08 August 2006


Some time ago (a week? a month? who knows), I was directed to an Anne Lamott writing via relevantgirl’s blog. I adore Anne. Her blunt struggles and love of Christ make me want to go hug my neighbor. Her word crafting makes me blubber my lips with my finger, “uh, I dunno, I dunno,” and run screaming from all writing attempts. I love Anne. So this is not meant to be a diatribe against Anne. Anne’s article (along with many other discussions) has had me thinking through Christian responses and Christian love of humanity and humans. Anne’s article, specifically, was a rant against the pro-life Christian arguments. I understand and fully support the need to constantly re-evaluate our “Christian” values. What is tied to our national values? What is a passing cultural value? What is affirmed by the Holy Spirit through the historical and global church? Anne, I think, would put pro-life in a passing cultural value and hold up pro-choice. Her arguments are not bad: why bring a child into a bad system? Why not, instead, focus on making things here more gracious and loving? I understand this, and I am not arguing that every Christian needs to actively protest abortion, just as I would never argue that we all need to protest environmental abuses or slave labor in clothing factories in the same way. But I do believe that abortion is lethal. I believe it is wrong. I believe it is assuming that we know what is best rather than trusting God. Euthanasia, the death penalty, abortion, murder, suicide, all deny Christ’s victory over evil and death. All, in some way, seek the easy way out. Is God not so big that He can’t handle even this problem of evil, even if it is uncomfortable and painful? Can He not use it Job-like to bring glory to Himself and show us a greater picture of His love and grace? My niece did not come at a convenient time. Life was hard for my sister. But neither my sister nor my parents nor I can imagine life without this gift from God, without my niece’s laughter and love.


Nick Kennicott said...

Heather - good post.

I too like Anne Lamott. I remember reading Traveling Mercies when it first came out and I was still in High School. It sounds though like Anne has taken the road that so many evangelicals are deciding to travel. To suggest that we should change our worldview because of shifting cultural norms is a terrible assertion. To suggest that we should support abortion because it will keep unwanted children from entering a "bad system" is completely ignoring the fact that the Bible tells us things will be this way -- imperfect, and we're not to flee from the world but rather live and work in it. Our greatest example is Christ. Never so low was anyone humbled than our Savior, having come to earth as God to borrow everything and hang on a cross. Where's the good system there?

Abortion is one of the most disturbing acts of avoiding personal responsibility there is. I grow increasingly amazed that it is such a big issue for people. Abortion is murder -- slaughter -- of innocent, helpless, children. Shame.

Robin said...

Gee, Heather, guess you aren't one to shy away from the tough stuff, as evidenced here. I have never read Anne Lamott, but I guess her name comes up often enough I'm curious.

Although I agree with the essence of your post, I wasn't quite sure of your point. Who can argue? Abortion IS lethal, its singular effect IS the ending of life. It IS playing God, in a very real sense.

Is God not so big that He can’t handle even this problem of evil, even if it is uncomfortable and painful? Can He not use it Job-like to bring glory to Himself and show us a greater picture of His love and grace?

That quote from your post is what I wasn't sure about...I'm trying to formulate my question so you'll understand my confusion, but I'm finding expression is difficult. Here's a stab: Are you saying that God can use the fact abortions are a way of life for many, ultimately for His glory in some way? Or that He can rid the planet of its intrinsic evil? What is the uncomfortable and painful part? Abortion itself, or making the sometimes "harder" choice to deliver an "unwanted" child? Wow, those are difficult questions to even ask, b/c the whole subject is so grievous to me.

I often think about those women who secretly chose abortion, then later came to a saving knowledge of Christ and regretted their decision; and now sit in churches where it's denounced and they hide their wounds b/c of shame and fear of judgment. Are we, as the Church, speaking love and acceptance or judgment and condemnation.

Sorry, I don't think I'm having the same "conversation" you were having, but your post prompted me to these thoughts. Good post, I love to be challenged to consider how Jesus would respond to contemporary "issues".

(man, I use too many quotation marks :/)

Heather said...

I think you are absolutely right about the church showing more judgment than love. No matter which way it goes, it is always a hard decision. In the quote you mentioned, I meant choosing abortion shows a lack of trust in God to use the birth of the child, even into an evil world, to glorify Himself. Of course, this assumes that one has a relationship with God.
I do apologize for sounding judgmental here. I know that I have gotten frustrated with others who have sounded judgmental in their opposition of other issues as it sounds to be an opposition of people. And I do cry for women who are dealing with the fallout of having an abortion. I also cry for the women who aren't able to have children and would be happy to adopt the "unwanted" children.
Thanks for your thoughtful post.

Robin said...

Actually, I didn't think you sounded judgmental, Heather, just frustrated (as all who are opposed to this national tragedy). It's a "world hunger" type issue, and while I can't get my mind around solving the problem on a large scale, I've pondered my part on a smaller scale (some of which I've already alluded to). Yes, I believe God can use this to bring glory to Himself, and He could "solve" any issue in an instant. I guess He rather chooses to use--or perhaps allow-- circumstance for our good (ultimately), His glory, and the advance of the Gospel. My capacity for evil grieves me, how much more so it must grieve Him! I am EVER thankful for His grace!!

Margo Carmichael said...

I marched with hundreds of others on the 10th anniversary of Rov v. Wade and helped place a black wreath on the courthouse doors of Dallas, Texas, where Roe v. Wade was heard. My sign said "Abortion is sin"/"But God forgives."