One of the most pernicious things the advocates of various deviancies and social pathologies are fond of doing in finding morally corrupt alleged “clergy” and getting them to endorse whatever perversion is in vogue. We’ve seen the homosexual marriage fascists to this with tortured explanations of how the Old Testament ban on sodomy doesn’t really mean sodomy but rather being rude to strangers. Keep in mind, if you believe this you have to believe that you have suddenly discovered a truth that was hidden to Jews of Palestine before the Christian era.
Now Planned Parenthood has weighed in, seeking to make abortion not a grievous moral wrong but rather something that is no big deal in the eyes of the Almighty:
This is bonkers on a couple of letters. There is a saying in theological exegesis, “text without context is a pretext.” Murder really isn’t mentioned in the Gospels, other than perhaps approvingly. Take, for instance, the Parable of the Talents found in Luke 19. How does it end:
But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.
Is Scripture sanctioning murder? Or is it even ambivalent on the subject? No. Because Scripture operates within the cultural context of the time in which it was developed. Murder was against the Decalogue. Homosexuality was proscribed. Scripture doesn’t need to speak to those issues because they were givens.
Secondly, and even more significantly, we need to read the whole Bible with reference to the approach of Jesus. To be a Christian is to be a Jesus-person: one whose life is based on his priorities, not on the priorities of subsequent theologians. And when we look at Jesus, we notice that he welcomed everyone who came to him, including those people that the (one-God worshipping) religious leaders rejected – and that Jesus said absolutely nothing about idols in any of the four Gospels. Conservative theologians, many of whom are friends of mine, often miss this point in the cut-and-thrust of debate, but for those who love Jesus, it should be at the very heart of the discussion.
Jesus had no problem with idolatry.
He included everyone, however many gods they worshipped.
If we want to be like him, then we should adopt the same inclusive approach.
Even more brilliant is an essay by Lutheran pastor Peter Speckard:
Now imagine all those problems solved with one simple innovation. The answer: temple prostitution.
I know, I know. Outrageous and offensive. I can hear readers already dismissing the idea out of hand. And I admit that we may not be ready for it quite yet. But please hear me out on this.
First off, let’s address the common objections. Sure, there are a handful of Bible verses that might seem to condemn the practice. But all the condemnation of temple prostitution involves pagan practices or worship of false gods. The objectionable thing is the idolatry, not the physical act itself. Sanctified, faithful prostitution in service of the true God is a new thing. The Biblical writers never foresaw or contemplated sanctified, faithful, God-pleasing prostitution in the churches and thus never wrote about it. Attempts to find a Biblical injunction against the practice therefore fall short.
Secondly, let’s not cherry-pick verses selectively. We don’t stone disobedient children to death. We don’t refrain from pork or sodomy merely because this or that verse says we should. We have to look at the whole Biblical witness in light of the freedom we have in Christ. For example, God ordered Hosea to marry a prostitute. Such Biblical precedent offers interpretive nuance to seemingly black-and-white prohibitions.
Thirdly, Jesus himself seemed to have a soft spot for prostitutes. Many reputable scholars today think he may have been married to one. And Jesus showed radical inclusivity, breaking taboos by hanging out with prostitutes. So he would want us to celebrate and affirm their prostitution and give them a venue for making it their true vocation, a way of serving God by serving man—selflessly and with their whole being.
Fourthly, some primarily Lutheran nations in Scandinavia have already legalized prostitution. Left-hand kingdom legalities need not stand in the way of the general idea of sanctified, faithful, God-pleasing, church-sponsored prostitution.
Both of these essays follow the same train of logic in the Planned Parenthood “pastoral letter,” or, more accurately, sales pitch. What it does is take the mercy God has bestowed upon repentant sinners and twisted it to justify a medically unnecessary and morally corrupt act. If you reach back into the mists of time to the Didache, or the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, a pastoral work composed, most proabably, in late first century AD, you find this admonition:
Chapter 2. The Second Commandment: Grave Sin Forbidden. And the second commandment of the Teaching; You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born. You shall not covet the things of your neighbor, you shall not swear, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not speak evil, you shall bear no grudge. You shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued, for to be double-tongued is a snare of death. Your speech shall not be false, nor empty, but fulfilled by deed. You shall not be covetous, nor rapacious, nor a hypocrite, nor evil disposed, nor haughty. You shall not take evil counsel against your neighbor. You shall not hate any man; but some you shall reprove, and concerning some you shall pray, and some you shall love more than your own life.
While Scripture does not mention abortion, per se, the divine interest the unborn is frequently mentioned. For instance, Psalm 139:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Project Rachel, an organization dedicated to helping women heal from the trauma of abortion, has hundreds of stories of how having an abortion caused women to feel worthless and totally separated from God. It carries life long emotional consequences and quite possibly life long debilitating health consequences as well.
Using the name of God is convince vulnerable women to kill their babies is simply an unconscionable act. Fortunately, it is an act that will not, in the fullness of time, escape notice by the appropriate Authority.