Why Christians Should Abandon Incrementalism
Thank you for taking the time to examine this important subject. This paper is primarily on the subject of Incrementalism. It could be expanded on far more deeply and many have done so. Yet I believe what I have written here is sufficient to make a biblically and logically consistent case against it. I write this with strong desire to unify under a biblical standard to fight abortion. I have no desire to fight Christians. I honestly pray readers believe this.
If it were a minor secondary issue I surely would not have taken the time to dedicate myself to the biblical, social, and legal study of this issue as I have. I have done so because abortion is a life and death issue. How we address it is a thoroughly biblical issue of great importance.
Abortion is the holocaust we are living in now and sadly so few are fighting against it in any significant way. What is even more sad and frustrating is that most of those who are fighting against it are doing so in an unbiblical way. By God’s grace this is changing and I pray my readers here will come to be a part of that change to the glory of God and for the good of people’s souls and babies lives.
How invested are you in this fight?
Maybe you are now where I was a few years back. As an American Evangelical I knew abortion was sin and murder and believed the only view any Christian could hold was a Pro-Life one. You know, Christian, Pro-Life, and Republican. There really isn’t any other options right? I was to support and promote Pro-Life groups, politicians, and legislation proposed and promoted by the Church and the Pro-Life movement in general. Maybe sometimes even give money to pregnancy centers, and hold a sign at a yearly “Life Chain.”
Or maybe, if you felt really “called”, you might go even further. You might actually join a local “Right to Life” or other Pro-Life group and maybe even attend big events and help lobby for Pro-Life legislation. Maybe even go to clinics and volunteer in other high stress areas.
But maybe you’re way deeper and more committed to the Pro-Life movement than I could even imagine. Maybe you’ve given decades to the fight and have forged strong bonds with lots of groups and individuals. Maybe you are even a leader on a local, regional, or even national level. You’ve worked hard to fight this battle in all the areas I listed above and some areas I know nothing about. Maybe you’re so invested that being part of the Pro-Life Movement is a big part of who you are.
In fact, if some “newbie” like me comes along and says basically, “You’re doing it wrong.”, it isn’t just annoying, it feels like an attack. And not just against ideas you hold or things you do, but rather an attack against you.
Please know, I do understand the feeling. We all have areas we feel we have some expertise or at least some experience in. When someone challenges us in those areas it “raises our hackles” sometimes. I know it does mine. Again please understand I am not doing this to annoy people or win arguments. I genuinely believe this issue is a serious biblical issue of life and death. This is not a personal attack on anyone. I love my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! If I did not love you I wouldn’t bother trying to reach you. I consider you my friends and not my enemies. Please know this!
So friends what must we do when something like this takes place? We must face questions and accusations no matter who they are from, or even the attitude in which they are delivered, just like Jesus did. What I mean is that we need to meet them head on with the word of God. It is our only sure resource at all times. It is both the foundation and end of our reasoning.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
2 Tim. 3:16-17
So friends, as you read this you may get annoyed or even feel attacked. Again, please know that that is not my goal. I am presenting to you what I believe the Bible says about Incrementalism. If you feel that I am wrong I hope you agree that the proper way to address the issue is to engage me with scripture. Please do so. This is too important for anyone to simply say, “I just don’t see it.”, “I disagree”, etc.
We must not cast this issue aside as unimportant or dismiss arguments based on our instant reaction or even our years of experience in the Pro-Life movement. God’s glory, people’s eternal souls, and babies lives hang in the balance! We must do our due diligence here. Too much is at stake! So thank you again for reading this today!
On biblical hermeneutics
All scripture is God breathed and profitable for us in all ways. Since we as Christians affirm this truth of scripture we will never here question whether or not what it says is true. However, we must make sure to interpret it correctly.
As scripture varies from poetry to history to prophecy and more, we must be careful to exegete each text rather than eisegete it. In other words we must take from the text what God intends for us to take from it and not read into the text meanings God never intended.
First we must understand various issues regarding the text. We must understand the genre we are dealing with, covenantal guidelines, historical and geographical considerations, and of course the immediate context, etc.
In this study of Incrementalism we will be primarily focussing on the commands and laws of God and how we are to apply them today.
In short we will be left with more or less one of two possible ways to interpret the text before us. We must ask this question: Is this text giving a clear command to obey or a guiding principle to apply to a range of scenarios?
There is no doubt that every command of God will always present at least a guiding principle. No command of God is irrelevant as all are expressions of His immutable perfection and glory. For
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
I state from the outset that I believe there is no command from God in scripture that is subject to any man’s or any group of men(and/or women’s) opinion. Let alone that anyone ever had, has now, or ever will have the right and authority to nullify, amend, and/or change His commands. I hope you would agree with me.
Yet sadly for many years I never even thought about Incrementalism at all. Let alone thought about it being wrong. Honestly I hadn’t even heard of the term! I am ashamed to admit I did not even consider holding my Pro-Life convictions about baby murder up to the light of scripture. Instead I placed my trust on the shifting yet comfortable and familiar sands of American Evangelicalism.
It is my sincere prayer and hope that God would guide me in my examination of Incrementalism and only base my judgments of it on sound biblical principles. I also pray that my Christian friends and neighbors would receive grace to do likewise.
I simply ask that no matter how long or how firmly you may have held your personal convictions regarding Incrementalism, that you would join me in examining them in the light of scripture, and repent of them if God’s word makes clear that those convictions are unbiblical. Let’s start that work now.
Incrementalism as understood here can be stated in this way:
Incrementalism is choosing to obey and/or call for obedience to a clear law and/or command of God piece by piece and/or over time, rather than in totality and/or immediately.
To start I should say I no longer identify as a “Pro-Lifer”. I cannot in good conscience align with the Pro-Life Movement. I also should be clear in saying that I believe there are many in the Pro-Life Movement that hold the same ideas I have regarding the bad fruit that have come out of the PLM yet choose to keep the “Pro-Lifer” label. I hope we can agree the label we identify with while important, is not all important. What we believe and why we do is.
I now identify as an Abolitionist. Another term could be Kingdom Driven Christian Biblical Immediatist. Abolitionist just kind of rolls off the tongue easier!
I realize that sometimes people get confused when an Abolitionist says Incrementalism is sinful and unbiblical. Let me try to give a helpful word picture.
Let’s look at abortion in the United States like an orchard full of fifty rotten fruit trees. The orchard owner has given us all the command, “Cut down the trees, throw them in the fire and burn them.” There are fifty teams of workers each with a tree to take care of.
Now the incrementalist would have each team figure out which are the easiest limbs to remove first. Order them to start taking out whichever ones they can do so without backlash from those who like the rotten trees. In short the incrementalist says they desire to kill the trees over time, but for all intents and purposes only prunes the trees.
They also must admit that some of the folks on their teams believe that there are at least a couple reasons for the trees to not be totally cut down. In short many in the incrementalist camp don’t even want to obey the command to cut down the tree and burn it.
Now undoubtedly some small amount of rotten fruit gets cut off in the pruning. Incrementalists make sure to light big bonfires to burn the leaves and branches that come down through their pruning. It gives a feeling of progress.
Now the immediatist on the other hand would give each team a set of axes and have them lay each axe to the root of the trees. Mind you they are big hard trees that have been pruned by incrementalists and continually fed and fertilized by others who work in the orchard who love the trees. So, victory seems far off and celebrations are slim to nonexistent. But they keep obediently seeking to cut down the trees and burn them as the orchard owner commanded.
We must see this key point as well. As we understand that due to different governments and their jurisdictions any law passed will have an incremental facet to it. Meaning we cannot ever expect to enact a law that spans all of creation. Only God can do this. And providentially He has. Our job is to demand implementation of His laws in the jurisdictions in which we reside, in the ways we have been granted to do so to His glory.
For example, an Oregonian like myself demanding that my state representatives and executives write and enforce laws that abolish and criminalize abortion in my state is a biblically just demand as a citizen in the United States of America and the State of Oregon. I am not involved in sinful Incrementalism because my demand does not have any direct effect on the representatives of other states.
Also, as a citizen of the United States it is a biblically just that I demand that my U.S. Representatives and the U.S. President abolish and criminalize abortion. It is not sinful Incrementalism because my demand has no direct effect on the Chinese government and their abortion laws.
Now as members of the Church we have an obligation to demand that abortion be abolished and criminalized across all man made jurisdictions. We are part of His eternal Kingdom and there is no boundary to God’s prophetic commands. Sadly the Church has been apathetic in its being a prophetic voice from pulpits and in society at large on this issue. May God bring repentance and zeal to His Church in this area for the advance of His Kingdom!
There are many other aspects to discuss about the differences between the Pro-Life movement and the modern Abolitionist movement. However, as I said before this paper focuses primarily on Incrementalism. Since Incrementalism in our discussion here is focussed primarily on how it relates to law, it’s helpful to speak about the nature of law and commands as well.
Incrementalism and the Law
It is important I make clear from the beginning that most if not all commands and laws, whether stated positively or negatively, have both explicit and implicit factors involved.
For example, a state law may say: “It is illegal to purchase alcohol under 21 years of age.” This law gives its command negatively. It explicitly forbids purchasing alcohol for persons under 21 years of age. However, it also therefore implicitly allows those persons over 21 years of age to purchase alcohol legally.
The following two sentences make a statement that exemplifies this truth about state law as it pertains to alcohol.
“Joe you are only 20 years old, so it is illegal for you to buy alcohol. When you turn 21 in July it will then be legal for you to buy alcohol.”
These two sentences show the clear relation between both the explicit and implicit facets of law. These facets of law are important for us to understand as we go about writing, supporting, promoting, or even voting for certain laws.
We as Christians also must affirm that all law is subservient to God’s law. It can be no more succinctly or clearly put than when Peter and John said: “We must obey God rather than men.” Act. 5:29 In other words, if man’s law goes against God’s law, man’s law is not law at all. We are not to follow it but oppose it. Our country’s founders and the framers of our constitution understood this. We must understand this as well.
It is important to note that the United States founders and framers of the U.S. Constitution were probably most influenced in the founding of our laws by the legal expertise of the 18th century jurist and judge, Sir William Blackstone.
In fact, it is not a stretch to say that Blackstone was very, if not the most influential source for the legal framing of our Constitution and U.S. law going forward for well over a century after our founding. Blackstone makes clear the status of all men’s laws when he stated:
“No enactment of man can be considered law unless it conforms to the law of God.”
- Sir William Blackstone
Let us be sure to remember these truths as we examine Incrementalism and the Incremental laws of the Pro-Life movement.
Incrementalism and the Word of God
In laying out a sound hermeneutical case against Incrementalism I will use the following format. I will present scriptural commands, determine whether or not we should interpret the command(s) as directly for us today or see them as a guiding principle. Having done that I’ll then present the logical conclusions we should draw from the command.
Scripture 1: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Cor. 10:31
Is this a direct command or a guiding principle? It may seem to need no elaboration.
Yet for the sake of hermeneutical precision, let’s examine this vital command in light of certain important principles.
First, this is a command in an epistle addressed to believers in the New Covenant(NC). We are also believers in the NC. Second, there is nothing ambiguous or confusing about the sentence structure. Third, there is nothing about the surrounding chapter or book about this specific command that would make us believe its application was limited to that specific time and/or region. Fourth, the command to glorify God in all we do is understood universally in Christianity throughout history as an inarguable obligation of all people. It is clearly taught throughout scripture in too many places to list.
This is therefore a direct command. As such we as Christians should seek to believe and act in all ways in such a manner that we glorify God in what we believe, say, and do.
So let the glory of God be our guiding principle as we examine commands and laws of God and how they relate to Incrementalism.
These following scriptures command us either to do something, abstain from doing something, or warn us of consequences for doing or not doing something. First I will address the main command or law directed at the perpetrators and/or accessories to the crime of abortion.
Scripture 2: “You shall not murder.” Ex.20:13
Is this a direct command or guiding principle? It is a command given under the Old Covenant(OC) directly to the people of Israel. Next we need to see if this law applies to us as NC believers and more so to unregenerate society at large today.
First let’s see if it applies to us as NC believers. Well no and yes. In short we are not under the law given to Israel carved in stone. But James would say we are under a greater, “Royal law”. That royal law we are under now encompasses all aspects of God’s moral law.
So, since we are commanded by Christ to love our neighbors as ourselves(Mrk. 12:31) and we know that loving someone totally eliminates the possibility of murdering them, we are still bound to the principle of that Mosaic law.
In fact the law of love we now reside under in grace is even stricter. As Jesus made clear, the ten commandments gave the negative restriction against murdering. Yet the eternal precept for us under the royal law is the positive command to love our neighbors, even neighbors we call “enemies”. Which is why Jesus said to hate our neighbor is murder in the heart(Mat. 5:21-22).
Now, the unregenerate man or woman is also not directly under the letter of the Mosaic law given to Israel. However, they are subject to the law written on their hearts, the conscience that either convicts or comforts the heart of all humanity(Rom. 2:12-15).
So, it is safe to say(at least in some sense) that no one is directly under the Mosaic law. Yet God’s moral law, whether written on tablets of stone or on the heart, clearly covers not murdering people in both the OC and NC. For both Jews and Gentiles. Unregenerate sinners and born again saints. Let no one think we are antinomians. Christ did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it(Mat. 5:17).
Scripture 3: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Mark 12:31
Is this is a direct command or guiding principle? This is a direct command from Jesus. It was simply a restatement of OC law. Yet Jesus made it clear that this command was to be applicable to everyone. He makes this clear in that when He is questioned by a scribe as to who is his neighbor, He uses an example of someone despised by the Jews, a Samaritan. In short if a Samaritan loves his neighbor in such a way, so should the inquiring scribe and surely so should we as Spirit filled NC believers.
As we spoke above about this verse briefly, the obvious implicit command here is that we are not to murder. Yet, this command is explicit and commands us to love our neighbors. Not just in any light hearted manner either. But we are to love them as we love ourselves!
So, can we in good conscience and in light of scripture actually say that our support of incremental laws that abandon some babies to slaughter at the whims of their mothers is loving our neighbors as ourselves? Unless we believe that there is some instances when we believe it is loving for someone to choose to murder us, then the answer is an emphatic NO!
Scripture 4: “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” Jam. 2:8-9
Is this a direct command or a guiding principle? This is clearly a guiding principle. More so it is a stinging indictment against Incrementalism. One of the direct results of Incrementalism is the sin of “partiality”, condemned in scripture here.
As this is an epistle in the NC written to Christians this has direct application to us. We are told very clearly that to show partiality is to make us transgressors of God’s law.
There is no way to wiggle out of it. The double edged facets of the law make it clear that by showing partiality to some babies we at the very least implicitly condemn certain babies to death with any incremental legislation. We must stop this!
Scripture 5: “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.” Deut. 24:16
Is this a direct command or a guiding principle? This command has its origin in the OC. It is found in an area in Deuteronomy where God is listing other various laws for the people of Israel.
Now while this is clearly directed at Israel the very structure of the command is clear that it is tied to a direct reflection of God’s character. In short it is about justice. It is unjust to punish someone for the sins of another. Unless of course the substitute for the punishment willingly takes the punishment in the perpetrator’s place. Praise God for that!
So while this command is directed at Israel it is applicable to all governments across both the OC and the NC.
Therefore, no baby in the womb should be allowed to be murdered for the sin of the father. In other words, there is no biblically justified reason to allow for a “rape or incest exception” in any law regarding abortion. When we vote for laws and/or politicians that promote legislation that contains rape or incest exceptions we are defying God’s command. I don’t see how we can make excuses for supporting such legislation or legislators. Surely, “It’s the best we thought we could do.” will not hold up against God’s clear commands.
Scripture 5: “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.” Prv. 24:11
Is this a direct command or a guiding principle? This command has its origin in the OC and is part of the wisdom literature. As it is wisdom from God and His wisdom is eternal we can be sure that this is applicable to us today as well in the NC.
However, this verse does require some interpretive work. We see in scripture that there are valid reasons for some to be, “taken away to death” or to be “stumbling to the slaughter”. Genesis 9:6 makes it clear that in God’s eyes one who murders a human being should face the death penalty. So, just taking this verse literally without any other biblical context could lead to sinful actions.
For example, if someone were to believe that this verse forbade the taking of any human life and therefore broke a death row inmate out of prison, that would be clear evidence of someone working from a self imposed eisegetical hermeneutic not intended by the text.
The verse also requires that we not too narrowly define terms to fit our common use of the language. For example, when we think of being told to, “hold back” someone we most often think in the physical sense of grabbing someone to stop their progress. While this is a correct idea here it is not exclusively correct. We can also arrest someone’s motions with verbal commands, entreaties to reason, etc.
While we never want to read meaning into a text that isn’t there, we must also refrain from rejecting clearly intended principles to be derived from a text. When we want to avoid doing what is right we may try to find the narrowest reading of a command as possible.
So, it is clear that this passage of scripture is applicable to us today. It has no restrictive language in the verse. The Bible as a whole gives us restrictions to consider as regards people deserving of death justly. However, other than those instances this verse and again, the Bible as a whole is quite clear that we are to be a people that seek to rescue the perishing.
Therefore we must affirm that this text is therefore applicable to unborn babies. In acknowledging this we must also acknowledge that there is no biblical exception here or elsewhere regarding which babies we will seek to save and which we will abandon to the slaughter.
Scripture 6: “Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!” Isa. 10:1-2
Is this a direct command or guiding principle? Well first we can see that it is not a direct command at all. It is a guiding principle for either OC or NC. Yet it is clearly something any wise person will heed as a command. As no wise person wants to suffer a “woe” from God Almighty!
As to the direct OC principle to Israel’s leaders it is this, God is warning about “woe” to come on any ruler who writes an iniquitous or sinful decree against God’s people. So this would apply directly to wicked rulers of Israel and Judah.
In fact the woe to come on them for their wickedness was the Assyrians God used as His tool for discipline. But we must determine now how this principle applies to us today.
The first question we must ask is this: Do God’s commands and warnings to Israel(or any specific nation for that matter) reveal any principles for other nations to follow? The simple answer is YES! We have a clear word from God as regards the actions of any nation directly from the wisdom literature here:
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Prov. 14:34
There is no ambiguity in that warning, “any people” is pretty clear. We fall in the “any” category.
See this fearful statement for all nations that stand in defiance to God’s commands and laws:
“The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah” Psalm 9:17-20
We could go on but it is abundantly clear throughout scripture that all nations are subject to obey God’s commands and laws or suffer fearful judgment.
So now I’m going to specifically address how Isaiah 10:1-2 applies to us in the United States. It is important that I make that distinction because a Christian’s level of individual and national responsibility is based in some part by the government system under which God has called us to live and serve Him in.
Friends, we have been blessed with so much in the United States! But let us be humbled by this word from Jesus:
“Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” Luke 12:48
In the United States we have been given “much”. We have been so blessed and in some ways truly cursed with a government, “of the people, by the people, for the people…”
We are citizens in a country with rights based on the U.S. Constitution. A constitution that relies heavily on God’s word and it’s eternal principles. We are not subjects under a worldly king or dictator, but citizens of a representative republic. We have rights and responsibilities.
Of the three branches of our government we citizens are most closely tied to the Legislative branch. The branch that writes our laws or “decrees”.
Do we not recognize that every time we check a voting box we are issuing our “yea” or “nay” for a certain decree? Do we see that every bill we write, promote, or even support is a “decree” carried forward by our hands and from our hearts and minds? Woe on us if we write, promote, support, or even vote for those God would call iniquitous!
So, does Isaiah 10:1-2 apply to us? Yes. We are responsible for the decrees we have any part in bringing into being. From the least educated voter to the most educated legislator we all have blood on our hands.
We must remember what we addressed earlier regarding how laws are to be understood. When we implement any law we must remember that we are accountable for both the implicit and explicit facets of that law.
Therefore, when Pro-Life legislators, organizations, lobbyists, and we the people, write decrees we are making two clear legal statements.
For example(and these are all examples of real “Pro-Life” Incremental legislation), when we decree a negative explicit decree like: “No child in the womb over 20 weeks old can be aborted.” or “No child in the womb with a heartbeat can be aborted.” or “No child can be aborted due to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, or diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability.”
It logically and legally follows that these negative explicit decrees also carry a positive implicit decree like: “Any child in the womb under 20 weeks old can be aborted.” or “Any child in the womb without a heartbeat can be aborted.” or “Any child in the womb can be aborted as long as it is not aborted due to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, or diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability.”
So now friends, please understand this. Every decree that either explicitly or implicitly decrees that someone may murder a baby in the womb of a mother is beyond all shadow of a doubt an iniquitous decree as described here in Isa. 10:1-2. As such every Pro-Life law ever written is incremental and therefore either implicitly or explicitly violates the commandment of God, “You shall not murder.” Ex. 20:13.
Of course this should be enough proof for us as Christians. Yet even for the non believing person who denies God’s law, these decrees are actually unconstitutional as well. Remember Blackstone and the foundation of our U.S. Constitution. He said:
“No enactment of man can be considered law unless it conforms to the law of God.”
It doesn’t matter what non Christians believe about our country or the nature of the founding of our laws. The history is there to study and ignorance is no excuse.
For the sake of brevity and due to the fact that I am not appealing to the U.S. Constitution but God’s word I will not here list applicable law. However, a basic reading of our fifth and fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution make it clear that abortion is illegal according to U.S. law as well. Not to mention clear reiterations of the same across state constitutions and through statutes nationwide.
So, Christian friends when we take any part in these iniquitous incremental decrees, we find ourself not only defying God but even the foundational laws of this nation.
In no way can we glorify God in supporting, promoting, or even voting for such God dishonoring and Constitution disregarding iniquitous decrees.
Finally let us look at one more scripture reference. Honestly there are so many more we could cover as well. But this will suffice. It is in line with Isa. 10:1-2 and is even more frightful. It actually describes what God does to those people who take part in putting forth injustice.
Scripture 7: “Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute? They band together against the life of the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge. He will bring back on them their iniquity and wipe them out for their wickedness; the LORD our God will wipe them out.” Psa. 94:20-23
Is this a direct command or guiding principle? Again we see that this must be a guiding principle because it is given in the form of a warning and a judgment against those who write wicked laws. It starts as a rhetorical question that must be emphatically answered in the negative.
It is a warning for us to heed from God’s wisdom literature. It is applicable to all nations(Though Israel was forefront in the mind of the psalmist) as we detailed extensively above.
Here is the incredibly scary part. Knowing that God does still judge nations for their sins, especially bloodguilt. Also knowing that we are a nation whose rulers are appointed by us and as such the rulers in some real way ARE us. Therefore are we in danger of being counted as the “wicked rulers” spoken of here? That is a truly sobering question.
I am not going to eisegete this and say that this is saying every Pro-Life person supporting Incrementalism and the laws birthed from its philosophy are going to be wiped out by God for their parts in the holocaust. I am asking this.
Is it at least possible, considering what I’ve shown here from scripture and the logical outworking of how laws and commands work that we should at least be humbled and repentant for our parts in perpetuating this ongoing holocaust? For our compromising on God’s commands?
Is it wrong to think that the blood of the untold tens of millions of innocents that soak this nation to its depths surely stains many of us for our actions? Or even more so for our inaction and apathy?
It would be a whole other study but well worth doing it. Please examine the Doctrine of Bloodguiltiness. I will simply say this frightening statement here. If Abel’s blood cried out to God from the ground(Gen. 4:10), how loud is the cry of the tens of millions of babies whose blood has been crying out from this nation’s blood soaked soil for nearly half a century? Search for “Doctrine of bloodguiltiness Rusty Thomas” on YouTube and just watch any of his sermons on the topic for a powerful primer on the doctrine.
Friends, again remember Christ’s warning of those being given much having much required of them. We have so much as far as biblical scholarship and even just simple access that many of us must be worthy of a “severe beating”(Luk. 12:47) for our roles in this bloodletting. Surely very few are unworthy of at least a “light beating”(Luk. 12:48).
Please hear me. I understand that things I’ve said may truly have you upset. Please know I did not write this with the purpose to call into question your sincerity or to doubt your passion for babies lives or your commitment to God. I in no way think you are supporting these incremental laws because you could care less that they violate God’s commands or our constitution’s foundational truths. Nor do I believe that you take this stance intentionally saying, “And why not do evil that good may come?” Rom. 3:8
In fact I would honestly venture to guess that many of you know your Bible’s better than me and U.S. Law, and U.S. History better than me as well. Yet I believe you have not been spurred on by a fellow brother or sister(or many of them) to hold up the abortion issue and the Pro-Life Movement in light of that knowledge.
I’m writing this because a group of caring saints did so for me. I argued, kicked against the goads and made excuses for some time too. But they patiently and prayerfully stuck to scripture and reason and by God’s grace got the reasoning through my thick skull and proud heart.
I’m one of the thickest heads and proudest hearts there can be when I think I’m right and have a good argument. Yet as God was gracious to get me to remove the “log” that was in my eye, I pray He will use me to help some of you remove your relative “specks”. Again I’m not here to win an argument for winning sake. I’m here to bring unity in Christ by scripture.
So friends, in light of what I’ve written here briefly from scripture, legal history, and from following logic, surely you must see that we can not walk this path any longer. If we do, and can not make an argument to do so that finds its foundation rooted in scripture, then it would seem we are indeed willing to do evil in the hopes that good may come. God grant that we do not do so!
Friends, we must repent and in love call others to do likewise. We must not let any feelings, reasonings, or relationships deter us from obeying God. His commands and principles are clear. Let’s move forward in obedience for the glory of God, the souls of men and babies lives.
So what should we do?
Repentance will be different for each individual. But it is undoubtedly necessary for all of us. It is part of the ongoing sanctifying work of God in us. But there are some definite practical steps that we all should agree on.
For many of us a first practical step can be an easy one. Many of us have done very little even in a meaningful Pro-Life fashion anyway. For many of us our activity has been little more than voting for whatever Pro-Life incremental legislation comes up on our ballots or signing petition initiatives presented to us.
So first, stop signing, promoting, and supporting unbiblical incremental legislation.
Next, we must also stop promoting and supporting Incrementalist politicians. If they will not support abolishing and criminalizing abortion as murder without exception as the Bible commands, then they must not receive anything from us except our prayers and our pleading that they repent and join us in obeying God and our constitution.
I should add the caveat that if you have been active in a certain politician’s camp you may face a harder route than those of us who simply voted for them. While we all should explain our reasons for repenting of our Incrementalism, for some this will be harder and take more time and effort.
Another easy step is to stop sending money to Pro-Life organizations promoting the incremental legislation. For example for years I donated the $100 limit allowable to “Oregon Right to Life PAC” to get back in a tax credit. However, when God convicted me to repent I stopped doing that.
This next step might get a little more difficult. This will actually require possible engagement rather than just disengagement. If you are part of any Pro-Life groups or organizations that support incrementalism with legislation or legislators, you need to do one of two things.
The easiest but still difficult route(depending how deeply involved you are) is to leave. This will probably require some engagement because you should give the folks there your biblical reason for leaving.
The second and really more difficult option is to remain part of the group and try to plead with those involved to join you in repentance. To try to bring them into alignment with biblical truth for the glory of God in their sanctification. It will be hard but it is biblical.
The hardest step is all about engagement. It is harder but oh so vital! It is getting involved in the fight in the small Gideon like army God is raising up in this nation and even Kingdom wide across the world.
For pastors and preachers it means the pulpit should be a vehicle to carry God’s truth forward in this fight.
For leaders of all types it will mean leading Christians into the battle for complete abortion abolition and criminalization in all the various areas they influence.
For everyone of us it means prayerfully engaging the individuals and groups in our circle of influence.
In short this battle must become a priority for all of us. While it is not the only social evil that has cropped up due to rebellion against God. It is by far the most deadly and widespread, socially accepted, and sadly church silenced evil of our day. It is a sin issue, a gospel issue, and a love our neighbor issue. We must engage! Please join us!
At the bottom of the page I will include a webpage where I have compiled several ministries with resources to get folks engaged in the fight in a biblical manner. Please check them out.
Can we win without Incrementalism?
I hope I am stating the obvious here but it is worth stating anyway. In short God does not see victory in the same way the world does. So let’s see what God shows us in His word about winning. In 1 Sam. 15:1-23 we see Samuel give King Saul a command from God to destroy the Amalekites and all they have. Here it is verbatim:
“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
1 Sam. 15:2-3
Before I go on let me point out something very important here that we see elsewhere in scripture as well. God commands that everything and every person be destroyed. Yes, even “child and infant”. I only focus on these key words in light of Pro-Life goals versus God’s goals.
The Pro-Life Movement would have spared all the babies if not the women and children as well. God commanded all of their destruction. Why? Because the Amalekites as a people sought to hinder the God ordained establishment of Israel. In short Amalek stood opposed to God’s plan, people, and glory.
God’s glory and His purposes are the unquestionable righteous goals His people are always to strive to attain regardless of what seems right in our own eyes.
So what did King Saul do? Did he obey God completely? I’ll be brief. He did not. He did not obey God and only destroyed most of Amalek. He made excuses for why He did not kill everyone and destroy everything. He actually said he kept some animals and goods back for sacrifice. Even if this were true(and I have my doubts that it was)it would still have been sinful. Hear Samuel’s response.
“And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.” 1 Sam. 15:22-23
Friends Saul was influenced by worldly wisdom and thought He knew better than to obey God’s clear command. Yes he was encouraged to disobey by men with their faulty counsel, and they were no doubt happy with his decision. In the world’s eyes it looked like a “win”. Yet because he took the path of sinful Incrementalism his presumption led to his ultimate downfall. Friends we must not follow any longer his example!
Let’s look at another example. In Exodus Moses is commanded by God to go and free Israel from Egypt. The command is simple.
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.” Ex. 9:1
As I’m sure you know the story God had ordained the hard heart of Pharaoh and that He would glorify Himself over Pharaoh for all history to know.
All throughout the plagues Pharaoh tried to get Moses to compromise and make a deal with him contrary to God’s command. Pharaoh was hoping Moses would embrace reasonable Incrementalism. Moses would not.
In fact early on Moses obeying God led to even harsher treatment of Israel as Pharaoh refused to obey God’s command. This mistreatment by Pharaoh led the people to rebel against Moses and heavily discourage him. But God encouraged him and Moses remained faithful. Let’s look at one more shocking revelation from this story.
Moses never relented to any of Pharaoh’s compromise. This statement of his may stun us in light of the Pro-Life Movement’s willingness to compromise on the very life of children. Moses would not even do so for livestock!
“Then Pharaoh called Moses and said, “Go, serve the LORD; your little ones also may go with you; only let your flocks and your herds remain behind.” But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. Our livestock also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must take of them to serve the LORD our God, and we do not know with what we must serve the LORD until we arrive there.”
Any Pro-Life legislator or lobbyist and sadly myself for many years would have jumped on this type of incremental compromise for babies! But did Moses compromise? No! This one statement just blows me away! Moses said, “not a hoof shall be left behind”!
Do you understand the importance of this statement? It shows that Moses understood both the explicit and implicit facet of obeying a command or law. God had commanded that Pharaoh let the “people” go. He said nothing explicitly about any of the people’s possessions.
But Pharaoh and Moses also understood that the explicit command of God to let the people go implicitly commanded that all that belonged to them were to be released as well. Moses applied his sound logic to discern the implications of both God’s command and Pharaoh’s. He demanded of Pharaoh that Pharaoh obey both the explicit and implicit facets of God’s command without compromise.
Friend we have no less clear commands from God regarding murder and how to address it across history. The only primary thing we lack is an assurance that we will see abortion abolished in the United States prior to Christ’s return. But friends we do not need an assurance of winning by our standards to be faithful to obey God. Obedience is victory!
The Bible is filled with people who God uses to show us that before ultimate victory there may be many painful setbacks along the way. Look at Abraham, Daniel, Joseph, and the list goes on. But let’s finally look at Jesus.
Jesus from eternity past came to ultimately be slain(Rev. 13:8) and “lose” in the eyes of the world. His sheep were scattered as He the Shepherd was struck, just as He said(Mat. 26:31). Even in the eyes of His closest disciples His oft prophesied death and promised resurrection was ignored or misunderstood. So much so that at His return He rebukes them for their foolishness and lack of belief(Luk. 24:13-27)!
Jesus achieved no political victory. Even after His resurrection He set up no earthly Kingdom(Act. 1:6-7). He instead sent His disciples out to turn the “world upside down” with the gospel(Act. 17:6) and change it one heart at a time. He sent them to advance His everlasting Kingdom through evangelizing and discipling the nations(Mrk. 16:15, Mat. 28:18-20).
Along the way both the Bible and world history has shown that God’s victory can not always be understood by the world. For many victory has and still comes in the forms of suffering and even death. It comes also in the downfall and uprising of people, groups, movements, and even nations.
Yet at all times the Lord is moving, His Kingdom is advancing, and His name is being glorified by those who love Him. By His people the Church. People who understand that faithfulness is fruitfulness and obedience is victory!
Friends, to be an Abolitionist is not primarily about saving babies. Being an Abolitionist is about doing all that we can in accordance with His word for the glory of God.
Friends will you join us? Will you help us? We do not discount your knowledge, wisdom, or experience. We rejoice when any born again, Protestant member of the Body of Christ adds their God given gifts and strength to our numbers! We want unity not division!
We long to move forward with you for the glory of God the Father, empowered by God the Holy Spirit guiding us by the inspired Word, to advance the Kingdom of God the Son, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend! Soli Deo Gloria!
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