Note: This Facebook Comment/Blog article represents a significant shift in my journey toward being a more consistent Christian. Recently, I was asked to speak at Reconcile Church in Bloomington, Illinois on the topic, “The Image of God and the Black Experience.” In preparing for this presentation I encountered a number of quotations from great abolitionists and Civil Rights Movement leaders like Frederick Douglass, Henry Highland Garnett, JW Loquen, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and others in which they referred to the biblical concept of the Imago Dei as being central in their ideology and activism toward freedom. This prompted me to ask myself the question: What are the implications of viewing others as being made in the Image of God and consistently applying that lens in how I engage society?
Among other things, this question resulted in a rekindling of my passion to oppose elective abortions. I am convinced that the unborn are humans made in the image of God. I am also persuaded that there is no relevant difference between the unborn and those of us who have exited the womb as it relates to size, level of development, environment, or degree of dependency that would provide justification for taking the life of the unborn (See, Pro Choice: The Wrong Side of History, Science, & Logic). Prior to focusing in on apologetics I was pretty active as a Christian rapper and used my platform to speak out against abortion. For anyone interested they can listen to a couple songs on which I addressed it by clicking here and here. My studies on the Imago Dei and biblical justice have compelled me to use my current platform be vocal and active against abortion in any way I can. For those who have followed my work and wondered what spurred my recent comments on abortion, I just wanted to provide a bit of context.
“I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am a proud and free thinking Independent! My personal conviction is that, as a committed Christian, I cannot in good conscience lend my full allegiance to either political party. I understand that politics is complex and citizens face a vast number of issues as they attempt to navigate the political world. There is added difficulty for Christians as both parties subscribe to legislation that does not align with Biblical truth.
With that being said my angst is toward the Christian who “picks a side” and becomes morally complacent when it comes to the shortcomings of their side of the political house. As sojourners in this world in whatever context we find ourselves, we should be shining the light of true goodness. We may not be morally perfect but we are morally obligated to point people toward the One who is and we accomplish that through word and deed, and by extension, what we support and endorse in the political realm.
If you are a Christian and a Democrat then in whatever way your party falls short of what is right you should be an agent of change addressing that issue. Do not sweep evil under the rug just because confronting it would put you at odds with your preferred political faction, complacency is a sin. If you are a Christian and a Republican then in whatever way your party falls short of what is right you should be an agent of change addressing that issue. Do not sweep evil under the rug just because confronting it would put you at odds with your political faction. God is bigger than that.
I am not saying you necessarily need to switch parties but right is right and wrong is wrong. Stop tucking your Christianity in just so you can be accepted amongst this or that political group. If you are morally inconsistent on the basics then do not expect people to take you seriously.
Greater is He that is in you than he who pulls the puppet strings of some of the leaders of the political party you support. Be a real Christian! Do not settle for party prescribed morality.
Having said all that, my dude Tim Stratton (who is also a proud free thinking registered Independent) had this to say in response to news that a bill is being proposed in Virginia (my home state) to legalize late term abortions. This bill leaves the door open for an abortion to be performed even as a woman is in active labor:
“This is out of control. To my Democrat friends: it is hard to take any “moral outrage” seriously from anyone who turns a blind eye to mass murder and casts a vote for a politician who fights to keep murder legal and “shouts their abortion” — especially during the third trimester (I was born at 7 months). It seems to me that this makes all who continue to vote for and support the Democrat Party an accomplice to murder — and now torturous murder.
Many of those who vote for Democrats often say things like “Well I am personally against abortion,” or “of course abortion is morally wrong, but…”
Know this: Planned Parenthood and the abortion/murder industry love people like you! YOU are the ones who make this mass murder possible!
But hope is not lost. In fact, it is you — the Democrat voter — who can come through and be the hero. Democrat voters need to stop the Democrat Party in their tracks and not shout your abortion, but instead shout, “THIS NEEDS TO STOP OR I AM DONE WITH YOU!!!” Democrat voters — especially those who claim to be Christians — need to take to the streets, get on social media, and fight to turn their beloved party around (it’s gone way too far) — or they must leave it and let Democrat politicians know they will not receive your support or your vote until this madness comes to an end.
Until I witness this public outcry from those who vote for Democrats, I simply cannot take their moral outrage on any other political topic seriously.
60 million MURDERS and counting outweighs all the other issues combined!”
Stratton went on to add:
I am not condemning my Democrat friends — I am lovingly challenging them to be heroes and to cause reform in their own party. It is just the right thing to do.
To quote Thor: “That’s what heroes do!”
While the Democrats took most of the heat in the preceding comments, it should not go unsaid that for believers there is room to hold Republicans’ feet to the fire as well. The dark cloud of abortion looms over us as a national sin and not something that the Democrats alone must answer. It was through the Supreme Court, America’s most non-partisan branch of government, that Roe v. Wade opened the floodgates to abortion. Even so, the majority of Supreme Court Justices that adjudicated Roe v. Wade in 1973 had been appointed by a conservative President. More recently, it has not gone unnoticed that, at times, Republicans simply did not get it done when they had opportunities to defund Planned Parenthood (although some have tried), support the March for Life, etc. We’ve seen them be willing to shut down the government to balance the budget or to stand with the President in getting the wall built. But where is that same vigor and willingness to swing for the fences when it comes to defending the unborn and see that fight through to the end? It is not enough to declare the right convictions if that is not coupled with moral constancy and consistency.
Listen, on any given moral issue I am not primarily guided by the political dynamic of Right versus Left. First and foremost I am concerned with right versus wrong — biblically speaking— and neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a monopoly on always being morally right. It seems as if believers have a box full of moral principles from which to choose. When you look at the Democrats’ platform and the Republican platform those lists of what they claim they are about is their box. A believer can look in their Christian box and find some common items whether you look in the Democrats box or Republican box but neither the Democrat box nor Republican box will have ALL of the items that the Christian’s biblical morality box should have. In other words, neither the Democrats nor the Republican party can bear the full weight of biblical morality.
My intent is to be more active in the fight against abortion. In saying that, I recognize that the struggle against abortion is not the only cause worth fighting. For me, it is only the beginning!
Subsequent to broaching this conversation online, I contacted my House representative for Virginia’s State Legislature. I had what I believe to have been a productive conversation with her legislative assistant and just a few days ago received an email from my representative about scheduling a day and time to meet with her to discuss my position on abortion and possible solutions. This is my first step in being more consistent in engaging the spectrum of important issues in the public square from a biblical perspective.
It is encouraging to note that just a few days before this article was published, executive action was taken by President Trump to cut approximately 60 million dollars from funds that would go to Planned Parenthood. That is certainly a laudable step in the right direction on the abortion issue. My hope is that we can be driven to do even more than that!
While I am persuaded that life begins at conception I am also convinced that our moral obligation to ardently defend the dignity of those made in the Image of God does not end at birth. I believe that the same God that cares about the unborn also cares about the poor, the vulnerable, those among us who are unjustly treated by our legal system, and so on. When Jesus commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves He really means it (that includes our unborn neighbors). As Christians, we should be demonstrably committed to the well-being of others from the womb to the tomb: pediatric to geriatric. If not, then one can’t expect others to build with them upon a foundation of ethical inconsistency.
Check out Clinton Wilcox on The FreeThinking Podcast. He discussed how we as Christians should talk about abortion, as well as some more practical problems that might come up in discussions we might have. Click here to listen!