Saturday, August 21, 2004


Maureen has linked to a story about an anti-abortion activist who listed his number in the yellow pages under abortion services. When he was called, he led the women to believe that he would provide an abortion. Instead, he stalled them so long that they were too far along in their pregnancies to get abortions. Maureen has asked for our thoughts about it. Here are mine:

I have contemplated this and have gone back and forth. I compared this situation to that of Corey Ten Boom when she hid Jews in her home and lied about it to the Nazis (which I do not think was wrong.) The major difference between these two is in who initiated the act and whether they were subsequently deceived. In Ten Boom's case, those seeking safety were the initiators, while it was the Nazis who were deceived. Ten Boom was honoring the desires of those who came to her and trusted her. In other words, the Jews wanted her to lie, and she did. But her deception did not force her, the Jews, or the Nazis to act in a way that they did not intend.

This act is different because the initiators were also the deceived. The mothers initiated it and trusted this man to provide what they wanted. Instead, he decieved them. These women would not have proceded had they known this man's true intentions. They were unaware that the entire situation was predicated on a lie. Therefore, this man is in the wrong.

Now, it can (and should) be argued that an unborn child is unable to initiate actions to ensure its own safety. That is certainly true... but it is ultimately the mother's responsibility to provide that safety, and she will be held accountable if she does not provide it. Forcing her to provide it would require Christians (and anyone else) to deceive or in some way abuse the mother. These are also wrong, and should be avoided, even at the expense of the child. If we believe that we can force a woman to protect her baby, then we should simply lock up all expectant mothers who have expressed a desire to abort, and let them go once they are too far along to do so.

This is human nature. We want to force people to do the right thing*. What we don't realize is that forcing someone to do the right thing inevitably REQUIRES us to do a wrong thing. I don't like it, but that is the truth.

The fact that I waffled about this makes me realize just how little I trust God to be God. He is sovereign, yet I somehow sympathize with this guy for doing whatever it takes to save that baby's life. But the fact is, God is bigger. And he has told us not to deceive, therefore we must not. We'd do well to remember that a wrong was NOT avoided in this case. Deception is wrong. And ALL SINS are disgusting and hideous in the sight of a holy God.

Do not testify against your neighbor without cause, or use your lips to deceive. - Prov 24:28

*Just for the record, forcing a person's actions is totally different than punishing them.


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