"Unfortunately, at this time the church does not have the people, the power, nor the funds, to make an impact on the evil of abortion in this country."
"We cannot really do anything but vote, give to pro-life groups and crisis pregnancy centers, pray, and hope for the best. There is nothing else we can do that will make a difference."
I for one, want to counter this sentiment with truth. Let's take into consideration a very practical use of numbers.
There has been a campaign across this nation for Christians to gather and pray at their state capitols. Franklin Graham has spearheaded it, and thousands of churches, families, and individuals have turned out to hear exhortation and pray together in public squares. Pastors and Christian leaders have encouraged these gatherings, and they have been well attended.
In Nashville, Tennessee, it is reported that 9,000 gathered to pray in that state's capitol city on May 3rd of this year. Let me repeat that. That is NINE THOUSAND believers who intentionally took time out of their busy lives that specific day! They organized, and went and stood in a multitude to pray.
Incidentally, just one mile from where those 9,000 gathered to pray about the sins and needs of this country, stands a building where the murder of innocent and helpless babies is committed. That is an altar of human sacrifice to the god of Self. Babies are butchered there six days a week. Just eight miles away from that prayer gathering in another direction is another murder mill, where four abortionists murder babies on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
And yet on most days there is NO ONE standing regularly, or even occasionally, to bring the Gospel into conflict with those who are committing the gross sin of homicide (in the worst degree, on the most vulnerable victim)! NO ONE standing to declare God's truth and mercy to those who are shedding innocent blood.
There is a problem with this.
Especially since there are over 600,000 people living in the city of Nashville, and nearly 1,000 churches in the Nashville area!
Those few Christians who do make it a point to go to those specific Tennessee abortion mills are abolitionists who drive 45 minutes to several hours to stand for Christ and those made in His image.
Again, there is a problem with that.
I well remember the morning in Pensacola in 2006, out in front of a baby butcher shop, when a police officer looked at me and my friend, and said "This must not be a real issue for the church, since you two are the only ones here." In the middle of a conservative Christian "stronghold", surrounded by hundreds of churches, and only two Christians were standing as emissaries for Christ at the Gates of Death. What message is the church sending the world by our silence and absence from the field?
The watchword of the Decision America Tour campaign has been "Pray. Vote. Engage."
I would like to put some focus on the word "Engage." What effect would it have if we did?
Since 9,000 individuals were able to schedule several hours out of their very busy lives to gather and pray (and I am sure that abortion was possibly one of the prayer targets), let's just take that number and play with it for a while. Consider the impact if 9,000 Christians chose to love their neighbors by showing up when they were scheduled to be killed.
Taking one mill into consideration: If just 24 of the 9,000 went to that abortuary on one day, and then a different 24 went the next day, and then another 24 went the next day, and on, and on...you would have 24 Christians at the mill EVERY SINGLE DAY of the YEAR without ANY ONE INDIVIDUAL having been there twice.
Imagine, 24 Christians, exercising various roles at the Gates of Death—
- Preaching the Gospel.
- Pleading for the lives of little image-bearers.
- Praying fervently on site for God to work in hearts.
- Providing help, information, and resources at the entry.
- Provoking with signs, etc.
This by itself would have a HUGE impact on the business that sheds innocent blood. This would clearly showcase the Gospel to the lost deliver numerous babies from slaughter, and shut down both mills!
For sake of clarity, I must state that I am not at all against Christians gathering in small or huge numbers, privately or publicly to earnestly and fervently pray for revival and a turn in this nation. I am merely using that example to show what can happen when national Christian leaders and local area pastors encourage the church to "show up!" They show up!
Why is there not a greater cry for action? A greater plea to engage?
Why is the plight of the unborn and the Christian biblical response not campaigned for every Sunday from behind the pulpits of our churches?
The reality of this post is that thousands are gathering for an even to pray about the sins and needs of this country, and yet one mile away from that crowded site, almost no one is gathering to regularly or even occasionally "engage" those who are committing this crime against God, their own children, and their own conscience. Oh, that after everyone bowed in prayer at that Nashville rally to beseech the Almighty God, those 9,000 had then been directed to march down to Planned Parenthood and actively love their neighbors who were being murdered that very day—some to preach, some to pray, some to plead, some to provide help, and all to provoke as God's word commands, calling to repentance, and seeking the abolition of abortion.
Francis Schaeffer said that every abortion mill should have a sign out front that says, "Open by permission of the church." Please let that quote hit hard!
I saw a billboard in Arkansas that said,
"When 1% of the church shows up to stand at the abortion mill, Abortion will cease in Arkansas." That would be true in any state of the union. Darkness cannot stand the presence of Light.
God has commanded us to "love our neighbour as ourselves", "visit the fatherless in their affliction", to "open our mouths" and "plead the cause of the poor and needy", to do "justice and equity".
But even though God has made Himself clear, and has given us all we need to make a huge impact simply by assembling as His ambassadors at the Gates of Death (not to mention all the other ways to effect abolition of this evil), it is not enough, nor honest, neither is it "Christian" for us to say, "All we can do is pray."
Prayer is never meant to be a substitute for obedience. Imagine if Isaiah said in prayer, "Here am I; send someone else!" (Isaiah 6).
I would that the thousands upon thousands of believers in every city would learn about, get involved, and then engage for their pre-born neighbors being slaughtered! I would that they would take God's command to "Open thy mouth for the dumb in the case of all such are as appointed to destruction" (Proverbs 31:8) at His word. I fear that it is far easier to go to an even then it is to do the inconvenient thing.
[Note: the 9,000 number used as an example in this post is simply taken from the number of attendees at that one city event. If we took instead the real number of Christians and Bible believing assemblies in Nashville, or another major city (like the Kansas City region), the number of Christians activated could easily be larger, and have even more impact.]