“Abortion is the defining experience of this generation. It is an experience involving the shedding of innocent blood, a sin of bloodguilt, a sin that can only be addressed by a forthright, compassionate, and unapologetic gospel.” In his new book Innocent Blood, John Ensor makes a passionate plea for the church to “prevent the death of innocents and the bloodguilt that results.” Ensor grounds this plea in Deuteronomy 19:7-10:
Therefore I command you, You shall set apart three cities. And if the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land that he promised to give to your fathers…then you shall add three other cities to these three, lest innocent blood be shed in your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, and so the guilt of bloodshed be upon you.
The numbers are staggering:
- There are 42 million induced abortions performed worldwide very year.
- At the current rate, one-third of all American women has or will have had an abortion by the age of 45.
- Women who have an abortion are at an elevated risk of death caused by many things such as suicide and depression.
- China alone is responsible for over 400 million deaths by abortion which is 25% more than America.
- 56% of the world’s female suicides occur in China which is five times the world average.
Ensor’s aim is simple, to present a biblical case for why believers should not partake in the shedding of innocent blood and do what they can to stop it from happening. This is a call to protect the innocent among us.
Who are the innocent among us?
The harmless, pure, or free from guilt before our fellow man or the laws of man. Babies and little children come to mind first when we speak of the innocent in this sense; they are harmless and without guile. But adults, too, are called innocent when they have done nothing wrong toward their neighbor. To punish them without due process, or on the basis of a false report, or because they are poor and have no proper defenders, or to please the wealthy or powerful, is to harm the innocent.
Why should we care for the innocent and vulnerable among us?
Christ cared for them and they have value because He made them. Being made in the image of God gives value to every person despite the color of their skin or the stage of their human development. Because the innocent Christ shed His blood to save us we should seek to save the innocent among us. God shows His value for our lives through Christ’s shedding of blood and so we should value the life of others.
Who is guilty of shedding innocent blood?
The answer may shock you. Ensor rightly points out that it is not just those who have a direct hand in the killing of the innocent but those who can do something to prevent it and don’t. This second category joins more of us into it than we may want to think and the weight of our responsibility is heavy. Ensor is clear that God will exact justice and judgment on those who shed innocent blood and it goes for both parties – the active and passive participants.
So what is the hope of the bloodguilty?
The hope of the bloodguilty is nothing other than the shedding of blood in the atonement of Christ. Ironically, it is the shedding of the innocent Christ’s blood that provides the atoning covering for the bloodguilty. Innocence for guilt. Ensor masterfully points out that Satan tried to attack baby Jesus as an infant. Jesus Himself as a baby was the target of innocent killing. Herod tried to take his life as a baby and Pilate succeeded while he was a man. The first attempt on his life would have stopped the gospel from becoming a reality. The second attempt resulted in his death and made the gospel a reality.
Innocent Blood: Challenging the Powers of Death with the Life of the Gospel is a jolt to the conscience of anyone who reads it. It is a much needed gut check on how truly pro-life one is. It will challenge your heart and make you ask yourself if you are doing your part to stop the shedding of innocent blood. You will finish the book asking yourself one question – do I have the blood of the innocent on my hands?
NOTE: I received this book for free and was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.