Mother’s Day Rescue
Louisville, Kentucky, May 13, 2017
“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.”
Rescue those Being Led Away to Death
What does Christianity look like in a culture that sacrifices babies? Sometimes it looks like Rescue.
On Saturday, May 13, eleven Christians with Operation Rescue National/Operation Save America peacefully blocked the entrance to Kentucky’s last remaining surgical abortion clinic. The early morning rescue was to protect babies and to appeal to Governor Bevin to “ignore Roe, establish justice, and abolish abortion now.”
An 82 year old concentration camp survivor, a former pastor, a reverend, a prolife missionary and father of eight, a Christian father who has been on ten overseas mission trips, and a humble teenage girl wearing a skirt and head covering interposed between an abortionist and his intended victims-preborn babies scheduled to be murdered at 136 West Market Street in Louisville, Kentucky.
The rescue coincided with Mother’s Day weekend. Over a hundred Christians left their hotel rooms while it was still dark to protect babies scheduled to be murdered for blood money. The Christians arrived at the clinic at 6 am and quickly claimed the sidewalk space closest to the front door. Mothers, fathers, great-grandmothers, and children stood shoulder to shoulder and waited for the sun to rise.
“Clinic escorts” (who lead women inside the clinic for abortions) followed and set up shortly after the rescuers. Upon seeing the large gathering of Christians, one escort immediately called the police on a cell phone. Pastor Ante set up a sound system and worship music reached blocks away. As more and more clinic escorts arrived, Pastor Frank, Pastor Mark, Jordan, and David shared the Gospel and took turns preaching on the speaker. Pastor Dale had a significant conversation with members of the police force. His message was so convicting to one officer a superior officer stepped in and removed him from Pastor Dale’s presence. Some Christians sang, while others knelt in prayer.
Apart from the large police presence, the gathering was reminiscent of a church service. After approximately an hour and a half, a clinic staff member arrived and unlocked the front door. As the button was pushed and the locked opened from the inside, a music cue on the sound system told the rescuers it was time to interpose. The eleven rescuers quickly left their places on the sidewalk, moved to the entrance, and sat in front of the doors, to the bemusement of the clinic escorts. Heads bowed, the rescuers put their faith into practice and peacefully rescued those being led away to death.
Christian theologian Francis Shaeffer said, “Every abortion clinic should have a sign in front of it saying, ‘Open by the permission of the church.’” On Mother’s Day weekend in Louisville, the Church said, “We withdraw our permission. Now close this death camp down in Jesus’ name!”
Why Did They Rescue?
According to one rescuer, Chris, “Rescue is a necessity.” A former pastor who once worked at a battered women’s shelter, Chris explained, “What would I do it if I saw a guy beating up a girl on the street? I wouldn’t pray. I wouldn’t go to church. I would go right over there to intervene. The defense of children is an inarguable thing.”
82 year old Eva, a survivor of a Serbian “death camp” told the Courier-Journal, “I just wish the good Christian people of my country would have gathered in front of my death camp when we were shipped in.”
OSA national leader and missionary, Cal, explained, “Of the 11 Rescuers unjustly arrested in Louisville, 6 of them have been on missions trips to China with me.” The Christian background of the four women and the seven men who rescued demonstrate that it was their faith that compelled them to love their neighbor as themselves and rescue them. As a result of the rescue, one baby that we know of was saved.
Pray for the Pretrial
The rescue and arrest of the Christians was livestreamed on Facebook. Popular Facebook personalities, Activist Mommy and Josh Feuerstein, covered the arrests. The pretrial is scheduled for July 11. Please pray for Laura, big Eva, little Eva, Dennis, Jim, Chris, Jimmy, Tom, David and Rusty. Hosanna also rescued but because she is a minor, she wasn’t charged. The purpose of the pretrial allows the prosecutor to meet with the abortionists, police, and the rescuers to determine the future course of action concerning the case. The elephant in the room, however, is our federal government and their draconian law called F.A.C.E., Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances. The misdemeanor charge of trespass can receive federal penalties, which include a prison term and thousands of dollars in fines.
A Christian Doctrine Fleshed Out
In addition to the saved baby, the Christian doctrine of interposition was fleshed out and made real again through the rescue. As Pastor Matt Trewhella, author of the Lesser Magistrate Doctrine, commented after the rescue, “For those saying what they did is lawless or sinful or unbibilical: What they did is not a violation of Scripture. It is a godly demonstration of the historic Christian doctrine of interposition- which can be done verbally or physically. They have done it physically. May Christ be praised.”
Rusty Thomas, National Director of Operation Rescue/Operation Save America, stated on a video press release, “The Rescuers exercised the Christian doctrine of interposition. Interposition takes place when one stands in the gap between a strong oppressor and a victim in order to rescue the victim from the oppressor’s hands. The Bible and history are filled with examples of interposition. It was interposition that ended the ancient evil of slavery, infanticide, human sacrifice and other atrocities. The Church of Jesus Christ, armed with the revelation that man is made in the image of God, led the charge to set the captives free.
A Necessary Conversation
The rescue ignited a social media firestorm. The doctrine of interposition, the theology of Christian rescue, the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate, and the obligations of the Church were wrestled over in online debates, in blogs and vlogs, on radio programs, and on news broadcasts. A necessary conversation has taking place and it has reached beyond our wildest expectations.
Rescue treats abortion as murder and the child as an immediate victim. Through the act of rescue, the humanity of the child is validated, the demand for justice is authenticated, and the culture is confronted with the need to immediately end abortion. God used the rescue to change the anti-abortion conversation. The conversation moved from defensive, “regulatory minded,” politically expedient, incremental strategy to proactive, “biblically minded,” uncompromising, immediatism.
An Appeal to Governor Bevin and Lesser Magistrates
Civil magistrates have perpetuated the fiction of Roe vs. Wade that has entrenched our nation the culture of death. ORN/OSA used the media platform generated by the rescue to appeal to Gov. Matt Bevin to interpose to protect innocent life. In a video press release broadcast at the time of the rescue, National Director of ORN/OSA, Rev. Rusty Thomas, described the rescue as “an example for Governor Bevin, the legislators, sheriffs, and police officers to follow…in their God ordained authority.” The press release was in keeping with an earlier video Thomas and local leader, Pastor Joseph Spurgeon, released calling on Governor Bevin to ignore Roe, establish justice, and abolish abortion now in the state of Kentucky.
Rev. Thomas reasoned that Christians were remonstrating to encourage the state authorities to cross a line, be brave, and defy the lawless, corrupt, and unconstitutional ruling of Roe vs. Wade. He stated, “How could we expect them (the state) to do it, if we as churchmen were not willing to do it first? We needed to provide a godly example for them to follow. This is what interposition looks like as churchmen. We lay down our lives so these children might live. What does interposition look like at the state level? The state is to use their God-ordained authority to defend the lives of the preborn and lead justice to victory.” On May 13th, however, the crime of murder was committed on that fateful day, but once again the state arrested the wrong people.
What the Rescue Wasn’t
For our critics, the rescue wasn’t civil disobedience; it was biblical obedience. It wasn’t “clinic-centric;” it was Christ centered. It wasn’t human strategy; it was God’s strategy (Matt. 16:24). It wasn’t violent; it was peaceful Christians laying down their lives for another (Since Christians began interposing and publicly repenting at clinics 80,000 arrests occurred. Not 1 was for violence). It wasn’t new; interposition is biblical and historical. It wasn’t “regulatory” minded; the biblical demand was for the immediate end of abortion- without compromise, without apology, and without exception (as defined in God’s Word). It wasn’t incremental; it was immediate- immediate repentance, immediate rescue of a preborn neighbor, and immediate conflict with the culture of child sacrifice.
Moreover, this was not an attempt to recapture the glory days of rescue. It was not a publicity stunt so OSA could regain attention in the public square. Neither was it done in the hopes of reigniting the rescue movement in this generation. The rescue was not necessarily concerned about strategy, ground game, or overall game plan to end abortion. It was a sacrifice humbly giving to God from the hearts of these rescuers to present to the Lord to do with it as He saw fit. We can report He did exceedingly, abundantly, above all we could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
Future Implications of the Rescue
Proverbs 16:9 says a man plans his way but the Lord directs his steps. For the rescuers, the rescue in Louisville was a simple act of Christian obedience. According to the feminist Dame Magazine, however, “If Louisville is any indication; the FACE Act may be on its last legs.” Feminist media outlets reported on the Mother’s Day rescue inadvertently outlined a potential strategy for challenging the tyrannical Freedom of Access to Christian Entrances Act. Abortion supporters believe the Christians with ORN/OSA were smart enough to strategize a long term goal to overturn the draconian F.A.C.E. “law” by claiming religious freedom and freedom of expression protections, which, by the way, are ours to claim. According to Rewire, “Saturday’s events in Louisville were also a test of the Trump administration to see how far its recent executive order on so-called “religious freedom” will protect activities like abortion clinic ‘rescue missions’.” Rewire suggests, “in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court slid closer to protecting the rights of protesters over patients in McCullen v. Coakley, the challenge to a Massachusetts buffer zone law…anti-choice activists [will likely] launch another defense along these ‘free speech’ lines following Saturday’s arrests.”
Supporters of abortion fear the rescue will be used as a test case that will reach past the Department of Justice to the Trump Administration’s recent curtailing of the Johnson Amendment. Section 1 of the order states, “Federal law protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal Government. The executive branch will honor and enforce those protections.” Section 2 states, “All executive departments and agencies … shall, to the greatest extent practicable and to the extent permitted by law, respect and protect the freedom of persons and organizations to engage in religious and political speech.” We will see if the rumor of God in their heads will become their worst nightmare. Keep pressing on saints to the high call and prize in Jesus name!