October 24th, 2008
by Lou Engle
To The Black Church in America:
Since 1776 this great country has been a beacon of light to the rest of humanity in demonstrating the divinely allocated value of each and every human individual. Though America has struggled to ensure freedom for every people, her enduring attitude “liberty for all” has prevailed at least in measure to every race, gender, and creed. Our country was securely built on foundational truths that, though at times have been wanting in application, have remained our countries basic societal and moral cornerstones. Thomas Jefferson articulated these basic values in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is this credo that has driven this nation to the heights of glory and power it currently resides in. The Constitution that governs this nation was founded on the belief that no man’s freedom can come at the cost of another and all men deserve to live free of repressive edicts, fear of death, and tyrannical oppression.
With this freedom in mind, forty-five years ago on August 28 a great prophet Martin Luther King trumpeted the sound of “I HAVE A DREAM” in front of thousands gathered at the mall in Washington D.C. It was from King’s resounding voice that hope was re-kindled in the hearts of a people who for years had been bound by oppressive chains of racial segregation and bigotry. They stood on that day in the shadow of the great memorial of President Lincoln in which is engraved the words of the Gettysburg Address: “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” This dream spoke of by King was a dream carved out of the bloody backs and sweaty brow of slave ancestors; it was a dream re-birthed out of the thousands of dead soldiers bodies that littered the killing fields of Antietam, Gettysburg, Manassas; and it was a dream forged from the sweltering heat of poverty, segregation, and racism.
Abraham Lincoln, a man well versed in the scriptures, most certainly drew his inspiration from Numbers 35:33, “So you shall not pollute the land where you are, for blood defiles the land and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it except by the blood of him who shed it” as well as Genesis 9:5-6 “ Surely for your life blood I will demand a reckoning… Whoever sheds mans blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God he made man.” Lincoln came to understand that the Civil War was God’s divine discipline upon a people and a nation who refused to live according to God’s laws. Lincoln was aware that the Civil War was a day of reckoning for the horrific injustice of slavery and the shedding of innocent blood done in the name of economic gain and racial oppression. If what Lincoln came to conclude was true and if 600,000 men died on the battlefields of the Civil War for the blood of slavery, what will it mean if God brings a day of reckoning for the shed blood of conservatively 48 million aborted babies since Roe v. Wade 1973?
The dark shadow of abortion stretches itself across the moral fabric of our nation. Since the landmark case Roe v. Wade in 1973, yearly the blood of up to 1.3 million babies has been spilled upon American soil. Undermining the basic foundational moral and societal cornerstones laid in both scripture and by our founding fathers, abortion strikes against the very life of our nation. A living, moving, feeling, and breathing child being abducted from the womb is not a “side-line” socio-political issue. We are talking about the murder of a child- a child who is just as “human” as the African American slave one hundred and fifty years ago working the cotton fields.
John Noonan, Professor of Law at the University of California says it this way, “Once or twice in a century an issue arises…So far reaching in its consequences and so deep in its foundations that it calls every person to take a stand.” In past times the forced removal of Native American Tribes from their homes was such an issue but very few took their stand. Slavery was such an issue, and the civil rights movement carried this kind of moral gravity. Undoubtedly there were many issues during the days prior to the Civil War that pressed upon the nation but God was bringing one issue to a divine apex. Based on whatever side you took in that day history now stands in judgment of you. And so it will be another forty years from now. History will stand in judgment of a nation that appallingly aborted its own children and assigned millions of her women to live lives plagued with shame, regret and devastated relationships.
This is not the end: the ready access to abortion now is fueling the worldwide proliferation of human sex trafficking in which women are kidnapped and forced to have sex with men 10-20 times a night. When these women become pregnant, they are then compelled to abort their children in order to remain economically useful. How is this for fruit of the feminist cause célèbre? We have ended up enslaving our own daughters! We are unleashing a sexual insanity into the earth in epic proportions and abortion is the atomic bomb that has cleared the way for the gradual destruction of our nation’s moral values. This is not just a social issue; this is the shedding of innocent blood. Blood affects the spiritual realm and fuels the demonization of a whole culture.
In the scriptures the shedding on innocent blood is the ultimate crime, a crime that God would not pardon. 2 Kings 24:4 records that God removed Judah out of his sight because of the sin of Manasseh, “because of the innocent blood that he had shed, for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the Lord would not pardon.” Brothers and sisters, a great turn has been taking place in America on the ideology of Abortion. Movies are shouting adoption is a better answer than abortion. The movie Horton Hears A Who prophesies to millions that, “a person’s a person no matter how small.” Judges have been appointed in the US Supreme Court and the lower courts that are now ruling against partial birth abortion and agreeing that a child in the womb is a unique human life. Today we live in the shadow of possibly the most defining election in American history, and lamentably as I write this, millions of believers of Jesus are being courted by a mans charisma rather than his voting record. Senator Obama stated publicly, “35 years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade its never been more important to protect a women’s right to choose…Through my career, I have been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice and have consistently had 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL pro-choice America.” We have come to an Elijah v. Jezebel showdown in which America will choose LIFE or DEATH. And the church, called to be the prophetic conscience of a nation, melts away like snow in the summer heat awash in moral relativism.
As in the days of slavery and in the days of segregation, it was the moral blindness and silence of the church, even her involvement in the national sin, that caused generations after to wonder, how could a nation built on such godly foundations drift so far? The moral confusion within the church today over the issue of abortion is strangely reminiscent of a mindset that existed within the church in the midst of segregation and slavery. I believe as the church we have come to a defining moment in American history. In our repentance we may prayerfully see an end to the decrees of death legalized in Roe v. Wade and a new movement of adoption and compassion spring forth from the church of America. Likewise, if we fail to respond to the crisis of bloodshed within our nation and continue to waiver between two opinions, we may very well go through the fires of an ordeal that will shake this nation to its knees.
I believe that this election will literally be the churches’ choice between life and death and that it all comes down to this one singular issue. We can no longer “reason the issue away” as if it was just progressive maternal healthcare. 2008 is not entirely unlike 1858, the year that the Supreme Court of America ruled in Dred Scott v. Sanford that the slave was not a person but was property. Three years later, in 1861, the Civil War was unleashed and men went into battle singing, “Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory Of The Coming Of The Lord, He is Trampling Out The Vintage Where The Grapes of Wrath are Stored, He Has Loosed The Fateful Lightning Of His Terrible Swift Sword, His Truth Is Marching On.” Though they may not have known it, they were prophesying the judgments of the Lord against the bloodshed of slavery. God is not mocked, what you sow you will reap America. For 150 years after Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade now flies its bloody banner over America and it has yet to see what the reckoning looks like.
A group of young people who have been standing for four years in front of the Supreme Court pleading the cause of the unborn with LIFE tape over there mouths were given a dream. In the dream, they were going from court room to court room to court room which then lead to a long hallway and entered into a large court room and there God was preparing to bring His own court case against Roe v. Wade and in the dream the name of that court was Appomattox Court House. Appomattox is where God finished His court case against Dred Scott. Because Americas courts did not deal with slavery in its own halls of justice God took it to the Appomattox Court House where General Lee of the South surrendered to General Grant of the North. This was after 600,000 men’s blood was poured out on the battlefield of the Civil War as the full payment for the blood shed of slavery. Brothers and sisters, what will Appomattox Court House look like if America doesn’t deal with Roe v. Wade in her own courts.
Part 2 below.