"I do not agree with everything in either party's platform, but I weigh the overall stance toward people that is found in those platforms. While abortion is certainly wrong, I do not believe in single-issue voting. Neither do I see one sin as worse than all the others; to do so strikes me as hypocritical. When the Church attempts to impose its morals on society, it only breeds resentment among unsaved people."How would you respond?
I thought Scott Klusendorf gave a great response that is winsome, non-combative, and persuasive.
Dear Daniel,Click over to read a couple closing reflections that are very important.
Hopefully those questioning you will pause to consider the ministry impact you’ve made on many of us, all of it fruitful. They would do well to engage you through the lens of profound gratitude! I hope my own thoughts are conveyed through that very lens.
First, I’m wondering if you could clear this statement up for me. “While abortion is certainly wrong, I do not believe in single-issue voting. Neither do I see one sin as worse than all the others; to do so strikes me as hypocritical.”
Why do you think abortion is “certainly” wrong?
If your answer is that it unjustly takes the life of an innocent human being (the only reason I see for saying it’s “certainly” wrong), why shouldn’t that be a dominant moral issue at the ballot box? Suppose a head of state has an excellent foreign policy and a good health-care plan, but he and his party are committed to the proposition that men can legally beat their wives. Wouldn’t that be reason enough to reject that party? Of course, you’re right to say that abortion isn’t the only issue any more than slavery was the only issue in 1860 or the treatment of Jews the only issue in 1940. But both were the dominant issues of the day. What’s wrong with Christians giving greater weight to those dominant issues?
Second, I’m unclear what you meant when you said abortion was no worse than other sins. Are you suggesting that dismembering a human fetus is morally equivalent to stealing a pencil? Perhaps you meant that, judicially speaking, all humans—regardless of their specific sins—are equally guilty of rebellion against their Maker. Thus, they equally need a Savior to pay their sins. If so, I agree. But does it follow from this that all sins are morally equivalent in terms of the evil done?
Third, I was unclear about this statement: “When the Church attempts to impose its morals on society, it only breeds resentment among unsaved people.” Is promoting legal protection for unborn humans an example of “imposing” views on society? If so, why should we see it that way? I don’t think pro-life Christians are “imposing” their views any more than abolitionist Christians were imposing theirs or the Reverend King was imposing his. Rather, they’re “proposing” them in hopes their fellow citizens will vote them into law. That’s how a constitutional republic like ours works. We’re not looking to establish a theocracy that we impose on non-Christians, only a more just society for the weakest members of the human family.
Finally, you are right to say that Christians must be gracious in our interactions with non-believers. I grieve thinking about times I’ve fallen short of that standard. Thank you for that important reminder about unduly offending people. The gospel is offensive enough!
Thankfully, we don’t have to choose between standing up for our moral convictions or pointing people to Jesus. We can do both. Last Thursday night, I debated Dr. Malcom Potts, an abortionist, in front of a largely secular audience at U.C. Berkeley. After the event, ten students from the skeptics/atheist club stuck around to converse with me for 75 minutes. They loved it! They thanked me for being an intelligent Christian and for making a case for life based on science and philosophy. True, they didn’t fall on their knees and repent, but I did give them something to think about. To quote my good friend Greg Koukl, don’t worry about closing the deal—put a pebble in their shoe.
With kindest regards and deep gratitude, Scott