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Doctrinal differences are important to the Lutherans because at the root of every false doctrine is the devil, seeking to destroy the Gospel.

Saturday, October 01, 2005 AD

Abortion and the Message of the Church: Sin or Salvation?

...was the title of this tract I picked up at our church Immanuel Ev. LCMS from Lutherans for Life. I liked the tract and thought I share some with you.

There are some pictures that catch you eye but I couldn't find on their site so I'll just list them: a cross, an altar, a glimpse of Genesis 1, a silouhette of couple with stained glass in the background and a cross again. No offensive aborted babies (though there is a time for that).

Now on to the text:
"Sandy" is pregnant by her boyfriend and doesn't want to tell her parents because her parents think she's a "nice" girl. Being pressured by her boyfriend she consents to having an abortoin.


She writes:
"I was wheeled into a small O.R. and right before the valium was put into the I.V., I asked the Lord to forgive me and take me to heaven if I died. You see, my spirit knew I was about to do something sinful, even if my mind denied it. My spirit knew I was committing a grievous sin."


The tract continues: Was Sandy's abortion her salvation from a difficult situation or a "grievous sin"? What is the message of the church?

The tract shares "The Message in History" by citing some scholars from our ancient church history. "It (abortion) is one of the only several moral issues on which not one dissenting opinion has ever been expressed by the Church Fathers," writes Eastern Orthodox Alexander Webster. He includes Western writers from the time of the Apostolic Fathers up through those in the period of the Gregory the Great and the Eastern Fathers during the entire Byzantine millenium (AD 330 to 1453). "Even a cursory reading of the patristic literature reveals a relentless campaign against the inhuman sin of abortion."

The tract shares more:
"The Didache commands, 'Thou shall not murder a child by abortion,' and then connects this with the second great command, 'Love you neighbor as youself.' The split between East and West did not affect the ecclesiastical teaching on abortion. Both Rome and Constantinople warned against it. Unanimity was also seen after the split caused by the Protestant Reformation."


The tract quotes Luther:
"For those who have no regard for pregnant women and who do not spare the tender fruit are murderers and infanticides."


One from Bonhoffer:
"Destruction in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely confused the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to created a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.


The tract also quotes Calvin, Barth and Thielicke.

In the section "The Message in God's Word", the tract shares:
"...If life is the work of God's creating hands, then life has intrinsic value, and therefore, destroying life, including unborn life, is a sin against God."

The tract continues with some verses from Genesis, Exodus, Job, Psalms, and Acts.

In the section "The Message in the Church Today", the tract shares:
"The message of the church in history and message of Scripture concur, abortion is sin. Only very recently has the message of the Church been, "abortion is salvation," an acceptable way out of a difficult situation. That message has been proclaimed loudly by the silent pastorate of the Church. "I don't preach about abortion. It is a political issue." "I don't preach about abortion. I don't want to offend." "I don't preach about abortion. I only proclaim the Gospel of Jesus."


"Abortion is never a mere political issue. The destruction of God's gift of life makes it a grave theological issue." The tract gives a warning to complacent pastors with Jeremiah 6:14.

It continues:
"Failing to preach about abortion offends women more grieviously than preaching about it. If the sin of abortion is never mentioned, then the Gospel - that Gospel pastors have been called to proclaim - is never applied to that sin nor to those caught up in the pain and guilt of abortion. Instead, Satan whispers through the silence, 'This sin is so awful, even Jesus can't forgive you.' ...The Church has the message of forgiveness and hope that can bring healing.


The tract concludes:
"Sandy did not find salvation from her problems through abortion. Rather, she found a 'grievous sin'. Abortion is a sin against God, the Author of Life. That makes it a necessary part of the Church's message. There are many Christians who have had an abortion. That makes it part of the Church's message. There are many Christian women who have had abortions and are burdened with unbearable guilt. That makes it part of the Church's message, another opportunity to proclaim the hope of the Gospel of Jesus."


If you have a chance to look at this tract do!

I hope to share some of what Hermann Sasse has to say about abortion in the near future.

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