Too Big For Us
James Gandolphini said one of the more intelligent things I've heard an actor say. Not long after 9-11, he was doing the Hollywood star tour of Ground Zero. The reporters clustered around him asking what he thought. He stuck his hands in his coat pockets, shook his head, looked at the ground and said, "I'm too small to comment on this." Then he turned and walked away. Some things are too big for us. Abortion is one of them.
The numbers are too big. Most of the world is staggered by the loss of life in the tsunami. Those numbers are chickenfeed compared to just the US abortion numbers. About 157,000 died in the tsunami. Every 44 days that many babies die by abortion in America. America has self-inflicted the loss of life of over 8 tsunamis every single year for the last 30 years. From '73 to '02, America alone has murdered over 44 million babies. That's like erasing the population of 23 states. Who can get their head around that?
Americans are outraged by those killed in war. Remember the hue and cry that went up when the US reached 1,000 deaths in Iraq? Well, we reach that many aborted dead every 6.6 hours. In 2000 alone more children died from abortion than Americans died in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean, the Vietnam, and the Gulf Wars combined. Get your head around that, if you can.
The numbers are too big for us. So is the economic impact of abortion. I know of no official research that goes on concerning this aspect of abortion. What do you think the cost to Texas is to wipe out over 5 school districts the size of Pflugerville every year? If you think that's saving money, then you don't understand people are a resource not a drain. Nobody who raises animals for a living has ever thought it intelligent to kill their unborn animals; no farmer ever thought is wise to destroy his seed corn. Yet, America does that with Americans at an atrocious, Hitlerian level.
But as a I said, while you will hear the economic numbers of the tsunami, of smoking, of alcoholism and of the South-X-Southwest Music festival, you won't hear the economic numbers of slaughtering the unborn. Nor will you hear the emotional impact. It's true that in the 2 1/2 abortions happening every minute in America some of the mothers, doctors, nurses and fathers involved could care less especially the over 40% of those mothers who are having at least their second one. But some involved in the sin of abortion walk around with baby blood on their consciences. Some walk out of abortion clinics knowing that while they no longer have a baby to worry about, they are now the mother or father of a dead baby. And this does have an emotional impact, and who knows how big it is?
The numbers are too big for us, and so is the thing behind those numbers, our government which we are called by Scripture to submit to, to pay taxes to, to respect and honor. Abortions big numbers could not exist without the approval, defense, and funding of our government. And Government supporting abortion is a complete breakdown of it as ordained by God.
Our government's forefathers knew this. Thomas Jefferson said, "The care of human life and not its destruction...is the first and only legitimate object of good government." The main duty of government is to protect human life. When it fails or refuses to protect the most helpless of human life, it won't protect any other for long. If the unborn in a mother's womb is unsafe, it is ridiculous to speak of the great problems of education, poverty, or the aged. Of the 2 beasts in Revelation, the most destructive is government no longer serving God's purposes but Satan's because Satan hates life. He is a murderer from the very beginning says Jesus.
If you grew up as I did joyfully singing that America is beautiful, saying she is under God, and asking for God to shed His grace on her, you have a hard time seeing what America has become. She who once protected and promoted God, Mom, and Apple Pie has become the protector and promoter of abortion on demand, sterile homosexuality as a legitimate way of life, and gods without number. But we can't see this forest of anti-Christianity for the trees of religiosity or spirituality that America promotes. However, newcomers to America can. I instructed an Ethiopian in the Lutheran faith. He was incensed at what our government allowed and promoted in the name of freedom. He rather ominously told me that once a government believes it is free to make its own morality it can't help but persecute those who believe there is a morality greater than it.
Who can get their head around the fact that there has been a complete breakdown in the purpose of government in the last 30 to 40 years? But read your Bible, on the basis of Romans 13, I am compelled to tell you that our government is not God's servant for good any longer because she's bearing her mighty sword against the most helpless, and she's not carrying out God's wrath against wrong-doers. No, She's using her might to protect the doctors who murder babies and the low-life men who put women in positions where they feel their is no way out but to kill their own children.
What are we to do? Revolt? Refuse to pay taxes? Elect officials who will stop the bloodshed? Well, revolt is contrary to Romans 13 which says, "He who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." Refuse to pay taxes? Paul commands the Romans living under a sadistic, pagan Nero and his government to pay taxes even though their taxes supported a 1,000 immoralities, so we can't say this Word of God doesn't apply to us too.
What about electing officials who will stop the bloodshed? I'm surprised none of you who read the Lutheran Witness have complained so far. After the election, the director for Lutherans for Life wrote in and basically said a Christian couldn't vote for Kerry. And this is what you come to if you believe there can be a political solution to a moral problem. But there can't be. Read Civil War and Civil Rights history, and you will see the fallacy of there can be. No, the only answer to a moral problem is repentance. And boy do we feel too small to sound the note of repentance to a government as big as ours.
Have you ever wondered that about the OT prophets? What did the world powers of Egypt, Assyria and Babylon care about or even hear of Isaiah's, Jeremiah's, or Ezekiel's call to repent? What good did it do to call kings and governments to repent who never heard it? That's the wrong question; that's the result question which rules modern man: if it doesn't get results it must be wrong. No, the call to repent doesn't come from me or you, it comes from God almighty. While the call to repent is too big for my voice, it's not for God's, and God wills to speak it through puny, frail, sinful men like myself. So, as God as my witness and authority, I proclaim that if America doesn't repent of the sin of abortion, God will judge her as sharply, as surely, as suddenly as He did Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon.
This must be said, but it is not the only message of the Church. It's easy to think it is. There was a rally for the 10 Commandments yesterday at the State capital. Organizers think getting the government to post the Commandments in schools, courtrooms and public squares is the answer to the moral filth we have descended into as a nation. No, it's not. The Law, appeals to the Law, promoting the Law is never the answer. "Indeed," says St. Paul, "If a Law could be given to establish righteousness, God would have given it." The Law and its call to repent is one message of the Church, but it's not the only or even the main one. Our main one is the startling truth that as big as the problem of abortion is, as big s our government is the mercy and grace of God toward sinners is bigger still.
In Romans 5, Paul tells us that "while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly." We can get our head around a Christ who would die for good people or for people not that bad, but who can grasp a Christ who dies for ungodly, enemies. Could you, would you die for someone who hurt you? What if he did the ungodly thing of hurting your child? What if he stood their laughing still? Could you, would you die for that person? Stop. Don't get wrapped up in the fact you couldn't or wouldn't. The point is that Jesus did, and He did it for us, for you, for me, for a nation stained with the blood of 44 million babies.
Think of the millions of people who have baby blood on their hands. They are all around us. I think those who take the popular, but illogical, position, "I'm personally opposed to abortion, but I don't want to impose my view on others," have been involved in the sin of abortion someway. Their guilt co-opts their ability to oppose such an obvious crime against nature. Only the blood of Christ can wash away that of a baby's. Only the bigger truth that God was pleased to crush His only beloved Son for the sin of abortion rather than crush us can answer the big problem of abortion. Those in government, in our families, in the Church laboring under the heavy load of abortion, need to hear that Christ carried that sin far away from them a long time ago at a place called Calvary. It's not on their backs; they are free.
We just can't fathom, imagine or appreciate the width, depth, height of God's love for sinners in Christ. Jonah couldn't either. Remember he was sent to Nineveh to preach repentance. He was sad when they did repent because it meant God would not destroy them, and they were a serious enemy of Israel. God concludes the Book of Jonah not only proclaiming grace and love for the people of Nineveh but concern for their cattle! We worship, serve and proclaim a God in Christ who is bigger than our sins, bigger than our government, and who has far more love and forgiveness towards sinners than they have sins. Now that's too big for us to get our head or heart around, but, nevertheless, it is for us. Amen.
Rev. Paul R. Harris
Life Sunday (1-23-05); Romans 13: 1-7