Abortion is not a political issue, a civil rights issue, or a women's rights issue; it's a Jesus issue. Listen in as Todd demonstrates that both God and science declare life begins at conception. He offers wisdom on this topic as well as points to grace and hope for those who have made this choice.

Scripture References: Psalms 51

Todd Wagner

About Todd Wagner

In 1999, a group of friends and I desired to be the same awe-inspiring community that we saw in the Scriptures and to connect God's people with opportunities to know... Read more

Message Transcript
We're ending our series called _Declaration: A Divine Proposal for Life, Liberty, and Happiness._ We have made our way through God's design to offer you life. We have talked about how liberty only exists when you find life in God, and we've talked about how God has not left us here as orphans to figure out how we can be happy (he's a good Dad, so he instructs us in the way, that it might go well with us), how if you redefine family it won't go well with you, how if you jack with the basic rules of law and order and economy it will not go well with you, and how if you are unwise and lack discernment in how you treat the sojourner it will not go well with you. Today I'm going to talk about how it will not go well with you if you, out of a love for ease, a love for pleasure, a love for a way that seems right to you, start to rationalize and toy with the meaning and definition of life. I'm going to talk about a topic today that I have mentioned often in 15 years but have never spent an entire morning on. There are two reasons for that. First, largely, this community of faith (sadly, not all) stands pretty much in agreement with the idea that man is made in the image of God from the moment he is conceived until the moment he goes to stand before him, so there's a bit of preaching to the choir. Not entirely, may I add. Here, in March of 2013 I read a first impression based on something I said that morning, and that first impression said this to me: "Mr. Wagner, abortion is a very personal choice. This church would do well to work toward the tolerance and nonjudgmental nature that God envisioned for his followers. I will pray for increased love and less shame and judgment. But I'm not going to be back," in effect. Let me just tell you something. Guilt and shame are not anything God has anything to do with. Those are the Devil's tools, but so are lies and rhetoric. This is a church, as long as I'm pastor of it, that will always talk about the dignity of human life from the womb to the tomb. We'll care about it when you can't see it, and we'll care about it when it doesn't have any utilitarian benefit to us, because God said it's something made in his image. If you want to call that intolerant and judgmental, I will tell you that you have a bad definition of tolerance, and I will tell you that truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth. I'm going to show you today that both Scripture and science agree (as well as your soul, I believe) that when you're talking about the life inside a woman it is a life indeed. It is a human being, and because of that, it is offered, as we declared when we declared our independence, certain inalienable rights; among those are life, liberty, and the right to pursue happiness. When we terminate it by toying with what we call it, we are not going to have it go well with us for long. We want to be gracious when we talk about folks who have made the choice. That's the second reason, by the way, most pastors never really talk about this topic: it's just so painful. A significant percentage of our body has walked this road, where they have either participated in abortion with their own body or funded the abortion for somebody else because of their part in placing that life inside another human. Sometimes pastors don't want to teach… I really believe this is why marriage drifted in our country. You could sit up here in the 50s and 60s all day long and talk about the evils of homosexuality, because by and large it was a very suppressed sin in our society. It was not out of the closet. It was around, mind you. It has been around since before Christ, just like every other sin. That's why Christ came: because there was all kinds of sin in the world. You could get away with talking about the evils of homosexuality and maybe prostitution, but if you got up here and started to teach in the 60s and 70s about a covenant view of marriage and started to talk about how marriage is a picture of God's love for the church and that you should stay committed to that woman until death does part you, that wasn't really popular, because about 50 percent of the folks you were talking to already felt like they were a miserable failure in that area and didn't want you to come and tell them they're not doing well. Well, as I've said here before, not everybody who's divorced wanted to be, but we cannot not teach on the topic of marriage because of the pain some of you have gone through with divorce. In fact, those of you who have been divorced ought to be the first ones raising your hand, saying, "Would you please tell them about who to marry, how to marry, how to stay married?" I have many friends who have been remarried, and they tell me the things they're doing to make that second marriage successful… If they just would have done them in their first marriage they wouldn't be divorced. They wouldn't have four sets of parents at a wedding. They wouldn't have six houses for their kids to go to at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they wish somebody taught them about the covenant view of marriage. I think pastors bailed out on that topic because it wasn't popular in the church. The church quit teaching a biblical view of love, so love spiraled out of control in our country. I think a lot of pastors don't teach on the abortion topic because it's just so dadgum sensitive and painful. I want you to hear me this morning. If abortion is part of your story, I am so glad we stuck in this _Declaration_ series these last two weeks telling you about a Father's love for you. I don't care how far off the ranch you've been. Your Daddy's toes are on the edge, looking for you to turn back to him. He wants to run to you. He wants to forgive you. He wants grace to be yours. Guilt and shame are not God's tools. Conviction and repentance are. So I hope there _is_ a conviction. I don't really have to convict you. I know you lie in bed at night. I know if you've ever been a part of abortion you know exactly how old that child was. You know when their birthday would have been. When you see another child who looks the age of the child you let go if, it pains you. Every Mother's Day it hurts you. Every birthday that comes and goes it hurts you. I want to let you know your Daddy loves you. That's why he didn't want you to make that decision. That's why those of us who have been silent that that decision can be made legally in this country without any restraint need to ask your forgiveness. Also, if we put societal pressure on you that it would be worse to be a person who made a mistake and dealt with it as opposed to making a mistake and hiding it and covering it up in the dark, like David trying to kill Uriah after Uriah wouldn't sleep with his wife so he could cover up his own sin and not have to face the man whose wife he slept with, would you forgive us? We're here to tell you that our sins have been forgiven by a loving God. We're not loved by God because we've never been a part of abortion. We're loved by God because he loves abortionists, and he loves moms who have been a part of murdering, killing, giving up their children. He loves you, and he wants you to be restored. I'm going to introduce you to some friends who have a ministry here who have made that decision who want to walk you through that. Guys, we have a ministry called Forgotten Fathers for you; women, Someone Cares, but we're going to talk about this topic today. Let me just show you a few things. God does want it to go well with us. He's just saying, "Look, you're entitled to your own opinion. You're just not entitled to your own facts." Certain things are going to work; certain things aren't going to work. There are certain laws that are infused into nature that nature's God and nature's laws say, "If you want to live contrary to them you can do it; you're free, but you won't be free to choose your consequences." We talked about some of this stuff. It's really all that the pursuit of happiness is. God is going to direct you in the right way. "Don't lean on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him, and he'll make your paths straight." The pieces fit, gang. You can redefine marriage and family all you want. It's just not going to work out well for you or for your kids. The puzzle piece of how God put us together is very clear. Let me show you a little picture of that puzzle. You go, "Yep! Those pieces fit." God designed a man to go with a woman and a biological mother and a biological father to raise children. That's the way it should work, folks. You can try and make these next pieces fit. They just won't go together all alone. I don't care what you do. You're going to have to break something or do something to one of those pieces to make that work. It's just not the way it's designed. I'm not mocking anything. I'm just saying it's the way it goes. Sometimes you can try and put pieces together in a way that everybody goes, "Oh yeah, that's good, that's all right," but the picture won't look right. Generations will look at the picture and will be bitter that you tried to do something that God said, "That's not the way it should be." Confused, hurt kids. Broken civilizations. That's why we did that week on family. Let me tell you a little math problem that takes our government picture and reduces it down to an individual family. If our government was an individual family, this is what it would look like. You can be in elementary math and you know this doesn't work. Let's just say you're already $180,000 in debt, and the way you were going to operate this next year, making $27,000, was to spend $34,500, which means you're only going to increase your debt by $6,800. But remember, you already have $180,000 of debt. That's the United States of America if you extrapolate that out in trillions. You look at that and go, "That family is going to be upside down, is going to be bankrupt, is going to be driven out of their home, is going to be miserable if that continues." A kid can see that math doesn't work. We talked about how we welcome people, how the Bible talks about the wall _and_ the welcome. If you don't operate your ship well, if you don't care for the people who are already sailing through life with you, if you already have dysfunction, if you will, in the way you're going through every day and your ship can't welcome other people, it won't look as it should be. That ship is not ready to welcome more people. If it tries to bring more people on it's going to look like _this_, and that's chaos. So we talked about that. But let's dive in. Let's talk about this one topic. _This_, my friends, is a life. Even though it is not outside of the womb, it's inside the womb… Just like all those other pictures tell you the way things ought to work, that tells you the way things ought to be. We can play all kinds of little rhetorical sleight of hand and say what we want about that. We can call it a _zygote_. We can call it an _embryo_. We can call it a _fetus_. We can call it a _blob of tissue_ or a _cluster of cells_ so we feel better about it, but that is a life. What I want to do very quickly before we dive in too much farther is walk you through some basic realities. First of all, this is not a new issue. This has always been an issue for the church. If you go back and look at church history… Even as our Bible was being assembled, there was a document called the _Didache_ which was put around. _Didache_ is just the Greek word for teaching. It was the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. It's not Scripture, but by all accounts it was an accumulation of what the early church was teaching the early church. One of the very first issues the early church said, "Hey gang, this is not something we choose to do (how we view life). We choose to follow God, and God is very clear about how he views all of life." In Rome, abortion wasn't as big a problem. It was what was called _infanticide_, where they would take children, put them outside, and let them die of exposure. Those children would die because of the elements or, often, brothels would swoop down, if they were little girls, and they would take them and raise them and put them into prostitution or other men would swoop down upon them and take them and sell them off into slavery. What Christians began to do because of the teaching of the Didache, which basically said, among other things, "May you be guiltless of these sins, that you don't do what others do, the way of death, who in accordance with their precepts ignore the precept of God which says you shall not kill. No, we shall not put a child to death by abortion. Nor should we kill it once it's born. The way of death is this: they show no compassion for the poor. Churches shouldn't do that. They don't suffer with the suffering. Church, you should suffer with the suffering. They don't acknowledge the Creator. They kill their children by abortion and cause God's creatures to perish. They drive away the needy. They oppress the suffering. They are advocates of the rich and unjust judges of the poor. They are filled with every sin. Church, may you ever be guiltless of these things," the early Didache said. That's why Christians in Rome would walk around the streets and look for children, and they would pick them up and take them in. They would adopt them. They would love them. They would tell them that their heavenly Father cares about them. They would give them a life and show the dignity of who they were. The Scriptures are really clear. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this, but let me just walk you through. This is what Scripture says about life. Genesis 25:22: **"But the children struggled together within her…"** It's talking about the mother of Jacob and Esau. They were called _children_, the same name that was given to them when they were outside of the womb. When they were in the womb the Scripture says they're children. In Hosea 12:3 it says, **"In the womb he took his brother by the heel…"** Talking about Jacob grabbing Esau. Esau wasn't outside the womb, but he was already Jacob's brother. They were persons. In Job 10:8-11, Job when he's crying out to God said, **"Your hands fashioned and made me altogether, and would You destroy me? Remember now, that You have made me as clay; and would You turn me into dust again? Did You not pour me out…"** See if you can get the word picture here. **"Did You not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese…"** He's talking about semen. He's talking about, "God, you took that and implanted that into an egg, and you brought that together in that substance, and then you clothed me with skin and flesh. You knit me together with bones and sinews." He says, "You knew me in the womb. You made me there." Psalm 139 makes this explicitly clear. "You wove me in my mother's womb. You formed my inward parts. I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Verse 15: **"My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret…"** Another translation says, **"Your eyes saw my unformed body…"** Jeremiah hears from God. **"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…"**"I knew you before you were born. I consecrated you, and I made you a prophet to the nations. I called you from the womb. I was at work in you there." Psalm 51. That's David. David said this about himself: **"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity…"** That doesn't mean Mom and Dad shacked up without being married. That wasn't David's story. **"…and in sin my mother conceived me."** The word _conceived_, by the way, just means to take. If you conceive an idea, it means you take an idea as yours. The word _conception_ means it just took. When you conceive, what you're saying is that thing took. It happened. You're not just a little pregnant. David said, "When I was conceived, the moment it took… I was sinful from the time it took." Why? Because David said, "I came from sinful humanity, and the law of creation is that kind will bring forth kind." Parents, you need to know this. That little child in the womb is naughty by nature. You can nurture him toward a life of righteousness and goodness, but no matter how much you nurture and modify that behavior, unless there is a birth outside of that womb, where God makes him again and imputes to him righteousness and covers him, that child has a problem. That's why that child needs a Savior. David said, "I had that problem in the womb." Persons are the only people that can have a sin nature. David said that happened as soon as the milk combined and curdled like cheese. How about _this_? In Matthew 1, God is talking to Joseph, and it says before they came together she was with child, while it was in the womb. God told Joseph, "Don't be afraid. Take her, for the child that is conceived…" While it's still in the womb. He was just finding out. It had just happened. Early on in the developing stages of the Messiah, that Messiah was there. So much so that when Mary in Luke, chapter 1, went down to see her cousin Elizabeth… John the Baptist, who was about six months ahead of Jesus, was in her womb. John the Baptist, filled with the Spirit, leapt because of the presence of the Messiah, who was no more than a zygote at that time. He recognized the presence of the Messiah while he was still in the early stages of development. Gang, let me just say this. It doesn't really matter what you call it. You can call it a _zygote_. That word _zygote_ is just Greek. It means to join. When the milk and the egg are joined together it's a zygote. It's called an _embryo_ after that. That's Latin for ingrowing. That's all it means. It's the youth of a species up till two months old. That's what we call an _embryo_. That little zygote is just the joining together of that which God said conceives and makes life take. That embryo is a part of the species. _Fetus_ just means offspring, unborn child. It's Latin for offspring. What happens after a fetus? Well, all of a sudden that life, that human inside that womb is outside. We call it _newborn_. Then we call it an _infant_. Then we call it a _toddler_. Then we call it a _child_. Then we call it an _adolescent_. Then we call it a _teenager_. Then we call it a _young adult_. Then we call it an _adult_. Then we call it _middle age_. Then we call it _old age_. Then we call it _elderly_. Then we call it _feeble_. All they are are different stages of humankind. I had a friend of mine who went to an abortion clinic, and they said, "If we do this now, we can get it before it looks like a child." She goes, "What do you mean it _looks_ like a child? Are you suggesting it _is_ a child?" The woman got silent. She goes, "Sweetie, we don't like to talk about what it is. Some people aren't even sure what it is." I love what she said. Let me ask you a question. If you're getting ready to tear down a building and you're there to detonate it because you want to do something else right there and you look up and somebody goes, "Hey, there may be a human life inside of there. We're not sure, but we think maybe there's human life inside that building," do you go, "You just think maybe? Well, then we're going to blow this puppy." Do you think that's what they'd do if it was a maybe? No, they'd stall that sucker right then. They'd sweep the building. They'd be absolutely certain there's no human life in there before they destroyed it. It isn't even a maybe. I'm going to show you science. It's not just Scripture makes it clear. Science knows that's a life, that as soon as it was taken, conceived, it was a life. She said, "What do you mean?" She goes, "Well, sweetie, that's why we just say it's a cluster of cells." She goes, "I don't care what you're saying. What is it?" She came to understand. She stopped that abortion. She went home and started looking at medical journals. She went to people in medical schools and said, "What _is_ that?" and they go, "We call it a zygote." "Well, what is _that_?" "We call it an embryo." "What is _that_?" "We call it a fetus." "What is a zygote? What is an embryo? What is a fetus?" They go, "It's the early form of human life." She goes, "Are you telling me that's human?" They go, "Well, it's different stages of development, but we don't really…" She goes, "That's a human." They go, "Yeah, but the reason…" She goes, "How could we be killing these?" "Because they don't look like a baby." She goes, "Well, you know what? A baby doesn't look like me. A baby doesn't look like a toddler. A toddler doesn't look like a teenager. A teenager doesn't look like a middle-aged human. So just in some arbitrary way we're starting to decide when we can kill it and when we can't kill it?" This is why what we're dealing with here is not a logic problem, this is not a science problem, this is not an information problem; this is a spiritual problem, and it's a spiritual solution that's going to take it on. Let me just summarize basically what Scripture says about life. Unborn babies are called _children_, the same word used of infants and young children. It's all about location. Same thing, though. Unborn are created by God, just as God created Adam and Eve. He creates some of us in the womb. He created two out. The life of the unborn is protected by the same punishment, injury or death, as that of an adult. It's interesting. In our society you can't kill a child in the womb through a drunken driving episode without being charged with murder, but if you want to go kill that child some other way it's legal. It's completely inconsistent. By the way, when Lady Di early on got pregnant or now when Kate gets pregnant, we don't go, "Oh, look at the royal bunch of cells." We go, "The royal child. Take great care of that child." We have all kinds of convictions of convenience. All this uproar about Ebola. Do you guys know this? There's a big panic around the world. Do you guys know how many people have died from Ebola this year in the world? When I first started prepping for this it was 4,500. I looked. We're up to 6,000 now. Do you know that 6,000 kids have been killed in America this weekend through abortion? Do you hear much to-do about that? I'm going to talk a little bit about all the hubbub being made right now about how black lives matter. I do believe black lives matter, but our problem is not in New York or in Ferguson. Our problem is _this_ issue right here. Do you know that 10,000 kids in Dallas County have died? Right here in good ol' Dallas. Almost twice the amount of kids who have died all around the world from Ebola have died because we play with words, and it should not be that way, my friends. It should not be that way at all. It's not just a blob of tissue or cluster of cells. That's a human life. Unborn children, the Scripture says, possess personal characteristics like sin and joy. We see that in the Bible. Just like us. Unborn are said to be known intimately and personally by God, as he would know any other person. He says, "You jack with that kid, you jack with me." How about science? Let me just do this very quickly with you on science, because there's a lot we could do on it, but bottom line about science… Let's just go to the professor of obstetrics at University of Pennsylvania. He said, "I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception." There's never been a doubt. Dr. Jerome Lejeune, who's a genetics professor at University of Descartes, who actually was the discoverer of the Down syndrome chromosome, essentially said, "This is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. Each individual has a very neat beginning, and it is at conception." Sounds like Job, chapter 10, doesn't it? How about _this_? Harvard University Medical School. Dr. Matthews-Roth said, "It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception." Let's go up to the Mayo Clinic. "By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception." Dr. Watson A. Bowes, University of Colorado Medical School: "The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter—the beginning is conception." I stop for the sake of time. This is not a Scripture problem. It's not fuzzy. This is not a science problem. My friends, this is a spiritual problem. One of the things we have to acknowledge is the way we go about this and talk about it… Sometimes we're arguing logically with people. It's not a logic problem. By the way, when I look out at all of the things that have been going on, I realize the reason I'm not doing all of the crazy things I've talked about, that I'm not ringing up great debt, that I'm not living a perverse sexual lifestyle, that I haven't left my family and left my wife, the reason I'm not murdering children through my desire to not be bothered by them or exposed because of my sexual indiscretion is not because I'm better than anybody else. It's because the grace of God has been working in my life and because by God's kindness he has taught me a better way, and I believe that he's good and that when I listen to him it will go well with me. He taught me that. First Corinthians, chapter 2, says if a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God it's because they're foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised. That's 1 Corinthians 2:14. In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 it says that the gospel is "veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving." I'm going to say something to you right here, and I really want you to know it's a fact. This is about Jesus. In the last two weeks we've talked a lot about the nature of God. A.W. Tozer is the one JP quoted when he said the most important thing about an individual is their perception of God. It's who they think God is. You tell me who somebody thinks God is, and I can tell you almost everything else about them. When you tell me that you think it's all right to abort a child, you're not telling me that you're pro-choice; you're telling me who you think God is. You think it's you. You think it's the wisdom of men. You think it's the laws of the Supreme Court of the United States. You don't think it's God, because God is not foggy on this issue. I wrote this down to myself as I was thinking about this. This is about Jesus. It's not a logic problem. It's not a science problem. This is a heart problem. We keep having spiritual conversations with people who are not spiritually appraised. That's why it's not getting any traction. We keep trying to explain to people who don't know the love of the Father. They may go to a place called _church_. They may know the story of what the Son has done. They may sing Christmas carols this season. They may own a Bible and not a Qur'an or they may own a Bible and not be an atheist, but they don't know the Father, they don't abide with the Son, they don't yield to the Spirit, or we would not need to be having this conversation. This is a spiritual problem. Gang, the truth is abortion is legal in our country. So is sex outside of marriage. It's legal. So is divorce. It's legal. Homosexuality is legal. Ingesting porn is legal. Amassing debt is legal. Ignoring the needs of others is legal. I have not had a part in an abortion, I have not left my wife, I am not ingesting porn, and I'm not running up debt, because there's a different law that guides my heart. I'm not better than anybody else, but grace has led me here. I don't want to look at other people with arrogance, and I don't want to yell at them and ask them why don't they know what they don't know. I _know_ why they don't know what they don't know. I'm going to tell you this again. This is a God problem in your life. If you have a marital problem, it's a spiritual problem. It's not a marital problem. If you have a debt problem, it's a spiritual problem. Money just happens to be the area that you're having it not go well with you. This country does not trust in God; it trusts in what's right to them, and it's costing us significantly. Let me tell you what it's costing us. This is the cost of five decades of abortion in America. Since 1973, there have been 160 million children born. There have been right at 60 million aborted. That means that what we have done is every three children you see, one of them who _should_ be there is not there. We have reduced our workforce. We have pinched future generations. We have denied ourselves Nobel scholars. We have denied ourselves leadership, and we have denied ourselves the blessing that God says children are, our future. This isn't just an American problem, by the way. While America has been aborting 60 million, since 1980, worldwide, 1.3 billion have been aborted. This is a population chart I found. Look at this. This on the far left is what the world population looked like based on the percent of people who are alive based on age. You'll see newborns made up the preponderance of people. It's a pyramid. It's just like you would expect. There are a lot of younger people, and as you get older you have fewer and fewer people. That's the way the world has always been. But based on what has been happening, look at where we are in 2015. That pyramid is starting to turn into a cone, and if we continue that way, you're going to get over here to 2060… In fact, let me just show you Japan today. This is what Japan looks like today. In 1970 it was a bit of a pyramid. There was a spike for some reason in the 20-24 age. In 2010 it's starting… If you'll look, 60 and above… That means there are more adult diapers being sold in Japan than there are newborn diapers. It will not go well with you as a land when you kill your future. Let me just explain something to you. Do you know if you combine the populations today of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming… If you took those 19 states and got rid of them, that's who we've killed since 1973. That won't go well with a land. That's reducing your population, your influence, your workforce. I mentioned during the entire economic issue we were looking at that one of the reasons our country is upside down is because of the social agreement we've made with previous generations and how the folks who set up the social security contracts didn't in any way foresee abortion becoming what it was in our country. The ratios of workers to individuals who were receiving benefits are all out of whack because of what we've done. It's gotten down to where if we don't do something, by the year 2025 fifty percent of our national budget is going to go just to retirement benefits, which means because of the reduced workforce, your tax base, if it's going to work (and it still won't work even with this)… It would have to take your FICA alone to 40 percent just to make it even approaching solvent. That's not federal tax. That's not for highways and police officers and armies. That's just to keep the FICA Ponzi scheme working. Why? Because you're reducing the workforce. Fourteen percent of our workforce has been wiped out by abortion. It will not go well with you. How about race? There's something called the _TFR_, the total fertility rate. It means that for a certain race to perpetuate, every married woman has to have about 2.11 children for that race to not be reduced. Starting in 1983, ten years after Roe v. Wade, the TFR for black women dipped under replacement, which means the black community in America is slowly being annihilated. If you look at the abortion statistic, that 60 million, about 11 percent have been wiped out by abortion that are white; 31 percent of blacks make up that number. Blacks make 13 percent of our national population and 31 percent of abortion. By the way, if you go back and look at the beginning of Planned Parenthood, their goal in the 1920s was to deal with the misfits, the miscreants, those who are not as intelligent and wise and smart as us who were causing crime. "Let's get rid of them." That's why you see right now 80 percent of all Planned Parenthoods are near poor and under-resourced communities. Do you know where else they are? Within five miles of college campuses. That's where they put them. Those are their clients. That's who they're hoping they can serve. I just have to say this. When you talk about what's going on out there in our society… In our Congressional Black Caucus, we've made a big deal out of Eric Garner and Michael Brown and those grand juries and their decisions. They came out with this idea that that one grand jury specifically in Ferguson… They came out and said, "This is more evidence that black lives don't matter." Specifically, one congressional leader said, "This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that black lives hold no value." I would agree with somebody who said, "I'm sorry; that rule has already been written, and that rule is called Roe v. Wade." It's codified into law that all unborn life has no value, and specifically, it has been a dangerous proposition for blacks. Thirteen percent of the population, 30 percent of the abortions. Their TFR, their fertility replacement rate has gone way down. How about _this_? Abortion doctors kill more black people in a week than the KKK has in a century. There are almost 2,000 black lives ended by abortion every single day in the United States, and overall, a black baby is more than five times as likely to be executed as a white baby. How about _this_? Abortion kills more black people than heart disease, cancer, strokes, accidents, diabetes, homicide, and respiratory illness combined. Throw in cop killings, and it's still not close. So you care about black lives? You'd better speak up on this issue. I'm going to tell you what this has done to our country. I could go on and on with example after example of things we're looking at, staring right down the throat, and we want to kick the can down the road. This, my friends, is time for us to speak up. I love what Mother Teresa said. "The greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion, which is war against the child. The mother doesn't learn to love but kills to solve her own problems. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use any violence to get what it wants." That's what it does. It uses violence to move that ball down the field so they can get what they want to get when they want to get it. I'll tell you what's really crazy. I know you think I'm nuts when I say this, but it's not going to stay in the womb for long. In fact, if you'll listen to a guy whose name is Peter Singer… He is a professor at Princeton. He wrote an article called "Killing Babies…" Not embryos, not zygotes, not fetuses. "Killing Babies Isn't Always Wrong." He says perhaps, like the ancient Greeks, we should have a ceremony a month after birth, at which time the infant is admitted to the community. Before that time, infants would not be recognized as having the same right as others. In other words, let's evaluate them. Let's see if they have Down syndrome. Let's see if they have a limp. Let's see if they have the color hair we want before we let them come in. I want to read this letter to you. "Dear Mom, gosh, can you believe it? It's 2023 already. It seems just yesterday I was sitting in first grade celebrating the century change. I know we haven't really chatted since Christmas. Sorry. Anyway, I've got some difficult news, and I really don't want to call and talk face-to-face. Ted got a promotion, and I should be up for a hefty raise myself this year if I keep putting in those crazy hours. You know how hard I work. And, yes, we're still struggling with the bills. Timmy has been okay at kindergarten, although he complains about going. But then he wasn't really that happy about day care when we took him there either, so what can I do? He's been a real problem, Mom. He's a good kid, but quite honestly, he's an unfair burden at this time in our lives. Ted and I have talked this through, and we've finally made our choice. Plenty of other families have made the same choice, and they're better off for it. Our pastor is supportive, and he says hard decisions are sometimes necessary. The family is a system, and the demands of one member shouldn't be allowed to ruin the whole. He told us to be prayerful and consider all the factors and do what is right to make the family work. He says that even though he probably wouldn't do it himself the decision is really ours. He was kind enough to refer us to a children's clinic nearby, so that's at least easy. We know where to go. I'm not an uncaring mother. I do feel sorry for the little guy. I mean, I think he overheard Ted and me talking about it the other night. I turned around and saw him standing at the bottom of the steps in his PJs with his little bear you gave him under his arm, and his eyes were sort of welling up. Mom, the way he looked at me just about broke my heart, but honestly, I believe this is better for Timmy too. It's not fair to force him to live in a family that can't give him the time and attention he deserves. Please, don't give me the kind of grief Grandma gave you over your abortions. It's the exact same thing, you know. We've told him he's just going in for a vaccination. They say it's painless. I guess it's just as well we haven't gotten him around you to see him that much. Love to Dad. Bye." Does that give you chills when you hear that? We're just talking about location, people. We're talking about first trimester, second trimester, several trimesters. This is not a logic problem. This is a holocaust. It's a mass destruction and genocide that we have funded and protected as a nation, and it has happened on our watch. I wrote this down. I don't often do it, but I wrote this down. As offensive as the practice of dehumanizing Africans was during the early part of our country through the slave industry (and it was offensive; it was ignorant, an offense to God and dehumanizing), this is worse. Anyone who looks back on the early history of our country and fancies themselves a good person who would have stood for right and advocated for the abolition of the slave trade and stood with their black brother and sister against the greed, social acceptance, and prejudice that was widely embraced in the civilized world even here in America… This is what's so crazy. I've talked about our Declaration of Independence and how we said, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are the right to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," for over 100 years. Unless you're black. Then you don't get those rights. We marched merrily along because we weren't black and it seemed to work out pretty well for us, just like we're marching along now because we're not in the womb so it's working out well for us. Anyone who thinks they would have been on the right side of that deep sin, that deep sadness, you have a chance to stand up today against an even more egregious mockery of human rights happening in even greater ways than that right before your eyes right now. I believe if you don't act strongly on this issue, if you don't talk about it, if you don't determine never to vote for or support a candidate who won't fight for the eradication of it, I'm just going to tell you guys right now… I'm going to come back to this at the very end, but I have no patience for that. You go and look. Our current president was 100 percent down the line voting for the legalization of the killing of children. Now he called it _pro-choice_. He said, "Hey, look. I'm not pro-abortion; I'm pro-choice. I wouldn't have an abortion myself, but who am I to tell somebody else not to do it?" What would you have done with Obama if he said, "Look, I'm pro-choice. I'm not pro-rape. I wouldn't rape myself, but I'm not going to tell somebody else they can't rape"? I would never want anybody to get raped, but if you told me right now my little girl had to get raped or dismembered, I'd be there to pick her up and hold her and restore her on the back side of that assault. Don't tell me it's pro-choice. Don't flatter yourself with words. You're not being magnanimous. Speak out boldly. If you don't do it, your children and future generations will and should look at you with profound disgust and bewilderment, just the same way you look at those folks who lived in the 1800s. "What were you doing? What were you doing furthering your sugarcane plantation? What were you doing because Mom couldn't have sex with you that you'd go out and pick that little 18-year-old girl and take her out back by the shack, treating her like property? What were you doing? You'd read your Bible and you would do that? You'd say you were part of a country that cared about nature's God and nature's law, and you said because you didn't call them human that they weren't protected under the Constitution? You knew they were human." In the same way or greater that you look at those who bought, traded, and abused verbally, physically, and sexually and treated as inhumane those with dark skin, they're going to look at you. It was not enough back then to simply not own a slave to be against slavery. You had to be an abolitionist. All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Silence in the midst of sin is sin. The old Latin statement that silence is tacit to consent is true. Silence is consent, and we have to speak up. We have to all start right here by repenting, going, "You know what? We've kind of surrendered this issue. We didn't want to mingle out there." I'm going to tell you how it has happened in our country. It has happened the same way it happened in Nazi Germany. Tonight, instead of the normal 5:30 service, I want you to come back. I'm going to show you a video. It's called _180_. You'll have a chance to sit here, and in 30 minutes you'll watch a simple presentation that makes people completely flip on this abortion issue when they start to think about it for the very first time. I want you to come. I want you to see that with me if you want to, and we'll enter into some more dialogue. But you ask yourself, "How do holocausts happen?" Here's how they happen. First, it starts with a loss of respect for God and, therefore, a loss of objective truth and reality. What happened in Nazi Germany was they embraced Nietzschean nihilism or, at the very least, agnosticism or atheistic humanism, which is basically this: when you eject God from the equation, you start to do what makes sense to man and what's right in human understanding, what makes sense to us. It becomes _utilitarian_, which is to say if something isn't valuable to our own understanding we eliminate it and disregard it. By the way, this is sometimes what some of these guys are saying about why these children don't have life: if it's not able to sustain itself it shouldn't be considered human. Well, that means that Peter Singer and that little letter we wrote… If you put a little kindergartner out on the streets, he's not going to sustain himself. He's going to die. It's certainly true of a 3- or a 2- or a 1-year-old. Well, what about those who are not really able to work? Maybe get rid of those. That's why, by the way, you see a spike in euthanasia. We're looking at what's happening. We're becoming top-heavy, so we have to get rid of the top. We have to start to say, "If you want to have a peaceable and dignified death, here's a solution for you," instead of showing value and dignity by the way we care for them and sacrifice for them. But it happens that way. It happens through a loss of respect for God, the embracing of humanism. That's what our country has done. Secondly, it happens by the redefinition of the terms and language. As a friend would say, rhetorical sleight of hand. Nazi Germany didn't just say, "Kill the Jew." It just started to say the "gypsy," the "handicapped." They talked about them in dehumanizing ways. They caricaturized them in cartoons. They said, "They're not protected by our constitution. They're not one of us." By the way, in Rwanda, it's the same thing that happened. The Hutus didn't just say, "Kill the Tutsi." They called them "cockroaches" on radio shows and through propaganda. The Tutsi are taller than the Hutu, so they said, "Chop down the trees." It's easier to step on a cockroach and chop down a tree than it is to kill a fellow human. By the way, that's what we've done through our laws. "Our Supreme Court in 1973 said the child in the womb is not a person, so I can feel okay about doing it. I couldn't kill a person. I couldn't kill Timmy who rubs out the ear on his teddy bear, but if I get it while it's just a blob of tissue and a collection of cells I can convince myself it's not my child. Maybe then I can do it." Even though those of you who have done it know better. Instead of coming right out and saying, "Let's kill the Jews," what the Nazis said was, "Let's institute the final solution," which was code for "Let's ship them to death camps and kill them all there." We make ourselves feel better by saying, "It's about freedom. It's about being pro-choice. It's about women's rights. It's a civil rights issue. We can't tell women they can't take care of their own bodies." By the way, a child is not a part of a woman's body. It's not an organ. It's not attached to the organism in a vital way. It's not a part of the organization of a woman. That's why a woman could survive very well before she had a baby, and she survives very well after the baby is gone. It's not a part of the woman's body. That woman is a host in the same way a mother hosts that same baby outside of the womb in her home. When it disrupts that mother's life on the back side and Susan Smith drives him into a lake or bloodies him up in some other way, we go, "You have to go to jail for that." It is completely logically and scientifically inconsistent. That's why this is not a logic or a science problem. This is a heart problem. This is a sin problem. Rhetoric is always employed to minimize the effect of extinguishing other people. It happened to the Jews. We do the same thing today. We call it a zygote, an embryo, a fetus, a cluster of cells. We delude ourselves that to be for abortion is to be magnanimous, to be libertarian, to be understanding, to be pro-choice, to empower others. Let me just tell you something. I am for a woman's right to live, especially if it's a little girl in the womb. Let her live. I'm pro-choice. Let that little girl decide if she wants to live. Folks say, "What about if she's born in a really tough environment?" Let's go to some really tough places, and you just say, "Hey, kids, this is a really tough place to live, isn't it? How many of you want to be dismembered? We'll take care of you right now." You're not going to get any volunteers. The third way it's just like Nazi Germany is it was done in darkness and in isolation away from the sensibilities of people. That's why when they first showed the film of what they found at Auschwitz and Treblinka and some of the other places where the holocaust, the final solution happened, people ran out of the courtroom. There was fainting. There was nausea. There was vomiting. It's also why Dwight Eisenhower, when the Allied forces had liberated Europe and the death camps, made citizens who were near those death camps who knew what was going on, who saw the smoke going up, who knew about the final solution… He made them walk through and see the horrors. Here's a picture of one German woman carrying her little Sunday "gone to church" shoes in her hand, covering her eyes, because having to look at it is really tough. Here's another group of people in another death camp looking at all of the different bodies that were right there. They're saying, "This happened on your watch, but because it was behind the wall…" Because it was protected by HIPAA laws and abortion providers, you didn't have to look at it. I'm not going to show you pictures, but they're every bit as vile, and they're 10 times as great in your generation and mine. Just because we don't see it doesn't mean we know it's not happening. It's happening. It's done in darkness and isolation, and we, my friends, had better deal with it. So what do we do? The first thing we need to do is get on our knees. We need to get on our knees and repent. We need to change the way we date. We need to change the way we think about kids and marriage. We need to change the way we've dealt with our past. We need to change our view of sex, of women, of pornography. We have to repent. We have to acknowledge that abortion is the fruit of our sin. That's really what's going on. Really, abortion is about our right to have sex when we want to have sex with who we want to have sex with however we want to have sex without any consequences to that sex. Let's just say I'm using birth control (people still get pregnant), I'm using a condom (people still get pregnant). Let's just say I don't want to mess with that stuff, because there _is_ a way to make sure I don't become a person who's responsible for a child. It is the most commonly used form of birth control I know of, and it isn't right. It's really what's going on. You look around. It's people who are saying, "I'll define marriage the way I want, because I get to sleep with who I want to sleep with." I want to go, "Hey, marriage was never about who you sleep with. It was about the propagation of society. It was about the benefit of children." You know what? When we say, "It's okay if you have two mommies. It's okay if you have two daddies. It's okay if you don't have a daddy at all…" No, it's not. We're tinkering with marriage because we want to have sex the way we want to have sex. We don't want to love each other the way God told us to love each other. It's the same reason we're killing them in the womb. We need to get on our knees, humble ourselves, pray and seek God's face, and turn from our wicked ways. We need to pray for our country. We need to understand it's a spiritual problem, not a logic problem. Secondly, we need to get busy loving others and sharing the gospel. Let me ask you guys a question. If every single person who is a member of this church shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with and the love of the Father, who is leaning out on the edge of the ranch wanting people to know about him, the grace available, the forgiveness available, that he's making a divine proposal for it to go well with them… If every single person that the thousands of people who make up Watermark responded to us this week, how many more people would see this issue the way we should see this issue? It's time to speak up. By the way, if you speak up… John the Baptist spoke up against evil Herod's laws, and it cost him his head. Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke up against Adolf Hitler's laws, and it cost him his life. It may cost you _your_ life. It probably won't, but speak up. That's really the next thing I would say: get in the game. I was with Kathy Ireland at a Council for Life deal a couple of years ago. Kathy Ireland has a very successful home decorating business. She was the one who came to be aware, "That's not just a bunch of cells; it's a child. What am I thinking?" Kathy Ireland, because she's an ex-_Sports Illustrated_ swimsuit model, is sought after. She's no ditz. She's very well spoken. She had an opportunity to go on _Politically Incorrect_ with Bill Maher. She said, "I don't want to go there if it's going to be just a bunch of babble, but if he wants to talk about something important, like the dignity of human life, I'll get on." Bill Maher goes, "Oh, bring it, swimsuit model. Let's go." She said all of a sudden, out of the woodwork, advisers came. They said, "Kathy, if you go on that show, even if you show yourself to be eloquent and winsome, it's going to kill your business." Do you know what she said? God bless her. She said, "It may kill my business, but if I do go on that show and I make sense, maybe one less mother will kill their child." We need more Kathy Irelands. Get in the game, because this is not about your popularity, your ease to get along with. You need to be winsome. When you speak, speak with gentleness and reverence. When you speak, may your speech be seasoned with salt, as it were, that it would give grace to those who hear. Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, and learning. My friend Carol Everett, who was responsible personally for 40,000 abortions… She was the largest abortion provider in Texas. Carol personally, seven times more than Hitler, killed people. Carol said the thing that won her is when somebody in a loving way sat down and said, "Carol, do you understand what you're doing? Can I show you what you're doing? Can I explain this to you?" They didn't judge her; they just loved her. She knew. She knew down to a science that she was running a business, and she knew what she had to do to make her business successful. She finally came to her senses and right now is one of the greatest advocates for life, because somebody got in the game with Carol and loved her. I'd say get serious with your vote. I want you to hear me on this really clearly. You cannot vote for any candidate who is not 100 percent locked down on this. You have to change the way you vote. You might go, "Todd, wait a minute. Someone is not a good candidate just because they're pro-life." I didn't say that. I said, though, they cannot be a good candidate _unless_ they're pro-life. There's a big difference. If somebody is committed to legalizing the execution of children, as a matter of conscience I cannot vote for them. I won't do it. That is a single issue that can disqualify somebody as a leader for me, that they're okay with the elimination of Jews, of gypsies, of homosexuals, or children. It's just not going to happen. You might say, "Well, Todd, but abortion is not the only issue. What about poverty? What about racial and gender equality?" Hey, when somebody says, "I'm going to kill this race or kill this gender or kill this class of people," I won't vote for them either. There _are_ certain things that matter in a certain way. You cannot vote for somebody who thinks it's okay to kill humans and call yourself a follower of God. You just can't do it. And you can't be a politician who says you love God and know God and love Jesus, abide with Jesus, and yield to his Spirit and think it's okay to kill children. You have to get forgiveness. If you're somebody who's here and you've made this decision, you need to come and find forgiveness for your sin the same way I've come and found forgiveness for _my_ sin. This is not about shame and guilt. This is not about judgment. You already know that what you did is wrong. I don't have to tell you. You know. Every night, every birthday, every Mother's Day, every Father's Day, you know. I am here to tell you his toes are on the edge, and he's saying, "Come here. I love you, son. I know how painful it is. I know that choice you made. Come here, come here. I know. Come here, cry. Find forgiveness." Someone asked my friend Carol, "How in the world do you sleep knowing that you killed 40,000 kids?" She looked them right back in the eye and said, "I believe if Jesus died for one sinner he died for them all, and I believe he died for me and I'm forgiven. What I did is wrong, and I have confessed it and I have grieved and I'm doing what I can to make amends. I'm dedicating my life to turn this thing around. I'm using the fortune I made from killing kids to save kids." But come. Standing up here with me are going to be some sisters who have been through our recovery ministry. It's called Someone Cares. They want to care for you. Just come here. If you don't want to come up here, just write in the Watermark News "Does someone care?" and write your name and your email, and one of those women will follow up with you. You might be a guy. You might be a forgotten father, because we make this all about the women. All you have to do is write, "I'm a forgotten father" and put your name down, and the group of guys who will be up here with me will meet with you. They'll sit down. They'll talk about the grace they have found. They'll talk about the way they've worked through their pain. Here's the last thing: give me your baby. Watermark is at 7540 LBJ, and if there's anybody who listens to this message anytime in the future and you're scared, you don't know what to do, you don't think you can raise that child well… First of all, we'll love you. We'll help you. We'll care for you through your pregnancy. If you want to place that child in a home, Watermark Community Church will take your child. We will raise the child. We'll put it in a Christian home. We'll disciple the child. If your child has special needs and you don't want your child, give us your child. Will you raise these children with me? Can we say to the world together, "Bring us your children. You don't need to abandon them. We will take your children"? I think you will. Let's go. And I mean that. Call us at 214-361-2275. Give us your baby. God bless those of you who had the courage to give that child up to adoption. God bless you who are working at pregnancy resource centers. God bless you guys at Online for Life and folks who have the Online for Life app and are praying every time somebody calls an abortion clinic around this city and around this country. Get in the game. Get serious with your vote. Get on your knees. Get busy sharing the gospel. Do you know what the most unplanned pregnancy in all of history was? It was Jesus. It brought a lot of social scorn, a lot of confusion, a lot of shame. It took a lot of faith to not get rid of that kid. So I'm thinking maybe you ought to think about keeping yours, because we're sure glad Mary did. Mary just said, "I am your bondservant. May it be to me as your word pleases." If you're scared, let us help you. We know, girls, that you don't get abortions the same way you get ice cream cones and Porsches. We know you get abortions for the same reason an animal chews its arm off when it's caught in a trap. We know you're scared. We're not mad at you. We love you. We want to help you. Will you come? Father, help us to be your people, to be kind, to be loving, to be winsome. Help us to get involved with foster parenting and adopting and supporting foster parents, and help us to take seriously this issue. Would you forgive us that we have been silent because we haven't seen the death that's been behind doors because we've played word games with ourselves, because we've ignored your Scripture, because we've blinded our eyes to science? We've let this march on in our generation, and we ask your forgiveness. We thank you that your forgiveness is gladly offered, and we want to offer it to others, and we want to get serious about loving people. We know it won't go well with people as long as abortion is part of their individual future or collective nation's future, so may we seek the welfare of the city in which we live. For your glory and our good we pray, amen.