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A Tale of Two Churches

Excerpted from the Tuesday Godarchy Line by Pastor Stephen Mashburn. This is a report compiled using Dorothy Boyette's battlefront report (Day One: Who is my neighbor?) and an email to OSA ("Shame on you!!!") with additional Scriptural commentary interspersed throughout.

 A Tale of Two Churches

July 15, 2003

"It is the man who has surrendered to the Lord who will never surrender to his enemies." Leonard Revenhill

On Sunday morning Christians in Charlotte with Operation Save America began the week by confronting the Church with the truth about abortion. Several churches including Forest Hill Presbyterian and Silver Mount Baptist Church learned the sad fate of little unborn boys and girls in their neighborhood. Many were not happy to be so informed.

At Silver Mount Baptist though, Christians were much friendlier. The Scriptures say, "…rebuke a wise man and he will love you." (Proverbs 9:8) Lincoln C. Lee, senior pastor, asked Pastor Ronnie Wallace of OR/OSA to lead the morning prayer. The Rev. Wallace prayed a sermon calling this church to go out to the abortion clinic in their neighborhood and save babies. He also prayed for women in the congregation who had undergone an abortion that they might repent and seek the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

The sin of silence condemns millions of women that have had experience with abortion to suffer for years thinking there is no hope. The pulpits across the nation avoid speaking on the sin of abortion for two reasons. 1) They either support the choice to kill children or just refuse to deal with it as a sin. Or 2) they are a Bible-preaching church that is opposed to abortion but think that if they preach on abortion, it will hurt women or men that have participated in killing a child.

Both are grievous sins of omission for the mother who has murdered her unborn baby can never receive forgiveness and healing until the sin of murder is confessed and dealt with. Addressing the sin of abortion brings about repentance just like every other sin. If sin cannot be addressed biblically inside the churches, what makes Christians think electing pro-life lawmakers will stop abortion? After 33 years of effort? Insanity was once defined as doing what does not work over and over and expecting different results.

Other than saving babies' lives and bringing repentance to replace the condemnation in post-abortive mothers, there are a couple more reasons the Church must address abortion. God's Word tells us that innocent blood cries out for vengeance from the ground (Genesis 4:10 to Revelation 6:10).

God judges nations and communities when the people refuse to prosecute murder as a crime. Therefore it is imperative that the Church of Jesus Christ confront abortion publicly as God's witness stating that murder by abortion is wrong. Where there is no law, there is no transgression. Yet God has written His laws on every man or woman's heart. Simply not preaching against the sin of murder will not negate God's inevitable judgment on an unrepentant city or nation.

As Christians held banners with "What kind of a Church would do this?" with Baby Malachi posters on the busy street that Silver Mount Baptist is on, many motorists stopped for literature and information. One woman that works near the neighborhood abortion mill said she plans to join OR/OSA this week in the streets.

Barbara Sockwell, a church member at Forest Hill Presbyterian took exception to her church being forced to make a decision on abortion. She even sent OSA an email.

"I went to church this morning at Forest Hill [Presbyterian] and was astonished at what I saw lining the streets to the entrance! Shame on you!!! I am very Pro-life as are the entire congregation of Forest Hill. I am also from Dallas where activists target clinics and doctors. Where do you get off picking on people who believe in life? We also are against homosexuality.

Those posters were hideous! I am 56 yrs old and I may have nightmares after seeing them...what effect will they have on the children in those cars passing by on this busy street?"

It is clear that this woman is the one with a problem seeing the graphic photos, not the children. All the children I've witnessed seeing the photos for the first time ask the same simple question: "What happened to the baby? Who hurt the baby?"

It is only when convicted parents refuse to be honest (or repent of supporting abortion) and give their child some mamby-pamby answer and say, "Don't look toward those horrible people [pro-life Christians]." Instead of repenting of their tolerance, complicity or inaction over the sin of abortion they go into denial. But a graphic image remains with you and truth conveyed in this manner will bear fruit. While Ms. Sockwell complains that she may have nightmares after seeing the photos of reality, this "very Pro-life" woman in a "Pro-life church" says nothing about the recurring nightmares of millions of post-abortive mothers let alone the agonizing nightmarish death of each child dismembered in an abortion.

Barbara Sockwell showed her true motive in writing at the end.

"Here's a good idea for a new issue.. Go to the pound and photograph all of the dead, unwanted, euthanized innocent animals which irresponsible owners should have cared for ...then stake yourselves out in front of child care centers or pet stores and scare the pants off of good parents bringing their children there."

Apparently Ms Sockwell considers "euthanized innocent animals" a concern on par with babies murdered in the womb. Please pray for Barbara Sockwell. It is my experience that when preaching or presenting the truth about sin that those under conviction often strike out at least verbally toward the messenger of God. She could very well be post-abortive herself. If the latter is the case, perhaps she could one day say what the Psalmist David said by the Holy Spirit to the Lord.

"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees." (Psalm 119:71)

On Monday the saints with the Overpass and Mosque teams hit the streets before daybreak. When the gentle Christians arrived at A Preferred Woman abortion mill at 7 AM, it was closed and had 2 police cars along with a carload of abortion supporters in the parking lot. From the mill the saints converged at Marshall Park for the downtown proclamation.

This park area is heavily populated during the noon hour where many office workers go for their lunch. Youth and children joined their parents in worship and a time of public repentance over abortion. In the midst of graphic photos of babies murdered by abortion Rusty Thomas read the Emancipation Proclamation for the Unborn. All the saints who were present

It was announced at the rally Monday night that the A Preferred Woman abortuary opened later in the morning. A couple arrived and drove into the parking lot. The woman was crying because she had seen the gallery of images displayed on the sidewalk. One of the counselors noted this and called Dr. Danny Holland, one of the volunteer physicians. He came down to the street to say that he would help this family. Praise God, the baby was saved!

The featured speaker was Fr Frank Pavone. He said ten years ago when Operation Rescue came to a certain town, an abortionist told the press, "We are not going to let these people have any victory." Father Frank has the same answer today as he had then, "You're too late!"

He challenged gentle Christians to continue to show America what an abortion looks like. "Show the signs - they save babies," he said.

That's it for today. Stay tuned for more commentary on what some critics are saying to the media Sunday and Monday with more updates from where the interaction is, on the streets!