The Truth Will Out
I feel I'm getting to the issue of abortion where I saw the generation of pastors before me get with evangelism. So despairing they got stupid and told themselves lies. One would say, "Imagine what would happen if each one of our members spoke of Jesus to just one person each week. Imagine how the church would grow." I think, "Imagine if every Confessional Lutheran spoke the truth about abortion, it would end tomorrow." Then my lie causes me to despair of me, of you, of Christ Himself. So let's speak the truth in love as Paul says.
First, know this: the truth will out. As with many of our saying that comes from Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice, 2, 2). A blind man talking to his own son thinks he's a stranger. The son says, "'murder cannot be hid long; a man's son may, but at the length truth will out.'" You know how long it took for the truth about slavery to come out? In 1836, a full 25 years before the Civil War, Speaker of the House and future President, James Polk, refused to recognize Rep. John Quincy Adams, former President, when he rose to speak about slavery. Adams finally said, "'I am aware there is a slave-holding speaker in the chair. ...Mr. Speaker am I gagged or not'" ("Am I gagged or not?', Olasky, M, WORLD, 7/31/21, 76). The Pro-Life position is regularly gagged on talk radio and on social media, but the truth will out.
Guilt sometimes squeezes it out. Even with the consistent push to Shout Your Abortion, to proclaim it as a positive moral good, even in a book of poems by pro-abortion feminists, you see this. Choice Words was published in 2020, but it has a poem from 1945 African American poet Gwendolyn Brooks saying: "'Abortions will not let you forget./ You remember the children you got that you did not get,... You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,/ Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye./ I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children. ...'" And this guilt is world wide. Indian poet Pratibha Kelapure wrote "''blood, hope, and the whisper of a life flowed away,' leaving 'the elephant of guilt on your shoulder until/ Your heart is buried too deep to pulse with life.' Iranian poet Farideh Hassanzadeh-Mostafavi wrote, 'Since your death/ in the eyes of all flowers/ I am nothing but the wind/ with the bloody hands'" ("The bones cry out", Olasky, M., WORLD, 10,9,21, 26).
The truth will out in the world's worship of science. It was the American Medical Association who first concluded that life began at conception in the late 19th century. Prior to this, it was thought life began at quickening, when the mother could first feel the baby moving somewhere around 4-5 months. When the AMA learned scientifically otherwise that life began before that, that's when abortion was made illegal. Go from the 19th to the 21st century Austin American Statesman, December 16, 2021. Political pundit David Brooks considers himself a conservative but says for most of his life he was pro-choice because he didn't know when life began. Now he writes: "things are happing a lot earlier in the womb than we used to think...A female fetus has eggs of her own. These are sobering realities" ("Minority views speak loudest on abortion", 11A). Where has this educated man been for the last 130 years of scientific studies? I don't know, but the truth will out even against pro-abortionist's will. Who do you think said this: "'Sane people don't sacrifice children on the altar of probability. That's not science that's superstition'"? Stephen King in a 2019 novel where scientist amplify children's psychic powers to destroy people scientists predict will harm the world. This results in killing the children (The Institute, 548).
The truth will out because of God's grace and mercy. Last Sunday I told the Bible Class of my 1972 social studies teacher ranting to our sophomore class of the horrors of legalizing abortion and that we didn't know where it would lead. She told us legalizing murder at the beginning of life ends with legalizing it at the end. Fast forward, to 1992. When I preached once a month at my Army Reserve units I preached what I did at my church that Sunday. On Life Sunday, I preached a life sermon. After doing that an officer just passing through told me this: In college he had paid for his girlfriend to have an abortion. Though an every Sunday churchgoer, this was the first time he was confronted with the guilt of it and heard grace applied to his sin.
The truth will out. Will we hear it? I've lost count of how many Lutherans have told me: they've never heard a sermon on abortion let alone had a service against the taking of unborn life. How many of us are settling for the Bill Clinton: "I'm personally opposed to abortion but I don't want to impose my views on anyone else"? How foolish. We impose our views of stealing, rape, incest, libel, slander, etc., etc. on others. How many have learned to live with the holocaust of Abortion that dwarfs the Holocaust in numbers with the false distinction that being pro-choice does not make you pro-abortion. Oh yeah? Distinguish for me between being for the choice of stealing, raping, and slander but not actually for it. I told you, suppressing the truth leads to stupidity.
Plug our ears; turn away; be one of the 3 monkeys. Try not to hear of the evil of abortion, try not to see it, or try not ever, ever to speak of it let alone stand against it, but the truth will out. God's grace and mercy will see to it. He needs the Magi, the scientists of the day, not to go back to Herod, and what the Greek says Herod thinks they did to him is the same word used in connection with Christ's Passion. They didn't 'outwit' him. They were none to bright themselves. No, they 'mocked' or 'ridiculed' him (Davies, I, 264). The Lord got them to do that by appearing to them in a dream. Likewise, the Lord needs Joseph to know the crazy truth that the King of the universe, Almighty God's Son must flee for His life to Egypt. Again He comes to him in a dream. By means of the maddened Herod, the death of children, and Jesus' flight, God's prophecy of 700 years earlier about Christ is fulfilled. "Out of Egypt I called My Son." If so much as one prophesy was not fulfilled: we'd not be toast but damned. God made sure the truth the Magi and Joseph and Herod needed to hear got out.
And the truth about the unborn and killing them for convenience, for fear, for money is out. We're standing outside a Nazi death camp. The truth about what's going on in there is out. Or we're Abe Lincoln who secretly came to Marlin, Texas before the 1860 election to see first hand the horrors of slavery ( ). No, going back for Abe then or us now. Though over 40 slaves claimed Lincoln did this, most historians think he didn't. There is no debate about us. We know what is done to the unborn in the death camps of abortion clinics. But will we speak the truth at all, let alone in love? I have been haunted by Pv. 31:8-9 for over 40 years ever since Prof. Marquart spoke them in class and said if this doesn't give us a mandate about abortion what could? It says, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." And how about Psalm 79:11? "May the groans of the prisoners come before you; by the strength of your arm preserve those condemned to die."
Would any of us, me included, dare say publicly what the head football coach of the University of Michigan said about abortion? "'There can't be anything more horrendous'...then 'a society that aborts babies.'" "'You see people taking more of a view of sanctify of life, And I hope that continues.. and not just in this time of crisis or pandemic'" (WORLD, 5-09-20, 17). Do we at least feel as bad as the Native American at Wounded Knee? "'The killing of the women and more especially of the young boys and girls who are to go to make up the future strength of the people, is the saddest part...and we feel it very sorely' (Redskin. Account of the Battle of Wounded Knee. ERE v. 432). C.S. Lewis asked that question of us 75 years ago (Abolition of Man, 108). And is our government at least as noble as pagan Rome? Suetonius, Roman historian c. 100 AD, reported that when a public omen warned Romans that a child would be born to be king, the senate decreed that rearing of male children should be banned for a year. But a number of senators had pregnant wives. They prevented the bill from being filed (Davies, I, 258).
Okay, so we leave our pagan government to it's own ignoble destiny. So, we can't get to the level neither of a pagan Native American nor a secular football coach. Can Christians at least get to where the Christians most culpable behind the brutal Salem Witch Trials finally got? The 12 jurymen "wrote an apology for their role in the 1692 Salem witch trials, saying that 'better information we justly fear was insufficient for the touching of their lives (Deut. 17.6), whereby we fear we have been instrumental with others, though ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon ourselves and the People of the Lord the guilt of innocent blood, which sin the Lord saith in Scripture He would not pardon (2 Kin. 24:4), that is, we suppose, in regard of His temporal judgments" (Hansen, Witchcraft at Salem, 210-11).
I despair of our government, of me, of you, of us, but not of God's grace and mercy. Read Acts. The cowardly disciples are transformed to bold confessors by the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. When told by men to do things contrary to God, they said they couldn't. When told to shut up about speaking the truth or be punished, they said they couldn't. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Ergo, He wants the sin and grace truth about abortion proclaimed. The truth about the sin is you can't accept abortion for yourself or others and be a Christian. The lie said about the sin is that once having participated in some way, even with silence, you can't ever be forgiven. The truth of grace is yes you can. Christ went to the cross for all sins and sinners. If for Jesus' sake, He doesn't remember them (Jer. 31:34), has thrown them behind His back into the depths of the sea (Mic. 7:19), has blotted them up by His tender mercies (Ps. 51:1), has sent them away as far as east is from west (Ps. 103:12), you dare not think you should or even could remember them let alone find them.
The truth is out. Both about the crime against nature that abortion is and the God of nature who took on our nature to redeem us, to rescue us from such crimes. The latter truth empowers us to speak the former. Amen
Rev. Paul R. Harris
Trinity Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas
Holy Innocents, Martyrs (20220123); Matthew 2:13-17