As many are aware, there has for some time been public controversy between the group known as Abolish Human Abortion – particularly those from Oklahoma – and some of their most vocal critics. Sadly, some of their loudest critics are others in the pro-life (for lack of a better term) community. If AHA is truly in error, this criticism although unfortunate, it still necessary. If AHA is not in error or if their error is not to the level that some make it out to be, then this criticism is downright tragic.
Some criticism toward AHA includes charges that:
1. AHA membership includes those not under pastoral authority.
2. AHA explicitly or implicitly eschews pastoral authority and accountability.
3. AHA is effectively, purposefully or not, engaging in behavior that could rightly be called “anti-church.”
4. AHA employs mechanisms and methodologies that are not biblical, particularly but not limited to, the Church Repent project.
5. AHA confuses Abolition and the Gospel.
6. AHA leadership often preaches Law without Gospel.
7. AHA leadership is not teachable and they do not desire correction (assuming it’s needed).
Let me be real honest here (would you expect anything less?):
A. If all of these charges are true, then the right-thinking evangelical church should be done with AHA and refuse to endorse, support, or encourage their activities.
B. If all of these charges are true except for the last one, older brothers that care for both AHA membership and the unborn should throw themselves into gentle correction and private rebuke until it is clearly demonstrated that their willingness for correction is false pretense.
C. Finally, if none or only some of these things are true, then there has been falsehoods and false characterizations that should be repented of.
Concerning B, I truly do not believe that everything that can be done has been done to gently correct and privately rebuke to clearly demonstrate that AHA has been unwilling – up to this point – to accept criticism or correction if needed. So, here is what I suggest…
1. I would beg – yes, beg – that both sides refrain from discussing this matter in public ways until we can meet privately and determine the truthfulness of these matters. To do so at this point in time is unhelpful, unhealthy, and unproductive both for those involved and those looking on.
2. We need a colloquy to settle these matters. Trying to settle this dispute in the realm of blogs and social media is absurd and unrealistic. We need to discuss this in person. If witnesses need to be called in to substantiate testimony, then that needs to happen. Hopefully, this will end better than Zwingli’s colloquy with Luther. If not, then at least we know where we stand.
3. Because both sides – with whom I am friends (yes, on both sides) – are preaching a Gospel that solicits a response of repentance, either side in error needs to quickly and openly repent if they are truly in error. Furthermore, if they have sinned publicly, they need to repent publicly. Furthermore, because both sides preach a Gospel that promises reconciliation, both sides must be willing to reconcile one to another if there is a confession of sin. I would expect nothing less from brothers that preach a Biblical Gospel.
I move that both sides take the time to handle this as I’ve suggested. I will be happy to moderate this colloquy or both sides could choose whoever they want. Nonetheless, it must be done.
Grace and Peace,
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