Last night we launched the first of a 10-week series of classes at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church on The Case for Life. As we introduced the manner in which we will be discussing engaging our culture on the issue of life, we first set out to simplify the debate. I wrote two questions on the white board:
1 – What is wrong with abortion?
2 – Why is abortion wrong?
When I asked the class to address the first question we soon realized that we could list things all night. There is a lot wrong with abortion and cataloguing every evil related to it and how it impacts our society from the pain and suffering endured by many women to the general devaluing of human life is an overwhelming endeavor. And this is how many pro-life advocates approach engaging our culture on the issue of abortion. They overwhelm their audience with information in an attempt to supply as full an answer as possible to question one.
In this class we will not be doing that. We will be addressing question two and only question two. I informed the class that we will also explore how that type of singular focus helps the pro-life advocate engage their opponent. Our concentration on number two in no way minimizes the importance of all of the issues that are brought up by question one. We simply recognize that our main goal is to understand and articulate why abortion is wrong to those who disagree with us.
Why is abortion wrong? Because abortion unjustly takes the life of an innocent human being. That answer is so clear and so obvious that a simple test can demonstrate why it is the only answer to question two. If no woman ever suffered emotional and spiritual pain from a past abortion would abortion still be wrong? If no woman ever faced an increased risk of breast cancer as a result of abortion would elective abortion still be wrong? If there were absolutely no negative secondary effects on our society from the killing of innocent unborn human beings would that killing in and of itself still be wrong? Of course it would.
We must simplify the issue in our discussions because time is short. Scott once wrote an article entitled "No More Rambling Monologues" where he persuasively made the argument that we get very little time to present our case so we must focus our presentation. Instead of exhausting ourselves and our listeners by trying to answer question number one we should persuasively and winsomely build a case for our answer to question number two. The unborn are human beings, human beings matter, and it is morally wrong to kill innocent human beings without extreme justification. We still have some work to do to support our claims, but it is focused work and we have a compelling case.
If the unborn are fully human, then abortion is a great evil. Great evils produce terrible consequences beyond the immediate offense, but the evil itself is the willful destruction of innocent human life for elective reasons. That is our wheelhouse and that is where we will focus our energies for the next 9 weeks in this class. If you are in the area, please feel welcome to join us.