Christians of Alabama: In gratitude for God’s grace in the Gospel, you need to be the modern-day William Wilberforce.
No, not someone else — you. Yes, you. God commands us: “seek justice, correct oppression” (Isa 1:17). What did that mean in Wilberforce’s day? The most heinous injustice in his time was the slave trade. So Wilberforce preached against that evil and sought for it to be outlawed.
What is the most barbaric injustice of our time? Worldometer statistics report that abortion is the leading cause of death in the world today, accounting for about 40% of all deaths. Abortion is also the leading cause of death in the United States, where there are “1,500 to 2,500 abortions per day. Nearly 20% of all pregnancies in the USA … end in abortion.” One out of five. This is a crisis! Christians ought to be speaking out against this evil and seeking to outlaw it.
The church must proclaim the mercy of Christ who came to live, die, and rise again to save hell-deserving sinners by faith in Him — forgiving all of His people’s sins, including the sin of abortion. However, the state’s role is not to show grace but to do justice: to praise those who do good and to punish evil (1 Pet 2:14).
Many people think that abortion is illegal in Alabama, but it is not. By way of analogy, imagine there was a crisis of 13-year-olds being killed. So a law is passed that says you cannot hire an assassin to kill your 13-year-old, but you can kill your 13-year-old if you “do it yourself” (DIY). If that was the solution, we would all agree that is not going nearly far enough. We need to make it a crime for you to kill your 13-year-old.
Well, that is what has happened in Alabama with regard to preborn babies. In the Human Life Protection Act, Alabama has passed a law that basically says you cannot hire an assassin (an abortionist) to kill your baby, but you can kill your baby if you “do it yourself.” DIY abortion is not a crime in Alabama. Of course, it would be a crime for you to kill your 13-year-old child or your 40-year-old child, but it is not a crime for you to kill your preborn child. That means the preborn do not have equal protection under the law. According to attorney Bradley Pierce, there are an estimated 3,500 DIY abortions on Alabama soil annually.
This lack of equal protection for the preborn is unjust. It is showing partiality toward those who are born and discrimination against those who are preborn. This is in direct violation of God’s Law: “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial…” (Lev 19:15).
In Wilberforce’s time, there was a law against kidnapping and enslaving white people, but there was not such a law regarding black people. That was an “iniquitous decree” because it showed partiality, and Wilberforce let the magistrates of that day know, “Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression” (Isa 10:1). In theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s time, there was a law against killing non-Jewish Germans, but there was not a law against killing Jews. That was partiality. In our time in Alabama, there is a law against killing born people, but there is not a law against freely, willingly, knowingly, and intentionally killing preborn people (as long as you do it yourself). That is an iniquitous decree because it shows partiality.
“How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality…? Give justice to the weak and the fatherless” (Ps 82:2-3). Christian, that is what we must say to our magistrates today in Alabama who are practicing partiality by not giving equal protection to the preborn.
For this reason, Rep. Ernie Yarbrough (R-Trinity) is putting forth the first ever bill of equal protection under the law for the preborn in Alabama.
How can you be a modern-day Wilberforce?
1. You can pray. Pray for our leaders (1 Tim 2:1-2). Pray for “justice [for] the fatherless and the oppressed” (Ps 10:18).
2. You can inform people that the murder of babies in Alabama (DIY abortion) is not illegal. Do so peacefully, but speak out about this evil. “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Prov 31:8). If we are doing nothing about the bloodshed in our land, then God is disgusted with our worship (Isa 1:11-15). As Bonhoeffer said: “Only he who cries out for the Jews may sing Gregorian chants.” Are we crying out for the preborn?
3. If you take a stand for life, prepare to be rejected. “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12). If you speak out, then you will be maligned as evil. It will harm your reputation. But the life of the preborn matters more than our reputations (Matt 5:11-12).
4. You can speak of God’s Word not only to your family and to your church, but to your civic leaders. “I will also speak of your testimonies before kings” (Ps 119:46). You can tell them that partiality against the preborn is evil. You can tell them to promote equal protection for the preborn. One way that can look is you can tell your state representative to support Rep. Yarbrough’s first ever bill of equal protection under the law for the preborn in Alabama.
5. You can make this article available to others, encouraging them to act for justice for the preborn. As Chuck Colson put it, “Wilberforce… knew that a private faith that did not act in the face of oppression was no faith at all.”
Allan Bledsoe is a pastor at First Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Prattville, Alabama. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].
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