Pastoral Letter Regarding the Court Decision Overturning Roe V. Wade

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Dear Harbor Church Family,

As you may be aware, on June 24th, 2022, the US Supreme Court (in the case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health) overturned the precedent set by Roe v. Wade (1973). The purpose of this letter is not to get into the political nuances of federal or state policy (though we urge Christian to be informed of such things). Rather, the purpose of this letter is to highlight some realities of the situation we find ourselves in as Americans, so that we can respond in a Biblical way:

  1. As the Session of Harbor Church, we are not writing from an unbiased perspective. We the Session, as well as our denomination (The Presbyterian Church in America), have been firmly pro-life; not as a political position, but because the Bible and our confessions demand it. A life, whether born or unborn, has value in the sight of God, and is worthy of protection. We rejoice in this decision. It’s worth noting that even before the Supreme Court made its ruling, the General Assembly of the PCA passed a resolution for the Stated Clerk to send to the federal and state governments a letter urging the protection of the unborn. (2022, Overture 13, affirmed as amended)
  2. In many ways ‘everything has changed, and nothing has changed’. While we believe this decision has removed a federal mandate to allow abortions in all 50 states, which we thank the Lord for; it is also true that many states will be more entrenched in providing abortions. Therefore:
    • There is still a great need for pro-life groups and ministries, even in states that will ban abortion. If we see abortion only as a problem of legislation, we will ignore the heart issues that factor into a person seeking abortion (such as fear of poverty, social pressure from families, shame, idolatry, etc.). The reality is abortion has been known for thousands of years in various forms, and even good laws will be violated.
    • Our country will be more divided than ever. If you are on social media at all within the last 24 hours, you will see how evident this is. On the one hand, this division highlights the darkness of the world (John 1:5); on the other this reality ought to bring us to prayer, that the light would shine, hearts would be transformed, evil would be restrained.
    • A perhaps inevitable, yet sad, consequence of the Supreme Court decision is that this will make things much harder for front-line pro-life organizations, side-walk counselors, and advocates. It has been generally true, that for counselors who offer help to mothers in front of the abortion clinics in Charlotte, that whenever certain political persuasions are agitated by certain news stories, many more people show up in front of the clinic and make it a much more hostile place to offer help to mothers. Even the threat of this court decision has lead to pro-life organizations being vandalized, fire-bombed, and violence. So, while we are thankful for the decision, know that the wrath of many will fall on these heroic frontline workers. They need our desperate prayers.
    • Lastly, what was true before this decision is true after: public policies are great, but what the world needs is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our ultimate hope is found in Him who suffered injustice, was mocked and humiliated, put to death, faced the wrath of God for us, and now lives and reigns for us.

Here are some suggestions as you go forward through this season:

  1. Take careful stock of how much social media or news content you consume during this time. There may be conversations you need to have with people, but it also may be wise to take breaks, for the sake of your heart, to not become jaded or despairing. Meditate on Scripture first may be a good rule of thumb before jumping into the fray of social discussion
  2. Pray, pray, and pray more! Pray for peace, pray for truth, pray for pro-life workers. Especially pray for your enemies, as Christ tells us.
  3. Pray before you speak, and consider what you will say in light of (Col 4:6) “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
  4. Be informed first by primary sources (e.g. read the actual decision below) rather than secondary sources so that you are armed with the best information rather than other people’s feelings or opinions.

We the Session are praying for you, and praying for our country. May God get the glory!

The Session of Harbor Church

For further reading:

Supreme Court Decision (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf)