Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

What difference does a few yards make?

Every Saturday morning Christians meet outside the abortion clinic here in Louisville to pray, to proclaim the gospel, and to attempt to persuade women to seek help at A Woman's Choice Resource Center rather than having their children killed in the "clinic".

In proclaiming the gospel, some of us engage in 'open-air evangelism' or 'street-preaching': a type of activity that has a long heritage in Church History and that we see modeled in the Bible (see, for example, Acts 2).

A few Saturdays ago it was suggested that move back a few yards from where we were accustomed to preaching, despite the fact that we were already within our legal rights to preach exactly where we were. When I asked about why we were being asked to move, I was told that there were two reasons:

1. Because we were upsetting the women within the abortion clinic;

2. Because there was the distinct possibility of legal action being taken against all of the Christians in front of the abortion clinic-- in terms of actions being taken to curtail our activities-- and the most vocal ministry of 'street preaching' so close to the clinic may tend to make judges sympathetic to possible complaints.

My friends and I decided that we should NOT heed the request to move. As we discussed the situation, I argued against moving, because:

1. We want to be heard by the women inside the clinic:
a. In any other environment in which you saw a person about to have a child dismembered, you would physically restrain that person from harming the child. Now, there are certainly many reasons not to physically restrain mothers entering the abortion clinic, but there is NO reason not to exercise our legal right to present the truth that abortion is murder (and along with that to proclaim the hope of the gospel).
b. The very fact that the women inside the clinic can hear the pleas of those outside is interesting because the volunteers for the abortion clinic are constantly jeering the 'street-preachers' saying, "They can't hear you!"
c. The fact that the women inside the clinic are upset by the preaching they hear is also interesting, because some volunteers for the abortion clinic try to argue that what we are doing is analogous to 'protesting' at a dentist office where people are having their teeth pulled (because they claim that the child in the womb is a part of the mothers body, like a tooth). But if I were to go to have a tooth pulled and were to hear people outside proclaiming that tooth-pulling is murder and I need to seek God's forgiveness, I would not be upset; it would be obvious that the people were insane. The women in the abortion clinic, however, are upset, because their conscience testifies that what they contemplating grave wickedness.

2. If we were ordered by the authorities to move, then we would have to carefully consider whether we should, in this case, submit to those in authority or if this is an example of a time when obedience to men would mean disobedience to God, in which case we would obey God rather than men (see Acts 5:29). But to shape our evangelistic activities around what some wicked people might do is to fall into the snare of fearing man, rather than to find safety in trusting the LORD (see Prov 29:25).

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