This article was written by Patte Smith, a Reformed Presbyterian missionary wife. Patte has been ministering outside to the mothers outside of the killing places for around three decades.
It is often tempting to show preference to one person over another,
People are like that.
When we meet an abortion-vulnerable mother, we can find ourselves being tempted to treat the woman as if she is
than her little baby.
But God isn’t like that.
For there is no respect of persons with God. (KJV)
For God shows no partiality. (ESV)
For God does not show favoritism. (NIV)
God does not play favorites. (GWT)
For God pays no attention to this world’s distinctions. (WNT)
~ Romans 2:11
We tend to ‘favor’ the woman because we SEE her and seek to ‘get on her good side’. The little baby is there in front of us. His or her tiny heart is beating. The infant is real, but unseen. We often find ourselves extending compassion & mercy to the mother & her situation, marginalizing the innocent person who is also before us, the little child, whose life is imperiled. We show partiality to the mother over the infant by speaking to her as if her life & her circumstances & relationships are what are most important. We want her to know that we care, but, we must be careful not to do this at the expense of the person she is carrying in her womb. The abortion-minded mother is our neighbor, but so is her child. The woman is not to be ‘preferred’ over her son or daughter, even in order for us to ‘gain a hearing’. Most certainly we are to treat the abortion-minded woman with respect and dignity. However, not at the expense of the child she is carrying. The pre-born infant inside the mother deserves our respect & our best labor to promote, protect & preserve his or her life.
Showing partiality is a sin.
Partiality is strictly (and often) forbidden by God in the Bible. See Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17; Proverbs 24:23; James 2:1, James 2:3,James 2:9 for starters. As God is the eternal Judge, we know that He shows no partiality. He will not be influenced by power, stature, rank or appearance of people. Jesus commanded us to ‘judge righteous judgment’ (John 7:24) as His Father. (Deuteronomy 10:17; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; Galatians 6:7-8; 1 Peter 1:17; Acts 10:34.)
He will not be won or awed by their rank or function; by their wealth or endowments; by their numbers, their power, or their robes of royalty and splendor. Every man should tremble at the prospect of falling into the hands of a just God, who will treat him just as he deserves, and should without delay seek a refuge in the Saviour and Advocate provided for the guilty: 1 John 2:1-2.
~ Albert Barnes
For some practical examples of expressions of sinful partiality, brethren; could start with a very common one, which I find on many pregnancy center websites. Telling the woman that abortion (murdering her baby) is one of her ‘options’ and ‘choices‘. If a rapist was sitting next to a woman whom he was considering brutally assaulting, would we casually counsel the would-be rapist that rape was most certainly one of his ‘options‘? How would the rape-imperiled woman feel if you treated her as if she was invisible or, at the very least, an inanimate object? Wouldn’t that be showing favoritism to the rapist and revealing a less-than-dignified and less-than-loving view of the woman?
I have viewed multiple websites that go further than presenting the violent murder of an innocent baby as one of 3 ‘options‘. They actually DESCRIBE the various ways that innocent children can be dismembered, poisoned, delivered, etc. Can you imagine sitting in front of a rapist & his intended victim describing in detail the methods the predator can utilize to brutalize his prey?
And then, imagine if the counselor appealed to the rapist on the basis of the risks to HIM and how it will affect HIM emotionally, spiritually and physically, rather than to address the revelation of scripture about the precious humanity of his victim and the fact of God’s absolute prohibition of attacking an innocent person?
Hasn’t this uncovered a tragic (& oftimes fatal) ‘preference’ for the strong and guilty over the weak and innocent?
This woman-centered (sometimes called non-judgmental, non-directive) counseling is obviously laden with favoritism toward the woman (and against the babe in her womb). One of the religious reasons people justify preferring the guilty woman over her innocent child is the extra-biblical belief that ‘all babies go to heaven’. Perhaps that is why it would be unthinkable to present rape as an option to a man whose victim is ‘of age‘??
A leader of a post-abortion ministry recently admitted to a friend that our primary motive for going to abortuaries, in her mind, was not to save babies from being murdered because “they all go right to heaven”. She said that the motivation for intervening to prevent infants from being slaughtered was: ‘to spare women the pain and suffering of an abortion decision’. (Btw, this particular gal doesn’t go to killing places to try & stop moms from taking the lives of their babies.)
A friend mentioned something interesting. If we don’t “need” to protect babies because they automatically go to heaven then we don’t “need” to protect the life of any believer. Very good application.
[By the way, I’m not saying that I know for sure whether all babies go to heaven, but I will say that it is not EXplicitly taught in the scriptures. That’s all. Yes, David had confidence he would see his son in heaven. That doesn’t mean that every wicked person must needs have the same confidence. We are all conceived in iniquity & original sin is resident in every human being from conception. Whoever is saved from sin, no matter the age, must be saved by BLOOD of the Lamb. I trust in the judgments of the Lord & know that He & His judgments) are good & perfect, true and righteous altogether.]
The commandment of God; “You shall not murder” is both a negative prohibition to shedding innocent blood AND a positive duty to prevent harm from coming to our neighbor. We have a sacred duty before God to visit and protect the abortion-imperiled afflicted orphans. The moral Law is the divine instrumentality of God to address the conscience of sinners in a way that nothing, and no one, else can. It’s nothing short of devilish to leave it out of the conversation.
We, however, often try & present sexually women with life enhancement ideas, appealing to her selfish carnal flesh, rather than boldly forbidding her to take up arms against the God who created, sustains and rules over her. With woman-centered rationale we do not call her to have mercy on the child of her womb because the child deserves loving protection. We merely try and make her see herself as worthy of ‘good’ but do not speak against her ruthlessly attacking her helpless son or daughter.
Do you see what I mean?
My friend Penny got pregnant at 17. She was Catholic & went to a Catholic agency for counseling. Penny wrote:
“When I got counseling from a nun she made the whole session about ME. Like I was the center of the universe. She smiled sweetly & said I had a big ‘decision” to make. She never told me that having sex with my boyfriend was sin. She never told me that even though I was sexually immoral, God had given me a gift. She didn’t show me Psalm 127:3: ‘Children are a gift from the LORD.’ Why? Why did she make it seem like murdering my poor baby was simply a personal ‘decision” which she ‘respected’ me enough to make for myself? Did she think she was doing me a favor by leaving me a slave to sin & as a whore who pleasured my boyfriend thinking that it was okay? What about my little son? What about my little daughter? Wasn’t my baby worthy of consideration as a living human being? Wasn’t his or her life worth protecting? And, weren’t both of us worth sharing the reasonable commands of God & the gospel of Jesus Christ? I was left to my own sensual, sexual, selfish, murderous devices & my precious, voiceless, helpless baby was abandoned as a ‘choice’.
And, let me make this perfectly clear. I don’t blame that nun for my sexual immorality & murder. I was the one sleeping with my boyfriend. Not her. I was the one who was pregnant. Not her. I was the one who was trying to figure out whether to kill my baby or not. Not her. I am guilty, guilty, guilty. But do I think there is a measure of culpability to those ‘religious’ humanists who speak smooth words to whoring, aborting, sinners like me? Yes! They show favoritism. They clearly preferred me over my baby. I hope that my story will compel other religious do-gooders out there to quit suppressing the truth when you speak to abortion-vulnerable mommas like me. Treat our babies with respect. Don’t ‘favor’ us over our children. Tell us the truth as it is in Jesus. Show us the mirror of God’s Law. Tell us that God designed us, created us, sustains us & rules over us. Tell us that God owns our soul. That we are indebted to Him. Tell us about Jesus & His Blood. Tell us what the Savior warned His hearers: “Unless you repent, you will perish!” Command us to repent. Tell us fornicators that the Bible says that there is no place for us in the kingdom of heaven. (Ephesians 5:5;I Corinthians 6:9) Tell us that the Word of God prophesies that we will be cast into the lake of fire if we continue to have sex & murder (Rev 1:8). Offer us help through pregnancy. Tell us about adoption. Don’t send us back to our boyfriends & shack-up lovers, as if those relationships are worth preserving. Send us to Jesus! He’s the only Lover we really need!”
I am so thankful that more & more Christians are putting away their ‘therapeutic’ model of man/woman-centered ministry & becoming unashamedly scriptural. There is a powerful move afoot which keeps the glory of Jesus & His holy Law & living Word front & center, where it belongs. The LORD is smashing the idol of creature-worship & unjust preferential treatment.
Glory! Jesus will not share His glory with another!
I will make a humble confession. For many years of ministry I used rational, selfish woman-centered arguments with sexually immoral sinners who were murdering their babies. I would tell them how the abortionists had botched abortions, were imprisoned and had their license suspended. I would take time to explain about the risk of breast cancer, likelihood of loss of the relationship with the father, feelings of regret & guilt, risks of injury from abortion, etc, etc, etc. But, the more I considered the fact that I was appealing to their selfish desires & emotions (which got them to where they are in the first place!) I sensed a conviction that it was really reinforcing her idol of SELF & her lover. I was helping her to love the creature (herself, her lover, her job, her career, her parent’s opinion & financial support, her education, her freedom, etc) more than her Creator, who is blessed forever. I was pointing her to her own extravagantly wicked self-interest rather than God & I was certainly diminishing the extrinsic value of her baby. (The value and dignity and worth of human babies comes from the fact that they are created in the image & likeness of God, by God.) Penny’s testimony helped me with this & so has 20 years of experience being a missionary to aborting & post-abortive women (& thousands of others sinners in different witnessing venues, including many false converts.) But, the thing that REALLY drove it home to me was the Spirit of God as I studied the doctrine of sin, with the precious help of John Owen. I realized that even as born-again believers whenever we adjust (obfuscate, justify) NOT speaking with the Law & testimony of God in the Scriptures, we are acting in response to our sin-nature (the law of sin & death in our members). Our carnal flesh (a resident evil) will rise up whenever we go to do (& say) the good we know to do (& say). It will make reasonable-sounding excuses (even & including religious ones) to suppress eternal verities. Romans 7:14-23 explains it’s malevolent posturing to prevent us from doing & saying the truth as it is in Jesus. Have you ever read John Owen on the doctrine of sin?
As a person who has served the Lord in pro-life circles for two decades I view this problem of woman-centered ‘counseling’ as epidemic. That’s why I am addressing it. If you heard the ridiculous things I have heard, you would know what I am talking about. Imagine in trying to stop a girl from aborting a Christian tells a sexually immoral girl of 18 that she might lose her relationship with her boyfriend if she kills her baby. (As if fornicating with a veritable stranger is something she should consider valuable enough NOT to lose! For heaven’s sake, she is COMMANDED by God to repent and LOSE that sinful relationship!) I want Christians to stop & think how “saving” a sinfully wicked relationship a) glorifies Christ & b) would be in HER best interest? Do you get what I am driving at here?
A friend asked a good question: “If you actually convinced someone that they were sinning by aborting their baby and they chose life because of that – how is that different from them choosing life because you got them to understand it may be harmful to them? Either way, the unbeliever is left in a hellbound state.”
The difference is that in speaking to someone biblically Jesus Christ was openly honored & glorified, His Word was not suppressed, you were not ashamed of Jesus & His Word & the person heard the way of salvation. The other way you wouldn’t even have to be a Christian to say it. You could be a Mormon, a Muslim, even an atheist & use rational, subjective arguments against killing babies. Our distinctive is that we are not pragmatists, we are Christ-followers. We should be using His language. The truth is that the glory of Jesus is even more important than baby’s being saved & sinners being saved. The beauty is that the Law & gospel are the instruments God has divinely ordained to speak to the conscience of women, to restrain evil & to give glory to the Savior. Nothing better than that!
Also, the second use of the moral Law (God’s commandments) is ‘restraint of evil’. http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/sproul/threefold_law.html I know that we can well imagine who wants to suppress the mirror of truth in the commandments, which are perfect, converting the soul, making wise the simple, bring the knowledge of sin, are a tutor to Christ and which help sinners to fear the Lord.
The commandments are Hell’s Best Kept Secret, for sure! http://www.livingwaters.com/learn/hellsbestkeptsecret.htm
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.Proverbs 31:9
Do not pervert justice;
do not show partiality to the poor
or favoritism to the great,
but judge your neighbor fairly.Leviticus 19:15
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless…Jeremiah 22:16 “He defended the cause of the poor and needy…Is that not what it means to know Me?”
declares the LORD.Isaiah 1:17
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not He who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not He who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will He not repay man according to his work?