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Pastor, Love Your Preborn Neighbors

 

“Many pastors refused to help in the name of their own ‘safety,’ which was infuriating as tiny lives were on the line. I know of one baby who is dead because a pastor would not meet with the woman. The abortionist was more than willing to meet with her. Now that we are on the other side of all of that, many pastors simply do not want to help. I am not sure if it is a lack of community involvement, or a lack of time, or what. But I have been unpleasantly surprised.”

Laura Klassen, Director of CHOICE42

Perhaps the distinguishing mark of a disciple of Jesus Christ is love (John 13:34-35). Not only is love part of the summation of the law of God according to Jesus, but it is also the second greatest commandment (Matt. 22:36-40). Much time and money are spent on various local church outreaches to demonstrate that a particular church is loving: from trunk-or-treat to free meals, from deacon’s fund expenditures to community festivals, from digging wells in other nations to forms of servant evangelism.

But when given an opportunity to show love to your preborn neighbors, meaning babies in the womb vulnerable to abortion, what do you do for them? Anything?

Most churches are satisfied to write a check to a crisis pregnancy center in their area. Some will engage in various forms of public protest: a march for life, a prayer chain, some sort of worship service or protest outside of an abortion clinic, a prayer vigil for forty days, or something to that effect. Others who want to be more gospel-centered will stand in front of an abortion clinic and preach the gospel, something I have advocated for and done since 2011. Others still will lobby for bills of abolition, produce content for social media on the horrors of abortion, and distribute literature.

All of these activities vary in their effectiveness and in their faithfulness to the Bible. But there is an opportunity to show love for the preborn that is sadly overlooked and, frankly, ignored when the opportunity arises. This is the opportunity to reach out to mothers who have decided to keep their babies and need help. They often need help with baby items, medical needs, rent, food, and other tangible assistance. Many of them need Christ and a solid church where they can hear the gospel and grow in the Lord.

At this point, you may be thinking: “Great, that is why God made crisis pregnancy centers. Let them go to the crisis pregnancy center that we support.” Perhaps you are echoing Ebenezer Scrooge: “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

No, this is why God made the church. Where is the church?

Why is it that local churches farm out opportunities to help the preborn and their parents to crisis pregnancy centers? Pastor, elder, deacon: Do you even know what gospel your crisis pregnancy center preaches? Do they preach the false Roman Catholic gospel? Or maybe the moralistic therapeutic deistic gospel of big evangelicalism? Maybe there is no effort to share the gospel at all because, as so many in the pro-life movement say, we should not talk to abortive moms about sin, religion, or murder.

In post-Roe America, the front line in many states has shifted from abortion clinics to online ministry. Crisis pregnancy centers in these states are ill-equipped for the shift. Where surgical abortion has been stopped, chemical, do-it-yourself abortion pills are on the rise. The front line has shifted to social media and other places on the internet where women are seeking information on abortions they can have in the first trimester at home.

These women are not seeking out brick-and-mortar crisis pregnancy centers to get that information. It is all at their fingertips, meaning that the fate of so many babies is decided on the internet.

Enter CHOICE42. CHOICE42 has been producing viral videos over the last several years that have led to conversations with abortive women, resulting in many babies being saved and families being helped. I got to know Laura Klassen and CHOICE42 when I went viral in 2019 for closing my bookstore in New York over the state’s expanded abortion laws. Since then, I have assisted CHOICE42 with building a network of committed Christians and local churches that will assist by verifying the needs of the pregnant mother.

The mother sees one of these videos, and she reaches out to CHOICE42, they tell her she needs to keep her baby because abortion is murder, and when she commits to keeping the baby, the verification process begins. In my view, this is far superior to the organizations that contact abortive women and then publicize their stories in the hopes of convincing the women to keep their babies based on the funds raised. A woman who can be bribed to keep her baby can be convinced to do the opposite if the financial situation changes. She needs to keep her baby because doing so is the right thing to do.

At that point, a Christian, preferably a woman, is needed to meet with the mom, look at some paperwork, and help determine if the need is legitimate. Scams abound, so CHOICE42 provides experienced volunteers who walk verifiers through the process and who make the final decision. If the mother legitimately needs aid and the situation checks out, CHOICE42 will assist with baby registries and other needs. The verifier also serves as a channel of blessing to the mom, getting her access to needed help from CHOICE42. They also share the gospel with the mother and her family.

The churches and local verifiers are not financially tapped. It is a ministry of verification, service, and evangelism. This ministry takes some time and emotional commitment, but it is a simple opportunity to share Christ with someone in your community whom you probably have not previously met. In short, it is an opportunity to evangelize and serve.

Take it from someone who has tried to locate people to verify these situations: church leadership and individual Christians are often slow to become involved. The issue is not financial, but simply a matter of whether people are willing to enter messy situations with the gospel. No one minds voting for pro-life candidates: that takes no commitment or sacrifice. Many people love to march for life, which does not take much more than a basic financial and time commitment. But to sit down with a pregnant teenager or a woman who is being manipulated by her boyfriend or parent, or whose life is nothing like the average church lady? Well, for many, that is “a little more than they are used to.” And then again “there is a crisis pregnancy center in my city!

It is far worse when a pastor who is the only hope for a child shows little concern for the plight of the preborn. CHOICE42 Director Laura Klassen said in an interview for this article that during the lockdowns: “Many pastors refused to help in the name of their own ‘safety,’ which was infuriating as tiny lives were on the line. I know of one baby who is dead because a pastor would not meet with the woman. The abortionist was more than willing to meet with her. Now that we are on the other side of all of that, many pastors simply do not want to help. I am not sure if it is a lack of community involvement, or a lack of time, or what. But I have been unpleasantly surprised.”

I should not have to say much here, so I will not. Suffice it to say that the Lord who gave us the story of the Good Samaritan is the same Lord we will stand before in judgment. And however you parse it, that Lord will say to people: “‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’” (Matt. 25:45). However you parse it, we need to figure out exactly what it means to be a Christian in a culture of death.

If you would like to be vetted for this growing network of sound believers and local churches, please contact CHOICE42 here.

For further reading
So Many Lions, So Few Daniels by Ray Comfort
Triumphing Over Sinful Fear by John Flavel, Edited by J. Stephen Yuille
America is Too Young to Die by Leonard Ravenhill
The Preacher and Prayer by E.M. Bounds
Jon Speed

Jon Speed

Jon Speed is married to Kim and they have five children and two grandchildren. He is the Pastor of Missions and Evangelism at By the Word Baptist Church in Azle, TX. Speed is the author of Evangelism in the New Testament and co-produced Babies Are Murdered Here (2014) and Babies Are STILL Murdered Here (2019). He planted Christ is King Baptist Church in Syracuse, NY (2011-2019) and is a co-founder of Loor.tv.

December 1, 2023

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