Planned Parenthood “Pastoral Letter” is Full of Lies and Bad Theology
Can abortion “threaten your relationship with God”? According to America’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, the answer is no. But can we really rely on an abortion business to tell us about our relationship with God?
You may remember that not too long ago Planned Parenthood sent out a “pastoral letter” to let people know that abortion is acceptable for people of faith. The letter, from the Planned Parenthood Religious Affairs Committee, was intended to convince people of faith that abortion is a moral, biblical option for Christians. The letter was signed by a number of “pastors” from various religious backgrounds.
The letter gained a lot of attention and, at one point, was pulled from the Planned Parenthood website in response to the angry backlash it received from the faith community. The idea that any pastor would condone the killing of innocent children is simply wrong – such a person I would say disqualifies himself from being a pastor.
It seems Planned Parenthood though is still trying to convince Christians that abortion is acceptable. Apparently seeing the incredible influence the religious community is having on the debate over the unborn, they are now targeting Christians to persuade them that abortion can be a healthy part of their theology.
Once again the Religious Affairs Committee has sent out a letter explaining, in part, that abortion “will not threaten your relationship with God.” I want to highlight the main points of the letter and respond to each. I do this because it helps us prepare a biblical defense against abortion and anyone, including pastors that would try to convince us of its legitimacy.
– We believe, as religious leaders in our faith communities, that abortion is a morally permissible choice for a woman facing a problem pregnancy.
It’s interesting to me that no Scripture was used to support this claim. The pastors I know and trust always have Scripture to back up their positions. This lets me know that it’s not just their opinion but a biblically formed position that can be verified and supported through the Bible. The fact that Scripture is not used to support this claim is dubious.
Maybe there is no Scripture included because the actual Bible contradicts their position. Over and over the Bible says that God formed babies in the womb (Psa. 139:2; Isa. 44:2; 24; Jer. 1:5). The Bible makes clear that killing is murder (Ex. 20:13; Matt. 5:21; Rom. 13:9; Jas. 2:11). The theology is easy here.
The fact that this letter does not define a “problem pregnancy” other than to say it could be due to “medical, physical, emotional, economic, and relational reasons” is misleading. Some will support abortion if the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother – something that could certainly be considered a “problem.” But to lump these other factors in with such a rate and extreme scenario shows that Planned Parenthood is still willing to mislead and deceive people in order to perform more abortions.
– We believe, as religious leaders in our faith communities, that ultimately no one can make the choice for or against abortion except the woman herself.
Everyone knows it takes two people to make a child. But Planned Parenthood wants to deny father’s the right to have input into the decision to have an abortion. Of course, if any man is part of the “Bro-choice” movement they are applauded and given a voice at the table. But pro-life men that speak up are told to be silent because this is a “woman’s issue.” The hypocrisy is astounding.
Planned Parenthood shows further hypocrisy by sending a letter to encourage women to have an abortion which states that the decision is solely a woman’s. If no one but the woman can make the decision then why send the letter?
Furthermore, why is it appropriate for Planned Parenthood’s “Religious Affairs Committee” to counsel women concerning abortion but it’s not okay for other pastors? The counsel offered by this letter comes from people claiming to be pastors and yet they say that the decision is entirely a woman’s. Perhaps these pastors should read their Bible concerning being a hypocrite. Or maybe they just need a theological education. The Bible itself says there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors (Prov. 11:14; 15:22). Obviously making a decision without seeking counsel is not wise…or biblical.
– We believe, as religious leaders in our faith communities, that the decision to have an abortion will not threaten your relationship with God.
This is the most error-filled point in the letter. On the surface I can agree with this statement. Having an abortion will not threaten any Christian’s relationship with God – in the sense that a person will not lose her salvation for having an abortion. But to the untrained layperson this statement will cause a false security.
The reality is that every decision a Christian makes affects his or her relationship with God. When we obey God we strengthen our relationship with God and our faith grows. When we deliberately choose to sin we harm our relationship – our fellowship – with God. This can be clearly seen in the life of David who, though he was a “man after God’s own heart,” begged to be restored to fellowship with God after committing adultery and murder (Psalm 51).
So while an abortion might not threaten the permanence of one’s relationship with God, it will certainly threaten the proximity and peacefulness of that relationship. The rest of this point in the letter is equally troubling:
“We believe that God is a participant in the struggles of human life. We believe that God is compassionate and does not expect any of us to lead perfect lives. We believe the biblical record shows us a God who loves human beings regardless of our strengths, skills and aptitudes, and loves us equally despite our failings, mistakes and choices. God is not angry with you and will not punish you for any choice you have or might make. In fact, we believe that God loves you and will be with you helping you find strength and understanding and comfort for living through days of doubt and distress.”
The picture of God painted here is non-existent in reality. This is not the God of the Bible and any “pastor” willing to claim it is shows his (or her) lack of theological understanding and biblical education. This God, presented in the letter, is not worthy of any worship. This God doesn’t ever get mad and doesn’t ever punish anyone for anything. Why should I do anything this God says? This God will produce nothing but spoiled rotten children demanding their way at every turn.
The reality is that God does expect holiness (1 Pet. 1:16) and perfection (Matt. 5:48) from us. This doesn’t mean we can, apart from Jesus Christ, be holy and perfect. Instead it shows the depth of our dependence on Jesus to live each day. To set these requirements of Christians aside and declare that God “does not expect any of us to lead perfect lives” is misleading. The emphasis on grace removes the righteous requirement of obedience.
To further declare that God “will not punish you for any choice you have or might make” is biblically false. That any “pastor” could utter such a statement is appalling. God is holy, righteous, and just. There is always a penalty for sin. The ultimate penalty is eternity in the Lake of Fire, but make no mistake that there is also immediate and temporary penalties as well.
Galatians 6:7 makes it perfectly clear that “God is not mocked,” and that “whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” In other words, you cannot sow death and not reap the consequences and punishment for that decision. You cannot sow a life of murder and sin and not reap the consequences of your actions. Evidently these “pastors” are unaware of the biblical teaching regarding sin.
Clearly this letter is not written with guidance from the Holy Spirit. The biblically, theological, and moral errors are numerous and egregious. The “pastors” that wrote this letter should resign immediately and repent. I would say that Planned Parenthood should be ashamed for allowing such a letter to be distributed but, they kill unborn babies. Clearly no lie, no sin is too great for them.
The good news is that there is forgiveness for those who have had abortions. Such a sin can be covered in the blood of Jesus, but only by repentance. To repent doesn’t mean to ask forgiveness and go do it again, or support and advocate the sin. To repent means to turn away from the sin permanently and to hate it in the same way God hates it. By repenting of our sin we can be forgiven and experience the love and grace God gives. It would be my prayer that all who’ve experienced the sin of abortion would also experience the love, grace, and forgiveness that God is willing to give to those who repent.