Skip to main content

Letter to the Editor: Abolitionists at Shepherd’s Conference & Grace Community Church

I am a member of Grace Community Church, and I am an abolitionist who joined other abolitionists at Shep Con [The Shepherd’s Conference] in Los Angeles.  A few things need to be said and clarification needs to be made regarding abolitionists showing up at ShepCon and Grace Community Church.

Firstly, the abolitionists who did Project Nineveh in Los Angeles, did not come just to go to ShepCon or Grace Community Church, they also went to high schools, to the abortion mill, to the public square, to abolition conference meetings with guest speakers, and even to a church service in a local church here in Glendale, CA.

It was not even a definite that abolitionists would be returning to Grace on Sunday after ShepCon—that was up for discussion and consideration. They had several other churches in mind, one was further than some of the abolitionists were able to go to, and Grace seemed to be the best option as it would almost be a continuation of ShepCon as some of the attendees would be at the service and could come and talk to the abolitionists about the materials they had been given previously and asked to read and consider in light of Scripture, but also it was a chance to speak to actual members at Grace and have the ability to reach them with the materials and also opportunity to address in person any questions or misunderstandings they may have heard through the grape vine from ShepCon.

ShepCon itself was a decision based on the sheer number of pastors we would be able to reach and petition to action in the light of a holocaust happenings in our midst, to present abolition to them, to explain that abolition of abortion is a providentially driven and Gospel motivated effort, petition them to unite in working together with the Body of Christ to abolish abortion. ShepCon was strategically wise for us because there are rare occasions for us to be able to reach that many pastors at once, it was providential and God ordained that we would be able to intersect Project Ninevah Los Angeles with the ShepCon.

Abolitionists were not being factious by coming to ShepCon nor to Grace Community Church, on the contrary, they desire to work with and unite with the entire Body of Christ. Why would we ask people we don’t believe are a part of the Body to join us in abolition? That would be an absurdity. It is unfortunate that before the abolitionists even showed up to ShepCon that some leaders and pastors were already warning people to stay away from us and not interact with us, call me crazy but isn’t that being factious? Another sorely unfortunate thing is the posting by one abolitionist talking about ShepCon being a mission field. I don’t disagree with the general idea that certainly given the number of pastors and people in attendance that some may not be saved, I know a ShepCon speaker addressed this very issue and called the men to repent and trust in Christ if they were unsaved, however the original posting itself did not make this clarification and therefore many used and are continuing to use that posting to hold against all abolitionists, when in fact most of the abolitionists including those considered as “leaders” in AHA by anti AHA people actually voiced their disagreement with that post and brought it to the attention of the poster that this was not helpful, wise, nor an accurate representation of our intentions of going to ShepCon. Precisely because there is no leadership in AHA, as it is not a group but a movement and ideology, no one was able to demand him to take down that post or make a retraction, they reasoned and pleaded but it was up to the individual to decide how to respond. Abolitionists do correct, rebuke, exhort one another as brethren but we don’t have any authority over one another, we ask each person to submit to Scripture and the leadership Christ has placed them under in their own local fellowships in so far as their elders and pastors and leaders follow Christ and submit to Scriptures themselves.

Many of the conversations and interactions between attendees of the conference and abolitionists were very encouraging and fruitful, however many were also very discouraging and hurtful. Many of these interactions and conversations have been recorded and put out for the public to view. I was blessed to be able to hear some of these interactions and videos and I also had some good conversations myself with attendees of the conference. I was only there for the ShepCon, not Sunday, however from the reports of the abolitionists who were there, it was also a fruitful time. Half of the abolitionists were ministering at the abortion mill in Downey on Sunday, a place that has 15-25 deathscorts and only 3 faithful abolitionists, they murder babies on Sunday while church goers go to church. Our sister Annette Sochia who ministers there actually goes early to the mill, leaves to go to a church service, then comes back to minister again. How I wish more Christian would rise up and be there to help her, there is a huge need there and it is sorrowful that the laborers are so few. If you are able to join her, please do. The location of this murder mill is; 8635 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA 90241, it is FPA Woman’s Health.

Security at the conference was very gracious and communicated to me that they appreciated us obeying their rules and staying within the bounds they asked us to and for our behavior not causing any problems for the security crew. Although I also witnessed what I believe was an overreaction from security when an abolitionist attempted to give material to an attendee who asked for the material and she extended her arm over the line to hand the gentleman the material and security came and told her not to even cross her arm into the line. I understand precautions, but we are brothers and sisters in Christ, and I know they know we are not a threat. Grace pastors did communicate their disapproval of us being there to me personally and stated the reason being that too much security resources were being allocated to watch our group and that is a risk on security in case any other person who is not a part of our group would choose to cause actual harm or be a potential threat, I know they are aware abolitionists do not promote violence in any way shape or form, I am confident that they simply did not want abolitionists to go into the conference and speak to the people inside and that was their concern rather than us being an actual physical harm to anyone. Grace pastors petitioned me to ask our group to leave given the security resource allocation, and I petitioned them to let us stay. I was not able to honor their request of asking our group to leave, my conscience was not able to let me do it, as I know the urgency and importance of the matter of 60 million babies having been slaughtered in our nation, and our desperate need of help from our brethren and influential pastors and leaders at ShepCon to join us in this fight. I believe that God providentially orchestrated for us to be there and I believe we were being wise and good stewards of that time and opportunity that is rare to come by. Even with the disapproval of Grace pastors for our presence, I believe my communication with them was mutually respectful and gracious. One of the pastors said he read the booklet we shared with him and did not disagree with the content itself despite having voiced his concerns about AHA in general and our methodologies.

I am most certain that although most of the actions and words of the abolitionists were glorifying to Christ, certainly not all the abolitionists who were at ShepCon and Grace on Sunday behaved every second of their time there in the most honorable and Christ glorifying way, however that is equally and more so true of some of the church and conference attendees and members who were very cold, harsh, unloving, misjudging, accusatory, and presuming of the abolitionists. There could have been more mutually gracious and loving behaviors and conversations. Sadly, even Christians can be in the flesh sometimes, and this lets us know of our desperate need of clinging to Christ and our continual need of His sanctifying power in us. Even Christians who are typically very calm and gracious may have moments of rude behavior at times which they need to repent of and ask for the grace of God to help them to walk in the Spirit moment by moment. Someone else provoking us is never an excuse for bad behavior in our reactions, and it goes both ways.

I also acknowledge that not all abolitionists are on the same level of maturity, however we should not simply dismiss their message because the messenger is imperfect or failed in that particular instance, where is the grace we must show our brethren while they grow in their sanctification? Sadly, I do believe that part of the issue besides lack of grace to brethren, is that some actually do not consider abolitionists to be their brethren and so treat them as dogs instead of as saints. While they accuse abolitionists of being factious, they themselves are the ones separating themselves from their abolitionist brethren and asking others to do the same.

There is also a rumor going around that abolitionists took signs to ShepCon and to Grace on Sunday. I personally saw two men there near the abolitionist group with signs who looked like street preachers but they were not abolitionists, they were not part of our group in any way, I also conveyed this information to two Pastors from Grace. Let me be clear about something, although there were absolutely no signs taken to Grace at any point by AHA abolitionists, holding a sign in and of itself cannot constitute a protest and even if the abolitionists had chosen to take signs, it still would not have been a protest. The one who is holding the sign knows better what he is representing than the one seeing the sign, the goal is to try to get the person viewing the sign to understand it the same way the holder is trying to portray it. Some signs that abolitionist use in front of churches even clearly read; “This is not a protest.” It is slanderous and divisive to pin motives on individuals and interpret their signs in a way that you want to portray them rather than in the way the sign holder is trying to convey them.

We did not bring signs because we wanted to avoid the false accusations that have previously been made against abolitionists, however, unfortunately we found out that regardless of us taking the extra measure of being considerate and not wanting to be misunderstood with our intentions and message by not holding any signs, we were told by more than several conference attendees that the conference leaders communicated to the attendees that the people outside handing out materials were in fact protesters. Sadly, some attendees even told us that some of the leaders told them we were not only protesters but in fact that we were also a cult. Although I have no way of verifying if that is in fact accurate representation from the attendees, I would not be surprised if those claims were in fact truthful, and more than one person corroborated those claims, I don’t believe that a certain group of people came together to try to cause division by telling us those lies.

If it is in fact truthful that attendees were told not to accept our materials, that we were protesters and that we were a cult, that is very hurtful, slanderous, factious, and completely misrepresents the AHA ideologies and practices and all the abolitionists who were here at the Los Angeles conference. I did not get the opportunity to spend as much time as I would have liked with each and every abolitionist who came for the conference, however the time I did get to spend with them was a blessing and an encouragement to me. These are people I admire and respect dearly, even if we may not agree on some things, we unite on the Gospel and that is the most important thing. Abolitionism is Gospel centered and driven, we cannot abolish abortion or even attempt to without the Body of Christ, the Providence of God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Anti-AHA brethren, I urge you to please stop believing rumors, stop believing and spreading slander even when it comes from pastors, leaders, elders, and ministries you admire, they are not above being wrong and needing to be corrected. I urge you to stop being factious and wanting to divide from abolitionists, we don’t want to divide with you, we want to unite with you. We do love the lost people in the world dearly and desire to go to them with the Gospel and to love our neighbor like we love ourselves, however the greatest love should be the love among brethren, they will know we are His disciples by our love for one another. Please don’t revile against your own abolitionist brethren, don’t bite and devour them, and trample over them and treat them like an enemy and spit on them and treat them like dogs, it is not loving, it is not becoming, it is displeasing to God, it is shameful for the world to observe this bad behavior of Christians towards their own brethren.

I will make the same plea to abolitionists who are also behaving unbecomingly and not honoring Christ in your treatment of your brethren who are not abolitionists. I have not met any abolitionist thus far who believes you must be an abolitionists to be saved, that is a flat out lie that I have heard perpetrated by some. I do believe that sometimes in their actions and behaviors, abolitionists have not been as gracious to brethren as they could and have sometimes flat out given them the very reasons why they are against AHA.

Abolitionists, I urge you to represent Christ in a worthy manner and when you fail, fall to your face in repentance rather than stubbornly and pridefully ignoring even your other abolitionist brethren who correct you and speak the truth in love to you. Yes, there is a fight in you, a God given passion, however this passion can be misplaces and misdirected at times and needs to be honed in to align with the character of godliness that is worthy of our Lord. Think of our dear brother, Cody May, whom we lost to a tragic drowning, who is now in glory, think of imitating him as he imitated Christ. Let your conduct be honorable among all, for the glory of God.