An unpersuasive abortion ad campaign
Gavin Newsom mocks God and His word with out-of-state billboards
Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., has launched a $100,000 campaign to persuade voters in red states to move to California in light of the state’s commitment to unfettered access to abortion. Newsom posted billboards in Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas, encouraging women to travel to California to abort their babies.
The state recently passed a slew of new abortion laws, making it easier for women to get abortions and impossible for law enforcement to investigate the deaths of newborn babies, even if foul play is suspected. This means the full removal of the right to life for all unborn children and even, in many cases, for newborns.
It is unclear to whom these ads appeal. For the first time in its history, California is losing residents, likely due to escalating crime rates, unhindered homelessness, constantly rising taxes, and other policies that make stable living difficult for most families. Most California emigrants have fled to more conservative states like Texas and Arizona.
Would these people really return to California because the state allows virtually unrestricted abortion? It is hard to imagine that even a die-hard liberal living in, say, Tulsa, would exchange the strict abortion laws in Oklahoma for a lower (and more expensive) quality of life in California.
Furthermore, some of the ads appear to target Christians. One billboard cites Mark 12:31: “Love your neighbor as yourself,” which seems to imply that caring for your neighbor is synonymous with supporting abortion. While there may be some professing Christians who somehow equate love with abortion, those who follow Christ know that such an assertion is not only incorrect but the exact opposite of what is true. Just as Satan, in the wilderness with Jesus, decontextualized Scripture for evil purposes, so Newsom twists God’s Word to celebrate sin (Matthew 4:1-11).
In an open letter, California pastor John MacArthur rebuked the governor not only for this “murderous campaign,” but also for the “reprehensible act of gross blasphemy” Newsom committed by using “the name and words of Christ to promote the credo of Molech.” In typical MacArthur style, his incisive admonition was punctuated with an earnest and compassionate plea to Gov. Newsom to repent and believe the gospel.
Mark 12:31 is preceded by the command to first love God with our heart, mind, soul, and strength. John 14:15 says loving God means keeping His commandments. One of God’s commandments is not to murder (Genesis 9:6). It is not possible, therefore, to love our neighbor rightly without loving God, and it is not possible to love God without obeying Him, and it is disobedient to support the murder of children. Thus, it is not possible to love God and our neighbors while advocating for abortion.
Abortion is an act of hate, not love. While God offers grace and redemption for women who have chosen abortion, He is clear about the value of life in the womb and the wickedness of murder (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 9:6). And since God is love, the most loving thing we can do is agree with him and honor life (1 John 4:8).
Christians will remain unpersuaded by Newsom’s campaign, because we respect the dignity of human life and we abhor reappropriating Jesus’s words for evil. We also take heart: God will not be mocked. Afterall, “whatever one sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7-8). In this life, the next, or in both, Gavin Newsom, along with all unrepentant abortion advocates, will reap what they sow. God’s justice demands it.
In the meantime, Christians will do what we have done since the inception of the church: tell the truth, fight on behalf of the most vulnerable, and provide refuge for those in need. We will continue to do the work that the pro-abortion side insists isn’t being done—including serving parents in crisis and their babies.
We will continue to love them, meet their spiritual and physical needs, adopt and foster their children, dedicate our time, energy, and money into supporting them through and after pregnancy, and advocate for policies that honor their dignity as image bearers of God. In other words, Christians will continue to love—really love— our neighbors, including our neighbors in the womb.
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