For those of you who have never read this blog, I am a Christian and rather active as such. One of the overlooked public functions of Christianity is to publish – to tell and proclaim – the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world at large. Not to beat people down because of what they have done, but to explain how to escape the guilt and horror of one’s past and mistakes. That last part – how to escape – is the subject of this essay.
From talking to women about their experiences with abortion, my take is most of them are not very happy about it. The reactions range from a lingering self-doubt of their choice to near-suicidal depression and self-hatred. The common level is a profound guilt which is normally hidden from public view and only felt at moments of privacy and self-contemplation. Most don’t want to talk about it or remember the experience.
If anyone is expecting me to say something along the lines of ‘You shouldn’t have done that’ – okay. You shouldn’t have done that. But it is done and cannot be retracted; so what to do about it now? I do not want a woman so invested to continue to suffer the rest of her life. The reason I don’t is that Almighty God does not want it so and I am constrained to obey His wishes in the matter. The love that comes from God to all His creation, especially people, flows through me when I allow it to flow. Right now, I am seriously concerned about post abortion women and have to write on the subject. I care, because the God who created the Universe and all things – seen or unseen – cares.
This is not about condemnation. Anyone still reading at this point has already condemned themselves. If anyone reading this sees them self in what I am writing, please stick with me; this is for you. That woman is no doubt possessed of self-loathing and guilt and truly wishes events did not transpire as they did. God does not want you to continue in guilt and pain; there is a way out.
Here is the way out: Jesus Christ, God Himself, came to Earth as a human and died in the place of sinners. “Sinners” here includes a great multitude of people and conditions. All the ‘normal’ ideas of ‘sin’; theft, murder, lying, parking in handicapped spaces without a permit, violence towards others, smoking, drinking, dancing, going to movies and so on. But there is a simpler concept of sin which is more accurate than listing various actions: ignoring God’s laws and denying God’s sovereignty. Anytime one says “I’m not going to do what God wants, I’m going to do what I want!”, one sins. Trust me, I’ve had plenty of practice.
In this particular subject, at one time, a woman found herself with child and for reasons she found compelling and unanswerable, had that pregnancy intentionally terminated. Dear God in Heaven, such a horrendous problem and solution. But it is done and now what?
First, understand no one can ‘earn’ the love and Grace of God. There isn’t anyone who can ‘be good enough’ or do enough good deeds to obligate God to favor them. Take a look around, no one does. God created a perfect world and mankind decided to ignore what God stipulated; man rebelled by refusing to obey and here we are. There is a penalty for rebellion. The penalty is eternal separation from God and eternal death. Whatever all that entails will not be pleasant. I’m not going to do a ‘fire and brimstone’ lecture here, but I can assure you, it will not be pleasant.
Second, understand God did not and does not want it that way. God wants humanity to be in harmony with Him; but notice the wording; we must be in harmony with Him, He does not change Himself to be in harmony with us. Truthfully, most of our lives are so disappointing, we cannot seriously claim to be the one who does not need changing.
God sacrificed Himself to pay the penalty for rebellion. Jesus died as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of humanity. However, God is not willing to force anyone against their will to accept Him. So humans must decide either to accept or reject the sacrifice of Jesus. God offers to all, calls all in a metaphoric and spiritual sense, but no one is forced to accept the offer.
So humans must individually accept God’s invitation for forgiveness and eternal life. It is that simple. The price for this forgiveness is rather vague. There is no monetary price tag; one is under no obligation to pay any price, small or large for God’s forgiveness. However, one must agree to God’s Sovereignty in one’s life. So, saying a certain ‘prayer’ does not magically bind God to one’s will – as happens in the stories of genies in bottles. The prayer in question is more of an oral contract; a binding agreement in which humans agree to obey God’s commands and live in accordance with His will, and God agrees to forgive us our sin, prepare us for eternity in Heaven with Him and then secures our souls (and new bodies) in Heaven with Him.
Part of that ‘preparing’ us for eternity is forgiving us for sin. All sin. Big sin and little sin. Sin which is known and sin which is hidden. Sin which is intentional and sin which is due to sloppy conduct and neglect to details. Sin which we think of as ‘minor’ and sin we think of as ‘major’. God blots it off our record and gives us the inner peace that the sin no longer limits us. Okay, we keep the memory of the pain; but the pain becomes manageable. Somewhat like losing a finger or a toe in some sort of accident. The digit never grows back, but we learn to operate in life anyway. The pain of the injury fades and we learn to continue. The missing digit is a reminder of what happened, but the pain of the incident is gone. The same holds true for more serious injuries. The same holds true for abortion. It may not seem like it now, but it does.
Ah! But Christians hate people who have abortions! Right?
No, they don’t. Christians in general are anti-abortion, to be sure. In general, we hate the practice of abortion. We try to dissuade women from aborting their babies. And yes, there are those marginal type Christians who must have someone upon whom to look down in order to feel superior. But in general, Christians are people who have found failure in many aspects of life – especially that of doing evil things – and know God forgives. We also know the ramifications of our sins are the same as the ramifications of all other sins.
But, like God, we will not come to your home and drag you to church. (We cannot, in the U. S. that’s considered either kidnapping or false arrest at best.) So you have to make contact. God wants you to come and be forgiven. I want you to come and be forgiven. (I don’t do the forgiving, that’s God’s part; I just sometimes help to explain things.)
If nothing else, respond to me. I will be happy to discuss things with you further and encourage you. Just don’t suffer in silence all alone. God does not want you to be depressed, alone and hopeless. That’s the intent of Satan – who really enjoys hopelessness in people.
Any man involved in an abortion still here? The same applies to you. Yeah, you didn’t get pregnant in your own body. Nothing was removed and killed from your own body. But it was your child, wasn’t it? What man can ignore his own child? But, the deed is done and cannot be reversed. The same God offers the same forgiveness to you. Do you want to escape your own limitations and weaknesses? Do you want to be a full man in God’s image? Same offer applies.