Adoption, Abortion, and the Savior Who Enters Our Mess - Posted 10/18/2017

From Pastor Chris

About halfway through our adoption training in 2005, Rachael and I ran into another couple from our class. They had news. A birthmother had chosen them to adopt her baby. We instinctively rejoiced, an exultant reaction that met sober eyes and strained smiles. They continued the story, sharing that the pregnant mother had conceived the child in an adulterous relationship with a man in her church. The decision to make an adoption plan was mired in questions about whether her husband would divorce her and, if not, whether he would raise another man’s child. This took us on an emotional ride from 0 to 60 to a screeching halt–all in a few seconds–as we realized that adoption is a messy business all around.

The same can be said for abortion. The most recent statistics* reveal that 60% of women who have abortions already have at least one child. Combined with the facts that unmarried women account for 85% of all abortions and three-fourths of abortion patients are low-income, the dynamics of broken relationships and strained finances are undeniable factors in this decision. 

So when we talk about engaging women in crisis pregnancies with the love of Christ, we are rarely talking about tidy situations with obvious solutions. We are talking about entering into a tangled mess.

This is why holding up “Abortion is Murder” signs is both an inadequate and callous way to address the fact that 1 in 5 pregnancies in our state end in abortion. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know how else to categorize ending a pre-born life than as murder. But neither do I believe Jesus would hold such signs if he walked in our world today. He held no signs against prostitutes or tax collectors. Scandalously, he ate meals with them. He entered their mess and saved his inflammatory rhetoric for hypocritical religious leaders.

This is why our family is filling up a baby bottle with change to support Sanctity of Life Ministries and encourage you to do the same. This Christ-centered ministry compassionately offers care to women who see abortion as their only solution. They bring no simplistic cliches but whole-person care to the crises these women face. 

Along with our support of this ministry and the specialized medical care they provide, we must give attention to the broader relational and economic factors that play into these crisis decisions. Our existing ministries of food and clothing are part of the solution. Your quarterly giving to the benevolence fund enables us to help neighbors in emergency situations, including single parents and homeless families. Families in our church have adopted and are in the adoption process. 

Yet we should prayerfully consider what further ways God may want to use us redeemed sinners to disentangle the mess that sin creates. How can we equip parents to form healthy bonds with their children? How can we deepen loving, pure-hearted community that welcomes the sexually broken? How can we advocate for affordable housing so that families can have room to grow? These restorations of God’s shalom are bigger than us, which is why our role is to pray and wait to see what God-sized work he wants to bring about through us.

Jesus entered our mess with grace, forgiveness, and love. With hearts transformed by his redemption, let us do the same with our neighbors. and

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