“Abortion will know no bounds in Ohio as a result of this constitutional amendment,” Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International, commented regarding the passage of Issue 1 in Ohio on November 7.
“Today is a sad day for thousands of Ohio’s children whose lives will be ended and for the women harmed by this addition to the Ohio constitution,” added Christa Brown, senior director of Medical Impact for Heartbeat International.
What the church in Ohio did or did not do is to be judged by God.
Some fulfilled the words found in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 by preaching what people want to hear to remain comfortable in their self-serving desires, turning away from truth to narratives built on lies.
Tim Aherns is the senior minister of First Congregational Church in Columbus and was featured in a commercial in support of Issue 1. Pregnancy Help News reached out to him for comment on this and received no response.
“Do not judge and you will not be judged,” Aherns had said in the ad. Then the reason he gives for supporting the amendment is, “Abortion is a private family decision.”
According to Aherns’ discussion of his book titled, The Genius of Justice, it is justice that is “Holy ground.” He has built his ministry on racial justice. So, value is granted to people of all colors, genders, and lifestyles - unless they have yet to be born.
In a Columbus Dispatch article, after citing 1 Corinthians 6:19, Aherns wrote, “As our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, God blesses us to have the right to choose over our body, and the freedom to make the decisions that are rightly protect our bodies for service in God’s name.”
Aherns is consistent in utilizing Scripture to twist it to make his point while satisfying the desired narrative that sufficiently pleases “itching ears” as Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:3.
Many churches avoided controversy by not speaking at all.
Yet as there were still 7,000 in Israel who did not bow to Baal in Elijah’s time (see 1 Kings 19:18), in Ohio there were clergy and churches who did hold firm—including a few even being bold—in their stance for life in obedience to God.
Pastor Jeff Copley from Marengo Christian Church was among the bold. His November 5 sermon, which can be viewed on the church’s YouTube channel, was as bold as the sign out front.
“We’ve had ‘VOTE NO ON ONE’ on the sign outside for more than a week now and we haven’t been firebombed. We haven’t received hate mail,” Copley began in the sermon.
“I did not intend to preach that yesterday morning,” Copley told Pregnancy Help News, referring to his Sunday sermon. “When I got into the pulpit that was just what the Lord laid on my heart.”
Copley’s Biblical teaching was drawn from Exodus 21:22 –23 and Matthew 18:1-6. Unlike Aherns’ method of proof-texting, which is using a passage to prove your point, Copley begins with the passage in context and then teaches Biblical principles from it.
He noted the Exodus passage concludes that life inside the womb is equal to life outside the womb.
“It’s strange because we did understand that not that very long ago,” Copley said. “But what has happened?”
“We used to think a child was a blessing from God,” the preacher stated. “Do you really think God would give you a child you weren’t ready for? Would God give you a child that had no worth or value?”
Copley admitted earlier in his life he had bought into the lie that we get to decide first if having a child is a blessing to God. The origin of this thinking in our culture he links back to Margaret Sanger who began with promoting birth control and then championed abortion.
“We have decided the power to determine life is in our hands rather than God’s,” he said. “You don’t think this is going to have an effect on us?”
Copley spoke of how more is known about the baby in the womb now than we’ve ever known before. It has been shown they can feel pain, they have characteristics and personality already set.
“The reason this is so—because God knew you before you were even formed in the womb,” said Copley.
Copley challenged his congregation to consider how many inventors, innovators, and vital researchers have been aborted.
“Abortion is not an inner-city problem,” he said. “It’s not a woman’s problem. It is OUR problem. It is time for us to own this problem.”
“This is far from political,” he said. “It is the taking of an innocent human life. It is murder. A medical procedure where a person is intended to die.”
Copley said the process of building a culture that embraces abortion begins when we raise our children to think their inconvenience or discomfort is unacceptable.
“I don’t see any place in the Bible where ‘be fruitful and multiply’ expired,” Copley told Pregnancy Help News.
“Pregnancy is still a miracle,” he said. “There’s only a very short window when it can happen, and I just cannot believe that God would take people into a situation where there is an ‘accidental’ pregnancy.”
Copley pointed out that many young people now are struggling with fertility, and wondered whether this was the result of years of taking some form of hormonal birth control.
“Accepting abortion then is the natural chain of events,” he said. “When you take the mystery and the authority away from God and say this is something that I am going to control, then why not go the full way? It is the natural conclusion to that notion.”
Copley believes that if those considering an abortion were first shown the procedure, they would not proceed.
“They have no idea there is someone whose job it is to put all the pieces together after the abortion,” he said. “They believe the lie that it is a sanitary, painless procedure.”
Tweet This: The work of pregnancy help organizations will be more important than ever in Ohio to make sure women have the chance to choose life
David Cahoon, lead pastor at Sunbury Christian Church, expressed his sadness over the election results.
“To me the obvious issue was the sanctity of life—pure and simple,” he said.
Cahoon expressed his concern to Pregnancy Help News over the additional ramifications of the amendment, saying, “The implications regarding parental choice—not that the worst will necessarily happen, but the door has been opened and who knows what will come next?”
The vague language of the amendment hangs over the state and most Ohioans appear to not know the dangers. For abortion advocates, the public’s lack of knowledge seems to be the point.
Godsey is also very concerned about the removal of common-sense protective laws against predatory abortion.
“Millions were spent by Big Abortion to trick Ohioans through misrepresentations, misdirection, and outright lies,” he said. “Unfortunately, women as well as babies will pay the largest price as a result of this vote.”
Brown pointed to the funding of the campaign in favor of Issue 1.
“Largely bought by outside special interest groups such as the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, who funneled millions of dollars into the Ohio election to ensure this very broad and very extreme initiative would pass,” she said. “Rather than protect the most vulnerable citizens of their state, this amendment goes to great lengths to protect abortion providers and disregard parental rights.”
Linda Theis, president of Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio Education Fund, expressed sorrow over the election outcome.
“May we keep talking and teaching this truth,” Theis stated, “that all lives—those of women and moms, minors and preborn, husbands and dads—have innate value by the sheer fact that all are children of the Almighty Creator.”
“May God’s Truth be exemplified as we continue to extend compassion, support, and ultimately legal protection to each of His own,” she said.
Godsey and Brown both reaffirmed the crucial need for pregnancy help in the wake of the vote on Issue 1.
“The work of pregnancy help organizations will be more important than ever to make sure women have the chance to choose life,” Godsey said.
Brown stated, “I am thankful for those in the pregnancy help movement who will continue to serve women with honesty, compassion, and true healthcare as they bravely navigate challenging circumstances and seek much needed support for their families.”
Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News.