A Biblical Approach to the Gosnell Verdict

gosnellPhiladelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell was found guilty Monday of murdering three babies born alive in an abortion clinic. He was convicted of first-degree murder and could face execution in the deaths of three babies who were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy clinic, in a case that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over abortion. Gosnell was cleared in the death of a fourth baby, who prosecutors say let out a soft whimper before he snipped its neck.

As Christians, how do we respond to this horrific atrocity? Is it wrong to want justice for this killer? How to we even begin to see this man through Jesus’ eyes?

Dave Jenkins over at the Servants of Grace blog shares his thoughts on this:

Recently, I’ve written quite a lot on the Gosnell case. In my opinion it’s one of the watershed cases of our generation as it has opened many people’s eyes to include myself regarding the horror of abortion. Before this case I believed abortion was wrong but I was mostly silent on the issue other than writing a few articles on it. I now see that even this silence may give the impression that I am not against abortion. I firmly believe pro-choice is no choice except under the most extreme case where a woman’s life may be ended.  Even in that situation there are precautions such as a C-section that can avoid that from ever happening. With that said, I am one hundred percent against abortion. This case has caused me to think a lot about this issue as a whole and now that Gosnell’s verdict has come down, I want to offer a word of caution for my fellow brothers and sisters.

As Christian’s we should NOT rejoice over the Gosnell verdict. Christians can rejoice that the process of justice was meted out as the sword given by God was delivered. Yet, I fear many Christians will see this as an opportunity to cheer that Gosnell may be sentenced to death or spend the rest of his earthly life in jail. The reality is Kermit Gosnell is locked in a prison already. There is no way a born again Christian could ever commit the kind of atrocities he committed, and as far as I know he hasn’t claimed Christian faith. There are several reasons why I think Christians should pray for Gosnell.

First, Christians were once enemies but are now friends of God. Christians were once rebels and yet now are saints. Christians were once under the wrath of God but now rejoice because of all Jesus has done in His death, burial and resurrection. A Christian who rejoices over the potential death sentence of a sinner lost in his/her sin has failed to grasp the horror of hell. Hell is a place of eternal and unending punishment, so to rejoice over even just punishment of sinners is wrong. Yes, we can praise God for His justice because He is absolutely holy and He establishes and maintains the means by which that justice is meted out. Also, those who pass judgment on others in whatever sphere will be held accountable by God for how they meted out that justice. Even so, I fear many Christians may use this as an opportunity to point fingers and cast judgment. Rather than doing that, I pray we weep for Gosnell, intercede for Gosnell, and pray God will save Gosnell from the prison of his sin.

Second, any Christian who might be tempted to rejoice over this verdict needs to remember that you were once an enemy of God. That fundamental fact ought to stop you from jeering and cheering, instead leading you to repentance and to pray and intercede for Gosnell. Many people cheered when Bin Laden died because of the horrors he committed. If you are going to speak out against Gosnell and yet withhold mercy towards him, that demonstrates you not only do not understand mercy but also you do not understand the biblical worldview you claim as a supporter of life to adhere to. It is not enough to just be pro-life. We need to ground our thinking on the Word of God and let the Word dictate not just what we say but how we say it.

Finally, to cheer and jeer for Gosnell is to miss the point entirely. Gosnell will not be an isolated case there are other abortion clinics and doctors who have done the same thing. They may or may not be exposed here on earth but their deeds will be laid bare before the Judgment of God’s Throne when He opens up the books to judge the Living and the Dead.  Here is the key to approaching this issue biblically:  If you say you believe in the judgment seat of God then why are you going to cheer and jeer for those who are going to perish in their sins? Do you honestly believe that is what God wants in the first place? Do you believe Christ is able to save and that hell is eternal punishment and separation from God? Do you believe God is all powerful and able to save through His Gospel? If you answered yes to those questions, then instead of cheers and jeers, fall on your knees in repentance, pray for Gosnell and other sinners like him who are locked in a prison not bound by walls but one that will be a place of unending, unrelenting punishment. Pray and intercede for sinners but don’t cheer and jeer when justice is meted out. While you are praying, ask God to give you boldness to share His Word through the Holy Spirit.  Ask God to use you as a vessel to point people to the Savior who saves all types of sinners from sin and grants them new life, new desires, and new affections to the glory of God.

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9 Responses to A Biblical Approach to the Gosnell Verdict

  1. Rose says:

    I have to admit….praying for Gosnell won't be easy. What he did was so horrible…little helpless babies…to die in such a terrible painful way. To him, they were just refuse to be gotten rid of. Though in my heart I know Mr. Jenkins is right, I just feel so revolted and saddened by it all right now. I truly am glad that justice was done today, yet I take no pleasure in it. That such atrocities were allowed to happen at all…that it could still be happening in other clinics in our nation today is just appalling. Our nation has sunk so low.

    I do remember that serial killer and cannibal, Jeffrey Donner, did get saved in prison. I saw an interview he did with his dad and I believe the man was truly changed. Gosnell never looked ashamed during his courtroom appearance …always had that smug smile on his face that sent chills up my spine. I will try my best to pray for the man to come under conviction…that the full weight of the evil he has done will come down on him and that his heart till be broken over it. I will try….but….it won't be easy.

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  2. Steve says:

    We pray for him and his ilk every week, "turn them from sin and forgive their repentant hearts". But there are so many other things about which to pray, so, yeah, sure, if I can find the time, I'll add him to the list. He's heard the truth and he rejects it.

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  3. Mary says:

    I wonder sometimes why we should be surprised, in this culture of death, by what Gosnell did. It won't end here, unfortunately, especially if at some point – maybe when is the appropriate word – us older folks will be left to die by default due to socialism in its many forms. Or killed outright as useless to society, just like these babies. This article ministered to me in that those babies are in heaven but the adults who sinned may be lost forever. We tend to focus on the children – and rightly so, but the bottom line is salvation for the perpetrators who shed innocent blood.

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  4. Marie says:

    We can go to The Word and meditate upon its very words in Luke 23:39-43, "Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? "And we indeed justly, for we receive the due rewards of our deeds, but this Man has done nothing wrong." Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." And Jesus said to him. "Assuredly, I say to you, today, you will be with Me in Paradise."

    Before my conversion, my philosophy concerning abortion was more in alignment with satanism's mantra, "Do as thou wilt." Anotherwords, I believed that a person should be able to do whatever they wanted just as long as it made them happy. It is a popular worldview, is it not….even here in America. After my conversion, I delighted in reading my Bible allowing God, the Holy Spirit to minister and teach me, as He still does to this very day. Today, only because of Jesus and His teachings am I able to understand faith through Him for His Kingdom is far different than what man has made it out to be.

    Abortion and homosexuality are easy targets in our nation for the religious and I must confess, I wore them as a self righteous banner for many years after my conversion. Then God began to do a work in me. I began to ask myself serious questions concerning the plight of our world. One question was this….we murder innocent babies every day in our nation, and innocent babies are aborted every day around the world….so why then, when the United States of America dropped those nuclear bombs on Japan…..were innocent men, women, and babies murdered at the hands of a so called Christian nation. Most of those innocent people were not fighting in the war.

    Was repentance taking place in the hearts of Christians in a so called Christian nation, or did we say this…."We had to kill to make a statement so no more lives would be lost." Did Jesus say this….."You must kill more people to end a war.?" No. He did not.

    And what I find even more disturbing than this is …..why is it that I can sit in a church at "Ladies Aid" or attend a "women's Bible study" and not even open our Bibles to learn the ways of Jesus and understand God, our Father's character nature….or even share our burdens so that we can pray for one another and build each other up in the faith….BUT rather this occurs….we still around on our self righteous seats gossipping, slandering, and maligning the name of this one and that one, ripping apart people's character to make ourselves feel better while engaging in horrific sins of our own. What I have discovered within the church system is this…"We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."

    Mr. Gosnell is not saved, and as Christians born of the Spirit of God, we can easily pray for his salvation….just as we can pray for those persons who sit in church buildings every Sunday, in whose temple lives this…"But know this, that in last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying its power. And from such turn away." 1 Timothy 3:1-5

    Perhaps there lies a monster/killer/murderer in all of us and if judgement begins in the house of the LORD, then we all need to repent and get our own temples right with God.

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  5. Dave Jenkins says:

    Thanks for sharing my work Mike and Amy.

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  6. Ronnie Lowry says:

    It's important we study to show ourselves perfect as workmen. The day is disappearing and the night is swiftly coming. God bless you in your ministry.

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