Viewing abortion through the lens of a cross-cultural missionary

As sobering and painful as it is for me to express it, I’m not surprised at the ho-hum response of the majority of the media and most Americans to the videos recently released that clearly portray the multi-faceted evils of the abortion industry in America.

Why am I not surprised?

Because I’ve learned to view most societal and cultural issues, even here in America, through a biblically based, cross-cultural missionary lens that moves forward from these two foundational convictions:

  1. Just like Jesus, a missionary must be confident that the Kingdom of God can be established in any country without the need to directly change any laws of that country or the government itself.

2.  To unleash and apply the truths of God’s Word and be used by Him to establish His      Kingdom, a missionary must enter as an observer and learner of the                    language and culture as they experience life in their new context and build              meaningful relationships.

Moving forward from those two convictions and then viewing abortion through a few of the basic principles that a well trained missionary might use, this is what I believe must be understood about abortion:

–Abortion is a specific cultural practice that serves an important purpose within the overarching culture of most Americans.

–It plays such an important role that the government mandates it as a civil right and expends taxpayer funds to ensure that any person desiring to exercise the right, regardless of their financial means, has the ability to do so.

–Therefore, the practice itself, those who choose it, those who make it possible, and those who defend it, are all bestowed with a certain level of respect and even honor from a large segment of the people within the overall culture.

–As with all specific cultural practices, abortion is simply the logical, practical, and specific application or product of one or more core values and foundational beliefs held by those within the culture, (either consciously or subconsciously).

–The deeply held core value is individualism–which springs forth from the right of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, (as that individual defines it), that is enshrined in the constitution of the United States of America.

–The core value of individualism couples together very easily with a bedrock belief in the importance of self-esteem.  The conviction that the value, worth, significance, importance–that an individual longs for in order to be emotionally and psychologically healthy, (self-actualized and fulfilled), is primarily their own responsibility to produce or generate.

–If every American has the individual right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and self-esteem is where true happiness is found, then every American must have the right to remove any obstacle that might hinder the happiness they believe they’ll find through self-fulfillment and greater self-esteem.

–Thus, abortion is the governmentally and culturally acceptable method of removing a major obstacle that by it’s very nature impedes a person’s right to live the life they desire.

So, what are those that follow Jesus to do now that they understand that abortion serves such a crucial cultural purpose?

In my next post, I’ll extract a principle from what I believe is THE relevant lesson from the book of Daniel….an amazingly helpful cross-cultural ministry manual.

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