Bible, Church, Gospel Spirituality, Jesus, Missional Living, Politics, Redeemer Church

Comments on Dobbs

Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” God’s People are called to “do justice” but not in a way that is divorced from loving kindness or walking humbly with God.


Today, by God’s grace, the United States Supreme Court has overturned their 1973 Roe v.s. Wade decision with their Dobbs v.s. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. I was born in 1978 and this is the most just moment in my nation’s history during my lifetime. I wonder what Abolitionist Christians felt when President Lincoln gave his Emancipation Proclamation. I feel a range of emotions and have a series of thoughts running through my head.


First, this is a moment for Christians in America to praise God. This decision is good and right. This decision is ultimately a grace of God. The Dobbs decision makes our nation more just and kind.


Second, this decision is the result of a half century of work. This is how a contentious issue should work. It should be debated and discussed. Abortion is not the sort of issue that should be mandated. The Court is right in rebuking the 1973 ruling and thus sending this issue to elected state legislators. I live in Texas. We will treat it differently than those in New York or California. As a result, Dobbs is a better settlement than Roe. This is a better settlement for those on both sides of the issue. It enables genuine discussion and compromise. This decision is the result of a half century of work, but the debates and the work will continue.


Third, again, this decision is the result of a half century of work. Christians need to understand that history and be thankful for it. In the early 1980s my parents worked with a group of people to start a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Normal people like my father worked for this day. He died of COVID-19 in 2020. I really miss him today because I had envisioned getting to celebrate this moment with him. ProLife workers have been shamefully demonized by the left in this country, but Christians should esteem the work they have done. I’m proud of my father’s work and look forward to carrying on the work of caring for women who experience an unplanned pregnancy. Ordinary ProLife workers should be thanked today. ProLife politicians should also be thanked. Senator Mitch McConnell should be thanked. ProLife judges should also be thanked. President Donald Trump should also be thanked. I did not vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in 2016 because I believed both were so morally flawed I could not in good conscience vote for either. Related, I did not believe President Trump would truly be a ProLife President. However, I was wrong. In fact, he ended up being the most ProLife President. I ended up voting for him in the 2020 election based primarily on his ProLife work. Even though I believe President Trump has obvious moral flaws, on this day I am especially thankful for him and his presidency.


Fourth, Americans should be clear about what this decision means. The Handmaid’s Tale is not our future and those who try to paint that picture are either misinformed or dishonest. What this decision means is that the issue of abortion will now be sent to state legislatures like it was before 1973. The people of each state, through public debate and elections, will make abortion decisions. Texas is a ProLife state and thus there will be more restrictions on abortions than a ProChoice state like New York. However, ProChoice Texans will have and should have the freedom to make their case and vote their consciences. Similarly, ProLife Californians will have and should have the freedom to make their case and vote their consciences.


Fifth, and related, how people behave on both sides of this debate (including this weekend) will either be persuasive to their side or not. For example, if we see more Jane’s Revenge bullying, threatening and vandalism, I believe it will only serve to convince people of the virtues of the ProLife camp and the nastiness of the ProChoice camp.


Sixth, and related, my prayer is for a civil debate this weekend and moving forward. Personally, I hear the concern of a woman feeling like taking away abortion in her state makes her feel like a second class citizen because her pregnancy impacts her body and thus her life in more extreme ways than it does the father of the baby. Unplanned pregnancies make women’s lives more difficult. It impacts their schooling and careers. They deal with shameful judgments that men don’t have to experience. An unplanned pregnancy for a young woman is terrifying. I do not believe abortion is the answer, but I do hear the fear. My prayer is that all of us (no matter where we are on this issue) can genuinely listen to the other side and hear the concerns. My prayer is for understanding and civility not screaming, bullying, and vandalism. Dobbs does end one important aspect of this discussion, but it does not end all the discussions. Americans, let’s do this with civility and kindness so that people can actually be persuaded.


Seventh, I believe most Americans desire civility and to discuss this issue with kindness. However, I am not naive to believe that all will respond with self-control and kindness. Jane’s Revenge has made their intentions clear. Crisis Pregnancy Centers and churches need to be mindful of threats and ensure their security measures are in place this weekend. I am also calling on local police to ensure violence and vandalism are not allowed to happen this weekend.


Eighth, and finally, Christians in this moment are to walk humbly with our God. Praise Him today for enabling our nation to be a more just place. Dobbs is His grace upon us. However, the conversations I have had today have only briefly been celebratory in nature, but have then quickly turned to fears over the responses of ProChoice people. Those fears are also an opportunity to walk humbly with God and cast our fears upon Him. ProLife Christians still have much work to do persuading neighbors toward our position as well as caring for scared ladies experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. We need to humbly walk with God in order to know how to persuade and care. We need God’s grace.


God is good. God is just. God is merciful and kind. Please be safe. Please do not allow your anger to think you are justified in bullying or harming others or committing acts of violence and vandalism. Please continue to pray. Please commit to work for the care of women who have an unplanned pregnancy. Please reach out if you want to have a civil conversation.


Should Christians Be One Issue Voters?

It depends on the issue. Liberal Christians are getting increasingly vocal and hostile towards conservative Christians over the issue of being one issue voters. They seem to think the Democratic platform is more consistent with Christian values than the Republican platform and argue that Christians should not be one issue voters.

However, I don’t think they would want to apply their logic to the election of the first Republican president. Lincoln became president because Christians in the north united over the one issue of slavery. They believed that slavery was evil and they should form a political party around that one issue and elect a candidate on that one issue. I believe they were not only right to do so, but also courageous.

However, we should be careful about the one issue that becomes so prominent. For example, an important industry to our region is the oil and gas industry. I personally benefit from this industry as my grandfather started an oil and gas company in the 1940s. However, I believe it would be selfish if that was the one issue that determined how I voted. I appreciate teachers. I was forever impacted by great teachers, I have a lot of teachers in my family, and I also teach a course at a local Christian high school. However, again, I don’t think education issues should be the only issue that drives my vote. Both are important but fracking laws and teacher pay simply do not rise to the level of forming a new political party.

But, are liberal Christians’ premises true? Are conservative Christians really one issue voters? Is the Democratic platform (minus the abortion issue) really more consistent with a biblical worldview?

My strong assumption is that abortion is a central issue for most conservative Protestants and Catholics. However, I think it would be good for liberal Christians to hear that most conservative Christians are concerned about a series of issues beyond abortion. For example, they are concerned the left is content to chip away our religious liberty like targeting a baker to write words that violate his religion or forcing nuns to pay for abortifacients. Liberals have preyed upon and harassed Mr. Phillips and the Little Sisters of the Poor for years now. Senators Feinstein, Sanders, and Harris have also harassed Christians for their biblical beliefs in Senate confirmation hearings. Christians are also concerned that liberals are trying to take away their free speech like the example of Chike Uzuegbunam being told he can’t preach the gospel at the free speech area of his Georgia college. Christians are also concerned that secular liberals continue to legislate from the bench robbing the voice of the people in cases like Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Further, in the pandemic, liberal politicians have had clear double standards against church gatherings like Calvary Chapel in Dayton, NV and Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA. I pray my progressive friends can hear that conservative Christians are actually fearful of progressive politicians and policies. Conservative Christians are not one issue voters, they have a growing list of concerns with the left.

It is also obvious to most people that when comparing the two general platforms of the political parties, it is not persuasive that the Democrats have a more biblical worldview. Like liberals, conservative Christians care about the poor, but a theological understanding of poverty has been disregarded by the left. Like liberals, most conservative Christians care about issues of racism, but probably don’t agree with radical solutions like defunding the police. We understand that the right has had racist parts of its history, but so has liberalism and the Democratic party. Like liberals, most conservative Christians understand far right immigration proposals are unloving and unrealistic. However, the solutions provided by the far left are also unrealistic and unloving to those hurt by our immigration policies. Like liberals, most conservative Christians want to treat people with kindness and decency, but most conservative Christians see wokeness as ridiculous and cancel culture as dangerous.

To my liberal friends, there are bridges to be built on issues of education, racism, caring for the impoverished, and immigration. However, Christians feel like you kicked us out of your discussions long ago. We are having trouble going along with your solutions because they are so radical and don’t take into account our convictions.

To my liberal friends, most conservative Christians younger than 45 (that I know) don’t like Trump. However, they are actually scared of the far left. Why couldn’t those two guys have just found another baker? Why couldn’t the Obama administration respect the religious convictions of those nuns? Why couldn’t that Georgia college just let one of their students exercise his free speech?

Should Christians be one issue voters? Maybe. Abortion is the greatest injustice in our country today. The killing of unborn children rises to the level of slavery in the 1850s. If there is an issue that rises to the level of being that one ultimate issue, then abortion is it. I know the Republicans have taken advantage of that conviction, but where else am I supposed to go?

Liberal friends, the problems are much deeper than one issue. This really has not been a case for abortion being the one issue that should guide Christians votes. My hope in asking the question is to help my liberal friends see that Christians are not one issues voters, but not because it is wrong to be a one issue voter if the issue is something has monumental as slavery or abortion. Rather, my hope is to help my liberal friends see that Christians have a long list of issues that push us away from liberalism. Christians are not, in the end, one issue voters because there is a growing list of concerns with the radical left.

Liberal friends, bring us into the conversation. Be willing to compromise. It could get you some votes.