Talking About A Topic Not Always Easy to Talk About

Hi everyone,

You’ve likely heard by now about something making national headlines currently, something that I believe intersects all our lives at multiple levels. That is the leaking of a potential Supreme Court ruling that would overturn legalized abortion.

I wanted to take a moment and speak to our elder team’s perspective on the issue, as well as lean into how to process this difficult topic, a topic that is not always easy to talk about.

First of all, I want to briefly outline what I believe to be a clear and compassionate moral position.

Historically at Mosaic Church, as it pertains to the issue of abortion, our position has always been clear: as challenging to hear or unpopular as it may be to state, we do not believe that abortion is God’s will or God’s best for His people.

We can derive a theology of life from Scriptures like Genesis 1 and 2, where God makes people in His own image, then tells them to reproduce and fill the earth–with children who are conceived, birthed and made in His image.

We could also look at Psalm 139, which acknowledges God’s intimate knowledge of humans while we are still unborn children in our mother’s womb.

We could also look to the earliest version of the Christian faith in the Roman Empire, who, on the basis of the teachings and love of Jesus, opposed all forms of abortion, especially infanticide.

Again, our position has always been clear.

However, I want to encourage us with a few crucial ways to consider how we humbly think about and compassionately relate to any conversation about the issue:

  1. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, please remember this is (at least) a two-person conversation.
    This is a thought that seems to escape much of our national, polarized conversion, and it’s the main reason there are real complexities around the issue. What I mean is this: each extreme position boils the conversation down to, essentially, a one-person conversation. The extreme right can come across as only thinking about and considering the life of the unborn child, and far less about the complexities of the life of the mother involved. The extreme left can come across as only considering the life of the mother and not the unborn child she is carrying.

    The truth is that for many women who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy, there are now two (at least) people involved and in a vulnerable position: the mother and the child. Christians always have, of course, affirmed the importance of women having agency over their bodies and being more than mothers, as important as mothers are; but we would also affirm that the agency and protections extended to all human life apply equally to the unborn child, who depends on us to be his or her voice.

    How can we consider how to remain considerate and compassionate to both people in this conversation as the people of Jesus? I’ll come back to that.

  2. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, please remember that triumphalism and condemnation have no place in our church or language.
    If you are someone for whom this leaked paper is good news, speaking about it publicly in a way that demeans and insults the other side leaves no room for long-term relationship, regardless of how you may have been treated in the past.

    If you are someone for whom this leaked paper is distressing, accusing the other side of one-dimensional thinking or bad motives does not help you relationally, either.

    At this point, I am especially thinking, and we all should be, about the Apostle Paul’s repeated calls for the Christians in those early churches to love one another regardless of what they believed about an issue. That phrase was the phrase—”love one another”—he would use at the end of tough issues he was addressing, and we would do well to remember it.

  3. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, please consider that social media is, generally, not as helpful as you might think in creating change.
    Do we remember all the difficulties of 2020? How often was your mind changed by something inflammatory someone posted during a particularly tense cultural moment? But how often did you lose a friend or loved one because of what you or they might have shared?

    Realistically, far fewer minds are changed on social media than we believe; far more relationships are lost than we would like when using it as a tool for discussing polarizing issues.

Thanks for allowing me to share those with you as all lean into something, again, that’s not always easy to talk about.

Back to my earlier question: how can we, as a local church, remain considerate and compassionate for both principal parties involved in a pregnancy?

  1. Support life-affirming pregnancy resource centers.
    And by life-affirming, I don’t just mean ones who focus only on the unborn child. An organization that Mosaic enthusiastically supports is called The Source, and it does a tremendous job of helping vulnerable mothers with health care costs, finding jobs, and postpartum support if they choose to keep the child within their family. It’s a new, thoughtful and holistic way of supporting pregnant women. We have had them on our property before, I’m sure we will again, and we support them financially every month as well.

    (Through our benevolence program, additionally, you should know that we have supported countless single parents over the years with all kinds of financial and physical assistance. I tell you this to create awareness that we really do seek to live out our convictions in this two-person conversation.)

  2. Encourage foster care and adoption.
    There are families in this church who stand ready to help birth mothers seeking adoptive parents for their child and view this as their calling and ministry! They are literally praying for mothers to help in these situations, to help make the process smooth and help the mother feel cared for. Alternately, there are families who desire to adopt and are literally waiting on a birth mother to provide them with a life they may not be able to conceive of on their own. It is a lie to think that bringing an unexpected child into the world means they cannot be loved or provided for. Perhaps this baby is the answer to another family’s prayers! While adoption is by no means a cure-all or something that will prevent a child from potential emotional hardship, it still remains a powerful resource and picture of God’s love toward us.
  3. Offer a listening ear and pray with those in vulnerable situations, including those who have chosen abortion.
    Everyone needs to know that no matter what has happened to them or what they have done or not done, that there is a God who loves them and has given His life for them. And at Mosaic Church, you should know that no matter what has happened to you or where you have come from, people are ready to love you and receive you and help you find hope.

    One of the too-often untold elements of this issue is the unexpected deep regret and guilt that many feel after choosing an abortion. These stories tend to not show up in news stories or major media perspectives, but they are very real. If this is you, please know we have a tremendous team of professional therapists who would love the opportunity to help you process what you have been through.

Church, again, thanks for taking the time to allow me to talk about something that’s not easy to talk about.

Blessings to you, and may we be people who are known by how we love.

Morgan



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