I’ve been teaching an Ethics class recently focused in the last few weeks on human life & personhood issues: “Are Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia Ever Acceptable?”; “What About Modern Methods of Making Babies? (which dealt with issues like IVF, surrogacy, genetic engineering, & cloning); “Is Abortion a Matter of Life or Choice?” We’ve seen so much devaluing of life over the last several decades that it’s hard to understand how people can not only tolerate it, but promote & celebrate it all as positive goods.
Things have gotten worse in our culture in some measure due to the silence of Church leaders & Christians in general. This morally chaotic & corrupt age we live in demands a higher level of boldness, or else all society will rot & unravel completely. Why is secular society so deceived, despicable & disintegrating? The enemy is not the people but the spiritual enemy who helps to blind minds, harden hearts, darken understanding, & sear consciences (Rom. 2:5, Eph. 4:18, 1 Tim. 4:2, 2 Cor. 4:4). People’s hearts need to be changed which is why we’re Pointing People to the Way, Truth, & Life (John 14:6).
I’ve preached and taught for years about abortion. I’ve stood in “Life Chains” on sidewalks, praying & holding pro-life signs as drivers pass by and either honk in support or curse. I’ve voted for pro-life candidates & ballot proposals. I’ve attended pro-life events. I’ve contributed financially to pro-life causes. When in my early 20’s, I was prepared to be arrested for peacefully protesting in front of an abortion clinic in hopes of dissuading any from getting an abortion. After all, Proverbs 24:11 says: “Rescue those being led away to death.” However, my car wouldn’t start to take me there. Has it done any good? In some cases yes, in others perhaps not. But we’re called to do what’s right & leave the rest to God.
Next Friday I’ll be offering the closing prayer for the “Joy of Life Banquet” fundraiser for the organization Heartbeat of Monroe [heartbeatofmonroe.org]. Then the following Tuesday I’ll be emceeing as our church hosts the “Downriver Focus on Life Event” fundraiser which features the Executive Director of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition in Canada [focusonlifedownriver.com]. In Canada, the deliberate ending of the lives of the elderly isn’t only accepted but encouraged. Then Nov. 8 from our church chartered buses will be departing to Lansing for the first-ever Michigan March for Life [MI.MarchforLife.org or to reserve a seat: DownriverbusesMIMFL.eventbrite.com]. Even though Roe v. Wade was overturned last year, abortion was made radically worse with the passing of Proposal 3 last Nov. 8.
A couple of weeks ago I contacted our state legislators by email to ask them to vote NO on the Reproductive Health Act. It wasn’t enough for our Governor to get Prop 3 passed, she introduced the RHA to repeal many common sense protections for women, such as informed consent, the 24-hour waiting period, abortion clinic health & safety standards, & restrictions on taxpayer-funded abortions. Yes, they want to impose an unlimited right to abortion & for us to pay for the killing of these children. If you’d be willing to contact your representative & ask them to vote NO on RHA, you can locate them here: house.mi.gov. You could also contact the state senator (though tragically he already emailed me back to say he was voting YES) – senate.michigan.gov/FindYourSenator.
These are moral matters, not just policy issues. Children’s lives are at stake. Our church stands for the biblical value of innocent human life as being worthy of protection because we’re made in the image of God. How can the Church of Jesus & its leaders NOT get involved in issues like this?!
But what if people get upset or offended when I speak up on these issues? That’s not my main concern. I’m called by Scripture to speak what’s true & right–even to those in power. In fact, part of my calling is to upset people–to not just comfort the afflicted but to afflict the comfortable. The words of Scripture are upsetting because they convict people of what they’re doing wrong. So I can’t be concerned with being criticized…rather Jesus warns that if people hated Him, they will hate us too. He said: “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).
Whenever there’s an issue about life, marriage, sex, family, or anything else Scripture addresses as promoting sin, degeneracy & evil, I’m taking my stand on what God says even if it crosses into political territory & is upsetting to some (or even most). I take no joy in upsetting people, but these issues are too important to ignore just because they’re considered “political.” The Church is still called to be the conscience of the community as “the salt of the earth,” & “light of the world” (Matt. 5:13). Shame on us if we stay silent.