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August 11, 1999

This is merely a short reference to an especially exotic event that has developed this year. Amazing as it is in its seeming ferocity, it is its trend which is arresting and demands some thought.

In the USA (where else is so much money so used as we shall see!), there has, according to a Presbyterian church publication, been a law suit against certain anti-abortionists who allegedly were WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION cited as if in accord, in an anti-abortionist Web-site; but who, it appears, did nonetheless offer a reward for names of anti-abortionist practitioners so that, should the time ever come, as it did for Hitler's crew at Nuremberg, there could be prosecution for ... murder. There was then certainly some vigour in their anti-abortionist mode of approach.

It is not the intention here to assess a long, involved law-suit, but merely to use this impact of data to raise an issue. We shall now deal only in the principles, leaving the particular case cited, entirely behind.

IS IT the case that the world is to be ruled before Christ returns, to be prepared in some way, to be accommodated and helped to new and adequate government in MORAL TERMS, so that wickedness meets its day and LAW does it, performs the work, does the job ? If so, then one can see how some reconstructionists may be heading: a legal and moral world made fit for Christ, or made a preliminary. In fact, as we have shown several times, the opposite is the case.

The world is in fact, by Biblical decrees, to have more and more immoral actions, bad people, irresponsible actions, intemperate viciousness, corrupted quasi- or better, pseudo-Christianity (cf. Matthew 24:8-14, II Thessalonians 2; and News 45, esp. Part II, SMR 646-709, 502ff.,  A Spiritual Potpourri, Ch.18). Yet one can see the concern of some: does THIS mean that supinely, we sit still and see millions of babies slaughtered with scalpels ? Are we to ignore the needs of the children ?

NO, says Save the Children.  Are we then to ignore the needs of developing infants. YES, if need be, say the abortionists. But what is need ? Is it a desire for comfort, convenience, adequate funds ? We do not know. Are these needs to be operative in these operations, or is it to be a case of real danger to the mother's life, before abortion is conducted  ? If not, if there is to be open slather with the blood of infants, is this, and are similar atrocities of disregard to be allowed without protest ? No, of course not. Schaeffer and Koop did an excellent work in their book on this topic, Whatever Happened to the Human Race ? The man of medicine and the minister combined in this work.

Yet does this mean that one should seek force or act as if to arraign it ? No, it does not. Force is of the kingdom of this world (John 18:36-37). Those who are Christians are to be crucified, not crucify; bear not bluster (cf. I Cor. 4:9-13, II Cor. 6:5-10, 4:10, Galatians 2:20). A nation may repulse those foreign nations who would use force to subdue and control a people, slave-driving philosophers, so saving the day for the truth to be freely available; but this is not to enforce a religion, rather to prevent that very thing! Far broader is the scope of reality, and infinitely deeper (cf. SMR pp. 707-709,1186Aff., A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 16, Scoop of the Universe 34.)

If then we bear, does THAT mean that we do not exercise democratic rights or privileges in a society, in order to seek an elected government which will moderate or even end certain evils ? Of course not. While the manifest operation of divine law occurred in the theocratic State of ancient Israel, there was that emphatic depiction of sin and exhibition of righteousness with the rigour of rule in a NATION chosen to show forth His praise, in COVENANT, approved at the first by its people and signally confirmed so (Joshua 24:14-21).

As Paul declares in Galatians 3:21-25,

Now he cannot mean that there WAS no faith before the Gospel was the paid-for proclamation of redemption that it is, for he expressly attributes JUST our faith to Abraham (Romans 4:22-25). Now however it is the definitive finality. Now has come the living FAITH of THE FAITH, the consummated faith in the New Covenant in which is neither altar nor priest, for Christ has consumed both in His Person (Hebrews Chs. 2,8-10), in the entire sufficiency of His Person. Now the faith has come, the cardinal, character-full, matured faith; and it is one which has the full exposure in Christ without priest or ceremony, at its heart, without sacrifices, and without  theocratic, national  powers.

That is vital. The emphasis has procedurally moved from the tutor to arraign, impress, impact and rebuke in what is now the world, for no more is Israel the people of God as a show-case (Isaiah 43:21, 65:13-16, cf. News 33), but a waiting actor in the wings, awaiting his day (Romans 11:25) - kept there, as Paul exclaims, UNTIL the time comes.

But as to this, it is EXPRESSLY DIVINE HANDS which will do this judgment, and it is well that it is so! (II Cor. 5:9-11,19-21, Romans 8:31-39); and we, we do not judge those who are without, outside His people (Colossians 4:5-6, I Corinthians 5:11-12). Those who are external to His people, says Paul, "God judges"; "for what have I to do with judging those also who are outside?" Wrong they are and righteousness is by all valid means to be sought; but the wrath to come looms, and the divine voice will boom over the break-waters of the godless. The times comes. It is near. Repentance and rescue is the order of the day (Isaiah 66:19, Hebrews 2:3, 10:28-32 - cf. Biblical Blessings, Ch.3, pp. 35ff.).

IF we can without violence, remove what is vile, that is a good work done. To seek good, to foster righteousness is fine. To seek a government which will do the same is excellent. However the flaw comes next: to seek a government which will use force to make a moral world, as the CRITERION OF CHRISTIANITY, some expected prelude to Christ's return, is mistaken. The predicted course is to the contrary. We are not in the business of shedding blood to make the world listen, whatever follies the Inquisition and the Ustashi have followed from time to time, in their delusions (cf. Matthew 4:9-10,
The Shadow of a Mighty Rock - SMR, pp. 950-952, 1032ff., 1042ff., 65ff., 977-978, 1186Aff. *3, 950-952. and note esp. the particular quotation from 1941, on p. 950; Joyful Jottings 2123).

THAT, in turn does NOT excuse or warrant the supine; but it DOES prevent imaginations that without the personal and direct return of the Lord Jesus Christ, this world is to be run on spiritual lines. Christ did not pray for the world but for those who would become believers out of it (John 17:9-22). The spiritual lines, that is for THE CHURCH, and that is quite a sufficient task! (cf. II Corinthians 11:28-29, I Thessalonians 1:7).

Hence it seems sad that a small US group of anti-abortionists appear to have been stricken with whips, financial ones, legal ones, to the tune of more than $100 million costs, damages, because of their zeal, their ardour, however procedurally mistaken. The world is aroused, it would seem, hostile, even incensed. It is stated that the proportion of the award to the paintiffs for loss suffered,  to punitive damages in this case, is almost unheard of:  amazingly magnified, as if to intimidate those who so act. Now that their premiss is wrong, if as reported, is certain. It went beyond the Bible. But that there is this immense reaction - almost as if the anti-christ were in office already is the impact it might give:  that, it is SIGNIFICANT. It is in full accord with that precise MORAL DEFAULT and LAWLESS INDULGENCE, that INTEMPERANCE and OFFENCE AT GOODNESS which is predicted (cf. Matthew 24, II Timothy 3, II Thessalonians 2).

The EXCESSIVE response that would appear to have occurred in this case suggests a deteriorating standard, a diminished realisation of the moral issue underlying. After all, millions of infants of various ages are no, not consigned this time to the flames, but to the scalpel, to shrinking solutions. The question is ultimately restraint, perception, concern, dependence on the source of life without arrogance or invasion, mere assault.

In this, then, the amazing magnitude of the legal response, it appears merely one more exhibition of the actual Biblical forecasts, so frequent, so detailed, clear, and so devastating.