Counter Culture Part 1 – Abortion

I’m so excited, as I always am, to get into the Word tonight. We have been in the book of Judges for the past couple of months. It’s been a tough but glorious study as we’ve seen the utter depths of human depravity as the Israelites have come to settle in the Promised Land. Rather than wiping out the enemy who lives in the land as God has commanded, the Israelites instead moved in with them, and we have seen the amazing troubles that it has caused for them.

Rather than being a holy people set apart for God’s glory among the Canaanites, instead, the Israelites have adopted some of the practices of the pagans. They have integrated into their society, allowing the cultural norms and beliefs of the Canaanites influence their own beliefs and practices. This is exactly why, by the way, God commanded the sons of Israel to utterly destroy them…but anyway…what we’re going to start tonight is not completely a new study…we still have 5 more chapters to cover in Judges…but we’re going to just step out of Judges with 1 foot while keeping 1 foot in!


Psalm 139:13-16:

You formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made,
Wonderful are Your works;
My soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your books were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Job 33:4

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you.

Ps. 22:9-10.

You are He who took me out of the womb…from my mother’s womb You have been my God.

Eph 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Judges 13:5

For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.

Isaiah 43:25.

I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

1John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness


What I mean by that is, we’re going to go back and look at some of the cultural issues that the Israelites were facing some 5,000 years ago and compare it to cultural issues that we, today’s children of God, are facing. I think it is fascinating to see that some of the very same issues they dealt with back then, we are still dealing with today! And just as the Israelites compromised their beliefs, denied God’s law and adopted the popular practices of their culture, so the church in America today is guilty of doing the same! Rather than standing on the absolute truth of God’s Word on every issue, we have decided to pick and choose which truths we think are important enough to stand up for and which are not important enough in our own minds to stand up for and defend.

Just as every man did what was right in his own eyes back in the days of the Judges, so too do we in our society today. That goes for the unchurched as well as the churched. If you’re in college, trust me, you’re going to hear all kinds of things said, especially by your professors, that are contrary to the Word of God. Because college campuses are full of people who have worldly “wisdom”, who do what is right in their own eyes, and then try make people feel stupid if they think differently.

So it is with great excitement that we start our series “Counter Culture” this evening! This series is based somewhat on the book Counter Culture by David Platt. If you have not read this book, I strongly recommend it. You can read along while we’re teaching along here on Saturday nights. It is probably the most powerful book I’ve read on contemporary issues in our world today and how we as believers can apply the gospel to these issues…everything from abortion to sex trafficking, from immigration to pornography, from gay marriage to poverty.

Now before I tell you more about what this study is, let me be very clear on what this study is NOT! This is not a series that is meant to sway the way you vote, although I suppose it might. It is not a series that is intended to promote any particular political party. I think you all probably know by now, I in no way think any political party has it all right and to be quite honest, as your pastor, I would never endorse a political party or even a political candidate. I certainly have my political views but I try my best to allow the Word of God and the Spirit of God to shape my views.

We are blessed to live in a country that gives us the right and the freedom to vote for whatever candidate we choose…or quite honestly, the freedom and the right to not vote if you so choose. So, there is absolutely no ulterior political motive in teaching this series. And the reason why I want to be clear on that is because by the very nature of this series…contemporary cultural issues…we are going to talk about some hot button issues in today’s political landscape.

But pushing a political party is not the focus of this series. Instead, the focus is on what God says and how we as followers of Christ can live it out! As we discuss each and every issue, my prayer is that we will see how God’s Word brings a bright shining light on each issue, and we’re going to discuss very practical ways that you and I can individually respond to God’s teaching on each issue with conviction, compassion and courage. Notice I said ‘individual’ because we’re not going to act collectively as a church body. Instead, my hope is that through this series God will give you a passion that really sets your heart on fire. And when He does, I want you to go out and act on it. Whether that’s feeding homeless people at a soup kitchen, getting involved with an organization whose purpose is to rescue kids from sex-trafficking, or maybe it’s an outreach to the gay community, or serving at a foster care agency…whatever it is, I want you to go out and try it a few times and see if that fire is still burning inside you.

And if it is, and you want to get some of the Alamo Stone folks to join you, then you come let me know. Because here’s the deal, church family…our vision is to make disciples who glorify God by pursuing His unique calling on their lives. I pray that through this series and by following the Spirit’s leading, you will find what that purpose is for you…and then you let us know and we’ll talk about how we can support you!

Now, with that introduction, let’s get to it…remember, one foot is still in Judges, right? Okay, so as we journeyed through the first 16 chapters of Judges, one of the most devastating passages had to be in chapter 3:7 which reads, “And the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God, and served the Baals and the Asheroth.” This was the first mention in Judges of the Israelites rejecting the living God to serve these idols made by man.

Baal, as you might recall, was the Canaanite god of basically everything in nature. It was devastating to see the Israelites actually bend their knees in worship to this god but it was even more horrifying when we talked about what Baal worship actually involved…namely, all kinds of sexual immorality and child sacrifice. Here we see an artist’s depiction of Baal worship. Parents would bring their child up to this statue of Baal and place him in the hands of the statue where the child would burn to death. Can you imagine the horror of these infants and toddlers as their skin would melt and they would scream out in agony for their mommy and daddy to save them? That was the reality of child sacrifice in the Canaanite culture back then, and the Israelites embraced it and participated in it.

The practice of child sacrifice still exists in our culture today and many people who would call themselves Christians not only turn a blind eye to it but they actually endorse it. Of course, we don’t call it child sacrifice; we call it abortion but trust me, it is nothing short of child sacrifice. Now, I would imagine that with that statement right there, I might have stepped on some toes. So let me say, before you get so worked up that you get up and walk out, let me encourage you to stay and listen to what the Word of God has to say…and then you can decide if you want to continue holding your view or if you need to align it with the truth of God’s Word.

Now, I also need to say this…statistics say that 1 in 3 women in America will have an abortion in their lifetime. I did not misspeak…that’s 1 in 3. So statistically speaking, there’s a good chance that here tonight we have folks who have had an abortion or who have encouraged someone to have an abortion. And if that is the case for you, then let me say this…I have no idea what it’s like to think about getting an abortion, and I certainly do not know what it’s like to have an abortion. I cannot begin to imagine the mental and emotional struggles that abortion involves. So I want to be sensitive to your situation. Tonight I hope to speak clearly on how a holy God views abortion, and at the same time, I hope to be clear on how a holy God views you through the gospel.

Let me share some statistics just so we can have a sense of what a global crisis abortion is. There are 115,000 abortions committed worldwide every single day. That equates to 42 million every year globally. In the United States, there are about 1.2 million abortions performed each year. That is because just over 20% of all pregnancies in the US ends in abortion. Over 20%.

So the question that we want to address tonight is, “Is that okay?” Is it wrong for women to have abortions, for doctors to perform them, for boyfriends, husbands, and dads to encourage them? In all honesty, the word ‘abortion’ is nowhere to be found in the Scriptures. However, that does not mean that God is silent on the issue! Far from it. Consider how the Scriptures speak of the relationship between God and the unborn baby.

Psalm 139:13-16:

You formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made,
Wonderful are Your works;
My soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your books were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

 

As we read those words, we are reminded of the core gospel truth that God is the Creator. He alone has the power and authority to give life. Consider these other passages:

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4

In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10

God is not just the giver of life but he is the Taker of life as well. Look at these verses…

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Job 1:21

God himself declares, “I put to death and I bring to life.” Deut. 32:39

It is God’s prerogative alone, as Creator, to give and take innocent life. Abortion is an affront to God’s sovereign authority as the Giver and Taker of life. Abortion asserts man as the one who controls life and death but only God has the right and authority to determine when someone lives and dies. So abortion flies directly in the face of God’s authority.

Abortion is not just an affront on God’s authority as the giver and taker of life but it’s also an assault on His work in creation. Let’s go back to Psalm 139 for a moment.

You formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made,
Wonderful are Your works;
My soul knows it very well.

As the psalmist reflects on God’s work in the womb, “you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in the womb…”, he cannot help but to respond with worship, “I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!”

The way God creates people compels praise!

Psalm 139 as well as other passages answer the one crucial question on the abortion issue, and that question is this: What is in the womb? Is it a person or is it merely an embryo, a fetus? Is it a what or is it a who? That is the crucial question on the abortion issue.

Because here’s the deal…if you think that what is in the womb is not a person but maybe it’s just a glob of tissue, then abortion is perfectly fine and acceptable. In fact, if what is in the womb is not a person, then there is absolutely no need to even justify abortion. If it’s not a person, then it’s absolutely okay.

But if you believe that there is a person in the womb, then of course abortion is wrong, and if it is a person in there, then there could never be any justification whatsoever for abortion! So that’s the crucial question: What…or who…is in the womb? Is it a what or a who in there?

And that leads us to this question…who can actually answer that question? Is it the medical community? Is it the Supreme Court of the United States? Is it our legislators or maybe the President? And let me go ahead and tell you, the answer is NO, none of those people have the authority to tell us if it is a what or a who in the womb. Because God trumps them all (no pun intended). God is the absolute authority on any issue on which His Word speaks. He is, as we sang earlier, the creator who is indescribable, uncontainable, he hung the stars and he knows them by name. And he knows every unborn child by as well. Consider these verses:

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you.” Jeremiah 1:5

You are He who took me out of the womb…from my mother’s womb You have been my God. Ps. 22:9-10.

Abortion is an affront to God’s sovereignty as Creator and an assault on his work in creation. And abortion is an attack on God’s plans for the created. You see, God not only forms us when we’re in the womb but He has plans for us from before we’re even in the womb!

Eph 2:10;  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God has plans for our lives, He has prepared works for us, He has a purpose for our lives before he even forms us fearfully and wonderfully in the womb. And we saw that recently in the book of Judges, remember, we still have one foot over there, with the announcement of Samson’s conception and birth. The angel of the Lord told Manoah’s wife…

Judges 13:5, For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.

Abortion is an affront to God’s authority as Creator and an assault on his work in creation, and is an attack on God’s plans for the created.


So when we look at what the Scripture say, it is obvious: It’s not a what in the womb, it’s a who! A person, who is being beautifully and wonderfully made in the very image of our Father in Heaven! And to kill a child, and that’s what abortion is, it is the killing of an innocent child, is just flat out wrong!

But you might be wondering, “But Pastor Wes, aren’t there circumstances in which abortion is okay?” Let’s look at some of those…

Down’s syndrome…92% of women who have this test performed and find out that their baby has Down ’s syndrome opt to have an abortion. That is staggering. 92% decide to kill the baby living inside of them! Is that okay? Well, let me share with you a picture of a friend of ours and many of you have met her, or at least you’ve seen her here before. This is Andrea.

Would you kill her now? Of course you wouldn’t because she’s been here and you didn’t. So why would it have been okay for Mayra to kill her when she was in the womb? The Word of God is clear…Andrea was a person who God had plans for while she was in the womb and even before she was in the womb! And can I tell you, while raising Andrea certainly has some challenges, Mayra would not go back and change her decision for anything. That sweet girl has brought so much joy into this world, into the lives of the Malos and into my own life and my family’s! But that would all have been wiped out had Mayra decided to get an abortion. Andrea is such a blessing, when I asked if I could use her picture and talk about her tonight, Javi and Mayra didn’t even hesitate to answer. Of course you can!

Is it okay to have an abortion because you know the baby is going to be born with some physical or mental disability? No more than it is okay to go and kill a child who is outside of the womb, and of course we would all agree that that is not right. Abortion is an attack on God’s plans for his created. Think about John 9…the disciples asked, “Who sinned that this man was born blind?” And Jesus replied, “Neither, he was born blind so the glory of God could be revealed through him!” Even when we do not understand, even in the midst of our pain and suffering, God is at work and has a sovereign plan for His glory!

Guy in Bill Millers…scenario…is abortion okay then? Well, is that a person in the womb? God’s Word says it is, so abortion is not okay in even that situation.

Listen, church, I know that these are not easy situations to deal with. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be raped by an armed thug in the Mexican drug cartel and then find out you got pregnant…but here’s the truth of God’s Word! That baby just as much as my kids Gabby and Daniel…just as much as your kids…that baby was being beautifully and wonderfully made in the image of God while in the womb! God’s Word is not always easy to live by. In fact, I would say that most of the time it is not easy to live by. So we have to decide, will we live by the truth of God’s Word or will we, like the Israelites in Judges, bow to the idol of convenience, will we give into the cultural practices and do what we think will cause us the least amount of pain in this lifetime….only to be judged by the Judge, the Creator and ruler of this universe, later?

Abortion is an affront to God’s sovereignty as Creator, an assault on his creation, and an attack on the created.

And as I stated earlier, 1 in 3 women in America have had or will have an abortion in their lifetime. If that’s you, then let me close with a message for you specifically. While the bible is clear that abortion is sin in the eyes of God and He is the judge of sin, the bible is equally clear God forgives entirely.

As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 193:11-12.

I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Isaiah 43:25.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9.

The good news of the gospel is that when we turn from our sin and trust Christ, we find that he has paid the price for any part we have ever played in abortion, and because of his cross we are entirely forgiven. Not only is forgiveness available to you but so is complete healing. If you know you’re forgiven but are still struggling with the guilt of your decision, consider what Jesus said to the woman caught in an immoral lifestyle: “Your sins are forgiven…your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:48-50

There is no guilt, no condemnation for those who are in Christ. God does not look at you and see the guilt of abortion. Instead, he looks at you and sees the righteousness of Christ. God restores and he redeems. That is the power of the gospel.

Now, I shared with you earlier tonight that we’re going to give you some practical things you can do to live out the gospel in our world. And as you try these things, if you feel like this is the unique calling that God has placed on your life, then come talk to me…again, after you’ve tried it a few times…and we’ll see about how we can support you in this and maybe get others here at Alamo Stone involved.

So here are some practical things we can do to counter the culture we live in.

Abortion is an affront to God’s sovereignty as Creator, an assault on his creation, and an attack on the created.

And as I stated earlier, 1 in 3 women in America have had or will have an abortion in their lifetime. If that’s you, then let me close with a message for you specifically. While the bible is clear that abortion is sin in the eyes of God and He is the judge of sin, the bible is equally clear God forgives entirely.

As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 193:11-12.

I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Isaiah 43:25.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9.

The good news of the gospel is that when we turn from our sin and trust Christ, we find that he has paid the price for any part we have ever played in abortion, and because of his cross we are entirely forgiven. Not only is forgiveness available to you but so is complete healing. If you know you’re forgiven but are still struggling with the guilt of your decision, consider what Jesus said to the woman caught in an immoral lifestyle: “Your sins are forgiven…your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:48-50

There is no guilt, no condemnation for those who are in Christ. God does not look at you and see the guilt of abortion. Instead, he looks at you and sees the righteousness of Christ. God restores and he redeems. That is the power of the gospel.

Now, I shared with you earlier tonight that we’re going to give you some practical things you can do to live out the gospel in our world. And as you try these things, if you feel like this is the unique calling that God has placed on your life, then come talk to me…again, after you’ve tried it a few times…and we’ll see about how we can support you in this and maybe get others here at Alamo Stone involved.

So here are some practical things we can do to counter the culture we live in.


Let’s pray.