“The Pro-Life movement is a failure in terms of being a real Christian approach to ending abortion in our nation.” – Jeff Durbin
Jeff Durbin is a pastor from Arizona, and founder/host of Apologia Radio, a Christian broadcasting ministry. One of the main emphases of Durbin’s ministry has been the ongoing battle for the total abolition of abortion. You can imagine his excitement when a bill was proposed in the state of Oklahoma to do just that.
SB 1118 would consider anyone in the state of Oklahoma who performs abortions to be guilty of first-degree murder.
Joseph Silk, a senator from Oklahoma, penned the bill, which passed committee recently. However, Silk was surprised that the Bill has received negative response from many within the Republican party – even from those who associate themselves with the Pro-Life movement.
Perhaps the most surprising name to object the bill is Tony Lauinger, Vice President of National Right to Life, and Chairman of Oklahomans For Life.
Jeff Durbin and the Apologia crew reached out to Tony for an interview to discuss his opposition to the bill, and the conversation was, well, disheartening.
After some basic introductions, Jeff Durbin begins the conversation by bluntly asking Tony Lauinger whether abortion is murder, his response?
(10:12) Lauinger – “Abortion was not murder under the law of any of the 50 states prior to Roe v Wade. Abortion obviously is the intentional killing of an innocent human being who is alive, and it’s the most heinous, atrocious, sort of action that one human being can commit against another, but as a technical legal matter, it has never been murder under the law. We believe that the unborn child should be protected by law, and that abortion should not be legal – or not legal, except perhaps for where it is the unavoidable result of an action that were necessary to save the life of the mother.”
For any consistent Christian, red flags should have already been raised. There are many issues with Lauinger’s statement to be sure, but for the sake of time, let’s just address two.
- He allows governmental standards to determine what is murder, rather than Scripture. He concedes that abortion is “the intentional killing of an innocent human being who is alive, and it’s the most heinous, atrocious, sort of action that one human being can commit against another,” but makes sure to say that legally it’s not “technically murder.” Aside from being doublespeak, his standard for morality is skewed. The American legal system does not define morality, God’s Word does. Scripture makes clear, in cases where the government advocates things contrary to the law of God, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
- He makes exceptions. Lauinger says abortion should perhaps be legal where it is the unavoidable result of an action that were necessary to save the life of the mother. So, is abortion wrong or not? Apparently there are instances where it’s not, at least, that’s what Tony wants to believe.
At this point, Durbin’s frustration and concern is increasingly noticeable. He presses Lauinger with more direct questions, attempting to understand his view with more clarity.
When Jeff asks if abortion is a gospel issue, Tony’s response begins well enough.
(23:42) Lauinger – “I am motivated by the same spiritual commitments you are pastor, God is the author of life, each of us is created in the image and likeness of God, and the killing of the innocent is the ultimate blasphemy.”
Fantastic comments right? Even Durbin meets this statement with a hearty “Amen!” however, things go downhill from here, because Tony gives a huge “but.”
“But, in this imperfect human world in which we operate, it isn’t the decisions of pastors or church leaders that establish public policy, it’s the decision of elected officials and legislative branch of government and judges and judiciary who determine what our secular laws are, and that’s the reality we face and that’s the context in which we function. We have to do the best we can within those circumstances.”
Sigh. Once again, we’re back to giving the government total power over defining the morality of the nation. No talk of repentance, no talk of the gospel, no talk of Biblical authority. Just more talk of government, judges, legislation, etc.
(25:04) Durbin – “So you would see a separation of authority, in terms of, you would see Christ and His authority as total over the church, but you would see civil government as a distinct realm that isn’t necessarily supposed to be obedient to Christ and God’s law specifically, you would see a distinction there?” (27:28) Durbin continues – “You think it would be actually hurtful to the cause if we use Biblical language and stand as Christians with Biblical terminology – you think it would be easier to do away with this in a different way?”
(27:43) Lauinger – “I do. I think that’s a fair statement. I think that some in the public policy arena would not be receptive to our presenting Biblical reasons to protect the unborn child, but they would be receptive to our presenting arguments based on biology and science and medicine and we need to expand the universes of those public officials who would be receptive to our arguments… (28:36) Lauinger continues – My motivation is religious and spiritual – 100% – but there’s a distinction between our motivation and our argumentation when we try to persuade public officials to protect the unborn child, and it’s more productive in the public policy arena, generally to talk about the humanity of the unborn child the biological development of the baby in the womb…”
When he said that, I had to refrain from slamming my head into my keyboard. He actually said that. This idea of distinction between motivation and argumentation is utterly un-biblical and inconsistent for the professing Christian. God ordained the foolishness of the Gospel to reach the lost and conquer evil, not wishy-washy doublespeak and sneaky legislation. Any meaningful attack against abortion must be Biblically-based, calling it what it is – the murder of those created in the image of God, endowed with a right to life. Men like Tony who refuse to even address it as such, are nothing but dead weight in the fight for total abolition of abortion.
A sissified, politically correct attempt to step around the issue is never going to accomplish anything meaningful. and to see this type of rhetoric coming from the supposed “leaders” of the Pro-Life movement should serve as a kick in the butt for those sitting on the sidelines, waiting for them to complete the task.
If there’s one statement I want you to remember whenever you think of Tony Lauinger – the Vice President of National Right to Life, the Chairman of Oklahoman’s For Life – it is this:
Jeff is right. The Pro-Life movement, and the majority of it’s leaders, are failures. If abortion is to be abolished, and the gospel is to move forward, it cannot rest solely on the shoulders of politicians, but on those of the Christian citizen. We as individuals must pick up the banner of the gospel and wave it proudly as we advocate for the lives of the unborn in the courthouse, on social media, and yes, even on the sidewalk outside murder mills, also known as, Planned Parenthood.
Don’t let the Pro-Life movement die in the same political hands that allow millions of babies to die each year due to their inactivity and fear.
It’s time for us to start fighting the good fight.
Eric is a blogger, videographer, designer, and full-time missionary with Rooftop Missions. While in the US, he works to raise support to help fund pastors and orphanages in closed countries. When he is traveling internationally, he provides leadership training for national pastors, as well as documenting the trips through photography and video. To partner with Eric financially, click here.
4 thoughts on ““The Pro-Life Movement is a Failure,” Jeff Durbin Exclaims”
Is there a full transcript to be found somewhere?
Trevor, not to my knowledge. The full video is in the article of course, but I had to personally transcribe the portion I found most relevant.