File 121

How Churches Can Help Make Abortion Unthinkable

In accordance with the Great Commission, churches are commanded to make disciples of all nations and to teach all that God has commanded (Matthew 28:19–20). One of those commands is to not shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17, Jeremiah 7:6). Christians must therefore address the abortion crisis in a meaningful and committed way. An essential part of this response is to value ministries to unborn children in this country as much as we value ministries to born children in other countries. As Jesus said, "Whatever you did to the least of these, you did it to me" (Matthew 31:40). The following points are ways your church can be an integral part of ministering to the unborn.
  1. Get Educated

    The effectiveness of any pro-life activity is strongly influenced by the quality of education behind it. While many Christians are against abortion, substantially fewer have reasons for their position, and fewer still are able to explain those reasons to others. As a result, many pro-lifers have little to no conviction about their position on abortion and thus take no action to stop it. Others who attempt to take action are often disregarded by abortion supporters as having unfounded opinions.

    Here are some starting points for increasing your conviction and for improving your ability to discuss the issue of abortion:

    • Read Pro-Life 101, by Scott Klusendorf.
    • Read The Unaborted Socrates, by Peter Kreeft.
    • Read the resources on CCBR’s website, particularly the section "Pro-Life Classroom"

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  2. Preach frequently about the sin of abortion.

    The following steps should be taken to maximize the potential for saving lives:

    • Show the video Abortion: Before & After or similar abortion imagery during the main worship service. Arrangements should be made to take children of elementary age and younger out of the services for the short duration of the video. Adequate warnings also need to be provided so people can avert their gaze if they do not wish to view the video.
    • Preach in tandem with CCBR’s public projects (e.g., the Reproductive "Choice" Campaign).
    • Make the faithful aware of their civic responsibilities, such as their duty to vote and to hold elected representatives accountable as well as to withhold their business from companies which support abortion.
    • Address professionals (e.g., doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lawyers, police, and teachers) about their responsibility to not compromise their consciences for the sake of their careers.

    Encourage church members to volunteer with pro-life organizations like CCBR and pregnancy help centres.

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  3. Consistently emphasize sexual purity.

    When King David committed adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), her resulting pregnancy would reveal their sexual sin. David chose to avoid the consequences by first orchestrating the death of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, and then taking her as his wife.

    Abortion is a modern-day version of killing in order to conceal sexual sin. Sexual promiscuity is widespread in society but also amongst believers. Christians in particular are more likely to feel ashamed of their sin and to attempt to cover it up through abortion. It is therefore essential to address sexual impurity such as with presentations, sermons, and Bible studies on chastity and God’s design for sex.
     

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  4. Organize and facilitate church-wide prayer and fasting.

    Some demons can only be cast out through "prayer and fasting" (Mark 9:29).

    • Host events similar to the 24-Hour Famine in order to raise awareness and funds for pro-life organizations.
    • Encourage worshippers to sacrifice daily or weekly by fasting in some way (e.g., giving up dessert one night).
    • Pray for pro-life organizations such as CCBR, especially for their staff and volunteers.
    • Organize prayer vigils for specific intentions such as the conversion of local abortion providers.
    • Lead church members at prayer services near abortion facilities.

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  5. Invite a CCBR speaker to your church to preach during the main worship service and provide other opportunities for such speakers to train youth and young adults to defend the pro-life view.

    There are many encouraging testimonies from people who have heard CCBR’s presentations. Here is a sampling:

    • "I came in choice; I’m leaving life. I was one of the ‘what ifs’ pro-choicers, but the arguments against (e.g., killing born people) were too strong."
      —18-year-old female, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
    • "Well, at first I was thinking if my girlfriend got pregnant we would abort it. After this presentation I was thinking, and I would just go with it and have the baby because [otherwise] you’re killing an innocent child."
      —16-year-old male, Notre Dame Secondary School, Vancouver, BC
    • What was your position on abortion before the presentation?
      "I didn’t really care. I never thought about it."
      Did your position change in any way due to the presentation?
      "Yes. After seeing the movie and hearing everything from you I see how wrong it is."
      If visual aids were used in the presentation, which ones and what are your comments about them?
      "The movie changed my opinion." —15-year-old female, Wheaton, MD
    • "Actually, I thought that I might be pregnant and I was going to get an abortion. After the video, it showed me what I would have done to my child."
      —14-year-old female, Christian youth group, Surrey, BC

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  6. Assist the fundraising efforts of pro-life organizations such as CCBR.

    "If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?" (James 2:15–16) Many Christians will say to us "May God bless your work" and then we never hear from them again. The effort to save babies requires funding to be effective, and serious pro-life activism is often crippled by insufficient financial resources. Christians who are serious about stopping the killing must engage more than just their tongues in the fight. The following are but a few ways to encourage and facilitate your congregation’s involvement in this battle:

    • Direct the funds of a Sunday collection to, or organize a special collection for, pro-life ministry.
    • Implore senior-citizen worshippers to remember pro-life work in their estate planning.
    • Organize fundraising events such as dinners and auctions.
    • Encourage youth groups to organize fundraisers such as car washes.
    • Help recruit physicians, dentists, accountants, and other professionals who worship at your church to donate their services (or considerably reduce their rates) for both pro-life organizations and full-time activists.

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  7. Start doing "Choice" Chain with people from your congregation.

    "Choice" Chain is a great way to engage the culture, and to put your pro-life apologetics knowledge (that you would have learned in points 1 and 5 above) into practice. Learn more by clicking here.

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  8. Help men and women who are in an unplanned pregnancy situation (e.g., single parents or struggling families) to keep their babies by providing financial and moral support to them.

    When imploring men and women to continue with an unplanned pregnancy, we have a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate true Christian charity by walking alongside them, easing their load. Several things can be done in this regard:

    • Encourage worshippers to donate time, goods, and services to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.
    • Encourage students and others to babysit and to do housework and errands for free.
    • Organize fundraising events to purchase essential items for pregnant women’s needs (e.g. baby and maternity clothes, diapers, stroller).
    • Pray for and mentor men and women who are going through this crisis.
    • Spiritually restore them by helping them find forgiveness and healing for their sins.

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  9. Offer post-abortion healing programs.

    "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

    "I rejoice now, not because you were saddened, but because you were saddened into repentance; for you were saddened in a godly way, so that you did not suffer loss in anything because of us" (2 Corinthians 7:9).

    Both men and women who have been involved with abortion experience tremendous hurt and pain resulting from having participated in a decision to kill a child. This hurt and pain will not be relieved until these individuals are healed, but to be healed they must be forgiven, and to be forgiven they must repent. Repentance is impossible if one is in denial about what one has done. The church must both facilitate the healing process and guide these individuals through it so that they can be restored.

    • Make available in your church library post-abortion resources including pro-life books, talks, and videos. For more information, contact the Elliot Institute [www.afterabortion.org].
    • Pray for and mentor men and women who are struggling through a post-abortion experience.
    • Spiritually restore them by helping them find forgiveness and healing for their sins.

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  10. Encourage worshippers to take personal responsibility for fighting abortion.

    As a priest, pastor, or minister, it is important to lead by example. By taking initiative in your capacity as a spiritual leader to implement some of the other items in this list, you will be giving a powerful witness to the importance of assuming personal responsibility in the fight against abortion. Demonstrating a firm commitment will impart greater credibility to you when exhorting your parish or congregation to take personal responsibility against abortion in their lives.

    And the involvement of parishes and congregations is vital. Modern-day Christians collectively possess an enormous amount of money and manpower that could stop abortion virtually overnight—if the commitment and determination to do so were there. But they must be activated, and they must be lead. And they must start somewhere. Encourage them to start with the ideas in How You Can Help Make Abortion Unthinkable

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  11. Provide pro-life literature and materials at your church and place pro-life messages in your church bulletins and on your lawn sign.

    Clergy can facilitate grassroots action by ordering the following materials in bulk, displaying them in a prominent location at their churches and making them available to worshippers freely or at cost:

    • Pro-Life 101 books (by Scott Klusendorf). Learn to dialogue and give presentations about abortion:
    • Unmasking "Choice" pamphlets and Is Abortion Genocide? pamphlets. Quickly refute the most common pro-"choice" arguments with logic and images. To order, contact CCBR.
    • The Boycott List. Learn which companies support Planned Parenthood and take your business elsewhere or, better still, donate the amount you would have spent to organizations like CCBR that will use your money to save babies instead of to kill them: www.fightpp.org

    Abortion is almost always out of sight and therefore out of mind. Increase awareness and combat apathy by keeping the abortion issue at the forefront of your congregation’s mind.

    Reach those who pass by your church building by placing pro-life messages on your lawn sign. Suggested quotes include the following:

    • "It is a poverty to decide a child must die so that you may live as you wish." —Mother Teresa
    • "Abortion: if it is so horrifying we can’t stand to look at it, perhaps we shouldn’t be tolerating it.i
    • "Abortion is an act of violence which kills a baby."ii
    • "Silence kills babies. Speak out against abortion."iii
    • "Friends don’t drive friends to abortion clinics."iv
    • "Abortion kills babies, wounds mothers, and hardens hearts."v
    • "If you vote pro-abortion, you are pro-abortion."vi
    • "The greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion." —Mother Teresa
    • "The Pro-Life Movement will only succeed to the extent that pro-life people are willing to be inconvenienced."vii
    • Abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy.
    • Over 100,000 babies are killed by abortion each year in Canada.viii

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  12. Encourage other clergy in your denomination to address abortion and to promote CCBR.

    The Scriptures make it clear that abortion is against God’s will. Where denominations have positions that are in line with this Biblical teaching, religious leaders need to encourage their fellow clergy to be outspoken on the sanctity of life. Where such positions are lacking or are in contradiction to God’s law, clergy must work to reform their denomination.

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