Exposing Abortion's Allies (pt. 1): Expressive Individualism ( Genesis 4:1-8)
Abortion is a bloody evil that has taken the lives of almost sixty million children since 1973. Rightly, Christians (and non-Christians like Secular Pro-Life) have stood up against this modern-day holocaust. Through prayer vigils, sermons, information campaigns, legislation, and pro-life marches, much ground has been gained ground in the fight against abortion. But much ground remains.
In this year’s Sanctity of Life sermon, I addressed one issue related to the ongoing survival of abortion, and that is the rampant self-willed individualism that pervades our culture—and the church. In fact, the cocktail of personal autonomy, expressive individualism, isolated self-dependence, sexual immorality, and trust in technology has created a five-fold elixir that continues to fuel the abortion movement. Therefore, I made the case that in addition to combatting the flames of abortion, we must aim to cut off abortion’s various fuel supplies.
Unable to tackle all of these allies to abortion, I focused on expressive individualism, something captured perfectly in LeCrae’s song, The Good, the Bad, the Ugly. In that song, Lecrae recalls the way his own self-will overcame his young Christian faith and led him to assist in the abortion of his child. It is a sobering song but also illuminating. Here’s what Lecrae rhymes,
I remember back in ’02/ I was in school and actin’ a fool
My soul got saved, my debt had been paid / But still I kept running off with my crew
Sex on my brain, and death in my veins / I had a main thing, we stayed up ‘til 2 (Smokin!)
Waking and baking we naked, my body was loving it / Soul was hating it,
And time and time after time, our bodies were close / The girl was so fine
We heard a heart beat that wasn’t hers or mine / The miracle of life had started inside
Ignored the warning signs / Suppressed that truth I felt inside
I was just having fun with this, I’m too young for this / I’m thinking me, myself, and I
Should I sacrifice this life to keep my vanity and live nice?
And she loves and trusts me so much that whatever I say, she’d probably oblige
But I was too selfish with my time / Scared my dreams were not gonna survive
So I dropped her off at that clinic / That day a part of us died
This song shows how self-will leads to and fuels abortion. It also reminds us that the God of resurrection and redemption is able to bring forgiveness and healing to all people, the same message that we find in Genesis 4. In truth, the only way we will make abortion unthinkable is to begin exposing and defeating the worldview beliefs that swirl around self. That’s what I sought to do yesterday, and I pray that God would help us to continue to take captive thoughts that lead to abortion and all forms of sin.
You can find the sermon online and the sermon notes here. Discussion questions and further resources are below.
1. What is expressive individualism? Where do we see it in culture today? What about in the church? (For more on this point, see Beware the-air-that-we-breathe-expressive-individualism-i-and-me)
2. How does the story of Cain and Able reflect expressive individualism? That this self-will is demonstrated in the very first family, what does it say to us about humanity?
3. Rehearse the story of Cain and Abel. Who were the two sons? What were there two vocations? What made their sacrifices different (cf. Hebrews 11)? What would the original audience think of a blood-less sacrifice?
4. First John 3:12 says, don’t be like Cain. How might we reflect patterns of thought or action that are Cain-like? How can we grow in self-less living and others-centered giving?
5. How does expressive individualism relate to abortion? What does Genesis 4 say to someone abortion-minded today?
6. What are other allies to abortion? Why is it necessary to expose and oppose the “allies of abortion”? How can we do that?
7. Pray for God to end abortion in our day.
Beware the Air You Breath: Expressive Individualism, I, and Me
Lecrae Confesses Abortion, Invites Others into the Light by Desiring God (with video)
Five Reasons the Pro-Life Movement is Winning by Trevin Wax
3 Ways the Pro-Life Movement Can Help End Abortion by Scott Klusendorf
More resources available on our church website: Five Ways You Can Participate in the Sanctity of Life
The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage Culture by Scott Klusendorf
Answering the Call: Saving Innocent Lives One Woman at a Time by John Ensor
Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line by Abby Johnson
Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision by David Wells — this book tackles the larger problem of expressivism individualism
May the Lord hear the prayers of his people. And may we his people pray and work with passion to end the innocent destruction of life.
Soli Deo Gloria, ds