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The role of Tiller's pastors

By Dave Welch

June 02, 2009


© 2009 
A headline you will not read in the mainstream media is "Dr. Death Meets Death" – however, that describes the end of Dr. George Tiller's life precisely.

His murder is tragic in a number of ways, beginning with a life created by God that was misspent on the destruction of life. The blood on his hands cried out for justice that could only lawfully be applied through civil authorities and only mitigated eternally through Another's blood shed for his sins. Neither of those was accomplished for Tiller.

The first element of this tragedy is that unlike serial killers who "unlawfully" took innocent lives, Tiller "lawfully" committed what God calls murder against babies who met the standard of viability outside the womb as his trademark. He operated within the confines of the law as defined by five U.S. Supreme Court Justices in 1973 and which still stands today.

Those justices and every citizen who has voted for politicians who appointed judges like them, as well as who support "abortion rights," are equally guilty of being an accessory to the murders of tens of millions of defenseless children. Tiller was an opportunist who profited hugely from an industry born of evil laws propagated by evil rulers chosen by citizens who rejected God's authority and design of life.

Open your eyes to the ugliness inside the abortion industry with "Lime 5: Exploited by Choice"

The next critical point in the brutal end of this doctor who made millions by tearing apart babies limb by limb is the location of his demise. The frequency of shootings in or at churches has increased as the moral fabric of the nation unravels and the reverence for the sanctuary of the church does as well. Tiller should have faced justice through due process rather than at the hands of a lone gunman who violated the laws of man and God by taking them into his own hands.

The incredible irony of this cannot be lost, however, that the most notorious abortionist in America was gunned down at a church where, as the New York Times reported, Tiller "had attended … for a long time, they said, and had contributed significantly to construction of the current facility, which was built in about 1996."

Tiller was an usher, long-time member and major financial contributor to Reformation Lutheran Church. His church attendance had not escaped the notice of pro-life activists, as according to a Fox News story, "…They've been out here for quite a few years. We've just become accustomed to it. Just like an everyday thing, you just looked over and see them and say, 'Yup they're back again.'"

I have to ask the question that is one which strikes at the heart of much of our spiritual, social, moral and political condition today. What was he being taught in this church? Tiller was obviously comfortable in this church, and it is evident that the pastoral leadership was comfortable with him.

In an analogy that may bring some criticism, suppose a known drug lord or pimp attended this church and gave substantial contributions? Would he have been given the status and gratitude for his generosity that Tiller apparently enjoyed? Those others may be operating outside the boundaries of man's law while Tiller was within; however, all were equally outside the laws of God.

We live in a day where the power of God is non-existent in many churches – possibly most – because we have either rejected the authority of Scripture, or more predominantly in the evangelical church we are focused far more on "comforting the afflicted" than "afflicting the comfortable." We should do both.
Whether it is an abortionist who should have been brought to conviction of his sin through clear presentation of Scriptural truths, a man or woman "shacking up" while being active in their church, long-time church leaders divorcing over adultery – we have cancer in the body.

Just as this pastor must answer to God for his shepherding over Tiller, every pastor must account for the calling and gift of spiritual stewardship over his respective flock. Are we making disciples or are we creating Christians comfortable with evil?

The passage in Matthew 28:18-20 known as the Great Commission does not command us to fill coliseums, expand our buildings, or increase our budgets – or accommodate the world. It does command us to do three things:

  1. Make disciples of the nations – disciples are "pupils";
  2. Baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – spiritual rebirth is FIRST;
  3. Teach them to observe all He commanded – All four elements are essential:
    – Teach – Impart with integrity to the text and context
    – All – Don’t leave anything out between Genesis and Revelation
    – He – Jesus was involved in authoring all Scripture
    – Commanded – If we want the "benefits," we must follow "The Way."

Does any reasonable person doubt that if George Tiller had been made a disciple, as in the awesome story of former abortionist Carol Everett recounted in her book, "Blood Money: Getting Rich Off a Woman's Right to Choose," he would have followed Jesus' command to "go and sin no more"?

Carol's turn from death to life produced her new "fruits" through the Heidi Group, which is helping women and standing for life. Her testimony is in stark contrast to the "aid and comfort" given to Tiller by pastors who refuse to preach boldly the Word of truth and let the Holy Spirit do His work of bringing conviction and repentance.

Let us pray, repent and then turn in our pulpits back to the One who gave us life, fear Him rather than men and make disciples who choose life.

Dave Welch is the founder and executive director of the U.S. Pastor Council and Houston Area Pastor Council, interdenominational and interracial ministries of and for pastors based in Houston, Texas. Over the past 24 years, he has held numerous leadership positions including founding executive director of Christian Coalition of Washington, national field director of Christian Coalition and executive director of Vision America.

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