In February, when the radical abortion bill was before the Vermont Legislature for a vote, more than 20 distraught representatives flooded CapMin’s Rosaire Bisson’s Bible study to commiserate with each other and pray.
The Bible study provided a welcome refuge for the lawmakers who were clearly in the voting minority and heartbroken over the bill – the latest in a series of steps toward changing the state constitution to allowed abortion through a woman’s entire pregnancy including the moment before she gives birth to a full-term and healthy baby.
Pro-abortion advocates pushed the bill in an effort to head off a Supreme Court decision that would restrict abortions. With no limitations, pro-life advocates say the bill would provide the most radical abortion law in the world.
“They were beside themselves, they were sick about it and they knew it would pass,” Pastor Bisson said. “The room was packed that day. They were sharing their concerns, we prayed together, and then they went back to work.”
The “reproduction rights bill,” known as Proposition 5, will be before the voters in the November election. Before the Vermont Constitution is changed, a proposition must be adopted by two consecutive legislatures and then approved in a statewide referendum.
The amendment passed both the House and the Senate in 2019. The House passed the bill a second time with a 107-41 vote on February 8, and the Senate followed suit with a 26 to 4 approval the next day. The matter now goes before the people in November.
Half the representatives who voted against the bill were in Pastor Bisson’s Bible study that day.
Allowing a gathering of fretful legislators is not the customary way the pastor leads his weekly Capitol Ministries Bible studies, but that day, Pastor Bisson welcomed the opportunity to pray and minister to them as a group and individually.
“Although we did not have a traditional Bible study, I was able to share their pains and hurts. It was quite personal. At that moment, ministering was what they needed.”
God’s Word is unambiguous, immutable, and perspicuous when it comes to His view on babies. Read the Bible study, God’s View on Babies — Inside and Outside the Womb, by Ralph Drollinger.
Not all the legislators who flooded Pastor Bisson’s Bible study that day attend regularly. Pastor Bisson began his Bible study in 2019 with two to three representatives including Bible study sponsor Rep. Vicki Strong, a mature Christian. Today, between eight to twelve representatives participate regularly in the weekly study.
During the COVID-19 when the capitol was closed to the public, the group met via the internet. But capitol building offices are once again open and members are meeting face-to-face with Pastor Bisson at noon every Wednesday.
On Wednesdays, between 8 and 9 a.m., Pastor Bisson meets for prayer at the capitol, and from 9 until 11 he is in the capitol cafeteria for conversation and counseling.
His consistent presence has paid off as representatives have approached to say hello and introduce themselves. Pastor Bisson has invited them to attend the Bible studies and attendance has grown. He is also working to invite senators.
Vermont is well-known for its spiritually rocky soil, but Pastor Bisson is excited that a recent study revealed that Vermont no longer leads for the least religious state in the union.
“This year we tied with Maine for third and fourth place, and New Hampshire and Massachusetts are neck and neck for first and second place,” he said.
“Things in Vermont are moving in the right direction. It was tough when I first arrived 10 years ago from Burlington, only two percent of the state identified as being born again. Now it’s 3.5 percent.”
“Things are happening in the state. Lot of Christians have been evangelizing in Vermont.”
With the state’s reputation for being largely unchurched, Pastor Bisson began the Bible study teaching very basic theology.
“They have been cooking in the crockpot rather than microwave,” he said. But now he is finding that the legislators are growing in the faith and asking more in-depth questions.
“We just talked about why we were created,” he said. “We got about one-third of the way through the study and they began to ask questions. They wanted to know more Scripture. They seem to be hungry.”
“So we will be going into that we were created for God’s glory, that we were created to have a personal relationship with Him, to receive His comfort and rest. And finally, that we were not made for ourselves, we were made for God.
“How fast will we get there? I don’t know, that is up to the Holy Spirit. I see it very clearly, I need to take this slow. God called us to teach, not cover material.
“We will move at the pace they want to go. But one representative said today, ‘We can’t just be sitting here, we need to go out and witness!’ That’s just exciting!”
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