May 17·edited May 17Liked by Mark Smeby

One of the most hopeful verses of Scripture I've encountered comes right after some of the bleakest. Paul has just laid out the list of the unrepentant people that will not make the cut. He even leads with, "You know this, right? Don't be fooled."

But, then... 1 Corinthians 6:11 drops:

"And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.."

This verse hits me hard. Every. Time. It's one we have to remember. We all have sinned. We all have a past. We all need HOPE. And it is only found in one place.

I'd also add that complicit men also feel guilt and shame in abortion. A dear friend of mine and his girlfriend in high school sought an abortion. He lived with guilt and shame, too. Once finding forgiveness, he's had the opportunity to speak at conferences and other venues, offering that same message of forgiveness to a group we seldom think about when it comes to this issue.

The church is made up of "And such were some of you. But..."

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I think the language of “sin” around abortion is so very harmful and that is what causes much guilt and shame among women in certain religious environments. However, I’m grateful that more women are speaking up to address the harm that the secrecy of abortion does. In my experience, many women are shamed because of the medical choices they have had to make, including abortion, so that is why they live in secrecy. It’s shame from the church, not from God. Nothing we do that we feel has to be covered in secrecy is the way towards the freedom and healing that Jesus offers. This is a topic that that many churches paint as a black and white, non-negotiable issue, but in reality has so much gray and nuance surrounding it. I hope conversations like these give women more and more opportunities to tell their stories so that the nuances are exposed. And I’m so glad your friend felt relief in her journey.

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