February 25, 2013

Someone took me to task once for using the word “slaughter’ to describe abortion. “Too strong,” they said. I disagreed then and I still do. Dictionaries define it as stronger than killing, such as, “The brutal killing of a person or large numbers of people.” That’s abortion. 

Brutal: little bodies shredded through suction tubes, dismembered with curettes, or ripped apart by forceps. 

Large numbers: over three thousand every day in the U.S. alone. 

The Bible uses words that also imply something stronger than killing. A word sometimes translated “slaughter” is used when Jezebel kills the prophets of the Lord (1 Kings 18:13) or when Levi and Simeon kill the Shechemites (Genesis 34:26). The word used when Herod ordered the killing of the Bethlehem babies is often translated “slew.” 

But in using the above arguments to defend myself, I also admonish myself, for if abortion is slaughter, am I doing enough to stop it? Seeing abortion as slaughter raises the issue way above something we should speak about to something God compels us to speak about and act upon. The following verse does not appear to me as a suggestion.

“Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:11-12)

Those are strong words, guilt producing words. So lest we despair over them, we need to read of another slaughter.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:6-7).

Oppressed and afflicted with our sinfulness and sin, Jesus, the Lamb of God, was slaughtered. Through faith in Him we have forgiveness of our sins, forgiveness for failing to grasp the slaughter-like nature of abortion, forgiveness for failing to speak and act. This, however, does not give us license to fail to speak and act. Indeed, now we can go back to the Proverbs verse with renewed motivation. For the Jesus who was slaughtered for us, was slaughtered for them too. Every human life is someone for whom Jesus shed His blood. Every human life is one He wants to call to faith in this redemptive event. This compels us to “rescue” and to “hold back.”

In writing this article, I admonished myself. Maybe you need the same admonishment and perhaps know of others that do as well. We need to keep being reminded that abortion is not just one of those things where we say, “Yeah, I really should do something about that.” God COMPELS us to do something about it for the sake of His slaughtered and resurrected Son.

Everyone can do something! For help in finding out what you can do, check out our How You Can “Speak” booklet (LFL100B) available at www.cph.org. (Let’s make it a required reading assignment!)