Sara (not her real name) was in our office for a pregnancy test and ultrasound. Her test was positive and Sara was not very happy because she did not want to be pregnant. Twenty-one years old, she had one previous abortion and was strongly considering another. When asked how she was handling her first abortion, Sara made a comment which has been haunting us ever since: “I am doing good, mostly because of the support I have gotten from my church.” She was sure they would be there for her again this time, providing the approval and assurance that she needed to proceed.
I am hoping we misunderstood what Sara was actually trying to say. I also realize that people often hear what they want to hear. Perhaps they were just reaching out to her with love after the abortion to help her find healing (which should be the response of God’s people!) However, her impression was that her church supported her decision to abort, and, therefore, as a believer, she felt no guilt.
Statistics show that the abortion rate is really no different for Christians than it is for those of other faiths or those who don’t attend church at all! The same is true for pre-marital sex. Over 95% of the women who come to us at the AAA Center for Pregnancy Counseling are single and sexually active, and 55% claim to have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Some admit that they are living a sinful life which they know is displeasing to God, but the vast majority have not made that connection at all! They see no contradiction between their sexual activity and their faith.
A growing number also see no connection between aborting their child and their relationship with God. Just this week, a young woman who attended church and claimed to be a believer stated that her abortion was okay because God would forgive her. When her advocate reminded her that God forgives, but there are consequences for our sinful actions, she became very angry and accused the volunteer of being judgmental. Perhaps her church has been afraid of the same reaction and been holding back on teaching the sometimes hard truth of the Scriptures. Right and wrong have been watered down in a sea of overemphasis on love and acceptance.
Growing up, I was taught that I should mind my own business and never appear judgmental. It seems like the church today has accepted this philosophy as its mantra. It is true that Scripture is full of exhortations against judging others, but it is also full of absolutes of right and wrong. Many of the young women we see have been raised in the church; however, the church has failed them. Surrounded by a culture which has taught them to find happiness in one sexual encounter after another, they now face the harsh reality of an unplanned pregnancy and the ravages of sexually transmitted diseases. And the one place that should have loved them enough to warn them failed to do so. (Actually, their parents failed them as well!)
We have a team of speakers that go out into the schools to encourage young people to respect themselves and to safeguard their education and their future by saving sex for marriage. Beginning in the fall, we will be adding a program which will focus on African-American youth and teach them why marriage is the best option for them and their children. Couples who have been married for many years will come and speak to the classes, giving them a living example of how it could be for them as well.
We have a measure of success with our school outreach; however, if the same message is not repeated at home and from the pulpit we will have very little chance of real change. What good does it do for us at the Center to share God’s Word concerning saving sex for marriage or the sanctity of life if they do not hear the same message from their pastor? After all, who are we? What official credentials do we hold?
Our world is at a critical juncture; more children are born into single parent homes every year, which also translates to higher and higher rates of child poverty. STD’s are raging out of control. And, even though there has been a lot of good news legislatively, the abortion rate is still way too high. Again I ask: WHERE IS THE CHURCH?
Keeping it true! Barb