Why Every Prolife Church in Oregon Should Support the Petition to Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion
By Randy Alcorn
The last 27 years I’ve been with Eternal Perspective Ministries. Before that I was a pastor for 14 years, and I have a number of close friends who are pastors. I feel like I understand their worlds.
I understand why pastors struggle with the many political issues people want them to address in church. In my opinion, most issues that are only political have no place in a local church, as it’s the place for solid Bible teaching and sound doctrine, not pitting social conservatives against liberals and thereby dividing the church. (See my article Conservative, Liberal, or Christian?) As a result, there’s been increasing push-back against having any petitions in churches because they appear to politicize the church.
Frankly, when it comes to marginal issues I sympathize with this—we don’t need to make our churches more political. But there’s no sense in which the killing of children is a marginal issue that Scripture is indifferent to! Long before it was ever a political issue, it was a moral issue, and one which God has a clear and emphatic position on. I encourage you to take a look at what God’s Word says about unborn children, and what the people of God throughout history have said about abortion.
I also understand almost no topic is as guaranteed to offend some church members as abortion. But we’re not dealing here with “one more social/political issue.” We’re dealing with a unique and focused evil in which Satan has deeply vested interests. There are demonic forces behind child-killing. Abortion is Satan’s attempt to kill God in effigy by destroying the little ones created in God’s image. We can’t afford to simply look away or sweep this issue under the rug.
The desire to avoid people’s disapproval is a common reason for church leaders to hold back in prolife efforts, including making petitions available to reduce the number of abortions. But for every reason or excuse we have, we must be ready to answer a question on the last day: “Was that reason more important than the lives of all those children I created in my image and the lives of the men and women involved in this life-altering decision?”
In one year alone, taxpayer funds paid for the deaths of almost 4,000 unborn children in Oregon. The Oregon Health Authority reported that $2.42 million in state money was spent on abortions in 2016, the highest amount in the past 14 years. During the fiscal year 2015-2016, money was paid to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers for 3,769 abortions covered under the Oregon Health Plan.
That breaks my heart. It also raises the question: what are we, as individuals, and collectively as the church, doing to help pregnant women and save those unborn children? I firmly believe that hearts are changed, women helped, and lives saved through God’s people reaching out and ministering to those in need, one at a time. But many lives can also be saved through judicial reform and legislative action, and for that we should rejoice. The jobs of personal intervention, education, and political action will all continue for decades to come, requiring great perseverance.
I highly encourage prolife churches to get involved with circulating petitions in an effort to help stop taxpayer funding of abortion in Oregon. Yes, I’m well aware that many, both church leaders and members, insist that it isn’t the job of the church to get involved in prolife activities. But what is the job of the church?
I appeal to believers to come to grips with the fact that loving God cannot be separated from loving our neighbor (Matthew 22:34–40). To a man who wished to define “neighbor” in a way that excluded certain groups of needy people, Christ presented the Good Samaritan as a model for our behavior (Luke 10:25–37). He went out of his way to help the man lying in the ditch. In contrast, the religious hypocrites looked the other way because they had more “spiritual” things to do.
More re information on the petition is available on Randy’s website.