Pulpit Reflections

Pulpit Reflections
The blaring headlines across our nation about South Dakota's new ban on abortion, and some of the drivel written about it, pretty well focuses our attention in this pastor's column.

As an unabashed and unembarrassed Christian, I have no illusions about what has transpired in our nation over the past 20 years.

Before 1973, every state of the United States had laws forbidding, adultery and sodomy, and tightly regulating, if not directly forbidding, abortion.


In 1973, contrary to the 200 year judicial history of constitutional interpretation, the U.S. Supreme Court "discovered" a "right to privacy" which it used to legislate "abortion on demand," and, by implication and later rulings, repealed many state laws forbidding immoral sexual conduct.

Many realize that in legalizing abortion on demand, the Supreme Court took upon itself the legislative authority specifically reserved to Congress by the very first article of the U.S. Constitution, which says, "ALL legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…" What could not have been passed in an open legislative session of Congress was decided behind closed doors by a divided court.

However, what could not be done by that decision was to destroy the moral sensibility of millions of Americans. This is why state after state has worked hard over the past 30 years to legislate some sensible safeguards and limits to abortion on demand.

In contrast to attempts to limit abortion, the new South Dakota law directly contradicts the pro-abortion mantra that "a woman should have control over her own body." Now this mantra is just a subtle way of saying, "there is no right or wrong, I can do anything I want to."

When we realize that the vast majority of abortions are done to avoid the consequences of adultery, we begin to understand that the result is no moral limits at all.

But history shows that an immoral society is chaotic. When asked the question of sexual conduct, the Bible, and civilized societies throughout history have said, "absolutely not, no one has a right to defile his/her own body sexually."

"Privacy has limits, and those limits are transgressed by sexual sins." We still arrest people for rape, for purposely exposing people to AIDS, for having sex with minors, and for downloading child pornography. This is as it should be.

But we must also not forget that, historically, adultery, homosexuality and abortion have been seen as sins of the participants against society, and against the God who made us. Every evidence is that this is still true.

When my family moved to California from South Dakota, I was 14 and unaware that homosexuality and abortion even existed (which kept me from a lot of sick thoughts). When I returned to South Dakota at age 23 in 1961, the Pierre newspaper reported that a local man and woman were arrested for "committing adultery," which gave me some hope that South Dakota was still a decent place to live.

For the same reasons, I am hopeful about the new South Dakota anti-abortion law. Having pastored for 43 years, I have dealt with enough people who have messed up their lives with sexual sins. There is no substitute for using sex God's way. "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed is undefiled. But God will judge those who practice sexual immorality and adultery." (Heb. 13:4)

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