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July 24, 2020 2:00 am
Recognizing that behind every abortion, there's a man involved, Stephen Arterburn offers hope to post-abortive men as he describes how he found God's forgiveness amidst the guilt of coercing a past girlfriend to have an abortion. He also discusses the need for Christian men to advocate the value of all human life.
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Amanda's marriage was a train wreck trying to raise for young kids facing bankruptcy. Constant arguments and then her husband had an affair that everything entered like I don't know what I can't stand to look at around 10 when you want to deal thankfully God intervened in Amanda's life began to change as she listened to our podcast. No really a family gave me hope and I gave me a change in perspective. Now that no not every married event and there is hope on Jim Daly.
Working together we can rescue more marriages like commanders, especially during this coronavirus pandemic. Learn more focusonthefamily.com/strengthen families or call 800 a family Stephen are buddies or guest on Focus on the Family and features a very difficult story about a past regret of being involved in an abortion decision.
As I look back I just saw I was so foolish because here would've been this whole wonderful person that would've lived and had descendents in all of that and and I was the one destroyed be hearing more from Steve's heart today as we share a message of healing, forgiveness and hope your hostess focus Pres. Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, John. We went on the road to five different cities in five days. That was a little rough and great, and that was last year to share a pro-life message with a different guest each night and it was exciting to witness the enthusiasm that her friend showed for pre-born children and their mothers.
It was awesome and it was exhausting but rewarding. In fact, I came down with a cold the first day and I love. Oh Lord, how monitor all this, but we did it, and your great help.
John, you know, in the recordings etc. so we wanted to share with you when we were in Dallas-Fort Worth it was Steve Arterburn and we had a great night and he was so open and vulnerable about what he had gone through participating in an abortion and you can hear that story today, and you'll also hear your cold in that, sorry for well yet you pressed on and was great and you have that message in just a moment, but were bringing it to you today as we lead up to her big online pro-life event this coming September 26 were calling it sea life 2020 and eyes can be a great time with speakers and music and were to say more. As we close out today's broadcast and in the meantime you can find details at our website.
We got the link in the episode notes and I know you can be encouraged in this conversation we had with Stephen Arterburn at Central Bible Church in Fort Worth Texas with a great audience and here's how the conversation began well come to a special Focus on the Family broadcast from Dallas-Fort Worth is some energy in the room and that's the kind of excitement to build on after last year's really successful event in Times Square on May 4 when we had about 20,000 people joined in and jammed into Times Square to see a live ultrasound on the screen. It was in awesome experience over and try to re-create that in the next several months.
This is our moment in the pro-life community, straight and kind of focus our energy to say we care about the woman and we care about that baby and that's what we need to be proclaimed. Yeah there is some tremendous energy and momentum. There really that mark your calendar go online and see the details and please tell friends about this, we want a lot of people standing up supporting life. It is our privilege to have Steve Arterburn with us here tonight is the founder and chairman of new life ministries and is a teaching pastor at Northview church with multiple locations. I think 12 locations and three others in special locations prisons Indiana prison full functioning church campuses and that's also very popular guest to have so glad to have you back. I so appreciate our friendship in a week and met sometimes at national religious broadcasters and we just have fun connecting.
I love your heart for people. And what I really appreciate about usual transparency in order to get that tonight you have a really tough story, but one of the mistakes I feel like many of us who I guess is Christian leaders. It seems odd even categorize yourself in that way were not very vulnerable about her own shortcomings our own mistakes, we try to project perfection and people. I think they like models like that that you know we can.
Okay, we can follow that. But the reality of the Christian life is brokenness and I am so grateful to your heart.
You're so good by being vulnerable with your shortcomings. Being human things I do like that.
Well, it's a humbling thing to talk about, especially this particular area but you know I felt like a knife to my wife is often that I had a moment where I really felt like God called me to be a revealer of the truth of my life. Even though that truth was not very pretty and I hope and pray that by doing that it would encourage others to open up about some of the things that really well as you hear my case it made me sick and I believe that our secrets make all of us sick and God has such healing and hope for us when we can be open and honest about our lives, even the ugly stuff yeah and I so appreciate that years ago will get into you spoke at your alma mater, Baylor right you shared some very surprising and difficult things and that message with the students. What was it that you shared and they must of just gone. Wow.
Well there a lot of things I wanted to share, but I felt like I needed to tell them what happened and I said you know, years earlier, I came here to get a Christian education. What I got was I got a girl pregnant and when I found out I just quickly did what you did. I just paid for her to have an abortion is what I told him and I shared with them the results of that.
I ended up in it. When you when you pay for your own child to be destroyed. You even an atheist has some kind of intrinsic guilt, but with me it was total shame at a drop out of school at about 80 ulcers that were just killing me inside. In fact, I was on these heavy sulfa drugs had to be hospitalized and move back home and it was just the guilt and shame of this secret. There was nobody to grieve you know when I woke up to what I had done. There was no funeral there was no one I could tell can tell my parents. And so in this shame. I was dying and I was so fortunate that I found great shy her checks and all in Christian radio say your past just ended one second ago why would you live in and I had felt like God wanted me to show him. No one ever felt more shame or guilt over this horrible thing and so then I felt a different call that God really did to apply so I could be free of that shape so I shared this with the students and then I returned home after sharing it.
That girlfriend contacted you after what she did and I don't how many years it had been well it'd been more than a decade and I had talked with her at another time. When I asked for her forgiveness, but I hadn't heard from her since.
And so when I returned home. She called me and she said I heard that you told her story and I said yes and I did it in a way that I don't think anybody would ever know that it was you just don't know that I know and she said I heard you tell them that you paid for the abortion message yes I wanted them to know that I was part of this and she said will you know next time you tell the story should be more honest and I said what you mean and I didn't have any idea what she meant. She said well you can just pay for but you pressured me and you.
I'm sure that I knew that you would not be there for me and our baby is that I felt I had no other choice but to go through with the abortion mess first time you had that realization so a whole other wave of shame and and just to come to grips with what a coward. I had been in the face of my baby needing me in this wonderful young woman needing me to be a man and I had been that and so it was up pretty traumatic.
After all, is Steve so often when were talking about this issue of abortion. This is one of the great I think outcomes of having you on the program will hear from women and men will say you're not talking enough about the male side of this and so were doing that now. This is your story, did you ever backtrack and how she may have felt that way and were you failed to make sure that there may have been more options or were you guilty as charged.
At the time there were big billboards.
There were big movements like movements call this number things like that. And so it just seemed like we just I just moved to do that and just what you did and I knew where to go to get it done and so I just think that it was one of those situations where I was, not going to have my plans interrupt.
I didn't really understand that this was a life that this was and I knew it was alive. I didn't know was a life that was the difference and that's a big difference just that one letter and so I as I look back I just saw I was so foolish because here would've been this whole wonderful person that would've lived in had descendents in all of that and and I was the one that destroyed Steve speaking to men that are listening right now who may have that secret or you know, for whatever reason they're saying and that's exactly where I was at that whatever point they were asked whether it was college or later. Whatever talk to men directly right now about our responsibilities in this it seems like the formula typically goes. It's all on the woman when it isn't, because you know our role in conception in the development of the child and then were to provide and protect for the life he created.
That's what mentor work when a life is created when you don't do that you will eventually experience the guilt and shame from destroying that life is not just the demand that's involved with the woman there's often a physician or a minister or a father other men get involved and pressure person and one of the things that I said to many women over the years you you might be feeling horrible that you had an abortion, but a lot of women they didn't have an abortion, then abortion done to at age 14. You're not exactly deciding to go down and have an abortion. In every case somebody saying this is it. Or someone like me is pressuring and so us men have to step up and be the man and I feel like a like an arsonist speaking to a bunch of firefighters you know I'm the worst of the worst, but I'm hoping that somebody could hear how I felt afterwards and then decide.
Maybe to think differently about that decision.
The part that it really intrigues me is how we as men need to to do things differently when you look at the issue of abortion. Where can we go for different outcomes.
Working that young man go today whose 20 in college, how can he help lead in that situation rather than help destroy what God is created almost every pregnancy center I know of her speak for they have a ministry for men. They want to support the man when the woman comes in for the sonogram. You know they're supportive of him to. If a guy could just say I need to go asked some questions and I need to be the one to call the resource center.
I need to go find out about the sonogram thing because you as you know, once they see the sonogram it's most likely not going to happen right and being engaged is a big part of that decision.
Let's camp there for minute, when it comes to the abortion industry because one of the profound things that catches my attention and I met with people in Planned Parenthood.
I have gone out of my way to try to understand them not can agree with them. So don't worry but it's important that they can hopefully hear a well articulated position on the pro-life side to so I do. I have met with people from Planned Parenthood and people from NARAL. The national abortion rights league and you know one of the things that catches my attention is the simple fact its cash flow and I'm #1 woman that was from the industry.
I said you know I am not a seminarian I can. I have an MBA. I come out of the business background tell me what the model is and she said oh yes all my cash flow. We get $600 for abortion we get zero for an adoption placement is an amazing inner my initial thought was how can we double your money. What if I get paid $1200 for adoption placement would you do it. She said I would do it so were still working on that idea. Pray for us.
I think there are people in the in the industry that it is cash flow for them I think others there just very confused.
There they think this is better for the mother and then when the come to some new information and they meet with the person that's running the pregnancy center. Sometimes they have a change of heart that's it's happening yeah yeah Abby Johnson without the unplanned movie boy when we get our New York event a few months ago she told me that over 500 abortion workers had already contacted her to see how they could get out of the industry. That's for now that since I don't want to be doing this but this is how I make my living. Steve let me get some of the stats I mean these are close numbers 16 million children have lost their life due to abortion since Roe versus Wade 1973, 60 million Satan intends to Rob steel kill distraught and this is one of those things where he is able to blind people to the reality certainly blinded me, but I'm not blind anymore. I I want to help people wake up. Here's another perspective. Hitler destroyed some people say maximum 20 million Jews we've killed 16 million Hitler is dead and finished were still killing babies. The number is still going up and up every year. In fact, 120 babies and hours. What I've heard are being destroyed. That's one of things that were taping this 120 babies will lose their lives while were taping this program together and should be jaw-dropping for us in the Christian community. But you know I want to also say one of the difficulties and II agree with this criticism frankly of us is we need to be helpful toward these women who are desperate and again I don't mean to put a load on your shoulders, but that girlfriend that you got pregnant Baylor. I mean, it would've been good for her to have a support group around her, maybe a Christian community who could've said there's a better way.
Even if you were pressuring her she couldn't tell anyone because she would've been asked to leave well and this is okay this is the point.
How do we in the Christian community uphold our obligation for that baby and for the well-being of the mother so we can say listen, you know we want to provide help for you.
We want to provide job training for you want to get your job in a Christian company you know some business owners how do we do what the first second third century church dead and that is to engage the brokenness of the culture bring God shalom to these desperate people will you know one of the great things that I've seen happen.
Over the years is that women's resource centers, then they're not there to save babies there to minister to women and they want to bring babies into the world and so one of the greatest ministries is a postabortion ministry for the mother who went ahead and had an abortion because the statistic is something like 60% of abortions are done by women that have already had a child and so after an abortion when you minister to that woman and try to help her heal your really preventing the next abortion. So abortion clinics are interested in abortion women's resource centers and pregnancy centers are interested in the woman.
The man the baby the family. They want restoration and that's something that's really evolved over the years and it's it's so great that I have seen that needed me there doing such a great job and give them a hand.
The pregnancy resource Center Focus on the Family with art and with them through the generosity of the listeners you know we've been able to send about $25 million to help them with ultrasound machines and nurses training and getting them done so yeah there's a there's a whole other movement of not just being pro life but being pro abundant life beyond not just that we will we save the baby know let's let's help this person mature and grow so they can raise this child up the Focus on the Family comes in writing what you're doing when that's one of the criticisms you know that those that support abortion would say I don't care about the woman you know that's just no the line you give the throwaway line to get. I've been there. I've seen these pregnancy resource centers. They care there doing so much and I'm telling you, in your local community get involved. The church isn't about national spokespeople being on radio and talking. This is fine.
The action is in your community and we need churches. We need pastors to wrap themselves around these pregnancy resource centers were doing in them. Amazing job to not only save these babies but also to help these women. I would love to see in the states of the past.
Harpy bills the Christian business community and the Christian medical community coming around these pregnancy resource clinics to deliver a full set of services that will help these women rise above want to be interesting if the Christian community could do that and then the states that support death until the point of birth, and in Virginia in the Virginia governor wanting to support death beyond birth, infanticide.
This is where had and it is our obligation as Christians to step up and to deliver help and God shalom to these people. So anything that we can do to support restoration and healing but also when a person is in trouble for them to know and so any message, any billboard anything that comes across in social media that says call this number that that is so valuable and those of the people we need to support. Also those that are getting the message out Steve I want to kind of, as we wrap up the next couple of questions here. I'm thinking of the person either sitting here right here in Fort Worth were would recording this tonight or the person listening to this when it airs on the focus broadcast.
They were like you they participated in an abortion speak to that heart that maybe is never opened up about it. What can they do. What should they do to get that healing that they so desperately. Well the first thing would be to be willing to step out of the denial which is just a reaction to protect yourself and to see what really has happened and then to open up.
You know James 516 says we can confess our sins to one another and pray for each other we could experience healing and so you find someone safe to be open with, but the other thing is to understand that God doesn't want you to live in that shame doesn't want you to walk around in that kind of guilt and no in my marriage after that experience we were an infertile couple and Christians would say to me you think this is because you paid for an abortion.
Seven years of infertility and I said no I don't I don't think that it all but thank you for this puzzle. It's is yeah yeah it's horrible. And so then in 1990. You mention adoption. My publisher introduced us to a 16-year-old girl was the daughter of his best friend and the boy was 16 and she was 16, and they decided not to have an abortion. And on Christmas Eve, 1990.
Madeleine was born and I became Madeleine's dad hi. So we went to Atlanta and they put this baby in my arms God giving back to me what I had destroyed that's the message of grace that God has for every person is been involved in an abortion. And when she filled out her college essay entrance is a she said I was adopted at but it seems like it was always meant to be an absolute file that like good place to land.
So that's the grass that God has it so exciting when, as believers live to the standard God is called us to. Good things happen like John 1010 the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. But I come to you might have life and life more abundantly. When we live to that standard to try to help our neighbor to love our neighbor in that way. Good things happen don't think they do. And I'm so grateful that you guys are just interested and happy little families. It goaded Sunday school together, you're really interested in helping people that are in trouble that are struggling and I just hope and pray that more will support you in all that you're doing appreciate your life. Thank you Steve. Let's proclaim life really do the things we need to do and thank you again for your vulnerability and your willingness to talk about where you were at and how God has healed the ulcers. Yeah, I mean the physical but also healed your spirit and thank you for demonstrating and being a great example for us.
Thanks to you guys to have appreciated Steve, knowing people are hearing you and their hearts are heavy.
This might be the first time in her John so often people right there were spinning the dial there looking for podcasts and they came across the focus program and we've even had people say I was about to commit suicide and we heard the program and I decided not to take my life. I am sure there are people right now that are there crying in their heart because they did participate in that abortion can you pray for them. Sure your guide you are such a God of love and mercy and grace and I pray that anyone who is hurting over a choice that they would choose to accept your forgiveness in your mercy and your grace and rather than continue to live in shame and self-condemnation that they would turn to you and have you embrace them and experience your love and Lord help us to reach our arms around those who are hurting and let them know that we don't offer Shane. We offer hope and help and healing. And that's what we want each person who struggling to experience in your name I pray this God payment.
Amen. Thanks again Steve for the latest. Despite having a cold and some other issues. The night was full of energy and encouragement. So many of our focus listeners who braved the cool weather chilly weather in Fort Worth Texas. They came out to hear Stephen on behalf of pre-born babies and Jim was really a memorable time and what a fitting way to close with that prayer from Steve Arterburn.
If this discussion has inspired you to make a difference in the lives of pre-born babies.
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Thanks for joining us today.
I'm John Fuller inviting you back next time.
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