A colleague of mine, himself a fellow-believer in Jesus, recently faulted me for calling out the Democrats for voting against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. In his view, as a minister of the gospel, I should not be taking political sides. Rather, I should be asking how Jesus would address the difficult subject of abortion.
Specifically, he took issue with the headline, “All 6 Democratic Presidential Candidates Vote for Infanticide.” He proposed instead, “How Jesus would deal with pregnancy in troubled situations. Redemptive steps forward that we can all participate in.”
Now, I could simply note that the article seemed to resonate with many, being shared more than 86 thousand times on one website alone.
I am hardly one to play partisan politics.
I have also written countless articles proclaiming clearly that the gospel is the only hope of our nation. (Most recently, see here.)
All this means that, generally speaking, as ministry leaders, our main goal should be to point people to Jesus, regardless of their party affiliation, encouraging all people to find answers to life’s deepest problems in Him.
My colleague and I agree on this, and we both spend a good portion of our lives doing this very thing.
But it’s also important for ministry leaders to denounce evil, to expose injustice, to call for repentance. Failure to do so amounts to failure to shine our light in dark places.
In the case under discussion, when an entire political party shows such devotion to abortion that it cannot vote against infanticide, it deserves to be called out by name. Its actions are evil. They must be denounced.
Writing for Time magazine on July 26, 2016, pro-life leader Marjorie Dannenfelser noted that, “On Monday night the Democratic Party ratified a platform custom made to reflect Hillary Clinton’s policy agenda. And just when you thought the Party couldn’t get more extreme on abortion, think again.”
In contrast, in 1996, “It was Bill Clinton,” hardly a friend of the unborn, “who said abortion should be ‘safe, legal, and rare,’ with the last word indicating abortion isn’t something to be celebrated.”
Indeed, back in 1996, the DNC adopted a platform that characterized abortion as a ‘difficult issue’ and because of that, ‘we respect the individual conscience of each American.’ It called for making abortion ‘less necessary’ and ‘more rare.’”
But that was back in 1996.
By 2016, the DNC platform had swung much further left.
As Dannenfelser wrote, “Long gone is the goal of making abortion ‘rare,’ along with the idea of ‘respect[ing] the individual conscience of each American’ on the issue.
“Instead, the 2016 platform calls for quite the opposite: the repeal of the Hyde Amendment. Repealing this longstanding amendment to a bill would mean abortions for Medicaid recipients, paid for with taxpayer funds. Forcing Americans to pay for the abortions of others hardly respects conscience rights; it’s a direct assault on them.”
That was back in 2016.
Now, in 2019, the Democrats have launched into even more dangerous territory, not only calling for the national legalization of pot and advocating outright socialism, but also refusing to vote against infanticide.
Today, it is not enough to shout your abortion. You must also deny the right to medical care for a baby fortunate enough to survive abortion.
How evil is this? How inexcusable is this?
The fact is that 44 out of 47 Democrats voted against this bill, a bill that doesn’t simply call for compassion. It calls for humanity. Give this newborn infant medical care!
Yet the Democrats, as a group, voted against it, with all six Democratic presidential candidates joining that negative vote.
How can we not call them out as a party and as party leaders?
During the days of slavery, if one party was pro-slavery and the other against it, it would be right and Christian and biblical to call the pro-slavery party to account.
Simply asking how Jesus would address the question of slavery would not be enough.
Of course, asking that question is the starting point and foundation. But then words and action must follow.
It’s the same thing when it comes to the Nazis and the slaughter of the Jewish people.
Any person of conscience, let alone a true Christian leader, would be bound to speak out against such evil and do his or her best to help save as many lives as possible. Saving lives is not playing political games.
And so today, when almost all Democratic senators, led by every single Democratic presidential candidate, refused to vote against infanticide, biblical conviction moves me to call them out.
The fact that I put very little trust in the Republican Party (or, more broadly, in the political system as a whole) does not diminish the outrage and the grief.
The Democratic Party has become the party of death.
People of conscience within the party must speak out and act, regardless of the political risk.
As for ministry leaders, this is not a matter of partisan politics.
It is a matter of righteousness. Of being prophetic and true. Of shining like lights in dark places.
And for those of us called in particular to address cultural and political issues, we can do no other.