How can you achieve a goal you don't have?


What Do You Want To See Happen About Abortion?

Charles Wysong      

God's first commandments were to be fruitful and multiply, and to replenish the earth and have dominion over it.

Mr. Wysong was instrumental in closing 17 abortion clinics, 12 adult bookstores and three homosexual bars in Tennessee. He and his wife Brenda have been married for 26 years and have 15 children

Charles and Brenda Wysong and family

July 27, 1996

This whole matter of abortion is dead serious business.  We're not playing around with it.  This isn't an optional activity for Christians.  This is absolutely the most central issue of our day.  I was preaching at a Pentecostal church one time and I said, "You know, the Presbyterians think they've got the power of God because they've got some positions in this world, they own businesses and things like that.  The Baptists think they've got it because they can exegete every jot and tittle of the Scripture.  The Charismatics think they've got it because they exercise the gifts."  Then I said, "If any one of us has got it, let them go out and close an abortion clinic."  The evidence that you know what's going on is that you can do something for God.

The church of Jesus Christ is NOT exercising its power.  I would even say, not only is the church not exercising its power, but as Americans in this country, we don't even understand our own laws.  We don't understand God's laws and the way He works, and we don't understand even our own laws.

Going back to this thing of closing the adult bookstores, what happened there was we went to the District Attorney and said, "Please close the bookstores."  He said, "I don't have to do it unless there's a furor created."  So we went and bought the materials from the adult bookstores and petitioned the Grand Jury to give them evidence.  They agreed with us that what we had was obscenity and they then said, "We will indict the bookstores for obscenity."  Then we said, "Wait a minute. One more thing we want you to do.  We want you to indict the District Attorney for Misprision of a Felony."  And if you don't think your life is on the line, you fool around with the government like that, and you go after the District Attorney in your county.  And the Grand Jury said, "We'll indict him."  You see, what he was guilty of is what is called "misprision of a felony."  He knew or saw a crime being committed and, as an elected official who had the capacity to do something about it, he did not.

So they said, "We will indict him.  We agree with you; he has broken the law."  They said, "We will indict him or we will instruct him; which would you prefer?"  We said, "If instructing him will get him to prosecute them, then instruct."  And they said, "All right.  We'll instruct him and if he does not perform, we will indict him."

And so he got the message.  His own skin was at stake.  Three weeks; they were all closed.  That's how fast they can move when they want to get the job done.  But it's not just the District Attorney of Chattanooga or Hamilton County that needs to get activated; it's you and me that need to get activated.  We need to go after this thing like we're not playing a game with these abortionists and not like, "Well, one day we hope so, that God will close these places."  You see, we need to see it as being done within a year.  And that's what we did in Chattanooga.  Four other men and myself got together and we said, "We're going to end this thing."  I said, "I think we can do it in six months, maybe a year."  But I said, "We'll get them.  And we're going to go after them like we want them closed right away."  And so that's what we did.  And God blessed us, and four days short of a year they closed for good.

The significant events were these:

  1. We made a decision that we weren't going to have an abortion clinic in our city.  This is our last one; we'd already closed one, we're now after the last one.  But we made a decision: With God's help, we were going to close this abortion clinic.
  2. The greatest decision we made was that we would gather before the abortion clinic an hour before they started doing abortions, and we would pray that God would not let them do abortions.  We firmly based everything we did on prayer.  We didn't go out there in the power of our own flesh to close an abortion clinic.
  3. We recruited teenagers to come out to the abortion clinic, and they came out in droves.  That's what we need: teenagers out there.  I want to tell you, you get them out there one day, and you will sense that the other side senses that they have lost the battle.  It is the most phenomenal thing.
  4. The fourth thing that we did that was significant was that we sought malpractice lawsuits against the abortion clinic.

We had two of them in the last year, and one of them we had was kind of comical, where they served the papers.  The abortionist came in from out of town, spent the night, did abortions the next morning, and was out of town.  It was hard to reach him, so the lawyers got one of our pro-life people who went out there with his wife and they waited for the abortionist to come in.  This couple acted as though they could not make a decision about whether or not they were going to have an abortion and so the clinic personnel were out there and said, "Oh, don't worry about a thing.  Everything will be all right, no problems, etc. etc." and about that time the abortionist drives up and they tell him.  Then the husband and the wife got out of the car and the abortionist kind of turned on the charm and was going to be real kindly to her and as he turned to her, she pulled the lawsuit from her purse and said, "You're served," and handed him this malpractice lawsuit.  And man, I'm telling you what, the language began to fly at that point.  They were angry, but a lot of things like that happen.

The final significant thing was this:  The man who owned the abortion clinic building in Chattanooga went bankrupt.  The court ordered him to sell his house and this clinic building in order to pay his debtors.  We met on a Thursday night — I mean no notice whatsoever — had an attorney there, we had a doctor.  We also had a man named Phil Newton, and he made an appeal to all of us to buy the building and bulldoze it.

There were probably about fifteen of us, about as many people as are in this room, and we prayed about it.  We felt that's what God wanted us to do; He wanted us to buy the building.  We said, "how much money can we raise here today?" and one young man named Mark Newton had saved up $13,000 or $14,000 for college, and he said he was willing to give all of that to buy the abortion clinic building.  And his father said he would give a like amount, another man gave $10,000 another man gave $1,000 - nobody gave any bigger gifts than that.  We got about $40,000 that night and the next day I called a man and I told him what we wanted to do and he said, "I'll give $10,000 for that."  I told him we were going to bulldoze the building.  And I called his partner and he said, "Well, how much is Louie going to do?"  I told him, "He said he's going to do $10,000" and he said, "Well, I'll do $10,000."

And so we were off and running.  Now we're up to $60,000 but we've got three days to raise a quarter of a million dollars and a week to raise $300,000 and we were about as experienced at fund raising as you are.  You might think that we had some great financial plans.  We had no financial plan.  Everybody was just going to go out and do something, and probably of the fifteen that marched out the door that night, probably none of us thought we could really do it, but at least several of us were going to try.  And it really worked out well; people got energized by these two men who gave us $10,000 apiece, and they thought, "Well, maybe there's some hope for this thing."  So we bought the abortion clinic building and kicked the abortion clinic out, and that was four days short of a year, and they were gone.

Now let me tell you this, God has an infinite number of ways of closing abortion clinics.  He has an infinite number of ways to clean up Raleigh and keep it from killing and murdering little babies.  He doesn't have to buy the building.  He doesn't have to have the abortionist fall over dead tomorrow.  He doesn't have to have lightning come from heaven and destroy the building.  I don't know how He's going to do it in Raleigh, but I do know this: He's going to do it through His people, and His people need to be active.  His people need to be seeking God in prayer and doing something, doing what we can.

This goes back to this matter of Deuteronomy 22, the woman who is violated in the city.  If she didn't cry out, both she and the man would be executed.  But if she were violated in the field, only the man was to be executed because it was presumed that she had cried out but nobody could hear her.  We need to be the woman who is crying out and saying, "They're more powerful than we are, they've got the governmental forces behind them, they've got this, they've got that, and we're not able to stop them from murdering little babies, but Lord, we want You to do something."

Let me just mention several ways where we have failed — where WE have failed — to meet our obligations before God:

  1. We have not prayed — publicly or privately — in any significant way, for the end of abortion.  The average church might pray around January 22, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  I sent a post card to every church in North Carolina.  It was a big, oversized postcard and it talked about how we had prayed for the soldiers in the Persian Gulf conflict.  The hostilities lasted for 205 days and miraculously, only about 158 soldiers actually died over there in combat.  They predicted 50,000 were going to die; that was what they said to begin with.  We earnestly prayed; we even had counseling sessions for people who had loved ones over in the Persian Gulf conflict.  I mean, the church stumbled over itself to see what it could do.  It was like it was the hired priest of the world, to come and pray for this operation over there.

    But during those same 205 days, we murdered over 800,000 babies in this country and the church never opened its mouth a peep about that.

    And don't you think God doesn't take notice.  We can pray unashamedly and openly for the soldiers.  Do you know why?  Because the world liked that.  It was a public relations thing.  Nobody was going to argue about that.  But you start praying about abortion in the church, and you find people who don't like it because they've had abortions, or others who are just indifferent, and you've got other people that are actually on the other side.  And so we don't pray about it in the church, and that is the greatest problem we've got right now.  It isn't that we don't have a hundred people out here to picket.  The problem is we're not praying in the church.

  2. The second problem we've got is, we don't know God's laws.  I've done survey after survey in churches that have me come in and speak, so we're talking about churches that believe in the sanctity of human life and who would agree that God's laws ought to be obeyed, that "Thou shalt not kill" is not an option.  You know, it's ? ?thou shalt not kill' means 'yeah, every other time except when I'm in trouble and I'm pregnant and I'm not married'."

    So among churches that are serious about obeying God and having me come and speak, less than one percent of the people in those churches, teenagers and adults, can name the Ten Commandments.  And I word the question as fairly as you can word it, and I word the question this way: "Write out the Ten Commandments.  They do not have to be in order.  They do not have to be word for word."  All right?  And less than one percent of Christians can give you the Ten Commandments.  They say, "I know it," but they don't know it.

    Now let me mention something to you.  Psalm I says, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful..." And it goes on to talk about him being like the tree planted by the rivers of water.  "His leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."  Now, notice verse 2: "But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His law doth he meditate day and night."

    Now, how can we expect to prosper if we can't even name the laws which we're supposed to be meditating in day and night?  The laws that we're supposed to be delighting in?  And I'll tell you what, if you don't see how wonderful God's laws are, something is wrong.  And the church does not see how wonderful God's laws are.  Those of us sitting right here in this room can make a difference.  We need to delight in God's law.  We need to meditate in it day and night.

  3. The third thing is that we are aborting out own babies.  I mean, here's a man with "Our Lady of Guadeloupe" on the front and on the back of his T- shirt, walking into the abortion clinic, I mean today.  Not yesterday, not some other city.  This morning at Raleigh Women's clinic or whatever it is.  I mean, walked right in and killed a baby.  Now we have Christians that are doing it all the time.  I'm talking about the daughters of deacons.  In Chattanooga we have a crisis pregnancy center and one of the girls came in.  She went to Tennessee Temple University there and she called her family on the mission field in Bolivia, and they said, "You have an abortion.  You're going to ruin my ministry."  I said to her, "Somebody ruined that ministry a long time ago."  But I'm not just talking just about deacons taking their daughters to abortion clinics.  I'm talking about the use of IUD's and birth control pills as well.  And these "socially accepts' methods of abortion are just as wrong as taking the little baby out ...

I picketed Haskell's house yesterday.  Do you know who Haskell is?  He's the man who does the partial birth abortions where they find the feet of the baby with a pair of forceps, then pull the baby out through the birth canal and the only thing that's left is the head, and he takes a pair of scissors and jams them into the back of the skull, and the little baby ... is dead.  And then he, with technical efficiency, vacuums out the brains with a vacuum aspirator, crushes the head and pulls the body out.  I picketed his home yesterday.  Let me tell you, killing a baby at a week or two weeks along is no different in God's eyes than killing them at five months or four months or whatever Haskell is doing,

The whole thing really comes back to the two first commandments of God.  God's first two commandments were not to love God and love your neighbor, They were to be fruitful and multiply, and to replenish the earth and have dominion over it, Those are the two commands.  And Christians
     1) don't want to have children, and
     2) don't think they are worthy of any kind of elective positions in this world.

We think somebody else is able to do it.

And I'll tell you, the elected position that we need to fill, more than any other, is the jury box.  You see, only people who know God's law are properly able to discern right and wrong.  Our first job as a citizen isn't voting. It's being in that jury box to decide for our community what is right, what is wrong, and how God's laws are going to stand in our own community.

I was meeting with an associate of Larry Burkett one day down in Griffing, Georgia, and I was talking to him about juries and our responsibility as citizens.  I was telling him how necessary it was, and I explained to him how there were two men who were convicted under what was called the Contravental Act.  The Contravental Act in England was a law that said you could not preach without a license from England, and two famous men were charged under it.  One of them was John Bunyan, and he was tried before a magistrate.  The magistrate found him guilty and sentenced him to six years in Bedford Prison, which was a death sentence, because most men died of tuberculosis after about a year at Bedford Prison.  But the other man that was charged was a man named William Penn, and he did not stand before a magistrate; he stood before a jury.

There was a man on that jury who was a Separatist, like the Puritans, and he convinced the other 11 members of the jury that it was not William Penn who was at fault, but the State of England who was at fault, because the Contravental Act was contrary to good law.  It was a bad law; an unjust law.  And so the jury marched back in, and the foreman said, "We find the defendants..." (there were two of them; William Penn and a friend) "... we find the defendants not guilty."  The judge was incensed and he sent them back to reconsider their decision based on the evidence, because William Penn had been out in the open preaching.  The evidence was clear.  They came back and they said, "We continue with our decision.  Not guilty." He then fined the jury for having come back with this "not guilty" verdict, and five of them would not pay the fine.  So this judge put them into a house with no toilet facilities, no food, no water, and no blankets.  And they stayed there for about a week, and some friends of theirs went to a judge in a higher court, who then made a ruling that a judge could not require a specified verdict of a jury.  And so William Penn and his friend went free and effectively broke a bad law in England, which was the Contravental Act of getting a license to preach.

And I would say this thing with a permit to picket in Raleigh is comparable to this Contravental Act.  Now what's the first thing you have to do in order to serve on a jury?  What are the requirements?  The general requirements — they're different in every state, but the general requirements are being a resident, citizen, and then after a citizen, being registered to vote.  They choose potential jurors from the registered voter pool.  So I would say to you, and I hope nobody in this room is not in that category of being unable to fulfill their responsibilities of sitting on a jury.  But do you understand how powerful it is to stand in the gap and say, "This is an unjust law" and stop it?  Governments can do two things: praise good and condemn evil.  Well, in this country, that for the most part is left to juries and if we say, "I'm going to vacate my seat.  I'll make some lamebrain excuse to find something to do..."

[There is] a good man that John's worked for over here in North Carolina.  I was talking to him the other day and he said, "I haven't got time to serve on a jury."  And I said, "Bob, you just vacated your place in the jury box and said 'somebody else come and fill it'."  And I said, "Do you know who came and filled it?  Somebody on welfare who knows nothing about right and wrong, because they've got lots of time on their hands."  And that's what we're seeing in this country.  That's why we get these crazy decisions where a woman gets $2.9 million for scalding herself with McDonald's coffee.  And that's why you can go in there and you can block the doorway to stop little babies from being murdered and the jury finds you guilty of trespassing, things like that.  Bad laws stay in place because good people don't fill their place in the jury box.

But those are the things that we need to do as Christians to, again, to take back this country and steer it back onto the course.  Now let me ask you this:  Where do you want this nation to go?  I'll tell you this, nobody can give you much of a definition as to where we want to go.  "I don't like what they're doing," but what do you like?  Where do you want to see it go?  What do you think it ought to look like over here?  Show me, write it out, draw it up for me.  And you know what you're looking for?

Let me tell you a quick story.  There was a man by the name of Howard Hill.  He was considered the greatest archer that ever lived.  He could put an arrow into the center of the bullseye, and with the next arrow, split the shaft of the first arrow.  Now Zig Ziglar tells this story in his motivational seminars, and he talks about how he can make you a better archer than Howard Hill.  "Of course," he says, "it would be necessary for me to blindfold Howard Hill and turn him around and disorient him so he doesn't know where the target is."  He said, "Then you can beat him."  Ziglar concludes by asking, "Now, if Howard Hill, the greatest archer that's ever lived can't hit a target he can't see, how can you achieve a goal you don't have??  If you don't have what you want this city of Raleigh to look like real well defined, you don't know where you're going.  You couldn't possibly hit it.

But let me supply an answer for you, that I think will appeal to all of you.  At the end of the book of Ecclesiastes, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Solomon writes: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.  Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."  God gives the Ten Conmandments in two places in the Bible.  The first one is found in Exodus chapter 20.  In Deuteronomy chapter 5, after God has given the Ten Commandments, He says about the Jewish people, "Oh, that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all of My commandments always."  What you want to see is a community that fears God and keeps His commandments.  This is the whole duty of man: fear God, and keep His commandments.

If we understood that that was the way we're going, then here's what we ought to be doing.

"Lord, I pray we would be a nation that doesn't have other gods before us.  I pray we'd be a nation that doesn't worship idols or take Your Name in vain, I pray that we'd be a nation that rests one day and works diligently six.  I pray we'd be a nation that honors our parents.  I pray we'd be a nation that doesn't kill, and especially the sin of abortion would be ended in this nation, and even in this city.  I pray that we would not commit adultery, nor steal, nor lie, nor covet.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

God wants us to pray down the Ten Commandments.  That's what God wants to see in this country, a nation that keeps His commandments.  And if you think about it, suppose tomorrow we changed Raleigh so that it kept all of God's commandments, it honored the laws of God In this area, you would have heaven on earth.  Deuteronomy 11 says that the parents who keep the Ten Commandments, hide them down in their heart, meditate on them and do them, and that teach them to their children, that their days will be as the days of heaven upon the earth, as the days of heaven upon the earth.  You CAN have heaven on earth if you'll keep God's laws.

So I would say, this matter of abortion, it is not a single issue.  It's all about fearing God and keeping His commandments.  And everybody's waiting for those people out there at the abortion clinic to change.  God is looking for His people to change. 

If My people which are called by My Name shall humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from THEIR wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.
Who are the people who can heal the land?  It's the people of God who change their ways.  And I just say to you, whoever you might be: Today... you say, "Well, we'd like to see a big crowd."  God didn't care what size the crowd is, He just wants to see somebody move and change his ways.

We didn't start with a big crowd in Chattanooga.  Five of us.  And we had others come and others come, and then when they wrote in the newspaper, "The pro-life movement in Chattanooga has done it right.  They seized economic, political and social power to see abortion ended in Chattanooga."  When they got around to trying to find somebody on the abortion side to give a statement to the newspaper, out of over a quarter of a million people, they could not find one person to give a statement to the newspaper ... somebody who stood up and said they were for abortion.  They called NARAL, National Abortion Rights Action League, and asked, "do you have members in Hamilton County?"  They said, "Yes, we do."  They said, "Would one of them make a statement?  They said, "We'll check and find out."  NARAL called the newspaper back, said, "Nobody wants to say a thing."  Nobody wants to be publicly identified with abortion in Chattanooga.  We now have our two representatives from our area, both are pro-life.  Our senator is pro-life.  Our U.S. Congressman is pro-life and he used to picket at the abortion clinic with us.  And we've got an obligation to have dominion; being fruitful and multiplying and having dominion.

On Saturday, July 27, 1996 Mr. Wysong participated in a pro-life demonstration at the Women's Health abortion clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina. After the demonstration, he addressed the participants at a luncheon held at the Golden Corral restaurant. This is an edited transcript of his remarks..

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