One of the reasons I love youth work is that I learn so much from the teenagers. One of the main things I learn is the varying perspectives people have on the world. I’m a pretty opinionated person, but somehow I usually find it fairly easy to place myself into someone else’s shoes and find an understanding to how they reasoned their way to the position or viewpoint they are taking.
There are always certain ‘controversial’ topics which as Christians we either want to get on our soapbox and have a good rant about, judge others on or avoid like the plague. Homosexuality. Evolution. Women in leadership. Fornicating. Tithing. War. Levitical law. Denominational differences.
I may be generalising here, but I’m pretty sure most Christians will have an example of a topic has been an ‘awkward one’ in the past. The one that you know if you ask a question about at a bible study tumbleweed will blow through the room or your respect for someone’s opinion suddenly disappears because the thoughts they voiced sounded appalling to you.
Well, since I started working in pregnancy crisis centres I found another one – abortion. But this time, it’s not only a taboo subject in the church – it seems to be an issue that no one really wants to discuss inside or outside of the Christian community.
I figure part of the issue is that is no fairly blunt and to the point verse that can’t really be varied in how you interpret it. It’s also a pretty horrible thing to think about, and I’ve come to realise that a lot of people don’t want to think about it and therefore aren’t really sure what their opinion is on the subject. Maybe it’s because people don’t want to admit they have issues with it for fear of how they might be labelled.
It’s now a huge topic in the media just now though, as Britain wants to be the forefront of reproductive biological sciences – I don’t think many thought that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill would go through the House of Lords as quickly as it did. Then there are the other facets – the timing with the 40th anniversary of the Abortion Act…what this will mean for homosexual couples wishing to become parents…stem cell research…animal-human hybrids…cloning…saviour babies…abortion on demand…
With all these issues being debated, do we, the Church actually know where we stand on the issue? Are we unified in our moral or ethical perspective? And even if we do know where we stand, could we explain how we came to that conclusion, the reason and evidence behind our standpoint?
I recently posted a short film on my blog of women sharing their experiences of abortion. One of the women commented afterwards “I wish for a new movement to begin and its called pro 'informed' choice…I hope it takes off one day” I can only agree. We can make a choice to agree or disagree with something…but how informed are the choices we are making?