HOUSTON, Texas – In December of 1989, a young man by the name of Chad Traywick was prompted by God to begin to do something about abortion in his community. He decided to picket the abortuary nearest his house. At three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon he entered the offices of Dr. Carpen of Houston, Texas to warn him to cease and desist or else he would begin to picket his facility. No one was there. Either the staff forgot to lock up or an angel opened the door – either way there is no denying the supernatural timing of Chad’s visitation.
A brief and heart-pounding tour of the facility yielded fifteen buckets containing the broken remains of fifteen pre-born children. Chad grabbed one of the larger buckets and hurried home. Inside he found a seven-and- one-half-month old baby boy. The dilation and evacuation procedure that killed him had torn off both his head and right arm. The baby had bitten through his tongue, no doubt as a result of having his head grasped by forceps and then pulled from his body. An incision had been made along the back and organs removed and the brain had been scooped out of the skull cavity – both presumably for research.
Chad documented the death of the baby who had now come to be known as Baby David, taking both videotape as well as 35mm prints. He took the film to be developed at a one-hour development facility, warning them that the film contained very graphic footage of an aborted child. Unknown to him, the developed pictures shocked the facility’s staff beyond credulity (they must have thought what almost everybody says who sees these pictures – “Surely this can’t be legal!”) and they contacted the police.
The police were also suspicious and a few days later Chad and his wife were “busted” in front of their house by several heavily armed police officers. The charge – suspicion of murder! The arresting officer later confided to Chad that they thought it might have been a ritualistic mutilation connected with some satanic ritual.
Chad was exonerated from the murder charges, but the story doesn’t end there. I was later contacted concerning this story and went to Houston. I first placed several calls to the arresting officer who had privately expressed his horror at David’s death and his willingness to testify sympathetically to the events surrounding Chad’s arrest. None of them were returned.
After considerable effort I was able to procure his home phone number. His wife was at home alone the first time we called – she verified that we had the right number and asked us to call back later. When I did, I got the officer on the phone. After he confirmed his identity, Chad identified himself and began to discuss the possibility of having him talk about the Baby David incident on camera. He interrupted and said that I had the wrong number and then hung up. Obviously, someone within the establishment wanted this story to go away.
An additional bonus was provided by a neighbor. After describing the events surrounding Chad’s arrest, he off-handedly commented as he looked at the pictures of Baby David that this wasn’t the only time he had seen a mutilated baby like this. He then went on to declare that he had once worked for the City of Houston’s water treatment plant. One of his jobs was to clean the screen that filtered the effluent as it came into the facility. Quite often he would remove babies from the screen, particularly on Saturdays (when most abortions are performed). Their ultimate lot, he testified, were to be thrown into a large grinder.
So goes abortion in America.
The Two Kingdoms
All of humanity can be divided into two “camps,” two “federations of man” – the first Adam and his descendents; and the last Adam (Jesus) and His offspring. This is further expressed by several other biblical paradigms: the vine of earth vs. the vine of Christ; the sheep and the goats; the seed of the dragon and the seed of the woman; the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light; etc. All of humanity is born into the former; through accepting Christ’s atonement individuals can be “reborn” into the latter.
Now, in the same way that there are only two kingdoms and two types of people, there are only two primary principles that guide mankind. The essential philosophy that energizes the fallen world is selfishness (the essence of sin), while love (the opposite of selfishness and the essence of holiness) is the guiding precept of the kingdom of light.
Now in Christ’s parable of the wheat and the tares, he declares that the two are planted almost simultaneously and will exist side by side until the time of harvest – the point at which they reach maturity. What does “maturity” mean for the two kingdoms – the two types of people – the two essential philosophies that the wheat and the tares represent?
Obviously, selfishness as well as love can manifest in varying degrees in human character. And while there is not a single thing an unredeemed person can do to please God; from a human perspective, he can temper the raging fires of selfishness with the milk of human kindness. That kindness can come from the immutable laws of God that are written on all men’s hearts – dim though they may be (Romans 2:14,15) or, and this is the far more likely of the two, the purifying influence of a strong Christian witness.
Reclaiming our Christian Heritage
It was the heritage of the Plymouth Brethren, for example, and the testimonies of Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening, the witness of William Penn, Patrick Henry, Nathan Hale and many others that energized the moral climate that restrained the unregenerate natures of others, such as the deists, and made them, externally at least, “men of Christian character” and opinion.
It was this potent witness that created a nation where, despite some glaring faults, its citizens experienced unprecedented freedoms and where practically everybody, redeemed or unredeemed, revered the scriptures as the Word of God and the unimpeachable standard for morality. Fornication, for example, was universally viewed as sin and abortion wasn’t even to be mentioned in polite society.
In the last generation, however, something has gone terribly wrong. We must understand that a few decades ago, our nation knew that abortion was wrong.
Throughout America’s history, however, the essential moral fabric of this nation, the Judeo-Christian ethic, was never seriously challenged. The selfish nature of the world system has been comparatively subdued over the first four hundred years of this nation’s modern history – subdued by the purifying presence of the gospel. Yes, there have been occasional and at times even gross manifestations of selfishness. Slavery is perhaps the most notable; as was its cure – Christian men and women who were willing to fight and die to see that particular evil purged from the land.
In the last generation, however, all that changed. God was declared dead. Prayer and the Bible were taken out of the public schools and the latent selfishness of the world system was loosed and left to run its course.
Motivated by the age’s creed of “Whatever feels good, do it!” and “I want it now!” – we began to spend our children’s inheritance, amassing federal and personal debt that could enslave our descendents for generations. We divorced our spouses, committed fornication and adultery, and sanctioned deviant lifestyles to the point that now less than ten percent of all Americans live in the type of traditional family that historically has been the backbone of this nation.
We’ve polluted our minds and souls with filth that spews forth from our televisions, radios, books, art museums, and movie screens. And if that isn’t enough, our sin has striven for the ultimate goal – to sacrifice the innocent by-products of our fornication (which is what the majority of abortion is really about) on the altar of self and selfishness.
Truly, the tares have grown to maturity.
The Future of America?
In this critical hour we need to come in the opposite spirit and allow good to overcome evil; for love to conquer death. And what kind of love can do this? Mature love, a love that allows us to die to self and live and fight for the babies, for the women who are truly troubled by a crisis pregnancy, even for the abortionists and those agitating for abortion rights. It’s the same kind of love that gave birth to this nation two hundred years ago; that led men and women to pledge “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” for the freedom of others.
Like slavery a century ago, abortion is the issue of our generation – the issue because it contains and provides the logical climax for all other issues. And like slavery, it will probably ignite a battle that cannot be settled apart from a great civil war – a struggle between two opposing kingdoms and ideologies that will surely shake this once great nation to its foundations.
Perhaps God in His mercy will allow this struggle to be worked out without bloodshed. Let’s pray and work fervently to this end. But let us not let love of comfort and a false tranquility, the very things that have gotten us into this predicament, keep us from joining the battle in earnest. As Benjamin Franklin said at the outset of the Revolutionary War:
Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
God, as He is apt to do, has placed before America a choice between life or death, a blessing or a curse. We can choose to die to ourselves and lay down our lives for this nation in honor – or our lives and the lives of our children will be laid down for us in dishonor.
God give us the grace to go on to maturity.