Copyright © 1997 AFLM
May/June, 1997 Volume XII Number 6 - COMMENTARY
What repentance is -- and isn't
by Drew Heiss
It was very cold and still dark when I arrived at the brown Deer abortuary. The light was on in the third floor killing center and my partner, Dan Holman, was already stationed at the driveway with counseling literature.
As I joined Dan for a morning of ministry, he approached an incoming car. The car slowed down to a stop and Dan chatted with her momentarily. She then parked and, a couple of hours later, killed her baby.
Dan shared with me a portion of the dialog:
"Won't Jesus forgive me?" she asked.
Dan replied, "You're not looking for forgiveness. You're looking for an excuse to kill your baby."
I thank God for a co-laborer like Dan who refuses to tickle the ears of those in rebellion against God. I have learned a great deal from Dan and others about confronting people with their sin and confronting people with the Holy One of Israel.
"These are a rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord's instruction. They say to the seers, 'See no more visions!' and to the prophets, 'Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!'" (Isaiah 30: 9-11)
Another Dan -- Dan Balint -- ministers at a human butcher shop in downtown Milwaukee. Dan relates the story of a mother and daughter that entered the abortuary. As the mother came out a few minutes later, Dan approached her.
Quickly she said, "We are born again Christians, and my daughter has already begun the repentance process."
That's right, folks!
Even before the baby is murdered, she began the "repentance process."
"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." (2 Corinthians 7: 10)
This could only happen in 20th Century American Christianity: a Christianity where teachers and preachers are tickling people's ears, a Christianity where pastors are mere hirelings unconcerned about the flock in their care (see John 10: 12-13), a Christianity where sin is never addressed from the pulpit, a Christianity where Matthew 3: 8 -- "produce fruit in keeping with repentance" -- is never included in the Bible, a Christianity where being nicer than Jesus is more important than being Biblically correct, a Christianity where Acts 26: 20 -- "I preach that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds." -- does not exist.
God save us from this kind of Christianity.
We find ourselves in the midst of a culture that is swiftly plummeting to the depths of depravity. As God's representatives on Earth and Christ's ambassadors, let us boldly warn people to repent. (see Isaiah 58: 1)
Too many people want to be forgiven of their sins and receive God's gift of salvation without actually turning from their wickedness. They want a Savior, but not a Lord. The church complies by preaching the forgiveness of sins to the exclusion of repentance for sins. (see Luke 24: 47)
"Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are." (Matthew 23: 15)
Dear Lord, help us to be an uncompromising voice for Righteousness. Show us the error of our ways, and cause us to make a difference in this world for good. Use us to Your glory. Amen.
Drew Heiss is a long-time anti-abortion activist with Missionaries to the Preborn in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.