Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Salvation Army's Position on Abortion

I support the Salvation Army.  It does a job around the world that so many of us would never think of doing around the corner.  I'm a big fan of theirs.  And neither do I expect them to be perfect.  After all, like all Christian denominations, they are man-made.

Recently, I came across the fact that some evangelicals and conservatives have taken issue with the Salvation Army's Positional Statement, approved November 2010, on Abortion.  The link below takes you to the entire document for your own reading.

On the whole, the position is one to be lauded by Christians.  It presents a very well-balanced and sensitive view, realistically facing the various difficult circumstances including rape and incest that many women have to deal with today.

But at the same time it brings to light some aspects of the Army's philosophy on abortion that many of us do not know about.  In particular, the Salvation Army believes that termination can occur only when
  • Carrying the pregnancy further seriously threatens the life of the mother; or
  • Reliable diagnostic procedures have identified a fetal abnormality considered incompatible with survival for more than a very brief post natal period.
Simply put, mother's health comes before baby's health.  And if baby will be abnormal, it's okay to abort it.

A number of the problems with this stance are evident.  Man now plays God as to who should live and who should die -- mother or child.  How accurate are the predictions that a mother's life will indeed be lost?  How abnormal is abnormal?  Who decides?  And so on.  The issue is really about God's role vs. man's (or woman's).  And then there's Tim Tebow -- the great NFL Quarterback -- well, doctors were wrong about him and his mom.  They both survived.

The other aspect of the position paper deals with rape and incest.  This is indeed a tough situation.  But again, who is man or woman to play God?  The bottom line is that if a child is conceived as a result of either rape or incest, and such a child is brought to term, it can be put up for adoption if necessary and someone can and will love that child.  And there's also the post-abortion emotional harm that is often felt by the women carrying such a baby.

I believe in the work of the Salvation Army and I hope you keep on supporting these good works.  But I also found it interesting to know the position of such a great organization on this topic.  I think they've erred on the side of accommodation.  On the one hand they say that God is sovereign and is the keeper of life, on the other hand they don't seem to trust Him when it comes to deciding who lives or dies in certain circumstances.  A number of evangelicals think this is the thin edge of the wedge and I am one of them.

Please read the position statement for yourself.  


International Social Justice Commission: Abortion:

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