I want to provide a unique, yet important perspective on the video of Emily Letts, the 25 year-old abortion counselor that went viral. You have probably seen it. If you have not – watch it below. Modern technology has made it possible for this young woman to record the murder of her unborn child – complete with a smile and cheerful background music – and make it available to the entire world within days. As the procedure is concluded, Emily extends acclamation to the staff by stating, “You guys are my heroes”. Think about it. Can you imagine a young woman rendering payment to a hired hit-man for dismembering her own child and then referring to the employed butcher as a hero? You can’t. I can’t. That is the point. When we are dealing with the slaughter of innocent children, supported by popular opinion and majority vote, we are dealing with an insidious evil that moves us into a world difficult to comprehend. Yet, it is the world in which we currently live.
We are quite literally whistling past the graveyard every day – a graveyard of dumpsters present in every city of our nation. As R.C. Sproul, Jr. aptly states in the film Babies are Murdered Here,
“This is normal. This is happening every day in our neighborhoods…We need to remember, even as we look at these numbers. It’s not 3,000 a day. It is not 1,200,000 a year. It is one baby at a time.”1
It is important in all of this that we understand a key biblical concept. It is the Christian concept of representation. Emily Letts has a master. The others performing the murder in the clinic do as well. So do I. So do you.
Man thinks that he is disobeying God on His own account, in His own authority, but in fact, man must serve only one master. Ethically, he subordinates himself to Satan when he refuses to obey God. He comes under the hierarchical rule of another master. Man may think he is acting autonomously, but he in fact is simply shifting masters. God or Baal? This was Elijah’s question (1 Kings 18:21). God or mammon? This was Jesus’ question (Matt. 6:24). But neither God nor Satan normally appears to an individual. Each sends human representatives.2
Listen to Emily. “I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a baby. I can make a life.” When we hear this statement our minds should be reminded of Satan in the garden. Only God can create life, yet the Serpent assures Eve that she will “be like God” should she act outside the authority of her creator. In her rejection of God as her master we see clearly that she does not become free to act in her own autonomy. Both Adam and Eve subordinate themselves to Satan and become a slave to him. It is not long before child sacrifice becomes commonplace in societies that refuse God as their master. This did not comport with the author of life. As he tells us in Proverbs 6, God hates “hands that shed innocent blood”. He does not tolerate them.
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech. (Leviticus 20:1-5 ESV)
An important question here is, to whom is God speaking? He is addressing his people. Although we act like it does not, it should make perfect sense to us that Satan’s representatives would kill their children. Left fully to themselves they would eat their own children. They would kill themselves. Obedience to God leads to life. Obedience to Satan leads to death. It is that simple. But, God, as the author of life expects his people to represent him faithfully. This brings us to another important component of representation.
Men represent God in positions of corporate responsibility. God has established three monopolistic institutions: church, State, and family. The head of each can serve God or Satan, and those under him are sanctified (set apart) institutionally. Soldiers live or die in terms of decisions made by their superiors. Nations rise and fall in terms of the decisions of their national leaders. An individual’s success or failure in history cannot be discussed without reference to the institutional hierarchies above and below him, and their success and failure.3
We are currently witnessing the results of the failure of God’s people to faithfully represent Christ. Fathers have abdicated their responsibilities. Christian civil servants have compromised. God’s church has not acted as his chosen agent of the gospel in history. We have not been representing Christ as we should.
When we see videos that trivialize and even praise acts of death involving helpless children, we are witnessing the acute consequences of God’s people failing to be salt and light over an extended period of time. We have truly become the culture described in Romans 1. “God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done…Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (1:28, 32)
Currently we as Christians are fighting fires within our culture and we should. Petitioning the abortion clinic has demonstrable results in regards to mothers changing their minds and clinic staff finding a different line of work. We should engage in other activities as well that might deter a mother from taking the life of her child. Counseling, blogging, and volunteering administrative support – we need to engage the issue at whatever station in life we find ourselves. But we must ask ourselves in the midst of this holocaust, while we are fighting the fires, how do we take down the arsonist?
The first step is to repent and admit that we are here because we have not faithfully represented Christ to the culture around us. We are the arsonist in the sense that the fire is raging on the account of our lack of potency over a long period of time in the culture around us. Fighting abortion is not a social issue on which we can take a side and point the finger. Fighting abortion is a gospel issue.
Only through a repentant church, Biblical worship, and understanding our role within our families and the state institution will we in God’s grace put an end to the current worldwide child massacre. It will be a grass-roots campaign that involves parents faithfully representing Christ in their homes. It will be a turning from the pervasive “club church” to reformed worship and weekly covenant renewal as Christ’s representatives in the world. It will not be a dualistic church-world dichotomy, but a victorious church that pervades the world and is potent in representing the will of Christ within the civil sphere. It will be the trivial, the mundane, sometimes the difficult, and many times the boring, yet faithful plodding of ordering our steps according to the Word of God in every area of our lives. When this happens, we will see Satan and his representatives stymied in their efforts to spread the foul stench of death disguised as a sweet fragrance of freedom.
We need not write-off Emily Letts as just a psychopath. She is a young woman acting as a representative of Satan in his efforts to spread a culture of death. The apostle Paul once represented Satan in a similar fashion prior to his conversion. Thank God for the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. May the church faithfully represent Christ in spreading this gospel and seeking to conform every aspect of life and society to the will of her Master.