Abortion: What Is Your Verdict?

It’s been a sheer delight for me to be with
you in this series of studies on the question of abortion. We’ve tried to look at it from various perspectives,
from a theological and biblical perspective, from the perspective of natural law and ethical
considerations, and then examine briefly some of the legal parameters that are so closely
related to this issue of abortion. And on many occasions, I’ve said, that one
of the difficulties in sorting out an issue of this sort is that there’s so much emotion
involved with it. Now, one of the reasons there is emotion,
my dear friends, is that because we are not dispassionate minds or intellects. We have been created so that there is a link
between our understanding and our feelings. And I have to confess to you that in dealing
with an issue of this magnitude and trying to be sober about it, I personally have to
endure an inner struggle with my own passions because I have reached a verdict. I am totally convinced through the evidence
that I have tried to set before you in our discussions that abortion involves the destruction
of a living human person, that it is a kind of murder. It involves killing human beings and I cannot
look at a question of that sort and merely respond to it with a cognitive intellectual
evaluation. My response has to be one of passion. Now, there are occasions where I have to give
my signboard and I have to use my bumper sticker as it were when I am asked straight out on
a television program interview or radio interview what I think of abortion. And there, I don’t have six sessions to develop
the whole debate on the matter and to give a carefully reasoned argument. I have to answer quickly, spontaneously, and
get my point across and whenever I do it I always say the same thing. I say that in my judgment, abortion is a monstrous
evil. Abortion, ladies and gentlemen, is evil. There is such a thing as evil, and there are
degrees of evil obviously. There are those sins against God, crimes against
humanity that have greater or lesser severity, but I know of no crime more severe than the
wholesale slaughter of human beings by abortion. I am convinced, ladies and gentlemen, that
this is the most profound ethical issue that has ever touched the soul of the United States
of America, and I don’t think it is going beyond the bounds of decency to describe it
as many opponents to abortion have as a new Holocaust. The only difference between this and the Holocaust
in Germany was that in our nation we have sanctioned the deliberate destruction of far
more many millions of human persons than were done in the final solution of the extermination
camps in Germany. And even those people who were the victims
of such diabolical planned murder in World War II, at least they had some years of life
on this planet — five, ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty-five, but we are denying life itself
to those before they even are born. That is a monstrous evil. Now, I have strong feelings about this. The feelings range between being enraged,
being hurt, being disappointed, being puzzled that we could allow things like this to happen. I remember when I was a young boy, I almost
lost my life. The most ill I ever was was when I was 10
years old and I was stricken with double pneumonia and that was a time when pneumonia was indeed
a life-threatening disease. And normally in the process of a childhood
illness of that sort in those times in the 1940’s, children were taken to the hospital
and treated there under the careful supervision of physicians and nurses. But at the same time as I had the pneumonia,
I had measles, and so they wouldn’t let me into the hospital. And I had a soaring temperature of a hundred
and five-and-a-half that lasted more than one day for several days and became dehydrated,
and the time that my illness became so critical that the family physician came to our house
and sat by my bed, force-fed me liquids, and he sat by my bed all night from evening — from
sundown to sunup, our doctor came and sat there watching so carefully to preserve my
life. And when I recovered from that illness as
a young boy, I walked away from it with an enormous sense of respect and admiration for
doctors. I really thought doctors were the most wonderful
people on this planet because here was a man who self-sacrificially stayed up all night
to hold my hand, to wipe my brow, to give me liquids because he was passionately committed
to save human life. His was a vocation that concentrated on healing
rather than on destruction. And so I have struggled internally about my
own feelings towards the medical profession and I want to stand on a street corner and
say “What has happened here?!” What happened to the devotion, to healing
that has been the trademark and characteristics of the medical profession not only for centuries
but for millennia? Up until just a few years ago, every licensed
physician in the United States was required by law to take the Hippocratic Oath, and if
you remember, Hippocrates in antiquity was a man who was so committed to the healing
arts and to the promotion of life that he had stated on more than one occasion his vehement
opposition to abortion. Now, suddenly a whole profession that took
his oath began to practice the art of abortion for hire and the Hippocratic Oath was deleted
from the profession. I don’t know how other way to say but to say
to you that personally, tragically, I am ashamed of the American Medical profession. I am profoundly ashamed at any doctor who
would willfully perform an act of abortion, but I’m as much ashamed of the rest of the
community of physicians who have tolerated this within their own profession. Many, many doctors who won’t themselves perform
abortions will refer a woman to an abortionist without compunction and I know there have
been heroic physicians who have cried protest to this outrage. But, ladies and gentlemen, if you have reached
a verdict, if you have come to the place in your thinking where now you have been persuaded
that abortion is wrong, that abortion is killing human beings, I urge you it’s not enough simply
to have a consciousness of it, and it’s not even enough to have a conviction on it, it’s
not even enough to have your conscience held captive about it. If you really believe that abortion is murder,
if you really believe that this involves the killing of a living human person then it’s
not enough to have fireside chats about it. We need rise up to speak at every opportunity,
to protest in outrage against this assault of innocent victims, because that unborn child
is a victim, a real victim in the sense of being helpless and defenseless at his own
destruction. But something that’s often overlooked in this
drama is that the unborn child is not the only victim. For every child who is killed in abortion,
there’s at least one other victim. It’s the mother of that child. On the one hand, I would think that any woman
who contemplates abortion who goes through the anguish of the moral struggle that it
involves, “Should I or shouldn’t I?” “Is it right? Is it wrong?” You know, there’s a sense in which I am persuaded
that at the deepest recesses of her heart and the depth dimension of her soul that woman
knows, she knows that that is not right. But at the same time, that woman is being
encouraged by her friends, by the press, and most significantly, by her physician who is
telling her with his authority, with all the respect that is granted to the medical community,
the medical committee is saying, “Come, I’ll take care of your problem. We’ll get rid of this invading tissue that’s
not really human and for a fee, for your money we will kill your baby.” Now, I realize that’s an emotional way to
put it but we dare not ignore the fact, ladies and gentlemen, that abortion right now has
come close to a one billion dollar a year industry and that the practitioners of abortion
in the Medical Society have a very lucrative thing going here and they have a powerful
vested interest in the destruction of human being. To me that it is outrageous! I see no difference fundamentally between
the doctor who performs an abortion for money than Murder Incorporated. We are receiving financial remuneration to
destroy human lives and so it is in the vested interest of that doctor to convince the woman
who is having the abortion that it’s perfectly healthy, normal, and routine for her to do
it. And so at that point, the mother becomes a
victim, a victim of false information, a victim of trusting an authority figure from the medical
profession or even from her pastor, that I find even more outrageous, that pastors entrusted
with the care of the Word of God will sanction abortion. Now, I know when I talk in these terms, people
are going to respond and say, “Hey! He’s trying to lay a guilt trip on us, on
the doctor, on the minister who counsels in the direction of abortion and on the woman
who has the abortion.” I want you to understand if you are in that
position, yes I do want you to feel guilty. I want you to feel guilty enough that you
will turn from that kind of behavior, but, ladies and gentlemen, I cannot impose guilt
on you. I can’t impose guilt on the doctor. I can’t impose guilt on the woman, or on the
pastor, or on anybody who votes for abortion. I can maybe try to stimulate guilt feelings,
but I can’t make you guilty if you’re not guilty. I think, well, you need to go back to square
one here in ethics and understand that there is a profound difference between subjective
feelings and objective reality. It’s a critical distinction. If a person is guilty of a crime, if the person
has transgressed the law and doesn’t feel guilty, that does not mean that person is
not guilty. Supposed a sociopath was involved in serial
murders where week after week this killer set loose brutally butchered innocent human
beings and his last murder was captured on videotape, he left his genetic fingerprints
on the murder weapon and so on, and so that the evidence for his conviction was absolutely
overwhelming and he’s brought to trial. And the judge says, “Where is your defense
counsel?” he says, “I don’t need a lawyer. I’ll defend myself.” And so the judge says, “How do you plead? Guilty or not guilty?” and the sociopath said,
“Not guilty your honor.” “So what’s your defense? You have all this evidence that screams that
you are guilty. What do you mean not guilty? What’s your defense?” And suppose this murderer stands up in front
of the court and said, “I am not guilty because I don’t feel guilty.” What kind of a defense is that? Real guilt is not determined by feelings but
by real states of affairs, and ladies and gentleman, if you have broken the law of God
with respect to the sanctity of life, if you have killed where God forbids you from killing
then you are guilty. You may not feel guilty but you are guilty. I often talk with people who are not Christians
about the truth claims of Christianity and they want to debate the existence of God,
they want to debate the person of Christ and so on, and after going through these discussions,
often I will come to the final point in the discussions. I say “OK, we’ve looked at the philosophical
issues. We’ve tried to examine the validity of the
arguments, but I have one question left for you as a human being, friend to friend, person
to person.” And the straight out question I ask people
in this circumstance is the question, “What do you do with your guilt?” You know, I’ve never had a person look at
me straight in the eye and say, “Well, I don’t worry about that because I don’t have any
guilt.” I have never met a person who doesn’t have
any guilt. All of us have guilt. All of us have broken the laws of God and
that’s a serious matter. And so I say to my friends, “What do you do
with your guilt?” Now one of the most common methods of dealing
with guilt that we have and use as human beings is the desperate attempt of rationalization
and self-justification. In a word, ladies and gentlemen, the most
common way that we handle our guilt is by denial. We have to do that to be able to live with
our own consciences. We have to say, “Oh, I’m not really guilty.” But sometimes, like Lady Macbeth, no matter
how hard we scrub our hands, we cannot make them clean. The first murder that was committed on this
planet involved the cold-blooded slaying of a man’s own brother. And when Cain killed Abel, he did everything
in his power to cover it up, to hide it, and God came to Cain and said that, “Your brother’s
blood is crying out to me from the ground.” Well, if God could hear the screams of the
blood of Abel, how much more are His ears assaulted by the screams of the millions of
babies that we have killed? We can’t cover it. Denial won’t work. It’s too real. And when I see women who come to themselves,
do you remember the story of the prodigal son? The prodigal son who wanted his inheritance,
who wanted to live according to his own freedom without restraint, in total liberty to do
whatever he wanted to do. He went to a far country to do it. He went into that far country where no one
knew him, where no one would restrain him, where no one would judge him, where no one
would rebuke him, and he squandered his fortune and you know the story. He ended up, in order to survive, living with
swine, and then the moment came, whereas Jesus tells the story, the young man came to himself. Suddenly his conscience came alive. The point of denying, and denying, and denying
ended and he said, “I will arise and I will go to my father.” Now, I have seen women who have gone through
the experience of abortion who on countless occasions have said to me and to others that
it wasn’t such an easy trip after all and that their friends who encouraged them to
do it said, “Oh, there’s nothing to it. You’re in, you’re out. You know, there’s no pain and it’s a quick
solution to the pressing problems that I have in the light of possible scandal or an alienation
from my community and so on.” But they looked at me as people who’ve been
deceived — have expressed a sense of betrayal — “I didn’t realize what I had done.” And when they came to themselves, they were
so paralyzed by guilt, so destroyed by guilt that they wondered if there was any hope for
their lives at all. Well, my dear friends, I don’t want to soft-pedal
this point at all. As I said, I am profoundly convinced that
abortion is not only wrong, it’s not only a sin, it’s not only evil, it’s a monstrous
evil. And the commission of an act that is monstrously
wicked incurs a heavy load of real guilt. So I’m not going to say to a person who says,
“I’ve had an abortion. I feel guilty” — I’m not going to say to
that person, “Hey, don’t take it so seriously. It’s no big deal. You know, say a prayer. Do a couple of errands of charity and so on
and that’ll take care it.” No. This is a serious matter. But the thing I want us to understand is that
abortion is not the unforgivable sin. It’s because of actions like this that we
perform under the pressures of avoiding and evading unhappy consequences of our actions
that is of the very essence of the concern of the Christian faith. This is what Jesus died for, to deal with
that problem of guilt, and when I say to you, “What do you do with your guilt?” I don’t want to just leave you, you know,
wondering “Well, what can I do with my guilt?” I’m convinced that this is at the heart of
the matter. This is why I am a Christian. What drove me to the cross of Christ, ladies
and gentlemen, was guilt and a desperate need to start over, a desperate need to have the
slate wiped clean. I remember a passage from the Old Testament
where the prophets speaking for God says, “Come, let us reason together. If your sins are as scarlet, they shall be
white as snow. If they’re as crimson, they shall be purified.” We hear the prophets announce the intent of
God to reach down to His people who are paralyzed, and crippled, and racked with grief over their
guilt that the God that is revealed in Scripture is God who is a God of passion. He is not indifferent to evil. He’s very passionate in His rebuke and admonition
against evil. But, ladies and gentlemen, He’s not simply
a God of passion. Perhaps the most obvious characteristic of
that God is that He is a God of compassion, a God who hears the cries of His people. He doesn’t only hear the cries of the blood
of those slain babies crying out to Him from the ground, He hears the cries of the mothers. He hears the anguish and the pain of their
guilt and He stands ready at any second to make you clean, to heal your soul by offering
you forgiveness. There is no more redeeming word that we could
hear from God than to hear God say to you “My son, my daughter your sins are forgiven.” Forgiveness in my judgment is as real as guilt
but, of course, there are things we have to do to experience forgiveness. God does not just pass out forgiveness willy-nilly. God does not just sit up in heaven and say,
“Well, boys will be boys and girls will be girls. No matter what they do they’re covered. I’ll take care.” No, no, no. God commands that we turn from our evil. God commands that we confess our evil to Him. God commands that we come to Him and put our
trust and embrace His Son. We put our trust in Him and we acknowledge
that, “Yes, God, You have covered my guilt, you have taken care of the problem of my guilt
in the cross.” But if you want the cross to cover you, you
have to repent of your sin. You have to resolve that you will not do this
again and you have to acknowledge your guilt. Not to me, but to God and you have humble
yourself and say, “God, please forgive me.” I remember once where I anguished over a matter
of guilt in my own life and so I prayed about it, I struggled with it. I said, “God, I am sorry that I have done
this. Please forgive me. Please let me have a fresh start. Wipe the slate clean. Make me clean.” And I prayed and I prayed and I didn’t get
relief, and so I went to see a minister, and the minister had me open up the New Testament
to one of the epistles of St. John and he asked me to read the verse out loud. He said, “Read that verse for me, R.C.” and
I said “OK.” It says in here, I’ve read this many times,
“That if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to
cleanse from all unrighteousness.” And he said, “Did you read that?” I said, “Yes.” And I said, “Well, I did pray and I did confess
but I still feel guilty.” He said “Well, then let me ask you to read
another verse.” And I said “What’s that verse?” He said, “This verse” and he made me read
it again. “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and
just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Finally the minister looked at me and he said
“R.C., how many times does God have to say that to you before you believe it?” God has made a commitment to you that He stands
ready to forgive you totally and completely if you will but come to Him and humble yourself
before Him though your sins be as scarlet, they may be purged with hyssop as they are
like crimson, you can be as white as snow. And I pray that once you experience the forgiveness
of that that you will be driven by gratitude to speak, to pray, to write, to protest until
our land has been made clean, that our land may no longer be divided but that we may be
healed and drawn together with an unswerving commitment from every sector of the land to
the absolute sanctity of human life.

3 Replies to “Abortion: What Is Your Verdict?”

  1. As a woman I can tell you that women KNOW they are murdering a baby.Everytime I have been pregnant I have KNOWN that I am carrying human life. God has instilled this in women. They know they are killing that which will impede their idea of their life.

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