SANDY, Ore. — Christian author Randy Alcorn recently recounted his days in the pro-life Rescue Movement and his refusal to pay damages and legal fees to an abortion facility, as well as his share in a collective $8.2 million judgment in another abortion-related case. Rather than giving any money toward the killing of unborn children, he went to jail and walked away from his pastoral position, but found that God blessed his stand for righteousness exceedingly abundantly above all that he could ask or think.
Alcorn, author of the books “The Grace and Truth Paradox” and “Why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and Their Moms,” shared his story on his website on July 1 as he traced the hand of God throughout the past nearly 30 years.
Serving as pastor of Good Shepherd Community Church in Oregon, Alcorn was active in pro-life ministry in the 1990s. He was a board member for a pregnancy resource center and would join others outside of abortion facilities during what is called the “Rescue Movement” to help save babies’ lives.
“We simply stood in front of the doors to advocate on behalf of unborn children scheduled to die,” he explained. “I did this nine times in a twelve month period and was arrested seven of those times.”
In light of his efforts to save the unborn, Alcorn and others were sued by the abortion facility and lost the legal battle. They were advised that they were liable for $2,800 — the cost of 10 abortions scheduled for that day — and for $19,000 in legal fees.
Alcorn said that he stood before a judge and poured out his heart as to why he “could not in good conscience” give money to abortion facilities, and why he and others throughout history had engaged in civil disobedience to defend human rights — including the fundamental right to life.
“I saw the emotion on the judge’s face. He paused before responding,” he recalled. “Then he said something beautiful I’ve never forgotten: ‘One day you may see me out there standing on that sidewalk beside you. But today, I am a judge and must follow the law.'”
Alcorn was then sentenced to jail for two days. He soon also learned that his church would be issued a writ of garnishment as a way for the court to obtain payment. As Alcorn did not want to put the church in a position of either paying the abortion facility or defying the court, he stepped down from the pastorate.
He also realized that the only way to avoid garnishment no matter where he worked is to be paid no more than minimum wage.
Another legal battle soon arose as a second abortion facility sought to stop Alcorn and others from rescue efforts on their property, and jurors awarded the facility $8.2 million dollars, equating to an average of $250,000 per defendant. Alcorn feared that perhaps he might lose his home and would not be able to send his children to a Christian school anymore.
“Wrong. That judgment was one of the best things that ever happened to us. Because what others intended for evil, God intended for good,” he wrote. “In this situation, God’s hands weren’t tied by the vengeance of child-killers. He didn’t merely ‘make the best of a bad situation.’ He took a bad situation and used it for His highest good.”
Alcorn and his family never lost their house, and a supporter stepped in to pay for his children’s schooling. He and his wife, Nanci, also started their own ministry, Eternal Perspective Ministries, where they got by on minimum wage — and continued to do so for 20 years.
Alcorn’s books started taking bestseller status and he saw his royalties increase, including the success of his book “Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments.” He donated all of his royalties to Christian ministries.
“God provided faithfully and most of the time we didn’t even think about it,” he said. “With joy in our hearts, now nearly thirty years later, Nanci and I continue to give away 100 percent of the book royalties to a wide variety of Christian missions, famine relief, and pro-life work.”
“And as our staff recently pointed out to me, we have now given away over $8.2 million dollars in royalties — an amount that has now, ironically and delightfully, surpassed the judgment against us and the whole group of pro-lifers all those years ago!”
Just last month, Alcorn’s ministry donated $55,000 in royalties to ministries such as Orphans Unlimited, Vital Signs Ministries, Operation Ultrasound, Choice Adoptions, Hope Africa International, Bible Study Fellowship and Compassion Connect — to help those saving the unborn, placing children in loving homes, caring for orphans, fighting sex trafficking, and taking the gospel to the nations.
“See how God continues to use me going to jail and losing my job as a pastor and those lawsuits from child-killing clinics to further His Kingdom? What they intended for evil God really DID intend for good. It brings a big smile to my face,” Alcorn wrote.
“Some have wondered if I realize what we could have done with over $8 million dollars. My answer is always the same: ‘Nothing that would have brought us nearly as much joy as we’ve found in giving it away.'”