Refuge News - October 2023
A CEO, a Doctor, and a Pastor walked in to a…
Pregnancy center…of course. Well even though this didn’t literally happen, it has happened in the last month figuratively through the conversations we have been having here at The Refuge Center. The perspectives and opinions of these three unique men have been at the forefront as we grapple with the questions of our mission to reach the lost and minister to the women and men dealing with the circumstances of an unexpected pregnancy.
A little background…Our staff returned recently from a fantastic trip to a national pro-life conference. We usually attend this annually held conference once every three years or so. We had not been able to attend since PC (pre-covid). This experience was a huge blessing. Much was learned about how to grow our ministry. We heard from fantastic, dynamic speakers. There were some mighty warriors for Christ both on the stage and in the audience!
However, a few speakers stood out, and got us talking. One was Roland Warren, the CEO of CareNet; which is a national, Christian, pro-abundant life organization that coordinates with thousands of pregnancy centers across the U.S. and Canada. The Second speaker was Dr. William Lile. He is a practicing OB/Gyn with decades of experience caring for mothers and their unborn children. The third voice in our conversation is that of our local pastors. Although they were not present with us at the conference, the perspectives, and opinions of our local church partners back here at home were constantly on our minds.
The heart of the matter…It’s abortion. The decision to abort, parent, or place for adoption is difficult for many women and men to face when staring at the positive results that two lines on a stick bring into reality.
The question… Is the decision to abort influenced greater by politics, science, or spirituality?
The CEO…Roland Warren, the CEO of CareNet, gave a powerful keynote address to a room full of approximately 1,700 pro-life workers. Roland articulated how astonished he was at the diverse reactions to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Afterall this was widely considered one of the greatest legal/political victories in 50 years. Right?
“Interestingly, I spoke to many pro-life Christians, who were caught off guard by the sudden rejection and hostility when Roe was overturned. They experienced it at family gatherings, even from their own children. They were also surprised as they experienced hostility in church, and on social media at the hands of Christians, who they thought and assumed were pro-life, but who, in reality are pro-choice.
Their surprise shouldn’t have been a surprise however, if you look at the data on abortion that has been reported for years, you’ll find that the abortion rate in the church is close to the abortion rate in the culture. According to the Guttmacher Institute, which is closely aligned with Planned Parenthood, 54% of women having abortions profess to be Catholic or Protestant, and in two national surveys that CareNet conducted, nearly 4 in 10 women, and 5 in 10 men shared that they were attending church at least monthly, and generally more when they had their first abortion.”
“As believers, this is the log in our eye versus the speck in the culture’s eye, and as Jesus said, repentance, and change, must start in the house of the Lord. There are two types of pro-choice Christians. The first are those who are pro-choice by chance and circumstance, then there are those who are pro-choice by conviction, like those who are disappointed, and maybe even outraged by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. As a result, God has put on my heart that we can’t truly expect cultural change if we and our pro-choice brothers and sisters in the church are not right on the life issue in word, and in ministry deed. Indeed by God‘s design, change and restoration must come through the church to the culture, not the other way around.”
Roland went on to challenge the church as a whole. He strongly lays out the case for a pro-life revival in the church post Roe v. Wade in a small book called Is the Pro-Choice Position Consistent with the Life and Teachings of Jesus?
In it, he explores the two main pillars of the Christian faith: the Great Commandment, and the Great Commission and how they are antithetical to the abortion culture we live in today. Refuge has 50 copies of this book. If you would like to have one, please let us know and we will gladly get you one.
The Doctor…Dr. William Lile took all of us to medical school! Among other things, Dr. Lile is also a professor at Florida State University college of medicine. He recounted to us the words he delivers to his students on the first day of a medical ethics class. He first explained about “Primo non nocere” it means Do No Harm. This is the first thing taught in medical school.
He then went on to discuss how patients have rights. In fact, he brought up a slide of the Patient Bill of Rights from the state of New York. It clearly spells out that all patients have the right to medical care, regardless of sex, race, or age.
He asked his students, “If a patient came into the emergency room needing a blood transfusion, open-heart surgery, or laser vascular surgery would they be entitled to receive it?” His students all nodded in a collective “Yes”.
Dr. Lile then asked, “What if a patient needed one of these procedures, but they were not born in the United States?” He was rebuked by a student who declared that they were taught, no matter a patient’s origin, all patients have rights.
He inquired further, “What if this patient was not born in the US…yet?” Mic drop!
Dr. Lile continued describing to us in our temporary medical school the procedures that he has been involved in. Patients who did receive procedures such as blood transfusions, open heart surgery, and laser vascular surgery on the brain, all while in their mother’s womb.
He exclaimed many times…“A patient is a person no matter how small!”
The science is settled. A baby is a unique individual with its own set of unique DNA at the moment of conception. In fact, a spark of light is emitted in the womb at the moment of conception. I would say a divine spark of light.
So, knowing all that we know about life in the womb, why are so many so intent on abortion being available to anyone, anytime, through birth?
Dr. Lile suggests that it is the same reason many people burn the American Flag. “You see the flag represents the image of the United States around the world. In Genesis 1:26, God said ‘Let us make man in our image’, we are all image bearers of our creator and those that hate our God work hard to destroy His image whenever possible.” This scientist’s conclusion is that the decision to abort is not a medical or scientific consideration. It is purely a spiritual one.
A Local Pastor…First, I want to say that I am so grateful for the support we receive on a daily basis and have received for almost 40 years from our local church partners! We have been blessed to get to know some fantastic Godly leaders over these years. That is why the perspective and opinions of our local pastors are always undergirding our discussions here at Refuge.
Our Director, Angela, recently had a discussion with Butch Rumble. Butch is not only the president of the Refuge board, but he is also the lead pastor for Rockdale Community Church. He posed a question to our director shortly after we returned from the CareNet Conference this past month.
Butch asked her, “What are your thoughts on the state of the pro-life battle in a post-Roe world?”. She told him due to the mail order abortion pills, no pre-screening ultrasound requirement, or physician follow up, it has simply grown worse!
He replied that from what he has been reading lately he completely agrees. We asked Butch if he would give his thoughts as a pastor so that I could share them with you.
“Some hopeful pro-lifers may have thought the overturning of Roe v. Wade was the end of the battle. It wasn’t. It just made the battle more fierce.
As a pastor, I have to ask, why are so many preachers so afraid to defend the unborn from their pulpits, and why do they stay out of this fight?
In his book written to pastors, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, John Piper writes: ‘The reluctance of some pastors when it comes to preaching against abortion appalls me. Many treat the dismemberment of unborn humans as an untouchable issue on par with partisan politics. Some have bought into the incredible notion that they can be personally pro-life but publicly pro-choice or noncommittal.’
It is time for every pulpit in America to be a bastion for the rights of unborn little boys and girls to live and move and have their being in the God who is forming them in their mother’s wombs. Fellow pastors, I beg you: stand with the innocent. Firmly. Joyfully. Vocally. With action.
To all of Refuge’s faithful supporters, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and financial support. May we fight the good fight, for the glory of God, until every preborn human being is guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
So, what now…Prayer and perseverance. This spiritual battle we face can only be won in the hearts and minds of this generation, not in the courtroom, emergency room, or even the ballot box. This coming year is the 40th year that Refuge has been in ministry fighting this battle. We are extremely blessed to have warriors like you by our side. Abortion still exists. The enemy has ramped up its attacks on the image bearers. Please continue to pray for them.
If you feel led to get more involved either personally or through your church, please click on the image below to find details on how you can lend a hand and minister to families and help lead them to Christ!
Remember, “we are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.” Eph 6:12 (CEV)