Matt Chandler, the pastor of Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, weighed in on the overturning of Roe v. Wade in his sermon Sunday, stressing that it's the responsibility of the Church to support women in crisis instead of "throwing diapers" at the issue.
In a June 27 sermon, the 48-year-old pastor declared that for more than a decade, his church has taken a pro-life stance.
Since the recent overturning of the 1973 landmark decision Roe v. Wade, Chandler said the church's stance has been "refined" regarding the belief "that both the Bible, as well as science, proves that life begins at conception."
"I celebrated on Friday the decision of the Supreme Court to reverse the ruling," he said. "I did so with a great deal of sobriety. My emotions have been sneaking up on me today."
Chandler reflected on how "broken and hopeless the world is to some people."
"This is a brutally difficult world to be in. And there's a kind of hopelessness that will rot a soul out," he said. "There was a young woman that drink bleach to try to kill the baby [inside her]. How hopeless do you have to be to do that? How alone? How? Nowhere to go. That's what we're talking about here."
Chandler said it is "good and right to celebrate" the court's ruling giving power back to the states to determine abortion laws. Still, he said that the Church has been given the opportunity to "step up into a space where darkness can be pushed back and decay can be addressed."
"Whether you like the decision or not, I don't care ... I think it was a good, right decision," he said.
"I want to celebrate, but I want to celebrate with sobriety and with a call to action. So before you wave those pom-poms, you better understand what's at stake and the moment that we're in. This had better not be about legislation. This better be bigger than that for us as the Church."
Chandler urged listeners to move their "whole self" into the Kingdom of God in light of the ruling. He cited Matthew 5, where Jesus says, "Blessed are those who mourn. For they will be comforted."
"Blessed are you when you feel heartsick over your own sin, over the sin of the world. … Blessed are you … when you mourn, when you recognize your own brokenness and you look up and you see the brokenness of the day that you're in. … You're going to be comforted [and] God is going to meet you in that mourning, as you see the brokenness around you and in yourself," Chandler said.
When pro-life Christians hold conversations with those who support abortion, Chandler said they must exercise compassion, speak in truth and not succumb to the pro-choice stance.
"This means that in all our conversations, if we vilify the other, we will hate the very people that Jesus would have us minister to in His Kingdom," he said. "This is why, for all the political ideologies and even this subject with all the hate and rage around it, if you give into the compulsion to vilify the other, you will harden your heart to the ways Jesus wants to use you to stop the decay, and to push back the darkness."
The problem isn't fixed by "throwing diapers at it," Chandler said, adding that the solution isn't "easy or fast."
"What does it look like? Because as this was given back to the states, it was also given back to the Church. We are far more powerful than we think we are," he asserted. "But I do think there needs to be a purging about where your loyalties actually lie."
"We will not feed the hungry or care for the most marginalized tweeting or posturing," he emphasized. "We'll have to hurt, and we'll have to be willing to."
Chandler reminded those who have had an abortion that God is merciful and graceful to forgive them.
"You have not out-sinned the grace of God. … Maybe for the first time ever, you need to finally do business with those places inside of you that are broken. Maybe you had an abortion or you've funded one or you pushed somebody to and it's just [clawed] away at you. … Maybe nobody knows. … You don't have to carry that," Chandler said.
The Village Church has several ministries that help those personally impacted by abortion, from post-abortion support groups to pregnancy support groups.
"We've got all sorts of opportunities [for you] to heal. That would be my encouragement. … You don't need to run off and sign up to volunteer yet. We need to get that soul healthy. We need to get some hooks out of you and some truth into you. … I want to encourage you that you will not be disparaged or hated here for your backstory," Chandler said.