Marc Newman told Alabama pastors that “cognitive dissonance” is the friend of those who wish to take a stand on the pro-life issue.
“Cognitive dissonance occurs when one’s anchor beliefs come into conflict with new information,” he explained. “Pastors must study the issue and not be afraid to preach and teach about abortion. Truth stated clearly can have an impact on faulty belief systems.”
Newman, a featured presenter at a Sept. 22 luncheon for pastors sponsored by Sav-A-Life Pregnancy Resource Center in Shelby County, taught at the University of California, Irvine, and in the school of communication and the arts at Regent University in Virginia before founding Speaker for Life.
He told the Alabama group that 62 million babies have been aborted since the “Roe vs. Wade” Supreme Court decision in 1973.
‘An act of violence’
“In Cook County, that includes Chicago, there are two abortions for every live birth, so I contend we’re facing a terrible loss in America,” Newman asserted.
He called abortion an “an act of violence that takes the life of an unborn child.”
“Words have power, and we mustn’t kowtow to the words used by abortion advocates,” Newman declared.
“Planned Parenthood is good at this,” he added. “They say abortion counseling isn’t all they do, but then they admit it’s what they do 97 percent of the time. They do some adoption referrals, but don’t sponsor agencies themselves for placing a child in adoption.”
Newman noted the agency offers pregnancy terminations in 15 minutes for $700, then sells intact fetal tissue to research laboratories.
“What they call an ‘unviable tissue mass’ of no consequence becomes a thing of commercial value when they can harvest and sell it,” he said.
A moral question
Newman related that author Stephen Schwarz in his book, “The Moral Question of Abortion,” used the acronym SLED to summarize abortion rationale, and pastors also can utilize it in an abortion discussion.
“Their arguments have to do with size, level of development, environment and degree of dependency,” Newman explained.
“A tiny zygote has the DNA of personhood and the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] laws we have now protect those who are dependent and make accommodations for them,” he said. “I think anytime we argue about human persons versus non-human persons we get into trouble, whether it’s the Nazi party and the Jews or the slave-owners and the slaves. All personhood is precious to God.”
Keep preaching pro-life
Though abortion is a difficult sermon topic, Newman said he believes pastors must be faithful to proclaim the truth of sanctity of life. He also believes pastors must never think that because they addressed the issue one time it need not be covered again.
“How often do you speak about giving or discipleship?” he asked. “Paul wrote in Philippians 3:1, ‘It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you,’ so it’s important to repeat the truths to our people.”
Newman further declared that pro-life isn’t a political issue, but moral and spiritual — so pastors mustn’t see it as a matter of choosing sides politically.
In response to an audience question Newman replied that Texas’ “heartbeat law” is a good first step since a heartbeat is detectable before six weeks of pregnancy.
“We have a case in Mississippi that may bring the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court,” he noted. “Some believe the present court is in position to overturn Roe vs. Wade. If so, abortion then becomes a 50-state battle.”
Bob Foust, Sav-A-Life Shelby executive director, said the luncheon was an attempt to reach out to pastors and provide helpful resources. Attendees were given a copy of Newman’s book, “Contenders — A Church-Wide Strategy to Unmask Abortion, Defeat Its Advocates, Empower Christians, and Change the World” (Refocus Press, 2020).
Newman can be reached at speakerforlife.com.
Foust, a member of Riverside Baptist Church in Helena, can be reached at savalifeshelby.org or 205-664-1667.