“Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32).

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I came across a meme, this morning, which read: “It’s easier to murder humans when they are dehumanized. Only a depraved mind would think this is acceptable.” The meme displayed an image of two Nazi soldiers talking, along side one of two women talking, one of whom is pregnant. Above the image of the soldiers, a quote read: “It’s not murder, because Jews aren’t actually ‘people’”, and above the women: “It’s not murder, because babies aren’t actually ‘people’”. I find it interesting that the very same argument was used to justify American slavery, and then I thought of Ecclesiastes: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (1:9). I am glad Abolitionists spoke up then, and so we must speak up today.

But who has been taken captive? Who has been deceived? God rebuked me this morning, and his admonishment wasn’t about things like service to would-be mothers, or providing care to unwanted children, not to diminish the importance of either, but I already know these things. No, God had something else in mind, this morning, which I hadn’t really thought of before. He asked to what have I been desensitized? Who am I dehumanizing? And the first group that came to mind are the homeless living among us. How could a society ever grow so depraved as to permit abortions up to the very day of birth? Probably the same society that has lived among the homeless and simply looked the other way, or maybe pausing a moment to “feel bad”. We can argue about how people become homeless; we can argue about responsibility and hard work, etc., but then I realized, these are all the kinds of arguments people generally use when defending abortion; these arguments are reminiscent of the “it’s not cut and dry” justifications we hear so often from proponents of choice. Then it hit me! Do we not realize the degree to which Satan has gotten, all of us, twisted up, and to a place that’s anywhere but in God’s will? “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). Are we, the Body of Christ, those who claim to have been given the precious gift of the Holy Spirit, really stumbling any less?

Pease understand that I don’t mean to minimize, in any way, the evil of abortion, or the particular gruesomeness of late-term abortion legislation recently passed in New York. Instead, God stirred in me to consider ways we’ve gotten ourselves into such a sorry state. What other dehumanization have we tolerated, whether directly or indirectly? What other dehumanization has aided in leading many to support the most recent dehumanization we see unfolding today? These are tough questions, and homelessness is one, among a multitude of prospective ills. I wrote last night in For the Sake of the Gospel: “This is what we must do, brothers and sisters, for the sake of the Gospel. ‘And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will’ (2 Timothy 2:24-26).” Let us, then, continue defending the unborn (and now it appears the born will need defending too), in the same spirit as the Abolitionists of yesterday. But we’re going to be ineffective, unless we also address the plank in our eyes, specifically, to what have our [own] hearts been hardened.

Part Two will be forthcoming.

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