Abolition, Past and Present
January 30, 2016

Abolitionists from across the United States have come together under the Lordship of Jesus Christ to form a grassroots coalition of autonomous abolitionist societies, which are unified in both ideology and practice. In conjunction with abolitionists in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, we are united in the declaration of these sentiments in relation to the slaughter of pre-born human beings, our smallest and most vulnerable neighbors and fellow image bearers of the Living God. As abolitionists, we are determined to live consistent Christian lives in the midst of a culture that kills its children and to work to bring about the abolition of human abortion.

We live in a world where 40 to 50 million children are murdered in their mothers’ wombs every year through modern forms of child sacrifice.

In the United States of America, over 2 million children are murdered every year by various forms of human abortion. Over 3,200 babies are poisoned to death or ripped to pieces every day inside local child sacrifice centers; thousands more are destroyed each day by over-the-counter abortifacient drugs and devices and the use of reproductive technologies that inevitably result in the extermination of human life.

The United States is a country founded upon the principle that “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet, we have betrayed the spirit of this declaration from the founding of our nation and have consistently failed to uphold its ideals.

Abolitionists in times past had to rise up against the institution of human slavery, that “flagrant robbery of the inalienable rights of man,” exposing the glaring contradiction between their country’s claim to be a land of liberty and its systemic approval, widespread tolerance, and all-encompassing practice of making property of men.

They designated slaveholders as “man-stealers,” guilty of a capital offense, and judged those who were indifferent to the plight of their fellow men to be complicit in their crime.

They denounced the constitutional compromise that permitted the institution of chattel slavery as “an agreement with Hell and covenant with death.”

They despaired of their republic while slavery existed and beseeched their culture “to repent instantly, to undo the heavy burden, to break every yoke, and to let the oppressed go free.”

Their call was for “immediate, unconditional, uncompensated emancipation.”

Their creed was “Slavery is SIN!”

Their cry was “No Compromise!”

They refused to go with the multitude to do evil, and they determined to never do evil that good may come (Ex. 23:2).

They rejected the use of carnal weapons for the deliverance of the slaves, choosing to rely instead upon spiritual weapons, which are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. They pledged themselves to overthrow the institution of human slavery, to rebuke the Northern apathy that contributed to its endurance, and to turn their nation’s heart to God.

Their culture did not heed their call.

They did not repent.

They were instead a nation of stiff-necked people – hard-hearted, apathetic, and indifferent to the plight of their fellow man.

They neglected justice. They refused to show mercy.

They chose instead to let the slaves suffer while they talked about plans for gradual emancipation, voluntary compensated manumission, and forced colonization – all incremental strategies that ultimately did nothing to establish justice and liberty for the enslaved.

Many of that day called the abolitionists “fanatics,” “incendiaries,” and “agitators,” and told them to keep their moral and religious views to themselves. They destroyed their printing presses, burned their meeting places to the ground, and persecuted their most outspoken leaders. They even murdered some in cold blood.

In the headlong pursuit of sordid gain, they continued to work God’s image bearers to death in the cotton fields, like cattle. They refused to grant them their God-ordained rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They continued to tear their families apart on the auction block.

As a result, God judged their culture and brought war upon their nation.

A bloody war.
An unnecessary war.
A war that set brother against brother, father against son.

For He removes kings and raises up kings, makes peace and creates calamity (Is. 45:7), and He stretches out His hand in judgment towards those nations who sin grievously against Him and transgress His Holy Law.

But thanks be to God there remained a remnant of faithful followers who repented of their complacency, ceased to do evil, and learned to do good. A remnant that showed mercy, sought to correct oppression, and worked to establish justice.

By the grace of God the nation was spared and the institution of slavery was undone.

But the cost was great: decades of unwilling repentance and terrible violence, forced reform disguised as Reconstruction, and the turmoil surrounding civil rights that remains with us to this day.

Today we face a similar situation.

We live in a world where human beings are routinely poisoned, burned, crushed, torn apart, discarded as trash, and destroyed in countless other ways simply because they are unwanted, inconvenient, and not yet born.

They are created in labs, incarcerated in icy chambers, and genetically modified to meet parental preferences.

They are dehumanized, experimented upon like rats, and bought and sold as scientific commodities.

Excerpted from the International Coalition of Abolitionist Societies “Declaration of Sentiments”, which can be read in its entirety here.