Difficult Thoughts On Abortion and Child Abuse

by Mary Stephens
Sept. 2017

In June a tragic thing happened in San Antonio, Texas. A teenage mother, one Amanda Hawkins, left her two small children, ages 1 and 2, in a car overnight while she was in a house - apparently partying. They were left there till about noon the next day when the outside temperature had risen to 85F. Although she tried to cover up the fact by taking care of the children later when they are said to have already been unconscious, she was eventually convinced to take them to ER. There she lied about what happened. They died later that day from the effects of the heat and neglect they had suffered. [Information Source]

During the course of this event one teenage boy went and slept in the car with the children for a period of time in the night. Also, some of her friends heard the children crying in the car and tried to convince the mother to bring them inside, which she refused to do.

This particular situation brings up several points to ponder.

First of all, I want to discuss the issue of what the friends did or didn't do.

According to the article, some of her friends were already concerned for the safety of the children, since apparently there had been previous problems with her care of them. One friend even admitted that she regretted that she had waited so long to contact the authorities about the problem. She didn't want to see the kids go into "the system" - Child Protection Services - so she delayed, not realizing the children would end of dead before she did anything.

This is a hard call to make. Foster care and the whole system has a reputation that is less than stellar. Among Christians a serious hatred has developed towards this particular "system" and it is often seen as the enemy of parents, especially Christian parents. There are understandable reasons for this, namely that there have been a number of situations where children have been taken from Christian homes unjustly and under false accusations.

But, we have a problem as well.

The reality is that there are legitimate cases, even among Christians, where children need to be removed from abusive situations. Yes. I wrote that.

If this statement made you instantly angry and defensive, I would like to challenge you to examine your own motives. Why are you so defensive? I know a few people have had bad experiences, I get that. But, does that make it OK to rail against the authority that is there to stop evil doers?

We are warned in scripture not be keep company with railers who profess to be Christians. Sadly, this has become a common problem in various, especially relating to government and politics in general.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

We are also admonished to acknowledge that the powers that be are established to punish evil doers.

Romans 13:3-5 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Yes, those people get it wrong sometimes because they are, after all, imperfect humans. And sometimes evil people get involved and use this power to attack children and Christians.

But, the purpose of protecting children from abuse is not evil in and of itself. In the case we're discussing, this mother ought to have been reported by the friends who knew there was a problem - a legitimate, identifiable problem. She should not have been allowed to continue to care for those kids without at least supervision. At 19 she was little more than a child herself, and obviously a very immature one at that.

Having done a considerable amount of reading now on the very serious problem of children being abused in "Christian" homes, I am sorry to say that in some of the cases where Christian parents have claimed to be a victim of CPS, or other entities of the law, they were no such thing. Their children were being abused and they justly deserved to lose them. (The terribleness of foster care and all that entails is another whole issue, not to be brought in here to muddle up the main point.) We have had more than one example of "Christian" parents actually killing their children through their methods of punishment - cases which we cannot ignore or pretend away in dealing with this serious and horrible subject. When we point an accusing finger at CPS and claim they are unjust or "picking on Christians" and then deny the real and documented abuse that goes on in our midst all we do is make the name of Jesus Christ odious to the world.

Luke 17:1-2 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

Standing by silently while a mother kills her children is offending a child, I should think. Amanda Hawkins' friends are in a sense culpable for the death of those children. Those who knew there was a problem and did not report her sooner or bring the children inside the house that night/day are, in part, guilty of their deaths. CPS is there to deal with people like this. And, contrary to what some people say, not all of those children that are removed from abusive situations end up "worse off in the system." Some are given into the custody of family, or even adopted into homes of people who actually want them. Yes, it does happen, despite the fact that the system is a mess.


Another issue we should probably think about here is the problem of a girl that young being the mother of two children. She was obviously not a responsible young woman. There are teenage girls who would not leave children in a car like that, true. But, there's a very sticky issue that needs to be mentioned, I think, although I fully expect it to be misconstrued by someone.

There are a lot of pro-life people who would have rejoiced to know that Amanda didn't abort her baby when she was 17, and again when she was 18. They would have celebrated this, perhaps in their church service as we once saw and heard, as "a save." And, yet what was the final outcome for those two children? They are just as dead today as if she had aborted them then.

How dare I say that? Because it's true. No one with a shred of reason could deny it. And she is just as much a murder as if she had aborted them.

My families' experiences with the pro-life movement goes back to the 1980s in Western Michigan. We saw and heard a number of things there at that time which have defined my view of this movement ever since.

My dad had an interesting conversation at that time with a pro-life advocate who was asking for donations. My dad was a pastor at the time and the man was seeking financial support from him or the church, probably both. He was giving his information about why it was so important to convince women not to have abortions, when my dad asked him this: "What is your plan for getting those mamas and those babies to church after the babies are born?" The man was speechless and had no answer. My dad told him when he had a plan for getting those kids and their mothers to church and making sure they heard the Gospel after the babies' lives were saved, to come back and see him. He never came.

I realize that some people do have a plan for that, but not all. In some cases the effort that is made is weak and ineffective because often times the people convincing the young women not to abort their babies do not live in or even near to the communities where these young women live. If you know anything about the class demographics involved in the abortion issue, you know that I mean that many abortions are occurring in low-income communities where the "good, godly" pro-life preachers do not reside. I expect they are also common among the more wealthy people who just don't want their lives "ruined" by an unwanted baby.

I am in no way justifying abortion. But, when people save lives of the unborn so that they can be born to abusers who will either kill them in childhood or raise them to also be abusers, if not criminals, the net gain is zero. If the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not preached to those kids (and their mothers), what chance do they have? If those babies who are aborted by unsaved parents go straight to hell anyway, as some would tell us, how is it better to let them be born to suffer longer and then perhaps grow up to be a criminal and so have more sins laid to their charge? Within the construct of Calvinism, which many of these people claim, there is a rather gross hypocrisy. After all, if those aborted babies were predestined to hell anyway, what was the point in "saving" their lives? If they are predestined to be saved and if, as they claim, aborted babies all go to hell, then shouldn't they assume that God would somehow save the baby's life from being aborted? The whole thing is so convoluted that it passes all reason.

I know, the claim is that if they are born they will have a chance to hear the Gospel and be saved (which, by the way, is not in keeping with hyper Calvinism). But, how shall they hear without a preacher? Rom. 10:14. And, furthermore, if God is sovereign, and He is, isn't He capable of keeping the one alive who will hear and repent? I have never understood the reasoning on this subject. Why do they actually think that a sovereign God needs them to convince mothers to have babies so that they allegedly won't go to hell before they're born, and then they don't make the sacrifice of going to be where they can make sure those kids will hear the Gospel and have that chance later? Oh, God is sovereign, so He'll make sure they get the Gospel? Yes, then why does He need you to make sure some babies are born in the first place? That doesn't make sense.


But, ultimately, I don't believe these children ended up in hell.

Yeah, I know someone will get all uptight and bothered over that, but there it is.

I know that some people believe that only babies and small children who are from "covenant homes" go to heaven when they die. I remember the first time someone confronted me with this. I think I was in my late teens. I had mentioned that at least the aborted babies were going to heaven and I still recall her shocked horror that I could say such a stupid thing. Do you know what she told me? She said that the children of Korah went straight to hell with their father so, of course, aborted babies of unsaved people went to hell.

It was some time later that I read what God had to say about the children of Korah, but I still remember how furious I was when I realized I'd been lied to about this. As an adult, I now realize that she was only repeating what she had been told and likely had never read it herself, or if she did, she was wearing blinders of presupposition which kept her from seeing the truth. (Let the reader beware!)

[For those who don't remember who Korah was, you can read about the rebellion that he led against Moses and Aaron in Numbers 16. It isn't a pretty story.]

Do you know what God said about the children of Korah?

Numbers 26:10-11 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men: and they became a sign. Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not.

Oops. It's always so inconvenient when the words of God lay our errors bare before the eyes of others and ourselves.

Do you know who the sons of Korah are in the Psalms? I'll give you one guess.

Do you know who else was a son of Korah? Samuel the prophet. You can find this in the genealogies of the sons of Levi in 1 Chronicles chapter 6.

So much for God hating the sons of Korah just because their father was a wicked man.

(I know that there are other instances of children dying with their fathers, such as Achan. However, if you read that account in Joshua 7, you will find that it says "sons and daughters," not "children." And, based upon the fact that God didn't kill Korah's children with him, and the fact that God is just and consistent, I have to presume that Achan's sons and daughters were old enough to have told someone about the sin of their father, and also that they knew about his sin and were party to it in at least their silence.)

So, that is the first reason that we don't believe that the children of unsaved people go to hell when they die young or are aborted.

Here are some more:

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

Children and babies are not accountable for their parents' sins. So, if the parents are not saved and don't have a "covenant" home, the kids are not held responsible for that.

Romans 4:14-15 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Romans 2:14-15 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

From these two passages we can make a deduction. Where there is no law, there is no transgression. So, those who cannot know the law are not held as transgressors. This would include small children, babies at every stage, and those who don't have the mental capacity to understand what sin is whatever their age. The fact that even unsaved people will show God's law written in their hearts means that this is not limited to those who are "saved" as we would define it under the new covenant. Children, babies, and the mentally limited cannot understand the law or sin or righteousness and judgment, so it seems clear that they are not condemned under the law.

We read of the Holy Spirit in John 16:7-11, Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Babies, small children, and the mentally limited cannot be effectively reproved of something they are not even able to understand. If they cannot understand the law and tell what sin is, and are not capable of believing on Jesus Christ, how can they be held accountable before God? They cannot. To say that God would send them to hell uncondemned by His own standards is possibly blasphemy. That is a strong word, but I don't know what else to call it when men essentially make God a liar by their beliefs.

So, when it comes down to it, I believe that God, in His mercy and His foreknowledge, delivered Amanda's two children from a fate worse than death - that of growing up with a mother like that, and the possibility of later rejecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ (because I do believe in the free will). Being a sovereign God and foreknowing those two children would be saved if given the right situation, and that that situation would be denied them, He allowed them to be victims of their own mother's horrible sin. In short, I believe they are in heaven.

I also believe children who are aborted are in a similar situation. God allows the wrath of man to praise Him by taking those very lives that would have been His anyway had they had the chance to live and hear the Gospel. Psalms 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

Now someone will probably say that I'm making murder and abortion OK. The key word is "allows." There are many evils that God permits; to say that He does is not saying that the evil is OK.

When Christians are martyred for Jesus, we don't say that the murder is OK, but we see God taking His children to Himself through that difficult situation. When a Christian is the victim of a drunk driver and we rejoice that they are with the Lord, we are not saying that drunk driving is OK. So, when babies are aborted or killed by their wicked parents, this doesn't make these evils OK, but it does mean that God is still bigger than the evil and that He is able to get those souls in spite of those who meant it for evil.

The question might arise as to why the devil would inspire people to kill babies in the womb if they don't go to hell when they die. There can be a number of reasons for that, but perhaps the most important thing to remember is that whenever Satan convinces people to kill others for selfish, ungodly reasons, he gains control and power of those people in a significant way. Why?

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Lies and murder are the marks of those who are the children of the devil. Lies and murder, in whatever form they take, bring people into a bondage to Satan and that gives him great power in their lives and makes it harder and more complicated for them to ever come to a knowledge of the Truth and the Life - Jesus Christ. This then keeps them away from God.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

So, would Satan still motivate people to kill babies and children, knowing that those babies and children are going to heaven? I would have to guess that yes, he would. And, when you consider how this culture of death has influenced and inundated our world, I think it's fairly easy to see the power that he has gained through this. The palpable hate that comes from those who justify this killing should convince us that the power of the devil is strong with them. Offenses must come, but woe unto them by whom they come.


In Conclusion

I believe there is a time to tell the authorities when there is abuse going on. It should not be done carelessly, but it should be done at some point - even if the culprits are "good Christian people." To sit by silently and witness real abuse like Amanda's friends did, is to partake as one of the offenders. God grant us wisdom not to do such a thing. I know that it is sometimes hard to know, but we need to seek the Lord for wisdom in such cases. He knows, and He can certainly let us know if we have a responsibility to report an offender. Hating those who deal with such things so much that we refuse to do righteousness is no excuse. We must tell the powers that be.

Secondly, we need to not condemn the innocent to hell just because they are the victims of evil. The scripture makes it clear that God doesn't hold little children responsible for the sins of their fathers. How dare we condemn those to hell whom He has not condemned?

I would like to give one more example here on this final point because I think it is very powerful.

In the book of Jonah we read the story of a prophet who hated the people of Nineveh so much that he refused to preach the message of repentance to them because he wanted them to be destroyed by God. They were a powerful and violent people and historically they had done Israel much harm. Jonah tried to avoid his "call," but the Lord overruled Jonah and forced him to go back and do the work that He had given him to do. Yet, still Jonah hated those people, and when they repented and were spared he was furious. He was so angry that he was willing to die to prove his anger at God, and perhaps he did, we don't know. But the book ends with a rebuke from the Lord to Jonah, concluding with these words:

Jonah 4:10-11 Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

While some Christians have "pity" on many trivial and pointless things in life, there are those who will be angry at God for having mercy on these little ones. They want to declare that these little ones are doomed to eternity in hell because it justifies them giving their money, time, strength, and efforts for something less than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By condemning these little ones to hell, they are in essence justifying themselves in what they see as their righteous endeavors, yet without making sure that the Gospel is given to those people later. As one man very piously said to my dad in trying to convince him to join the pro-life cause, "I've never felt so holy as I do since I started fighting abortion."

No, the battle against abortion is not all about saving babies to make sure they go to heaven someday. For too many it is about "keeping them out of hell" because that makes the workers feel "holy." Yet they do a work that has little or nothing to do with bringing Jesus to the people and places where He is most needed - the hearts and homes and neighborhoods of the sinners.

I watched a video of a noted street preacher trying to convince a young woman not to have an abortion. The thing that stood out to me most significantly was that there was nothing - NOTHING - about Jesus Christ in what he said to her. I'm sure he felt very righteous about what he did or he wouldn't have posted the video online. But, what was the point if she never heard the words of life from his lips? He only succeeded in making her angry and more hateful toward so-called "Christians." Essentially he pushed her farther from Christ, not drew her closer.

In her poem "The Shadow of the Cross", Annie Johnson Flint concluded with these words:

"Keep me forever, Lord, beneath that shadow,
Lest, haply, I should lose
My life for something less than Thy sweet service,
Or one dear pang refuse."

To oppose abortion and call it murder is right and good. To use it to go about establishing our own righteousness is losing our lives for something less than service of Jesus Christ. We are commanded to "...Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15 To be salt is part of that, but to waste our lives convincing people not to sin and then leave them lost and on their way to hell is the ultimate insult to the Savior who gave His life to save sinners. Let's not throw away our time and efforts on something less than what He died for.

Psalms 51:12-13 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

1 Corinthians 3:11-14 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.


Photos and graphics by Mary Stephens
Vintage graphics: various sources.
Historic photograph: London street orphans by G.F.A. Best
William Carey quote created at AZQuotes.com