Just this week the Senate of the United States failed to garner enough support (60 votes needed) to initiate the ban on abortion for babies at 20 weeks. It was named the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. To me abortion itself is unconscionable. Life begins at conception. But this ban did not even aim at all abortions. It came about because infants in the womb can feel pain at 20 weeks. Our Senate could not even vote to ban the felt torture and eventual murder of unborn babies at 20 weeks. Our nation needs much repentance and confession.
We should not be surprised by such inaction. Confession and repentance begin at a place most people in our country have never been. When Nehemiah recorded in chapter 9 of his history the confession of the people of Israel, he began:
You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. You are the LORD, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham. You found his heart faithful before you, and made with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous. —Nehemiah 9:6-8
The rest of the chapter reflects on the goodness and covenant keeping of God and the failures and sins of Israel against God. The people of God confessed and repented of their sins. But they did not do so in a vacuum. They confessed based on several important reflections:
- The LORD was Creator and Covenant-Maker.
- While God had always kept the covenant, they had failed over and over again.
- They desperately needed the grace and forgiveness of God.
As Christians living in a secular culture, we are witnessing the disintegration of moral standards. All too often we are either passively ignoring or even participating in that disintegration. While you and I should bemoan failures by our politicians to ban abortions at 20 weeks, we must not forget where confession begins. Confession cannot begin in Washington, Raleigh, Charlotte, or Wilkesboro because so many in our country are not able to make the proper reflections. Confession must begin with the people of God who know that the LORD is Creator and that he is holy. Confession must begin with those who have experienced his redemption even though we do not deserve it. Confession must begin with those who recognize their need for the grace of God.
After we have confessed, after we have repented, after we have mourned, and after we have celebrated God’s forgiveness, we can move forward. Where do we go with our country and our culture? We must reintroduce them to the LORD who is the Creator. We cannot expect the unconverted and secular to act with a biblical moral compass. But we can seek the LORD, confess our own sins, and with passionate witness declare the LORD of creation to a world desperately in need of knowing him.