Over the years I heard about an issue between AHA and some others within the street preaching community (those involved with the BAMH documentary). Although I didn't just take people's word for who was right or wrong or what one said about the other. I didn't know these people, and I didn't know the problem they had between them.
I had some friends who were doing the work of abolitionists and had the AHA gear and signs, etc. and I knew these brothers that were and some still are friends of mine until this day which I know are strong solid brothers in Christ who love their local church and are involved in their local churches.
While I didn't know everyone in the movement or ideology as many like to call it. I did a show on AHA, where I reached out to some friends I knew to join me to which they were not able to do they suggested another guy to be on the show. So I had a show about AHA, what thy are about and the evil of abortion.
After doing a show on AHA as well as standing outside of abortion centers myself and preaching the gospel I received many friend requests from people in AHA. And many requests to start a society in Cleveland to which I never responded and had no interest in doing.
More time passed and I seen more of the strong stance that some us between the two groups mentioned above and being one who tries to give the benefit of the doubt and tried to extend grace, so I attempted to have a show between the two groups (again mentioned above) to attempt some reconciliation or at least better understand the problem with a conversation rather then one side saying one thing another sign saying another thing. Some declined to be on and voiced some of their concerns about AHA and suggested I shouldn't even have that show. But again it really knowing these guys personally I don't just believe what someone says because they say it. So I had the show had a founding member of AHA on the show and we discussed some of the issue.
I wasn't on anyone's side when it came to picking and choosing a side. I was neutral, even though there were some things I didn't agree with I still graciously treated both parties like brothers and sisters in Christ.
But then from my own experience, not from the words of anyone else I began to see with my own eyes that a handful of not more AHA folks seemed to respond to my posts about the importance of a local church or when I was speaking highly of the local church or encouraging the local church. This group of individuals always seemed to comment in a aggressive way against my posts and it's not that people can't disagree with me I don't have all the answers or am always right but I began to see the same people always responding in the same ways with this anti- local church sentiment. And when you call them out on it they would try to turn it around and say you were the one anti- local church because you didn't affirm them and what they were doing.
After still attempting to be gracious with these people and not block or delete them, I began to push back more due to their relentless lack of love on any encouraging posts or comments about again the local church. When I did that I became an enemy of the state (that is AHA), and some of them deleted me and/blocked me because I would not agree with their ways of doing things.
I was never AHA and never had a desire to be but I never brushed them off or attempted to treat any of them the way they seem to treat others who are not abolitionists as hey say but really seem to mean AHA brand of abolitionist.
Many from our local church have been out to and go when we can to abortion centers to preach the gospel and also go to the streets and preach the gospel. Yet, none of us are AHA, and many of those who comment against my posts about the local church with their anti- local church comments know we are an active local church that goes out into the culture with the gospel and stands out at abortion centers aren't still satisfied and instead of commenting with encouraging remarks always comment with negativity towards those who affirm and have love for the local church. Could it be because we don't wear AHA gear when we do it.
Maybe if I would have listened to those who warned me I could of avoided all this but again I was given grace and the benefit of the doubt because I didn't personally know those who opposed AHA who warned me about them when I was doing the show.
However, even though I have done shows in the past and had guests on who were part of AHA. I do not support or agree with AHA. I stand by and affirm those who would call themselves abolitionists but I would also encourage them to not affiliate themselves with the AHA brand, not to wear their gear or buy their products. And call them out from their own who disagree with their practices and anti- local church sentiments.
As far as calling people to repent or a American evangelicalism to repent, or as far as us as individual Christians to repent. Of course we all need to repent and ask God to conform us more and more to the image of Christ. But to make the standard be about abortion and if they aren't doing it the way AHA seems to believe they should be doing it while wearing their shirts and using their products then in their eyes at least the way it appears to those who are watching and experiencing it first hand from these bullies is that you're wrong for that.
Abortion is evil no doubt it's a symptom of a much bigger issue --sin, to which the gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer.
Abolitionism is not the gospel!
The social gospel is not the gospel!
Speaking out against and standing up against injustices may be an effect of the work of Christ in the life of a believer but it in and of itself is not the only effect. To make it the standard for all believers to do it as you deem fit is to become legalistic.
You don't need to be AHA to be an abolitionist, you don't need to be AHA to stand outside of an abortion center, you don't need to be AHA to stand up against the evil of abortion. I know there are good brothers and sisters who may be an abolitionist who is associated with AHA and might not agree with everything that the most vocal in the group do if so I would encourage you to come out from among them(AHA), do the work from a godly more effective way, with a love for the local church and a love for your brothers and sisters who may not do everything exactly the same way you might do it.
AHA and their bully tactics don't honor Christ, AHA and their anti- local church views and sentiments don't honor Christ.
So repent AHA!!!!
by Ricky Gantz
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