Evangelical theologian Russell Moore has challenged an abortionist who claims that killing babies is part of his Christian faith, saying that what he's doing is redefining Christianity and "dehumanizing" Jesus Christ.
"Willie Parker is an abortion doctor. He says he's not ashamed of that. Willie Parker also says he is a born-again follower of Jesus Christ. That one's more complicated," Moore, who is the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote in a blog post on Monday titled "Who Would Jesus Abort? Confessions of a 'Christian' Abortion Doctor."
"His new book on why Jesus would support his abortion practice shows us the end-result of a cultural Christianity in which the self can redefine anything: Jesus, the Gospel, morality, justice, even life itself," Moore added.
The book in question, titled Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice, was profiled on Monday in Rolling Stone magazine.
In it, Parker describes how he at first refused to perform abortions, but in less than two years of practice changed his stance after working at an outpatient clinic for indigent people in Hawaii, and saw what happened when abortions stopped being provided.
Parker claims to have been inspired by Martin Luther King's final sermon, "I've Been to the Mountaintop," when he made the decision to only perform abortions.
"On that day, I decided to exercise Christian compassion not by proxy, but with my own capable hands," the abortionist argues.
When reviewing Parker's book, Moore said he was disturbed by how the doctor brags of learning to perform abortions "over and over, like an athlete."
"He learned not only how to do these abortions, but also how to quiet his conscience along the way. Parker doesn't hide the grisly mechanics of abortion. He writes, step-by-step, of what he does in an abortion, and in the aftermath," Moore described.
The ethicist notes that Parker adopts a "nonchalance" stance to abortion, which the doctor encourages in his female patients, praising those who are unmoved by the ultrasound of their unborn baby, and describing how he talks to them about Dr. Seuss books or southern cooking during the procedure.
"How, you might ask, would one be able to boast in a practice condemned by the Christian Church from the very beginning in the Roman Empire, while simultaneously claiming to be a follower of Jesus Christ?" Moore continued.
"Well, one does so, first of all, by moving the locus of authority away from the Scriptures. Parker will, at some places, attempt to argue that the Bible doesn't actually prohibit abortion."
Moore asserts that Parker paints the Bible as "misogynistic and patriarchal," with the abortionist challenging any conceptions that a pre-born baby could be considered a human life.
The ethicist positioned that Parker's attempts to dehumanize the unborn child is much like trying to "dehumanize Jesus."
"In Christ, after all, God has 'anthropomorphized' himself. And we are introduced to Jesus in the biblical story, just as John the Baptist was, as an unborn child (Luke 1:44). To keep doing his job, Parker must depersonalize the women and children he encounters. He must depersonalize God into an unblinking, non-judging cosmic abstraction," Moore wrote.
"The good news is that God has dealt with even guiltier consciences than Dr. Parker's, and He has done so in mercy. The good news is that Willie Parker may one day see a different vision of himself, and of God," he said.
"He might one day be found in Christ Jesus, a new creation. That's happened many times before, to many of us. And this new birth is not just a process but a miracle."
Other prominent American Christian figures, such as Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham, have also spoken out against Parker's arguments.
"Abortion is not healthcare. Abortion is murder. Calling it 'health care' or some other sugarcoated term doesn't change what abortion really is — the taking of an innocent life. And by God's standard of course, murder is sinful and utterly wrong," Ham wrote on his Answers in Genesis blog in February 2016.
"What Parker's doing is ignoring that abortion is murder and saying that he's just helping women, like a 'good Samaritan.' But is helping women commit a sinful act that goes completely against God's Word really helping them? No," Ham added.