Interesting PEW survey shows 42% of Adventists said “abortion should be legal in all or most cases.” 54% said it should be illegal.
Some denominations that are officially very strongly anti-abortion seem to have a hard time persuading their members — 48% of Catholics and 46% of Missouri Synod Lutherans were for legal abortion.
Lutheran writer Gene Veith comments,
Pastors should take this information as a reminder that the members of their churches are still in need of catechesis and Biblical teaching. They should not assume that their members are already pro-life. They must clearly and effectively convey the evils of abortion. Perhaps many in these numbers believe as they do because they or someone they love has had an abortion, in which case they are in need of both the Law and the Gospel.
I suspect the problem of members not believing in what they church teaches goes beyond this one issue. Indeed, I have had conversations with some of my fellow Lutherans in which it came out that they do not, in fact, believe in doctrines such as the deity of Christ, His atonement, His presence in the Sacrament, salvation by grace through faith rather than by good works, etc.
Pastors should go into the pulpit and the classroom prepared to convince, convict, and evangelize. They must work to reach not only those outside the church but also their own members.