Monday, June 01, 2009

Responding to Violence

This morning Claire and I joined friends outside the trashy Bellevue abortion facility where Leroy Carhart regularly destroys preborn children. By so doing, Carhart contributes to the moral ruination of the families of those children, to the general insensitivity and decadence of our culture and, of course, to the peril of his eternal soul.

Our presence at that tragic and brutal place is to provide a voice for life, not present a winsome picture to abortion clients who might yet understand that there are people who care enough about them and the babies they're carrying to work in their behalf, providing loving help for them to do the right thing.

Our picture signs show beautiful babies. Our colorful banners read "We Care For You & Your Baby" and "Every Heartbeat is a Gift from God." And our offers of help are kindly meant, kindly stated and sincere.

Our appeals are also directed to the abortion workers, including the abortionist himself, who routinely takes the lives of boys and girls in this place and in the late-term abortuary in Wichita, Kansas. Yes, that's the very abortion clinic run by George Tiller who was murdered yesterday by a bent vigilante.

I have participated in protests of abortion at that grisly Wichita business; protests that were (like all of our pro-life activity) peaceful, prayerful and designed for persuasion -- not for coercion. Indeed, the Christian pro-life motivation can be aimed at nothing else than another's conscience. To persuade others, we simply tell the truth. Along with that, we set a high example by living lives of holiness and service. And we pray. These things our Lord commands.

What we do not do is employ force or intimidation, let alone violence, to get our way. Such tactics are specifically and forcefully prohibited by God's Word. Therefore, those individuals who do so (like the assassin of George Tiller) are acting against Christ, against the proper intentions of the pro-life movement and even against themselves since God's judgment is sure upon those who take vengeance into their own hands.

We will continue, by God's help, to raise the standard of the sanctity of human life in our culture. That will include our various educational outreaches, our mercy ministries, our advocacy, our intercession and our sidewalk counseling. It will also include righteous protests of the barbaric, lethal violence dealt out by abortionists like Leroy Carhart and George Tiller. But we will not act impiously, imperiously or with force. We will instead continue in our pro-life ministry as we have for the last 30 years, continuing to submit both our motivations and our methodology under the Lordship of Christ.

(For the Vital Signs statement decrying the senseless murder of George Tiller, see this post from yesterday afternoon).