Lilies that Fester


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The twentieth century promised much in terms of progress. Europe was at peace, and America was poised to become a world superpower. Certain religious leaders envisioned new programs to help the poor, while others pondered plans to evangelize the world. Protestants in America were divided over issues such as biblical authority and social programs, but there was a surface unity, and a widespread agreement (shared with Catholic and Orthodox Christians) about the sanctity of human life, an ethic rooted in the Bible and church history. Seventy nations, responding to medical advances in obstetrics, fetology, and a growing concern for women's health, had moved to prohibit abortion. Today, 120 years later, there is a deep division among Christians, and in American society, about abortion (and much else). The causes are no doubt complex, but several things are clear. Worldwide there have been over one billion unborn children destroyed by abortion. There have been seventy-three million unborn children destroyed by abortion in the United States, over half of them to women who identify as Christians. In a century of massive violence due to war, planned famines, mass executions, and terror, abortion reigns supreme. That the Judeo-Christian ethic of the sanctity of life has been shredded owes much to the scandal of Christian discipleship.