December 3, 2015

Gosnell wasn’t ghoulish, and abortion isn’t “murder”:

by Jesse Johnson

This week Karen Swallow Prior, part of the Southern Baptist “Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission,” wrote an article for Christianity Today called “Loving our Pro-Choice Neighbors.” She appealed for Christians to be more loving to those who practice abortion, and one practical example she gave was that we should stop referring to abortion as murder.

Here are her words:

“[R]eferring to abortion providers as “abortion ghouls,” clinic volunteers and workers as “deathscorts” or “bloodworkers,” and women who obtain abortions as “murderers” is worse than inflammatory: it is unchristlike. Calling legal abortion “murder” when it isn’t (it is, to our shame, lawful) is to say what isn’t true, at least in a civil (not church) context.

The purpose of language, its God-given raison-d’être, is to reveal truth, eternal and unfailing. It needs not the props of exaggeration or distortion of our feeble words. The truth about abortion demands no inflammation or embellishment. It is, rather, the purveyors of abortion who must veil the truth with charms. The hurt abortion causes to women and children and society can be communicated in plain terms.”

There is much to say about these paragraphs, and she has since given a clarification on the “murder” comment. But I am even more troubled that she says that abortion providers should not be called “abortion ghouls,” and then links to a post about Gosnell’s clinic as an example of what she calls “exaggeration” and “embellishment.”

Gosnell’s clinic the day of the police raid.

Gosnell, if you have forgotten, was a murderer even by Prior’s reasoning. He was charged, tried, and convicted of murdering three people, although at trial everyone pretty much granted he had done the same to countless others. His victims included at least one adult who was seeking an abortion. The grand jury called his clinic a “house of horrors.” It smelled of urine, had baby feet in jars, bodies in the fridge, and blood splattered all over the wall.

Prior says that we should not call that “ghoulish.”

Actually, the article that Prior links does not even call abortion providers “ghouls.” Here is what Ken Connor, who wrote the post that drew Prior’s ire, did call ghoulish:

“There simply is no way to put a gloss on this. Dr. Gosnell is a product of a culture in which the rhetoric of choice has too long gone unchallenged. He is the product of a political climate in which fear of offending the pro-abortion lobby led our president (while an IL senator) to oppose giving medical treatment to infants that survive abortion. Gosnell’s ghoulish practice of killing abortion survivors is the logical extension of such a policy.”

That is the only use of “ghoulish” in his post, and Connor was, of course, describing Gosnell’s low-budget way of doing abortions. He would simply induce labor, then clip the new-born’s spine (he called it “snipping”). Once he dropped a new born in the toilet and the nurses watched him try and swim.

Prior says that calling that “ghoulish” is “worse than inflammatory, it is unchristlike.”

Let’s move past Gosnell to Prior’s key sentence:

“Calling legal abortion “murder” when it isn’t (it is, to our shame, lawful) is to say what isn’t true, at least in a civil (not church) context.”

The assertion seems straight-forward: because abortion is legal, it is not murder.

There is a truth that Prior is reaching for—although her own words obscure it. Abortion in the United States is especially evil because it is legal. When a woman in another country gets an abortion, she is acting against God’s law and against her country’s laws. She is doubly a law breaker.

But in the United States, getting an abortion does not require violating man’s law—in fact, our government will even help you pay for it! That is especially evil.

Many in the pro-abortion world don’t understand that point. They think that pro-life people are trying to end abortions by their protests. But we are not naïve. I know abortions will always continue because people always sin. Yet a basic component of a Christian world view as much as is possible, civil laws should match God’s moral law.

Instead, Prior implies that abortion in the United States is not murder because The Supreme Court has spoken. She later posted what was simultaneously a doubling-down and a back-tracking:

“To clarify: I am unwavering in my belief that according to God’s law, abortion is murder, despite its current definition in civil law, and in my belief that God hates the shedding of innocent blood. Having volunteered 17 years at crisis pregnancy centers and offering help to women outside abortion clinics for 10 years, I was trained not to use the word “murder” in trying to persuade them to choose life. I continue to believe this is wise counsel. I continue to work toward the day when our civil laws on abortion accord with God’s law.)”

I am grateful for her clarification—although if a woman came to me who was genuinely considering abortion, I would most certainly use biblical language in counseling her against it. But I can grant that outside of clinics, more tact might be in order. Basically, if she has a decade of experience working on sidewalks pleading with women to chose life, I’ll defer to her on what language to use.

But the problem is that her original statement is not simply about how to be winsome in counseling, but is about the intersection of God’s law and our laws—and frankly it shows an inexcusable level of confusion about this intersection (in fact, her next paragraph says that calling abortion “murder” is relying on “the props of exaggeration” and amounts to “inflammation or embellishment”).

Christians are called by Jesus to go into all the world preaching the gospel, and calling people to repent from their sins and submit themselves to God’s law. We know that they know God’s law, because their conscience bears witness. And so we speak in those terms.

Herod’s remarriage may have been legal, but John was right to call it unlawful, because it broke God’s law. Jesus’ trial was a farce, but the Sanhedrin voted and Pilate washed his hands, yet his crucifixion was still murder.

Adultery is still adultery, even now that it is legal.

And Cain murdered Abel, even though the City Council did not yet have a quorum to declare murder to be against the law.

Of course abortion is murder. It is the process of violently ending a human life after it has begun. This is what the word means.


EDIT: After interacting with Prior on Twitter, I dropped the last 2 paragraphs of this post. It was an appeal for clarification, and I think she has now clarified what she meant.

Jesse Johnson

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Jesse is the Teaching Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA. He also leads The Master's Seminary Washington DC location.
  • Alan

    Thank you for a great response. This is much needed.

  • Great article, but would you please explain “But I can grant that outside of clinics, more tact might be in order.”

    If her working outside clinics qualifies her to determine the best language (later in same paragraph you imply this), what about if I know someone else who has done that but still uses the word ‘murder?’ Are they right or is KSP?

    If using Scriptural language is not tactful, what is?

    My thoughts, extended:

    • Chris Nelson


    • Jordan Standridge

      I would think that tact in this case has less to do with what you say, and much to do with how you say it. That said, calling people who think they are protecting women and their rights jihadists may be funny, but it is not winsome, nor true, and definitely not tactful. Calling them accomplices in murder is true, and I believe can be done in a winsome and tactful way.

    • Sir Aaron

      You make a great point. We should always line up our thinking with Scripture and certainly ought not to shy away from labeling sin as that. But I think you’ll see from a close examination of Scripture that different language and methods are used to deal with sinners in various states of sin. Some get a stern rebuke while others get a word that is just as true but delivered in a much gentler way.
      I deal with victims on a regular basis. Many of them are in that position because they were very foolish or worse. My initial reaction might be to want to tell them they were fools and lecture them accordingly, but I’m usually very careful to express genuine sympathy for their plight, concern for their wellbeing, and an expression of my desire to help them. Later, after I’ve developed a relationship, if they’ve not yet come to this realization, I will kindly explain to them what they did was wrong. I suspect that dealing with a woman outside an abortion clinic is similar in some respects.

      • Great comment, Aaron. I increasingly appreciate your comments as you exhibit graciousness and humility which humbles me and sharpens me. I think about our ‘conversations’ a lot, brother and God is refining me through your example and teaching.

        To clarify a couple points (not that YOU need this clarification, but so someone doesn’t get confused on my stance):

        I have never advocated for not being kind. I also do not think using the word murder is inherently unkind.

        I have never advocated that murder is the only word that can be used to describe abortion.

        My stance in this debate is, and has been, that there is nothing wrong with using the word ‘murder’ effectively in regards to KSP’s article.

        In fact, if I simply handed someone a Bible and told them to read everything the incarnate Christ said about killing humans, I’d be content that the word murder would be the most encountered word in that context.

  • And I’ll add, if abortion is done in the most sanitary non-violent way, it is still murder. The subjective idea of violence has no bearing on the definition of the act.

    Just my 2 cents…

    • Archepoimen follower

      Amen! A significant problem in the whole debate on how to interact with the culture in general and on issues that society now sees as acceptable is exemplified in the article by Prior. Somehow, we evangelicals, have decided that the Apostles, Prophets and Jesus would have more ‘effective’ if they did not identify sin in the culture. While we should not be amazed or surprised that the world accepts murder as legal, as Christfollowers we also must continue to proclaim the truth, abortion will always be murder in the eyes of the Creator and His view is the only one that matters!

      An additional concern for me, is the number of articles that have appeared from the ERLC that advocate similar methodology when conforting society!


      • Lynn B.

        When did Jesus and the Apostles publicly address an individual’s sin?

        • Jane Hildebrand

          I assume they did given what Jesus said in John 7:7, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.”

          • Lynn B.

            Jane: Jesus the person, God incarnate, His very presence without opening His mouth testified that the works of the world are evil.

            I am not even asking was satanic sexual activity in the pagan temples condemned, although I do not know where it is even mentioned in scripture, but when someone was walking into the temple were they personally and publicly confronted and rebuked, etc.?

          • Jane Hildebrand

            Yes, but Jesus did open His mouth. He spoke publicly about murder, adultery, hypocrisy and greed in the temples and to the crowds (not just the Pharisees). His parables exposed our sin and warned us of hell. The message of “repentance” was preached boldly by Christ and the apostles and laid the way for the gospel.

            Now please understand that I’m not condoning Christians picketing outside of abortion clinics. But what I am saying is that repentance and the gospel (delivered in humility) go hand in hand and if that offends, then we are in good company with those who have gone before us.

          • Archepoimen follower

            Why shouldn’t Christians picket outside of abortion clinics. This is not my path or how I believe we can be most effective yet, I also know that Truth boldly proclaimed can be powerful and effective.


          • chrisleduc1

            I think we all need to be very careful and very concise with our terminology here.

            Not everyone is a “Christian.”

            We also need to define what we mean by “picket.”

            The ones I know personally are trying to obey what is written in Prov 24:11 “Deliver those who are being taken away to death, And those who are staggering to the slaughter. O hold them back.”

            The ones I know are not simply passively “picketing” with a sign but rather pleading with mothers not to butcher their babies and proclaiming the Gospel.

          • Charity

            Chris: First, this discussion is about more than the words spoken when you are pleading for the life of a child. However, it remains that if your language at the abortion clinic is inflammatory it is not likely it is going to soften the heart of the mother.

            I wonder if anyone has considered what questions could be asked that might prick the conscience of the mother? Questions will often open the heart whereas accusations steel the heart. Jesus asked the woman at the well questions.

            Pleading is likely heard by the mother as an accusation.

          • chrisleduc1

            I keep asking people the same question:

            ” in your experience, how have you been able to help her? In trying to get a would-be murdered to slow down or stop in the 30 seconds (or less) that you have to try and save the baby from being ripped apart, what has worked for you to get her to stop?”

            The reason is, most of what is happening here is nothing more than “arm-chair quarterbacking.”

            Until youve been there and actually felt the feeing in your chest and stomach and spirit as a woman walks up and goes in, and over the next few minutes it becomes real to you that you are close enough that if they baby was outside of the womb you would literally hear it screaming and writhing in agony as it is being butchered…

            Do you honestly know what it feels like, as a God-indwelt Christian, to stand outside and know that right on the other side of the wall a baby is being ripped limb by limb? Do you know the range of emotion and grief that grips you?

            Until youve been through that, and until youve had to actually DO something in this 30 seconds to try and get the women to just pause for a second, to try and reconsider – until youve actually tried something, watched it not work and then sit there while you know the baby is being butchered a stone’s throw away, its all speculative and uninformed opinion. Then, once you tried and failed and have to do it over again, then its much more than mere speculation.

            Im not saying you dont know what you’re talking about, but I am saying that many dont…

          • Charity

            Chris: Have you ever sat at the bedside of a lost loved one about to enter a Christless eternity?

            For decades, I believed my grandfather might be open to accepting Christ if ever for a moment he was away from my controlling grandmother. God in His mercy allowed me time alone with him in his last days and I saw him quite of his own volition close his heart to the Savior. That same week I sat at my grandmother’s kitchen table and heard her scorn Christ and sneer, “I will burn in hell.” I sobbed uncontrollably at her funeral. It has been 15 years now and I still grieve especially when I pass one of the special places she took me as a child.

            There are nurses who work in hospice facilities who daily serve people in their last days and speak the gospel to them as they are able, many times only to watch them breathe their last breath lost.

            How are those situations and others any different from what you are explaining and do you think in any of those situations we screamed at people about their personal sins in hope that would cause them to repent?

            If you believe God would have you seek to reach women as they enter an abortion facility then go, but do not make it out to be the only place death is happening.

            Remember that we are called to share the gospel but repentance is a gift that only God Himself can give. God has given us considerable guidance on how to speak and how to love and the circumstance at an abortion clinic does not change His word.

          • chrisleduc1

            “How are those situations
            and others any different from what you are explaining”

            This is, I believe, the primary problem that prohibits any genuine progress in these discussions.

            The differences are almost innumerable. I don’t say this to be rude, but if you really don’t get that, then you really need a massive and almost complete paradigm shift in your thinking. We are taking apples and oranges here.

            The person dying is just that – a person dying.

            B. The Woman at the clinic is not a person on their deathbed.

            A. The person dying is not actively trying to murder someone else.

            B. The woman at the clinic is activiley seeking to murder someone, within minutes.

            A. The person dying is listening to you

            B. The woman listening is not, you have to try and get her attention.

            A. The person dying likely isn’t needing to first be distracted from being in the very act of murdering someone. They’re likely just laying there.

            B. The woman needs to first be distracted from her intent to murder. You have an extremely short window to do that.

            A. The person dying isn’t 20 feet away. You get sit quietly with them.

            B. The woman is likely 20ft away, you don’t get to sit at her side.

            A. The person dying likely knows you because you are family or a professional care-giver and so the likelihood of them listening to you is very high

            B. The woman is a person with literally a murderous intent at the very moment and you are a stranger and no matter you message, one perceived as hostile to their intentions.

            I could literally go on and on and on. These are as dfferent as black is white.

            But the biggest difference is this.

            With the person dying, your FIRST objective is nothing other than to clearly articulate the Gospel so that they have an opportunity to respond. At the abortuary, you’re FIRST, not only, but first priority is to stop them from murdering their baby. You are loving your neighbor (the baby) as yourself. Its no different than if you were at the neighborhood park and saw a woman literally beating a child to death with a bat. You would not walk over and just gently and peacefully tell her that Jesus loves them and they should really stop. No! You would do what you could to get them to stop! You would not treat the woman with the baseball bat bashing her kids head in the same way you’d treat and talk to your dying relative on their death-bed.

            DO you really not see the difference?

            Once they cease (the woman with the bat, or the would-be murderer) then you have an
            opportunity to share the love of Christ via the Gospel and meet their physical needs, but first are foremost you are dealing with a person trying to murder another person and you are there to try and avert that. Then context kicks in – how far away are you? How long will you have to speak? Etc etc.

            This situation is so vastly different that they are truly beyond comparison.

            There is literally not another parallel circumstance to compare it to but if there was it would be like trying to tell a hostage negotiator how to do their job – how to keep a guy with a gun pointed at a hostage from shooting the hostage. This is the problem, you, and many
            others are not realizing that the first priority is to try and keep the mother
            from butchering the child. It’s a rescue mission. The context determines the methodology, as with many things in life.

          • Guest

            What about slavery Chris, is that close enough in kind to abortion? Slaves were often worked to death if not first beaten to death. Wilberforce worked to educate the public in order to facilitate making slavery illegal. He did not picket at the plantation and scream at the landowner to free his slaves before they died. As sanctimonious as you want to make your efforts, you are trying to put out a forest fire with a squirt gun.

          • Guest

            Be sure to read Brad Lemler’s post about trusting the sovereignty of God Chris. That is an important point you seem to be missing completely.

          • chrisleduc1

            I can assure you I’m not missing God’s sovereignty in this at all. I can probably articulate the ways in which I trust in God’s sovereignty actively in my life more than most people can. It’s not some ideas that I give a nod of the head too but doesn’t actually impact my life.

            No, rather I just don’t allow God’s sovereignty to be an excuse for my in action. I take advantage of all things I deem reasonable and advantageous.
            You don’t leave your front door unlocked because you believe in God’s sovereignty. You don’t not work because you believe in God sovereignty. And if somebody will talk to you for an hour straight about the Gospel you don’t simply present the gospel in five minutes and then walk away “trusting in God’s sovereignty.” God sovereignly works through human agents. If someone breaks in my house with a gun and threatens to kill my family I’m not going to do nothing but pray no I’m going to use the means available to me to prevent the life of my family.

          • Brian

            Chris: The situations cited are people about to enter a Christless eternity in hell. That certainly is as urgent or more urgent than any other possible scenario. The situation at an abortion clinic is evil and heart wrenching but you are elevating it above all other evil and making yourself responsible.

          • chrisleduc1

            “The situations cited are people about to enter a Christless eternity in hell. That certainly is as urgent or more urgent than any other possible scenario.”


            “The situation at an abortion clinic is evil and heart wrenching but you are elevating it above all other evil and making yourself responsible.”

            If we were talking about a mother getting ready to commit suicide then maybe, maybe they would be comparable situations. But this is a person getting ready to murder someone else.

            I am in no way elevating it above. That is simply a lack of understanding on your part. My point has been there drastically different scenarios. The chronological first priority is different.

            Chronologically the person on their deathbed first needs to hear the gospel.

            Chronologically the baby about to be butchered needs to have his mother deterred from doing so first. When you likely have 30 seconds or less and are at a distance the methodology for accomplishing that goal is going to be completely different than the methodology you use to accomplish the goal of sharing the gospel with a person on their deathbed who is laying there listening to you and not trying to murder someone.

          • Jane Hildebrand

            I guess when I say picket I have negative images of people protesting with signs of “Murderer!” or photos of dismembered babies. I do not believe that is the most effective way to convey the gospel.

            However, in the case of abortion clinics, I think to stand outside with the offer to help these girls with services would be more in line with how Christ would have us to respond.

            That being said, these are hard issues to navigate with respect to consistency. Do we also stand outside of strip clubs, LGBT gatherings, liquor stores, adult toy shops, casinos, Victoria’s secret or Starbucks for those blasphemous cups? These are hard times.

          • Nicki Ann

            Jane: I don’t believe that anyone is saying we should not preach the gospel because it is offensive. The concern, and it is a valid concern in my opinion, is that those presenting the gospel are often proud, abrasive, harsh, etc., and they themselves are offensive and the gospel cannot even be heard for their offense.

            When a group takes to regularly condemning believers serving in crises pregnancy centers because they are not demanding an immediate end to abortion there is a problem. When a group proclaims that Right to Life has joined forces with the abortionists because they do not support AHA antics there is a problem. And there is so much more.

          • Jane Hildebrand

            Nicki Ann, I agree with you! My point was that repentance and the gospel go together, but should always be done with humility and kindness.

        • chrisleduc1

          Why limit the proper example of godliness in a given a situation to only the Apostles and Jesus in the flesh? Are the prophets not good example of godliness? Are God’s Words written to certain people not profitable and written for our instruction?

          But to just limit it to your very narrow request, how about Matthew 14:3-4, Acts 13:10, 23:3, Rev 3:20-23.

          • Archepoimen follower



          • Still Waters

            No part of the Bible contradicts another part. Therefore, we are called both to speak hard truths, and to be gentle and kind.
            You mention the prophets more than once in your comments. When I think of them, I think of how Jeremiah earned the title of the Weeping Prophet, due to the great sorrow with which he communicated; I think of Ezekiel, who had to put on humiliating and uncomfortable charades to communicate the truth, sometimes not speaking for months and who was forbidden to morn his beloved wife; of Hosea, who endured a humiliating personal situation with his wife; of Elijah, whose isolation pushed him to the point of wishing for death. They declared hard truths, and, though very rarely, proclaimed those truths in a fiery way; but they did so out of great weakness and pain. That weakness and pain prevented them from becoming self-righteous, and from holding their hearers in contempt. When Jonah did hold his hearers in contempt, God gave him an unforgettable lesson in humility. Those who wish to use the prophets’ way to reach people today, must first realize the cost of the prophets’ way.

          • chrisleduc1

            I dont know you, but I do know my pastor and based on his 50 years of teaching the Bible, Im going to take his summary over yours. It may be beneficial to you (all) to listen to the sermon he gave a few weeks ago. Here are a few quotes:

            ” But think about it: once in awhile they (the prophets) said things that were comforting – once in awhile. Once in awhile, they actually interceded for the people; but most of the time, they prosecuted their sins. They were prosecutors – far more than they were comforters, far more than they were intercessors.”

            “And you remember John the Baptist confronted Herod the tetrarch and the messed up, adulterous, incestuous relationship that he had with his brother’s wife. And in 3:19, in the NAS it says, “But when Herod the tetrarch was reprimanded by John the Baptist because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the wicked things which Herod had done.”

            Let me tell you something: reprimanded is not an adequate translation. John the Baptist didn’t reprimand him, he convicted him. John the Baptist was a prosecutor. He prosecuted him, he accused him, he laid out the evidence, and he rendered a final verdict. All of that is in that word because it’s the same word, elegchó, used there, same exact word translated rather whimsically with the word “reprimanded.””

            “….And the next verse says, “And he convicted Herod of his immorality.” John was a prosecutor. He was a classic prophet. He was a prosecutor of those who did evil. He frightened people. He was moved in the power of the Holy Spirit to indict people because they violated the Word of God, and he prosecuted them. He accused them, he indicted them, he laid out the proof, he rendered a final conviction of the world of its sin, its failure to be righteous, and of coming judgment. That’s what he talked about: sin, righteousness, judgment. All the prophets talked about that: sin, righteousness, judgment. “You’re all sinning, you’re violating God’s righteousness, you are unrighteous, and judgment’s coming.”

            ” In Ephesians, chapter 5, the Holy Spirit writes, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness; instead, convict them.” When you see people doing the unfruitful works of darkness which are forbidden by God as revealed according to His Word, convict them, indict them, accuse them, prove them guilty, and render them convicted.”

            I see far too many people, ESPECIALLY HERE, creating this false portrayal of what it means to be godly. Its this ‘sissified Jesus’ that American ‘christianity’ has created and as Dr. MacArthur points out clearly, what it being represented by many HERE, is NOT what Scripture portrays of God’s servants.

            The full audio and text of the sermon I cited can be found below:


          • Still Waters

            John the Baptist also paid a great price. In his imprisonment, he suffered with doubts and had to seek Jesus’ reassurance that He was the Messiah (Luke 7:18-23). He eventually lost his life at the hands of Herod. Towards the end of John’s ministry, he said that he must decrease and that Christ must become increase (John 3:22-36). Christ praised John highly, but he said something that is often forgotten, that He that is the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John (Luke 7:28).
            The description of Christ as gentle and kind is one that was not only foretold by those Old Testament prophets (Matthew 12:17-21), but one that Christ used to describe himself (Matthew 11:28-30).

          • chrisleduc1

            Still creating a false dichotomy…and not actually engaging anything I posted -which almost completely contradicts your portrayal. ‘Someone’ has it wrong here…

          • Nicki Ann

            chrisleduc1: Are you a prophet? John the Baptist was the last of the prophets and there is only indirect application we can make to what exactly the prophets did.

          • chrisleduc1

            “Are you a prophet? John the Baptist was the last of the prophets and there is only indirect application we can make to what exactly the prophets did.”

            Im going to let my pastor answer that, as cited from the sermon I referenced above.

            “The Old Testament prophets were God’s prosecutors of sinners. John the Baptist was God’s prosecutor of sinners. Jesus Christ was God’s prosecutor of sinners. Do you see what our Lord is saying to the disciples? What He is saying is, “Look, from here on, the Holy Spirit is going to put the truth in your hands, the truth in your hands by which you will measure every man, and you will become God’s prosecutors in this generation.” They were the prosecutors that followed the Lord, and we are the prosecutors that follow them.”

            “… We are prosecuted in the world’s courts. The truth is we are God’ prosecutors. The prophets prosecuted and were killed. John the Baptist prosecuted and was beheaded. Jesus prosecuted and was crucified; now it’s our turn. Ten out of the eleven disciples – ten out of the eleven, with the exception of John as far as we know – were killed. So the Holy Spirit is the one who convicts. But this is not talking about the work that He does in the heart, this is talking about the work that we do, empowered by Him with the Scripture.”

          • Still Waters

            No, Christians are only witnesses for Christ. Paul called himself a fool for Christ (I Corinthians 4:9-10). It is the Holy Spirit who prosecutes: “When He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement” John 16:7-11)

          • chrisleduc1

            “No, Christians are only witnesses for Christ. Paul called himself a fool for Christ (I Corinthians 4:9-10). It is the Holy Spirit who prosecutes . . . ”

            Again, I am going to respectfully appeal to and side with my my pastor Dr MacArthur. I believe you are completely wrong.

            ” Go back to verse 8: “When He comes, He will convict the world.” That mean He will find them guilty. He will prosecute them, He will roll out the evidence, and the final verdict is guilty – the whole world. A lot of people come to this passage and they kind of play around with, “What does world mean? What does world mean? Does it mean that the Lord, the Holy Spirit convicts every human being on the inside?” No, this isn’t talking about that. The Holy Spirit is going to convict the whole world.

            How does He do this? How does the Holy Spirit do this work of final conviction – conviction in the sense that you are a convicted criminal, a lawbreaker, a God-violator? How does the Holy Spirit do it? Listen, through preaching the Scripture, through preaching the Scripture, through testifying from the Scripture. The Scripture is the law, and if you have violated the Scripture, you are a lawbreaker and the proof is in, and you’re convicted.”

          • Nicki Ann

            Nobody is arguing against, “through preaching the Scripture, through preaching the Scripture, through testifying from the Scripture.” Our concern is when, where, how and especially how.

          • Still Waters

            Dr. MacArthur agrees with me that it is the Holy Spirit who really prosecutes. Christians are merely the mouthpiece, which is why I would say we are only witnesses. Dr. MacArthur would have it that we somehow become prosecutors because of the presence of the Holy Spirit. I would disagree, because it is not what we accomplish, but what God does through us which makes a difference. However, that discussion is not really the deciding factor in the question of whether we should be gentle or not. After all, a prosecutor who lost his temper and screamed accusations and threats at the accused would be severely reprimanded by the judge – and if the prosecutor persisted in such behaviour it would lead to judicial discipline.

          • chrisleduc1

            “Dr. MacArthur agrees with me that it is the Holy Spirit who really prosecutes.”


            ” I want you to understand what he’s saying: those of us who preach the Word of God are the world’s prosecutors. We are the world’s prosecutors, we are God’s select prosecutors; that’s what we do. We do it by preaching; we do it in testimony.

            Jesus is saying this to the disciples: “The Holy Spirit is going to reveal the truth.” First, called the Apostles’ Doctrine. Eventually, it ends up in print in Scripture. And by means of the revelation of the Holy Spirit, you are going to be able to indict and prosecute and convict the world before God. Indictment, conviction, prosecution – that is what we do in preaching the gospel.”

          • Jane Hildebrand

            “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” (Spurgeon)

          • Still Waters

            From your previous quote of MacArthur:

            “When He comes, He will convict the world.” That mean He will find them guilty. He will prosecute them,..”

          • chrisleduc1

            Yea, I can cut his quote short too so that I dont allow it to say what he actually went on to say and make his point, as you did, but then I would be misrepresenting him, which Im not willing to do. Im surprised you would do that.

          • Still Waters

            Are you saying that MacArthur didn’t say that the Holy Spirit prosecutes? Because that is all that I said that he agreed with me on. I went on to say where we disagreed, but that part of my response wasn’t quoted in your reply.

          • Jane Hildebrand

            Chris, I also respect MacArthur here, but I can’t seem to recall any NT admonitions to be prosecutors. I do remember Paul saying that we are ambassadors, “as if God were making His appeal through us,” that we were given the “ministry of reconciliation” and that we should “do everything to make the teaching about our Lord and savior attractive in every way.” (Titus 2:10) If Christ is our model and He was our intercessor and comforter, are we not called to preach the gospel with that kind of humility? Would we not be the ones outside the clinics opening our homes to these girls, offering help with tears?

          • chrisleduc1

            “Would we not be the ones outside the clinics opening our homes to these girls, offering help with tears?”

            I think you are missing the point here. There are several different scenarios that are being discussed. The scenario I am talking about it the one where a woman who has murder on her heart and mind is literally in the process of taking her baby to be butchered. The ones we need to be helping is the baby. The mother is, in that moment, a person full intended to carry out cold-blooded, torturous murder in a matter of minutes. In THAT moment, it is not her who needs our “help.”

          • Matthew

            That is where you are wrong, who intervened for you when you were an enemy of God? Is the “woman with murder in her heart,” beyond the reach of the Gospel? No, she desperately needs to hear that there is mercy and grace in Christ.

          • chrisleduc1

            In your experience of trying to get a would-be murdered to slow down or stop in the 30 seconds (or less) that you have to try and save the baby from being ripped apart, what has worked for you to get her to stop?

          • Matthew

            If you answer my question, I will answer yours. I have been reading the comments, refraining from commenting because we’ve been down this road before. I am trying to figure out where you’re coming from on this issue, and your last comment was revealing.

          • chrisleduc1

            Im happy to answer your question. Please repeat it.

          • Charity

            Chris: It looks like Matthew had to return to work. I believe that his questions was, “who intervened for you when you were an enemy of God?”

          • Matthew

            Thank you Charity. No I didn’t have to get back to work, I’m just not going to respond to arrogance.

          • chrisleduc1

            Wow. Pot, meet Kettle….

          • Still Waters

            If we do not help the mother, we cannot help the baby who depends on her for its life.

          • chrisleduc1

            As I asked Matthew, in your experience of trying to get a would-be murdered to slow down or stop in the 30 seconds (or less) that you have to try and save the baby from being ripped apart, what has worked for you to get her to stop?

          • Still Waters

            I have prayed.

          • Jane Hildebrand

            She doesn’t need help? She needs the same help that you and I needed when we were dead in our sin! A woman who has murder on her mind? Does it occur to you that maybe some of these girls are terrified that they are pregnant and they don’t see another way out? Can you relate to what it would feel like to be in that position? Were you there when their loser boyfriends told them to just take care of it?

            I am not condoning what they are planning to do, but Jesus came for girls like this and it is our job to love and rescue both mother and child.

          • chrisleduc1

            As I asked the others, in your experience, how have you been able to help her? In trying to get a would-be murdered to slow down or stop in the 30 seconds (or less) that you have to try and save the baby from being ripped apart, what has worked for you to get her to stop?

          • Charity

            Chris, this is not the answer you are looking for but a great part of the problem is that we are not much more evangelistic and less temporal way before we reach the abortion clinic. In those 30 seconds there really is not much that can be done. There are lost people dying in every one of our communities every day and how much notice do we pay to them?

          • Jane Hildebrand

            Well, not that I’ve had experience in this, but if I did, I would hold a sign that said, “Please reconsider. I am here to help.”

            I would stand quietly and greet them as they went by, all the while praying for God to soften their hearts. If they stopped and came up to me, I would be quick to reach for their hand or hug them and tell them I am there for them.

            I guess if I had ever found myself in that situation, I would have hoped that is how someone would treat me. I would want to be seen through the eyes of Christ, not as a cold-blooded murderer.

          • chrisleduc1

            Thanks for the reply Jane. Please accept the following as coming from a brother, to a sister, in love.

            “Well, not that I’ve had experience in this, but if I did,”

            Jane, I say this NOT to shame you, please dont misunderstand.

            “I would stand quietly and greet them as they went by, all the while praying for God to soften their hearts.”

            Jane, because you’ve never been there before, I would like to posit to you as someone who has, unless you have a very hardened heart, you would very likely not do that. The two most common reactions are weeping and righteous anger.

            When you see a woman pull up, she’s in sweats (comfortable for recovery) and without a drink (they cannot drink before the procedure) and you just know they are here to torture a baby to death, its very highly unlikely youd be able to stand at a distance without either weeping almost uncontrollably or be provoked by the Spirit to God to proclaim that they repent of their murder, call the sin sin and implore them to turn to Christ and come talk to you.

            “If they stopped and came up to me, I would be quick to reach for their hand or hug them and tell them I am there for them.”

            Thats awesome. But here is the thing – they are at a distance, you have to DO something to get them to stop and come to you. What do you do? That really is the question. Thats what we are debating.

            “I guess if I had ever found myself in that situation, I would have hoped that is how someone would treat me.”

            Everyone is different. If I was about to do this, I would hope that people would use every possible tool in the box to get me to stop. Shame me for my murder. Get my attention any way you can. Anything to get me to stop and engage. But please, dont sit silently and let me just walk by and murder my baby.

            If it was a family member of mine who was about to by butchered, I would hope that Christians in the vicinity would yell and scream and use any images they could to attempt to deter the would-be murdered, just to get them to reconsider.

          • Jane Hildebrand

            Chris, I appreciate your reply and I do understand that everyone is different. It sounds like you have had experience in this area, so may I ask you, what has worked for you in these situations? Have you tried different things and have you had any success?

          • Nicki Ann

            chrisleduc1: I esteem John MacArthur highly but he is not thus sayeth the Lord. I was scanning his message but do not have time just now to read/listen closely and I’m afraid they will shut down this comment thread so I want to say this…

            Nobody is saying that we should not speak the truth and call sin sin. Our concern is how it is done. Using your pastor as an example, I can remember him being summoned to the hospital bed of one dying of aids to whom he spoke the clear truth of sin and was privileged to lead him to Christ. However, I have never heard MacArthur suggest that we picket and shout condemnation of sin mixed with the gospel at gay pride parades and I would guess that he does not advocate that at all (and I would be interested in that being corroborated if you happen to know or can ask him). The gay pride parade is a direct parallel to the abortion clinic issue.

            Beyond that there is a lot being written on social media by prolife people that does not represent Christ well.

          • chrisleduc1

            “I esteem John MacArthur highly but he is not thus sayeth the Lord.”

            I agree. Im simply saying that I take his opinion and interpretation of the Scriptures in dispute, over yours.

            ” I can remember him being summoned to the hospital bed of one dying of aids to whom he spoke the clear truth of sin and was privileged to lead him to Christ.”

            This is a far cry from being on the front lines outside of a facility where a baby is about to tortured to death, literally. You have maybe 30 seconds to say “something” that might get them to hesitate from going inside and butchering a living, pain-feeling baby. The goal, in that moment, is to stop that baby from being tortured to death. You are speaking to person bent on the immediate torture and murder of a baby. How do you deter it in the 30 seconds you have? Every other argument is nothing more than a red-herring

          • Still Waters

            The confrontation between Herod and John consists of one recorded phrase in the Bible, “It is not lawful for you to have your borther’s wife”. Now, John could have said that in any tone of voice in a number of different situations – he could have barged into the palace and planted himself in front of Herod’s throne to say it, he could have shouted it in the street or he could have said it calmly and matter-of-factly in an audience with Herod. The problem is, we are not told how he said it. So it cannot be said that John the Baptist’s reproof of Herod contradicts what else the Bible says about how to confront sinners in gentleness. In saying that Christians need to use more gentleness in confronting those who support abortion, we are not saying Christians should stop saying abortion is wrong. As Proverbs puts it, “A soft tongue breaks the bone, but grievous words stir up anger.”

          • Lynn B.

            Thank you Still Waters! A lot more weeping would go far in this matter.

        • Archepoimen follower

          off the top of my head:), Jesus with the woman at the well, Peter on the day of Pentecost and assuming that Paul followed his own advice, he would have addressed the false teachers themselves before admonishing them in his letters to the churches.


          • Lynn B.

            Jesus met the woman at the well in the heat of the day when nobody else was at the well. It was a private meeting. At that, He asked her questions and the answers she was forced to give even if only in her heart convicted her. Jesus did not hurl accusations at her and what He did say was not spoken for all the world to hear.

            Peter was speaking to the masses, not addressing a particular person’s sin.

            How Paul addressed the churches is a different subject, we are speaking of how to address the lost world in the world.

        • So this thread went off the rails at some point. Not sure I can work back through all 100 (!) comments to find where. So I”m going to draw the line at some arbitrary point and cull it. No offense meant.

  • Dan Phillips

    This sounds like that pathology now busily reproducing among the best and the brightest — the desperate need to be liked by the world, and a phobia against making them feel (or look!) bad.

    • Jason

      The other piece of that is that we are trained to feel bad if we aren’t respected by the world. We’re living in a culture where you can “believe” whatever you want, but you can only live a certain way. That way is not going to be compatible with living for Christ, but that position is one of strength (2 Corinthians 12:10).

      • Lynn B.

        Jason & Dan: Are you possibly skirting the issue? Representing Christ as he was Himself on this earth, treating others and speaking to them as we are instructed in the Word does not equate to wanting to be liked or respected by the world.

        • Jason

          That exactly how I took Dan’s post, and the point I was trying to make myself as well. We shouldn’t worry about wanting to be liked or respected by the world, but that takes overcoming all the social conditioning we’ve been raised with.

          Throwing that perspective off should be the focus of anyone who can relate to this, because we can’t please man and God simultaneously.

  • Ray Adams

    Thank you! Very helpful. Loose ends I had not considered you have pointedly clarified. Our perspective is always “of things above and not on things of earth.” It is murder, and must be stated clearly that it is murder with as much grace and gentleness as possible.

  • Don Shellie Martin

    Thank you for this response.As sidewalk gospel counselors, we have found that women all ready know it is murder.They do not have a problem with that term.May I direct you to November’s issue of Tabletalk by John Barros.He said the biggest misconception that christians have about abortion is that the women don’t know what they are doing. This is a gospel issue, foremost.The abortion mill is wrought with sinners in need of hearing the gospel.UnChristlike is not proclaiming the Gospel.Love is proclaiming the gospel.KSP is as most feminist Christians today, she elevates the mother’s feelings above the life , yes the very life of their child. As an example, most Christians would think after the recent PP videos, that there would be less abortions, we have found the opposite to be true, in fact, hearts have grown harder. The law of God is in the heart , it either accuses or excuses. We cannot shy back from this clear and non ambiguous issue-murder. Can’t count how many times in the last 3 years that “christians” stop to tell us that we are doing it wrong-“that all babies go to heaven anyway” “you need to start a post abortion ministry” ” these women don’t really want to do this” “what if you save a baby and he grows up to die and go to hell”? ect , ect.
    Francis Schaeffer in the Christian Manifesto, rebuked the Church for Roe v Wade being made law with barely a whimper from them.He said that local aboriton mills should have a sign that reads ” Here by permission of your local church”.

    This is a mission field so needing the gospel.Folks like KSP only murky the waters as to confuse on a very clear issue that God has spoken to , to and issue that is lesser about murder and more about ‘niceness’. Eleventh commandment, these days.

    Thank you again.

    Shellie Martin

  • LuLu

    I wonder if Ms. Prior watched “3801 Lancaster” before climbing on the sanctimonious soapbox we all are so prone to use? Abortion IS murder no matter what the kingdom of this world says. The police officers who entered Gosnell’s house-of-horrors saw graphic evidence of the abortionist’s “ghoulishness”. If calling him a “ghoul” troubles Ms. Prior to the point of writing an article, I can only imagine her ire over the term “totally depraved”!

  • tovlogos

    Amen, Jesse.

    “Yet a basic component of a Christian world view as much as is possible, civil laws should match God’s moral law.”

    Yet, as you indicated, we are not naive; we know the fate of this world.
    We also know that there can be no real moral change in this world because no human can dispatch the devil, and lift the spiritual darkness from this atmosphere — obviously only the Son of God can. At best a true believing president can abate the harsh effects of evil somewhat; but change nothing. I can’t imagine 2 Chronicles 7:14 manifesting worldwide due to any man’s influence. However if it happens only among believers — that’s a victory.

    The nauseating political correctness is only fitting, in view of the seared consciences at the helm.
    As Paul declared: “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” So, then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other hand, with my flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:24,25)
    God will open the minds He chooses to call.

  • Nicki Ann

    At the risk of being stoned, I find that very often the attitude and the language of those who congregate (for lack of a better word) at abortion clinics to be less than Christ honoring. The gospel is offensive but we who speak the gospel should not be offensive. The idea that God will save His elect so we need not concern ourselves with presentation is not good theology. The AHA lot, in my opinion, is helping the cause of the abortion industry in that they are turning the culture at-large against the cause of life. I can understand why they are equated with jihadists.

    Jesus was harsh with the religious, but not with the woman at the well or the rich young ruler, nor did He expose their sins to the world.

    The pagan worship at the time of the NT Church was grossly immoral and I see nothing in scripture about the church confronting them, picketing their temples, etc.

    “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29). Our words should always give grace. Always.

    • I’m not going to stone you Nicki. And I actually agree with you. There are those who seem to be less than Christ-like in their protest. And I think there is a need for a post on that. In fact, had that been Prior’s point, I wouldn’t have responded with this post. I read her post differently, and focused on the Gosnell link and the abortion not being murder part. But there is a larger point that should be debated concerning the comportment of people that protest abortion.

      • chrisleduc1

        Let’s say you have maybe 30 seconds to speak to a woman going into a abortuary to murder her child. You have to yell it from a distance. What is acceptable, and what is not?
        “Don’t murder your baby!”?
        “God will judge you for murdering your baby!”?
        “Believe the Gospel!”
        “We can help!”

        Let’s day the woman’s boyfriend ha some out to smoke a cigarette while he is waiting. Maybe there is time for him to go back in, maybe not. Again, what is acceptable? Do you try to incite him to shame for allowing his child to be tortured to death? Do you pleased with him to go stop it?

        Love to hear some feedback…

        • Nicki Ann

          chrisleduc1: How does your Bible answer your question? What does it say about speech and what are the exceptions to what it says?

          • chrisleduc1

            Feel free to enlighten us. We have plentiful examples from God Himself in how He spoke through the prophets, examples in how the prophets themselves spoke, and then of course examples in the NT.

        • Lynn B.

          Set aside for a moment what is said while picketing an abortion clinic. What about the judgmental and vile things said in discussion forums and on Facebook about other believers, Prolife organizations, Christian organizations in general, and political candidates that do not meet the standards of some and AHA in particular? I have encountered outright lies defaming Answers In Genesis and Ben Carson relative to their positions on life and even after documented proof was provided the poster continued to post the same lies again and again. Some rant endlessly about those having an abortion or performing an abortion. Some believe they are above the law because the law is contrary to God’s Word; as if they were being required to actively participate in the abortion. What is the explanation and excuse for all that?

          I would suggest to you that it represents a proud self-righteous heart that does not stand a chance of being Christ-like at the abortion clinic.

          • chrisleduc1

            Without any specifics it would be foolish of me to comment directly.

    • Still Waters

      Thank you, Nicki. You put into words what I was thinking. Karen Swallow Prior was perhaps a little mistaken in her choice of examples, but I understand what she was trying to say. We need to be careful of how we speak of others, even of those who do evil. “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity, so is the tongue among our members… Therewith bless we God, and therewith curse we men which are made after the similitude of God.”

  • Jon Speed

    I have a really, really hard time with people advising how to do abortion clinic ministry who rarely if ever do it. The whole issue with KSP disappears when you actually go do it. She is holding to the old pro life lie that the poor defenseless women there are victims. Spend a few minutes there and you will quickly learn otherwise. If you are not assaulted, spit on, threatened with assault or castigated you’ve had a good day. And then they go in and have their baby burned alive or cut into pieces so you never really have a good day. And then we have the audacity to talk about being winsome or whether or not to use the word “murder.” It is really quite ridiculous.

    • chrisleduc1

      Amen and Amen. Until you’ve stood outside and watched a woman go inside while you stand there and know that that baby is about to pulled apart, alive, feeling unimaginable pain, you should have very little to say…

      • Nicki Ann

        What about your Bible, should it have anything to say?

        • chrisleduc1

          Feel free to enlighten us…

          • Still Waters

            Well, there is this passage (II Timothy 2:24-26):

            “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

    • Nicki Ann

      How did your Savior respond when He was “assaulted, spit on, threatened with assault and castigated and did not have a good day?”

    • Lynn B.

      Jon: If you do not see your own sin as vile as God sees it you will think yourself more righteous than the one who kills an unborn baby and that will be reflected in how your respond to them.

      Granted, one needs to understand they have broken the law of God but do not lose sight of the fact that it is the goodness of God that brings a person to repentance. The law alone, screaming about a person’s sin in a public place, does not generally express God’s goodness and doubly so to one whose heart is often very hardened against Him.

      Aside from what is said or done at an abortion clinic you may not be aware what vile things are being written in blogs and on Facebook by those who join you at the abortion clinics. How do you explain that?

  • Lynn B.

    I found Karen Swallow Prior’s article to be quite excellent and needful. She clarified that she meant that abortion is not murder under the law and she did not mean it is not murder in the eyes of God. She may have “over stated” her own case in the links she used, but if you just read her words and skip the links her concern is very valid and her encouragement that our words should speak Christ’s love to the lost is needful in my opinion.

    • Archepoimen follower

      Actually, she stated exactly how she thinks about abortion. She was speaking in an article which I assume she gave great thought too. It is naive to think otherwise. Christ’s command to love our enemies does NOT mean we accept or condone their sinful actions even if the law of the land says different. The Christian response is to love them enough to be bold enough to help them decide to hear the whole story! This is why we must do everything we can to support Christian Pregnancy Centers like Life Centers here in Indiana! These groups realize that both the mother and baby matter not just one or the other


      • Still Waters

        Sir, you are using a strawman. Mrs. Prior did not call either for acceptance or condoning of abortion because it is the law of the land. A calm reading of her very short piece shows that.

        • Archepoimen follower

          I reread her article and noted that Prior felt it necessary to clarify her own commitment to Biblical beliefs on the issue! Obviously, a calm reading was not enough!

          I am glad she clarified her position!


      • Lynn B.

        Are you aware that the “Abolish Human Abortion” crowd condemns the crisis pregnancy centers? They want all of Christendom picketing with signs portraying aborted babies and demanding a complete and immediate end to abortion. It escapes me how they think that is going to end abortion but they are regularly naming and slandering many prolife people and groups who do not share their convictions and doubly so those who work to change the laws.

  • my2cents

    I would love it if the Cripplegate could post a follow up article on practical, loving ways that Christians can reach out to women seeking abortions. So she used a poor choice of words, and then clarified what she meant. I do that every day. Can we move on to the bigger issue- how do we show love to abortive mothers in a way that they’ll respond to it?

    • chrisleduc1

      Serious and honest question:

      How would you respond to a woman at the park who you encountered using a small hand tool and is literally about to smash her child’s head in, to the point that in the next few moments she will murder this child if she does not stop? She has made it 100% clear that in the next few moments she will begin smashing the kid’s head in and will not stop. What do you do?

      You can’t simply call the police, because by the time they arrive it will be over. You also can’t physically touch the woman either. What would you do?

      • Guest

        What I would not do is scream at her that she is a murderer. That for sure is likely to be counterproductive. A soft answer turns away wrath comes to mind.

        • chrisleduc1

          Lots of “armchair quarterbacks” here everybody has an opinion on what “not” to do. Do you have any thoughts on what to do?

  • Brad Lemler

    Prior’s distinction between God’s law and man’s law is important. Unfortunately, she doesn’t follow this distinction far enough.

    Is the taking of a human life wrong because such an act is contrary to man’s law, or is the taking of a human life wrong because such an act is contrary to God’s character and nature? Put differently, is the purpose of man made law (the laws made and enforced through human institutions) to define right and wrong, or is the purpose of man made law to reflect the objective standard of right and wrong revealed in and through God’s character and nature?

    Compare our nation’s Declaration of Independence and its reference to the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God with the French equivalent: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Edmund Burke understood that the American and French revolutions were motivated and supported by two radically different world views. Based on these differences in world views Burke predicted a radical difference between the American Republic and the French Republic. History has validated Burke’s prediction.

    See Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” The only just, legitimate laws are those that reflect the objective standard of right and wrong revealed in and through God’s character and nature. This was the logic of America’s founders. Their revolution was not a law breaking exercise. Properly understood, it was a law respecting exercise. America’s founders did not rebel against the English world view (and its biblical foundation). Instead, their rebellion was motivated and supported by the English worldview (and its biblical foundation).

    As for tactics in personal conversations, remember that the mere persuasive force of a person’s words will never be enough to bring a lost sinner to life. Instead, it is the Holy Spirit working in and through those words that accomplishes the Father’s sovereign purpose. Similarly, the mere persuasive force of a person’s words will never be enough to convince a pregnant woman to spare her child. Instead, it will be the Holy Spirit working in and through those words that accomplishes the Father’s sovereign purpose. It’s resting and trusting in God’s sovereignty that motivates effective, purposeful activity. When I trust in God to accomplish His sovereign purpose, I don’t try to be too clever by a half in the words I use. Similarly, I don’t feel compelled to the language of excess.

    • Guest

      “When I trust in God to accomplish His sovereign purpose, I don’t try to be too clever by a half in the words I use. Similarly, I don’t feel compelled to the language of excess.”

      Point well taken about the sovereignty of God and no need for language of excess. That is an important point. However, nobody is suggesting the need for cleverness only civility and adherence to biblical principles of speech.

  • Sir Aaron

    There are many immoral things that are legal in the United States and elsewhere. They still need to be called sin in the strongest vocabulary possible. And frankly, that is what Christians have always believed. Our forefathers used much harsher language.
    I will grant that there is a time and place where more tact and sensitivity might need to be used initially. Much like when a paramedic shows up, his first thought ought not be to lecture the victim on their doing something foolish. That comes later.

  • Matthew

    @ReformTheoSem presents: How should a Christian respond to abortion?

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