Ending Spiritual Abortion
I believe that the reason abortion has boldly flaunted its teeth in our day is because the enemy has this terrible paranoia that our generation will actually recognize the moment and respond appropriately to the call of God in this hour. He knows that if we actually step into the fullness of God’s purposes for our day, we could very well crush the remnants of his kingdom and lead a final mass exodus of souls from his hellish grip. We have all the right tools and weaponry, but the real problem is that the Church is not effectively equipping anyone to use them. You can be sure that Satan hates all the churches of God, but he fears the churches who know their God (Dan. 11:32-33). The Church who knows their God will not only contend for every innocent life, but for every innocent soul that does not yet know Him. While it should be appreciated that Christians are becoming more aware of the terrors of abortion, we have yet to truly expose and fight against Satan’s equally abhorrent plot, which I refer to as spiritual abortion.
More than ever before, we are seeing young believers depart from the faith, aborted right from the womb of the Church. A Barna Group research project in 2011 revealed that three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15. Why? Beneath the surface issues, I feel it is a combination of Satan’s rage, a fallen sinful society and the Church’s unwillingness to take responsibility to contend for the soul of the younger generations. As the world population grows younger, the church population in America grows older because most of our attention naturally turns toward the ones who have more money in their wallets.
Though we don’t presently face the same affliction as the children of Israel and the early church did, the taskmasters of debt, false comfort and worldly success are continually pressing us with high demands on our life resources (time, money & energy). We have been blinded by busyness and are more concerned with retaining numbers to pay the bills than making disciples to build the kingdom. It’s much cheaper to make converts than to make disciples. This is why we need unity in the Body of Christ more than ever. Rather than ministries joining forces for the cause of equipping and raising God’s family, we are seeing more churches divorce on the pathetic grounds of “irreconcilable differences” than ever before. Thus, spiritual abortion has inadvertently become the option for so many local churches.
So you see, the enemy assault is not only on the mother’s womb, but the Church’s. If he can’t keep us from being born, his next move is to do everything in his power to keep us from being born again. Jesus told a parable about four soils to make a clear point about the seeds that fall into the wrong environment (Lk. 8:5-15), and next to our own individual responsibility, I believe it is also the responsibility of the Church to establish and sustain a community that creates the right environment to nurture sound growth. The womb of the Church should be the safest and most fertile place on earth, but the majority of our American churches have failed to make it such.
The Church’s present attempts to resolve this attrition crisis have been dangerously wrong in my opinion because we have yielded to the wiles of the devil, rather than trusting the ways of God to bring deliverance. We have taken a defensive posture in fear rather than an offensive one in faith. The result is that we have mega and mini churches full of people who know how to dress right, but they have no idea how to fight. They are spiritual chameleons with a parrot theology. When society mocks and defies the armies of the living God (The Church), we respond by putting on the familiar armor of Saul (hiding behind man-made methods of warfare; taking a defensive posture). We have fearfully accepted the demands of society that press us to build man’s kingdom rather than God’s kingdom (Ex. 1:11). We’d rather sit comfortably in line with Pharaoh’s orders than follow God through the wilderness.
The Womb of the Church
Looking through the lens of the four soils parable, here are a few ways we have failed to prevent spiritual abortion in my honest opinion:
- We have created a wayside culture, making it harder for people to have a genuine conversion experience, and leaving them vulnerable to deception.
We are recognizing that we are losing our relevance and influence, so we panic and compromise our message to make Christianity more palatable to the culture around us. We drop a little bit of word or truth on the wayside, but it is not the full truth or the main focus. It is a watered down gospel that has been diluted and has little affect. Out of fear of being unpopular, we try to stay as close as possible to what society accepts as normal rather than what God accepts as normal. We may feel relevant or progressive for a moment, but when moving forward becomes moving away from God, we have lost our way. Though God is still merciful, He is merciful in spite of our failure not because we have done something right. He will save with or without us, nevertheless, we are still responsible. The consequence of this type of church environment is that we only produce artificial Christians who have been robbed of a natural birth into the Kingdom due to experimentation, and though they may live, they inherit many birth defects. They are the most vulnerable to being led astray by every wind of false teaching. Our casual approach to discipleship has produced too many casualties, and we need to return to God’s way.
- We aren’t willing to pay the price to build community (prepare the soil) and to keep the “moisture” of His presence in our midst; therefore, the seeds can’t take root nor can they grow.
Our churches have become event-based and not community-based, thus our Christianity has become location-based and not life-based. Whereas the early church gathered regularly around the presence and power of God, we gather around a Sunday morning sermon. We know how to hype up a crowd of kids with loud music and comedic skits, but we seldom create opportunities for them to develop a solid root system. Excitement is not encounter, and we can’t stop there if we are going to be used of God to save a generation. As soon as they leave, temptation or persecution will arise, and they will have no foundation to keep them from falling away. Think about the excitement that comes with the birth of a child, and then imagine what would happen if you only interacted with that child once a week. We need to diligently build life on life praying communities where our newborns can be weaned, strengthened and equipped. We must make disciples not decisions.
- We have allowed the thorns of the humanistic mindset to infiltrate the Church and set the standard for things like happiness, success, beauty and comfort. We are no longer teaching people to obey the commandments of Christ.
This church environment is one where there is no longer a difference or separation of values between sons of the day and sons of the night, thus the consequence is that we have people wanting all the benefits of Christianity without a commitment or change of lifestyle. A gospel that is preached without calling people to sincerely repent will never produce fruit that remains. Leaders who compromise, distort or diminish God’s standard are only planting seeds in fields of thorns that are waiting to choke the life out of everything that tries to grow. We must not only teach, but demonstrate the kingdom of God in our lifestyles, attitudes, words and deeds, exposing the lies that society tries to embed in our minds from birth. We must proclaim the biblical message of grace that gives believers real confidence in God’s love, while motivating them to resist sin and obey Him wholeheartedly.
The soil or environment that we must make every effort to cultivate is one that first loves the truth, and is willing to receive it and sow it fully with love into all who will hear whether it is trending with man or not. We must not only sow seed or cause babies to be conceived, but we must help them to be born again. God will do His part, but He entrusts to us the role of a midwife. We must teach them, feed them and tend to them, providing delicate care and adequate attention just as we would for our own physical babies. Lastly, we must continue to cultivate communities of disciples who value His presence, His Word, His leadership and His family.
This is not a new issue. Samuel failed to raise up his sons; therefore, Israel panicked and asked for a king so they could be like the other nations. David’s desire for short-term gratification caused serious eternal ramifications and turmoil in his family, even the death of his own infant child (2 Sam. 12). So Church, I bring all this before you with sobriety because we must fight back on God’s terms if we are going to win this war in the womb.
*Look out for Part Three of this article series where we will look at some ways we, as the Church, can respond to this crisis and contend for the soul of a generation.