Truths that one generation believes without conviction can be altogether forgotten by the next. Forty years ago, the PCA released a denominational statement saying, “Abortion clearly falls within the purview of the church's ecclesiastical responsibility to speak for God to the state.”
But just a few weeks ago, PCA ruling elder and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew White publicly declared he celebrates Roe v. Wade. The shocking lack of protest outside of a couple of blog articles raises the question of whether our Reformed community has begun to forget the cause of innocent life we once championed so steadfastly.
This is not an issue parochial to modern evangelicalism. Stalwart opposition to abortion has characterized the church’s witness from her infancy. John Chrysostom, one of the greatest of the early church’s preachers, thundered abortion was, “Something even worse than murder.” Tertullian called it “infanticide.” Did you cringe at the forcefulness of those words? It seems it is almost a social faux pas to be too upset about abortion in our context. Perhaps we are afraid to sound too political, too Republican. But as is stressed in our classes and school events, justice is not a matter of politics; it is a demand of the resurrected and ascended Christ who reigns in heaven and on earth. This is true of racial justice, it is true of economic justice, and it is certainly true of justice for the unborn.
There is close to a consensus at our school that abortion is the murderous taking of an innocent human life. But why is this consensus so often left unspoken? If we actually believe our church’s position on abortion, we are near-silent spectators to one of the worst atrocities in human history. Our hearts ought to break daily under the weight of injustice. We have no right to forget. As Elie Wiesel said, “To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.” This is all the more the case since murder in American society happens with the protection of our legal system and the approbation of our cultural elites.
If we want to be part of a campus and church which speaks on behalf of the voiceless in society, we cannot neglect the unborn. If we continue to hold these convictions with silence, almost with apology, it will not be long before Andrew White is the norm, not the exception. Now is the time to speak out for life. Speaking for life means not being ashamed of own our convictions even in socially uncomfortable situations. And it means speaking, not only to each other, but to the sovereign Christ whose Spirit knits together the infants our nation rends. Only then will Covenant College remain a place where life is treasured and justice fought for.