(Note: This brochure (text only), distributed extensively in the winter of l976 was one of the first national calls to action from an evangelical voice in the right to life movement in the US.)
A Program of Action for Evangelicals Who Oppose the Present Abortion Situation
Robert A. Case, II, M.Div.
Christian Action Council
What Can I Do?
People often ask us at the Christian Action Council, “As a Bible-believing Christian, what can I do to change the present abortion situation in my country?” First, let us look at the facts, then at some practical steps we can take.
I. Basic facts
There are only four ways in which Roe v. Wade, the abortion decision (or any Supreme Court decision) can be overturned:
1. The Supreme Court could reverse its own deci¬sion in a subsequent ruling.
2. The President could try to change the Supreme Court’s make-up by adding to the Court new Justices who value the sanctity of life.
3. A constitutional amendment can be passed in Congress and then ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures within seven years (U.S. Constitution, Article 5).
4. A constitutional convention can be called to draft a constitutional amendment and then pass it through 3/4 of the state legislatures within seven years (U.S. Constitution, Article 5).
We immediately see that (1) is very unlikely. Since 1973, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed its 1973 position. Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, July 1, 1976 is even more sweeping. (2) has already been attempted once (by Franklin Roosevelt in 1937 in his Judiciary Reorganization Bill). This effort was viewed as “packing” the Court—i.e. with Justices favorable to the President’s positions. It was soundly criticized by both the Congress and the press. With the delicate balance of powers in our federal government, trans¬forming the Supreme Court at the present time does not seem feasible. We can pray that the President will uphold the sanctity of life in nominating replacements when vacancies occur in the Court. (3) and (4) are really the only courses of action available to the ordinary citizen to effect a change in that 1973 decision. Clearly both involve active participation in the democratic process. Therefore, the only effective Christian answer to that 1973 Supreme Court decision must be largely a political answer. If we do not recognize this, we in effect surrender our rights as citizens. Consequently, the first thing a Christian can do to change the present abortion on demand situation in this country is to:
*Recognize that to have any impact, Christians (like all citizens) must get involved in our democratic political process.
Once this basic fact of political life is recognized, it is imperative for the Bible-believer to see that:
*Christians have a moral obligation to the society in which they live. Personal evils must be corrected by personal repentance, but evil laws must be changed by the law-making process.
A passage from an Old Testament prophet speaks to this point: “Thus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice, and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother. And do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor, and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’“ (Zech. 7:9-10) This is addressed to the lawmakers and judges. See also: Is. 1:16-23; Jer. 7:5-7; 22:3, Ez.45:9. The poet states in Proverbs 3:27, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.” (Cf. Gal. 6:10) In the New Testament we have passages such as Matt. 5:13-16; 23:23 and John 9:41, which make the same emphasis. James writes to his readers: “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and does not do it, sins.” (Jas. 4:17) See also 2 Peter 2:21. In short, Scripture speaks consistently of the social responsibility of believers in Jesus as Savior and King.
The Bible further specifies our responsibility by teaching that:
*Christians are to protect and preserve the innocent from oppression and murder.
God commanded Moses over 3,500 years ago: “Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty” (Ex. 23:7). See also Deut. 19:10. Later the inspired Hebrew poet would write: “Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter—O hold them back! If you say, ‘See, we did not know this‘ Does [God] not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to His word?” (Prov. 24:11-12) See also Job 29:12-13 and Prov. 6:16-17. In this connection of shedding of innocent blood we see several Scriptural passages that can be applied directly to the abortionist: “Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to strike down an innocent person. And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’“ (Deut. 27:25) and, “He sits in the lurking places of the villages. In the hiding places he kills the innocent” (Ps. 10:8-11). And a word to those who would have an abortion: “They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood: the blood of their sons and their daughters whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood” (Ps. 106:37-38).
II. Practical Steps to Take
A. Inform yourself.
1. Learn what the Scripture says concerning life and the taking of innocent life (abortion) (Deus. 30:15-16, 19).
a. Read books and articles written by Bible-believing scholars on abortion. You can get a current list from C.A.C.
b. Do a Biblical word study on:
“pregnant” (“with child”)
“fruit of the womb”
c. Study the incarnation of Jesus in Matthew 1 and Luke 1.
d. Study the substitutionary atonement of Jesus, especially as it relates to his identifi¬cation with each individual believer in Philippians 2 and Hebrews 2.
2. Learn about the present political and social attitudes toward abortion on demand in this country (Matt. 10:16; 1 Cor. 14:20; 16:13).
a. Read “National Right to Life News” (1299 Arcade Street, St. Paul, MN 55106).
b. Systematically watch for news in your local paper.
c. Get on the Christian Action Council mailing list.
d. Subscribe to “LIFELETTER” (Box 574, Murray Hill Station, New York, NY 10016).
e. Subscribe to “Human Life Review” (Room 540, 150 East 35th St., New York, NY 10016).
B. Teach others what the Scriptures say about life and the taking of innocent life (abortion) and teach others about the present political situation (I Tim 1:5-7 combats those in the church who teach and press for abortion on demand. See Col. 1:28; 1 Cor. 14:26 and Acts 17:11).
1. Start a Bible study on life issues.
2. Ask your pastor to preach on the wrongness of taking innocent life.
3. Arrange for a pro-life Bible teacher to speak to your church. C.A.C. can recommend such teachers.
4. Use visual aids, such as The First Days of Life (an award-winning film, available from many state and local Right to Life Committees or Pyramid Films, Box 1048, Santa Monica, CA 90406); Crusade for Life slide program (Box 1433, Whittier, CA 90609), or George Knight’s slide program “Abortion Kills” (Covenant Theological Seminary, 12330 Con¬way Rd., St. Louis, MO 63141).
5. Begin a group book study, using evangelical books on abortion. Suggestions are: C. Everett Koop’s “The Right to Live; The Right to Die” (Wheaton: Tyndale, 1976), or Clifford Bajema’s Abortion and the Meaning of Person-hood (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973).
6. Begin a study group using John Willkie’s Handbook on Abortion.
C. Counsel those in an abortion situation not to kill the baby (Ps. 141:5; Prov. 27:6; Eccles. 7:5; Rom. 15:14; Gal. 6:1).
1. Locate and get acquainted with some professional Biblical counselors who value the sanctity of life. C.A.C. can help in this area.
2. Find out where to refer a pregnant woman to go if she wants to give up the child for adoption. C.A.C. can help with the names of Christian agencies that will provide real personal care.
3. When we oppose abortion on demand we must be prepared to do our part personally and in our local church, in supporting and encouraging the mother during this time in her life (Gal. 6:1-2).
D. Get involved in the effort to change the present abortion situation (See Phil. 2:15-16).
1. Political involvement: Because we live in a democracy, Prov. 3:27 and Gal. 6:10 press us to participate in our legislative process so that good might triumph over evil in our civil system. Rom. 13:1-7; I Tim. 2:1-2 and I Pet. 2:14 give us the Biblical priorities for government so we do have a standard to judge our elected officials.
a. Write letters to your Congressmen/women and Senators telling them of your pro-life convictions. Be on C.A.C.’s “Action Alert call Team” prepared to or wire your legislator’s Washington offices at a moment’s notice during crucial debates and votes.
b. Actively support (i.e., with money, volunteer service, encouragement, etc.) those candidates and elected officials who are pro-life, regardless of party affiliation. C.A.C. can help in this regard.
c. Get petitions signed in your church favoring a constitutional amendment overturning the 1973 decisions. C.A.C. can send you the petitions. When you return them to us, we will carry them to your legislators’ offices.
2. Organizational involvement: There is strength in numbers where the manifold gifts of God are being implemented (Lev. 26:8; Deut. 32:30; Eccles. 4:9-10; Prov. 27:17; Rom. 12:1-8; 1 Cor. 12:1-31).
a. Begin a Christian Action Council committee in your state or metropolitan area. Write us for details.
b. Join the local Right to Life Committee
c. Be a sustaining sponsor of the C.A.C.’s witness in the nation’s capital with a, monthly pledge of financial support.
3. Public debate involvement: It is important that we Christians not only involve ourselves in the political process and that we organize for greater effectiveness and mutual encouragement but also that we be forthright in our community about how God’s word applies to matters of public policy, in this case, abortion. See Phil 2:15-16; Acts 5:20 and I Pet. 3:15-16 for Scripture in this regard. In short, see yourself as a committee of one charged with upholding the Biblical message of life before your community (Ez. 22:29-30).
a. Organize a county or state fair booth or convention booth dealing with the Christian’s need to be involved in society’s debates. The booth would largely deal with the abortion issue as an example. Again, C.A.C. can help you do this.
b. Use the “Letters to the Editor” section of your local paper holding forth the Biblical view on abortion (Ps. 26:7).
c. Use the “Letters to the Editor” of any publications you receive to hold forth the same message.
d. Press for educational programs in local public high schools and church youth groups.
E. Provide spiritual counsel and guidance for those who have already committed an abortion.
1. Genuine repentance must be expressed for the acts of abortion (2 Sam. 12:1-19; Ps. 51).
2. Genuine forgiveness must be expressed and manifested to the repentant abortionist (2 Sam. 12:20-23; Ps. 103:11-13; I Pet. 4:8; I John. 3).
3. Genuine and unconditional acceptance must be given to the repentant abortionist (2 Cor. 2:1-11; Luke 15).
F. Pray for wisdom for our legislators so that the killing of the unborn may be stopped (I Tim. 2:1-3; Ez. 6:10).
1. Examples of the saints praying for civil welfare are:
Acts 4:24-30—Disciples pray for Jerusalem
Gen. 18—Abraham prays for Sodom and Gomorrah
Dan. 9—Daniel prays for Media
2. As we engage in the struggle for the sanctity of all life let us be mindful of two brief pro-life prayers in the Psalms. The first is for our country’s leader; the second prayer asks God for direct help.
*For our President: “May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, save the children of the needy and crush the oppressor.” (Ps. 72:4)
*To our God: “Vindicate the weak and the fatherless. Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy. Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” (Ps. 82:34)
What is the Christian Action Council?
The Christian Action Council (C.A.C.) is a fellowship of Christians committed to the principle that law and public policy in our country should be in harmony with the fundamental biblical principles of Judeo-Christian civilization. It seeks to persuade Christians to involve themselves in constitutional and political discussion, and to persuade legislators that they should give an attentive ear to the presentation of fundamental biblical values.
Statement of Purpose
*The Christian Action Council sees the primary duty of government, under God, to be the preservation of peace, through the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty (Romans 13:3-5, Numbers 35:30-34). The Christian citizens in a democracy share responsibility for the conduct of their government.
*We believe that the Bible teaches — in harmony with medical and biological science — that an individual human life begins at conception (cf. Jeremiah 1:5, Luke 1:39-44).
*We believe that the abortion-on-demand decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, January 22, 1973, constitutes a clear turning away from biblical standards of justice to favor those of paganism, explicitly cited by Justice Harry A. Blackmun in citing the precedent of “ancient religion.” Unborn lives are being destroyed in America at a rate of at least 1,000,000 per year (1975 estimate). This “pollutes the land,” as Numbers 35:33 says, and God will hold us all accountable for it.
*Since the U.S. Constitution permits the Supreme Court to be overruled only by a constitutional amendment, the Christian Action Council is committed to securing passage of an amendment that will reverse Roe v. Wade.
*The Christian Action Council believes in the constitutional principle of institutional separation between church and state, but it does not believe that this principle implies that the state and its laws may ignore God and His laws.
*Therefore we seek to persuade Christian citizens and our representatives to make American government reflect the ethics and ideals of our biblical heritage, not those of “ancient religion.”