The conversation on incrementalism with the American Vision guys continues, albeit not very fruitfully. Joel McDurmon has responded to my thought experiment here.
What this amounts to, in my view, is not a breakdown in communication, but rather a breakdown of trust.
John Mark deserted Paul at Pamphylia (Acts 13:13). My supposition in this is that it happened because Paul had just presented the gospel to Sergius Paulus, and that John Mark had sympathies (at least) with the faction of the Judaizers. Shortly after this the Jerusalem Council settled the question, saying that Gentiles did not have to become Jews to become Christians. John Mark accepted the decision of the Council, and then wanted to accompany Paul and Barnabas on their next journey. My reconstruction of these events reads it as Barnabas believing John Mark’s change of heart and Paul not believing it. Barnabas trusted John Mark and Paul didn’t. The disagreement was so sharp that Paul and Barnabas had to work separately after that (Acts 15: 36-40). Paul was reconciled to John Mark later (2 Tim. 4:11), but we never are told who was right in the dispute.
The doctrine was settled, but what was in dispute is whether a particular man was to be trusted.
As I understand Joel’s position, he has no problem with a pro-life organization moving from city to city, or state to state, accomplishing their goals there, and then moving on to the next. This is his “not overnightism.” But if he were a congressmen, voting on a national level, Joel would refuse to vote for a bill that would restrict abortion in one locale, or that would allow local jurisdictions to restrict abortion.
In other words, he would regard that congressman’s vote as compromised, but it would not be compromise to take advantage of it. Joel would not vote for a repeal of Roe, but he would take full advantage of a repeal of Roe. And at the bottom of this conflicted stance would be a lack of trust. The “compromised” pro-lifers are simply not believed when they say that they share the same goal, the identical goal, the abolition of human abortion, period. And while some of them should not be believed, as I have granted throughout this discussion, I do take the Barnabas route on this one. I do not share the lack of trust over all. And because I know my own convictions on the matter, I certainly do not doubt my own commitment to the goal of abolition.
This falling out is certainly unfortunate, but it is not the end of the world. I wish all pro-lifers well, including those who do not reciprocate. And as long as babies are being butchered, I have better things to do than fight with fellow pro-lifers.