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The Forerunners of the Women's Movement Were Pro-life

By Jay Rogers
Published September 1, 1992

In a recent study of 51 of the major women leaders of the abolition-feminist movement, 48 came from Christian backgrounds. Some of these women included Lucretia Mott, an evangelical Quaker who helped to found the Anti-Slavery Society in 1833; Angelina Grimké, who presented female anti-slavery petitions to the Massachusetts state legislature; as well as Lucy Stone and Susan B. Anthony.1

Popularized by New Awakening evangelicals, the women’s movement gained momentum when people began to realize that there was no biblical support for inequality between the sexes. In Jesus’ encounter with Mary and Martha, they found proof that Jesus valued women’s roles as disciples. Jesus’ rebuke to Martha clearly showed that women were not to be relegated to works of service toward men.2 In the fifth chapter of Genesis, they found evidence that God had created men and women as equals: “In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them ‘Man’ [Hebrew: adam; literally: ‘a human being’] in the day when they were created.“3

The fight for justice and equality was the direct result of action taken by those with a Christian worldview. Most of these women suffered mistreatment, yet their courageous stance was shaped by a biblical view of sin and righteousness. They were willing to risk their honor to take up the work of both abolition and women’s suffrage. They often pointed to the example of Jesus who died to bring salvation to the world. Their great courage and willingness to sacrifice was expressed in the words of Lucy Stone, writing in a letter to her mother, “Without the shedding of blood, there is not remission for sin.“4

A great irony of history is that not only were these women against slavery and discrimination against women, but they were also unanimously opposed to abortion. They did not hold this position primarily because of the physical dangers: they believed that abortion caused the death of a baby. Susan B. Anthony voiced the common opinion when she called abortion “child-murder.”

“I deplore the horrible crime of child-murder…. We want prevention not merely punishment. We must reach the root of the evil and destroy it…. [It] is practised by those whose inmost souls revolt from the dreadful deed.“5 Anthony judged that women who had abortions were “awfully guilty,” but laid the higher guilt on the head of the abortionist: “but oh! thrice guilty is he who … drove her to the desperation which impels her to the crime.“6

Matilda Gage likewise found that abortion was murder, but spoke of the dilemma of a crisis pregnancy due to rape: “[Abortion] lies deeper down into women’s wrongs than any other…. I hesitate not to assert that most of this crime of ‘child-murder’, ‘abortion’, ‘infanticide’ lies at the door of the male sex.“7 Elizabeth Cady Stanton argued that none are free till all are free: “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.“8 Mattie Brinkerhoff found in abortion not freedom of choice, but despair: “When a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that … she has been greatly wronged.“9

Alice Paul, the suffragist founder of the National Woman’s Party and author of the Equal Rights Amendment [1923], objected to combining abortion arguments with the fight for the ERA; Paul termed abortion “the ultimate exploitation of women.” Even Margaret Sanger said, “abortion was the wrong way – no matter how early it was performed it was taking a life“10 and termed “the killing of babies – infanticide – abortion” the “most barbaric method” of birth control.11

The suffragists of the 19th century cut across the deadlocked debate of the woman vs. the fetus, and called for a broader vision – one that linked abortion with the sexual exploitation of women. May the present-day champions of Susan B. Anthony, who march under her banner, pay her the ultimate compliment: listen to her.

1 Blanche Glassman Hersh, The Slavery of Sex: Feminist-Abolitionists in America (Urbana: University of Illinois, 1978), p.138. 2 Luke 10:38-41. 3 Genesis 5:1,2. 4 Hersh, p.84. 5 Susan B. Anthony, The Revolution, 7/8, 1869. 6 Ibid. 7 The Revolution, 4/9, 1968. 8 Letter to Julia Ward Howe, 10/16, 1873. 9 The Revolution, 9/2, 1869. 10 Margaret Sanger, An Autobiography, 1938. 11 Sanger, My fight for Birth Control, 1931.


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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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