Why would I recommend that you and your sixth graders see Unplanned, an R-rated movie?

I have to admit, this is a first. But, I think anyone who is twelve years old or older should go see Unplanned.

The movie opens this weekend. And it will change the way you think and improve the way you speak about abortion.

Why is a faith-based movie rated R?

One scene caused the R rating, and the producers chose to leave that scene in the movie. Why?

Because that one scene tells the truth that Hollywood and a lot of our politicians would rather we not be aware of. It isn’t graphic truth; it is touching truth.

I saw a preview of this movie, and I can picture the moment right now. I hope I always will.

The “buzz” calls this movie controversial. I call this movie effective.

Cathy Schiffer, a Catholic blogger, put it well: “The Motion Picture Association of America gave the film an ‘R’ rating. That means that a 15-year-old girl can, without her parents’ consent, choose to have an abortion—but that same girl cannot see this film about abortion.”  

The reason I think you and your older children should see this movie is that it accurately and honestly reveals the truth about abortion, with grace for everyone involved.  

Abortion is the decision to take a child’s life. It is legal because the law assumes the mother of that baby has the right to make that decision. There are times when the decision to abort is about the life of the baby or the life of the mother. At other times, a woman becomes pregnant because of incest or rape.

Abortion is a horrible choice to have to make, but sometimes life presents us with horrible choices. But those abortion choices amount to a minuscule, almost imperceptible percentage of abortions that actually take place in this country.

Most of the time, when a mother chooses to take the life of her child, the decision to abort is about convenience or cover-up. For many, abortion is seen as another form of birth control rather than a homicide.

Why do I want you to take your kids to Unplanned?

If your kids see that one scene, they will probably never consider abortion an option for their lives. This movie may just make our kids more responsible with their dating lives and more likely to understand— and strongly consider making—a biblical choice about sex and marriage.

It will, at the very least, offer parents the chance to talk about some really important topics.  

That is why I want people, especially Christians, to see this movie.

We need to restart our conversations about abortion, and we need to present the truth to the world as this movie does. This movie slams those who shout at and shame people about abortion. This movie presents the power of the other side, who use temporary compassion to convince a desperate, scared woman that abortion is her right to choose. This movie also presents the compassionate appeal that includes forgiveness from those who stand for the sanctity of life.

Ultimately, Unplanned teaches that compassion wins and that real compassion is always grounded in truth. There is power in compassionate truth. That is the theme of this movie, and it has a powerful influence.

The big-screen power of compassionate truth

Compassionate truth should be the theme of our lives as well.  

Paul taught the early church, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). It is time for Christians to “grow up” in our conversations about abortion. Seeing Unplanned will help. I know it helped my thinking.

Those of us who write for Denison Ministries understand that our mission field is quite literally the hearts and minds of God’s people. If Christians will witness from a biblical understanding with biblical compassion, we can have the same impact on the culture that Paul’s disciples had.

The early Christians changed their world. So can we.

Of course, it wasn’t really the people who changed their culture. Only God can change people’s hearts. But God has chosen to work through us. Spirit-led Christians are God’s plan to reach the world.  

There are people reading this blog post today who’ve had an abortion. Some of the people you attend church with have had an abortion. They deserve compassionate truth. This movie will cause hurt to them—and then offer healing for that hurt.

They need to experience both.

We have to keep speaking about the topic, even knowing it will hurt and offend some people around us.

We have to keep speaking because, if we don’t, babies are going to die. They matter just as much as the people sitting next to us in the pew.

In some ways, they matter more: they don’t have a voice yet.

We do.

Plan to see Unplanned

Consider these two commitments:

  1. See this movie and encourage others to do the same. Pray before you go and ask God to speak his truth to everyone in the theatre.
  2. Be brave and speak God’s truth with love. So many in the Christian world have gone silent on the subject because it is just too controversial. Sadly, that gives the wrong voices—on both sides—greater power to influence. Women who have had an abortion only heal naturally from the procedure. Their souls get ripped up as well. They need forgiveness to heal spiritually, and so few ever receive that truth.

I hope you will choose to see Unplanned. You will have a stronger, godlier witness on abortion if you do.

Life really is about the choices we make, especially the tough choices. God knows all about tough choices. He loved us so much he chose to give us his Son. Let’s honor God with what we choose to give back.

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