Sunday, April 27, 2014

Apathetic Christians Suck!

The other day, sitting around a coffee table with our cappuccinos and cupcakes, I was asked what I’d been doing before our child arrived. There was a hushed silence and the conversation moved quickly on to other topics when I explained how I’d worked in a crisis pregnancy centre, receiving calls from abortion seeking women and girls. When you mention the A-word amongst your good Christian friends or church folk, you’ve overstepped: there isn’t any place for a verbal exchange on the brutal reality of abortion amongst polite, Christian people. The gut feeling you get from your church is – if you’re going to go out and do something awkward and uncomfortable, then it should be evangelism. We’ll pray for you to go and do that in India or an African country; we’ll even send you some money now and then. But abortion’s too horrible to entertain as a thought, let alone to discuss or do anything about. Not only that, but working to end abortion is going beyond what Christians need to do.

To the friend who exclaimed, in the middle of my fiery exhortation: ‘Gosh, you’re really passionate about this,” followed by: “I just can’t really feel it in my heart to do anything about it” – I’d say, you’re not alone.

I don’t want to do anything about abortion either. Abortion is something I hate thinking about. I hate the idea of thrusting the issue into the faces of decent, well-meaning folk out there. I’d honestly much rather read a novel, play the piano or go have a coffee with friends and chat about nothing. But there’s a clear reason that polite, decent Christians don’t want to think, discuss or do anything about child murder: it’s a catastrophically large issue with our entire society complicit; even our governmental institutions have upheld and entrenched this ‘right’. Which is why we all draw a blank when it comes to abortion: it’s too hard to actively fight against a society that accepts and upholds the practice.

Not everyone is called to be active pro-lifers.

But everyone should try to do something to advance the cause of unborn children.

The lady is right. It is way easier to accept the status quo. When you oppose abortion, you have to start thinking about all the ways your behaviour is complicit. You have to change the way you vote; what you say; what you publicly approve of, how you talk.

You make yourself a "marked" person. You may be "marked" as the nutjob who opposes a woman's right to bodily autonomy.

But then what is the purpose of being a Christian?

Yes, it is first and foremost to love God and find one's salvation.

How can you find salvation is being apathetic in the face of the greatest evil of our time?

This calls to mind a quote from Archbishop Oscar Romero (who was vocally pro-life):

A church that doesn’t provoke any crisis, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle, a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed – what gospel is that? 

Being Christian is not about quiet gatherings around a table, sharing demure insights into our psychological make-up. There's room for that, to be sure, but that's not the essence.

The purpose of being Christian is to take part in the great battle between good and evil. If you're a Christian, you're supposed to be in a supernatural battle.

And if you're not in the supernatural battle, if you're not fighting demons and forces of evil, you're doing it wrong.

At the end of life, God will test you on your charity. Of course, you may have a vocation outside the pro-life movement-- that's for God to decide. But you cannot stand in front of God having in no way supported the fight to end the most blindingly obvious evil of our times. "Well, God, my heart wasn't in it. I just didn't feel like praying, marching, writing a letter or tweeting about it."

Do you really think that's going to pass muster with God? Do you really?