Monday, July 29, 2013

how loud are we singing? a plea to the church

Have you seen this video? It's called How Do You Kill 11 Million People? (It's based on a book by the same title). Obviously it's about Hitler and specifically about how he rose to power in Germany. And it's a warning to other nations about not being complacent, but being vigilant and standing up for something. And in so doing, standing up against evil.

There's one part of the video, about 2:00 minutes in, where I began to cry. A few people are telling the story about how the trains carrying Jews to the concentration camps would pass through their village. Over time, the people in this village began to realize exactly what was going on. They knew that when they heard the whistle of the train coming, it would be carrying hundreds of men, women and children, on their way to death. Here is one man's description:

Week after week that train whistle would blow. We would dread to hear the sound of those old wheels because we knew that the Jews would begin to cry out to us as they passed our church. It was so terribly disturbing! We could do nothing to help these poor miserable people, yet their screams tormented us. We knew exactly at what time that whistle would blow, and we decided the only way to keep from being so disturbed by the cries was to start singing our hymns.

By the time that train came rumbling past the church yard, we were singing at the top of our voices. If some of the screams reached our ears, we'd just sing a little louder until we could hear them no more. Years have passed and no one talks about it much anymore, but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. I can still hear them crying out for help. God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene.

Where do I even begin? I have read a lot about the Holocaust, both fiction and non-fiction, but no story that I've read cut as deeply as this one. Maybe because it hits close to home? Maybe because it's about the Christians of the time? Maybe because it makes me examine how exactly I would have reacted in that same situation?

Maybe because it forces me to examine what my fellow Christians and I are doing about a present-day holocaust?

Probably all of the above. But definitely that last one. If this story teaches us anything, it's that man is depraved. It reveals the true human condition. We care about other people, but how much do we really care? How far are we really willing to go to help someone in need? To stop someone from impending death.

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. Proverbs 24:11

When I say present-day holocaust, I am specifically referring to the thousands of tiny human beings, boys and girls, who are slaughtered in their mothers' wombs every single day in this nation. What are we, as the church, doing to intervene? Or are we simply trying to ignore the reality of what is going on? How hard are we trying to ignore the screams of the 3000 children who are murdered every single day? How loud are we singing?

Brother or sister in Christ, please consider:
  • When was the last time you prayed outside of an abortion clinic?
  • When was the last time you stopped a woman on her way in to have an abortion and counseled her about her options?
  • When was the last time you donated your money or time to a local Crisis Pregnancy Center so that they could reach abortion-minded women?
  • Or a maternity home that puts a roof over the heads of teenage girls in high risk situations, who would choose abortion without the support offered to them?
  • When was the last time you called your state or US representative or senator and asked them to vote in support of life?
  • When was the last time your pastor preached, from the pulpit, about abortion and the horrific toll it takes on children, their mothers and their fathers?
  • When was the last time you had a simple conversation with someone about what an abortion actually is, and what happens to the baby?
  • When was the last time you prayed to God and begged Him to change the hearts and minds and culture of this nation?
  • When was the last time you asked for Him to end the horror?
It all has to begin with prayer, no doubt about that. This is foremost a spiritual battle and will only be won by the might and power and glory of God. But there comes a time when action needs to be taken by those who have been praying.

First we pray, and then we work.

Notice that the verse from Proverbs I quoted above is a call to action? Notice what the man from the video said, "God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene."? He could have tried to justify their actions (or inaction) by saying, "We were in church! We were praying to God! We were singing praises to God! There was nothing more for us to do given the situation." But the man acknowledges that even given the situation, given that those people in the village, had they attempted to do something, would have been risking their very lives, they should have done something anyway. He asks forgiveness for doing nothing, which shows how guilty he feels for his inaction. It shows that deep down he knows that his complacency, his passivity, was a sin. And that holds true for us today as well.

Doing nothing, when you know the truth, is sin. 

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:17

We are in the midst of a holocaust. Since 1973, when abortion was legalized in the US, over 55 million children have been slaughtered. Do we want to look back and have to ask God's forgiveness for our complacency, for our outright disobedience, for our choice to not intervene?

I submit that we don't. Instead, we want to be the generation of the church that stands up and says, "No more! Not in our villages. Not in our cities. Not in our states. Not in our nation. In this place, we stand for something and that something is life."

May God grant us the courage and the voice to speak out against evil and to act against injustice. And may He end abortion in this land, here and now. May we not be the church that hides in our churches and sings loudly so that we can ignore injustice. May we be the church who steps outside and lends a hand to those in need and stands up for life. Soli Deo Gloria.

baby in womb [source]

The screams of the unborn during an abortion are a real thing. Just because we can't hear them, doesn't mean they aren't screaming. If you have never witnessed an abortion, if you are brave enough, you can view an 11 week abortion here, called The Silent Scream. While it is not for the faint of heart, I know that there are some of us who will continue to deny the truth until we see it with our own eyes.