Jesus loves the people of Planned Parenthood

“I would say, it’s anywhere from $30 to $100… per specimen. A lot of people are looking for hearts these days. …Some people want lower extremities too, which, that’s simple. I mean, that’s easy. I don’t know what they’re going to do with it. I guess they want muscle.” –Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Services Department

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies!” –Jesus

“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.” –Dr. Deborah Nucatola

If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?” –Jesus

Jesus loves Dr. Deborah Nucatola just as much as he loves the babies she so causally discusses.

That is the scandal of the gospel.

The early Christians were known for their generous love. Today’s Christians are known for our thirst for justice.

That is the scandal of our church.

The enemies of Jesus’ day were surely at least as repugnantly violent as any enemy we can find in our day. Jesus’ Jewish audience needed no reminders of of the horrific, violent practices of the Roman army that oppressed them.  (Not long after Jesus died the Roman army crucified so many people during their conquest of Jerusalem that legend has it that they ran out of trees). Yet what did Jesus say about the evil soldiers in their midst?

“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”

When Jesus healed the centurion’s servant it was a miracle so radical that the closest we can come to comprehending it would be to imagine ourselves performing an act of kindness for an ISIS soldier shortly after one of their beheading videos.

The Samaritan Woman at the Well. The Good Samaritan. The conversion of Cornelius in Acts 10. The Letter to Philemon. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

It is impossible to tell the gospel story without speaking of a love so generous that it offends our sensibilities. Not to mention that the first Christians were surrounded by an evil so violent that it threatened to swallow them whole. Yet even as the gospel compelled them to pursue justice, they were always known for something even greater.

The first Christians conquered an empire with love rather than power.

Of course, none of this means we shouldn’t write our congress person, sign a petition, or add our voice to the call for justice. But it does mean that calls for justice walk hand in hand with acts of love.

So what are acts of love that our culture understands? Here’s an example I’ve been mulling over: (conservative) Christians love Chick-fil-A. Yesterday a bunch of them showed it by dressing like cows to get free food. And a couple of years ago even more (conservative) Christians showed their love on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, combating an earlier boycott led by supporters of same-sex marriage. In America, we show love by buying things;  we show even more love by buying things together.

So, as we write our congress people and sign our petitions, what if we banded together to show our love for the people of Planned Parenthood? What if local churches bought fruit baskets and gift cards to give to PP staff, or washed cars in parking lots, or penned notes of encouragement?

What if love and justice walked hand in hand?

What if our gospel was scandalous, rather than tame?

What if our enemies knew we loved them?

I’m still trying to decide if buying a fruit basket is the best I can do. But here’s what I do know:

Jesus loves Deborah Nucatola.

Jesus loves the people of Planned Parenthood.

And so should we.

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About Tim Owens

I'm a husband, father, and Christ follower. I also live in Albany, NY, where I work as a pastor.
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5 Responses to Jesus loves the people of Planned Parenthood

  1. Johnny Wilson says:

    Do you mean love them in the way Christians love gay sinners, or the way they love adulterous, divorced Christian sinners? (Sorry for the snark.)

  2. Carole Burton says:

    I would like someone to define what they think biblical love looks like. Everytime I see a post like this it implies that truth and justice are not compatible with love. This is a cultural mindset that is errant and inconsistent with the word of God. Another characteristic of this generation is a watering down of the Word or dismissal altogether. This is not going to help those who don’t know Jesus, it is going to seal their doom. Christians need to quit loving the world snd start loving God so much that they are willing to stand for truth. If someone wants to go to Deborah planned parenthood baby parts seller and witness to her and share the good news of salvation and repentance and redemption with her personally, then I will believe they love her. Telling me how I should feel is just diatribe.

    • Tim Owens says:

      Biblical love looks like a lot of different things. In at least one case, it looked like Jesus offering to go to Zacchaeus’s house. In doing so, Jesus showed honor, respect, and kindness to someone he fundamentally disagreed with. For me, I think this is a helpful example of what biblical love looks like–how can I, in a real and practical way, show honor, respect, and kindness to someone I fundamentally disagree with?

  3. Joy says:

    “His kindness leads us to repentance” – (Romans 2:4), and it will be through repentance and belief in the good news that Deborah Nucatola and others like her will receive the Spirit of our Lord and forsake evil ways. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can think rightly and make right choices. How can we expect unbelievers to act like believers or value the things of God? They are powerless to live like that, for true power over sin comes from God. Before anything else, Deborah Nucatola needs the gospel, and like this article illustrates, God uses our acts of kindness to awaken dead hearts to His love and to life in the Spirit. Yes, we should stand for truth in an evil world, but we rebuke believers who are in sin, not unbelievers.

    One other thought – We must understand that without Christ WE are just as evil and depraved as Ms. Nucatola. We were also children of wrath, dead in our sins until GOD transferred us out of darkness and into the kingdom of His Son (Eph 2/Col 1). It is by GRACE that we have been saved, and this was not of ourselves but a GIFT of God (Eph 2). The only reason that I do not abort babies and sell their body parts is because God saved me by His grace and empowers me to overcome sin. For too many years I did not understand how much Pharisee was in me. I did not understand that without Jesus, I am just as evil as ISIS, abortionists, pedophiles, etc. This amazing message by Caleb Click really brought the beauty of the gospel alive to me, and God has used it to soften my hard heart with His compassion for those still lost in the darkness: https://vimeo.com/130905373.

    Let’s pray for Ms. Nucatola to see the kindness of God and be given the gift of repentance. Let’s pray from hearts of love and humility, not pride, arrogance, or self-righteousness. We can only pray like this when we let the Holy Spirit pray through us. To Jesus alone be the glory for any good seen in us and through us. Thank you for your article, Tim, and for the great ideas of ways that we can show the lost world God’s kindness. I trust He will use those acts of kindness to lead many into repentance and the gift of grace.

  4. Tyler says:

    I haven’t seen one of your posts in a while. I always love to read them – always a challenging encouragement

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