Inclusiveness Excludes The Most Helpless
We've been talking about the doctrine of inclusiveness, which has become the foundational doctrine of some United Methodist Churches. With this post I am getting back to discussions I had with a pastor of a specific UM Church. Although she started each of the services I attended by stating that everyone was included, in a discussion we had following one of the services it was plain that one group of people are intentionally excluded.
Imagine what it will be like when you grow old. As you become older you lose both your physical and mental abilities. How old do you have to be before you become an inconvenience to your family? An inconvenience for them to be driving you to the doctor or helping you around the house? Or an inconvenience just to spend time with you when they have more important things to do? How old do you have to be before you become a financial liability for your family?
Or is it a matter of your loss of physical and mental ability, not your actual age, that makes it inconvenient for your family to have you around? For this United Methodist pastor it was age. If you would be an inconvenience for your family, and you were of a certain age, she believes it is okay for your family to arrange to have you killed.
What is that age?
Zero. Here is what that Sunday.
The opening prayer for the service was:
"Great God, you have brought your word to us today. Before the womb's wonders were our home, you knew us as unique individuals, sacred parts of your creation. In the mystery of the womb you protected us. Out of the womb you have brought us. Empower us to ministry and mission, with the confidence of your divine touch. Amen."
Then there was a confession an assurance that was said by the entire congregation in unison:
"Eternal God, you knew us before we were conceived in our mother's womb. Forgive our efforts to hide our struggles from you. Forgive our excuses for failing to act in accordance with your holy will. Forgive our failure to trust that you are with us and will sustain us. We ask this in the name of the One who calls us and equips us for ministry. Amen."
These were based on the scripture reading for that morning, which included Jeremiah 1:4,5
"The word of the Lord came to me saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart."
After the service I approached the pastor. In an excited voice I exclaimed my joy that here was a church that understood God created and knew us in the womb and that we were sacred parts of God's creation. A church that understood abortion was wrong... that abortion was taking the life of a human child, who was created by God and who was special and sacred to God. Her reply was, "I never thought of these verses that way." Then she proceeded to support abortion as being good and right.
But we didn't have much time, she had a meeting to go to. She said it was complicated, in particular for a 13 year old girl who was pregnant. And that was that.
Science has known for for a long time that from the moment of conception a baby is a unique human being. The Bible says we are infants sacred to God from the moment of conception. We know that murder is wrong. So what is so complicated?
A 13 year old girl who is pregnant.
Let's start with some facts:
3% of abortions are done because the mother's health is an issue
3% of abortions are are done because the baby's health is an issue
1% of abortions are done because of rape or incest
93% of abortions are done for convenience.
For a 13 year old having a baby could very well be a medical problem. That is a decision for a doctor, the young girl, the young man and their parents to make. If there are no medical problems, let's ask this question: A 13 year old has made a serious mistake. Is that mistake so serious that it requires the death penalty? Not only that, the death penalty is applied to a totally innocent person. The baby did nothing wrong, but the baby gets the death penalty.
There may be many other problems a pregnant 13 year old can have. My question to the pastor would have been: where are the Christians and your church? Where is your Christian love? Love the young girl and the baby. When is the last time you or your church helped a young girl or woman who was pregnant? They are both God's creation. God knows them as unique individuals, sacred parts of His creation. How can you kill (violating God's command not to murder) sacred parts of God creation?
I recommend reading Why Pro-Life by Randy Alcorn. It is a good book for people on both sides of the issue. This book is so good that we have been featuring it as our monthly book recommendation for the last 10 or 12 months. It has a list price of $10.99. You can get it for just $1.99!