I Am Going Way FURTHER Out Onto Thin Ice Here

In response to one of the comments by Matches on my most recent post, I found myself actually writing another post. So I decided to copy it here. So in its entirety and in its original form:

“Matches, you bring up a great point on the war and abortion thing. You could add in capital punishment too, which it seems to me is more about vengeance and revenge than it is about punishment. It seems that the family’s of victims always speak about the death penalty with a tone of hatred and anger and bitterness toward the convicted. Certainly this would be a very human reaction, and I am not in any way trying to make light of it.

Another area where I see similar conflict is with in vitro fertilization. I know a lot of Christians who are very much in favor of this practice while they vehemently oppose abortion. I even had one Christian physician tell me that the greatest thing we can do as Christians is to create life. I am not sure where he gets that from. I don’t understand this. If the pro-life way of looking at things is that life begins at conception, how can one knowingly create 10-15 or 20 little lives in a dish by uniting sperm and egg and then put 8-10 of them in the uterus hoping that one will take hold and turn into a pregnancy. How can you know from the outset that you are going to sacrifice 8 or 9 of those lives? Or how can you run the risk of all 8 or 10 of them taking hold and ending up with one of those stories. Most of those pregnancies end in the death of some or most of the babies. Only the few successes make it into the news. And then how can you know that there is a problem with what to do with the remaining 8 or 10 lives that are left in the dish and then frozen indefinitely until somebody decides what is best in the future.

It just seems like such a double standard, to be against destroying life by abortion but to be for destroying life by in vitro fertilization. Please do not misread me here, I am not passing judgment on in vitro, I am just pointing out the inconsistency of having a pro-life view and a pro in-vitro stance. It seems to me that the pro in-vitro stance is actually more in line with a pro-choice view.

Well now it seems I have put another post in my comment section. Maybe I will link to it.”

Again, just because I am posting on very sensitive topics here, I am not passing judgment on anyone on either side. If you have had an abortion, I offer you grace and love and will do anything I can to ease your pain. Or if you feel alright about it, great. We can be friends and have different views. If you have had in vitro and I have stepped on your toes, please be at peace. I am not passing judgment. I am just putting things out here that I have been thinking about for an awful long time and have not had the opportunity to discuss. My intent is in no way to judge, it is only to have open discussion.

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4 responses to “I Am Going Way FURTHER Out Onto Thin Ice Here

  1. You are attacking what many conservative evangelicals consider a sacred cow. Thankfully your tone is very gracious as this is one of those conversations that needs to be had. Theologically speaking, I think it is important to oppose abortion. But, theologically speaking, I think it must be done without coercion (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.), that is, when we oppose anything it must be done in a “Christian” manner. Unfortunately, that has not always been the case.

    One important thing you have done in this discussion is expand the conversation about being “pro-life”. To be completely pro-life one must think beyond the unborn. Being pro-life regarding the unborn is simpler (not necessarily simple) than thinking about how a consistent pro-life ethic would be applied beyond birth. This would include everything from war to capital punishment to poverty and beyond.

    Ron Sider wrote a book called “Completely Pro-Life” about 20 years ago where tackled this subject. Unfortunately, it has only been the last few years that evangelicals have talked about the breadth of this subject. Of course, when we talk about it with one another we need to so as Christians, that is without coercion. You’ve done a great job at that Doug. Thanks.

  2. I agree with most of what you say here and in the previous entry. As Christians, we have to have an ethic of life that encompasses more than just babies. The only place I don’t agree is as to how it affects my voting. The way I think about it is this: 1.2 million fetuses die annually from abortion in the US alone, 96,000 (.08%) after the age of viability. This is far more than the casualties from the Iraq war (24,000 last year) and capital punishment (42 last year) combined. So, since I can’t find politicians who will work to prevent all three, I have to choose to put into office the politicians who will work to prevent the source of the most deaths. I have had Christian friends who see the issue differently present their perspective, and I can appreciate their view, too. But I just have not personally been convinced that “There’s nothing we can do to stop deaths from abortion, anyway, so let’s focus on the war.” I think we still can reduce deaths from abortion by electing pro-life leaders. If I am missing some facts, I am always willing to reconsider – this is just where I stand right now.

  3. Come on, Doug. Give some thinner ice.

  4. “…theologically speaking, I think it must be done without coercion (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.), that is, when we oppose anything it must be done in a “Christian” manner.”

    Here I go, skating on the thinner ice…

    I think it is wiser and more practical to oppose abortion nationally through political-legal channels and individually by means of persuasion. However, I do not agree that it is necessarily more “Christian” in every situation to refrain from more forceful methods. Bonhoeffer was famously opposed to Hitler, and was convinced as a Christian that he needed to do something more than talk. There is “a time for war and a time for peace.” (Eccl. 3:8) God help us to know the difference.

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