What About the Church?

I remember it all well.

Stacey and I sat in a cold sterile office awaiting the doctor and our test results.

We were 20 weeks pregnant with our fourth baby.

We knew there were issues we just hadn’t heard definitively what they were.

Finally it was time to talk with the doctor. It felt like the final results on a reality show only this time Stacey and I were in the show.

“Your baby is healthy. He’s likely going to go full-term and will be born naturally.” The doctor started in.

“He does have some heart issues however…”

It was all a blur after that.

The doctor explained the type of heart defect Nolan would be born with. He explained what corrective measures were available (open heart surgery at six months).

He also described the likelihood of Nolan having Down Syndrome. He put the number at around 90%.

The doctor was kind and explained everything very well.

After delivering the news he answered a few of our questions and then allowed us a few minutes alone to sit and reflect on what we had heard.

Stacey and I held hands. Not much was said. We had a mutual understanding. Nolan was a blessing no matter what and we couldn’t wait to meet him.

A week later was the genetic counselor. This person had the job of answering questions we had thought of since our initial appointment.

This lady had the uncomfortable task of asking us if terminating the pregnancy was an option for us.

No. Not for us.

Honestly, I hated that they had to ask us.

After our appointment I learned some startling facts about our specific diagnosis.

When couples are presented with our exact scenario, heart defects and Down Syndrome present at 20 weeks, between 92-98% of those pregnancies are terminated.

Sad. Devastating. Heavy.

Recently a high profile intellectual named Richard Dawkins has been in the news for comments he made on Twitter.

Do your realize if you read this post in early 2006 it would make no sense?

He received backlash because he responded to a woman who commented if she knew the baby she was pregnant with would have Down Syndrome she’d be facing, “a real ethical dilemma.”

His tweet back to her read, “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”

*Tears

I am not mad at Richard Dawkins. I don’t hate him. I don’t wish him harm.

I completely disagree with him.

Nolan is the perfect addition to our family.

He is a gift from God to us.

When I read about this I was mad. I was hurt. It frustrated me.

But then I believe God spoke to me.

I don’t say or write that very often. I believe what God spoke to me is a very valid question for Christians to consider.

I really believe God said, “What’s the abortion rate in churches?”

Not like literally, but figuratively.

How often does God want to bring us new family members and we turn away because we don’t understand them?

They scare me. I’m uncomfortable with that type of person. They’re going to be a lot of work.

Before we tar and feather Richard Dawkins let’s examine our own shortcomings in this area.

Churches have been exclusive places for far too long.

Jesus died once and for all for EVERYONE.

God’s not willing that anyone would miss out on relationship with him, but that all would come to know him as a loving father.

God is good. Loving. Gracious. Forgiving. Kind.

Are our churches?

No more terminating the chance to add members to our church family.

Everyone’s welcome. Nobody’s perfect. Anything’s possible.

5 thoughts on “What About the Church?

  1. Thank you for speaking out and sharing your inspiring story, God bless you and your family and we will be praying for your family and your voice to be heard! Once the website is published we would love to include your blog. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

  2. Pastor Andy, I just got through listening to your sermon on August 24th…which you concluded with the above. Thank you for the message regarding the church, such a powerful statement in so many ways. Thank you for your ministry at NW Life. I don’t get up that way often but I do enjoy listening to the sermons that are posted.

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