There is quite a dramatic difference between “pardon me” and “forgive me.” We say the first, for example, in cases of inadvertent error, as when we bump into someone accidentally. We need to say the latter when we knew what we were doing, did it on purpose, knowing full well that we ought not to have.
If we bump into someone in a crowded hallway, we ask for pardon. We say “pardon me” or “excuse me.” But if that other person was the only one in the hallway, and we lowered our head and ran straight into him, then “pardon me” would be taken as sarcasm. The only thing required is repentance and “please forgive me.”
Now through the death of Christ on the death, we are offered full and free forgiveness for our sin, confessed as such. We are not offered anything as a supplement to our excuses. When John tells us that God will forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9), he places a conditional upon it — “if we confess our sins.” The word for confess is homologeo, which literally means to “speak the same.” Confession is calling it what God calls it. If God calls it sin, we don’t get to call it a mistake. If God calls it sin, then we must call it sin as well.
Now abortion is a sin, not a mistake. And in order to be reckoned as a sin, it has to be against light. Sin is not imputed, Paul tells us, where there is no law. Not only is abortion a sin, but it is a very grievous one. The Bible very plainly teaches that the womb is God’s workbench, the place where He is assembling yet another son or daughter, crafted in His image, bearing His image from the moment the work first began. To disrupt His artistry in such a moment is highest degree of arrogance.
In the aftermath of these videos, what we have in this cultural opportunity is a moment of clarity, a clarity which is a gracious gift of God. We are being forced to confront what we have been doing, and we are being given the gracious opportunity to “speak the same” thing about it that God does. We may take that opportunity or we may harden ourselves further. The moment in which we must do one or the other is now.
The reason there is still resistance is two-fold. First, confession is always humbling. In other words, it is not just the pride of Planned Parenthood that must come down, a sin committed by “them.” A great deal of sin within the church must be confessed as well. Millions of people are involved, professing Christians and unbelievers both, and in order to deal with it we must call it by its proper name. We need to confess our sin, and this is always humbling. But when we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The second reason takes us into the politics of it. The reason there is such resistance, even with these revelations, is that abortion is the bloody sacrament right at the center of secularism’s cathedral. It is their high altar. We are not proposing, for example, to knock a few gargoyles off their cathedral. We are requiring that their high altar come down. We want to raze the whole thing. We want to imitate Josiah at Beth-el; we want to break it down, burn the high place, grind the whole thing to powder, and then burn the grove (2 Kings 23:15).
We cannot split the difference. The question before us is straightforward and simple. Shall this house be founded on child sacrifice or not? Shall we repent of our forty-year attempt to build a house on the foundation of child sacrifice? Or not? We cannot stay where we are. We must go forward, and embrace the way of death openly. And if refuse to do that, we must turn around and go back. Going back is called repentance, and it begins with confession.