I was blessed to see Christians in Kentucky earlier today taking their words and backing them up with deeds. Some of my good friends, including Rusty Thomas and Cal Zastrow’s family, were among the rescuers.
Some background here is that I lived in a house across the street from an abortion mill for seven years in Melbourne, Florida. The house was originally bought by Operation Rescue National director Keith Tucci. I bought it from Keith when he was planning to move out of Melbourne. The original reason for the purchase was a court ordered “buffer zone” injunction that said Christians couldn’t preach, pray or protest on the sidewalk or even 100 feet away. The house provided some legal proximity. Hundreds of us challenged the injunction by risking arrest. One case challenging the injunction went all the way to the Supreme Court where we lost.
Yet we inexplicably won!
How was that possible? The injunction still stood and the Supreme Court had ruled against us. But there is a Supreme Being who alone is sovereign. We kept challenging the unconstitutional and ungodly injunction. Finally, the state prosecutors stopped bringing evidence against us after my roommate cleverly won a case by defending himself in court. The city council decided there was no use in arresting people who weren’t being prosecuted and we got the sidewalk back. We elected three city councilmen in Melbourne (all people who had been arrested in front of the abortion mill or had risked arrest). They got to share their testimonies with the other council members.
Eventually, the mill was forced to close. Another one opened, but it was forced to move twice and finally it closed for good in 2005. We didn’t end abortion in America, but we ended it in our county. Or rather, God used us to end abortion. For over ten years, no abortion mill has reopened in Brevard County.
This is an example of interposition and nullification on the local level.
When OSA director Rusty Thomas called me to ask what I thought of doing a rescue in Louisville, I explained that the Holy Spirit had brought this memory to my mind just before he had called me. What was accomplished on the local level in Melbourne, Florida can be accomplished state-wide, even nation-wide.
I was arrested three times in Melbourne and prior to that I was arrested in Boston twice in two rescues. Four years ago, I was arrested while video taping a challenge to a similar ordinance in front of a Planned Parenthood CEOs home.
Lots of Christians naysayed what I did — including some good friends. It never bothered me a lot because I knew I was doing the will of God. However, I was certainly disappointed in them for their betrayal and I prayed for them. There is a price to pray when you actually back up your words with acts. It was not like being martyred like the Apostle Paul who was first imprisoned by Nero and then had his best friends desert him.
However, there has been a cost in my professional life. I always have to disclose my arrest record because I am a teacher. But it’s ironic that part of our English curriculum is Martin Luther King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail! I have taught that almost every year. I know that someday school children will be required to read Rusty Thomas’ writings or someone like him.
Over the course of seven years, being at the mill almost every day, I saw lots of Christians do things I disagreed with. I still see that. But one thing I have learned is that you never know how God is going to use someone. God uses crooked sticks to draw straight lines. I am a crooked stick and so are you. And I’ve known some really crooked sticks that God used to end abortion in their region.
Likewise, I was disappointed, but not surprised by some Christians who chose to immediately opine and even spread false information about what actually happened at the Operation Rescue/OSA event earlier today. The criticism is all about what men should have done or should not have done. But I’d like to encourage you reading this to have an attitude that sees God to be sovereign. We don’t know how God will ultimately use this Kentucky rescue. We heard that one baby was saved as a result. It may be nothing more than that. Yet even that is amazing! I know too much of God’s faithfulness to doubt. I know a lot of fervent prayer, fasting and seeking of God’s will went into this rescue.
See also Rusty’s video explaining the purpose of this rescue. We are not looking to return to the paradigm of rescue of 25 to 30 years ago. The emphasis is to awaken the Church and our pro-life lawmakers that we can end abortion without overturning Roe. We can do it through interposition and nullification. I’ve written a short series of articles here explaining this more fully.
I gave an example of how this worked in Melbourne, Florida. It can work every place in America, if Christians will stand in the gap. The United States Constitution allows for this and more importantly our Lord mandates it.