Most of us have noticed that guy on the side of the road holding the “repent and believe” sign. I bet he makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t he? I understand. As someone who has a decent amount of experience with street evangelism, I still feel a slight twinge in my chest when I see that guy. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen it done wrong so many times. Or, maybe it’s because he’s out there doing something I should be doing. So, rather than thank the Lord for the work he’s doing, I find a way to pick it apart to ease my conscience.
Another possibility is that I’m more gifted at relational evangelism, and the good ol’ fashion preaching of repentance and faith in the town square is too far out of my comfort zone and skill set for me to appreciate its value. Either way, I think we need that guy. Evangelism is both-and, not either-or. There’s no need for juxtaposition here; we can love and appreciate both approaches, so long as they are being done well.
What about the people holding up signs outside of abortion clinics? The signs read “Babies Are Murdered Here.” While you likely agree with the words on the signs as you drive by the people holding them, perhaps they make you feel uncomfortable. “Is this the best way to stop abortion?” “Does it actually work? And even if it does, is there not perhaps a more efficient way to use our time, talents, and treasures to save babies?”
We Are at War
I was a combat medic in the US Army. From 2009 to 2010, I was in Mosul, Iraq. Bombs blasted on a daily basis, mortars fell on our base, and the sound of machine guns was an ever-present, ambient reality. When we think about war, those are usually the things we think of — guns and grenades, tanks and tears, blood and bullets. But war is so much more than that.
War is espionage — men going about in the shadows collecting data and planting false information. War is psychological and spiritual — sending out good will agents to win the hearts and minds of the people in the land we are destroying. And yes, war is blood and bullets and boots on the ground fighting. We need all of those things taking place if we want to have any chance of winning in the end. The war must be fought on every front.
My four-year-old daughter asked me where I was going the other day as I grabbed my megaphone and headed towards the car. “I’m going to try to save babies from people who would do them harm, my love.”
“People want to hurt babies, daddy?”
“Yes, my love. Very bad people want to hurt babies. But your daddy, like Jesus, loves those babies very much, and is going to go fight to save them.”
“Are you going to kill the bad men with your sword daddy?”
“I have a sword, my love, but it’s not like the sword you’re thinking of. And I don’t have to kill them, for they are already dead. The sword that daddy uses, Lord willing, might bring them back to life.”
Make no mistake, brothers, we are at war. And much like the Cold War of days gone by, this war has no battlefront. But we still need boots on the ground.
We need wise men and women to work in our legal systems in order to bring about legislative change that will protect the lives of the unborn. We need communities saturated with the gospel to make a social impact in the poverty stricken neighborhoods where abortion clinics tend to thrive. We need adoption agencies and families who are willing to adopt or foster unwanted children. We need crisis pregnancy centers, sonogram machines on wheels, and abortion education and awareness programs. But, we also need people with megaphones and “Babies Are Murdered Here” signs.
Boots on the Ground
We need people with boots on the ground, who will stand at the door of these death mills and proclaim the truth to these women (and the men who may have brought them), as they walk the one hundred feet from their cars to the front door of the clinic. We need people standing on the sidewalk screaming “Please, don’t do this! That’s a human being in your belly! They will kill your baby! Please, come talk to us, we will help you do whatever it takes to raise that baby; we’ll even adopt him or her, but oh God, whatever you do, don’t go in that building and let them kill your baby!”
We need weeping prophets, people who will cry as they see the mother of a freshly aborted baby walk to their car, broken and ashamed, having just committed a terrible crime against God and her child. We need someone to offer hope; to tell them that guilt doesn’t have to be the last word, and that Christ can heal them and forgive them, even after an abortion. We need someone to cry out to the doctors, nurses, and aids in the abortion clinics, proclaiming the truth that they are like the men of Ezekiel 22:12, who “take bribes to shed blood, . . . take interest and profit and make gain of [their] neighbors by extortion.”
You don’t have to go out and hold signs or preach on the sidewalks. You can pray. You can get involved in the legal system. You can volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center. You can open up your home and display the gospel of God to the world by adopting a child. God has made you with your own unique set of talents, abilities and characteristics. Use them in whatever way you can to fight the fight against abortion.
As you do so, don’t look down on your brother or sister standing in front of the death mill, sign in hand, preaching with all their might. Pray for them, because what they are doing is a hard thing, but it is good. They are our last line of defense, standing a few steps from the front door, in a war where the only ones who die are babies.