Jason Herring is the planting pastor of True North Church in Boise, ID and the president for Right to Life of Idaho. He’s a friend whose opinion I highly value. I posed a few questions to him about pastoral engagement on the abortion and lessons learned along the way. He has the unique distinction of being a pastor and a lobbyist in the Statehouse in his capacity as president of RTL Idaho and therefore provides a dual perspective on these matters.
1. At the very minimum, how do you think a legislator and/or pastor should engage the issue of abortion?
Everyone should engage the issue of abortion through prayer. Abortion is a great national sin, and as Christians we are called to intercessory prayer for our nation. Daniel’s prayer in Daniel chapter 9 is a model for this kind of praying. Next, everyone should engage the issue of abortion through conversation. We let our light shine by bearing witness to the truth, and we have a mandate to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Third, everyone can engage the issue of abortion through social action. Pregnancy care centers and pro-life organizations provide many opportunities for involvement on the quintessential justice issue of our day.
In addition to this legislators can sponsor legislation that protects the unborn by putting up roadblocks to the unrestricted access to abortion. Pastors can educate their congregation and empower them to take action.
2. How have you personally engaged the issue of abortion in the course of your pastoral ministry?
Since planting True North church almost ten years ago, I have conducted a Life Sunday for our congregation every single year on the weekend anniversary of Roe. We take one weekend a year to focus on this injustice and celebrate the gift of life. The gospel is, of course, at the center of this service.
Seven years ago I was asked to assist with the lobbying efforts of Right to Life of Idaho. I felt that God was leading me into this calling, and a few years later I became the president of RTLI. I also have the privilege of serving on the board of Stanton Healthcare – one of Idaho’s finest life-affirming pregnancy care centers. Besides these things, I find time to blog, write articles and do radio interviews on the sanctity of life.
3. What have you learned along the way?
Abortion is man related issue far more than it is a woman issue. Men are the driving force behind abortion just like sex-trafficking and porn. The early feminists (e.g. Susan B Anthony, etc.) saw this clearly. That is why Malachi said that Elijah would come and turn the hearts of the fathers to the children. The root of abortion is the abdication of fatherhood. Single moms account for 45% of all abortions.
We must engage our fathers and would-be-fathers in the spirit of Elijah. This is the key to turning their hearts back to their children. We have to take off the kid gloves and call men to repentance and responsibility. This isn’t an absence of love but an expression of love that loves deeply enough to say, “Thus, says the Lord.” When we see a spiritual and societal transformation in the hearts of our fathers, we will witness the abolition of abortion.
© 2014, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.