Dr. Egger, the President of the St. Louis Seminary, issued a statement on March 24th defending the invitation of Rev. ST Williams to the 2023 Multiethnic Symposium hosted at the seminary. It appeals to Pastor Williams’ July 13, 2022 “written clarification” on the Pacific Southwest District website in response to the LA Times article which cites him as supporting abortion. However, the statement in question actually reinforces his opinion that not having legal access to abortion somehow hurts and negatively impacts poor people. He claims to be with the synod’s position on abortion and identifies as “pro-life,” but the former is minor when it comes to speaking God’s Word with authority and the latter is a term than can be variously interpreted. Who says they are completely against life (anti-life)? Not most abortionists. So how exactly is Pastor ST Williams “for life” in his public statement, this time not filtered through a professional reporter, but entirely in his own words?
Rev. Williams does not accuse the reporter of the LA Times of lying or inventing words not his own. He claims that his “intention” was not made clear in the article—but an intention is an internal thing—another person can only go by the words that were said out loud. He also expresses that he will not do verbal, “unscripted interviews” anymore. The reverend doctor could not make a solid confession that all abortions are sin and murder during a five minute interview. And neither does his apologetic statement of regret posted by his district.
Rev. Williams writes in his clarification: “My comments tried to describe how the Supreme Court’s decision, while thankfully ending abortion at the federal level, does have an immediate impact on urban and impoverished communities already on edge because of COVID, mass shootings, and inflation. Many of the people I serve have communicated that this decision sets us back as a nation, causes chaos and calamity, and no longer allows people to be who they want to be.” The mass murder of abortion is not called universally evil, rather not allowing it at the federal level somehow has a negative impact. But not to the helpless child in the womb whose blood is being sought as a solution to earthly difficulties. Less murder hurts the nation, setting it back? By that logic more murder and less children help a nation. What kind of confession is this?
If the “many” this pastor serves are seriously troubled by the illegality of murder, then they are not Christian. “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 Jn. 3:15). How precisely is Rev. Williams serving those who worship their own ideas of life? Does he tell the poor a different Word of God than the rich? Are they being confronted with God’s righteous law and called to repent over the false control of life they think they deserve? Yet, there is only one Gospel of Christ—and it is not to take out those smaller and less vocal than you!
Many were frustrated at the political decision to end access to murder at the federal level, but the people he serves did not lose anything—access to murder of an unborn child is still available, if not more convenient, in the state he serves (California). So what is the real trouble in the urban streets he references? Rev. Williams is not a true spokesman for God if he does not call sinners to repentance who think the possibility of not being able to murder a child is negative in the least. Rather, he seems to think that socio-economic factors buffet a clear and unequivocal word on this matter of the value of life. How does poverty, however defined, or an urban setting make murder less evil or more holy?
He fails to confess in the LA Times article, but his follow-up statement is a worse confession, since it admits he does not deal with this sin of abortion consistently in his pastoral care. Being aligned with synod does not mean one pleases God. What does Rev. Williams confess about abortion: it is truly sin for all? It seems difficult for him to say. Yet, he whines in his statement about people not being concerned for him personally as a consequence for making a sloppy, loose confession of life—so that a highly attuned newspaper reporter did not interpret his secret intentions as he confessed he desired. How about the babies not allowed to breathe and be baptized? Are we really concerned for all of them? We should rather think of the unborn being slain, than a poorly-speaking pastor seeking sympathy for sounding like a pagan.
Abortion is not just a political issue, it is a sin against Christ, the Author of life. The very comfort and safety it offers is pure satanic illusion. Any personal identity built on access to, or consideration of, abortion is a false idol. It is the exact opposite of trust in God who creates life—every single baby. What does Rev. Williams preach and teach? Does he destroy idols or coddle them? Poverty does not negate the fifth commandment. Better to be poor than a murderer in the eyes of God. Anyone who thinks a child not existing is even a little bit positive does not love Christ and His creative will very much.
No doubt sinners craving fleshly freedom from life were put on edge by the Supreme Court’s decision. Legally allowing states to outlaw abortion in the U.S. will not change hearts or bring people to Christ, but it does discourage murder and at least does not promote it. How can that ever be bad news? Only if abortion is not entirely and intrinsically evil. A child created in the image of God should never be compared to disease, undesirable monetary policy, or mass shootings. Abortion has a lot in common with mass shooting—except for the media coverage and public opinion. Do poor people need more murder? God forbid it, but that is the impression that Williams reiterates in his personal statement of clarification. What does population density or economic status have to do with God’s law: “You shall not murder”? Why soften God’s Word with worthless social constructs?
If not having murder freely available in every state troubles some—I say good! They are trusting the wrong thing. Every murderer thinks he is pro-life to some extent. After all, the abortionist doesn’t take every life on earth; he does allow some in his benevolence to survive. The issue of abortion is not about political chaos or confusion; it is not about money—the trite slogan of the arch-murderess Margaret Sanger who preached not having children as the gospel of getting out of poverty—it is about every single life God creates. Rev. ST Williams has not been clear on this yet.
Dr. Egger assures us that in private conversation Williams holds that “each life in the womb is sacred, created by God, and to be valued and protected.” That’s good, but we should expect a little more of a pastor in the church and a doctor at that! Anyone who struggles to articulate the value of every life in a public interview and then a crafted statement should be questioned as to his fitness for the office of public preaching—not just at a seminary, but anywhere in the church. A private conversation or labeling oneself “pro-life” is not enough. We must expect better. —ed.