In the spring of 2003, in a Planned Parenthood publication, Clergy Voices: Volume 8, Issue 1, printed an article by Reverend Emma Jordan-Simpson. Ms. Jordan-Simpson, of Concord Baptist Church of Christ, Brooklyn, NY, delivered these remarks in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade
First, Jordan-Simpson says that those who oppose a woman’s right to choose often cite Psalm 139, as proof of the personhood of the fetus because of a reference to God having “wove me in my mother’s womb.” “I have taken it back,” Jordan-Simpson says. “It is mine!”
She quotes Psalm 139 as saying, “Whither shall I go from your spirit? Or whither shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”
Jordan-Simpson says that if a young, pregnant woman comes to her for help, she will ask her what she wants to do and then will listen to her. And whatever the young woman decides to do, Jordan-Simpson will walk with her in that choice. “This is what women and girls need us to do. To listen to their voices and assure them that regardless of what they decide — we will not let them walk alone.”
“Yes, I stand as a person of faith — and my faith is founded on the belief that people should not walk alone, especially people in need and crisis. That is also why I believe this issue matters to God, because I have experienced a God who has never let me walk alone. Through every trial, tribulation — when I found my bed in Hell, I found God there, too.
Doesn’t that sound all good and loving and Biblical and righteous? Interesting, though, that she mentions herself making a bed in hell, because that is exactly what she is doing when she encourages young women to believe that all that matters is what they think.
Unlike Mary, who even as a young woman recognized God’s lordship in her life, Jordan-Simpson isn’t willing to accept anything other than her own interpretation of Scripture and is teaching others to do the same. Scripture has special words and a special place for those that lead others astray.
First, hearing her claim Scripture as her own sends chills down ones spine. Scripture is God’s Word, not ours. But in choosing Psalm 139 as her own, she appears to have also edited it, (which is always the danger and often the consequence of claiming it as your own) leaving out the last verse, verse 24, which says, “See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Jordan-Simpson says that listening to people and then “walking” beside them in their decision is all that is required by God, while the very same chapter she is quoting is a plea for God to search out the wrong within us and lead us away from it toward what is right – the only way that will bring life everlasting. The author of this Psalm understands that we don’t always know the wrong within us. This same author says as much in other of his writings as well, assuring us after much thought and inner conflict that all the riches and wisdom of the world are absolutely nothing outside of God’s wisdom. Only God matters and is real.
As Christians, we are mandated to let people know if the direction they are walking in will bring them death. (See James, chapter 5:19.) How frightening that Jordan-Simpson chooses parts of certain Scriptures as her “own” and leaves out everything else that the Bible has to say and then uses her chosen, edited Scripture to justify taking the lives of millions of human beings.
Twenty-some years ago, long before I met Jesus Christ, I did what Jordan-Simpson advocates. A 15-year-old had decided to do have an abortion. I drove her there – and I didn’t tell her father. Twenty-some years later, I’ve watched the continuing pain in that woman’s life knowing that I helped her make the wrong choice. She never went on to have another child, and she’s never been able to maintain a long term relationship having married once in her twenties and then divorcing. She has dropped many men, always coldly and many times cruelly. Yet, she pines for her nephews and nieces almost compulsively, to the point that she interferes with their raising. Had I to do it over again, I would listen to God. I would also involve the girls’ parent.
I pray the Lord forgives me for my interference in His parenting of this young girl and well as the parenting of her birth father. I am so sorry – and it is only at this very moment that I finally see the connection between my interference with my father’s parenting twenty-some years ago, and the interference to my own parenting that my younger sister has now been causing these last four years. Her interference has caused some unchangeable damage to relationships and lives. I am truly sorry, my Lord. I do repent and although we can’t bring back that baby’s life, I ask You to please show me what I can do to make some kind of amends to my sister and my father for the wrong I did both of them, as well as to You by helping her take the life of her child. I ask for your help and forgiveness in Jesus’ name. Amen.