ABORTION: NOT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN
BY DR. RICHARD D. DOBBINS
Christians today; it may be the ultimate challenge for Christians seeking to love the sinner but hate the sin.
Chrissy Betourney had an abortion many years ago and since has accepted Christ. Sadly, she knows firsthand that, even though the baby has been aborted, the guilt and difficulties have not. Today, she leads a recovery group for women who have had abortions. “Fourteen years ago, between my freshman and sophomore years at college, I had a steady boyfriend and I was sexually active with him,” Chrissy explained. “I found myself pregnant, and at the time I didn’t really feel I had anyone I could speak with about it and I couldn’t admit it to my parents.”
The Personal Crisis for the Woman
Chrissy said she was in Houston, her boyfriend was in New York and so, “without any real consideration” she decided to get rid of what she thought of as “the evidence of my sin.” She quickly scheduled an appointment at an abortion clinic and was rushed through the procedure the next day–without any presentation of the “pros” and “cons” or any examination of options.
She said that at the time she felt a sense of relief at having it over–“I would have totally pushed it out of my mind if I could have, but my conscience wouldn’t allow that.”
So many young women experience the fear and loneliness Chrissy felt. They want to go to their parents, but they don’t want to hurt or embarrass them–or to face their parents’ judgment in many cases. At times, they may be able to go to the baby’s father, but in many instances he is angry and doesn’t want to accept the pregnancy.
A woman is in a terribly lonely position when she discovers that she is pregnant and does not want to be pregnant. Consider her options:
1. She can keep the baby, and in fact in two-thirds of the cases that is happening today.
2. She can put the baby up for adoption.
3: She can marry the father and they can raise the baby together.
As far as the Bible is concerned, those are the only options — [and many say these options are] not good or fair to mother and child. So, many women become easy prey for abortion clinics. Many times, unethical clinics do not let her know what her options are, they do not let her know what the procedure is, and they do not let her know what the post-abortion impact will be on her. They just want the business.
In reality, adopting the child out is the option that needs a lot more emphasis than it gets. There is a whole chain of Christian child placement agencies across America that are waiting to serve both the pregnant mother and the childless couple. I encourage any pregnant woman who does not want to keep her baby to seek out a Christian child placement agency.
Chrissy Betourney’s ongoing guilt from her abortion caused her to suffer greatly over the years. Through circumstances in a church service in answer to prayer, she began to find healing. After God
revealed to her the impact the abortion had in her life, she began trying to help other women who had been through the experience. “The most important thing was having a church that was willing to sponsor these types of workshops,” she said. One key teaching from Scripture that she says brought her healing and helps many is a deep understanding of the Atonement. “Our conscience can be cleansed when we come to Him.’ Knowing that Scripture and really understanding and applying it is one of the things that helped set me free,” Chrissy said.
We serve a redemptive God. He was right there with Chrissy and will be with every woman in post-abortion crisis who turns to Him. The Male Dilemma of Abortion
In Chrissy’s experience, her steady boyfriend at the time who fathered her baby had failed to take responsibility and help with the decision. Such behavior not only hurt her and him, it affects the way all women see men. It gets in the way of healthy marriages, strong families, and all healthy relationships.
Unfortunately, in the case of most women who find themselves in an unwanted pregnancy, that is usually the case–the men abandon them, abandon the child, and leave the whole situation with the woman. Following such an experience, many women are left with a permanent distrust of men and are reluctant to enter into any marriage relationship later.
A man in this situation has a clear choice: He can be responsible and step forward and support the woman he has put in this position. He can marry and provide a home and support for his wife and child. He can be responsible for his actions. Unfortunately, most men are not going to do that. And in making that decision they not only damage the woman’s trust, they desensitize themselves to the value of life.
Fortunately, there is a growing number of men who make the right choices and take responsibility–men who want their babies. It means turning to the Lord and trusting Him for strength to do the right thing.
Forgiveness After Abortion
Chrissy Betourney discovered the wonderful freedom that comes with forgiveness of sin, even sin as difficult as the trauma of abortion. One of the things Satan tries to do in the Christian’s life
is to build strongholds in the secrets of our lives. He reinforces those strongholds with silence. Chrissy discovered how to break through the silence by sharing her experiences and helping other women struggling with guilt and bondage over abortion.
Following the trauma of abortion, Chrissy married a man she met in college. They are happily married, with three children. She was “in denial” about the abortion when her first two children were born, she said, and did not think consciously about the experience during those pregnancies. By the time her third child was coming along, “it was very special to me and it really did give me moments to pause and think about what had happened,” she said.
Part of Chrissy’s crisis was telling her then-future husband about the abortion. “I was pretty up front about it,” she said. He ”was very gracious about it, accepted it and didn’t judge me on it.”
She said he is a great “prayer warrior” behind the scenes and very supportive of her ministry to other women who have gone through abortion.
There is a point at which a woman needs to break out of the silence and risk trusting someone. She should go to the father of the child and let him know her situation. She should find one or two people she can trust for their prayers and their help. By breaking through the silence, she breaks Satan’s stronghold on her life.
God loves us and is very pleased when we are honest about sin. He forgives and restores us as we confess.
The evil of abortion flourishes in our world because we have put God out of our knowledge. The Jewish and Christian people have always placed a high value on life. But in the pagan world, human life is never given that sacred dimension and eternal value.
Even the devil has a way of making the church focus more on the soul and the spirit than the body. Paul says in Scripture, “I beseech you . . . that you present your bodies a living sacrifice,” and he
prays, “My earnest expectation and hope . . . [is that] Christ will be magnified in my body.” Salvation is about a body, not just a soul. If the body were not sacred, why will it be raised from the dead?
We can never do anything more miraculous or wonderful than when we bring a human being into this world–we present God with a body in whom He can express himself! Children are a heritage of the Lord.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY GUIDELINES FOR GOOD LIVING, A PUBLICATION OF THE MEDIA MINISTRIES OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, VOL. III, NO. 39. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.