If you are on social media, no doubt you've seen the recent increase of posts and articles concerning the issue of abortion. The pro-choice Women's March on Washington following the presidential inauguration contrasted by the pro-life March for Life shortly after on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade has propelled this decades-old debate into the spotlight once more. Opinions and passions run high from both viewpoints as people share the reason and rhetoric for their stance.
I must admit that I am among those that have been taking notice and using social media to raise my voice on this issue for which I am extremely passionate. My passion runs deep. For one, I am the mother of a beautiful little boy who happens to have Down syndrome. Statistically, the majority of women would have chosen to abort him. I also know the sting of personal loss at the hands of abortion. While I never have (and never will) have an abortion myself, I have lost family members at the hands of abortionists--family members I was not given the opportunity to know because they were not given the opportunity to live. I have witnessed first-hand the long-term regret and grief that rises from such choices, and I have had my own share of grief as a result. (I may write more about this in time...) Finally, as a Christian I believe that every life is knit together in the womb by the Author of Life, that every life holds immense and eternal value in His sight, and that every new life is a miracle, regardless of the circumstances surrounding conception.
One of the things that has struck me this week as I have scrolled social media and seen the various posts is that there is not only a debate between being pro-life or pro-choice; there is also a debate about what it actually means to be pro-life. It's got me thinking...
I noticed one article that was basically calling out white, conservative, Christians for not truly being pro-life. Since I match the above criteria, I was interested to see what the author had to say. Some of his points were valid. He made the argument that the conservative, pro-life view often only focuses on the birth of the child and not on the care of the child and mother henceforth. I firmly believe that being pro-life MUST include being pro-adoption. If we want to see these precious lives saved from the abortionists scalpel, then we MUST be willing to welcome them into our homes and hearts. I also would love to see greater outreach to pregnant women in crisis, not only in the form of crisis pregnancy centers and government-sponsored programs but also in the life-styles of every day people, reaching out with love and support. I pray that Christians especially will rise up, embrace these women, come along side them, and mentor them in motherhood. We must be willing to give of our own lives.
"This is My commandment, that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another, just as I have loved you. No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends." --John 15:12-13 Amplified Bible
However, the author of the article went on to propose that if we do not accept, embrace, and celebrate diversity in the areas of religion, sexual orientation, and personal morality, we are not truly pro-life. This is where the line is drawn in the sand, and this is where I cannot agree.
I would like to interject something here. Sadly our nation has become so polarized with an "Us vs. Them" mentality: conservative vs. liberal, republican vs. democrat, pro-this vs. pro-that, anti-this vs. anti-that. In reality, neither "side" has it all right. There are definite merits and glaring flaws on both sides of the fence. Why? Because we are flawed human beings operating within flawed systems. None of us have all the answers. So, my disagreement with the author's stance mentioned above does not have to do with political allegiance but with my allegiance to the Flawless One, the only One who truly has all the answers. Let me explain...
The humanistic ideology of our day would proclaim that love and acceptance must mean embracing all beliefs, all religions, and all lifestyles as equal and legitimate. There is no actual plumb-line for truth, but truth is instead based on individual preference and desire. The author of the article I read held to this belief, proclaiming that I do not truly value life unless I embrace this "free-for-all" world-view.
However, the Lord of all Creation describes life and love in very different terms, and His Word is my plumb-line for truth and what it means to be pro-life. Listen to the words of Jesus from the Amplified Bible...
"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. --John 10:10
"Jesus answered her, 'If you knew [about] God's gift [of eternal life], and who it is who says, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him [instead], and He would have given you living water (eternal life)." --John 4:10
"...If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Me], as the Scripture has said, 'From his innermost being will flow continually rivers of living water." --John 7:37-38
"For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life." --John 3:16
"...I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes the Father but through Me." --John 14:6
God created human beings in His own image to be in loving relationship with Him forever. He created us to find our life and our satisfaction in Him. However, when Adam and Eve sinned by their disobedience to God, death and destruction entered our world and separated us from the very One for Whom we are created. Not willing that we be lost from Him forever, our Holy and Merciful God gave the life of His own Son on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and restore us to relationship with Him. He extends to us the free gift of forgiveness for our sins and the promise of eternal life with Him, but He does not force us to accept. However, for those who refuse His incredible grace, only judgement awaits.
"If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude ourselves and the truth is not in us. [His word does not live in our hearts.] If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose]." --1 John 1:8-9
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." --Romans 6:23
"Then these [unbelieving people] will go away into eternal (unending) punishment, but those who are righteous and in right standing with God [will go, by His remarkable grace] into eternal (unending) life." --Matthew 25:46
"And if anyone's name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was hurled into the lake of fire." --Revelation 20:15
All roads do not lead to heaven. When it is all said and done, the ETERNAL DESTINY of every human being from the dawn of time until its end will be DETERMINED BY THEIR ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF JESUS CHRIST. Life is only found in Him. For this reason, I cannot embrace and celebrate any other religion or lifestyle that is contrary to Him. I cannot passively accept that which will ultimately lead to another's destruction. If I truly love people, and if I truly value life, I will spend my life pointing others to the Source of Life. The Lord is so patient, continually extending grace and the opportunity to repent and turn to Him.
"The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." --2 Peter 3:9
IF I AM TRULY PRO-LIFE, I CANNOT JUST BE A VOICE FOR LIFE BEYOND THE WOMB. I MUST ALSO BE A VOICE FOR LIFE BEYOND THE GRAVE.
In this day of moral relativism, the Gospel of Jesus Christ offends people because it brings our sin into the light, and it establishes truth that cannot be erased, no matter how inconvenient it may feel. We cannot live life however we please, free of consequence and accountability. One day we will all stand before the Lord and give an account for how we lived our lives in response to His Son. The day will come when...
"(A)t the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father." --Philippians 2:10-11
If I am truly pro-life, my value for life and my love for people will be greater than my fear of offending them or of being misunderstood by them. To use an analogy, if my neighbors' house was on fire but they did not perceive it, I would not sit idly by and "accept" their difference of belief and opinion. I would yell "FIRE!" and warn them of the impending danger. Maybe my warning would offend them because they cannot presently see what I can see. Maybe they would question my motives. Maybe they would respond with anger and hatred. However, if I truly believe that their lives are on the line, I will not allow these things to deter me; I will continue to do what I can to lead them out to safety. Anything less would not be love.
I am pro-life. I pray for the ending of abortion. I pray for a culture of adoption. Most importantly, though, I pray for another Great Awakening in our nation. I pray that God will pour out His Spirit and turn the hearts of men, women, and children of all various races and lifestyles to Himself, the Giver of Life--Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever!