The following is a peak behind the curtain at a discussion between the Angry Christian Podcast hosts via Facebook messenger as it relates to the effectiveness of the new Arizona Bill HB 2650 aimed at charging those who get an abortion and those who carry out the abortion procedure with homicide, as well as the effectiveness of other tactics aimed at ending abortion in the United States.
In addition to that, I think you’ll find an interesting dialogue as Brad and Brian don’t actually agree on the issue, and you will see how Christians can discuss a hot topic, disagree, and yet be respectful of one another and still land on opposite sides of a debate.
BRAD: So, I read that in Arizona a bill has been proposed that would charge the mother and the doctor who carries out the abortion with murder. As vehemently opposed to abortion as I am – I don’t see how this resolves the issue.
BRIAN: It would be upholding God’s law concerning the matter and acknowledging the image of God in those children. One of the reasons this happens on the scale it does is the lack of respect to both. They won’t stop until justice is enforced. It’s not gonna pass though.
JONATHAN: If we legally acknowledge a baby in the womb as a human life would there really be an option to not consider their killer a murderer? And if we don’t, are we allowing a legal precedent for some lives being worth more than others?
BRIAN: I’d argue the latter is what’s happening. Who are these people to choose who’s “viable”?
BRAD: Agree that this is what we’ve already been doing and agreed that it won’t pass. But I don’t see how this resolves anything if it did pass. Girls will just go to other states where it’s still legal to get it done and doctors will just go to other states where they can carry them out without issue.
BRIAN: It’ll honor God and His image. It’ll save a whole lot of lives. And it’ll inspire others that don’t yet have the backbone to defy tyranny. It has to start somewhere.
BRAD: Perhaps. I dunno. It might. I doubt it though. I think abortion, while murder, has a bunch of nuance to it that general murder (not of the abortion kind) just doesn’t have. I don’t mean that to diminish the act for what it is. It does have to start somewhere. I’m just not convinced legislation is that. We’ve supposedly been trying that for over 40 years. Gotten us nowhere. This is a heart issue and a society that doesn’t value humanity. Not truly. I think it begins with the church. Not in a political way. But in a real discipleship (not what we call it today), and truly loving people where they are at and teaching them to obey what God commanded.
BRIAN: Bad legislation is what started this. If we don’t act like this is murder, who will? If Christian politicians aren’t willing to stand on God’s word, who will? Ezekiel explicitly tells us if we don’t stand on the word and preach what God commands, we have blood on our hands. We know. It starts in the church, but it doesn’t end there. Especially when it’s about something that God has wiped nations out for in the past. Would we not apply the concepts of keeping it in the church when upholding the law to stealing, rape, kidnapping, and a slew of other grave sins. This should be no different.
BRAD: Bad legislation didn’t start abortion. Abortion existed long before Roe Vs Wade. And, though quietly done, was still done quite a lot. And yes, it is a grave sin indeed. But the reality is, here in America, addressing it isn’t as cut and dry as calling it murder and everyone just accepts it. I also think we forget – we aren’t in a Christian nation anymore. This is a post-Christian nation. It is equal to being in Babylon. This is just my take. Others may not agree, and that’s OK.
BRIAN: More like the Jews were banished to Babylon for failing to declare “thus says the Lord” much like present day America. They were all going their own way and doing what was right in their own eyes without much of a rebuke, much like present day America. What’s a God of righteousness to do? Met out justice, especially on those charged with heralding the truth.
The church is much too soft on sexual sin, which is one of the reasons it keeps advancing. She actively participates in it by being passive about it and not treating it for what it is. And thus, the Jews, much like the comfort of the church in the USA, went into exile. Who was counted righteous in these times? Guys like Daniel that PUBLICLY defied what the Jews made peace with.
Just like today…while a significant amount of the church has made peace with abortion and looks the other way, there are those out there being the Daniel of the age. Abortion is judgement against the church and this nation for the disobedience of both. If children are a blessing, what’s the opposite of that?
BRAD: I think we have to be careful with how we characterize what people like Daniel and the other 3 guys really did. I used to be of the mindset that Daniel and the other 3 were out to change Babylon and defy the government. But were they?
Did Daniel go out of his way to try and change the laws of Babylon? Or did he simply respond when the law forced him to choose between being obedient to men over obedience to God? Likewise with the 3 other guys and their fiery furnace incident. Daniel is definitely a good book to study in light of the coming days we will find ourselves in.
Now, these 4 guys actually found themselves in Babylonian governmental circles. Daniel being almost more like a governor of a region. What set them apart wasn’t even their unwillingness to compromise, but how God responded miraculously in their different situations. Saving the 3 from being consumed by a fire and saving Daniel from being consumed by lions. Certainly their willingness to stand up had some impact, but it was God’s movement that blew the kings mind and caused him to really take notice.
In other words, the difference with them wasn’t that they tried to do anything in their own power, but trusted God would show up in their obedience. And in the case of the 3 and the furnace, they trusted God even if He didn’t show up in their obedience. Not sure that’s the same thing I’m seeing from believers in America.
What I’m seeing is believers trying to hold on to a culture that no longer exists and one that we have been a long time separated from. What I see is Christians trying to make the American government a Christian government.
That said – is it that the church is too soft on sin? Or that it has been far too harsh with people for far too long that no one cares what the church has to say about sin?
For example, do you know what a number of church denominations in America’s response was to girls getting pregnant out of wedlock not even 50 years ago? It was to send them to a boarding house to hid their shame away from the public, let them carry the baby to term, then give it up for adoption and let the girl come home and act like nothing happened. That was a thing that MANY churches engaged in right here in America pre-Roe Vs Wade. Is it any wonder people respond the way they do when the church then tries to confront abortion?
That was a lot I know. But that said – I am not standing in anyone’s way that wants to attempt to address abortion from a legislative perspective or to go out and stand at abortion clinics. I have my opinions for why I don’t think those tactics are as effective. But I won’t deny that there has been some fruit from it. All I ask is that if I choose to address abortion from a very different angle than these things that I not be given the guilt trip as though I’m doing nothing or that I’m doing less because I’m not engaged ni what someone else sees as a tactic. As the old adage goes, “There are many ways to skin a cat”.
BRIAN: I really don’t think the church is actually trying. It may seem that way with the way Apologia and the affiliated churches and their efforts, but I’ve got someone in my circle that does case studies on this. Where we protest, there are at least 15 churches that we know of within 10 miles of the clinic. A big fat 0% of their congregations speak up for life. They don’t ACT like people are dying by the hundreds every day.
At the same time, I do believe this ragtag group of people (whether us directly or people influenced by our efforts) will do it. I’m thinking of God shrinking Israel’s army before sending them to war so they would understand without a doubt that God fought for them.
Indiana has two legislators willing to publicly call abortion what it is and fight for the lives of the pre-born. TWO. In a conservative state! It’s the so-called Christians that are blocking even the discussions that would save the lives of countless Indiana lives. I’m also thinking of guys like Rusty Thomas who has actually been to jail for defending the pre-born.
This is not guilting anybody. This is about the reality of what’s going on. Most Christians have their hands in their pockets and look at anyone that’s actually willing to call this what it is like they’re crazy. We’re too abrasive and yada yada. So many excuses and little to no action. That doesn’t characterize you. I know you’ve been out there.
BRAD: There’s certainly extremes to every position. No doubt. I think this is an important passage. It was written to the church in Ephesus, but I think it captures what I believe has and is happening with the church in America. The difference being that He has already removed our lamp stand I think.
Revelation 2:2-5 ESV: “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”
The church in Ephesus wasn’t necessarily engaging in bad things. But they had lost sight of what they were truly called to do because they had spent so much time doing “good” things that they aren’t doing the “great commission” things.
BRIAN: Are you saying this work isn’t a great commission thing? I don’t understand where you’re going with that. I can see for sure how in many ways it’s to take a shot in the dark at American Evangelism and hit some huge target where the church is failing, but I don’t get that part.
BRAD: I’m saying what Jesus was saying to the church of Ephesus, that we can get so consumed in fighting evil that we lose sight of our first love…our first calling. Is the fight against abortion a great commission thing? I think that’s a complex question.
If the fight is simply to end abortion, then no, it is not.
If the fight is to love the unborn and love the mothers and yes even the abortion doctors and abortion loving democrats and to share with them the gospel and hope in Jesus and lead them to salvation not only of the body but also of the soul, then yes.
Whether or not it is a great commission work will vary greatly from person to person and their individual motivations and goals for engaging in the abortion fight.
BRIAN: I can say with absolute confidence that those involved in this legislation in Arizona, Oklahoma, and here in Indiana are fighting out of love for foremost God, the mothers, the fathers, the pre-born, and even the pro-aborts that hate everything about what we believe. I know this because I’ve done hand in hand ministry with some of them. Others, their works are public. They have publicly gone out and loved on people that vehemently opposed what we do and have won them over. John Jacob, Derin Stidd, Curt Nisely and others are guys I would give an account for in a heartbeat.
BRAD: That is good. And I’ve no doubt you can and will. It can’t be said for everyone though. Even other believers. I’m not judging their motivation. That is for God to do. I’m simply speaking a warning from God’s word for those I do not know that have lost sight. That is all.
I’m still not personally convinced that this law in Arizona will be effective or that it’s the right approach. But that is me and my opinion. And I’m OK with people not agreeing with it. Even you guys. I’ll love you anyway.
BRIAN: The great commission includes “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” and this kind of actions does that.
We need a William Wilberforce, Frederick Douglass that will engage the political realm as much as we need the nameless Joe and Janes that work in emergency pregnancy centers and do youth ministry and big brother programs. The abolitionists of that age were told the same things we are talking about now, and they did not give up. Slavery still exists, but it’s where it belongs. Hidden, looked upon with scorn, and tucked away in the shadows running from the light.
I don’t think this law will be effective (this time). Wilberforce was shut down I can’t remember how many times before slavery was finally abolished. We’re getting started no on something that should’ve happened 40 years ago (which is how long it took the abolitionists of that age to succeed).
Needless to say, I owe my life as I live to the grace of God and their efforts. I almost went to one of those clinics and it would’ve been perfectly legal, which would’ve made it for naught. But God had mercy on me. This is personal to me, especially since they’re targeting mostly minorities. Therefore, I go…I put on the armor of God and I plan on being a pain in the ass until either one of us dies or they repent. If I’m out there at 80 barely able to hold up a cane, so be it.
BRAD: We see a lot the same. And some things differently. I can accept that. As I said before, I am not saying not to engage or to stop engaging. Just voicing my concerns and view points. Indeed, some are called to fight a certain way and they should. They were made for those moments. Far be it from me to persuade someone otherwise.
I’ll leave it at that. Good discussion.
BRIAN: I think that’s really important. People disagree on stuff and shut people out of their lives spouting nonsense about “haters” because someone is not perfectly in sync with their thoughts and feelings. I think we know one another’s motivations well enough to engage this like brothers and end the episode united under the banner of Christ.
JONATHAN: Just got home from practice…there is soooo much to try and catch up on in this chat.