I’ll be honest, I’ve gone every direction on this one. (and before we get into it, none of the directions I have gone or will go represent the views of my employer or anyone else)
In case you haven’t heard, Tim Tebow is at the center of a firestorm regarding a pro-life advertisement set to run during the Super Bowl on Sunday.
I started out frustrated that the Christian right-wing was building their soapbox again. Before you freak out and think I am OK with abortion, hear me out. Abortion is murder. But so is hating pro-choice people. Furthermore, it is such a politicized issue that you can’t tell the red tape from the genuine issues without an answer key. And while I think abortion is a cut-and-dried issue, I don’t think that solving the crisis is as simple as legislating it. There are hearts involved that need changing. And there’s almost no fact more biblically true than “laws don’t change hearts.”
Then I started to read more about it, and have gotten pretty frustrated at the pro-choice lobby (which is really showing itself to be more pro-abortion than pro-choice, as astutely pointed out in a great article in the Washington Post yesterday).
Here’s the bottom line, for me: I am glad that God has called some Christians to the front line of the abortion issue, because it is clearly taking a life when you abort a baby. And taking lives in the numbers we are currently is nothing short of a holocaust. But even in saying that, I am potentially alienating folks who otherwise might listen to the gospel. You don’t have to be pro-life to become a Christian. (Although, if you are persuaded that the Bible is God’s word, it’s tough to remain in favor of abortion in any way. The Bible is not silent on the issue. John the Baptist worshiped Jesus from within his mother’s womb. Pretty strong argument for personhood.)
God has called me to be about one thing: proclaiming the gospel, over and over. And part of the gospel that I proclaim is that I am not right. What bothers me about many pro-life lobbyists is that they argue from a position of “I am right, you are wrong.” That type of finger-wagging and pretentiousness will never change anyone’s opinion. Jesus met with the most heinous sinners of his day, and all of them (with the noted exception of the religious right-wing, who I’d argue are the worst of the sinners) were drawn to him. We could learn much from his approach.
Now, I haven’t seen the ad by Tebow and Focus on the Family, but here’s my hope: I hope they lobby to individuals and not to Washington. And I hope they don’t start from a position of finger-wagging, but of humility. Even if we are right in the argument, we don’t have to win the philosophical debate. Our acceptance, worth, and value are not tied to our ability to save the babies. Jesus, after all, is in control.
What do you say? Is this a hornet’s nest I should have avoided? Why or why not?