Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bad Reason #2 for not Showing Abortion Pictures: Post-Abortion Guilt [Scott]

Here's the claim: "Graphic pictures lay a guilt trip on post-abortion men and women."

Short answer: The remedy for post-abortion guilt is not avoidance. It’s forgiveness. When set within the context of the Christian gospel, the pictures can be used to bring healing to those in denial over sin.

You can watch how I introduce a short abortion film to high school students here.

Before showing a short abortion clip, I tell those listening that I’m not there to condemn. But I don’t stop there. I tell them why I’m not there to condemn. Here's what I said at a pregnancy center banquet last week near Orlando:
The reason I’m not here to lay a guilt trip on anyone is because I’m a firm believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ. That gospel, men and women, puts everyone of us in this room on the same footing before the bar of God’s justice. The gospel tells of a good and holy God who created humans to worship and enjoy him forever. But we rebelled against our creator, set ourselves up as God, and God who had every right to destroy the race for its rebellion against Him, did something remarkable. He sent Jesus, the sinless one, the second member of the Godhead, to bear in full His righteous wrath against sin.

Now, we don’t like that word “wrath” because it reminds us of an angry parent or vengeful authority figure. But God’s wrath is not an uncontrolled explosion of rage; it’s his settled hatred of sin. And if God is holy and just, he can’t sweep sin under the rug. He must punish it. And he did punish it, by crushing His Son on a cross for your sin and mine. As the prophet Isaiah tells us in chapter 53: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by his wounds we are healed.” That’s right, God the Father crushed His Son so self-centered sinners like me can be completely forgiven.

You know what I call that? I call that incredibly good news for those who’ve sinned on abortion. Listen, if that’s you—whether you’re a man who encouraged a young woman to abort or a woman who chose that option because you thought you had no other way out—you don’t need an excuse. You need an exchange, Christ’s righteousness for your sinfulness. For those who trust in Jesus alone for salvation, God gives them that righteousness. The Scriptures speak of it in 2 Corinthians 5: 21—“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him, we might become the righteousness of God.”

But the news gets even better. For those who trust Jesus, God the Father not only forgives their sins; He adopts them into His own family as dearly loved children. Wow. So if that’s you, don’t try to make up for your bad stuff by doing good stuff. Your good deeds will never atone for your bad ones. Neither will mine. Trust only in the Son. Those who do are no longer condemned but have passed from death to life (John 5:24)

Paul puts it this way: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2: 4-5)

Did you catch that? God is “rich” in mercy. He has “great” love for those broken and sinful people that He saves through His Son. With that good news in mind, let’s take a minute to roll this brief clip. Again, if you wish not watch, feel free to look away…
What’s the result? After almost every presentation—whether a banquet, church service, or chapel—post-abortion men and women thank me for the gracious way I presented my pro-life case. Yes, the pictures are painful to see. But used properly, they set the stage for the good news of the gospel, which alone heals us from our sin. In short, the video does the hard work for me so that I can use my words to soothe and bring hope.

Again, please take few minutes to watch how I introduce the short abortion film. You’ll also see how I use it to point listeners to the gospel of grace:

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