/ Nathan Eshelman

Gospel Thoughts on a Dark Anniversary

Below is a bulletin insert that I wrote for Lord's Day, January 21, 2018, in remembrance of the 45th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision which legalized human abortion in all 50 of the United States. Monday, January 22nd is that anniversary:

Thoughts on A Dark Anniversary

On Monday, January 22, 2018, Americans in the US will wake up and go to work and about the day as usual. Looming as the backdrop of that day sits an anniversary that some celebrate as a victory of women’s reproductive rights and others lament as one of the darkest stains on our national conscience.

On this day, in 1973, 45 years ago, under the so-called right of privacy, the Supreme Court declared abortion legal in all 50 States. As the national median age is 37; more than half of Americans, including myself, have always lived with this so-called right to privacy—human abortion.

The psalmist reminds us that there is no privacy before God when it comes to human life; for he is the one who forms and weaves. Psalm 139:15-16 says:

“My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,  intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me,  when as yet there was none of them.”

Since 1973, it is estimated that over 60 million abortions have been performed in the United States. To put that number in perspective; it is 3 times the population of the nation of Romania; about twice the population of Venezuela; and equal with the population of Italy. Could you imagine over one generation's time, every person in Italy disappearing? This is what is missing from our culture: 60 million bearers of the image of God; 60 million precious souls. God have mercy on us.

As abortion rates in the USA continue to fall to record lows since Roe vs. Wade; and as new technologies in the sciences point towards the Christian understanding of life beginning at conception; we still have much for which to lament as a culture. Abortion is now under the umbrella of “reproductive rights” signifying a shift in the way in which abortion is considered. Once unspeakable, although legal, it is now considered part of women’s health. Our nation is also on the forefront of promoting this practice globally as part of women’s health initiatives in Africa, South America, and parts of Asia. This is undeniably wicked according to a Christian worldview, according to the Word of God.

John Calvin almost 500 years ago said, “For the fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being, and it is a monstrous crime to rob it of the life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.” (Comm. on Last Four Books of Moses, 41-42.)

We have legalized an atrocious and monstrous crime, and we promote it globally as a human right. Although it is not the role of the church to be the civil magistrate or to make politics central to the message of the church, the issue before us is not political; but moral, ethical, and a matter of justice. On matters of ethics, justice, and morality, the church is called to speak and to proclaim God’s holy law.

Will you pray for our nation’s repentance?

Our national sins will be judged by God and it is our responsibility to speak out. The Reformed Presbyterian Testimony 23.22 says,”Both the Christian and the Church have a responsibility for witnessing against national sins and for promoting justice.” Who will speak for the voiceless? Who will bear witness? Who will cry out for justice in our streets? Who will call practitioners and recipients to repentance and to the glorious forgiveness offered in the free gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ?

There’s plenty to do that will help locally: See “Right to Life League, Southern California.” See also, “40 Days for Life, Los Angeles, CA.” Above all, pray and ask the Lord to grant repentance and Christ-centered faith throughout our land.

To those who have participated in the sin of abortion please know there is hope. The gospel meets us in our sin. As the Apostle Paul wrote: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners...” (1 Timothy 1:15). There is freedom in Jesus from the guilt of sin, and also from its despair and shame for “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). That is the hope of the gospel that shines brightly even on this dark anniversary.

If you would like to talk please feel free to speak to me or one of the other elders. We will show you Jesus.

With much love,
Pastor Nathan