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Why an Abortionist’s Appeal to Jesus Won’t Work
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LifesiteNews.com reports on a risible claim about Jesus made by Amy Hagstrom Miller. Miller runs a chain of abortion clinics in Texas and is a key antagonist in the challenge to a Texas law regulating abortion clinics now before the Supreme Court. In an interview at AlterNet Miller contends:

I was raised in a liberal Christian tradition, and I come to the work because of that background, not in spite of it. The Jesus that I was taught about would be holding the hands of women inside the clinic; he wouldn’t be screaming at them. Acting on Christian principles is holding the hands of people at difficult times in their lives, and being supportive and nonjudgmental and kind.

If this was what she was taught about Jesus by the “liberal Christian tradition,” then she was taught badly, very badly indeed, and “liberal” Christianity comes in for a scathing indictment. While I characterize her comments as risible, her views reflect accurately how “liberal Christianity” justifies its support for abortion.

Everything that we know about Jesus from extant sources (as opposed, say, to what we “know” about Jesus from treating him as our own personal ideological cipher) indicates that Jesus would have intervened to protect the helpless child. And then he would likely be gracious to the offenders seeking to take the child’s life by calling them to a higher ethic of doing for others what they wish to be done for themselves (which, incidentally, would not include depriving their own selves of life).

Jesus’ outreach to those lost due to a sinful lifestyle, whether they be economically exploitative tax collectors or egregious sexual sinners, was for the purpose, first and foremost, of calling them to repentance and a transformed life, by which alone they might inherit the kingdom of God that he preached. The claim that Jesus’ outreach to the sinful lost (as opposed to the marginalized sick and diseased) shows Jesus to be unconcerned for sin and its potential to send sinners to hell is the biggest misconception about Jesus circulating today.

No one ever argues that, because Jesus reached out to tax collectors who collected from the poor several times the tax due and profited from the excess, Jesus was soft on economic exploitation. Why, then, should anyone conclude that his outreach to sexual sinners indicates that he was soft on the issue of sexual immorality? Jesus’ other statements about sex (adultery of the heart, divorce, and remarriage-after-divorce) rather demonstrate that Jesus intensified God’s demand for sexual purity and warned that sexual impurity (unconfessed, unrepented) could lead to destruction in hell (biblical Gehenna).

Jesus upheld the most disadvantaged in his society (who is more helpless than the unborn child?) and spoke about the necessity of working tirelessly (even on a Sabbath rest day) to “save life rather than to kill” (Mark 3:4). From his Scriptures came the Prophets’ revelation that God forms and calls people to an appointed task even from the womb of their mother (Isaiah 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5), as well as the Writings’ testimony that God “knits together” each person in the “mother’s womb,” “woven” by God “in secret” but already having a foreordained purpose in life (Ps 139:13-16).

Ironically, those self-professed “liberal” Christians who claim Jesus’ “non-judgmental” support for abortion by definition would (to be consistent) have to express support for Elizabeth’s right to abort John the Baptizer, who in her womb “leaped for joy” when Elizabeth heard the greeting of her now-pregnant relative Mary (Luke 1:39-45). Indeed, Mary as an unwed mother should have been offered the right to abort the Son of God within her. The entirety of the Early Church that emanated from Jesus’ life and teaching condemned abortion as a sin comparable at least to severe sexual immorality. This includes the ca. 100 A.D. Christian manual known as the Didache (“Teaching”) and Church Fathers of the stature of Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Basil.

Historically speaking, the notion that Jesus would have been a supportive, non-judgmental presence to a woman getting an abortion, holding her hand as a “doctor” mutilated and killed the developing human within her, is completely untenable.

Let the one who has ears to hear hear.

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