This past weekend I had the opportunity to descend upon the state of Texas in order to join hands with numerous other faithful Christians in calling the magistrates of that state to do one simple thing: Ignore Roe. We gathered in order to promote HB948, AKA ‘the Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act.’ But there was so much involved in doing so that it calls for some thoughts on the entire event.
I have been to my share of popular (and not-so-popular) Christian conferences (i.e. Resurgence Conference, T4G, etc.). While I am thankful for the priceless teaching and fellowship that goes on at these events, one can only sit and listen to a certain number of teachings throughout the week. I found myself, in the middle of last year’s T4G conference, mentally exhausted, and wanting to get up and go do something. With that said, nothing really compares to what goes on at events like AATX. Yes, we listen to hour long messages. Yes, we sing songs. But there is also time for evangelism, hands on implementation of biblical truths, and, in the midst of this work, the sweetest of fellowship.
Friday, abolitionists seeded the city, drop carding airports, gas stations, high schools, coffee shops, and any other public spaces where the ideology is needed. They loved their neighbors, in word and in deed. That evening, we gathered in the Capitol to hear some talks and to fellowship. Among these, we learned how the Gospel necessitates abolition. How Courts don’t make laws. And how Republican Justices and Presidents do nothing but regulate child sacrifice. In short: Christ the King was the first abolitionists, abolishing sin and death. We must obey God rather than men. And magistrates need to ignore Roe.
On Saturday morning we all met at the local killing center just two miles from the Capitol building. 200 or so abolitionists interposed on behalf of their preborn neighbors, calling out to mothers and fathers, offering practical help and the hope of the Gospel. 50 or so men, women, and children lined the grass parallel to the interstate just outside the mill. They held signs reading “Ignore Roe,” “Abolish Abortion Texas,” “Courts Don’t Make Laws,” and “Abortion is Murder” among others.
From there we marched. Over 200 voices, marching on the Capitol of Texas with a message: “Equal protection. Equal justice. We the people, demand abolition!” We sang, we prayed, we engaged passerby’s. We received middle fingers, angry responses, and scoffing remarks. Downtown, the organizer of our mission was engaged by a police officer who remarked that this was the most respectful and polite protest and march that he had ever seen in his 17 years of police work. Note: this is what obeying Romans 13 is supposed to look like.
At the rally that afternoon, stories were shared and tears were shed. One abolitionist shared the story of how she had murdered (yes, that is the word she used) her own baby. But she did not stop there. She shared with a crowd of roughly a thousand how, though a murderer, she has taken hold of Christ’s righteousness by faith alone. Calling abortion what is, she said, was the only way to realize the amazing gift of God’s grace to murderers.
I could go on with story, after story, after story. But I have shared enough. Here are some short thoughts.
First, how is it that this police officer, in 17 years of police work, has not experienced anyone as polite and respectful as we were? Is it because only raging angry liberals take to the streets and complain about what they see as injustices? Is it because Christians never take to the streets to respectfully remonstrance the evils in their governments and cultures? Why is this a veteran police officer’s first engagement with bold yet respectful Christ followers who are demanding justice for their neighbors?
Second, and on a positive note, I experienced more charity, love, and compassion at this conference than anywhere in my life. Yes the rumors are out there: abolitionists are, apparently, cold-hearted, mean, church-hating, heretics whose only goal is to tick people off. But here are the facts. Conversations were had this weekend. We disagreed with one another on some important issues. We confronted one another’s sins. We were placed in awkward, painful, uncomfortable situations. But we did all of these things with charity, looking for ways to be faithful to God. We worked it out. We sought truth. And we stood on the firm foundations of the Incarnation and Image of God. All with the greatest desire to see God glorified and our neighbors loved – particularly by abolishing abortion in the state of Texas.
Lastly, and this is related to the last note, there were many participants that I met who came still skeptical about ‘the AHA.’ But you know what? They came. They expressed their concerns. They asked their questions. And, as far as I know, they walked away more than satisfied. Why? Because we stood beside one another. We loved our neighbors together. We talked face to face. We destroyed misinformation. And we apologized for any wrongdoings on our side of the court. I saw a man who had, at one time, felt confused about the abolitionist movement. There he was, marching through the streets of Austin lifting high the ‘AHA’ symbol. But not because it was some cool symbol. Not because it he had taken a sip of the ‘kool-aid.’ But because that sign stood for two things: the incarnation of the Son of God, and the image of God in preborn human beings. That man was me. And there were more like me there.
So in conclusion, I want to paraphrase Joel McDurmon, who made this profound observation in his message: “Abolitionists are putting into action the principles that Christian Reconstructionists were writing about thirty years ago.” I’m not quoting him to toot our own horn, but merely to give thanks to God. He is using everyday authors, teachers, laymen, pastors, lawyers, and businessmen, all to establish justice and mercy in the earth – to the glory of his name.