Joe Biden, Raphael Warnock, and the rise of “pro-choice Christianity”

For decades, the Catholic church has been among the most vocal institutions in the world regarding the sanctity of life. The stereotypical large Catholic family was “birthed” in the belief, held for years by Catholics, that even birth control was sinful. Intentionally ending the life of a child, or even preventing conception, was considered an evil deed. Catholics were pro-Life. End of story.

The Abortion-Defending Politician

A pro-choice Catholic president is paradoxical. Equally enigmatic is Christians, especially evangelicals, supporting such a candidate.

This historical stance runs counter to the reality that President-elect Joe Biden, who is a professing Catholic, was just elected with a pro-choice platform. This ideological dissonance has not been lost on Catholics. Recently, Archbishop Allen Vigneron, who leads the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, was chosen to head up a new national group that is being formed to help Catholics navigate their response to the soon-to-be president and his pro-abortion stance. Additionally, at least one priest refused to give then- candidate Biden communion when the politician attended mass in South Carolina.

Meanwhile, there were many who did not see the issue of life in the same light as the aforementioned. Washington, D.C., Archbishop Wilton Gregory publicly stated he would not deny communion to Biden. Christian groups were vocal in supporting the Democrat. Backing Biden was not surprising for some liberal-leaning denominations. But, in addition to the expected supporters, there were evangelicals, typically staunchly pro-life, who rallied behind the former Vice-President.

A pro-choice Catholic president is paradoxical. Equally enigmatic is Christians, especially evangelicals, supporting such a candidate. Some would call it hypocritical. Considering the advances in technology, understanding, and general pro-life sentiment, it is almost an unthought of possibility that believers would throw their weight behind any pro-abortion platform.

But President-elect Biden’s candidacy is far from the most cognitively dissonant in this cycle.

The Abortion-Promoting Preacher

Raphael Warnock is a new name to many voters outside of the Atlanta, Georgia region, where he rose to political prominence supporting the expansion of Medicaid. The Baptist pastor has also garnered acclaim among the Church world. The Rev. Dr. Warnock, whose congregation at the revered Ebenezer Baptist Church, was once led by Martin Luther King Jr, is well known as an orator and social justice advocate. A vocal ally of President Obama, Warnock gave the benediction at the 2013 inaugural prayer meeting.

Warnock has found himself again in the national spotlight. He, running as a Democrat, is a finalist in one of the most important races of this election season, the Georgia senatorial runoff. With the House of Representatives and the White House presumed to be in Democrat hands, all eyes are on the Senate. Control of the 100-seat chamber will be decided by Georgia’s contests.

As voters are weighing their options and campaign ads are gearing up, the same issues come to the forefront again. Economy, environment, social justice, and the rest of 2020’s issues will be at the center of the race once more. Yet, one could presume that Warnock, a pastor of a Baptist church in the southeast will likely split with the Democratic party on one issue, abortion.

Shockingly, or perhaps the better adjective is sadly, Warnock, does not break away from the Democratic platform on the issue of preserving life for the unborn. In fact, the pastor is a warrior for the cause of abortion which he says is aligned with his faith.

“I will always fight for reproductive justice” The pastor’s statement leaves one to wonder whether or not he is considering what is just for the unborn children who will be murdered in the name of “reproductive justice.”

Former NFL star Benjamin Watson, recently called out the hypocritical stance of the pastor. Yet others, such as former President Barack Obama and leaders of Planned Parenthood, have poured praise on the preacher. Soon, the voters of Georgia will decide where they stand.

How could a man who followed the great Martin Luther King Jr. possibly gain the praise of an organization founded upon the very principle of murdering black children?

The Abortion-Neutral Church

Politicians taking contradictory stances is par for the course. We are quite used to the idea of actions and purported ethics being incongruent in that arena. Joe Biden supporting abortion, which goes against the faith he professes, is no surprise to anyone. That is what politicians do.

Yet, we have something different in Raphael Warnock. This is a pastor, a graduate of seminary, a man who fills a pulpit each week. How could a man who followed the great Martin Luther King Jr. possibly gain the praise of an organization founded upon the very principle of murdering black children? How could he possibly not be pro-life, much less vehemently supportive of a mother making the choice to murder an innocent child?

A deeper question; How can Christians support politicians with these views?

A Wake-Up Call

The answer lies somewhere in the Church. Perhaps the blame is on the pulpit, perhaps it is in the pew. More appropriately, it may be in the emptiness of the pew during Bible study. But, somewhere, the Church has lost its Biblical worldview. An issue that should be as easily discerned as standing against the Holocaust has somehow become murky, undefined, and even unimportant. Like the Holocaust, millions more will die, and many Christians will be complicit.

Meanwhile the church is wandering about in confusion.

“I don’t believe in abortion, but I believe in a woman’s right to choose.”
“What about kids being separated from their parents at the border?”
“When life begins is above my paygrade.”
“Yea but what about if the mother’s life is in danger?”
“What about rape or incest?”

All of these statements and questions could be countered and answered easily if the church would engage the issue Biblically. There is a right and a wrong. Abortion, like every other issue, is a matter of absolute morality that is laid out in the Scriptures. Sadly, most of our people have not been instructed and many of our pastors have not developed a solid Christian ethic from which they can instruct their flock.

This must change. We must lift our heads from the sand and recognize that even as the general population becomes more pro-life, our own congregations are confused on the what and why of our beliefs regarding this heinous practice. Enough is enough.

We must engage our pulpits.
We must educate our people.
We must be clear.
We must.

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