an After abortion

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sydna Masse of the post-abortion ministry Ramah International is expressing her negative reaction to public awareness campaigns such as Silent No More.

A few of Sydna's points are reasonable but overall I disagree with her approach and her attitude.


God has impressed upon that my heart that our world doesn't need a great number of individuals speaking out.
Considering that Sydna refers in her article to the notion that it would be valuable for those speaking out to be "spiritually mature", this sentence and the attitude behind it surprises me. One of the first things that those entering leadership levels in churches learn is how to respond to church members who insist that the church perform Action A (build a basketball court, send the youth group on a mission trip to Paraguay, etc.) because "God has impressed upon my heart that this is what our church needs to do." The response is "Really? I have been praying and discerning about this and God has impressed on my heart that our church does not need a basketball court." People who argue for their preconceived agendas based on "God sent me a message" arguments are extremely unpopular on church boards, for obvious reasons.

Sydna repeats later her conviction that not many should speak out:

I'm convinced that public testimony is a RARE calling because of the intense responsibility and spiritual depth that is required.
I don't think this reflects a very trusting view of God. I prefer the attitude expressed in that old ministry saw, "God equips those He calls." That's what I see over and over again. Sydna's own story of starting to speak in public runs contrary to what she says here--she describes herself as being immature and fearful. Indeed, lots of people who speak in public about emotionally difficult subjects (rape, sexual abuse, combat trauma) feel underprepared, emotional, fearful and not ready. They do it anyway, because they know it's the right thing. One path that God lays out to people for the spiritual and emotional growth He desires for them is to confront and work through experiences that seem fearful and anxiety-provoking. We grow by doing the hard, but right, thing.

Five or ten years ago, when Sydna started her ministry, it was very rare for women to be willing to speak in public about this experience. A person who was willing to do so, and who had some gifts and polish when presenting in public, was a rarity. Speaking invitations on the pro-life circuit (pregnancy resource center annual banquets, post-abortion training days, etc.) flowed to a tiny number of post-abortion speakers.

It's not like that anymore. Many women (and increasingly, men) are willing to speak about this experience. There's now more competition in the marketplace. I think that's a good thing.

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