Why Won’t My Pastor Preach on Abortion?


Let’s contrast a few numbers:

50,000,000= the number of “legal” abortions in the U.S. since 1973.

247,000,000= the number of professing Christians in present-day America.

In a land where nearly 4 out of 5 people claim the name of Christ, why is child-killing still an issue? Why do we still have debates over whether or not murder should be protected by law, which methods are acceptable, and how much our money should pay for it?  In a representative republic, our laws should reflect our values and worldview, right?

Unfortunately, they do.

The venerable  Dr. Laurence White once put it this way:
“Abortion in America will stop the moment the church in America wants it to…and not a moment before.”

It’s clear by the numbers alone that many self-proclaimed Christians have little (or nothing) to say about abortion. It’s an uncomfortable topic, so we just keep it quiet. Maybe we’d say that it’s morally wrong, but we can’t judge the people who commit it as wrong. It’s icky, but it’s just part of life. A sad reality. A necessary evil. A political issue. As long as I don’t have one, it’s not really my problem.

And where can we look for answers but to the leaders of the flock? Few are the pastors, preachers, and teachers who address abortion in their congregations and communities. The silence from the pulpits is tacit permission for the rest of the church to remain silent about the biggest millstone we have around our nation’s neck. A lack of leadership also means those Christians who are passionate about saving lives and redeeming their culture get left on their own. And saddest of all, refusing to be open about the sin of abortion keeps those women (and men) traumatized by their own abortions from finding the healing and forgiveness they desperately need.

All these thoughts lead me to wonder, “why?” Why do these men of God keep quiet on matters of life and death?

Fortunately, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. is not one of those self-censored preachers. The powerhouse theologian addressed the titular question on his website with the top three reasons pastors give for not preaching on abortion (and two more that he suspects are at work) on his website.  None of them are good reasons, as much as they are excuses…and all-too familiar ones, too.

After you read the common objections, take an opportunity this week to talk with your pastor or church leader about the importance of speaking the truth about abortion. Sometimes even well-intentioned folks keep silent through fear…but we can’t afford to keep quiet anymore. It’s time to let perfect love cast out that fear. And, as your pastor will know,  love rejoices in the truth.

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