Pro-Life Presbyterians Meet, Speaker Says Help Women Victimized by Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
July 5, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — In a mainline Protestant denomination that takes a pro-abortion position, pro-life Presbyterians look to each other for support as they try to take the pro-life message to their fellow church members. They received that support at a luncheon in conjunction with the 219th PCUSA General Assembly.
Members of Presbyterians Pro-Life (PPL) started their luncheon with a birthday song for the Rev. Philip Keevil of First Presbyterian Church in Reading, Pennsylvania.
The celebration of life remained the focus throughout the event, which featured the Rev. David Swanson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Orlando, Florida.
Swanson referenced Jeremiah 1, which says, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
The pastor continued with an appeal to the Presbyterian church, saying it "needs to
counsel the thousands of young people out there who have had abortions — not pointing our fingers at them and calling them sinners is not going to bring
them to God."
"Abortion is not the unforgivable sin. As Christians, we need to affirm they are loved. We need to promote life, but also offer a safe place to begin healing," he said.
Swanson emphasized that the current culture is one bent on devaluing life and has
become focused only on the individual and thus goes against God’s calling for Christians — a calling that came even as people were unborn children in the womb.
Calling to attention the matter of abortion, Swanson said Christians should understand that, by biblical definition, all life flows from God. He said Christians must consider God’s purposes as beginning before birth.
The reaction by Christians to abortion must be to protect life and bear witness to God’s word, Swanson said.
He also indicated that while people do have certain rights in regard to their individual bodies, this is not absolute and does not include an unborn child who is a separate individual with his or her own rights.
"Your body was bought by the death of Jesus Christ. Seek his council on how to honor him with your body," he said.
In 2004, the Presbyterian Church assembly upheld their pro-abortion position in favor keeping partial-birth abortions legal. It rejected a pro-life proposal that would have encouraged women with problem pregnancies to carry the baby to term.
Members defeated the pro-life measure 260-256 and then voted 298-219 to authorize a mailing to all Presbyterian churches announcing the denomination’s policy on abortion.
The Presbyterian Church has faced declining enrollments over the years in part because of its pro-abortion position. The denomination lost over 43,000 members during 2004 — the third straight year it has lost over 40,000 members.
It’s lost 12.9 percent of its total membership since 1983 and nearly half of its membership since 1965. In the last two years, the percentage of members leaving the Presbyterian Church is at its highest since the early 1980s.
Related web sites:
Presbyterians Pro-Life – https://www.ppl.org
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