Monday, April 30, 2007

Is Safe Really Safe?

I'm gonna open a can of worms here, hopefully sparking some controversy and intelligent discussion.

When is safe not safe?

My church is doing a sermon series called "The Untouchables". The pastoral staff is addressing issues such as homosexuality, racism and abortion. I've written a skit for the abortion sermon that is provocative and as someone said, "unsafe."


Yep. That person feels church needs to be a safe place where no one feels any condemnation or judgment.

"Old people don't need to see this. It will offend them, and some of use choose to stay away from secular people so we don't have to be around 'this stuff'."

My skit has four vingettes. Two are the personal testimonies of the actors. In the first sketch, a young woman recounts her out-of-wedlock pregnancy. She was a prominent member of the worship team, lead Bible studies, MOPS, landed the lead in musicals and very outspoken in her faith. Two weeks after her divorce, she found out she was pregnant from a one-night stand. Abortions easy solution called to her. In her monologue, she cries, "I hate you baby! You will destroy my life!"

The second skit is a scene where a mother is demanding her daughter get an abortion. The girl was raped. The family is well-known in the church. The daughter has a ballet scholarship. "No one will understand! They'll assume things about you... about us!" The mother says, "I've already made an appointment with Planned Parenthood."

Scene three is a teen boy talking to his best friend. He's in a panic b/c he got the pastor's daughter pregnant (this is pure fiction). He talks like a teen boy in 2007. People have a problem with this sketch in particular b/c I had the "event" happen at a youth retreat and the teends involved are Christians.

Finally, the last scene is the my own testimony. Several wonder how it even ties in to abortion. I dramatized the conversation John and I had when I found out I was postmenopausal and unable to have kids - ever. The pain, the hopelessness of it. I wanted to juxtapose this scene for a startling contrast. People who deal with infertility have very powerful emotions relating to abortion. Every time I hear the word, it feels like someone is twisting a knife in my uterus. Yeah, there's a connection. Concern was raised that this scene would condemn people who had abortions in the past and keep them from coming to God. At the end I cry, "Oh God, this is so unfair! Women who don't want them get pregnant and kill them I want one and... and..."

Let me pose this question: Would you rather ignore these issues in the confines of church walls to keep it a safe, happy place? Leave folks to get their information from the world? Or, would you rather the church take a risk of offending folks in order to blow away deception.

When I wrote the skits, my intent was to cause audience members to consider how easily abortion would "solve" the immediate problems. I want them to understand how and why that option is enticing, not only to non-Christians but Christians as well when the stakes are high enough.

So, do we play it safe? Or if we do play it safe, are we really putting people at risk?


Joe said...

A wise old person will take what they see in the controversial skit and use it to grow in compassion for those struggling with tough decisions... they can then love them in wisdom rather than standing back in condemnation of the person.

D. Gudger said...

I like that Joe, isn't it more complimentary to assume the people in the pews are mature and wise?

I pray what you suggest happens on Sunday. The spiritual battle over this is pretty fierce!

Anonymous said...

Darcie - DO NOT COMPROMISE! You have known from the start that the Holy Spirit has guided you in this endeavor. Dawn has shared with me the "feedback" you've been getting and I see how you could start to question. BUT - don't give in. You have to trust that knowledge and be confident that God is in this and He will do with it whatever needs to be done.
~ Susie

D. Gudger said...

I won't compromise. We're gonna do this thing and put truth out there. People can't play ostrich anymore. We have to bring it within the walls of the church in order for this issue, abortion, to be dealt with.

C.J. Darlington said...

Sometimes people need to be shaken up a little, you know? Nothing wrong with that. I know your heart is in the right place.

Jesus didn't exactly make people feel warm and fuzzy all the time either. He spoke the Truth.

Claire said...

I think it's a great thing to address the issues that are out there. Christians shouldn't insulate themselves from what people face all the time. Set the turmoil of the issues before the congregation, but also introduce them to practical, godly ways to relate to those who have had/are having abortions, and practical ways to make a difference for Christ.

D. Gudger said...

Thanks Claire, that's exactly what we are doing.

Tomorrow night will be the first public performance of the abortion skit. It will happen during the Sat. evening service. I'll let you all know how things go and what Pastor Jim says in his sermon.

Tessa said...

I always love reading your blog. There is always such a good point that you are making. Your writing captivates me. You rock :-D So I was wondering if you wouldnt mind looking at my writing. See if it compares to yours at all. I finished my closing speech for graduation and I'm just looking for some guidance to make sure it sounds alright. I have to have it to my teacher by monday so if you get this before then and are interested in assisting me that would be great! Just email me at THANK YOU!!!!!


Joe said...

That's a great team you pulled together for the skit. It really felt like authentic dialogue. Who knew Jonathan could act like that... wow!! Your hubby pulled it together quite well.

I wouldn't be surprised if it tugs at some heart-strings. DM and I were talking during rehearsal and realized that the subject of the skit hits home even more when you've had your own (I count booger as a "had your own" child for you guys).

Praying this reaches the people the Lord wants to see/hear it. I wonder if the WCA would be interested in the script... they do dramas a lot at Willow.

C.J. Darlington said...

How did it go, Darcie?