery. History shows with consistent clarity that the path away from God and the principles for life that He gave leads inexorably to every form of selfish indulgence and the proliferation of violence and cruelty. Treating children like non-humans and killing them when they were inconvenient or particularly burdensome was commonplace in the pagan cultures that preceded Christianity.
Historic Precedents ~
Many modern and ancient authors have written about the way children were treated in those cultures. Various pagan authors indicate that children were considered non-persons in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. Female children were often abandoned because males were more valuable. The attitude toward various classes of people in the society was pictured as expanding concentric circles indicating a person’s worth. Free males were the center because they were the most valuable and productive. A variety of classes and occupations filled other layers, but the outer perimeter of worth was reserved for those valued least. That perimeter included slaves… and children. Both had horrific social implications. Children who survived infancy and early development were subject to be physically or sexually abused in any way imaginable, especially those born to slaves or poor parents. Children had no rights and no appeal for just treatment. A Roman father had the right to kill his son at any point prior to his coming of age. This is the kind of society that the world’s value system always produces. This is the world that God sent His Son to change.
Jesus’ Shocking Response ~
Given the attitude toward children that existed in the Roman world, and given Jesus’ obvious compassion toward the weak and abused, it isn’t surprising that people wanted to bring them to Jesus. They were the most vulnerable, the most likely to be abused, and the most helpless to defend themselves. Neither is it surprising that the disciples rebuked those who brought them since they were of such little value. Matthew’s report is simple and direct:
Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid His hands on them and departed from there. Matthew 19:13-15 (NKJV)
The disciples had concluded that children were an inconvenient burden and that the Master shouldn’t be bothered. Children had nothing beneficial to offer, no value, no strength, no skills, no social standing, no possessions, and they demanded time and resources that could be applied to more productive things. They were doubtlessly shocked by the unexpected rebuke that Jesus delivered, and no one was prepared for the declaration about children that followed. Jesus’ heart toward them was as radical and revolutionary as the love He offered every other helpless, hopeless, sin-cursed person on this planet.
Call It What It Is ~
Let’s clear away the political clutter. Abortion is about the premeditated killing of a human being. That means that it’s a spiritual and moral issue, and all the political posturing and manipulative semantics will never remove the spiritual and moral implications of it. Legalizing murder will never change the truth about what it really is any more than legalizing prostitution changes the true nature of what it is. Killing a baby in the womb, especially one that is about to be born, or who has just been born is no different in its impact on the child than the incident involving children being kidnapped and killed in Tanzania in order to harvest certain body parts to be used in a witchcraft ritual.
If we ignore killing children because they’re too much of a burden, attitudes toward the elderly and the handicapped will eventually follow suit. The farther any culture moves away from the principles God ordained for life, family, and social stability, the less life will be valued at every level. These abortion expansions being enacted are not just a political move. They are a death sentence to untold numbers of babies – over 3,000 of these innocents die every single day. This is another clarion call for us to act, and it could be our last. It’s way past time for us to abandon our ecclesiastical closets and our social media escape hatches and do what God admonished us to do:
Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9 (NKJV)
May God grant us the courage to stand up and to speak up for those who can’t. If we don’t, our freedom to do even that will soon be gone.
“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to Tweet & Share from the pull quotes below. Each quote links directly back to this article through Twitter.
- “History shows with consistent clarity that the path away from God and the principles for life that He gave leads inexorably to every form of selfish indulgence and the proliferation of violence and cruelty.” GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “Jesus’ heart toward (children) was as radical and revolutionary as the love He offered every other helpless, hopeless, sin-cursed person on this planet.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “Let’s clear away the political clutter. Abortion is about the premeditated killing of a human being … and all the political posturing and manipulative semantics will never remove the spiritual and moral implications of it.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “Legalizing murder will never change the truth about what it really is anymore than legalizing prostitution changes the true nature of what it is.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
Check out Ron’s book, “Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth.”
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Yes, if we don’t speak up, who will? This is what I posted on my blog yesterday:
Blessings, Ron, and thanks for this much needed article at this very sad time in our history.
Thanks so much for your response, Martha, and please forgive me again for being so tardy in acknowledging it. I’ve been sidelined a bit and distracted by some medical issues and my usually erratic scheduled has been kicked into another level. I appreciate so much your faithful and courageous stand for God’s truth, and thanks, too, for including the link. What a good message there is in that sign you shared. May God continue to bless you with faith and courage, and may the seeds you sow bear much fruit.