The big news with in the United States last month was the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe versus Wade, a landmark case that specifically talked about abortion. If you have not educated yourself about why this decision was made in 1973, please go read the details here so you are informed. The decision has sparked not only frustration and political arguments, but as a counselor, I have found that this can become a clinical issue too. More on that in a minute.
Before discussing thoughts as a Christian counselor, I think it is important to discuss the response. I’ve seen many personal comments by Christians and pastors, some of which I share below, but the one that started it off was from a Texas pastor who gave an interesting perspective:
To every Christian proudly claiming not to know anyone in their church who is anxious or afraid about Roe being overturned, I have news for you…— Zach W. Lambert (@ZachWLambert) June 30, 2022
You actually do. In fact, you probably know a lot of them.
They just don’t tell you because they know you’re not a safe person.
There were certainly others from non-Christian authors that condemned Christians for “taking a victory lap at the expense of people,” those we hope to witness to. I don’t want to encourage you to hide from being happy about being pro-life, but the souls of those wanting the abortion are as significant as the baby we hope to protect too.
I don’t have a public link for the full email sent out from Denver Seminary’s President Dr. Mark Young, but I love how he made what seems like an us versus them that the hateful words make it seem into something so much more:
We believe that human flourishing should be protected and nurtured at every stage of development, from the beginning to the end of life. And we believe that we must not reduce abortion to just a philosophical, legal, or political issue. We recognize that considering an abortion is a complex and multi-faceted decision with moral, medical, psychological, relational, and financial factors. We also acknowledge that the lack of adequate and affordable health care, adequate childcare options, and parental leave policies contributes to the dilemma that many face with an unplanned pregnancy. Our concern must be for all of those whose lives are affected by an abortion—baby and mother, as well as father, siblings, and extended family.Dr. Mark Young, July 5, 2022
Another man I admire is the president emeritus of Youth for Christ/USA who has the gift of story telling and you should check out his full post he shared online here:
“It wouldn’t be so bad if my Mom just smoked pot.”
A 12-year-old. A camper at our YFC middle school camp. A throwaway line to a cabin leader who had helped to get this boy to camp. A leader who had shopped for clothes and paid for a haircut so that this young man could feel comfortable entering into the camp experience.
It’s been three years since Mary and I participated in YFC Camp. Three long years. But years that have a new weight after being with 300+ middle schoolers.
While I was complaining about masks and shots, this young man was quarantined with addiction and promiscuity.
While I was arguing politics, this young man was living in an unimaginable hell.
While Christians were finding new ways to fracture, this boy was watching his life explode.Dan Wolgemuth, July 1, 2022
Finally, our church also made an immediate response to this that I find steadfast and yet important: (Again, read the full post here)
This decision will cause people on every side to rethink what abortion looks like in the future. But while this victory will echo throughout the pro-life world, the battle for life will continue. We believe this decision only provides the beginning of a new phase in the movement to protect all human life. As this decision with massive implications will be discussed, debated, and applied over the next few months, we do not believe this is a moment to back down. God continues to use all Christians, churches, and partnering ministries like Richland Pregnancy Services to fulfill our mission of offering the message of life to men and women. We will remain steadfast in our work to protect the most vulnerable among us, care for families in need, persuade our friends and neighbors to support life-giving ministries like RPS, and pray for the life-giving hope of Jesus Christ to overwhelm lives caught in the lie that death is the only option.Dave Vance, June 24, 2022
We believe in human life and that life begins at conception. Life is God-ordained, God-breathed, and something that He cherishes, therefore we should defend. But that is a simple statement and only a small component of what we want to advocate for. We will stand with the decision on abortion, but we will not support shaming and taunting when there is SO MUCH more Christians are not doing.
More Needs Done To Protect Victims
We know that domestic violence is rampant in America and the impact on an individual’s mental health is severe. Sexual assault statistics are under reported and even with that number, it feels unbelievable.
I’ve heard it said that almost all churches are in support of helping people. That may be true in philosophy, but not monetarily or with our time and energy. At best, I’d say of the churches I have been moderately interacted, less than 50% offer moderate support or more.
We can financially support victims, get education on current concerns and help advocate, and go to local shelters to help or even put boots on the ground to support men, women, and families directly. I’d love to see the numbers of what is actually being done, but I fear they would make the American church look bad and probably will never be released.
Teen Pregnancy and Single Moms
The latest statistics from the 2020 American Census shows nearly 19 million children, amounting to 25 percent of American children are living in single-parent families. That is nearly three times the 1960 figure of 9 percent. Unfortunately, Christians truly have a poor reputation for support of single moms and teens. We are seen as calling them sinners, spewing hate, and shutting the door on their needs. This is certainly a generalization, but one based in some truth.
What are we doing for helping those who cannot help themselves? I see Jesus in Scripture turning others away so that he can specifically help this population of hurting, lonely, sinful people that need Him. Are we doing the same?
Being About Jesus’ Work
The way I see Christianity is one of redemption and sanctification that leads to witness and service to the world. It’s one that starts with my salvation in Christ, but something that happened because of others investment in me. I don’t know where I would be without the evangelism and love of my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, and friends that lead me to know Jesus at age 16. It is also my job to do so for others in word and deed.
Unfortunately, I see too many people worried about themselves, their own rights and comforts, that we lose ourselves in it. In fact, our light of Jesus to shine to others becomes soiled and covered up or tinted with anger and greed.
As Christian Counselors
Our job as Christian counselors is to be in service to our clients who may struggle with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. It is our responsibility to guide, educate, advocate, and empower them in their recovery. This current climate is important for us to step in and address these worries, fears, and illness. I also hope you are deeply in prayer about the daily obstacles our clients face and that God may miraculously intervene for them.
In support of this, I want to end with this ideology that is in Scripture over and over.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.1 Corinthians 10:23-24 (NIV)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)