I was just reading Allister Sparks’ book ‘the Mind of South Africa’ (a must read if you want to get into what’s happened in South Africa over the past few centuries) and came across the following… and it got me thinking about something in our age…

The context is July 13 1987. 60 Arikaner reformists have flown up to Dakar, Senegal for a week of talks with ANC leaders about a way forward.

One of the days they take a trip out to Goree Island ‘a dot in the ocean just offshore from the port city. The island has been turned into a museum of sorts, a monument to the slave trade, for it was the staging post for the shipment of millions of African slaves to the Americas…’

Sparks continues:

“I find myself in the slave house, on an upper-level balcony where the slave traders lived in spacious quarters. Below are the dungeons where the slaves were kept, the dark punishment cell for runaways, and in the crashing surf in front, the portcullis through which they were taken to the slave ships for their tortuous voyages to deaths or bondage. The view from the balcony out over the shimmering Atlantic is glorious. A young Afrikaner theology student is standing with me, seemingly transfixed. Then I notice that he seems to be struggling with his breathing. ‘Are you all right?’ I ask, fearing he may be ill. For a moment he does not answer, then he chokes out the words ‘Robben Island’. The analogy with South Africa’s prison island is obvious, and others in the group have remarked on it already, but the young Afrikaner has not finished: ‘They’ll build a museum like this on Robben Island one day’ he says, ‘and people will come and look at it and wonder how we could have lived with such evil’.

‘These slave-owners’ he went on, gesturing to the spacious quarters around us, ‘were Christians too. Yet they lived in all this comfort with all that evil just below them, and they did not see it. How, how can we be so blind?'”

How indeed? And yet in our day I fear we Christians are being blind to a genocide going on under our noses – the issue of abortion. And its a gospel issue. It’s about speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves. It’s about the things that lead to terminating life – ambitions, lifestyles and relationships that have become idols that feed on blood. There are justice issues around abuse and pressure from families. And the gospel is the only thing that can bring sanity, light and much needed grace and forgiveness.

Will they make museums out of abortion clinics one day? A monument to a social evil that they hope will never be repeated? And will we stand in that museum and ask ‘How, how can we be so blind?’

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