Hello Everyone, this email was written to someone in our congregation concerning abortion. I thought that others might want to read it as well. It begins with the my saying that this person’s questioning of abortion was not in error.
Your understanding of the Scripture is not wrong. However, please consider the fact that the Old Testament is an eastern mindset document, not like our western mindset, which takes all points literally. And this results in some really awful theology. The two mindsets, eastern and western, is a major study, and one of the realities is that everything need not be taken literally. We especially find this in the first 11 chapters of Genesis. Solid Bible scholars through the ages will view these differently, and the dangerous mindset insists that everything is to interpreted all literally or the way they see it. Christians have long experienced this, which is why there are so many different interpretations. I commonly talk with or meet with those who are interested in our church and want to be sure I agree with what they believe, and more of it having to do with politics than points of theology. This is common, too common, and every pastor has to face this, and it so often involves politics, and so many other issues that are not even bibically oriented. Got to tell youI must say, anyone who desires to be a pastor these days ought to have their heads examined. This is how bad it is.
The reason I mention the Talmud is because it reflects the way the ancient Jewish scholars viewed things. It is not from the Christian community, but helps often to reveal how Old Testament passages were interpreted by those people then.
I hate abortion, and much of this has to do with the reasons some seek it. There are tragic stories out there, everything from incest, dieases, threats from others, sex traffiking, prostitution, complete ignorance, mental illness, criminality, poverty, hate and rejection, to . . . , and I could go on.
I remember when I was in high school in the 1950s, it was not uncommon for teen girls at our Verdugo Hills High School in Los Angeles to go to Tijuana, Mexico, for an abortion. At the time we idiots laughed about it all. A couple of these teenagers I knew did not survive, and a couple were rendered sterile. Yes, they could have given birth and had these babies adopted out, but who knows what goes on within families. I will not act the judge. And we cannot forget that some abortions are done to save the mother’s life. Things can get really complicated.
My concern is that much of the press has managed to blame Christians for overturning Roe v. Wade, and it is causing havoc in churches across America. “Look at what those awful Christians are doing now, pretty soon they will ban contracepion.”––you can almost hear it now. And this whole thing will get worse and worse. I see it all as a fulfillment of 2 Peter 5:8. We cannot forget the bottom line, and that is the preaching of the Gospel that others might be saved. My concern is not so much about abortion, but the impact we are seeing now as a result of the ruling. I present no position at all. Frankly, I am not sure what the truth is. Way too complicated for a guy with my bandwidth.
As followers of Jesus we want to let others work things out for themselves and not demand they adopt our positions. I want people to hear the Gospel and not package it with political and ethical positions. The Apostles’ Creed says enough. There are so many different reasons that compel a person to one position or another, and much of it is often emotional with very unpleasant personal experiences in the background. And by the way, I have found people will begin with a particular ethical or moral position, and over time will change their minds.
Everyone has to be free to make up their own minds. Abortion is a very complex issue, and I doubt that anyone grasps all of the complexities. I only object to villifying anyone who has a different point of view or who is simply puzzled by it all and is therefore unable to state what they think.
As I like to say, we must agree to disagree and depend upon the working of the Holy Spirit to bring about righteous change.