[Fire Away! Podcast] Episode 032 – Slaughtered Babies and Indifferent Christians

Landon ChapmanPodcast Episodes30 Comments

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Summary

  • On today’s show Landon welcomes abolitionist Alan Maricle to the program.  Alan discusses Abolish Human Abortion, the pro-life movement, the Church’s responsibility, and social justice churches.

(Click “Read More” for detailed show notes.)

[00:02:34] Topic 1: Interview with Abolitionist Alan Maricle (Rhology)

  • maxresdefaultIntro
  • Abolition
    • What is it?
    • Who is involved?
  • Pro-Life Movement
    • Why is it not something Christians should support?
  • The Church’s responsibility and how we’re botching it.
  • Social Justice Churches and Abolitionists
  • Closing

 


 Resources Mentioned During the Show

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 General Information

Host
Landon Chapman

Landon Chapman

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Founder of Entreating Favor, writer, and host of the Fire Away! podcast. He is an architect by vocation and professes the Bible to be the infallible, inerrant, Word of God. He and his wife Holly have two children.


30 Comments on “[Fire Away! Podcast] Episode 032 – Slaughtered Babies and Indifferent Christians”

  1. I appreciate Mr. Maricle’s perspective and it is indeed a faithful wound to be called to repent of apathy. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 admonishes us to separate from those so-called brothers and sisters who practice immorality and 2 John 1 tells us not to associate with those who deny Jesus has come in the flesh – but I don’t think applying this standard to Pro-life groups who have Catholics, Mormons, or other people of other faiths or no faith at all is going to be productive (from a worldly PoV) nor necessarily even glorifying to God. Jesus sends us “…out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” We ought not compromise on our Christian principles to do it, but working with the unsaved and deceived to saving the unborn – even incrementally – is still a gain. Being Pro-Life does not have to be an act of faith anymore than being Anti-theft. There are some things that all people can understand are good and conducive to a society irrespective of one’s faith. Christians *should be more passionate and ultimately work toward abolishing abortion, but I hesitate to add to the litany of reasons to separate from our brothers and sisters in Christ a difference in approach or philosophy on how to go about that goal.

        1. Ultimately, yes. But I see a distinction between one’s belief about abortion and one’s belief about Jesus Christ. i.e. The ONLY answer to the latter question is the Gospel. Luke 18:1-5 tells us about the widow who pestered the Judge who did not fear God for justice. Changing a person’s heart with regards to abortion is ideal but Christians can work with an unbelieving, like-minded society to enact laws to make it illegal and/or educate folks on the idea of personhood in hopes of greatly reducing the number of infanticides.

          1. To clarify my position: If the Pro-Life Group is primarily a religious organization whose main focus is to give a Gospel answer to Abortion, then I could see not wanting to partner with such an organization if the Gospel they espoused was unbiblical. But if the Pro-Life Group is not overtly of a religious nature – then I don’t see any reason a Christian could not or should not work with them toward that end.

          2. The ONLY answer to the latter question is the Gospel

            Why say, then, that we can link arms in substantive ways with others who hate the Gospel to fight sin?

            Luke 18:1-5 tells us about the widow who pestered the Judge who did not fear God for justice

            Yes, the JUDGE did not fear God. The widow didn’t ask others who hate God to help her, or who hate the judge to help her.

            Changing a person’s heart with regards to abortion is ideal

            You mean, with regards to sin? how can that happen when you’re working with atheists and pagans?

            But if the Pro-Life Group is not overtly of a religious nature – then I don’t see any reason a Christian could not or should not work with them toward that end.

            Why in the world would a Christian want to fight sin in a “non-religious” context? Is Jesus Lord or not?

          3. We have a Legal system (Judges, Lawyers, Police, etc) populated by people of various faiths who work to protect life & property from theft – which is a sin. Surely you are not suggesting that the only cops be Christian ones are you? Or that we should only cooperate and support the Christian ones while we oppose the Muslim officer?? Sin-nature is only going to be overcome with the Gospel, but sinful behaviors (e.g. theft & murder) can be moderated through secular means. e.g. a lot of people don’t steal for fear of being caught and prosecuted. Why would we not want to do whatsoever we can to save as many lives as possible? The parable of the widow and the judge applies here: we do not see the Judge becoming a God-fearer yet he gave justice to the widow thru her persistence. For that matter we are not told that the widow was even a God-fearer although perhaps that is implied. The point is that the Judge did the right thing. Pro-life groups are trying to do the right thing – so long as they are not advocating a false Gospel – why would Christians NOT support that? Jesus *is* Lord, but we must live in this world until He comes again, and so there will be times we must cooperate with the unbeliever to exist peacefully. There are also times when we must take a stand against our unbelieving neighbor for His Truth – I disagree with your stance that this particular issue should be so divisive (again only so long as a false-Gospel is not espoused).

          4. Surely you are not suggesting that the only cops be Christian ones are you?

            No. You are, however, making an analogy that is disanalogous.
            You see, abortion is SIN and that sin has infected the entire culture. It is accepted as normal by 80% of the population of the USA. To get to a place where total abolition can happen, the nation needs to repent and experience revival. To get there, the church needs to repent. Papists and atheists don’t know what repentance is.
            This is not going to happen through a few bills here or there.

            Sin-nature is only going to be overcome with the Gospel, but sinful behaviors (e.g. theft & murder) can be moderated through secular means.

            But not abolished.

            Why would we not want to do whatsoever we can to save as many lives as possible?

            We do. But why do you think that joining arms with people who hate the Gospel to oppose the kindgom of darkness with the Gospel is a good idea, is going to work, is going to be a good means to “saving some”? Based on what?

            The parable of the widow and the judge applies here

            I’m afraid you’re quite mistaken about that. The judge in that story is sorta like God, and the widow is the Christian. The pagan does not appear in that parable. You’re actually twisting the parable to suit your own narrative. Please take a step back and see what you’re doing.

            Pro-life groups are trying to do the right thing

            Are they? Most of them are Romanist or beholden to Rome. That’s far from the right thing.

            Most of them are incrementalists, abandoning children rather than calling for repentance and total abolition.

            Most of them are self-perpetuating money-hungry beasts who would be out of a job if abortion were abolished.

            On what basis do you say they are trying to do the right thing?

            Jesus *is* Lord, but we must live in this world until He comes again

            … so we should live and speak like He isn’t Lord, b/c we “live in this world”?

            (again only so long as a false-Gospel is not espoused).

            Like Rome’s gospel?
            Like “repent… sorta’?
            Like “you should leave a few of your sins behind”?
            I don’t mean to be harsh here, so please don’t hear that from me, but I believe you are very, very mistaken and if I can I’d like to convince you of God’s view of this question.

          5. these replies are getting long
            😉
            RE: Luke 18:1-8
            Please forgive my taking this parable out of context. Re-examining it I realize the parable is specifically about persistence in prayer. The point of the parable is not that a non-god-fearing judge can do the right thing. Parables resonate with truth – and it is true that unbelievers can do the right thing but I should not have cited this verse to underscore that point.

            Your goal (and the stated goal of AHA) is “total abolition” of abortion. I take you at face value here and I agree that this is ideal. My analogy about theft and secular police being “disanalogous” to abortion and secular Pro-life groups. When I stated that sinful behaviors can be moderated through secular means, you commented, “But not abolished.” This implies you agree that secular means are acceptable to moderate sinful behavior. Can you help me understand why you feel abortion can *only* be addressed with the Gospel and not thru secular means? Is it a matter of scale or significance or something else entirely?

            Christians do have Hope that through Christ we can affect a great change but abortion will not ever be “totally” abolished until Christ returns. Abortion has been a practice throughout all cultures throughout time, the best we can (humanly) achieve is to make it illegal. Since we do not live in a theocracy we must work with the unbeliever to enact laws prohibiting it. I recognize that criminalizing abortion will not abolish it any more than (but hopefully no less than) the Emancipation Proclamation abolished slavery. Human trafficking – which is slavery by another name – is alive and well in this country, just illegal. But you must also recognize that you will never convert “every” heart to understand the Gospel. So why not give the Gospel to those with an ear to hear it *and* simultaneously constrain the rest with laws as passed by a majority in our secular republic?

            > But why do you think that joining arms with people who hate the Gospel to oppose the kingdom of darkness with the Gospel is a good idea, is going to work,…

            I have tried to make clear that I agree with separating from those who preach a false Gospel. I agree that if one’s goal & purpose is to “oppose the kingdom of darkness with the Gospel”, that one should *not* do so with others who “people who hate the Gospel”.

            I do not agree with you that Christians can not nor should not work with *secular* Pro-Life groups that are working toward ending abortion thru secular means.

            > … is going to be a good means to “saving some”?

            When I speak of saving a child’s life, I am not talking about their spiritual life but their physical life.

            > Based on what?

            The CDC makes their abortion statistics public. Just Google “United States Abortion Statistics” and there are a host of websites (pro-abortion, pro-life, non-partisan etc.) and they all demonstrably show that abortions have decreased since 1990. AHA wasn’t a movement then but Pro-life was. I would argue that the Holy Spirit was at work thru the Gospel *and* thru secular legislation to change our nations cultural attitude toward abortion.

            RE: Hyperbole
            I do not mean to nit-pick or be offensive, but I am curious about some of these comments…

            > (Abortion) is accepted as normal by 80% of the population of the USA.

            Is that a real statistic from some poll that you can cite or were you just using hyperbole? How are you using “normal?”

            >> Pro-life groups are trying to do the right thing
            > Are they? Most of them are Romanist or beholden to Rome.

            Can you really back this statement up with fact (i.e. a list of backers, funders, founders, etc who are clearly Roman Catholic and/or indirectly linked to the Vatican)? There certainly are some Catholic-founded Prolife groups but I would be surprised to find that “most” (> 51%) can be said to be “Romanist or beholden to Rome.”

            > Most of them are self-perpetuating money-hungry beasts who would be out of a job if abortion were abolished.

            Again, can you back this claim up with any facts? If not, this is a highly inflammatory comment at best, or a distortion of the truth at worst. Not to be snarky, but AHA is supposed to “destroy misinformation” not spread it, right? I will stand with you in opposition to pro-life groups that are self-serving who are (as you insinuate) actually trying to prolong abortion as an issue. But to just say this without evidence is irresponsible.

            RE: Other points
            > On what basis do you say (Pro-life groups) are trying to do the right thing?

            Trying to convince a (desperate?) woman not to abort her child is the right thing.

            >> Jesus *is* Lord, but we must live in this world until He comes again
            > … so we should live and speak like He isn’t Lord, b/c we “live in this world”?

            I did not state that nor imply that. Please re-read that full sentence & the following one.

            > Like Rome’s gospel?
            > Like “repent… sorta’?
            > Like “you should leave a few of your sins behind”?

            Yes, those are certainly false Gospels. If a Pro-Life Group is advocating these statements as a means to Salvation – Christians should not be partner with them.

            > I don’t mean to be harsh here, so please don’t hear that from me, but I believe you are very, very mistaken and if I can I’d like to convince you of God’s view of this question.

            I have read thru the AHA website. I am willing to continue this dialogue. This podcast and some of the information on the AHA website has convicted me to repent of my own apathy. I am open to being convinced I have a wrong attitude with regards to secular Pro-Life groups as I certainly want to be a doer and not just a hearer of the Word. I would likewise hope that you would be open to a change in your own attitude and not stir up unnecessary conflict with those working toward the same goal to end abortion.

            I admire the zeal and I am not advocating that you change tactics and ally with unbelievers in AHA’s Gospel-focused approach to abortion – but I do not see the need to fabricate a controversy between AHA and other Pro-Life groups nor advocate separating from our brethren in Christ over a difference of strategic/tactical approach to oppose abortion.

            Romans 14, 17-18 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. … Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

          6. I’m not sure what “secular means” are. Could you please clarify?

            Do you mean laws that govern a society that is trying to jettison God? I mean, sure, it’s less bad for a country to make a law against murder than to not make a law about that at all. I don’t know about “better”, though.

            I’m not talking about not addressing abortion through laws. I’m saying that you don’t short-circuit God and you don’t skip to a partial solution when you could be focusing on the total solution by addressing the issue with the Gospel and calling for immediate, total REPENTANCE rather than playing it like it’s politics.

            Christians do have Hope that through Christ we can affect a great change but abortion will not ever be “totally” abolished until Christ returns.

            Why do you assume that’s the case? Slavery was abolished in the UK and the USA, after all. Rape still happens from time to time, but society universally looks with disgust at rapists.

            Since we do not live in a theocracy

            This seems like you’re throwing up your hands and saying “Well, the courts and Congress are against God’s law. I guess there’s not much that the servants of Almighty God can do!”

            I think that’s faithless. Don’t appeal to how bad the culture is now to make an excuse about how revival can’t happen. Look at Jonah and Nineveh!

            we must work with the unbeliever to enact laws prohibiting it.

            It’s one thing to “work with” unbelievers to enact laws, and QUITE ANOTHER to agitate the culture with the Gospel, call everyone to repentance, and enlist their help in writing and originating bills that call for the nation to bow the knee to Jesus Christ in repentance and submission.

            Human trafficking – which is slavery by another name – is alive and well in this country, just illegal

            It’s alive, sure, but it’s hardly “well”. It’s harried by police and other law enforcement. It’s routinely prosecuted and punished.

            Meanwhile, 3500 babies EVERY DAY are dying.

            ABORTION is alive and well. Sex trafficking is barely a blip compared to abortion.

            But you must also recognize that you will never convert “every” heart to understand the Gospel.

            Welllllll, postmillennialism might be true. 🙂

            So why not give the Gospel to those with an ear to hear it *and* simultaneously constrain the rest with laws as passed by a majority in our secular republic?

            Yes, let’s do that, but those laws should not be incremental and abandon children that we don’t have to abandon.

            I have tried to make clear that I agree with separating from those who preach a false Gospel.

            With all due respect, I see you taking back with the one hand what you gave with the other. What does “separate from” mean when you say it?

            I do not agree with you that Christians can not nor should not work with *secular* Pro-Life groups

            Thus fighting darkness with not-the-Gospel, teamed up with people who hate the Gospel.

            I just don’t think that makes Jesus very pleased.

            they all demonstrably show that abortions have decreased since 1990

            While abortifacient drugs have made a huge leap forward.

            No, the “reduction” is merely eyewash and deception from the devil.

            Is that a real statistic from some poll that you can cite or were you just using hyperbole? How are you using “normal?”

            The 80% refers to how many people think abortion is acceptable in at least some case, for example if the baby’s father was a rapist or an incestuous person.

            There certainly ar e some Catholic-founded Prolife groups but I would be surprised to find that “most” (> 51%) can be said to be “Romanist or beholden to Rome.”

            I’d be surprised if they weren’t. Here’s a sample.

            https://prolifeacrossamerica.org/about_us/board-of-directors/

            http://www.priestsforlife.org/

            http://www.standtrue.com/

            Even Klusendorf’s site links to Priests for Life, for crying out loud.

            http://prolifetraining.com/resources/links/

            can you back this claim up with any facts?

            The AHA Facebook page has been documenting it for a few years now, yes.

            But to just say this without evidence is irresponsible.

            I agree, and said it anyway.

            Trying to convince a (desperate?) woman not to abort her child is the right thing.

            …by saying “your baby can feel pain”.

            …by saying “he won’t even have any anesthesia.”

            …by saying “not past 20 weeks.”

            …by saying “unless his father was a rapist. We don’t have enough votes to try to save that baby yet.”

            …by not sharing the Gospel or calling abortion sin and murder.

            If a Pro-Life Group is advocating these statements as a means to Salvation – Christians should not be partner with them.

            I’d call that progress. 🙂

            what about when a pro life group doesn’t address sin and salvation AT ALL?

            What about when that PL group makes it a side issue?

            What about when that PL group makes its volunteers at a community agitation project sign an agreement saying they will not give a spiritual answer unless asked a spiritual question?

            I certainly don’t want unnecessary conflict, but I think all of this is very, very necessary. PL groups’ existence, among other things, allow local churches to assuage their consciences by passing off their responsibility to love their pre born neighbor onto well paid professionals. Abby Johnson gets a $6000 honorarium to speak, for example, and churches bring her in, or CPCs do that are funded by churches, and she talks about how bad Planned Parenthood is and how we ought not compromise except every 4th year when we should so that the Democrat won’t get elected, and everyone goes home happy and satisfied, nobody changes his behavior, the culture remains unengaged, and the churches’ consciences are assuaged. This and many more reasons are why the PLM must be ended.

          7. A majority of pro-life leaders and organizations argue that one need not convince a person that God exists or that abortion is sin in order to convert them to the pro-life position. While this may be true, abolitionists never choose to remove God or the gospel from the conversation. Abolitionists believe that abortion exists because men deny that God does. The pro-life movement argues that we should talk less about sin and more about science. Less about salvation and more about “saving the babies.”

            http://abolishhumanabortion.com/abolitionism/the-difference-between-pro-lifers-and-abolitionists/

          8. Pro-Life Future.org advocates for the abolishment of abortion. This is an image that for an initiative to recruit young people to the pro-life cause (and specifically for Pro-LifeFuture.org an abolitionist agenda). Their message *is* narrowly anti-abortion and not about giving the Gospel. This does not make them our enemy. IMHO AHA is wasting a lot of energy stirring up needless controversy.

          9. Forgive the tardiness of my reply. There was much to research…

            “Secular means” would be any means that are not overtly of a religious nature. i.e. passing Laws to restrict (and ultimately end) abortion, counseling a woman on her alternatives to abortion, educating communities on inhumane abortion practices, etc. I don’t see that the Gospel *needs* to be involved in any of that.

          10. When I stated that sinful behaviors can be moderated through secular means, you commented, “But not abolished.” This implies you agree that secular means are acceptable to moderate sinful behavior.

            Going back to this now that you have defined “secular means” (thank you for doing that), I don’t think they are acceptable, no, if by “acceptable”, you mean “something that anyone OUGHT TO strive for”. What we ought to be striving for **and calling for** is JUST LAW in ALL cases.
            The debate here is whether we call for just laws every time or whether we do market research to see if we “have the votes” to pass that just law, and if we don’t, whether we should pass a less-just law just b/c that’s what we can get at the time.
            Less-just = unjust.

            So to simplify – should we call for unjust laws because they are less unjust than the current law? The rationale, the excuse, doesn’t matter.

            Should we call for unjust laws? No.
            Isaiah 10:1Woe to those who enact evil statutes and to those who constantly record unjust decisions, 2So as to deprive the needy of justice and rob the poor of My people of their rights, so that widows may be their spoil and that they may plunder the orphans.

            That smacks of being “all or nothing.”

            Please allow me to correct your mistaken reading.
            http://blog.abolishhumanabortion.com/2014/01/but-abolitionists-are-all-or-nothing.html.

            Or perhaps more like “my way or the highway.”

            I don’t know what you mean by that.
            Jesus DOES say “My way or Hell”. Are you a follower of Jesus?

            But that doesn’t make the Gospel the *only* way. Abolishing abortion is not the same as Salvation.

            No, but regenerate people love their neighbor. Thus, abolition.

            My daughter uses several strategies to solve her math problems

            Math is not a good analogy to national sin.

            Isn’t that the point in the case of abortion – to get the “right answer” of ending the practice altogether?

            Kinda. The right answer is to glorify Jesus Christ in all things at all times.
            And the thing is, this is God’s universe. Using the means of unjust laws to arrive at a righteous conclusion… do you think that’s going to “work”? Will God honor it?

            You ask why I assume we will never be able to “totally” abolish abortion until Christ’s return. It is this: Man is basically evil.

            God is basically good, and He regenerates and transforms people.

            The abolitionist opposition to Prolife seems to be saying Prolife isn’t going far enough

            More fundamentally, we would say that their foundation is entirely wrong, which is why they head in the wrong direction (when they head anywhere at all).

            when most Prolife Organization Mission statements are to END abortion altogether which is the same goal as AHA

            With all due respect, there’s a difference between real goals and stated, ostensible goals.

            The “distinction” between immediacy and incrementally is virtually meaningless when both recognize that it will take time and change will happen incrementally.

            Then why are you debating? And why are all the PLM people debating us?

            So, no, abortion will not be totally abolished until He comes again.

            Again, with all due respect, you don’t know the future, so please refrain from making such confident assertions about it.

            being careful not to enact laws that are against God’s will.

            I’d say that’s the very definition of pro-life laws.
            For example, the “you have to anesthetise babies before you murder them” bill that Fr Frank Pavone endorses. That’s just wicked.

            Do you want to legislate worship to Christ

            Obedience, yes, to a great extent.
            And you think so too – I bet you think that rape should be outlawed. You’re already on my side if you do think so; we just differ in quantity, it sounds like, not in principle.

            “writing … bills that call for the nation to bow the knee to Jesus…”

            May I call to your remembrance the book of Jonah and the response of the city of Nineveh? Or of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar?
            Psalm 33:12 – Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.

            can we not be thankful for those measures that do get enacted that protect even a few?

            I hear you. Here’s the distinction I’d make – I am thankful the Lord uses evil for His good purposes. But that doesn’t mean I want more evil to be performed.

            I mean do not be a part of such a group. Don’t actively support with either time or money.

            I think that’s more or less impossible unless you are sticking to only your local church.
            And if you’re doing that, you’ll have zero objection from me. That’s what everyone ought to be doing.
            Otherwise, Rome’s fingers are everywhere.

            Abortion can also be addressed from a non-religious (aka secular) angle

            Let’s test that.
            Prove to me, without referencing God, that abortion is bad.
            And let me give you a preview of how I’ll reply once you attempt, and maybe it will be accurate and thus advance the argument. If not, don’t worry about it. 🙂

            Many will say “abortion is bad because it hurts women” – that’s a “secular reason” why abortion is bad.
            I now ask: Why is hurting women bad?

            Your last response leads me to conclude the difference for you between theft & post-born human murder (or at least vs. slavery & rape) is one of scale

            I think I agree, yes… I mean, abortion takes away ALL of one’s rights and life. Theft removes a thing from someone. Quite different.

            The church isn’t enforcing those laws – it is our secular government.

            Well, sure, but the gov’t doesn’t enforce them b/c the church lets them off the hook.

            Instances of abortifacients *are* increasing but still overall number of abortions are decreasing

            Not when you take into account drug-induced abortions.

            Four out of hundreds is far from “most”.

            Four out of five of which I am aware. THat’s 80%. Not 4 out of hundreds.
            But do your own research – contact those CPCs and ask thenm specific questions along these lines.

            Live Action

            Lila Rose is a Romanist.
            See what I mean?

            Did I miss the citations documenting your accusation? If so, can you please send me the link or the date that I missed?

            Afraid not; I don’t keep an exhaustive list.

            However, I’m not sure what a community agitation project is

            An example would be http://www.projectfrontlines.com
            Or, yes, like Project Nineveh.

            I presume this has happened with a Christian PL group since you cite it as an example. Has this been used by non-religious groups?

            I’m only aware of this explicit waiver in the case of the Center for Bio Ethical Reform, an ostensibly Christian org.
            How long do you think an evangelist will last, sharing the Gospel and Bible truth in the midst of a bunch of papists?

            However, I find the vitriolic rhetoric against pro-life groups to be unwarranted

            With all due respect, it’s not vitriolic, and you show little understanding of the reasons why we say what we say.

            It is one thing (and IMHO acceptable) to point out that a 20 week abortion ban bill doesn’t go far enough – but another (and IMHO UN-acceptable) to demonize a movement that is doing much of the same work but with different means.

            If you could stop thinking of those laws as “not far enough” and start thinking of them the way God does – unjust laws – you’d be on the right track.

            Our stance on it is not an unforgivable sin,

            I say this with as much love as I can – any sin you excuse is not forgivable, because above all God desires a contrite heart.
            If you are knowingly in sin, repent. NOW.
            If you are not knowingly sinning, the discussion is entirely different.

            our brethren in Christ.

            False professors, of which there are tons and tons, are not brethren. It does no one any good to pretend like the differences are not foundational.

          11. >> The “distinction” between immediacy and incrementally is virtually meaningless when both recognize that it will take time and change will happen incrementally.
            > Then why are you debating?
            My biggest problem with AHA is their seeming separatist stance on like-minded PL groups.
            > And why are all the PLM people debating us?
            I would say that it is due in part to the 2nd stated Mode of Abolition, “Agitation,” as well as the page on the AHA site that presents “The Difference Between Pro-Lifers and Abolitionists.”
            http://abolishhumanabortion.com/abolitionism/the-difference-between-pro-lifers-and-abolitionists/

            I am not trying to be a champion for incrementalism (nor immeidatism for that matter). I am studying the debates between Cunningham v Hunter and Wilcox v Reasnor but I am unsure if there is any practical difference. But AHA seems to have “agitated” PL groups, so IMHO you’ve gotten what you wanted.

            > With all due respect, it’s not vitriolic, and you show little understanding of the reasons why we say what we say.

            I am trying to understand. As I read more and more of AHA sites & blogs I believe that AHA is first and foremost about the Gospel, and secondarily about stopping abortion (i.e. AHA spreads the Gospel to Abolish Abortion). I don’t have a problem with that specifically. However, what is causing (IMHO unnecessary) strife is that AHA is presenting themselves in the opposite order (Abolish Abortion via the Gospel) and claiming that other groups who do not place a premium on the Gospel ought to be denounced.

            >> I mean do not be a part of such a group. Don’t actively support with either time or money.
            > “I think that’s more or less impossible unless you are sticking to only your local church… That’s what everyone ought to be doing. Otherwise, Rome’s fingers are everywhere.”

            I am confused by your remark and what is stated on the AHA homepage that AHA is to “…foster unity and cooperation among the various abolitionist societies that are a part of the Abolish Human Abortion movement…” Are you suggesting to stick to your local church *unless* you are part of AHA?

            Similarly AHA proponents seem to allow for no difference in approach to combating abortion. I can understand that ideal of “Abolish Abortion Now” and I admire a “no-compromise attitude”. I even largely agree with that especially with regards to the preaching and teaching of the Gospel. However, I do not agree that the Gospel is the *only* approach to addressing abortion. Unless I am misinterpreting your remark (please correct me if I am), you seem to have conceded that point to me in these exchanges:

            >> But that doesn’t make the Gospel the *only* way. Abolishing abortion is not the same as Salvation.
            > No, but regenerate people love their neighbor. Thus, abolition.

            &

            >> The church isn’t enforcing those laws – it is our secular government.
            > Well, sure, but the gov’t doesn’t enforce them b/c the church lets them off the hook

            In fact the current reality is that the *only* avenue to change the (secular) laws in the USA is thru passing secular bills. AHA’s argument seems to be that the “best” foundation for those bills is the Gospel and I will agree with that. But it will be a secular Legislature that will pass the law and it will be a secular Executive branch that enforces it. Therefore I see no reason to try to alienate secular pro-life groups, or even Christian-founded pro-life groups who do not prioritize the Gospel when they are calling for the abolishment of abortion and *not* preaching a false Gospel when (or if) they do present the Gospel at all.

            When I say “acceptable,” I do *not* mean “something that anyone OUGHT to strive for,” but rather, from a Christian Point of View, something is “acceptable” that is not counter to Biblical principles.

            Many (probably most) Christians have jobs in secular society and work for companies that have no Gospel focus whatsoever. We ought to be salt & light to our co-workers, but just because a service-provider doesn’t first give the Gospel before selling it’s services doesn’t mean the Christian needs to find a new job.

            I will agree with you that Christians ought to call for Just Laws in all cases. What would be your take on the following:
            http://www.personhood.org/index.php/strategy/incrementalism-vs-immediatism

            The above links to a strategy which seems to side with incrementalism however it suggests how to craft those bills in a “principled” way.

            >> Abortion can also be addressed from a non-religious (aka secular) angle
            > Let’s test that.
            > Prove to me, without referencing God, that abortion is bad.
            > Many will say “abortion is bad because it hurts women” – that’s a “secular reason” why abortion is bad.
            > I now ask: Why is hurting women bad?

            Based on your example of how you would respond, I don’t think such an exercise would be fruitful. A stiff-necked person (not that I am calling you stiff-necked) is not going to be convinced by any reason. The abortion debate has waged for 40+ years, if there were a perfect argument that would convince everyone (Christian & atheist), it would have been presented by now. That being said, the Gospel (which is Perfect) has also not convinced everyone in America to stop aborting babies.

            You mentioned that regenerate people will love their neighbor – and I agree. But regenerate people do still sin. Romans chapter 7 tells us that we will constantly wage war with the sinful nature of our flesh. And if regenerate people still sin – how much moreso will the unregenerate? I’ve mentioned before that many unbelievers don’t steal for fear of being caught, not for fear that it will offend God. And yet, many unbelievers do recognize murder as being immoral. Ought we *not* try to educate them via secular means that human life starts with conception?

            >> I see no Biblical call for a difference in tactics/strategy toward that end to justify a call for separation from our brethren in Christ.
            > False professors, of which there are tons and tons, are not brethren. It does no one any good to pretend like the differences are not foundational.

            I am not suggesting that we have to pretend we (Protestants) do not have fundamental theological differences with atheists or Muslims or even Catholics. I *am* suggesting that if one approaches the problem of abortion from a secular angle one does not necessarily have to separate from an atheist, Muslim, or Catholic, whose aim is the same as ours. e.g. the Police are a secular agency who try to prevent post-birth murder. A Protestant can and should work with a Muslim officer toward that goal. To extend AHA’s approach to the policing of the sin of murder would mean all Protestant Cops must disavow their affiliation with the police-force entirely and go spread the Gospel to folks in the process of murdering their neighbor.

            As I have stated before: abortion is a sinful behavior that comes out of a sinful nature. The former *can* be moderated thru secular means, the latter can *only* be changed with the Gospel.

            RE: Facts v Hyperbole
            I am trying to establish fact from hyperbole here. Your original comment was that “Most (Pro-life groups) are
            (1) Romanists or beholden to Rome…
            (2) incrementalists (and therefore) abandoning children rather than calling for repentance and total abolition…
            (3) self-perpetuating money-hungry beasts…”

            Then you listed four specific examples. I have just began to scratch the surface of how many different PL groups are in my own state, let alone all of the USA – and there are hundreds. I listed another seven I found just from reading the AHA facebook page bringing our list to 11.

            Regarding your 1st accusation: I didn’t realize Live Action’s founder had converted to Catholicism – but that is still 5 out of 11. Not 80% and still not “most”. Perhaps we are not calculating this in the same way. Are you counting the sheer number of people, or number of organizations, or number of outlets/per organization (i.e. McDonalds has millions of outlets, but 1 organization).

            I will stipulate on your 2nd accusation as most PL groups do seem to be incrementalists who are not outright calling for repentance although I am not fully in agreement that they are therefore abandoning children and most of those I am investigating are stating that their ultimate goal is to abolish abortion.

            You are mentioning CPCs – does that stand for “Crisis Pregnancy Centers?”

            It is your third accusation which really needs to be addressed better. I had asked if you could back this claim up, to which you replied, “The AHA Facebook page has been documenting it for a few years now, yes.” I found no citations supporting this kind of accusation and you rather flippantly replied “I don’t keep an exhaustive list.” Can you give *any* citation that can back up that *any* Pro-life group (let alone “most”) is actually trying to pro-long the existence of abortion for their own self-serving purposes. If not, I would ask you to do the honorable thing and retract it.

          12. >> Do you want to legislate worship to Christ
            > Obedience, yes, to a great extent.
            > And you think so too – I bet you think that rape should be outlawed. You’re already on my side if you do think so; we just differ in quantity, it sounds like, not in principle.

            I cannot agree here in principle. I do NOT want to give our human/secular government the authority to legislate how I practice worship to God or even whether I am in obedience to Him. I DO want that same government to only pass laws that are conducive to an orderly, moral society, and that are God-honoring and conform to His commands but there is a great distinction there which we, thankfully have firmly in place I our bill of rights.

          13. >> Instances of abortifacients *are* increasing but still overall number of abortions are decreasing
            > Not when you take into account drug-induced abortions.

            I am getting my info from the CDC and when I say “abortifacients”
            I am meaning drug-induced abortions. I am talking about US statistics. Can you cite a source that shows drug-induced abortions are actually greater than what the CDC reports? To be clear, I am not saying the reduction is acceptable, like you I am for an outright ban on abortion altogether, but I am citing the reduction as evidence that incrementalism from prolife lead groups has had an impact.

          14. But AHA seems to have “agitated” PL groups, so IMHO you’ve gotten what you wanted.

            Wellllll, not really. I wanted them to repent. 🙂

            I don’t have a problem with that specifically.

            It’s good to hear that you don’t have a problem with being first and foremost about the Gospel.
            I’m kind of unsettled that you seem to have reservations about that, though. You’re a Christian, right?

            what is causing (IMHO unnecessary) strife is that AHA is presenting themselves in the opposite order (Abolish Abortion via the Gospel) and claiming that other groups who do not place a premium on the Gospel ought to be denounced.

            So… groups that do not place a premium on the Gospel ought NOT be denounced?
            Dude, keep talking. You’re doing a great job showing why AHA is so necessary.

            Are you suggesting to stick to your local church *unless* you are part of AHA?

            No. There is no “part of AHA”, AHA being an ideology and not a group, as I’ve explained before.
            I’m saying that everyone ought to adhere to the AHA ideology b/c it is biblical.

            Similarly AHA proponents seem to allow for no difference in approach to combating abortion

            That’s a mistaken impression, so I’m glad to correct it. There are tons of ways to fight abortion. Incrementalism is, however, sin. You don’t fight sin with sin.

            I do not agree that the Gospel is the *only* approach to addressing abortion.

            Yes; you seem to think that the Gospel shouldn’t even necessarily be at a premium.

            In fact the current reality is that the *only* avenue to change the (secular) laws in the USA is thru passing secular bills

            You’re forgetting that which underpins passing laws. And if a culture changes, the laws can stay the same (for a while; they would eventually be changed BECAUSE the culture was changed), people will voluntarily do righteously and won’t need law.
            That’s why 1 Timothy 1 says this:
            8But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

            But it will be a secular Legislature that will pass the law

            What does “a secular legislature” mean? I’m not sure why that matters.

            Therefore I see no reason to try to alienate secular pro-life groups

            Quite a reach. Further, we’re not intentionally alienating them but calling them to repentance b/c they omit the Gospel. If that alienates them, so much the better and glory to God for making that much clearer the distinction between His kingdom and the servants of darkness.
            2 Thess 2:10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

            When I say “acceptable,” I do *not* mean “something that anyone OUGHT to strive for,” but rather, from a Christian Point of View, something is “acceptable” that is not counter to Biblical principles.

            Bro, just stop. Look how you’re striving for exceptions. You’re like a 15 year old boy asking his youth pastor how far he can go with his girlfriend without sinning. French kissing OK? Petting on top of clothes? Can I put my hand on her thigh?
            Is it Christian to aim sorta for the minimum? Or to magnify God in ALL things?

            Many (probably most) Christians have jobs in secular society and work for companies that have no Gospel focus whatsoever.

            Sure, but that’s totally different.

            I will agree with you that Christians ought to call for Just Laws in all cases.

            Then you disagree with most of what you’ve said so far in this conversation.

            What would be your take on the following:
            http://www.personhood.org/inde

            Jay Rogers sometimes says good things, and other times acts and speaks inconsistently with his good messages.

            if there were a perfect argument that would convince everyone (Christian & atheist), it would have been presented by now.

            Pragmatism. Duty belongs to us; the results belong to God.
            But very, very few pro-lifers have been faithful to fight abortion biblically these past 42 years, so it stands to reason that God hasn’t blessed the nation with repentance. The churches are full of false professors and apathy.

            Ought we *not* try to educate them via secular means that human life starts with conception?

            Sure, I don’t see why not.
            Don’t omit the Gospel; it’s what they really need. And most PL orgs DO omit it. So they ought to repent. You see, such a powerful and entrenched evil is not going to end without massive revival (or possibly war). Teaching lost people about DNA is not going to bring about massive revival. that’s not the means God has chosen to bring revival. Why not focus on that which WILL? Unless you’re making excuses and are embarrassed or are relying on human wisdom, or both?

            I *am* suggesting that if one approaches the problem of abortion from a secular angle one does not necessarily have to separate from an atheist, Muslim, or Catholic, whose aim is the same as ours

            You think our aim is to stop abortion.
            I think it’s to glorify God in all things.

            To extend AHA’s approach to the policing of the sin of murder would mean all Protestant Cops must disavow their affiliation with the police-force entirely and go spread the Gospel to folks in the process of murdering their neighbor.

            Why? I don’t see how that follows at all.
            Murdering born people is against the law. And nobody has ever suggested that we don’t want the laws of the nation changed.

            As I have stated before: abortion is a sinful behavior that comes out of a sinful nature. The former *can* be moderated thru secular means, the latter can *only* be changed with the Gospel.

            And yet you keep arguing for the permissibility and expansion of using the former. You don’t seem to care at all about the latter or the fact that nobody is focusing on the latter. You’re excusing their sin.

            I didn’t realize Live Action’s founder had converted to Catholicism – but that is still 5 out of 11.

            Just imagine how much else you don’t know about them!
            You think they list all their donors exhaustively?

            You are mentioning CPCs – does that stand for “Crisis Pregnancy Centers?”

            Yes.

            Can you give *any* citation that can back up that *any* Pro-life group (let alone “most”) is actually trying to pro-long the existence of abortion for their own self-serving purposes. If not, I would ask you to do the honorable thing and retract it.

            Of course I don’t mean that they’d say that out loud.
            You have to have a little bit of wisdom and see through the deception.

            I do NOT want to give our human/secular government the authority to legislate how I practice worship to God or even whether I am in obedience to Him.

            I didn’t say I wanted that. I don’t know why you’re saying this.

            I DO want that same government to only pass laws that are conducive to an orderly, moral society

            What is “moral” apart from God’s law? How do you or anyone else know what that is and means amd looks like?

            but there is a great distinction there which we, thankfully have firmly in place I our bill of rights

            Yes, the same Bill of Rights that didn’t say that black people are humans and not animals.
            We can do better than the Bill of Rights. We could follow the Scripture.

            Can you cite a source that shows drug-induced abortions are actually greater than what the CDC reports?

            No. I’m casting doubt on how the CDC has any idea whether they have gotten sufficient data to be relied upon in the way you are.

          15. >> I don’t have a problem with that specifically.
            > It’s good to hear that you don’t have a problem with being first and foremost about the Gospel.
            > I’m kind of unsettled that you seem to have reservations about that, though. You’re a Christian, right?

            To clarify: I have no reservations about sharing the Gospel – except is found in Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” You had asked why I am debating you and stated that I didn’t understand the reasons behind AHA’s statements. Those objections were in my mind when I wrote the above comment.

            > You don’t seem to care at all about the latter or the fact that nobody is focusing on the latter.

            I *do* care about sharing the Gospel as I clarified at the beginning of this post. I support those who do it. Part of the Great Commission is to make disciples and I personally don’t see anyway to do that apart from teaching the Gospel. We ought to be ready with an answer for the hope within us – and the answer *is* the Gospel. But you must consider Ephesians 4:11-13 (emphasis mine) “And He gave SOME as apostles, and SOME as prophets, and SOME as evangelists, and SOME as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Thus, not everyone is going to present the Gospel in the same way, at the same time, in the same situation – nor do I see a Biblical mandate to “obligate” our brothers and sisters in Christ to do so in such a narrowly prescribed manner as AHA promotes.

            >> I *am* suggesting that if one approaches the problem of abortion from a secular angle…
            > You think our aim is to stop abortion.
            > I think it’s to glorify God in all things.

            I am confused by this statement. Are you trying to suggest that AHA does NOT want to stop abortion? If not, then why are you making this distinction? If so, then why is “abortion” part of your movement’s name. It smacks of a “bait and switch” tactic.

            >> Are you suggesting to stick to your local church *unless* you are part of AHA?
            > No. There is no “part of AHA”, AHA being an ideology and not a group, as I’ve explained before.

            Under the “International Coalition of Abolitionist Societies” the AHA website specifically states “This Coalition serves three important and limited purposes: to foster unity and cooperation among the various abolitionist societies that are a PART OF THE ABOLISH HUMAN ABORTION MOVEMENT” (emphasis mine). The AHA makes it clear these “societies” are at least ostensibly autonomous, so I will stipulate that AHA is not an organization in the strictest sense of the word. However, AHA clearly states that there is, in fact, a “part of AHA”. So my question still stands unaddressed. I will reword it slightly here: Are you suggesting that true Christians need to stick to our local churches to fight abortion *unless* that local church doesn’t fully subscribe to AHA ideology, in which case a true Christian ought to begin their own Abolitionist Society? Are you suggesting that there are NO PL groups worthy of support or that can be worked with by a Christian?

            >> AHA proponents seem to allow for no difference in approach to combating abortion

            > That’s a mistaken impression, so I’m glad to correct it. There are tons of ways to fight abortion.

            You’ve stated that PL groups must repent if “… they omit the Gospel”. Therefore, according to you, if one does not bring the Gospel to the fight against abortion then that is sin. So then, no, AHA does *not* seem to agree that there are “tons of ways” but really only one: fight abortion thru preaching the Gospel. I am not trying to create a straw-man here but it seems that AHA is essentially saying, “there are tons of ways to fight abortion – as long as they comport to AHA ideology which dictates the presentation of the Gospel in some way shape or form that involves activism beyond the donation-box.”

            If you truly agree that there are “tons of ways to fight abortion” then among those ways can be a secular one that need not focus on the Gospel. Perhaps it is not as direct or the “best” or get at the heart of the problem – but my point is not which way is best, but which ways might be acceptable. I mean the best way to get 100 people From point A to point B is to fly in a straight line. But what if some folks can’t fly? And does it matter if some folks prefer to drive? And what if there isn’t a jet big enough for 100 people or the weather is so terrible that flight isn’t safe?

          16. (posts broken up as they are too long…)

            > Incrementalism is, however, sin. You don’t fight sin with sin.
            I’m not suggesting fighting sin with sin. Romans 12:17 “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.” But it is far from an established Christian doctrine that Incrementalism is “sin.” I am continuing to study the blog posts and most recent online debate between Wilcox & Reasnor. It seems like it is only with this most recent debate that AHA is trying to claim Incrementalism is somehow sinful, before then AHA just denounced Incremenatlism as a failed strategy. That’s a pretty drastic shift in framing the debate.

            > You’re excusing their sin.

            When you say “their”, are you talking about the PL movement in general, or specific PL groups? I have agreed with you several times that preaching a false Gospel is wrong. Where do you see that I am excusing anyone’s sin? The “sin” of Incrementalism maybe, but as I’ve pointed out that is far from an established doctrine?

            Consider Phillipians 1:15-18, “Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.”
            Paul is talking specifically about the Gospel here, but even so he does not suggest protesting and speaking out against those who are doing it “out of selfish ambition”. Rather, he is rejoicing that Christ is proclaimed. Therefore can we not similarly rejoice when others (even those with whom we have theological disagreements) proclaim the abolishment of abortion (which is *not* one & the same with the Gospel and therefore of much less value)? Need we be in lock-step about every tangential aspect of abortion and the abolishment thereof? Is it not acceptable to be heading in the same direction with the same end-goal (granted AHA’s primary end goal is the glorification of God, but I am assuming here that AHA still desires and abolition of abortion if only secondarily)?

            My argument is that if a group’s focus is not the Gospel but rather is trying to ban abortions from a secular/legislative angle, then that group ought not be compelled to preach the Gospel. Would it be “ideal?” Yes. Sure. But *not* an obligation and *not* a sin of omission.

          17. >> But it will be a secular Legislature that will pass the law

            > What does “a secular legislature” mean? I’m not sure why that matters.

            “Secular” would be that which is not overtly of a religious nature. It *does* matter greatly to my main point that AHA is actively alienating & denouncing groups who are approaching the sinful *act* of abortion via secular means. AHA is approaching abortion from the sinful *nature* side and seeks to change the heart thru the proclamation of the Gospel – which I fully support. Furthermore I find it commendable that AHA attempts to remain “pure and undefiled” by not partnering with groups who actively promote a *false* Gospel. However, AHA has an apparent inability or unwillingness to acknowledge that abortion can ALSO be addressed via secular means as a secular problem. AHA actively disparages groups who are like-minded in so far as they desire to end legal abortion but who do not promote any Gospel whatsoever, or does so tangentially since the sin-nature aspect of abortion doesn’t happen to be their focus.

            >> To extend AHA’s approach to the policing of the sin of murder would mean all Protestant Cops must disavow their affiliation with the police-force entirely and go spread the Gospel to folks in the process of murdering their neighbor.
            > Why? I don’t see how that follows at all.

            You have stated that abortion is different from murder and theft due to scale. However, Luke 16:10 tells us “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” This could be turned around to say that if one is faithful in much is also faithful in a little thing. You often state that to fight abortion without the Gospel is fighting darkness with darkness. If that is true, then fighting any sin without the Gospel is darkness. Therefore a secular police force composed of unbelievers is the same as fighting the darkness (of theft and murder) with darkness (law enforcement by unbelievers).

            AHA talks about passing legislation to criminalize abortion – these laws would be passed thru a Legislature similarly composed of unbelievers. Taking your arguments to what seems to be the logical extent would mean AHA cannot champion *any* legislation whatsoever until such time as our government is comprised in whole by born-again Protestants who uphold the AHA ideology.

            If that is incorrect, then please help me understand how AHA can lock hands with unbelievers in passing legislation (even a bill that would abolish abortion), but cannot join unbelieving PL groups who are not preaching the Gospel to end abortion, or PL groups with a Protestant/Evangelical-Christian foundation who for whatever reason choose to focus on a more secular approach to addressing abortion instead of placing the Gospel first.

          18. >> In fact the current reality is that the *only* avenue to change the (secular) laws in the USA is thru passing secular bills. AHA’s argument seems to be that the “best” foundation for those bills is the Gospel and I will agree with that. But it will be a secular Legislature that will pass the law and it will be a secular Executive branch that enforces it. Therefore I see no reason to try to alienate secular pro-life groups,…

            > Quite a reach.
            What part of that line of reasoning is a “reach”?

          19. >> … something is “acceptable” that is not counter to Biblical principles.
            > Bro, just stop. Look how you’re striving for exceptions…
            > Is it Christian to aim sorta for the minimum? Or to magnify God in ALL things?

            I am not looking for exceptions at all. If something is a sin – it’s a sin. But not everything AHA is saying is a sin, is in fact a sin. AHA is saying is that both an Incremental approach to fighting abortion or working with an unbeliever who subscribes to an Immediate-approach are “sin”. This is untenable. While, from a Biblical point of view, clearly elective abortion is murder and thus a sin (in both act and the heart that decides to do it), it is not at all clear that Incrementalism is sin.

            Nor do I see Biblical support for only fighting sinful *acts* via the Gospel. Infact, we find support countering that very argument in Romans 13 “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Then in verse 3 & 4 “…Do what is good and you will have praise from the (authority); for i(the authority) is a minister of God to you for good.” Paul is talking about the ROMANS – a pagan authority!

            Furthermore AHA is misapplying the principle of the Doctrines of separating from false teachers and being unequally yoked with unbelievers in spiritual endeavors with regards to fighting abortion with unbelievers. Abortion is not just a spiritual issue.

            Also Romans 14 teaches us that there *are* such things as preferences – which would mean that X is wrong in your conscience, but not wrong in mine and so X is not (necessarily) a sin. AHA *prefers* to address the sinful nature behind abortion with the Gospel. Kudos to you. That’s awesome. Really, I mean that sincerely. But recognize that is your preference and *not* a Biblical mandate with regards to fighting abortion. AHA has such a wealth of passion and energy that is being mis-directed by fighting against those who could very well be your allies.

            Which leads to the link to personhood.org. I wasn’t concerned with your assessment of Jay Rogers, but rather with his idea regarding “Principled incrementalism – Laws that do not ban all abortion, but are designed to incrementally restrict abortion without including explicit exceptions in the language of the law. Examples might include parental notification laws, an ultrasound requirement, and bans on aborting preborn children that have reached the stage of viability.” I realize this is incrementalism and thus condemned under AHA’s stated beliefs, however, as I am studying the history of abortion in the US, it seems to my (admittedly incomplete) understanding that this kind of legislation should be supportable (by this I mean a Christian could vote “yes” for it and not be committing a sin) if not outright campaign for it (since it falls short of abolishment). This kind of legislation, as Roger’s article more fully articulates, would not specifically “abandon” any children. Is this outside of what AHA can accept along the way to its ultimate goal of total abolition? If not, then when AHA admits that while calling for “immediate abolishment”, they recognize such abolishment may take a long time – what will happen in the intermediate time? No incremental legislation to even slow down the pace of abortion? OR, some incremental legislation that is “principled”? Or (and I do not mean this derogatorily) is AHA leaving that up to God?

          20. >> As I have stated before: abortion is a sinful behavior that comes out of a sinful nature. The former *can* be moderated thru secular means, the latter can *only* be changed with the Gospel.
            > And yet you keep arguing for the permissibility and expansion of using the former.

            Please show me where I have argued for the “permissibility and expansion” of abortion because I have re-read my posts and I am unable to understand how you could draw that conclusion.

          21. nor do I see a Biblical mandate to “obligate” our brothers and sisters in Christ to do so in such a narrowly prescribed manner as AHA promotes.

            I think you’re making several mistakes here.
            First, “AHA” doesn’t promote anything. AHA is an ideology, as I’ve told you before. Until you can get that right, why would anyone think your analysis bears much weight?
            Second, do you think the Bible obligates people to share the Gospel?
            Third, what is the “narrowly prescribed manner” that you see abolitionists promoting? I don’t think you’ve read us correctly at all.

            not everyone is going to present the Gospel in the same way, at the same time, in the same situation

            1) Of course not.
            2) But we should all ask why we’re unwilling to engage the culture in visible ways, and examine ourselves. What are the good reasons why we wouldn’t do that? Fear of man? What else?
            3) Ephesians 4:11-13 doesn’t get you to this conclusion. You’re eisegeting.

            Are you trying to suggest that AHA does NOT want to stop abortion?

            Except for the fact that ideologies don’t want things, since they’re ideologies and not agents, no, I’m not saying that abolitionists don’t want to stop abortion. Why would you ask this question?

            If not, then why are you making this distinction? If so, then why is “abortion” part of your movement’s name. It smacks of a “bait and switch” tactic.

            I make the distinction b/c the PLM is like “save a baby or two at all costs!” which is counterproductive – many times it involves using sinful means to bring about a desired end.
            Abolitionists say: Never do evil that good may result. We say that b/c the Bible says it. The PLM, which you have thus far preferred rather than abolition, says it’s OK to do evil that good may result. That’s sin.
            Unless you think that God wouldn’t be glorified in abolishing human abortion thru the Gospel, I don’t see how it’s a bait and switch. It’s uncharitable of you to speak in these terms.

            PART OF THE ABOLISH HUMAN ABORTION MOVEMENT

            Yes, a movement, an ideology. Not an organisation, as I’ve repeatedly told you.

            The AHA makes it clear these “societies” are at least ostensibly autonomous

            What is “the AHA”?
            And yes, since the Bible has no knowledge of a papacy, these societies and churches that adhere to abolitionist ideology are autonomous.

            so I will stipulate that AHA is not an organization in the strictest sense of the word.

            Then you’re simply being dishonest. You should repent.

            Are you suggesting that true Christians need to stick to our local churches to fight abortion *unless* that local church doesn’t fully subscribe to AHA ideology, in which case a t rue Christian ought to begin their own Abolitionist Society?

            Finally a question whose premises aren’t false!
            Ideally a Christian ought to help provoke his local church to love and good deeds and to believe true things, and to spread those true things and good deeds to everyone in the community and the world. If a local church disputes AHA ideology, then that believer ought to do their best to engage the church with the Scripture and help them see that AHA truly represents what the Bible teaches about what vital Christianity looks like in a culture that practices child sacrifice. If the local church resists a lot, it’s a tough call as to what to do next. Leave? Do like the early abolitionists and excommunicate the church? Exhort them somehow? There are lots of choices and it can be hard to know a general rule in the abstract. The situation has to be discerned on a case by case basis.
            One may find that the church is sorta OK with abolition, and the believer may not want to leave or directly challenge the apathetic leadership (yet), so to be faithful and do the work, the believer might put together an abolitionist society so that at least they can be with others who want to be faithful in a given locality and serve the Lord and try to exhort and encourage others in their churches and other churches to abandon apathy and be salt and light in their community. When you get right down to it, anyway, a group of Christians in a given locality who meet regularly and serve and worship the Lord together is a lot like a church anyway.

            Are you suggesting that there are NO PL groups worthy of support or that can be worked with by a Christian?

            Some orgs that adhere to abolitionist ideology that have not taken the name “abolitionist” would be OK, like Operation Save America. But not most PL orgs.

            Therefore, according to you, if one does not bring the Gospel to the fight against abortion then that is sin.

            Hold on. Let’s rephrase.
            If one does not bring the Gospel to the fight against sin, then that is sin.
            Do you disagree?

            So then, no, AHA does *not* seem to agree that there are “tons of ways” but really only one: fight abortion thru preaching the Gospel

            Part of your confusion may arise in the fact that you probably define “the Gospel” more narrowly than I would.
            Preaching and proclaiming it, yes, but that’s not all. How familiar are you with what abolitionists around the country are doing?

            it seems that AHA is essentially saying, “there are tons of ways to fight abortion – as long as they comport to AHA ideology”

            AHA ideology accurately represents Scriptural teaching, so yes, that’s what I’m saying.
            We should all obey the Scripture at all times. Don’t you think so?

            which dictates the presentation of the Gospel in some way shape or form that involves activism beyond the donation-box.”

            I’m honestly not sure what you’re after with this statement.

            If you truly agree that there are “tons of ways to fight abortion” then among those ways can be a secular one

            That is a major non sequitur.

            But what if some folks can’t fly?

            That’s not a good analogy – inability to pilot an airplane is not like being lost in love of sin.

            I’m not suggesting fighting sin with sin.

            Then you’re not looking at this issue rightly.
            A decree that does not establish justice for all oppressed is sinful.

            When you say “their”, are you talking about the PL movement in general, or specific PL groups?

            Most of the individuals, forming the larger movement as a whole. There are always exceptions.

            Consider Phillipians 1:15-18,

            Yes, and the PLM has both the wrong Gospel AND the wrong motives.
            Galatians 1:6-10

            AHA is approaching abortion from the sinful *nature* side and seeks to change the heart thru the proclamation of the Gospel – which I fully support

            Hopefully you’ll forgive me my skepticism that you really mean that, since you’ve spent most of your comments in this debate militating against that proposition.

            Therefore a secular police force composed of unbelievers is the same as fighting the darkness (of theft and murder) with darkness (law enforcement by unbelievers).

            Not so; the decree against murder is righteous. In general it is attempted to be adhered to by the police. Etc.

            Taking your arguments to what seems to be the logical extent would mean AHA cannot champion *any* legislation whatsoever until such time as our government is comprised in whole by born-again Protestants who uphold the AHA ideology.

            You’re simply misunderstanding.

            If that is incorrect, then please help me understand how AHA can lock hands with unbelievers in passing legislation

            How is it locking hands with unbelievers by persuading them to vote for righteous decrees?

            Abortion is not just a spiritual issue.

            Nobody ever said it’s JUST a spiritual issue.

            Also Romans 14 teaches us that there *are* such things as preferences – which would mean that X is wrong in your conscience, but not wrong in mine and so X is not (necessarily) a sin. AHA *prefers* to address the sinful nature behind abortion with the Gospel.

            Twisting Romans 14. Your proposal is that Paul would say “It’s Christian liberty for a Christian politician to pass unrighteous decrees.” I think that’s nonsense.

            Principled incrementalism – Laws that do not ban all abortion, but are designed to incrementally restrict abortion without including explicit exceptions in the language of the law.

            This idea is bad. Call it “principled” all you want. I can call a tail a leg. Dogs still have four legs.

          22. RE: Credibility & Integrity
            >> I didn’t realize Live Action’s founder had converted to Catholicism – but that is still 5 out of 11.
            > Just imagine how much else you don’t know about them!
            > You think they list all their donors exhaustively?
            First off, accepting money from unbelieving donors has Biblical precedent: see Ezra and 2 Chronicles when the 2nd Temple was built. So simply having unbelieving contributors ought not be a cause that an organization is corrupt or unbiblical. Also 1 Samuel 30:22 mentions “wicked and worthless men” among David’s own followers so that does not necessarily make the organization itself corrupt anymore than having Christians within an organization makes that organization “pure”. Judah and Israel were condemned or commended based on their respective Kings who *lead* them in evil or righteousness.
            Secondly, Have you researched all these groups’ donor lists? Have you documented all their affiliations? Your statements seem to be hyperbole based on your own prejudices and not on substantiated facts. If you have such documentation that can back up your claims, would you be so kind as to share this with me (and spare me a LOT of work) or even make a link on the AHA website were this info can be found? AHA wants to “expose darkness” so I would think this is exactly the kind of thing you would want to bring to the light.

            >> Can you give *any* citation that can back up that *any* Pro-life group (let alone “most”) is actually trying to prolong the existence of abortion for their own self-serving purposes. If not, I would ask you to do the honorable thing and retract it.
            > Of course I don’t mean that they’d say that out loud.
            > You have to have a little bit of wisdom and see through the deception.
            I don’t mean this as an aggressive or derogatory remark, but this statement makes you seem like you have some kind of “special knowledge.” I understand one ought to be wise and look past the superficial, but this smacks of arrogance and completely sidesteps your responsibility to substantiate your inflammatory misinformation – something several AHA blog-posts denounce when such statements are focused on AHA. If you truly believe, as you stated in an earlier post, that making such remarks is irresponsible, then I again ask you to cite your evidence or retract the statement.

            > No. I’m casting doubt on how the CDC has any idea whether they have gotten sufficient data to be relied upon in the way you are.
            This is similar to your statements above regarding “most” PL groups being beholden to Rome and trying to prolong the abortion issue. You apparently have no data to support your accusation and are therefore arguing from silence. CDC is collecting *reported* data from several agencies. So, yes, this obviously isn’t everything. However, to make a claim – especially a claim countering or attempting to cast doubt upon actual reported data – without any facts is at best unhelpful to your cause and at worst foolish.

          23. > I think you’re making several mistakes here.
            > First, “AHA” doesn’t promote anything. AHA is an ideology, as I’ve told you before. Until you can get that right, why would anyone think your analysis bears much weight?

            OK. I have been interchanging AHA for abolitionists. Hence forth I will direct my comments to simply you.

            > Second, do you think the Bible obligates people to share the Gospel?

            Yes.

            > Third, what is the “narrowly prescribed manner” that you see abolitionists promoting?

            > I don’t think you’ve read us correctly at all.

            I haven’t slogged thru the entire website or blog-roll yet so perhaps I have missed a key post. When I say “narrowly prescribed manner” I mean that you are calling for every Christian to give a Gospel answer expressly in the fight against abortion and failing to do so is shirking one’s duty to God and thus sin.

            > But we should all ask why we’re unwilling to engage the culture in visible ways, and examine ourselves. What are the good reasons why we wouldn’t do that? Fear of man? What else?

            Matthew 7:6. If you know your audience is hostile or stiff-necked then it would be fruitless.

            > no, I’m not saying that abolitionists don’t want to stop abortion. Why would you ask this question?

            I made a statement about secular groups having the same aim as you of stopping abortion to which you replied, “You think our aim is to stop abortion. I think it’s to glorify God in all things.” Your response confused me because it seemed to suggest that you did not want to end abortion since that is not your aim. I wanted clarification, thus the question.

            > The PLM, which you have thus far preferred rather than abolition

            You are misreading me. I have concerns about the PL movement and PL organizations as well. But you are not a proponent thereof so I am only addressing my concerns about abolition with you. I think both PL and abolitionists can work together (if certain proponents of each ideology could be less stubborn). I could be wrong.

            > Unless you think that God wouldn’t be glorified in abolishing human abortion thru the Gospel, I don’t see how it’s a bait and switch. It’s uncharitable of you to speak in these terms.

            It is a serious concern of mine. I do not mean to be “uncharitable”. My original understanding of the “Abolish Human Abortion” ideology was that it was a PL organization. It has taken weeks of reading the site, blog, and this discussion with you to get even a little clarity. Perhaps you should try to clarify, or re-brand the ideology’s name as “Gospel Abolition Ideology” and leave off the “Abortion” altogether since I am not the only person to have such misunderstandings as evidenced by many of the comments to the blog posts.

            >What is “the AHA”?

            I meant to type the AHA website. Spellcheck doesn’t catch all typos unfortunately.
            😉

            >> so I will stipulate that AHA is not an organization in the strictest sense of the word.
            > Then you’re simply being dishonest. You should repent.

            Forgive me if I am being obtuse here, but are you kidding? You really think I am being dishonest here and that I need to repent!? Because if you’re not let me just say I am not being dishonest. Look up “organization”:

            Merriam-Webster.com
            -the act or process of planning and arranging the different parts of an event or activity
            – a company, business, club, etc., that is formed for a particular purpose
            – the act or process of putting the different parts of something in a certain order so that they can be found or used easily
            Dictionary.com’s definitions give AHA more lee-way but many of these definitions could be applied to AHA.
            I feel more dishonest about giving you the benefit of the doubt since AHA writers proclaim it is *not* an organization per se and it specifically calls for independent chapters which *organize* under the monicker of “Abolitionist Society.” Honestly I don’t get why AHA writers are so adamant about not being an “organization.”

            > If a local church disputes AHA ideology, then that believer ought to do their best to engage the church with the Scripture and help them see that AHA truly represents what the Bible teaches about what vital Christianity looks like in a culture that practices child sacrifice.

            I am not convinced. I like much of the AHA ideology, but I have issues – specifically with the very separatist stance of working with unbelievers in a secular situation.

            > If one does not bring the Gospel to the fight against sin, then that is sin.
            > Do you disagree?

            Yes. We are not on common ground on what “sin” is. You seem to define it much more broadly than I find supportable by Scripture. Furthermore I am not sure how to practically work out your stance on fighting sin. See my analogy regarding police below.

            >> So then, no, AHA does *not* seem to agree that there are “tons of ways” but really only one: fight abortion thru preaching the Gospel
            > Part of your confusion may arise in the fact that you probably define “the Gospel” more narrowly than I would.

            I would agree with The Gospel page on the AHA website.

            > Preaching and proclaiming it, yes, but that’s not all. How familiar are you with what abolitionists around the country are doing?

            Just from a couple of handfuls of videos from the AHA site and Fire Away. Very little.

            > We should all obey the Scripture at all times. Don’t you think so?

            Yes.

            >> which dictates the presentation of the Gospel in some way shape or form that involves activism beyond the donation-box.”
            > I’m honestly not sure what you’re after with this statement.

            I was just trying to be comprehensive. Is that last part not true of the AHA ideology?

            >> Consider Phillipians 1:15-18,
            > Yes, and the PLM has both the wrong Gospel AND the wrong motives.

            You are missing my point which I will restate here: If Paul can rejoice that others are proclaiming the Gospel even when not done so with pure motives, can we not rejoice when others proclaim/champion/work towards the abolishment of abortion whether they do so out of the same motive as you or not?

            > Hopefully you’ll forgive me my skepticism that you really mean that, since you’ve spent most of your comments in this debate militating against that proposition.

            I do forgive you. I see the work of ending abortion as being able to be dealt with as both a sin-issue and secular issue and that *both* can have the same end goal of ending abortion albeit from two different approaches. I have not once stated that I *anything* against the proposition of giving a Gospel answer to abortion let alone “militate” against it. I have emphatically stated that is not the *only* way.

            >>Therefore a secular police force composed of unbelievers is the same as fighting the darkness (of theft and murder) with darkness (law enforcement by unbelievers).
            > Not so; the decree against murder is righteous. In general it is attempted to be adhered to by the police. Etc.

            But upholding and enforcing that righteous decree are those who hate Christ. How is that not “link(ing) arms in substantive ways with others who hate the Gospel to fight sin”? And if that is not, how is it linking arms with haters of the Gospel to work with non-Gospel preaching PL organizations who are striving to end abortion?

            > You’re simply misunderstanding.

            So you keep saying. I *am* trying to understand. I am trying to be clear where I am confused. If there is a more systematic way to learn I’m up for trying something else.

            > How is it locking hands with unbelievers by persuading them to vote for righteous decrees?

            I don’t know. That is what I’m trying to figure out. If an unbeliever can vote for a righteous bill, write that righteous bill in the first place (and here I am assuming the Representative/Sentator could well be an unbeliever), and an unbelieving Police Officer can then enforce a righteous bill that has become law and an unbelieving Judge and Prosecutor can convict a Christian who stumbles and sins by having an abortion that is then outlawed (because all Christians do sin so this is not outside the realm of possibilities) then how is it locking hands with unbelievers to work with them toward fighting abortion in the first place?

            >> Abortion is not just a spiritual issue.
            > Nobody ever said it’s JUST a spiritual issue.

            Then why are you claiming that abortion must only be answered with the Gospel?

            > Twisting Romans 14. Your proposal is that Paul would say “It’s Christian liberty for a Christian politician to pass unrighteous decrees.” I think that’s nonsense.

            I’m not suggesting that. I *am* suggesting that just because you prefer to give a Gospel answer to abortion doesn’t mean that not giving a Gospel answer to fight abortion is sin. It is *your* preference.

          24. I think this succinctly gets to the heart of my whole argument:
            Murder is not the unforgiveable sin
            Murder is not solely a spiritual issue
            Murder can be moderated by unbelievers and Christians who actively try to prevent it thru substantive secular means which include but are not limited to:
            – calling the authorities to prevent murder
            – putting themselves in harms way between a murderer and his/her victim
            – campaigning for, writing, sponsoring, voting for, and enforcing laws that criminalize murder
            – use reason to convince a person with murderous intent to abandon their plan of murder

            Christians may …
            – cooperate with unbelievers to moderate murder in substantive secular ways
            – explain the Gospel to a person with murderous intent to convince them to repent and follow Jesus Christ and abandon their plan of murder

            Christians ought NOT participate or join in sin
            The dissemination of a false Gospel is sin
            Not disseminating a false gospel is not sin
            Christians out not participate in the dissemination of a false Gospel

            Unbelievers cannot teach a true Gospel.
            Not giving a false Gospel is NOT a sin.
            Unbelievers who do not teach a false Gospel do not sin.

            Christians cooperating with unbelievers who do not teach a false Gospel is not sin.

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