Ask RC: Why won’t my pastor preach against abortion?
Here are the three reasons I hear most frequently, and two I suspect. First, I have heard from some pastors that the issue is a political one, and they think it necessary to avoid political issues. Some argue that they avoid political issues because they are divisive, others because the government forbids it. They are right on the first count, wrong on the second. Of course every truth divides. Every truth. Preach “Puppies are cute” and the kitten crowd might get upset. Preach “The sky is blue” and the gloomy brigade will demand to know what you have against grey. Jesus came to divide families (Matthew 10:21). We should expect no less from faithful shepherds. As for the government, first there is no law against preaching on abortion and second, so what if there were? The government doesn’t decide what will be preached, but the Lord of Lords does.
Second, pastors have told me it is too upsetting to their congregants. These pastors are thankfully aware of what too many miss, that their pews are filled with women who have murdered their own babies, and the husbands/boyfriends/fathers who have helped them. They rightly recognize the crushing burden of guilt they can feel. And they wrongfully refuse to address it. Preaching against the evil of abortion, like preaching against every other sin, must include preaching Christ crucified. And rest assured, our sins do need to be preached against.
Third, I have heard pastors proudly insist that they only preach the Bible, and abortion is not mentioned in the Bible. Poppycock. There is nothing new under the sun. How could one preach through James’ definition of true religion, that it is visiting widows and orphans in their trouble, and not preach on those widows who have no man to protect them from abortionists, and those orphans whose parents pay others to kill them? How can one cover the worship of Molech, without preaching on how we sacrifice our children to the bloodthirsty gods of convenience and reputation?
The two real reasons I suspect pastors won’t preach on abortion are these. First, not knowing what to do. That is, not that they don’t know how to preach a sermon, but that they don’t know how to encourage the saints to respond to abortion. It’s rather anti-climactic to thunder against this great evil and when you get to the application say, “So write a check to your local crisis pregnancy center.” Pastors don’t know what to do, though they of all people ought to. What we need to do is repent and believe the gospel. That’s the solution to every problem. Of course write checks to the local crisis pregnancy center, out of repentance. Vote for fully pro-life statesmen, out of repentance. Stand with 40 Days for Life in repentance. Take a busload to the annual March for Life in Washington, not to demonstrate political might, but out of repentance. Go to your local mill, preach and pray repentance.
Which brings us to the second real reason- pastors won’t preach against abortion because of their own guilt. They may have procured an abortion somewhere along the way. They may have counseled others to procure an abortion somewhere along the way. Or they may simply feel the guilt that they haven’t preached on this before. The solution? Repent and believe the gospel.
Abortion is THE great evil of our day. The preaching of the Word is the great power of any day. Until shepherds preach like lives and eternity are at stake, which they are, then lambs will continue to be devoured by wolves while hirelings look on. Against abortion preach repentance.