Watch out for fake “friends”, lives depend on it!
It is vitally important that pro-lifers keep their focus on limiting the evil and promoting the good in every election cycle.
Here’s Scott’s analysis of the article mentioned on the show, about voting pro-life: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/vote-like-no-one-else-will
Welcome everybody to the Case for Life podcast. I’m Scott Klusendorf, president of Life Training Institute. Today we’re gonna do something a little bit different. We are about to enter a political season. Brace yourself. It’s gonna get crazy out there, folks. We saw in 2016 and again in 2020 when we had a presidential election that not only did Pro-Lifers face threats, From the other side.
People we know to be our enemies, but we actually had enemies within the gates. Now, some might be offended that I use that kind of language because the people I’m about to address others would classify them as friendly fire. I. They are anything, but they all have one objective. Shrink the pro-life vote and we need to talk about this because I think it’s helpful if we get ready for it ahead of time and in our pro-life apologetic, be ready to graciously but firmly correct those who think they’ve read something novel or insightful that could really help move the debate forward.
When in fact what they’re sharing on social media or conveying to you is actually garbage. And I’m not going to apologize for using that term because that’s what it is. Let me explain what I mean here. Every election cycle as we get close to an election, and with the first G O P presidential debate coming up now in about a week.
Get ready, you’re gonna start hearing these kinds of things. You’re gonna see a series of op-eds from people who claim to be Christian, who claim to care about pro-life, and they couch their approach and their op-eds along the following lines. They position themselves as concerned. Deep thinking Christians who are worried that those of us who are pro-life are gonna harm our Christian witness if we advocate for pro-life candidates, and that somehow we would do much better to address the abortion issue if we voted for pro-abortion candidates.
We saw this in 2020 with a formation of groups like Evangelicals for Joe Biden. We even had. Pro-life Evangelicals for Biden. I sat at a conference not long after Donald Trump took office, where one of the keynote speakers at an allegedly pro-life evangelical conference stood up and told everybody that in reality, I.
We should work for a more holistic approach to pro-life. We shouldn’t just focus on abortion. And let me walk you through some of the common traits you need to be aware of and listen for as you hear these people. What these articles that I’m mentioning almost always have in common. Number one, there’s an attempt to muddy the waters.
Where we’re told that all candidates are bad, so why bother voting for one you think is pro-life because really they’re all bad. None are gonna help us. The second trait you’ll get is you’ll hear people say that the pro-life argument needs to be about stopping all killing, and if you focus on just one issue, abortion, you’re not really being pro-life.
You’re just being pro-birth. The third trait you’ll get is this false sense of moral equivalency. People will come along and say, well, you know, abortion’s just one of many issues. We can’t just be single issue. That’s narrow-minded, and that’s a failure to live out our New Testament ethic. Again, these are Christians that are talking.
You’ll also get an appeal, uh, To love. They’ll say things like, well, if we truly were loving people, we wouldn’t be so partisan in our approach to this issue. And then finally, the thing that you’ll really see is these critics will confuse a character flaw in the candidate with a policy flaw that can result in millions of unborn lives being lost.
And they tend to conflate the two and think that they’re being biblically insightful. And again, what, what, what really is interesting about these types of. People who write these things, they all approach this in a tone that at first glance seems very reasonable and very winsome. Like they really do care about us and our Christian witness.
They really do wanna help the church be more. Loving and compassionate in it’s witness to the world, and they position themselves as friends of ours who want to just help us understand the secret knowledge they’ve got on how this all works together. But in reality, these are not friends of the pro-life movement.
I’ll give you an example here in 2018 in the midterm elections. There was a piece that was circulated wildly and I saw it on Friends Facebook posts, and I saw it in T on Twitter. I saw it on Instagram. These were pro-life friends of mine circulating an article by a gal named Carolyn Yoder who wrote a piece, and here was the title of it, blood on Our Hands.
Seven Reasons Why I’m a Christian Against Abortion, who Does Not Vote. Pro-Life and Friend After Friend was posting this. Even people from my church that was, that were saying, isn’t this a great refreshing look at this issue? And in reality, it was one of the most fallacious pieces I had ever written. I’m gonna, or I I’d ever read.
Pardon me? I didn’t write it. I better get my, uh, facts straight here. Let me read to you just a little bit of what she wrote. I’m not gonna read the whole piece, but I will talk about it. Here’s, here’s a snippet of what she said. She says, as a follower of Jesus, we are to be as pro-life as possible in our complex world.
Now, right there, notice right away we’re starting to get this idea that abortion is a complex issue, that we can’t just bring it down to the question, what is the unborn? We gotta go deeper than that. She goes on to say, pro-life means no killing by abortion or by the death penalty. Or of our enemies in war.
Okay, now we’ve got what I mentioned a moment ago. A distortion of what it means to be pro-life. Now, we’ve talked about this in previous episodes. The pro-life argument is that it’s wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being. Abortion does that, therefore it’s wrong. Notice right out of the gate here that Yoder is redefining what pro-life means.
It means no killing at all, not in war. Not in capital punishment, nothing. She has changed our argument to one she likes better, and then she’s going to make the excuse that because no candidate is pro-life in the way, she just redefined it. It really doesn’t matter who she votes for, because at the end of the day, she’s still gonna have blood on her hands.
She’ll have blood on her hands if she votes for a pro-abortion candidate who approves abortion. She’ll have blood on her hands if she votes for a pro-life candidate who’s against abortion but is maybe in favor of war or supports capital punishment or some other form of killing. And she conflates all of this into one big soup of moral equivalency and says, there is no such thing as a pro-life candidate.
Therefore, why bother voting for one who claims to be? This is a very bad way to argue, and the fallacies here are just legion. But I’ll just name a few. First of all, it doesn’t follow that because there are no perfect candidates that there are no candidates who are better than others. It’s true. For example, there’s no perfect political party.
We can agree on that, but what does that leave us with? I. The belief that there’s no difference between parties. If you have Party A over here that promotes evil wholesale and will do everything within its governance to make sure it’s promoted wholesale, and you have another party over here that could maybe do a better job restraining the evil, but it’s not promoting at wholesale.
You mean to tell me there’s no difference between those two parties? Give me a break. Yes, there is. And as far as candidates go, yeah, it’s true. No candidate is perfect and in some sense, The critic might say, well, all we’re doing is voting for the lesser of two evils. No. Here’s what we’re doing. As Christians, we are voting to lessen evil.
When we cast a vote, we are voting to lessen evil. We are not simply choosing. The lesser of two evils. And as Christians, that’s our job to promote the good and oppose the evil in so much as possible, given the political hand we’re forced to deal with in a given election cycle. Well, what Yoder wants us to do here is say, well, none of this matters.
Everybody’s bad, and therefore it doesn’t make any difference how I vote. There’s another confusion here though, and we saw this in the 2020 election. Big time people confused. Character flaws in the candidate with policy flaws promoted by a candidate and his party. For example, you had one candidate that was very nasty on Twitter.
He was not very kind. He was not very gracious, and we can all admit that you had another bad candidate, though, who though he wasn’t as mean on Twitter, was putting in place a campaign aimed at establishing. Intentionally killing millions of innocent human beings and using our tax dollars to fund that killing overseas and in policy.
Directives here domestically, and people thought, oh, well, these two, uh, we, we can see it. We, we don’t need to make a choice here because one is bad, the other’s bad. I might as well go over the one who’s not mean on Twitter, as if somehow a guy being nasty on Twitter is equivalent to someone who wants. To rip a baby’s face off.
This is really bad moral reasoning, but this is the kind of stuff that’s being promoted in election cycles and get ready. You’re going to see a lot more of it probably starting next week with the first debate, and it’ll ramp up even more as we get closer. Think biblically with me for a moment. Why did God Judge Jeroboam?
Was it because of his personal failings? Actually, it wasn’t. The scripture indicates it was his policy failings. He led the Nation of Israel into idolatry and other sins as well. It was his policy directives that brought on God’s. Judgment more than his personal, uh, failings. Now, of course, personally, all of us are gonna stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account for our lives.
That’s true, but it doesn’t follow that. There’s moral equivalency between bad character traits at the personal level and bad policy that results in the deaths of millions of unborn human beings. And people conflated these two as if it’s morally equivalent, and it’s not. We have to be Christians who help others clarify what’s actually at stake from a worldview.
Uh, perspective in a given election, our Christian worldview ought to apply universally across all issues including politics, and that’s important because if we understand biblical theology correctly, God holds sovereigns responsible for upholding justice for the weak and vulnerable. Here’s the question I want you to ponder.
Who is the sovereign in a constitutional republic like ours? Answer, we are. So, our failure to think biblically about how we vote is much more than just a political dispute that has no bearing on our Christianity and our Christian worldview. Actually, how we vote re relates directly to are we applying God’s principles of how to uphold justice in the culture if we’re not?
We need to reexamine that. And I think for a lot of Christians who fall for pieces like Carolyn Yoder’s here who think that, Hey, you know, all killing is killing and nobody’s perfect, so I can just sit this out, or I can even vote for a pro-abortion candidate. It won’t matter because after all, I’m gonna have blood on my hands no matter what I do.
Are failing to uphold biblical standards of justice for those who need us to defend them. And I think moving into this next election, one of the most important things pro-lifers are going to need to do is look out for these people who position themselves as being deeper thinkers, more sensitive thinkers than we are.
But yet they’re going to promote us voting for a pro-abortion candidate. Or if they can’t get that from us, they’re gonna discourage us from participating at all in hopes that they can shrink the pro-life vote. We cannot let them do that. We have to apply our biblical worldview in politics like we do everywhere else.
And here is your duty as a Christian pro-lifer. You are to vote and engage politically in a way that limits evil and promotes the good insofar as possible. You’re never going to get a perfect candidate. There are no perfect candidates because all candidates are sinners, but some are worse than others.
Uh, imagine a situation where a schoolhouse is on fire, it’s an inferno. There are children trapped inside. There’s a guy there willing to help you, but he’s a foul mouth truck driver. He drinks too much whiskey. He isn’t a very kind dude. He says very derogatory things about women, but he’s willing to pick up a shovel and a hose and dash into the building with you and grab as many kids as he can.
There’s another guy standing by that has never said a cuss word in his life. He is actually a very. Impressive guy from the outside, but not only will he not help you, he’s going to pour gasoline on the fire. He’s going to function as an arsonist and, and children are gonna die as a result of this. Do we really think that somehow these two candidates, that there’s no moral difference between them?
No. At a policy level, the nice guy is actually going to be increasingly evil. He’s going to be intrinsically evil in his policies that he promotes. While the fo foul talking guy, we can correct his character and say, yeah, we don’t wanna be like that and we’re not going to applaud that. But which one is the greater moral hero?
The foul mouth trucker, or the nice guy who’s gonna pour fire on the gasoline? And we need to think about this when we’re voting for candidates. And we always hear this. People love to say, oh, we’re gonna destroy our C Christian witness because we vote for a guy with. Bad manners. He says too many things that aren’t very nice or biblical, and we should, you know, take one for the team and vote for this other guy, or maybe sit the election out and not try to advance the good because after all, We’re gonna hurt our Christian witness if we vote for the guy that will limit evil, but he’s got a bad character.
How is this even remotely rational? I’ve never understood this line of reasoning. I think Wayne Gruden puts it real well. We need to be very careful to make a distinction between a candidate’s. Policies that could promote evil wholesale in the culture, and a candidate’s character that puts him under judgment for bad behavior, but doesn’t have an impact on millions of other innocent lives.
We need to get this straight. So as the new election season is upon us, let’s be diligent and think more carefully about how we’re gonna apply our vote. I’m not trying to be partisan here, although inevitably it will. It seemed that way, and I suppose at some level it can’t help but be that. But we’ve gotta think clearly about are we promoting the good in limiting the evil insofar as possible and not letting so-called friends who are deeply concerned, allegedly about our Christian witness detter us from doing the best we can to save lives here and now.
That’s how you apply a pro-life apologetic in the political realm. You vote to limit the evil. And, and pro Promote good as much as you can. That’s your job. That’s my job. Let’s not let people who want to confuse the issue knock us off task. Thank you. Look forward to seeing you next time. If you haven’t visited us on social media, please do visit our Facebook page or visit case for life.com or scott kozdorf.com or visit our Life Training Institute email@example.com.
Would love to connect with you at one of those three places. And gear up. It’s about to get crazy folks, but we’ll get through it. See you next time.