Friday, January 24, 2014

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday & Post-Abortive People

Part Three

5.) What do you want fellow congregants to know about post-abortive people in the pews with them?

I’d return to the statistics given on Wednesday for pastors.  1 in 6 people – in the pews, in your bible studies, in your small groups, in your youth groups, in your leadership -- have experienced an abortion in their past.  It’s likely that they’re hiding this, from you and from themselves.  And if you have your “suspicions” about who’s had one, let me assure you that you’re probably dead wrong.  It’s the folks you’d never guess.

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s how I’m identified in numerous circles.  Jen, the post-abortive speaker.  Jen, the post-abortive leader.  Jen, the post-abortive seminary student.  Jen, the post-abortive.  While the Officer and I have given our testimonies countless times and facilitated recovery groups and participated in numerous discussions in varied venues, there are still days when all I want to do is walk into a room of faithful people and just be Jen. 

Thus, when addressing the topic of abortion, keep in mind Colossians 1:21-22, 1 Corinthians 6:9-12, and Ephesians 2:1-3.  Remember that you were once “an enemy of God,” just like me and those who haven’t entered recovery yet.  So don’t bludgeon people with scripture; offer truth and grace, be loving and kind.  And if someone has shared the secret of their past abortion with you, let them decide on the when and where they share their story.  Every once in a while, just let them be themselves, instead of the token post-abortive person trotted out for an example of God’s goodness and grace.  And if someone shares their secret with you, for goodness sake, be loving and supportive and safe.  And do everything you can to help them find healing and recovery.  For the sake of Jesus.   

6.) What now?

I’ve discussed before what Christians can do about abortion, see “What Do We Do About Abortion?”, paying particular attention to numbers 5 and 6 for practical advice.  Mostly, we have to be truthful.  And we have to be loving.  We have to serve and support and befriend those who come to our churches with crisis pregnancies.  We have to make the church a safer place than Planned Parenthood to come with a crisis pregnancy.  We have to put our money and our hands where our mouths are: we have to champion adoption, single parents, and Crisis Pregnancy Centers.  We have to legislate with our feet: don’t give your vote to any candidate that supports abortion.  And we have to look for ways to be Jesus to those considering abortion, and to those who have already made that choice.  We have to be ministers of reconciliation, for the sake of Jesus Christ.        

If you are someone who has experienced and abortion in you past, please know that you are LOVED.  And you are not alone.  Please know that you can reach out -- there are so many genuine and loving people who want to help you through your pain.  The links below are to ministries that I am personally acquainted with and trust.  Or you can contact me.  I am willing to answer any questions, offer what help I can, and pray with you -- confidentially.  Because you, dearest one, are loved by the Maker of the Stars.  

Click the following link to see a video presentation of why abortion recovery is so important, for women, for men, for couples, and for church leaders.  Abortion Recovery

Surrendering the Secret (Nationally for women and couples)
Rachel's Vineyard (Nationally for women and men, Catholic)
ARIN (Nationally for women, men, and couples)
Me: Jen Baros, |or| @jenKbaros on twitter

To see where we've been in this mini-series on "Sanctity of Human Life Sunday & Post-Abortive People," go to questions 1 & 2 or questions 3 & 4 or closing remarks.  Thank you for joining us.  

1 comment:

  1. It's an unfortunate reality that with issues like: abortion, physical abuse, divorce, (I could go on...) Christians often find themselves seeking help outside of the church because the issues are not addressed, or help is not easily accessible within-- too often shame and judgement are handed out instead. I'm not proposing I know the answer, only that I'm sorry you were lost in it for so many years.

    It hit me anew in the message this week that not only did Christ wipe away all of our sin, but He put His record of righteousness on our name. I'm credited with living the life He lived before God. Your scarlet "A" as you referred-- a beautiful "J" as far as God's eye reaches. Every time you walk into a room.

    That said, it is still a part of who you are... and who you are is always someone that I will love too.