Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How To Fight Evil

By now, you've seen it.  The stuff with Planned Parenthood and selling body parts and all that.  It's pretty nasty stuff.

So then - how do we respond?  Is now the time to engage politically, pass laws while the tide of revulsion is rising?  Is now the time to fight back - to do some new rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, except instead of it being about killing Johnny Reb it would be taking down abortion clinics?  Should we get our Conan on and get to the crushing of our enemies?

Whenever things go south in society, and I see the eagerness to fight, it saddens me a bit.  It seems like it would be satisfying - but is it what we are commanded to to by God as Christians?  Consider for a moment Romans 12:14-21:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

So then... what's your reaction to all this stuff with Planned Parenthood?  You want them to suffer?   Is it an opportunity to mix things up and let them lose some political clout?  Do you have the great plans of wisdom to make sure that they get their comeuppance?  Is this the excuse to take the political gloves off and let the fight get dirty, fight fire with fire, as it were? 

Do we try to overcome the world with the world's tools, or do we instead show love and care, crazy, stupid, non-self serving love to the world, over and over and over again, even when they so clearly don't deserve it?

And this is not me saying that there should be no political action or what have you.  No, laws can be fine and dandy.  But the fact is we've been fighting this abortion debate, like a fight, all my life.  Longer than I've been alive.  And it's brutal, and at best we put people on the defensive and make them dig in more.

Let's show some kindness to those who are wrong on this.  Because you know what - they are to be pitied.  They are living in denial.  They are taking something that is vile and spinning it and coating it so that it doesn't seem horrific.  And they will do one of two things - either dive further into self-denial because we jam the horror in their face... or we can help folks, help our culture come to grips with what is going on.

The rhetoric is there.  We've been told it's just a bit of tissue.  Tissue doesn't have organs.  We've been told it's just a woman doing with her body whatever she wills -- then what are they selling?  All the cold and clinical language, all the political posturing isn't going to change the reality of what is happening.

It's a baby.  With organs.  With a heart, and lungs, and liver, and kidneys.

And we could try to use this to drive home laws and force folks to behave... or we could be kind and gentle with them and be at their side in love as the reality of a harsh truth they don't want to face is shown.

Because then the abortion debate would take care of itself.  Very few people want to support killing babies.  People like babies, just like they like love.  "Lovewins"?  Well, people like it when babies win too. 

So - what is it going to be?  Will this be the time where we get our political licks in, get the satisfaction of smacking our enemies around -- or will this be the time we love our political enemies, show them that we are their neighbor, that there is love and mercy in Christ Jesus for all sins... and yes, we're talking about babies, about people here.  And even with the guilty, the "bad" - we are still talking about people.  People Christ Jesus loves, people for whom Christ Jesus died and rose again.  Wayward sheep He desires restored to the fold, not roasted on a spit.  That's the great truth, that's the Good that overcomes all evil, that delivers us from evil.

So, is this a time to confront evil with evil, or overcome evil with good?  I'd say the latter.
But just in case you want the new battle hymn and to crush your enemies, we already have one.


The Rev. BT Ball said...

"And we could try to use this to drive home laws and force folks to behave... or we could be kind and gentle with them and be at their side in love as the reality of a harsh truth they don't want to face is shown.

Because then the abortion debate would take care of itself. Very few people want to support killing babies. People like babies, just like they like love. "Lovewins"? Well, people like it when babies win too."

Well, I'm going to disagree with you here a bit. I don't think that the number is very few. You have the entirety of the Democratic party, if their platform is to be believed. I think it should be. PP has 820 locations in the USA, their annual budget is over $1Billion. 50 million plus abortions since 1973 says that there are more than a few people who don't mind killing babies.

This is where the fact that we are citizens of two realms is helpful to understand. The government runs by force and compulsion. To be certain, the Church does not. Being kind and gentle will not help in the left hand kingdom stopping PP from what it does. Sober and stern rebuke, calls for reform of our laws, prosecution if it can be proven that PP and its employees broke federal law. That will stop abortions. And in a civil government, these things should be done.

It is the domain of Christians to be gracious and merciful, and at the same time in our callings as citizens seek justice for those who cannot speak for themselves. The Lord Himself desires those who are in the abortion industry come to repentance and faith in Christ. He also desires that governments that are his minister for good wield the sword against evildoers, that too is overcoming evil with good.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Oh, I totally agree that there should be prosecution of PP if things can be proven.

However, that's a law that's already on the books. The thing is, how and on what basis does *our* government simply shut down abortion unless you end up getting a clear majority (and it may need a super majority, given court history)? You don't... not really.

That is why a simple legal solution won't work -- it won't stick. The pro-abortion rhetoric is never "we don't like babies" - it centers on things like "choice" or how its a sad necessity. Their rhetoric shies away from the reality that a "fetus" is a baby. And too many people let choice and fetus run their thinking.

It's not that those who are pro-choice hate babies -- some perhaps. But many of them simply refuse to think of a fetus as a baby.... Change that - get folks focused on babies, and a lot of them will stop supporting it.

+ + + + + + + + +

This is one where the old Libertarian platform was lovely -- in 2000 the party had no platform on abortion. Rather, it was pointed out that folks defending liberty could be split -- if the unborn are not people but rather tissue, then liberty dictates that we must allow abortion. If the unborn are people, defending liberty means we must stop abortions.

That's the battle ground -- what actually *is* an abortion. What actually happens there?

And that's what we ought to focus on. It's a baby.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Or perhaps to put it this way -- until we as a society accept that it is a baby... the fight will just go on and on, and laws will swing back and forth.

If we accept that it is a baby, things will be sorted out in a generation.

The Rev. BT Ball said...

Agreed. Except the abortionists and PP know that they are killing babies, and have always in spite of their lying rhetoric. Hard hearts.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Even then - maybe some. I'd say many are trapped in the lies they tell themselves.

I mean, this is what happens - you fudge things a bit to justify yourself here, and then a bit there, and some more over there... and then you are trapped.

Shall I be angry and hate them for their hard hearts, or shall I see them as being fast bound in Satan's chains?