September/October, 1997 Volume XII Number 8
Point of View
Error qui non resistitur approbatur:
"An error which is not resisted or opposed is approved."
by Jim Rudd
In an atmosphere of sensationalism and exploitation, the partial-birth abortion issue has attracted a proliferation of spiritual mystics, radio talk show gurus, and TV soothsayers. Some with a political bent try to expand their donor list. Others, with a more commercial emphasis offer some kind of trinket, and then, armed with an 800 number, try to take your credit card number.
Their modus operandi is basically the same: They describe in detail the partial-birth abortion procedure visualizing the trauma the baby experiences in death. After tugging the heart strings of their Christian audiences, they make their sales pitch. They tell us the partial-birth abortion legislation is "pro-life," and if we support their schemes or if we buy their stuff, it will all somehow "save lives."
Behind all this disinformation, we find a group of Non-Evangelizing Para-Church Organizations (NEPCOs). You know, the type of organization that's always talking about the government's support of sin but they never seem to mention the "R" word -- Repent. Classic examples would be National Right to Life, Christian Coalition, and Family Research Council. They talk about sin, they raise money off sin, but they do not require that the sinner repent. Much like the Parasites of ancient Greece -- priests who made a living off the sins of the people by gathering corn allotted for sacrifice to idols.
For years pro-lifers have watched how NEPCOs feed off the sin of abortion: When an abortion issue arises (e.g., government funding of abortion aid overseas or fetal tissue research), they launch a nationwide fund-raising appeal that feeds off of the developing issue. After the issue plays out, they resume waiting for the next abortion issue to arise. The solicitation of Christian funds from one emotionally-charged issue after another has led to the type of cheap exploitation we see in Christian circles today -- but don't expect it to go away any time soon. As long as the NEPCOs do not confront the abortion people with the evidence of their sin and call them to repent through Jesus Christ, they've got job security.
Up until now, all of these build-your-donor-list and get-rich-quick schemes have drawn hoots of disgust from many pro-lifers, who show their disdain by having nothing to do with the NEPCOs. Meanwhile, most of the Church in America is under the false impression that the partial-birth abortion legislation is "pro-life."
There is a rule of law which says, "An error which is not resisted or opposed is approved. "I believe the reason why most of the Church is under this "false impression," is that those of us who are doing the work of pro-life evangelism, are not disputing loudly enough the claims made by the NEPCOs. After talking to a number of pro-lifers around the country about this problem, I found that many would challenge the NEPCOs, but are apprehensive to publicly oppose big para-church organizations without biblical evidence to support their challenge. I pray this article will be of some help and encouragement.
Concerning the claim that the partial-birth abortion ban is "pro-life," a basic examination of the law will reveal the truth. "For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light." Proverbs 6: 23
The commandment says, "Thou shalt not kill." Notice how the law is pro-life. It protects the innocent by ordaining and establishing the act of murdering innocent persons as a crime. Murder is "the willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of an innocent human being." Nowhere in God's precepts, statutes, or commandments does it suggest that it is all right to limit the use of one particular method of murder while murderers continue to use other means of killing, and the rights of the innocent victims are totally ignored. But, when the NEPCOs call the partial-birth abortion legislation "pro-life," that is exactly what they are suggesting -- which is a pervasion of the law.
Moreover, since the illegal Roe v. Wade decision, the central issue to be resolved by the United States Congress is the inalienable rights of personhood. By discarding the central issue of personhood, the partial-birth abortion legislation, is no more pro-life than Roe v. Wade itself.
Roe v. Wade says, "With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in 'potential' life, the 'compelling' point is at viability. . . . If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe [prohibit] abortion during that period . . ."
Notice where Roe says that the state can "[prohibit] abortion" after viability, which means the State "may go as far as to" make all late term abortions illegal. But the Partial-birth abortion legislation attempts to ban the use of just one late term abortion procedure. Now, since Roe v. Wade is not pro-life, and partial-birth abortion legislation attempts to accomplish less than Roe proscribes, then what does that make partial-birth abortion legislation? At best it is a criminal attempt by the State to codify the unlawful act of murder. It's criminal because a state that supports Roe or attempts to codify a part of Roe, is committing the criminal act of murder and innocent blood is in its hands! This is because the law says, "Thou shalt not kill."
Some NEPCOs have suggested that the partial-birth abortion legislation is pro-life because "it brings the horror of abortion to the forefront of the public conscience." Many Christians support the legislation for this very reason. However, the pro-life movement will never obtain justice for the child in the womb as long as we replace the legitimacy of personhood with irrational sensationalism -- no matter how well-meaning our intentions are.
We must understand this key point: To correct the "criminal negligence" of government, we must address the cause. The cause for government licensed abortion is that government refuses to recognize the personhood of the child in the womb. By discarding the central issue of personhood, the partial-birth abortion legislation, or any so-called "pro-life" legislation with this same deficiency, does nothing more than prolong indefinitely government licensed abortion.
If our true intention is to see this nation repent of government-licensed abortion, pro-lifers must demand that governing officials pass legislation that recognizes the inalienable rights of personhood from the moment of conception until natural death. If they refuse, then we must insist that they repent or resign from office. For until such legislation becomes law, our governing officials are criminals, which makes us a nation of criminals guilty of murder in the first degree. Subsequently, in the process of passing such legislation, the public will have opportunity to examine all the many different procedures licensed by our government to chemically poison, pulverize into pulp, chop, burn, crush, and decapitate innocent babies by abortion -- all at one time! Then, as a nation of people, we can begin to realize the magnitude of our sin. "For by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3: 20
Jim Rudd is the Washington, D.C. director of the Christian Street Preacher's Alliance.
Copyright © 1997 Advocates for Life Ministries