When we are yet outside the kingdom, before we are born a second time, we suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1). This does not mean we are stupid. It does mean we are foolish. We know what we know but because such knowledge exposes our guilt, we suppress it. We are born again when God the Holy Spirit changes us, replacing our hearts of stone with a heart of flesh, when that same Spirit indwells us, and cleanses us.
But we are not changed fully and instantly. We are still dirty. We are still, in ourselves, guilty. And we still seek to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Consider those Australian “ethicists” who recently published a “scholarly” article outlining why they thought “after-birth abortion” ought to be considered ethically acceptable. Their reasoning has a diabolical logic to it- there is no real difference between the baby before it is born and after it is born. We are free to kill the child in the first instance, why not in the second? This is a rather telling illustration of Romans 1 level foolishness. It ought not, however, surprise us. We’re dealing with unregenerate people here. This is the kind of thing they come up with.
It seems however that Christians are indeed surprised by this revolting development. Not just surprised, but outraged, furious, indignant and morally flabbergasted. We write learned pieces decrying this new evidence of cultural decline. We cluck and fret on twitter and facebook. And, as is our wont, we miss the point. Because we are still dirty, we miss the blood on our own hands. If it is true, as these “ethicists” argue, and it is, that there is no moral difference between the practice of abortion or pre-natal infanticide and after birth abortion, or infanticide, why do we, who have been blessed by the indwelling Holy Spirit, get up in arms about one, and yawn over the other? Why the moral outrage over the moral outrage du jour, and the lack of moral outrage over the moral outrage of our generation?
We in the church are blind because we walk backwards, in the face of a decadent culture, drawing perpetual lines in the sand, boldly declaring “Thus far, and no further.” We’ve done it so many times we have forgotten where we came from. Our salt has lost its savor, and we are trodden underfoot. Abortion, the murder of babies in their mothers’ wombs, has, by virtue of the church’s relative ease on the matter now become distasteful, uncouth, and normal, like Playboy magazines behind the counter at the convenience store. The Australian “ethicists” are not pushing the boundaries of their ethics; they are embracing the norms of our ethics.
We expose our hypocrisy, our callowness and shallowness when we protest after-birth abortion, sex-selection abortion, partial-birth abortion, late-term abortion, unsafe, unregulated abortion, Obamacare funded abortion, all the while living a business-as-usual life in the face of babies being butchered in our neighborhoods every day. The evil of killing babies is that they are babies, no matter their age, no matter whether they are born, no matter how they came to be, no matter what butchering technique is used. We, the living, must repent. Lord have mercy on our souls, and the souls of the babies we destroy.