Overturning Roe v. Wade is not the end of the line for pro-life Christians. Now more than ever we need to reflect God’s love to those who are struggling with life issues.
One of the challenges I faced when our mission congregation finished building a chapel was getting everyone back on track. Our goal was not to build a building. Rather, the building was a tool to help us achieve our grander goal: the salvation of souls.
When the US Supreme Court legalized abortion throughout the United States and its territories on Jan. 22, 1973, many people placed a sense of urgency on protecting unborn children’s lives. When those endangered are the most vulnerable of human beings, urgency often joins forces with passion.
So Christians set out to speak up for those who could not speak for themselves. Men and women sacrificed countless hours volunteering in efforts to correct this wrong. Through prayers, politics, and proclamations, we set out to save unborn lives.
The core problem
But there is more to life than life! Jesus said, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Matthew 16:26). As God’s children we see a bigger picture. From the moment of conception until the final breath of life there is a soul, created and redeemed by God through his Son, Jesus Christ. Our calling is to proclaim this good news of salvation through Christ. The challenges of life here, therefore, represent opportunities to carry out the Great Commission and share the promise of eternal life through Jesus.
The desire to destroy life is a heart problem, or more precisely, a spiritual problem. When the US Supreme Court issued its Dobbs ruling on June 24, 2022, which overturned Roe v. Wade, it didn’t solve the core problem—a spiritually busted heart.
The desire to end the life of an unborn child reflects a degrading value of human life. It degrades the woman, who has been given the sole blessing of carrying life for the next generation. It degrades the unborn child’s life, making that child a commodity—welcomed or rejected based on worldly goals and aspirations. Today, a positive pregnancy test is shrouded in the apprehensive notions of whether it is a wanted pregnancy. Joy at God’s gift of a child is subordinated to some worldly agenda in which a child may or may not fit just right.
These heart problems can’t be fixed with legislation, elections, or court rulings. Heart problems are fixed through spiritual surgery. That can only be performed when there is contact with the patient and we apply the tool that changes hearts—the gospel. The Holy Spirit works through that apparently simple means to change people from enemies of God, hostile to his will, to disciples who want to love God and others—all others.
The still, small voice of God’s deep love for all humans is more powerful than the destructive forces of nature (1 Kings 19). It will accomplish what God desires (Isaiah 55:11). Our task has not changed. It remains to be witnesses and, with the gospel, to give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to do the spiritual surgery necessary.
That means we need to make contact with people. We need to establish a compassionate and loving rapport with them. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Think about that passage for a moment. People typically are not going to ask the reason for the hope that you have unless there is something remarkably and unexpectedly hopeful about the way you are living. I can think of no better way to do this than to be uncommonly and sacrificially loving—reflecting the love your Savior has for you.
We live in a world naturally inclined toward evil (Genesis 8:21). A key element of personal humility (Philippians 2:3-5) is to recognize that this inclination toward evil exists within all of us (Luke 6:41). Acts of charity for the benefit of others are rooted in a profound sense of personal awareness of sin in our own lives and what God has given to us unworthy people. We cannot be self-righteous.
Avoiding self-righteousness means that we begin our relationship with people where they are at that moment (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). That can be difficult. Remember, that is why correction involves “great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2).
Because evil inclination permeates the world, love begins to grow cold (Matthew 24:12). You may have noticed the chill in your own life. There likely was a time when you were willing to do more, listen more, and sacrifice more. As time has passed perhaps you find yourself becoming less willing to volunteer, less patient, and less sacrificial. It takes effort for God’s people to live like God’s people in a climate opposed to God.
Life after Dobbs
Let’s apply this to our world after the Supreme Court decision. A whole new avenue of opportunity has opened up. We will have discussions with many who have questions about abortion and feel strongly in favor of it. Be prepared to answer their questions and objections “with gentleness and respect.” We are God’s disciples, and he has changed our hearts because of the love of Jesus for us. We value life and treasure children because he does and gives life to all. But when we discuss our feelings with others, we also must understand that they may not share that perspective.
We demonstrate concern for lives by engaging in efforts to protect life. We engage in the political and legislative process with boldness. Don’t be intimidated by those who argue you can’t press your religious view in the public arena. Remember, their notion that you shouldn’t do something simply reflects their view on such things. But we have work to do. We are witnesses and agents of God’s power to change hearts.
Today, as the country seems lost without a moral compass, the onus falls on us. If we believe that children are a blessing from God and rejoice that unborn lives are saved because of the Dobbs decision, we need to put on our work gloves. It is time to get to work.
Learn more about how to witness about life issues at christianliferesources.com.
Author: Robert Fleischmann
Volume: 109, Number 09
Issue: September 2022