The Dobbs decision is a significant legal victory that will protect many unborn people. Of that, there can be no doubt. States will, at least until the next fight, be able to legislate their own protections for children in the womb. But that also means that states will be able to legislate as much wickedness as our deceitful hearts can imagine. It is in one sense a great victory, and in another sense, business as usual. It is a great victory, also, for reason, logic, and definitions of words.
If we believe that Scripture clearly teaches the sanctity of human life, if we don’t define "sanctity of life” as complete bodily autonomy, if we just had a five-day VBS about the sanctity of human life, if we support Clarity Pregnancy Care Center with our offerings and advertising dollars, why did we not say anything about the Dobbs decision at worship this past Sunday?
This is a good opportunity to remind ourselves of what we do when we gather for worship. Worship begins when God calls us, it is filled with our response, and it concludes when God sends us out. Worship is God-centered, not man-focused. Worship addresses our needs by addressing our greatest need—Jesus Christ.
For many of us, we have had months now of nothing but news about the Supreme Court. We’ve heard conservative praise and liberal disdain. We’ve heard about how much votes matter and how elections have consequences. Worship is an opportunity to distance ourselves from the wickedness and madness of a world hell-bent on destroying itself from the inside out. Worship, however, is when we focus on what God has already said, not talking heads with manicured mustaches.
When the Obergefell decision was handed down, the only mention of it in worship was when Pastor Robb said that no minister of Mt. Pisgah would be performing weddings that did not reflect a monogamous, heterosexual, and covenantal marriage as ordained in Genesis 2 and restated throughout Scripture. It’s not as if that was the first or last time that biblical marriage was preached on or taught about at Mt. Pisgah. There wasn’t a lot that needed to be said that we hadn’t been saying already.
We definitely do not hide from the controversial issues of our day. As long as Mt. Pisgah's current leadership is in place, we will hold fast to a biblical, traditional theology of marriage and the family. We will teach on the sanctity of life from womb to tomb, just like we did at VBS. King David was knit in his mother’s womb, and John the Baptist praised God in his mother's womb. It is unequivocally nonsense to believe that what takes place in the womb is anything less than life worthy of equal protection. It is also nonsense to think that the progressive arguments about “choice” and “rights” actually have anything to do with “choice” and “rights”. We must be intellectually rigorous and honest, not emotionally selective and lazy, and we must see through the thinly veiled buzzwords to understand what is really being argued.
All that is to say that I make no apology for holding to the Christian understanding of human life that was assumed in the West until a bunch of hippies changed their minds in 1973. King Jehu turned the temple of Baal into a public bathroom. We should do the same with the paper Roe vs. Wade was printed on.
But that brings me back to worship. The sermon series are planned months in advance. The pulpit is where God speaks, not where the preacher rides his hobby horse. The next sermon series throughout the rest of the summer will be on a smattering of theological topics so that if you’re gone on vacation one weekend (not all the weekends), you don’t miss an integral part of the series.
That isn’t to say that we would not halt a series for a week or two if the need arose. But that would have to be something extraordinary that affected Mt. Pisgah in a peculiar way. For instance, when we paid off all of our building debt, we had a guest speaker and a break in the preaching series. But the next week, we were back on track in God’s Word.
If we preach the headlines every time anything of consequence happens in this world, we would be doing you a great disservice. God does not respond to this world; the world must respond to him. So we preach through books of the Bible, or we preach on individual passages. Who knows, this summer, you may very well get a sermon on the sanctity of human life…
God sets the pace of worship, not the president, judges, or forked-tongued politicians. This is a principled stance that guards against having to return to milk instead of solid food over and over again. A steady diet of Scripture is what the church needs, not pastoral punditry in the pulpit.
We preach Christ and him crucified, not the headlines.
Next week, back to the London Baptist Confession where we belong!