This past Sunday was designated as "Sanctity of Life" Sunday in our Circuit, and in each of the three services of the Uitenhage society we played a 6-minute DVD by Focus on the Family, followed by the message.
Our Superintendent (Bill Thompson) preached at the two morning services, and I did the evening one with the youth, and it was quite evident on which side of the whole debate the two of us are - in Bill's services he had a minute's silence for all the unborn babies "murdered through abortion", while my own message was similarly hard-hitting, culminating in a group discussion among the youth.
The following morning I had a chat to our Youth Pastor to find out whether he had had any feedback, and he indicated that while my message was generally well-received and the group discussions were found to be stimulating, one or two of the girls were a bit disturbed by the topic, feeling that it was "not a subject suitable for church". It was also felt that as a male, I probably didn't fully understand the whole picture (something I readily admit), and that my message was rather "one-sided" (in favour of the so-called "Pro-Life" position).
Having been involved in freelance journalism for some time, I am well aware of the need to provide unbiased reporting in many cases. But when one is a preacher, should the "non-bias" theory also hold true? Personally, I don't believe so. In fact, my view is that a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ needs to be biased. After all, isn't the Gospel message referred to as "Good News", rather than just "news"?
Insofar as abortion is concerned, I tried to be balanced in terms of the various alternatives available, while holding onto what I believe to be the "sanctity of life" position as contained in Scripture. And while as a male I would not be in a position where I would need to make a personal decision concerning abortion, as a father I feel strongly that the decision to give an unborn child a shot at life (or to deny them such a shot) is not mine to make.
One of the girls in the service asked whether abortion is justified in the case of conception as a result of rape. Once again, such a situation would not arise with me as a male, but there is the possibility (God forbid) that my wife could be raped and a pregnancy may result. Naturally, one cannot say for certain how one would respond until the situation actually arises, but my wife and I have in fact discussed such a scenario, and we would hope that our view would be that while it is by no means her fault that conception took place in such a brutal manner, neither does the fault lie with the unborn child.
So if there is anyone reading this post who was in the service this past Sunday, and I offended you, I pray that you would forgive me. However, I make no apologies for causing anyone to feel uncomfortable, as it is from such discomfort that deep thought takes place.
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