Evangelical Protestant Leaders Look at Abortion
A SURPRISING AMBIVALENCE
Well over a decade has passed since abortion was legalized nationwide, yet awareness of what abortion is all about is in its infancy in many evangelical circles. This awareness has largely come from the influence of sources outside the mainstream evangelical establishment.
Most evangelicals now speaking out against abortion are tardy, and there are still vast numbers remaining silent altogether. Moreover, numerous evangelical leaders are openly expounding excuses for why they have not adopted a clear pro-life position.
Many evangelicals, including students at evangelical colleges, are becoming distressed by the failure of the evangelical establishment to take a strong stand against abortion. As I have traveled across the nation speaking on evangelical campuses, I have been struck time and again by the desire of students themselves for pro-life leadership. I have also been struck by the ambivalence, even hostility, of faculty and administrators at these same schools toward the pro-life cause. At Oral Roberts University the administration went so far as to ban the formation of a pro-life action group on campus, even though the group had the support of several hundred students, including almost the entire student body and faculty of the university’s law school.
The lack of basic pro-life information and literature on evangelical campuses is a major factor in perpetuating the indifference. A surprising number of evangelical scholars and leaders are not even aware that such literature exists. It would be safe to say that the libraries of many evangelical colleges and seminaries contain few of the many hundreds of works written espousing a pro-life view, and have no subscriptions to journals or magazines consistently articulating the pro-life position. Another problem is the reticence of evangelicals to learn from the better Roman Catholic writers and institutions.
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