Thursday, August 6, 2015

What we are forgetting with Planned Parenthood

If you are in the mood for a political throw-down about how he left or the right are wrong keep moving, there is nothing to see here . . .

If you are still reading, let's talk about what we are forgetting in the current debate regarding the videos released featuring Planned Parenthood leadership . . . not from the political perspective but from the human perspective.  

The first thing we have to remember is that there are no monsters.  It is easy to gain some sort of moral high ground and point fingers at other people who think differently than we do and label them evil.  There are no monsters because our sin nature makes us all monsters.  If you are uncertain about this talk to your spouse or your siblings or parents.  Anyone that knows you will tell you that you are kind of gross on the inside because of sin.  The truth is that good people - people with values and spiritual depth - people who have made peace with God and try to follow Christ who have for a variety of reasons had an abortion.

And guess what?  The truth is that many women who have gone through an abortion still wrestle with that decision.  Just like you do when you think about what you used to do in college.  Or what you did just a few years ago to keep your job.  We have all walked through dark areas in our lives that perhaps we wish we could do-over.

Just imagine the intense pain you would feel to see your sin churned up in political Facebook rants . . .

This is why Jesus was clear:

"Do not judge so that you will not be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."  Matthew 7:1-2

Did you get that?  The measure you use will be used for you.  That is why grace is always the best option.  But grace is hard to understand sometimes - especially when we take it for granted.

We need to be reminded that the scandalous nature of God's grace is that we are all forgiven our sins  - even the ones we deem unforgivable.  Remember that quote?  "While we were still sinners Christ died for us."  We didn't clean ourselves up and earn grace.  It was given to us when we didn't deserve it.  And just because we sit in a pew for 20 years and can recite a few scriptures doesn't mean we don't still need that same grace.  In fact, I wonder if it is like we are spitting on the cross every time we forget the grace we received as we remind someone else of their sin?

Or worse yet - by judging others do we create a measure that could do some real damage when applied to ourselves?

I think what it really comes down to is that we have two ways we can mess up grace.  We can either:

1.  Be too judgmental.
2.  Be too lenient.

Jesus spoke about both, but it seems like He spent so much more time addressing our judgmentalism.  I think I would rather err on being too lenient.  I could be wrong, but it seems like the safer option in light of a Holy God.

So all that is to say if you have ever felt judged by the church but drawn to Jesus, email me - I think I have a church where you can connect with Him again . . .

But that is not to say we can't speak the truth.  With a little love and humility we can strongly say that the stuff talked about in these videos needs to stop.  Whether it is legal or not.

Someone I was having a discussion with on this topic kept pointing out the legality of the transactions in these videos.  Actually more videos are popping up.  The latest videos are showing more and more the illegal nature of the business conducted.  John Kass from the Chicago Tribune talks more about that here.  

But I kept trying to emphasize legality is not the issue - as humans we don't care about law, we care about what is right.  But no one listens when it is a fight.  If we aren't careful - as people of grace - this can easily be turned into 'us vs. them' rather than 'how can we work with God to redeem the culture?'

So maybe a little less "that organization is evil" and a little more "how can we work together on making sure this doesn't happen?"

A little less "that is disgusting"  and a little more "we can do better than this."

Or how about just a little more acknowledgment of our own sinfulness?  Maybe that is why this issue isn't getting the traction it should.  People stay silent on an issue in which they feel already condemned.  Perhaps we would have more allies in accomplishing what is right if we stop coming across as moralists.  We aren't moralists.  We are redeemed people.  God changed me because God takes what is thrown away as useless and makes it beautiful.  

Let's go do the same . . . with people, not against them.  

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