Everyone today can agree American slavery was wrong.
What slave owners in our country did was evil, sinful, objectively bad: beating and harming African Americans, treating them as less than human. We can see its evil clearly. It would appear that we have clear moral vision based on the fact that we can know it was wicked for a plantation owner in Georgia to whip and abuse a black man.
I think we all sit here confidently in 2014 and know that we would have been able to see the evil of American slavery and call it out back then.
And so I think we trust our moral vision too much.
We think we can figure out what’s right even with the sounds of the present day drowning out the voice of God in our consciences.
We look at white slave owners in the early 1800s and think:
“How could they do that?”
Most of us, it seems to me, are sure that we would’ve seen the evil in it, and that we would’ve been like Anthony Hopkins in Amistad or Matthew Broderick in Glory. That we would’ve stood for the good and the right when everyone else around us was shouting us down.
But the Bible says that the human heart is wicked, above all things. I think each generation allows itself to become blind, numb, deaf, desensitized to some hideous sin. Or sins. We see some wicked, awful, God-appalling violence or deceit so much that it just seems like a normal part of life.
“Oh, everyone does that.”
“That’s what everyone thinks.”
“How can that be a sin? We all do it!”
Whether it’s sacrificing food to idols in 1st century Corinth (the equivalent of going to Chuck E Cheese’s), believing blacks are less human than whites, supporting Hitler’s government in Germany, or going to a strip club here in 2014, there are certain evils that become so pervasive in a culture that people’s hearts harden to the point of thinking they’re okay.
And so in our present day we kill infants in the womb, and it pretty much seems to have become, well, normal.
Now, the act is hideous enough. Killing a living infant whom God knit together and says is in His image is wicked. But the weird, nauseating, unspeakably sad twist on abortion here in 2014 is that you’re viewed as strange for saying so.
The hardness of a culture’s heart towards the beating of African Americans, the imprisoning and killing of Jews, or the murdering of infants in the womb always makes the culture view God’s take on the act in a confused way.
“Come on, how could God say that? I mean, what about…?”
A hardened heart, and admittedly my own has become dense at times, will always make excuses for sin.
A hardened heart does not repent.
It seeks to justify itself.
“What about the woman who can’t afford to have a kid?”
“What about the economy in the South? It’ll collapse without slavery!”
“What about how much money the Jews have here in Germany? They play unfairly in the financial world!”
Sin can be forgiven. Sin can, and will be someday, wiped away, when all things are put under the feet of the merciful Jesus.
Sin can be obliterated and sin can be pardoned. But sin cannot justify itself. No matter how many people think it is normal.
That an evil is common does not make it good.
In Africa, HIV is common.. We still hope and pray that it is eradicated. We don’t say, “Well, come on, it can’t be that bad. Everyone’s doing it.”
We should be sensitized, awakened to the evil of abortion. We need the moral perspective we have on American slavery now that we’re 150 years removed from it. We need to be shocked and jolted into seeing that murdering infants in their mothers’ wombs is just as evil as the slavery we rightly condemn.
It should jar us that this happens:
The number one cause of death among African Americans is abortion. Since 1973, about 13 million African Americans have been killed in the womb. The number two cause of death in that time period? Heart disease, at about 2 million.
In India, couples are not allowed to get ultrasounds, because when it is found that a baby is a girl, the family will often abort her.
Here in the US, there was a recent outcry at the closing of abortion clinics in Texas and a few other states, because of the distance it would mean women would have to drive to abort their children.
Somehow these things are seen as simply a part of life. Typical. Permissible.
God breathed life into human beings. He called them the bearers of His image. He sent His Son to redeem them from their wickedness. He authored the way they would and should love and marry and reproduce.
We will always, until King Jesus conquers everything, pursue evils. But what is disheartening, frightening, and perversely peculiar is when we don’t see them as evil, but simply as normal.