During the abolition of slavery, a conflict arose among anti-slavery activists concerning the best method of ending the practice. The two schools of thought became known as “Immediatism” and “Gradualism”.
- Immediatism: Worked to criminalize chattel slavery entirely, without accepting partial measures.
- Gradualism: Worked to gradually end slavery through increasing regulation gradually, over time.
When someone is first exposed to these schools of thought, gradualism typically seems to be the most practical, because it breaks the problem into smaller chunks. Not surprisingly, in the fight to abolish human abortion, the pro-life movement historically has embraced gradualism as the means by which it tries to end abortion. For example, pro-life legislation has outlawed abortions after 24 weeks, such that children may be murdered prior to that time under the protection of law, but no later. This is a gradual measure, the intention being that the time window will be gradually lessened until abortion is completely outlawed.
Immediatists on the other hand would reject a 24 week abortion ban, because it does not actually reflect the law of God. It is always wrong to murder a human being, whether she is 24 days old, 24 weeks old, or 24 years old. By creating a compromised law, pro-life legislation has changed the standard of right and wrong from viewing abortion as murder, to regulating it as healthcare. Because the law educates people concerning right and wrong, immediatists would say that pro-life legislation has harmed, rather than helped the abolition of abortion, because it reinforces ageism in the culture — the belief that a human being has more value when she is older than when she is younger.
I personally began as a gradualist, but have since changed my view. As abolitionists challenged me in this area, I came to understand the biblical wisdom of immediatism, however counterintuitive it may seem at first. A biblical, historical, and practical defense of immediatism can be found on my personal website, in the article Abolition is Immediate and Uncompromising. For the purposes of this discussion however, suffice it to say that I support bills which completely abolish legalized sin, and I oppose bills that regulate sin. The latter reflect a form of moralism that uses civil law as the instrument of man’s salvation, rather than a schoolmaster which points man to Christ.
You Can Help!
Thanks for taking the time to read this article! If you have a little more time, I would like to ask for your help in putting a candidate on the ballot this year who will truly represent the biblical worldview as an ambassador of Christ. At this point our working assumption is that I will have to fill that role, but I am entirely open to supporting someone else who is better positioned and equally committed to bringing a message of repentance to our legislature.
There is one key thing I need from you at this point, namely your signature. If you are a resident of District 29 (Warminster, Ivyland, Warwick, or Buckingham), you can help to put a candidate on the ballot by offering your nomination. This is not a vote or a commitment to vote; it simply allows us to put repentance on the ballot. And it has to be done in person, so I’ll need some contact info from you. After submitting the form, one of our volunteers will reach out to you, to set up a time to meet.
Thanks for your help!
~ Nate Schmolze
My Platform: REPENT
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (Jhn 3:16-19)