I don’t even know what to say. How to begin. There are too many words, too many emotions, flooding my mind right now. I want to be eloquent. I want to be winsome and compelling. But what is swelling in my chest is rage and sorrow and shame that it has taken me this long to feel this outraged.
O Lord, God of vengeance,
O God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
repay to the proud what they deserve!
O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
how long shall the wicked exult?
They pour out their arrogant words;
all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Lord,
and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the sojourner,
and murder the fatherless;
and they say, “The Lord does not see;
the God of Jacob does not perceive.”
Today, the fifth undercover video in the growing Planned Parenthood scandal has been released.
If your first reaction to that is to argue about editing and journalistic ethics and how much “good” that meat-grinder of an organization allegedly does, then you are morally blind, morally bankrupt, and/or morally complicit. Is that a harsh statement? Yes. Am I okay if you’re so offended that you never want to read another word I write after today? Yes I am. I will accept that.
Understand, O dullest of the people!
Fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
He who teaches man knowledge—
the Lord—knows the thoughts of man,
that they are but a breath.
You should know that I don’t count myself wholly innocent. No, I’m not in any way a supporter of abortion or Planned Parenthood. I have always viewed abortion as the barbaric butchering of an innocent child, no matter the circumstances surrounding that child’s conception.
But in some ways, I’m still guilty. I’m guilty of turning the channel. Of feeling bad and forwarding a link and sharing a post but not doing anything else. I’m guilty of living in a city that is home to one of the largest Planned Parenthood facilities in the nation and never once making my way there to raise my voice in defense of murdered children. I’m a citizen of Munich, and I have politely ignored the smell.
I am thankful for the mercy of God on cowards like me; but that mercy also must compel me to action.
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord,
and whom you teach out of your law,
to give him rest from days of trouble,
until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
he will not abandon his heritage;
for justice will return to the righteous,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.
Some people are calling this a “William Wilberforce” moment—a moment when the bloody truth about this barbaric national practice is brought screaming into the light so that all are forced, at least, to acknowledge and own what we as a society have allowed for forty-plus years. I pray that this is true.
Even if the pagan culture around us clamps its eyes shut and covers its ears to the horror that it allows in the name of “choice,” if you are a Christian, I don’t think you–we–have that option anymore. We can’t just go about our business anymore. We can’t just cluck our tongues and shake our empty heads and move on to the next moral outrage.
This matters. This matters in a way that little else we Christians chatter about matters. We are knee-deep in the blood of a homegrown holocaust, and we cannot simply pretend it isn’t important.
If we care about justice, if we care about mercy, if we claim any certain kind of “lives” matter and yet we stay silent on this issue, we have surrendered all credibility on these grounds.
Who rises up for me against the wicked?
Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the Lord had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by this. I’m feeling overwhelmed today. I don’t know what to do, other than cry and pound my fists against my chest. My hands are still trembling a little, and I feel myself fidget as I sit. So I’m going to pray. I’m going to repent of my silence, ask God for wisdom and discernment to know what comes next, and ask for courage to follow through.
But one more thing I must do is hold onto this feeling. I need to hold onto this rage and this sorrow, not so that it overwhelms me or buries me, but so that it gives me perspective and focus.
My fear is that, in a couple of months, after the last of these videos has been released and we are all appropriately shocked and horrified, we as the Church will go back to business as usual.
We can’t let that happen. I can’t let that happen to myself.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will bring back on them their iniquity
and wipe them out for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will wipe them out.
I have never felt comfortable praying the imprecatory Psalms. I’m too aware of my sinfulness and my imperfect view of justice. But today, I’m definitely tempted.
Yet even as I consider this, I am reminded that the sin that should most horrify me is the sin that is found in my own heart.
Father, forgive me for my cowardice and silence. Give me grace to stand and speak and fight for the innocent, in the ways that you have given me to do so. Give me boldness in the face of opposition, and guard my heart against despair. Bring conviction and repentance to Your people, so that they may stand and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ our King, and those who are even now enslaved to sin and darkness can be set free and born again into the kingdom of your Beloved Son, who is praised forevermore.