Cartoon courtesy of Signe Wilkinson. Read more Signe Wilkinson

By now most of you will have heard that a doctor well known for performing late term abortions in some cases was murdered Sunday whilst ushering in his Lutheran Church in Kansas where he regularly attended.  Here is the link to the NY Times story.


My views on abortion are well known, and I certainly fall into the pro-life camp on this issue (though I think there need to be some case by case medical exceptions for abortions where the life of the mother truly is in grave danger, and perhaps in some cases of rape or incest however rare those circumstances may be). Indeed my view would be considered totally pro-life as I am opposed to abortion, capital punishment, and war, all of which are life and death issues.

I find many of my friends in the pro-life movement insufficiently pro-life because if the principle is that all life is sacred and a gift from God, and all human life is created in God’s image, then as Christians we have no business taking it away.  The fundamental theological and ethical basis to oppose abortion is not different from the fundamental theological and ethical basis for opposing war and capital punishment.  As the Bible says, matters of life and death, requiring an omniscient observer, and an always merciful and just and fair judge, should be left in the hands of God who alone meets the requirements for just judgments in such matters.  This is why even in the book of Revelation the not so subliminal message is that only Christ is worthy to unseal the seals, and judge those on the earth– ‘vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord….’ (cf. what Paul says in Romans 12 about Christians not taking revenge on others in any circumstances).

This brings me to the case in the newspapers today. Regardless of how pro-life you may be,  it is inherently contradictory to say “I’m pro-life and I am ever so glad someone killed that abortion doctor because he was a murderer of innocent infants and deserved to die.” To resort to murder is to violate one’s own pro-life principles, and I am glad that even Operation Rescue has totally repudiated this repulsive, sinful, heinous act.

I am reminded of a famous text in Mt. 18.21-22 where Peter thinks he is being exceedingly merciful to forgive seven times, but Jesus replies not seven times but seventy-seven times. What is often overlooked is that this is an echo of Genesis 4.24 where Lamech says he will take revenge 77 times.  In other words, Jesus is completely ruling out revenge taking and ruling in forgiveness and mercy ad infinitum.  This is why he also talks about loving one’s enemies, turning the other cheek etc.  and reminds that those who live by the sword die by the sword.

Think on these things.     

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