2009-06-01

A True Christian

Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

Matthew 7:1-2


For those unaware, George Tiller, a doctor who performed late-term abortions was shot and killed at a church where he was working as an usher. He was killed by Scott Roeder, who apparently was not a fan of Dr. Tiller's occupation. Mr. Roeder had apparently attended the church three or four times prior to this event, I guess scoping out the place, the church which Tiller attended.

Dr. Tiller performed late-term abortions. Late-term abortions are usually defined as an abortion done after 20 weeks gestation. In America late-term abortion is a hot issue, but typically speaking, there are only 1,032 late term abortions performed each year. Of course this is an estimate. We really don't know, but we can say for the most part most abortions are done in earlier stages of gestation. It isn't a pretty picture on how late-term abortion is done, but most surgery isn't pretty.

Late-term abortions usually aren't for those who have decided they don't want a baby, but rather due to medical issues. Yes it is more than just tissue at that point, I can attest to that due to my own personal experience. It has to be a difficult decision, not something done lightly or as birth control as so many "pro-lifers" claim. With all that being said, I am all for abortion, I don't say use it for birth control, but a woman should have the right to choose. I couldn't do it myself, but maybe if circumstances were different, I might not have a choice.

Now Dr. Tiller in his past has had his clinic bombed, has been shot in both his arms, and attacked for well over 20 years. This man has been a target for many years, as not many doctors for ethical and just plain safety reasons will not perform this type of procedure. This man was shot while attending church by a man who claimed to be a fellow Christian.

Now I try to understand the pro-life folks, I really do, I understand that for me, I could not have an abortion, but labeling those who are pro-choice as pro-death is a bit sickening to me. People like this to me show no compassion and cannot or will not fully understand the complexities of the abortion argument. Referring to this man as a baby killer or mass murderer is sickening to me as well. This man did not perform late-term abortions exclusively at his clinic. This man provided other services as well. All the name calling to me is a way to deflect from the real issues of abortion.

What is making me mad is these same people are now not sure Scott Roeder was a "true Christian". These same people calling people pro-death, baby killer, and mass murderer, are now turning their back on a man who sided with them. What is even more pathetic and sad and that Dr. Tiller was killed in church while doing work as an usher at service.

Being that Dr. Tiller was in church, I am sure he defined himself as a Christian, even if many who also label themselves as Christians do not. I am sure Mr. Roeder identifies as a Christian as well:

"Bleass [sic] everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp. Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organise as many people as possible to attend Tillers [sic] church (inside, not just outside) to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders and members while there? Doesn't seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller."


So my question is this, what defines a "true" Christian? What are the specific rules and guidelines that make one "Christian"? Is being a "true Christian" subject to specific rules and guidelines? As a former Baptist, I am taught we are all born sinners, so you have to work at being a Christian. How do these various bloggers know they are "true Christians", especially the ones who refer to Dr. Tiller as a "baby killer" and "mass murderer"? Are they themselves sinning by judging and condemning Dr. Tiller? Are there different levels of sins? Is justifying their sin ok, because in some minds Dr. Tiller's "sin" was worse? Did Roeder justify his own sin? How is it decided that Roeder is no longer a Christian, or never was a Christian?