When Doing Good Is Controversial
When British missionary Amy Carmichael learned of the secret trafficking of little children in the temples of India, other missionaries opposed her involvement. Consequently, she worked tirelessly to rescue the children with minimal help. Similarly, pastors dismiss pro-life activists for being too concerned about abortion. Many are blinded to the dreadfulness of death by dismemberment, saying, “Aren’t the babies going to heaven anyway?”1
Today Christian higher education produces leaders whose ministry priorities bear little resemblance to the Good Samaritan, who did not pass by “on the other side” to avoid the victim. Seminaries don’t train pastors how to address abortion. Few Christians will grasp the extent of abortion or that abortion sacrifices children to gods of convenience, education, career or promiscuity. Killing innocent children is abhorrent to God; He punishes those who choose “to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind.” (Jer. 19:5) In Asia, where most of the Frontier People Groups live and have no churches, two-thirds of unwanted pregnancies end in abortion.2
Therefore, as abortion spreads into unreached people groups, missionaries also need training in effective methods of helping parents value their pre-born children. The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) has produced such a training by carefully studying the history of social reform, learning how God led Christians and missionaries previously to stop injustices. By applying these principles internationally, CBR’s educational strategy of using prenatal development and abortion photographs/ videos has proven to effectively change minds and save lives in such diverse countries as Sweden and China.
Photographs provide clear evidence of truth. Mark Twain satirized Belgium’s King Leopold II lamenting the loss of his rubber trade (which caused the deaths of nearly 10 million Congolese): “the incorruptible Kodak [camera]…. The only witness … I couldn’t bribe. Every Yankee missionary … sent home and got one.…” Professor Derrick M. Nault wrote: “The most prominent individuals taking such photographs were Alice Seeley Harris and John Harris, English missionaries who arrived at the Congo Balolo Mission in 1898. One broadly circulated photograph…” showed Nsala Wala staring at the severed hand and foot of his 5-year-old daughter, murdered by the Anglo-Belgian India Rubber Company.3 These missionaries recognized the biblical mandate to “do justice.” (Mic. 6:8) They and other reformers exposed the atrocity photos in “lantern lectures” to packed American and British audiences. Other missionaries remained silent, fearing ejection from the Congo if they spoke against the slaughter.
Exposing the atrocities of abortion is similar. CBR’s Genocide Awareness Project shows college students the commonalities between abortion and genocide, accepting any persecution. Tragically, Christian leaders fear that expressions of opposition to abortion will compromise their gospel proclamation. Worldwide, over 50 millionpreborn children are killed annually—each one created in God’s image. Christian missionaries must stand against this evil to help people see that Christ is real.