My intent in writing this article is not to make a singular point, but rather to present a collection of my thoughts regarding the recent tragedy at the Planned Parenthood, in Colorado Springs.
My First Thoughts
On the morning of Friday, November 27, 2015, I was on the treadmill at the gym, watching Fox News, when I heard the familiar sound and image for Breaking News. Words to the effect, “Shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs,” appeared on the ticker, on the lower-third of the screen.
My first thoughts: “I hope no one is injured. I hope no one is dead. I hope the shooter isn’t someone claiming to be a Christian.”
My next thought: “I hope the gunman didn’t shoot any Christians standing outside, while they were trying to save lives.”
My next thought: “I wonder if anyone I know is ministering outside that abortuary this morning?”
My next thought: “This tragedy will be used by pro-abortion forces to keep abortuaries like Planned Parenthood open.”
By the time the critical incident (which lasted several hours) was over, nine people were wounded and three people were dead. A timeline of the tragic event is provided, here.
Among the dead was Officer Garrett Swasey, of the University of Colorado Police Department. He was a six-year veteran. But, as the world knows by now (something secular media simply could not avoid), Officer Swasey was also a pro-life Christian who served as an elder in his church. On Sunday, November 15, Officer/Elder Swasey preached what would be his last sermon. You can read a portion of the transcript, on the Cripplegate blog.
Full of life and surely looking ahead to what the Lord had in-store for him–for his career, for his ministry, for his family–Officer/Elder Swasey had no idea what the Lord had planned for him, in just 12 short days. There is no reason for any follower of Christ not to believe Garrett is now in the presence of His Lord, Jesus Christ.
God is good. While God does not owe us an explanation (Romans 11:33-36) for what happened at the Planned Parenthood, in Colorado Springs, good has already come from it (Romans 8:28). The entire world is being exposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, through the life of and testimony of Officer/Elder Garrett Swasey–a life that, by all accounts, was daily being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).
May Justice Be Served
Robert Lewis Dear is accused of shooting twelve people, killing three of them, at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood.
Even before Dear’s Monday arraignment, news outlets are already discussing the possibility of the Planned Parenthood shooting being a death penalty case.
If Dear is found competent to stand trial, and if he is found guilty of the premeditated murder of three people, including a police officer, then he should receive the death penalty (Genesis 9:6; Acts 25:10-11; Romans 13:1-4).
I hope someone, anyone, has the opportunity to preach the gospel to Robert Lewis Dear. No, I don’t want him to spend eternity in hell. Yes, I want him to receive the same mercy, grace, and forgiveness I have received, through faith in Jesus Christ. If that makes you cringe, if it makes you uncomfortable, if it makes you angry, then you likely do not understand the love of God and the love of God is likely not in you.
I expressed some of my initial concerns above, in the section titled “My First Thoughts.” I have other concerns, though–concerns for the future.
I’m concerned that what happened at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs could happen again. I’m concerned that there are presently factions among professing Christians and their anti-abortion efforts that could go down this evil, UN-Christian road. I have no first-hand, second-hand, or third-hand information that this will happen. I simply believe it could happen.
That being said: I can’t think of a single person I know who is committed to ending abortion–people who devote days every week to standing outside abortuaries and fighting (non-violently) for the lives of unborn children and for the souls of the people bent on murdering them–who would ever wish to or commit harm upon anyone at an abortuary. I’ve served alongside many of the people I know who are actively engaged in the fight against abortion. To a man, to a woman: they love the Lord, and they love people–all people–including those who have any part in the murder of unborn children. They don’t want people who murder unborn children to die in their sins. They want them all to come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
However, I am concerned that there might be some people and groups who could follow the path of John Brown, Michael Bray, and Scott Philip Roeder. I pray it never happens. But I fear there are those who will, once again, allow “the cause” to become so all-consuming that they will bring a reproach upon Christ and His Church, through vigilantism. Those who don’t learn from history are often destined to repeat it.
Note: when I stand outside of an abortuary, I (and the people I am with) assure those entering the death mill that all of the harm is happening inside the building. I (we) assure them that no harm will come to them from us. We are there to love not only their babies, but them, too.
I Can’t Stop Thinking About Jennifer and Ke’Arre
Jennifer Markovsky and Ke’Arre Stewart were at the Planned Parenthood that fateful and deadly morning because they had accompanied friends to the abortuary. Their friends were there to receive “services.”
We know Jennifer’s and Ke’Arre’s friends were not at Planned Parenthood for mammograms. They probably weren’t there for an ultrasound. They could have been there to receive either birth control or STD testing.
IF that’s the case–IF Jennifer and Ke’Arre accompanied their friends to Planned Parenthood knowing their friends were going to murder their children, that in NO WAY justifies their murders at the hands of Robert Lewis Dear!
At the same time: IF Jennifer and Ke’Arre accompanied their friends to the abortuary, knowing their friends were going to murder their children, then they were accomplices to murder. They conspired with their friends to murder at least two unborn children.
Considering how early in the day Jennifer and Ke’Arre lost their lives, it is likely their friends had not yet had their abortions. Be that as it may, God not only judges a person’s actions. He also knows and judges the intentions of a person’s heart (Genesis 6:5; Genesis 8:21; Psalm 139:2; Proverbs 15:26; Matthew 9:4; Luke 5:22; 1 Corinthians 3:20; Hebrews 4:12). The mere thought of murdering an unborn child, or the mere thought of participating in the murder of an unborn child, is evil in God’s sight. It is sin (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18; Romans 14:23b; 1 John 3:4).
I Can’t Stop Thinking About Jennifer and Ke’Arre. I can’t stop thinking about the possibility that their last act on earth was to bring friends to an abortuary to murder their children. If they did not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior at the time of their deaths, then they perished in their sin (Luke 13:1-5; John 8:24), and they now await the Great White Throne Judgment.
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
I Can’t Stop Thinking About Jennifer and Ke’Arre.
One of the reasons I stand outside abortuaries is to reach deathscorts, both those who provide transportation to abortive mothers (people like Jennifer and Ke’Arre may have been) and those who volunteer to escort them into the abortuaries (wicked people like Shawn), is because I don’t want them to face the eternal wrath of God. I want them to hear the gospel and believe it. I want them to repent and received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
I Can’t Stop Thinking About Jennifer and Ke’Arre.
Some may read what I’ve written and think: “Oh, Tony. It’s too soon. You’re timing is off. People are grieving. People are mourning. People are in pain. People are scared. People are angry. Those involved and those touched by this tragedy have yet to begin the healing process. You’re being insensitive.”
I simply cannot live and operate under the assumption that I will be given an opportunity, at some unknown time in the future, to reach the people who need to hear the truth today. I cannot wait for some hoped-for time when people who already hate Jesus will be emotionally ready to hear about Jesus.
Since I do not know the mind of the Lord…
Since I have no idea who is numbered among the Elect, who are not yet saved…
Since I cannot allow subjective reasoning regarding “when” people might be ready to hear about Jesus determine when I proclaim the gospel…
Since for some, now is the favorable time and now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)…
And since I can’t stop thinking about Jennifer and Ke’Arre…
…I had to write this. I had to right it, now.
I also had to write this now because I am compelled by Scripture not to be a man-pleaser (Galatians 1:10). Loving God and loving people (maybe not the way they want to be loved), through the proclamation of the law and the gospel, must rule my thinking.
I can’t control how this article is received. I can only hope it is received in what I believe is the spirit in which it was written.