Compassion – that is what I walked away with after seeing October Baby tonight with my wife. Compassion for whom or for what, you might ask? The answer may surprise you, but I don’t think it should. More on that in a minute.
I am aware of the criticisms about October Baby for not having a clear Gospel presentation. To my knowledge, it was not promoted as a “Christian movie” (if there is such a thing), and although I was disappointed about the utilization of the Catholic cathedral and priest, I found it to be a wholesome movie that illustrated the biblical principles of love, mercy, and forgiveness. Having said this, the point of this post will be addressing something else – my new compassion.
Without giving too many details to spoil the movie, there was a scene that involved the recounting of a botched abortion from years past. Mary, played by actress Jasmine Guy (From A Different World, remember her?), was the nurse who worked at the abortion clinic. She recounted the horrors that took place at the mill, and the listening ear she gave to hundreds of young women ready to kill their babies while she prepped them for the procedures. While some women knew what they were doing and were determined, others were conflicted, torn, and made attempts to justify their action to take place, and Mary assumed the role of friend, sometimes the only friend, to many of these women. In explaining the terrible things that occurred at the mill for which Mary had to keep quiet, she revealed the naivete among the nurses who were deceived into believing the babies in the womb were nothing more than tissue. Just tissue. But when she saw a baby be delivered at 24-weeks gestation after a failed abortion, missing his arm because it had been ripped off during the procedure, she knew he was a child when she saw the pain and the suffering and hemorrhaging of the baby after he left the mother’s womb. Mary said she never went back to that place of death.
So what is my new compassion? It is for the staff – the nurses, the receptionists, even the doctors – who work at abortion mills. How could I say such a thing, especially about the doctors responsible for the murder of 1.3 million babies every year in the United States? Because I was once a murderer. I was once a fornicator. A drunk. A thief. An adulterer. An idolater. A liar. But, because God is rich in mercy, He saved me. This is what 1 Corinthians 6:11 says,
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
And how was this so? How was it so that I, a murderer at heart according to Jesus is Matthew 5:22, was washed, sanctified, and justified? For two reasons alone:
even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved – Ephesians 2:5
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:10
How could I then villainize those who work at abortion mills? They are lost. They are only doing that which comes natural to them. They are blind, deaf, and spiritually dead. The Bible says the god of this world has blinded their minds so they cannot see the gospel of the glory of Christ. Yet, such was the case for me.
I wondered tonight about the life one has lived to end up working at an abortion mill. Is working at an abortion mill any different than someone who ends up working as a prostitute, a gang banger, or a professional criminal? Perhaps – in the sense that murdering babies for a living is legal. In all cases, however, such careers are founded in the depravity of man. In all cases, legal or not, they are affronts to the holiness of God, and in each case, legal or not, they are storing up wrath for themselves when the Lord Jesus Christ will judge the world in righteousness (Romans 2:5, Acts 17:31). But what is the life that one has lived that has led them to work at the mill? No different than any Christian has lived before God saved them. They might be enemies of God today, but such were we before God saved us.
My prayer is that this new compassion the Lord has given me will help me be mindful when ministering at abortion mills to be careful in how I address the workers. While I warn them to flee the wrath of God, I must do so with love and compassion because they are no more lost than any other sinner we engage with the Gospel. We must remember that we are not there only to plead with mothers and fathers to keep their babies, nor are we there to only minister the Gospel to these parents, but we must remember the abortion mill staff in our prayers and as we preach the Gospel.
Abortion is wicked, and so are the people responsible for murdering babies – parents, nurses, doctors, politicians, judges, and anti-life groups. They are all wicked, yet I was once wicked too before God saved me to the praise of His glorious grace.
Promoters, protectors, and practitioners of abortion deserve God’s wrath in hell for eternity, but so do I, and so do each of you reading this article. May this fact be your drive to have compassion for these people. They need God’s grace as much as you need it.
While we fight for life, and we must, let us not forget our first mission to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking the truth in love, showing humility, patience, respect, and compassion, that God might grant those we encounter the faith and repentance to receive eternal life.