It seemed like the perfect job. I had just graduated from college and I was most interested in finding a job that involved helping people in need. So when I came across a brochure in the Career Office of my college describing an organization focused on helping women, children, and families, I was immediately interested.
The next day I sent in my resume, and a week later I found myself walking into the offices of Planned Parenthood near Princeton, NJ, excited and hopeful that I would do well enough to get the job.
I didn’t end up getting it. The interviewer told me I was too inexperienced, although she was very encouraging and suggested ways I could volunteer with them and support their mission.
It was only many months later that I learned that Planned Parenthood’s mission of helping families included facilitating abortions. And it was many years later that I learned just how central this was to their mission. Being pro-life, I was shocked to learn this.
It amazes me to think that at one point I tried to work for them! As I reflect on this today, especially in light of the videos of Planned Parenthood that came out recently, I offer the following two lessons.
1. Darkness masquerades as light
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:14–15, And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.
The word “abortion” was never front-and-center in any of the brochures I read. Instead, I read things related to promoting the health and welfare of families. Abortion is a stark word that points to a decidedly violent and sinful practice; this Planned Parenthood office was strategic in disguising it in more marketable terms.
Deception, flattery, misinformation, and straight-up lies are the clothes darkness uses to cover up sin and present itself as light. In this modern age, we need to be more aware than ever of this strategy. The Christian should always be someone who is willing to read past the first page, who is willing to dig deeper and ask more questions, readily and skillfully using the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” against any “truths” the world wants to present (Ephesians 6:17).
This leads to the second lesson.
2. Truth really matters
I was interested in working for an organization that runs programs I was strongly opposed to because I did not know the full truth about this organization. Now admittedly, Planned Parenthood might argue that the problem here wasn’t that I didn’t know truth about them but that I am uncomfortable with their version of truth, namely that abortion is a valid and good way to help women and families.
Yet I think the point here remains, and even advances the discussion to where it needs to go. Once we agree that truth matters, we can then wrestle through the reality that when two very different contradictory truths about a situation exist, both truths can’t be the same. One must be right and the other must be false.
And so for example, in the case of abortion, at base level, what one thinks about abortion boils down to what one thinks the fetus actually is. Is the fetus a real human person, or is it something else? This is a question aimed at uncovering a significant truth about what we are actually doing when it comes to abortion. Discussion along any other lines obscures.
Truth matters. So we should always fight to make sure it is made known. Especially when it comes to dealing with an important justice issue like abortion.