When was the last time you heard news from Redfield, South Dakota? According to The Federalist, “Thanks to a media blackout, the vast majority of Americans — a whopping 70 percent — have heard little to nothing about videos showing the involvement of Planned Parenthood in the harvesting and trafficking of human fetal organs”. However, the Redfield Press did a story about what Pastors in their town are saying in response to the Planned Parenthood videos. It seems Redfield, South Dakota a town of approximately 2,385 folks is not in the vast majority.
“If what is being put out there is accurate it looks really bad. It is very much an affront to human dignity and life in general,” said Bret Bierman, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Mansfield, concerning the Planned Parenthood videos. “I have to admit I have not seen the whole videos so I don’t know if it is being edited fairly. But if it is true, I just don’t know how you can defend it. I believe abortion is a sin, abortion is murder. But it is a forgivable sin.”
Lest we forget, Saul (later known as Paul who wrote most of the New Testament of the Bible) was himself a perpetrator of murder against followers of Christ and was certainly forgiven by Christ who called him into ministry.
Brad Traxler, pastor of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Redfield, said that he does not believe in abortion, “except to possibly save the life of the mother that would be the only extreme.”
Just this morning I read a comment about the position of “abortion only to save the life of the mother” and it made me think. The comment stated that if the abortion was needed to save the life of the mother, then the woman would already be in the hospital fighting for her life, not driving herself across state lines to obtain an abortion. That gave me food for thought.
Marty Toepke-Floyd, pastor of the Frankfort and Redfield United Methodist churches, also commented on the videos.
Toepke-Floyd said, “I don’t know that there have been any trials. The United Methodist Church allows for abortion, but it is not something given in to on a whim. It is not encouraged, but it is permissible, considering rape and other things. . . I know not all churches have the same view, but I think that 99 percent of Americans would agree with me on that, the whole idea of planning your family.”
Would “other things” include considering having an abortion because a woman didn’t want to lose her perfect figure? That is a true story I heard from the head of a network of Care Net centers in the Chicago area. What did the team at the pregnancy center do? They offered to get her a personal trainer, so committed were they to life. She did keep her baby.
“This life brings with it difficult circumstances and with those circumstances, difficult decisions,” wrote Pastor Joshua Kendrick of the Redfield Wesleyan, “My prayer and my hope for you is that if you find yourself in an unwanted pregnancy, you understand God’s heart for you and for that unborn child. I urge adoption if you are unable to care for him or her. Give him life.”
Yes, life brings with it difficult circumstances and God calls His Church to minister to women and children without husbands or father when they find themselves struggling. The New Testament Church was called to minister to the widows and orphans when the half-brother of Jesus wrote the Book of James:
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for
orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you”.
James 1:27 (NLT)
Maybe there is a media blackout orchestrated by those who defend and support the work of Planned Parenthood, but even in Redfield, South Dakota the plight of the innocent unborn is being discussed and I believe thousands more pastors and church members across our nation are waking up to the need to determine what they truly believe about the sanctity of human life as well as the sovereignty of God.
Care Net’s church outreach and engagement initiative seeks to provide pastors and churches with empirical data as well as realistic, Christ-centered support that will train and equip them to effectively accomplish all God would have them do, wherever they have been planted, as they stand for life.
So media blackout or not, find your local Care Net pregnancy center and simply enter your zip code or the zip code of your church. Take a tour of your local center, ask questions to find out ways to help, and learn what you can do to stand for life in your own community.
So be like Redfield, South Dakota – don’t stay in the dark!