To aid me in my ongoing quest to understand abortion, Micah – one of my esteemed colleagues at On The Rocks Blog – recently put me in touch with a friend of his, Pastor Kevin Morse of Theta Baptist Church in Columbia, TN.
Troubled as I am by the ongoing Pro-Choice/Pro-Life debate, scratching my head about what sense to make of it all, there were seven questions I wanted to pose in my abortion interview with Pastor Morse.
My expectation was that he would email back some short answers from which a good quote or two could be pulled out for the follow-up feature to my first Aborting Abortion post, 2 Wrong Assumptions About a Woman’s Right to Choose. After reading his comprehensive reply, however, I have decided to post his answers in their entirety as their own feature. I hope you will find them as encouraging and enlightening as I did.
Aborting Abortion Interview with Pastor Kevin Morse
Why are you Pro-Life?
I’m pro-life because I believe in and worship the God of the Bible, and since I’ve been bought by Jesus Christ my concerns and desires have changed. I love what He loves and hate what He hates. His creation of human beings was unique, set apart from everything else he created. Not only were we “very good,” but we were made in God’s image. You could argue that all of creation was made to highlight God’s glory through the way he relates to human beings by creating for himself a people, and a kingdom (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-27). Human life is precious, and the wrongful, unjust taking of human life is evil, and always to be condemned.
Why do women get abortions?
There are a whole host of surface level reasons for women getting an abortion, and some of those reasons are tragic. I go out to an abortion center every other week or so to share the gospel, and have friends around the country who are out there every single weekday that they are doing abortions. What I’ve mainly seen and heard are women who kill their babies for the sake of convenience. You see a lot of women who come in nice cars, with nice phones, nice clothes, clearly middle to upper middle class who are there because having a baby right now would not fit into their plans – whether because they’re college students, unmarried, just had another child, the child is not their husband’s or boyfriend’s, and so-on and so-on. And you see a lot of teenage girls who have been engaging in sexual promiscuity. Another thing you see are girls who are there because their boyfriends or husbands want them to get an abortion.
But why are they really getting an abortion? Because they have exchanged the truth of God for a lie. That lie is that personal autonomy, personal comfort and convenience, justify covering up this ‘mistake’ by getting an abortion. They are rebelling against God. One of the things I love about being at the abortion center is that there’s no middle ground there. It’s not like when you’re hanging out with your neighbor, small talking about the weather and wondering how you can shift the conversation to the gospel. The whole reason they are there is to kill a baby, and so you’re not going to say, “well, I sure hope the rain stays away!”
I talked with a lady a few weeks ago. She’d brought her daughter, or maybe her granddaughter, to get an abortion. I asked her if she’d take a packet from me. Our packets have information about the baby, other clinics, adoption agencies, and the gospel. She took one, and I asked her why she was here supporting the death of a little baby. Her answer was that she’d never do it herself, but who was she to judge someone else’s life and tell them what to do? I asked what she would do if there was a third person standing there, and I pulled out a gun and told her I was going to shoot this person in the head. Would she tell me that she doesn’t judge anyone and can’t tell me how to live my life? Of course not! As long as she doesn’t have to admit what abortion is, she doesn’t have to face that sin.
These people are there to do what we all try and do with sin when we don’t trust in Jesus Christ – cover it up and hide it. Many of the women who are there conceived those children through a sinful act, and are hopelessly trying to hide the evidence and get on with their lives. It just doesn’t work that way though. First, those ladies will live with the guilt, the doubt, and the shame of that abortion for the rest of their earthly lives. Then they will stand before God and be judged for that sin before they go to eternal condemnation in hell. It’s simply awful to think about. The saddest fact is that so many of them will admit that they know exactly what they’re doing to that child, but they don’t care. They’d rather have their life the way they want it.
We go out there to bring hope to those ladies. They don’t have to kill a baby to cover their sins. Jesus Christ will cover their sins and they can live life in a way they’ve never imagined. We often hear people who say we’re just there to condemn and bring shame upon these ladies. My response is that we’re there bringing hope in the face of condemnation and shame. We live before the eyes of God. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can save those women.
What do you think about the undercover Planned Parenthood videos?
It’s amazing to me. I have praying for years that God would destroy Planned Parenthood’s corrupt organization. Lo and behold, while we have been praying, an organization has been compiling the kind of information that should open the eyes of the public.
When William Wilberforce and others were battling against the African slave trade, one of their greatest weapons was simply to educate the public on exactly what was going on. The slave traders, and their supporters, would lie and say things like ‘The slaves spend their time on the ships playing music, smoking pipes, singing, and dancing,’ when the truth was far more barbaric and evil. As the public became aware of how these humans were being treated worse than animals, the slave traders began losing ground.
Planned Parenthood and its supporters have lied about the sanitation – the clean, clinical approach to abortion. They have lied about their good intentions. As we see babies chopped into pieces, as we hear about living babies being cut apart, thrown in toilets to drown, the lies are being exposed. Justice comes when the light is shown on the darkness. Keep the videos coming! Force people to open their eyes and decide if they can live with the horrible reality behind such an innocuous term, abortion. And Christians should take the opportunity to use these videos as conversation starters.
Is abortion as much a consequence of the man’s choices as the woman’s?
In the sense that, when you walk back down the road, that abortion came about because a man made the choice to have sex and conceive a child, yes. And that’s actually an important point to make. For the vast majority of cases, the sin didn’t start with abortion. Abortion is the response to another sin that was committed. To truly end abortion, we must also speak clearly and boldly about the evil of ‘free sex.’ But even the culture of free sex that we live in, where it is the norm to try out a partner before committing, or just to have a good time with no strings attached, is not the fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is that our culture does not honor God as God, or give thanks to him, but has become futile in their thinking, and so its foolish heart is darkened (Rom. 1:21).
The absence of a moral center for our sexual behavior is the fruit of that reality, and the option of abortion to cover it up only makes sense from that worldview. That’s why we must fight this evil with the Gospel, not simply with a list of moral rights and wrongs.
But to the question – yes. We make mistakes when we give the other side the right to make definitions for us. The idea of a “woman’s choice” – the unquestioned, personal autonomy of one individual woman to do as she pleases – is the bastard child of a skewed understanding of liberty, marriage, and family. Remember, these are the people who want to fundamentally change the understanding of family, of marriage, and of raising children. They admittedly don’t believe that parents should be the primary influencers of their children, they admittedly want to remove the constriction of marital bonds from sexuality for everyone, and they have a preconception that the idea of a woman submitting to a man ever is always and absolutely wrong.
Christians must disagree with them on every single point. But those are the points that drive their definition of a woman’s choice! The Bible makes it abundantly clear that men, as fathers, have a huge responsibility over their children. Paul lays that responsibility on fathers explicitly in Ephesians 6:4. The sad irony is that some of these women think they are taking responsibility by getting an abortion, while the men just think they are getting a free pass. But every man who has stood by and done nothing while his child was killed will be held responsible for that heinous act. They did not care for that child, did not protect that child, and did not provide for that child.
Abortion is just one building block in the larger case that will ultimately condemn everyone who is outside of God’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ. We have to teach and disciple those under our care that marriage is a partnership between a man and woman. Submission is there, service is there, love and sacrifice are there. Complete personal autonomy? Not so much.
Do men play more of an active or passive role in women getting abortions?
I haven’t been engaged in this long enough to give you a definite answer on that. I can just tell you what I’ve seen. I see a lot of women who come in alone, and so I don’t know what their stories are. I’ve seen boyfriends who come with their girlfriends to get abortions. They will tell you until they’re blue in the face, “It’s her choice.” They’re dodging responsibility, and so I would say they are active in the abortion because they are completely passive in taking responsibility for that child. I’ve seen dads who bring their daughters, brothers who bring their sisters, and friends who bring a friend. On the whole, from my limited interaction, boyfriends and dads can be incredibly active in supporting an abortion because they want to avoid the reality of a child. They want sin without the consequences. Friends and siblings have the attitude that says, “It’s not my problem so why do you care so much? I’m just here because she needed a ride.”
One man I know who shares the Gospel at a center was physically assaulted by a boyfriend because God used my friend to convince the pregnant mom to keep her baby. The boyfriend was furious, and the police had to be called! Dads who bring their daughters can blow up because, of all things, they are trying to ‘protect’ their daughter’s reputation by killing their grandchild. These men are totally passive about taking responsibility for the baby though. Maybe that’s because they believe the lie our culture has fed us about a woman’s choice. Ultimately, these men need to be called to stand up as men and be held accountable. God will one day judge them, and they need forgiveness now. What our culture needs, in general, are less passive men and more men who will stand up and take their God-given responsibilities on their shoulders. We’d see a lot less abortions then I think.
What do you believe is the most effective way to combat abortion?
The most effective way to combat abortion is for the church to simply live out our call to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples. I say “simply” not because it’s easy and simplistic. It is hard, all encompassing, complex, and should consume your life because you’ve been called to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. I’m not going to say protesting is the most effective way, or that crisis pregnancy centers are, or mobile ultrasound units, or political action. God has called different Christians to use their unique abilities and gifts for the sake of the Gospel. Here’s what should be happening:
- Every Christian should be sharing the gospel, and seeking to make disciples in their home and in their community. Every person who comes to an abortion center to murder a child is in the middle of a tragic story. One of the problems is this – how can we catch this person before they reach this point? They’re now at the edge of the waterfall, getting ready to go over. How can we catch them a few miles upstream? The answer: Christians intentionally bringing the message of the gospel with them wherever they go. Christians build relationships with sinners where the Gospel can be proclaimed.
- Christians who are burdened to go and stand outside abortion centers should do that. It’s a hard place to be, and not for everyone. You see people at their worst out there, and emotions are running high. It’s a place for mature Christians, not for immature, temperamental, angry, high-strung Christians. Those ladies need hope, not drama.
But Proverbs 24:11-12 says:
“Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?”
If that doesn’t apply to abortion, I don’t know what does. Not every Christian should be there, but I’m sure that Christians should be there.
- Christians who have the time and opportunity should volunteer at Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and proclaim the Gospel. Many of these centers are at least vaguely Christian, although they oftentimes water down the Gospel or allow non-believers to counsel the women. There are still opportunities there to help, and to build relationships with the ladies who come. There are also a growing number of explicitly Christian pregnancy centers too. Definitely support them.
- Christians with the knowledge, training, and opportunity to engage in political action for the sake of the souls of these people should. Our hope isn’t in political systems, but we still (at least for now) live in a system where we can engage and work to bring about change.
- In the church, find out what you can be doing. I know of a church that is raising money to buy a house for single ladies who keep their babies to live in while they get their feet on the ground. I know church members who are willing to adopt babies that are saved from abortion.
- Pray, pray, pray, pray, and pray! God delights to answer the prayers of his children. Spurgeon said, “Prayer is no hard requirement, it is the natural duty of a creature to its creator, the simplest homage which human want can pay to divine liberality, and those who refuse to render it may well expect that one of these days when in dire extremity they begin to bemoan their folly, they will hear a voice from their insulted God, saying, “I called and you refused; I stretched out my hands and no man regarded; therefore I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock you when your fear comes!”
- At the end, our greatest weapon is the Gospel. If a sinner’s heart is changed, you have given them hope in this life and the next. You have given that baby not only the opportunity to live, but to live with a parent, or parents, who believe in Christ. Why would we ever doubt that God could change the heart of a murderer? Let the lion out, and get out of its way!
Is there anything men who are Pro-Life can do to stop abortion?
Absolutely! They can be engaged in every one of those 7 things I just mentioned. Behind every pregnancy that leads to an abortion is a man. That man needs the Gospel to change his heart. If Christian men were sharing the Gospel with the men in their lives and communities, who knows what God would do? At the abortion centers, we need men out there who will speak graciously, who will also challenge the men who come there to encourage the death of their children. In the Crisis Pregnancy Center here in our town, I know they need men who are willing to meet with the husbands and boyfriends of the ladies who come there. We can’t buy the lie that it is only a woman’s choice. That lie is predicated on a skewed understanding of the family. We’re called to something better. We live in the sight of God.