Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why I Sidewalk Counsel

I know I meant to have this post up weeks ago, but I just haven't gotten around to it until today.

As many of you know, I go at least weekly to All Women's Center abortuary in Altamonte Springs, FL. I have been sidewalk counseling for about a year and a half. A post recently on the Biblical Womanhood blog sparked a discussion via comments that gave me the idea to write this post, as some folks did not agree with my "method" of pro-life ministry. One individual went as far as to say that sidewalk counseling is hateful and abusive.

First, I want to clear something up. Scripture is clear that abortion (the murder of a precious unborn baby, made in the image of Almighty Gody) is an abomination. The Bible says in Proverbs that God even hates the hands that shed innocent blood. The shedding of innocent blood is a violation of God's holy law, which says "Thou shalt not kill (murder)." It is clear from just those verses, as well as many others, that abortion is no light matter in the eyes of our Lord, since people are created in His image, and the unborn are the most innocent of the human race!

I'll give a quick overview of what we do, for those who don't know. Upon arriving at the killing place, we immediately begin by offering practical help to the Moms and Dads. We have financial assistance, we can get them to an adoption agency, help them find jobs, and the married couples who minister with us even offer to adopt people's children themselves. It is clear to every woman that we are not there to harass her, but to help. When people reject our help, we begin preaching the law of God, as a prophetic witness against the wickedness taking place (we do not yell and scream, contrary to popular belief). I believe both of these "methods" are clearly supported by scripture.

At the abortion mill, we try to reach every individual according to their needs--Mothers, Fathers, clinic workers, and we of course try to rescue the babies. We are commanded to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We love the Moms by offering them help through their pregnancies, so they don't feel the need to go through with something as wicked as paying a man to murder their infant child.

Preaching God's law is also loving them, since the LORD tells us in the book of Galatians (v. 3:24) that the law is the schoolmaster that leads people to Christ. We don't only try to get them to leave the abortion mill without harming their baby...the ultimate goal is for them to hear the gospel and repent of their sins and trust Christ! One girl said, "Worst case scenario, the woman has an abortion..." But, scripture makes it clear that each sin committed by a lost person heaps up wrath for the day of judgment. Even if they fail to repent and believe the gospel, preventing them from murdering an innocent child is sparing them from one more sin they will be punished for in eternity.

In addition to the mothers being our neighbors, though, the babies are our neighbors as well. How can we love them if they are dead? We are commanded by God to rescue those who are being taken to the slaughter. Not only are we supposed to rescue them, but if we don't, God will hold us accountable for their deaths.

It is never wrong to proclaim God's word to people. Preaching is not yelling. Preaching is not harassing. Preaching brings glory to God, if done in love. We are even told in Ezekiel that we are to show the wicked city her abominations. Since the gospel is to be preached to every creature in the name of Christ, why not aborting mothers?

I don't deny that what we do is offensive to the hardhearted. In fact, scripture promises us in the beginning of the book of 1 Corinthians that the preaching of God's word WILL be offensive and be as foolishness to them that are perishing. So, being offensive is certainly no reason to discontinue the preaching of God's word.

Unfortunately, most abortion related ministries miss the mark. They fail to talk about the absolute necessity of repenting of the sin of abortion (as well as fornication, which, in all likelihood got the woman in the situation she was in to begin with), as well as forsaking all other sins and following Christ. Contrary to popular belief, not every woman who has her baby killed is broken and sad over it. "Seeking healing" does not mean they have godly sorrow. It can very well mean they have worldly sorrow and want their conscience to stop bothering them so they can continue on in sin. That is what we run into most often.

The same girl I've mentioned also asked if I would want the only thing the woman who had an abortion to remember is me or another individual screaming at her that she is a murderer. While we don't scream, I certainly hope that each and every person remembers what was preached to them the day they killed their baby. I pray that the conscience of every individual won't leave them alone until they repent! I pray that the preaching nags at them and nags at them until it drives them to their knees. I honestly don't have much concern for the aborting women to be happy, while headed for hell. My desire is for them to be saved, and find their joy in the King! Scripture says that godly sorrow leads to repentance. Scripture also says that it is God's kindess that leads to repentance! Would it not then follow that godly sorrow is a gift from God? And what brings godly sorrow more than the preaching of God's holy word? It is only by the mercy of God towards the aborting men and women that there are people preaching the gospel to them, so they have the opportunity to repent.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:13-14)

There also seems to be a fairly common misconception that preaching = being judgmental, and that all judging is wrong (scripture commands us to judge righteous judgment!). Preaching is a command of God. We are to call sin exactly what it is. Anything that waters down the message of sin and repentance is an affront to Christ. The goal is not to make people feel good in their sin. The goal is for them to see themselves and their actions in light of God's word. When we preach the word of God, we ourselves are not judging, but merely declaring what God has already judged! His words and judgments are obviously without blemish, and are written to bring people to Himself.

Preaching is not harmful in any way. Any "pain" it causes a woman here is nothing in comparison to the pain she will experience for all eternity if she fails to repent and believe the gospel.

To say sidewalk counseling (grant it, some folks go about it the wrong way) is "hateful," "abusive," "ungodly," or "unloving," is simply falsely accusing the brethren of being hateful and ungodly, when they are acting in obedience to God (showing the people their sin, proclaiming the gospel, and rescuing those being carried off to slaughter) THAT, if anything, is what is ungodly. If examined from a biblical perspective, it is clear that sidewalk counseling, done right, is indeed loving and, if the gospel is preached (which it should be!!), it is fulfilling the Great Comission of our Lord Jesus Christ to preach repentance in His name!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have a lot of great causes and works!!!
God is working on you! Jesus loves you!

How can you judge people you never meet? Making statement of who's going to hell.
Luke 6:36-38 41-42
John 5:22-30