Lead, Follow, or Get Outta the Way
We should preach the gospel, care for people around us, and love our neighbors, but we should never be told that we’re not pro-life unless we fix everything.
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 Hello everyone. Welcome to the case for life podcast. My name is Scott Klusendorf. I’m your host and I’m the president of life training Institute. We aim to help you engage the culture with persuasive pro life arguments. And today I want to talk about something that is truly troubling. But before I get there, I do want to remind you, please visit our social media sites.

You might be thinking, well, why would I keep plugging that? It’s not because we want to. The number of likes to go up, though, we’re glad when that happens. We really want you to be aware of a go to place to find the resources you need. to equip yourself to engage others. We’re not going to win this fight if all of us do not take on the load of being pro life apologists.

We can’t just say, uh, that’s a burden I don’t want to bear. No, in a post obs world, all of us need to be equipped to engage, and we want you to go there Look at the course we’ve got there. Look at the, the past podcasts we’ve had where we tackle issues that are tough. We want these resources to be there for you.

They’re for you, not for our ingrandizement. We’re not trying to beef up our profile as much as we are equip you to be effective. So speech out of the way. Today I want to talk about distractions, and principally distractions aimed at men. That may sound surprising, but it’s really true. Now we’re all used to the, the secular leftist distraction that goes like this, well you’re a man, you have no right to speak on this issue.

And that’s very easy to dispatch with. As we’ve talked about before, arguments don’t have gender, people do. Arguments stand or fall on their merits. not the person making them. So, that attack on men is very easy to understand, but there are, even within pro life circles, attempts to get at men and knock us off message, and ultimately harm our efforts to To reach and save Children.

Let me give you a couple of what I’m talking about. On the left side, we have the whole life movement that says you’re really not a pro life dude unless you’re taking on immigration reform, taking on refugee reform, taking on poverty, taking on gun violence, taking on equitable, equitable pay in the workplace, and the list just goes on and on.

I mean, it’s never ending. You’re not pro life, fill in the blank with your favorite leftist cause, unless you do all these things. Well, that’s not hard to respond to either in one sense, because it’s easy to point out He who fights everywhere, fights nowhere. Ask any man who has ever been in battle, whether it’s on the ideal level, or physically defending his family, and you will hear the same thing said to you.

You need to know who the enemy is, you need to punch effectively, And don’t punch in the air. Punch at a target. You have to fight a particular battle, not all of them at once. And it goes back to what Frederick the Great said. You fight everywhere, you fight nowhere. And yet within pro life circles, there are attempts to knock men off message on the pro life issue.

And I’ll give you a couple of examples. Um, Again, on the, on the left side of this is the whole social justice influenced whole life crowd that says men have to take on all these other issues. What you may not know though is that even within conservative Christian circles men are hearing this message if they’re church going men.

I won’t name the group, but there is a major pro life pregnancy center organization, networking if you will, that is aiming messaging at Christian men and holding conferences for Christian men where they’re promoting a concept known as pro abundant life. And what this group is doing is telling Christian men That you shouldn’t be pro life, you need to be pro abundant life.

By which they mean, instead of just focusing on abortion, you need to focus on building healthy marriages, building disciples within the local church, you need to focus on fatherhood initiatives, and you need to focus on helping people in your local congregation be stronger Christ followers. Now look, Every one of those things are noble goals.

I hope every local church pursues them, but why must the pro life movement devote operational resources to those goals, as noble as they are? And the answer is, that is the fastest way to bankrupt the pro life movement. Tell me this, how is a pro life group that is already broke, we all know they’re broke, I don’t know a pro life group out there that isn’t broke, quite frankly.

How are those groups supposed to take their already thin resources and spread them even thinner doing the work that the local church is designated to do? How are they supposed to go and make disciples? How are they supposed to go and make sure marriages don’t fail? How are they supposed to go and build fatherhood initiatives to make sure dads stay engaged with their kids?

Again, all those are great things, but you’re asking a movement of pro lifers who have very limited research resources and almost no cultural support or backup to take on stuff that people with bigger platforms and larger ministries are well equipped to handle. But you’re demanding that the little guys take it on.

This is just bad thinking. How about this? Why don’t we train men to be apologists instead of saying to a guy, Hey, you know what? You already work 40 hours a week. Good. Now we’re going to give you a job description that says Go teach everybody you know to be a better father. Go teach everybody you know what it means to be a disciple.

Go teach everybody you know what it means to have a good marriage. Again, all good stuff, but come on. You just gave guys a back breaking job description not even Superman can pull off. This is ridiculous. The pro life movement is going to lose if we are not focused on one thing. Saving lives. Children. And a primary job of saving children involves making a case for what we believe is pro lifers.

You want men to get engaged in an issue? Don’t give them a job they can never fulfill, that’s impossible to do. Teach them something specific. Teach them to defend their pro life views in a minute or less. teach them to train others in pro life apologetics. Give them something they can actually do. Giving men this laundry list of stuff that they gotta fulfill to be, quote, pro abundant life is ridiculous, and it needs to be rejected outright because it’s going to bankrupt our movement and harm our efforts to save kids.

Now, there’s other things going on as well. On the right side, there’s the so called political left and right is what I mean by this. On the right side of the, uh, ledger here, we’re getting attacks from other believers who say something like this. The pro life movement is an abject failure, and it will continue to be so until it becomes a gospel driven movement.

And I’m not going to name names here, but there are a lot of people out there. Uh, peddling this drivel, and that’s exactly what it is, drivel. Let me ask this question. Did we end slavery in this country by preaching the gospel, by having crusades of revival? Did we end racial segregation that way? Did we defeat the Nazis that way?

The answer is no, we did not. Those Issues were dealt with with large coalitions of people who came together from various worldview perspectives, but they united around a single task of promoting justice where injustice was reigning. That’s how those issues got defeated. And the same is true with abortion.

There are atheist pro lifers. There’s agnostic pro lifers. There are Christian pro lifers, and there’s even some pro lifers I’ve met recently who we would call nuns. They say, we’re none of the above, and yet there are some people out there saying that the pro life movement will continue to be sinfully motivated and will fail to save children until it becomes a gospel grounded movement.

This is actually a God limiting view, not a God honoring view, and let me explain why. The view that says the only way we can restrain evil in the culture is to have the movement become an evangelistic, gospel driven movement. Aimed at gaining converts, converting people through the new birth, limits God’s ways of restraining evil, and this is how.

God’s actually given us two ways to restrain evil in the culture. One, of course, is through people coming to Christ through the new birth. Obviously, when they’re justified by faith, they get a new heart, and over time, more and more of their thinking begins to line up you. with the biblical truth that they’ve been exposed to.

That’s not an overnight change. It does happen over time. It’s progressive. Justification is instantaneous. We’re declared righteous in virtue of Jesus standing in our place as our legal representative before God the Father. But our sanctification, which is also God’s work, is something that happens bit by bit over time, sometimes way too slow.

I’m one of those. I’m probably one of those that God looks at and goes, man, that dude takes forever to get sanctified, but thankfully God is patient, long suffering with those that are his, and I take great comfort in that because I need it. But there’s this view that says the only way we’re going to win as pro lifers is to preach the gospel and to have people come to Christ.

So primarily, The pro life movement is going to fall short, is going to remain sinfully motivated, as long as it doesn’t get to the root, which is gospel proclamation, not defense of the pro life view. The reason this view is God limiting is God has given us a second way to restrain evil in the culture, and this way applies to those who will never come to faith.

I mean, if you read your Bible, how many I mean, really, are most people going to come to faith in Christ? I don’t think the majority will, and so what do we do about those people who, despite our best efforts to share gospel truth, never come to faith in Christ? Well, then God, thankfully, has given us another way to restrain evil in the culture, and that is through the practice of civil law.

I think Martin Luther King put it real well. He said, the law cannot make the white man love me. but it can stop him from lynching me, and that matters. And I quite agree. There are a lot of people who will never come to faith in Christ, but who nonetheless, because they have evil hearts, need their heartless acts restrained.

And that’s the purpose of law. That’s the purpose of political action, to get the right people in places of authority, so that we get the right policies. Policy is driven by personnel. So when Christians engage, to create a more just society through electing the right people, having platforms and policy statements that line up with biblical truth.

Even if the people in those positions or affected by those positions never come to faith in Christ, at least we have the ability to restrain evil. And this is something I think we need to look at biblically. Biblically, yeah, some people will, will not. do heartless things. They’ll stop doing heartless things because of their conversion to Christ.

That’s great, but there’s also people who will never come to Christ, and the way their heartless acts are restrained are not through the new birth, not through ongoing sanctification, but through the practice of civil law that restrains the heartless from doing injustice. We need both, and we should be glad that God’s given us both, and I don’t want to limit God by saying, oh, the only way.

The pro life movement wins is by having people converted to Christ. That’s false historically if you look at slavery, segregation, even spousal abuse laws. These were not things that came about in terms of improving the situation for victims by religious revival, though we’re glad when that happens.

However, they did get changed through large coalitions of diverse people working to promote justice in the society. And the pro life movement principally is about saving children, not converting people to Christ. Now, having said that, let me say this. I include the gospel in every pro life talk I give.

You can see me even doing this in debates with people like Nadine Strawson. I get a little nugget of the gospel. in there. Why do I do that? Not because I believe that’s the only way we’ll stop abortion. Rather, I do it because the gospel is the only hope for sinful men and women who are desperately in need of reconciliation with their creator.

And it’s true, the law cannot do that for them. You cannot simply get people saved by restraining evil acts through civil law. However, Proclaiming the gospel gives them the only hope they have to repent and find saving faith in Jesus. So that’s why, for the sin of abortion, the only fix eternally is the gospel.

So I include it for that reason. But not because I believe we can’t win legally by Uh, doing anything other than preaching the gospel. We can win if we come together and work at a focused goal. And that is saving as many children as we can using a direct approach. Not this idea that we gotta fix all these other problems like discipleship, marriages that are falling apart.

fathers that aren’t doing their duty, not seeing people discipled. I mean, these are tasks we can’t take on in total. We all ought to be concerned about them as individual believers within our local fellowships, but to tell the pro life movement as a whole that they’re not doing that what they need to do is take on in the larger culture, not just their local church, but in the larger culture, better discipleship, creating better marriages, creating better fathers, uh, discipling people.

No, those are tasks within the local church. Don’t saddle the pro life movement with all of that. So guys, if you’re hearing this little rant here today, hear me say two things. Actually, three things. Here they are. Focus, focus, focus. The goal here is legal protection for unborn humans. That’s the goal of the pro life movement.

And you’re going to have a lot of people try to saddle you with a lot of other stuff that they want you to carry. Don’t fall for it. It’s an unrealistic job description. You keep the main thing the main thing. As a Christian, you’ll have a lot of issues you care about. Yeah, in your local church, you should care about discipleship.

You should care about fathers. You should care about marriages and gospel proclamation. But don’t think you have to incorporate the resources of the pro life movement to all those other tasks or our movement is a failure that is sinfully motivated. That’s a bunch of garbage. I’m not going to fall for it.

I hope you won’t either. All right, till next time, look forward to seeing you then. So long.