Posted by: Ed | May 25, 2008

A NEW WAY TO TALK ABOUT ABORTION? More on Juno

Before we get to far from last week’s message I wanted to post on the new book by Michalene Fredenburg entitled book “CHANGED – Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved Ones Abortion Experience”. I mentioned it in the message & lots of Journey people bought it after the services. I also noted that I read it in the week leading up to the message.

I know there is no more emotionally evocative subject in our public discourse than that of abortion. I have preached probably 7 messages hopefully reflecting a Biblical perspective on this subject.
As I said last time I spoke on this subject: (Message: And Justice for All in Series – When God Rocks Your World)
– We are unashamedly pro-life, not angrily pro-life, not; condemningly pro-life – but we believe that the Bible clearly & inescapably leads one to a place of welcome to all that He creates.
This is rooted not in a various proof texts (they are there) but in the fabric of the Bible starting in God’s very first statement about men & women made in the Imago Dei – the Image & Likeness of God. One of the best statements I’ve ever seen on this was from Pope John Paul II in his Theology of the Body.
Every person is totally unique and unrepeatable. No person can ever be compared to another, measured by, or replaced by another. Authentic love is attracted not just by “attributes” or “qualities” of a person that light a spark. From The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan

That being said, we have at Journey people with a variety of views on what our public policy should be on abortion. We have people that would call themselves pro-choice. We have people that don’t like it when I preach on this subject. They are good people that love God, but disagree on this. Most of the disagreement revolves around public policy & how or if we should legislate this. Although I think our legislation should reflect God’s value of life, I understand that there are those who disagree.

It seems to me that as a culture we are at an impasse in the discussion / debate. But there is a hopeful development on the horizon. There is emerging, a new way to talk about this, a new perspective on the issue.

I read an article by feminist pro-choice writer Naomi Wolf that Michalene gave to me a couple of years ago that was quite remarkable. Originally published in The New Republic in 1995, Our Bodies, Our Souls (you can google it & find it easily) was like nothing I’d read before. It looked at the issue from the perspective of the impact on the soul of the woman.

The movie JUNO, along with the book CHANGED, helps us face the fact that ANY CHOICE one makes in the case of an unwanted pregnancy will CHANGE US. Abortion is not the option that enables life to go on as if the whole thing never happened. I’ve seen this in my own ministry. It’s replayed over & over in the real life stories in the book & on the stories submitted to the abortion changes you web site. the woman.

Most women who get abortions feel that it is their only option. They are often pressured by boy friends (often older than them) or feel economically pressured. Many are not informed as to the physical realities of abortion and fewer still are told of the emotional consequences. Many women AND MEN (husbands, boyfriends, parents, brothers, other siblings) have nowhere to find healing, to be honest, to experience grace. As one guy in the book explains:
“I can’t talk to my liberal friends – because abortion is supposed to be no big deal. The people on the right… well they scare me.”

To that end I’m thrilled about the change that is in the air, about Michalene’s book, about the wonderful website, about our recognition that we all need grace from God. I’m thrilled to that the vision for both the book & the website is one of healing & finding healing pathways.

Take a minute & visit the website [http://abortionchangesyou.com/home]. Order the book & read it – it’s a quick read. Give it to friends. Even if this isn’t a personal struggle for you, you will be equipped with a whole new paradigm to talk about this. You will also take another step to being the person of grace that God desires you to be.

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Responses

  1. Explain to a woman with an ectopic pregnancy, or a woman with complications due to endometriosis, that a clinical abortion is going to “change” her.

    I don’t personally know anybody who characterizes clinical abortion as “no big deal.” Misrepresenting the beliefs of those with whom you disagree causes the very impasse in the debate that you’ve described.

    I’ve chatted with some of the protesters in front of our local reproductive health clinic — without exception, they are all against the use of any kind of birth control, and without exception, none of them has adopted an unwanted child.

  2. a couple of clarifications:

    Any woman who experiences reproductive grief is changed- whether it be through a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, infertility or an abortion. Reproductive grief is very real whether a pregnancy is terminated by choice or by an event beyond our control.

    The “no big deal” remark was made by a man whose story is told in the book- a man who is prochoice if you want to put labels on people- and who had been with his girlfriend in the aftermath of an abortion. I don’t think that was a statement
    of the author on the views of either side of an argument. The book is a series of stories told personally to the author by those who sought her out to tell her their stories because they felt safe.
    The conclusion of the book is an invitation to a journey through the grief and loss process of healing for those who need it or those wanting to care for loved ones that need it.

    Last week at Journey, we discovered that there were numerous people who had desperate need of something like this. There are many more stories similar to the ones in the book posted on the abortionchangesyou.com website. People need to feel safe to tell their stories.

    Changed is a book of outreach and understanding and very important for those of us who really want to be “with” our friends and loved ones who
    have had an abortion experience that has changed them.

    It’s not helpful to lump protestors or pro-choice people or prolife people with these types of labels. There are many people out there with a common concern, they care very much about those who have been changed in some way by an abortion whether they are men, women, family members or medical personnel performing abortions. I think what is being said by Ed and by Michaelene is “let’s put down our boxing gloves” and just listen to people’s stories. Let’s just really care about people rather than issues.

    The invitation to Christ followers is “Let’s create a safe place – especially at church- for them to tell their stories if they wish, to and to be embraced by God and their church communities.”

    Definitely read the book and visit the website!

  3. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Geomantic.

  4. I have pondered, with vested interest, the subject of abortion since 1972. Yes, do the math. 1972 was the year before Roe vs. Wade, if my recollection is correct.

    Over the years I have come to only a single conclusion. One’s opinion re the ‘rightness’ or ‘wrongness’ of abortion is and can only be linked to one’s conviction as to whether life (as defined “created in God’s image”) begins at conception. If I believe that life begins at conception then no matter the consequences on the life of the child, the mother, or the father, abortion simply cannot be an option. To believe otherwise leads one to way too many grotesque societal alternatives……i.e., a mother euthanizes her 5-year old son, severely burned and disfigured (let’s say over 30 percent of his body, including his face), because of the unquestionably traumatic life that lies ahead in a society enamored by looks and the difficulty of raising such a challenged child.

    You can escape the truth of such outrageous outcomes if you simply deny life originates at conception……….. and instead believe each of us “becomes” as we grow first inside the womb and then outside. This belief allows for just about any action on the part of the person carrying the biggest stick, the one in control, against another. The biggest challenge of this life view as I see it is, “When do we become so human, death is not an alternative”?

    Most importantly, God’s foregiveness covers all my sins.


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