Letter to the Editor
April 7, 2022
Evangelicals are going to have a lot of explaining to do when we meet the Heavenly Father. We have gotten so entangled in the anti-abortion movement, and subsequently in the Republican Party, that we have lost our first love.
Since around 1974, when the anti-abortion movement started in full swing, evangelical church membership and baptisms have dropped year after year. It seems that, in our zeal to reverse the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, we have lost sight of the first commandment of our Lord, to preach the good news to all the nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Apparently, we are unable to save babies and win souls at the same time.
At least we haven’t found a way to both save an unborn child and save a soul. Now, you don’t have to endorse abortion to see that we’ve lost our focus when we started making the anti-abortion cause a numbers game — if we can just elect enough pro-life legislators, if we can just elect enough pro-life congressmen, if we can just elect a pro-life president, if we can just get a pro-life majority on the Supreme Court, we can end the travesty of abortion.
My conservative evangelical upbringing taught me the Christian way is not the way of the world. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord,” according to Isaiah 55:8. And we have literally sold our soul to the devil to abolish abortion.
In The Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis has the senior devil, Screwtape, giving the junior devil, Wormwood, advice about how to distract the Christian he is trying to woo into damnation. Screwtape tells Wormwood if he can get the Christian to latch onto and concentrate on one aspect of the Christian life that is worthy in itself, but to neglect all of the other duties of a Christian, he will have succeeded in weakening the effectiveness of the Christian’s life and witness.
We evangelicals have fallen into that very trap. We have secularized our faith and have become the religious arm of the Republican Party. Politicians are very cagey; all a candidate, who would be unappealing otherwise and probably not a wise legislator or executive, has to do is say, “I am pro-life,” and he or she will garner the votes of evangelicals. Much bad legislation and executive actions have taken place because of this failure of evangelicals.
God help us. We have much to explain.
David Hopper, Norman, Okla.