Tim Keller and NY Abortion Law


(Zak Carter) #1

I’d be very interested to see Tim Keller’s full-page op-ed or open letter regarding the unprecedented expansion of this centuries greatest wickedness happening in his backyard. You’d think that this issue would be worthy of such a statement, no?

I say that partially expecting it’ll never happen. But also sincerely: if anyone sees it, let me know because I would very much like to read it.


(Christopher Preston) #2

Does anyone know of any NY pastor who has published a public rebuke or open letter about it?


(Josiah) #3

Isn’t Steve Schlissel still in New York?


(Chris Gatihi) #4

Forgive me for what may seem like a stupid question. And in asking this I want to make absolutely clear that I believe abortion is pure wickedness.

First a passage:

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:9–13, ESV)

The question:

Does this passage not imply that in such a case where men and women admittedly reject the Lordship of Jesus (e.g. our wicked rulers), it’s not our place to expect them to walk in/promote righteousness (e.g. pass laws that protect the unborn) and condemn them when they don’t?

Unless the entire point of such a letter would be to call out the sins of these magistrates (and the people who love to have it so) in order to call them to repent of their rebellion against God and to turn to Jesus Christ in faith. Then good and well.

But, with all due respect to Tim Keller, I wouldn’t hold my breath to wait for him (or any popular evangelical leader for that matter) to do anything of the sort. At best, perhaps we might see a letter making a humble appeal to reconsider this new law (in distinction to a call to repent) because in the author’s humble opinion such a law is detrimental to human flourishing. But I’m guessing that’s not what you’re looking for here. Or is it?


(Zak Carter) #5

My understanding of that passage is that the “judgement” Paul refers to is the withdrawal of table fellowship. Christians are to refuse to eat with and associate with those who claim to be Christians but walk in wickedness. But we are told specifically not to avoid eating with and associating with unbelievers, regardless of their sins. “Judgement” in the sense of calling out the public sins of public officials is an altogether different context.

I think you’re right in saying that this would be the most likely type of statement to emerge (if one emerges at all). No, that’s not the type of statement I’d like to see, but even that would be far better than nothing. Halfway boldness is better than none at all.

I mention Keller specifically because he has been very bold in the past to publically condemn socially unacceptable sins. It would be awfully strange timing for him to become apolitical the moment he’s confronted with a sin the culture loves. I hope I’m wrong, which is why I’d like to see a statement from him if he makes one.


(Fr. Bill Mouser) #6

This is a key point, rather than the “humble appeal to reconsider this new law…” In this case, you can count on many compromised or semi-compromised Christians to think that the wretched law is rightly within the purview of the magistrate, rather than a supreme wickedness against God and nature. And, the public letter from the pastor to the civil magistrate has a pastoral purpose, a purpose directed at the pastor’s own flock, viz. to show them (1) that civil magistrates are not beyond God’s law or His judgment, and (2) to model the Christian’s duty to speak out in such a way as to shine light on wickedness (cf. Eph 5:11).

When a pastor speaks out against this sort of evil by the civil magistrate, he models for his flock how they can accomplish their duty to do the same thing.


(Ricardo Davis) #7

Bill, I’ll file this under “things they should teach in seminary.”