By Shane Idleman
Why didn't someone do something? Those five words still haunt my thoughts today. Sometime ago, I sat speechless as I listened to a man recount his trip to a holocaust museum with his young daughter. As they walked by photos of the death camps, gas chambers, and countless bodies piled one upon another, his daughter silently contemplated the horrors that were unfolding before her eyes.
When the tour ended, they drove home without saying a word. The father wondered if she truly understood the significance of the event. Was she too young to view such depravity? Was she too fragile to cope with the truth of the holocaust? Would it make a negative impact on her life? Would it leave her fearful and wounded? Would she begin to doubt God?
His questions were answered nearly two hours later when his daughter finally spoke. She looked at her father and asked, “Daddy, why didn’t someone do something?”
Will we hear those same haunting words from our children and grandchildren? Yes! If we fail to contend for what is right, we may see a time in our history when our children will ask, “Why didn’t someone do something?” Sadly, we may not be able to answer.
Approximately 22 years ago, as a prodigal, I conceded to my girlfriends request to abort our child around the 5th week. The pain of that decision still haunts me today. What would they look like? Was it a boy or a girl? I can picture walking and talking with my child...watching his or her first steps...holding them when they cry and rejoicing with them when they succeed. But these are just dreams in my mind; dreams that often leave me heartbroken. Regret is one of the hardest pains because it is a constant reminder that we failed...failed God, others, and ourselves. (Hear this powerful confession after the 35 minute mark of this sermon: http://vimeo.com/50936941.)
Groups such as Planned Parenthood say that there are little, if any emotional scars for the women involved…the baby is just tissue. This is very deceptive...the emotional scares can last a lifetime. And it's not just women who feel the pain. Although my confession was not intended for publication, the need to address silence in the pulpit about abortion out-weighs the pain of releasing it. World Magazine featured an article in their January 25th, 2014 edition entitled, Still-silent Shepherds, which motivated me to move forward with it.
Pastors…make no mistake about it: America’s leaders play an enormous role in shaping the direction of the country. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2).
With rapid fire changes within a culture saturated by political correctness and relativism, we are inclined to ask if there is any hope for America. If we continue down this slippery slope, there is little hope. Apart from a national spiritual awakening, it will be difficult to turn the Titanic around—the vessel has been struck; what’s inside is spilling out. But if God brings revival...if we once again set our hearts and minds on Him...there is tremendous hope.
We can no longer remain silent while silent screams go unheard. Deep repentance must take place at the national level. When medical professionals can look into a trash can full of mutilated babies after a days worth of abortions and see nothing wrong with this, their consciences have been seared. When human life is devalued, atrocities such as the holocaust, slavery, sex-trafficking, and abortion occur. God help us when we destroy what He has created. The womb is no longer the safest place, but one of the most dangerous.
There are legislators who support partial-birth abortion, even when the life of the mother is not at risk. Partial-birth abortion is a process where an unborn, often healthy, baby’s body is delivered feet first, often near full term, until only the head remains inside the womb. (The head remains in the womb so that the abortion is not considered murder. Once a baby is fully delivered, his/her life cannot be terminated.) The physician then punctures the back of the child’s skull with a sharp instrument and removes the child’s brains before delivering the dead baby.
There are also those who support D & E (dilation and evacuation) abortions and saline abortions. During a D & E abortion, a large crushing instrument is inserted into the uterus. The physician grabs the baby with this instrument and pulls off pieces (limbs) until he or she is completely removed from the mother. During a saline abortion, a salt solution is injected into the mother’s sac for the baby to swallow. Once swallowed, the baby begins to experience a violent, slow death—so violent that the mother can actually feel the baby in her womb fighting for his or her life. God help us.
Fortunately, at the time of this writing, the Supreme Court ruled against pro-choice legislators and upheld the ban on the grizzly form of abortion known as partial-birth abortion, yet there are still those in leadership who disagree with the Court’s decision and who allow D & E and saline abortions to continue. This is a shame to America, and a mockery before God who said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). Psalm 139:13 says that God formed my inward parts; He knit me together in my mother’s womb. Abortion is a travesty and our nation has the blood of innocent children on her hands.
Pastors are to be pillars who support truth. Today, the truth is often neglected, watered-down, or avoided altogether in the hope of not offending members and building a large audience. Abortion is rarely mentioned so repentance is never sought. We want to build a church rather than break a heart; be politically correct rather than biblically correct; coddle and comfort rather than stir and convict. (See related article from the Christian Post entitled, “Calif. Pastor Rebukes 'Passive, Coward' Churches for Avoiding Hot Button Issues”: http://www.christianpost.com/news/calif-pastor-rebukes-passive-coward-churches-for-avoiding-hot-button-issues-82908/)
This article was extremely difficult for me to write—I shed many tears, contemplated deleting it, and prayed diligently for direction. But I cannot, and will not, remain silent. There is a reason why “mother,” “baby,” and “abort” have been changed to “a woman’s right to choose”; it’s a marketing ploy designed to hide a brutal practice.
But there is hope for those who have participated in, or who have had an abortion. If this is you, I encourage you to read Psalm 51. Both personal experience and the Bible have taught me that God’s unfailing love and compassion will see you through. Allow His forgiveness to set you free through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. We lean on His strength for the future and not on our failures of the past.
*More info can be found at www.ShaneIdleman.com. View the trailer for pastor Shane's new book here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDZxrO6FbVI
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