Why did the religious leaders of Christ’s day put him to death? Most Christians would probably tell you it was because they hated him for claiming to be the Son of God. But this isn’t entirely correct. Rather, it’s a bit more accurate to say that the Pharisees, chief priests, and scribes hated Christ because they didn’t want Him to be the Son of God.
These men knew Jesus had spent much of the last three years ticking off box after box on the “Hey guys, I’m the Messiah” checklist—healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead, to name a few examples. Likewise, in his final theological throw-down with the Pharisees, Jesus showed them quite clearly from the scriptures that the messiah (read: He) was not merely David’s son, but also God’s Son.
But because the Pharisees, chief priests, and scribes didn’t like the implications of Christ’s divinity, they chose to ignore every proof of it. Acknowledging Christ’s divinity would have robbed them of both their esteem in the eyes of men and the glory the imagined they had in the eyes of God, so they simply treated Christ’s miracles and superior teaching as though they weren’t real.
In spite of all the evidence, they simply said to themselves, “It’s bad for us that this is true, so it’s not true.” To flip Ben Shapiro’s famous saying on its head, their feelings didn’t care about the facts.
What Christ’s opponents did was, of course, ungodly, but this tactic is hardly uncommon. It’s something sinners in every generation do when the truth robs them of the righteousness they imagine they have or when the facts force them to stare the hideousness of their sins in the face.
A good example of this is found in a barrage of tweets from Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an OB/GYN, author, and acid-tongued abortion apologist. (Let me apologize in advance to my mom for sharing the profane rants of a woman I’m sure is smart enough to express herself in a more dignified manner). Presumably in response to some proposed pro-life legislation, Gunter recently tweeted the following:
A fetus is not a baby.
A fetus is not an unborn or a preborn baby or child.
If your goal is to legislate medical care you have to use medical terminology.
I will fucking call you out each and every time.
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) October 16, 2019
In response, Greg Locke, pastor of Global Vision Bible Church and winner of 2019’s “Yikes, Dude, Maybe You’re Not the Guy to be Leading the Charge Here” award, said the following:
Gunter shot back:
Dear Jen, have any of the anti-choicers actually replied to tell you how they work to protect pregnant women and babies? I seriously doubt it but I’m curious.
— Truth-Telling Woman (@think_teach1) October 17, 2019
And, finally, for good measure, added this:
Not one https://t.co/I6zW8tEDoa
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) October 17, 2019
In summary, Gunter appears to be saying, “Hey pro-life people, there’s no medical evidence that a fetus is a human being and there’s no evidence that you’re actually committed to caring for pregnant women and the children they birth.” Both of these accusations, however, are absurd.
With regard to the “pro-lifers don’t science” claim, there is an Everestian amount of evidence that life begins at conception—so much, in fact, that most abortion apologists have moved the goal posts away from “it’s not a human being” to “Fine, it’s a human being but it’s not a person.” Gunter, however, employs a less clever trick to ignore the evidence for abortion’s immorality. She insists that a fetus isn’t a human child because “fetus” is a different word than “baby.”
“Fetus,” however, is not the cold, unfeeling, clinical term that Gunter implies. It’s simply the Latin term for “offspring,” a term we use to describe still-gestating human beings, in the same way that we call newborn human beings “infants,” two-year-olds “toddlers,” and 13-year-olds “pituitary catastrophies.”
Furthermore, Gunter doesn’t seem to understand how words work. The names we give things may reflect their value, but they don’t impart value to them. Even if “fetus” meant “glob of cells that you can totally evacuate from a woman’s uterus with no moral hesitation,” that doesn’t actually make a fetus a glob of cells that you can totally evacuate from a woman’s uterus with no moral hesitation.
Likewise, with regard to the “pro-lifers don’t really care about helping people” canard, Christian organizations dominate the list of America’s 100 largest charities. Individual Christians are more charitable than their secular neighbors. Pro-life believers, congregations, and church bodies build hospitals, crisis pregnancy centers, shelters for women and children, and various other ministries that give aid to parents and young children in need. Christians are more likely than the rest of the country to become adoptive parents and foster parents.
Should Christians be even more committed to these things than they are now? Sure. Is there always room for improvement? Of course. But for abortion apologists like Gunter to act as though Christians are all clearly all talk and no action despite the unyielding supply of evidence would be like Prometheus denying the existence of birds every day while the eagle ate his liver.
Surely Gunter is smart enough to realize that the thylacine didn’t become a feline when people started calling it a Tasmanian tiger. Why, then, does she pretend that refusing to call a fetus a baby stops it from being a human life worth protecting?
Likewise, she’s certainly educated enough to realize that “St. Mary’s Hospital” and “Grace Church’s Food Bank” probably weren’t built by NARAL or Planned Parenthood. Why, then, does Gunter act as though these institutions don’t exist?
The answer is simple. Just like the Pharisees, chief priests, and scribes who rejected the divinity of Jesus, she ignores all the evidence in favor of the pro-life cause because she doesn’t like the implications of that truth.
If the pro-life position is actually in keeping with the scientific evidence, then she has been supporting something truly evil. If “fetus” and “baby” aren’t mutually exclusive terms, then the pro-lifers have been right all along when they’ve said that “terminating a fetus” is just a sterilized-through-medical-jargon way of saying “killing a human being.”
If pro-lifers are on the right side of this issue, she won’t be able to escape from the judgment of God. So to avoid being exposed, she hides behind her medical degree and dismisses the arguments of any pro-lifers without one.
Likewise, if pro-lifers aren’t all a bunch of hypocrites who deserve to be ignored, then they’re real people whose beliefs should be taken seriously. If pro-lifers are actually living according to their principles, then those principles might actually be the ones we’re supposed to hold. If pro-lifers aren’t demons, then they might well be on the side of the angels. And if that’s true, that would confirm the deepest fears of the most ardent abortion cheerleaders—that they’ve been the bad guys the whole time.
But perpetual denial need not be the fate of Gunter and everyone else who responds to the wisdom and love of pro-lifers like the way the enemies of Christ responded to the resurrection of Lazarus. Just as Jesus died for the Pharisees and promised His eternal mercy to those who once denied His divinity, so Jesus died for the abortion apologists and promises complete forgiveness for those who once denied the dignity of their littlest neighbors.
No matter how much unborn blood abortionists and their enablers have shed, all of that has been erased in the blood that poured out of Christ’s veins at Calvary. No matter how much time they’ve spent pretending the truth didn’t exist, those who look to the cross will find that they’ve been set free by the truth of Christ’s love.
Whenever those who spent years in unbelief come to the faith, they will find that they no longer need to employ denial to hide from the wrath of God because all that wrath is gone—poured out upon the head of God’s only begotten Son who came to be the Savior of Pharisee and apostle, abortionist and abortion victim alike.