As we talked about it, one of the circulating things we kept coming back to was how difficult it is to make a difference to the ethical problems in the western world, especially where money drives the agenda. I have a problem with animal cruelty; but I don’t have a problem eating meat that (may or may not) have come from a slaughter house with less than ideal (read: appalling) conditions for animals. And I’m not motivated enough to think anything can change, so I just keep on pretending it’s not all that bad. It is all that bad. And I’m part of the problem. And even now, I’m likely not going to do anything about it. I’m a typing contradiction. And that’s called sin.
But I can say that at least the slightly less sinful aspect of my apathy here is because I do believe there are greater problems than animal cruelty. And I believe such a thing because of other things that I believe about what God believes about people. Humanity spends enough time feeling proud of itself that it’s hardly necessary to emphasise our ‘specialness’. But even at his most atrociously arrogant, the human race will never – ever – feel prouder of itself than God did at the moment he formed it out of the dust and breathed life into its nostrils (Gen. 2:7). The greatest problem with animal slaughter is what it does to us, to human beings who get kicks out of expressing their repressed violence on the helpless and vulnerable – human or otherwise. And although God cares for all his creation, the redemption of one single animal torturer means infinitely more to God than the salvation of any number of animals. The Gospel is good news for all of creation, but especially – and in an incomparably particular way – for human beings.
And so, it wasn’t long in our heated discussion before we started talking about abortion. Abortion. The apparently God-forsaken word of inestimable complications and inestimable controversy. I don’t like making things of social issues. I am wildly inconsistent and unideal with them. A typing contradiction. But by any standard of humanity – let alone theology – abortion is simply disgusting. It simply is. This is not to say it is ‘simple’ in its entirety (it isn’t), but to say that its disgustingness is simple. We ought to know this to be the case, but we don’t. We think its disgustingness is complex and debatable. And that’s called sin.
Fifty-one million little complexities.
Signed, sealed, undelivered.
There is undoubtedly an effective silencing of those who disagree with abortion for fear of being categorised as a certain kind of person, or saying something stupid. People like me. And for too long people like me have not said anything whatsoever. Please pray for people like me – sinners – as we seek to start saying things about it.