From the Editor—Friday Reflections

Behold, the Innocent

The Friday Reflection by James M. Kushiner

October 30th, 2020


t is imperative to remember that there is an ancient adversary of mankind who successfully ensnared man in a web of evil and disobedience. Our Lord won a healing victory over sin and death. Yet while we await its final consummation and share the Good News, our adversary wages a fierce campaign to distract man from God, set men against each other, and deliver as many as possible into the devouring jaws of death.

This Year of Our Lord 2020 has been diabolical. We've seen plague, rioting, arson, mayhem, bald-face lies, and deep political rancor dividing families. Churches have been shuttered or service attendance severely restricted during a time of sickness, financial insecurity, emotional depression, racial division, violent protests, and severe political strife. The church, tasked with the godly ministry of praying for all men, for leaders, for peace, for well-being, for healing, has consequently been sidelined with fewer such prayers offered by the gathered church at the very time when they are most urgently needed.

Division seems to be the "new normal" on everything from politics to pandemics to policing. In this season of division, some have criticized us for not saying enough about voting, suggesting we have been derelict by not promoting a candidate.

While we cannot see the outworking of our political choices in the future as events unfold, we can and must directly oppose clear and present moral outrages to the Divine Law, such as abortion. We may not turn a blind eye to this legalized bloodshed. Yet even on such a clear issue as abortion, whole churches are shockingly divided over this or compromised by obscuring it with "other matters."

Of course, when one considers that churches have been and continued to be split from top to bottom over the nature of sex and marriage, it is no surprise that their voices on abortion have either supported the wicked "choice," or, if officially still opposed, barely audible or sufficiently mixed in with other issues to cause confusion and give a green (or yellow) light to support even the worst pro-abortion candidates.

Christians in a free democracy are still bond-servants to the Lord for whom they are waiting, and they must vote with a Christian mind. To vote for a candidate who lends support to abortion is to become complicit in the shedding of innocent blood. Christian tradition supports this conclusion.

My first interview as an amateur journalist was with Harold O. J. Brown in 1976. He told me that voting for a candidate who supports abortion—i.e., even if "personally opposed to abortion" he votes to fund it and protect it—constituted complicity in the bloodshed of abortion. Complicity means shared guilt.

The Scriptures repeatedly warn against the shedding of innocent blood. Since 1973, the U.S. government has sanctioned abortion, even paid for it. The blood shed by abortion is human blood, and it is innocent. God will judge any churches, and their ordained leaders, who ignore or downplay this clear moral teaching of the Christian tradition.

In 2009, I gave a talk in the US Senate Office building on "Voting for Pontius Pilate." I described a thread in history of the shedding of innocent blood for the sake of an imagined benefit. In the Bible, Pharaoh slaughtered the Hebrew children, Herod massacred the Innocents, and Pontius Pilate, for the sake of political peace, crucified a Man whom he knew to be innocent. In our pagan past and in the Bible, we see human and child sacrifice allegedly for the sake of better lives. Today, babies are killed in utero lest they "ruin" lives.

[We've published on Christians voting: First Things First (2004) & Voting for Pontius Pilate (2003]

Whenever innocent human blood is shed, God takes notice, even if the devil is pleased and God takes his time to judge. For the devil is a "roaring lion" seeking to devour. We are repeatedly warned to be on guard and to watch—and to resist him.

There is no coasting in Christianity, no napping from discipleship, no furlough from our fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil. A vote can be an act of resistance against the worst evil or cooperation with it. We can't know results for certain. But we can give it our best shot.

Yours for Christ, Creed & Culture,

James M. Kushiner
Executive Director, The Fellowship of St. James

—James M. Kushiner is Executive Editor of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, and Executive Director of The Fellowship of St. James.