Living on the Grace Side of Abortion

January 22, 2011

This Sunday our church, along with many around the country, is celebrating Sanctity of Life Sunday. We stand and mourn the over 51 million children who have been killed innocently. 51 million is a big number, equal to 40 times the total American war deaths, from the Revolutionary War until the present. Take New York and California and wipe out their populations. Take 1/5th of the current U.S. Population.

That gives you an idea of the innocents killed. So we mourn. We’re prolife, not because it’s a conservative issue or a Republican issue. Truthfully, some of my political positions put me in the conservative camp and some put me in the liberal camp and I don’t mind that at all.

But to be pro-life is to be biblical, because God is the author and creator of life. It is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty over all things. To fight for the unborn is to do our job as Christians fight against injustice.

So we mourn and we fight. But, the church, more than any other institution in society is uniquely poised to win this war, because the church lives, not on the sin side, with 51 million dead, but on the grace side, where the blood of Calvary’s cross empowers us to provide hope to the unwed mothers who face difficult choices.

In fact, abortion is one political issue where Christians can make a lasting and real difference and actually save lives. I’ve been digging deep into the work 0f compassionate pro-life work and have come away inspired and motivated.

Everyday, 3,300 young women wake up with an unplanned pregnancy. These are vulnerable young women, confused, ashamed, scared. And this is where we have the opportunity, as Christians, to live out the grace we’ve been given and help shepherd these women, not only toward good choices, but good parenting, and ultimately, peace with God through Christ.

I’m amazed at the effectiveness of prolife resource centers. There are around 23,000 across the United States. Many offer ultrasounds, all offer compassionate counseling by presenting the mother with options beyond abortion. Amazingly, this is done on a very shoestring budget and mostly volunteer. There are approximately 40,000 volunteers who staff such clinics, 29 out of every 30 workers are volunteer. Most are funded and staffed by local churches.It is estimated that these clinics have saved around 90,000 lives around the country.  (info taken from this report). Perhaps more, it’s hard to quantify.

I also believe we are winning the war in the culture. Recent data suggests that not only are a majority of Americans now prolife, but the younger generation is more prolife than it’s parents. Plus, more women are prolife than ever before.

The point is that through public advocacy for the unborn, compassionate counseling on the local level, and new emerging technologies, we may be turning a tide. I look at the pro-life movement as a steady march in the culture, not unlike the campaign of William Wilberforce against the slave trade in Britain. Perhaps we’ll look back one day and, like slavery, wonder how we ever affirmed the morality of abortion.

We’re even influencing Hollywood. In recent years episodes of Law and Order and House have wrestled with the moral questions raised by abortion. And even MTV recently portrayed the anguish of a young girl who chose to end the life in her womb.

We’re winning this war, because of the grace and love shown by volunteers and crisis clinics. Because of the resolute faithfulness of pastors and leaders who stand up for life. We’re winning because of technology that is showing the viability of babies in the womb. We’re winning because of creative strategies that are getting the word out.

 One movement, Heroic Media, is a pro-life media group that runs 30-second commericals over a course of ten weeks in selected markets, educating about life and offering a crisis helpline. They have found a 42% reduction in the abortion rate after their commercials have run.

You see, to be prolife, I believe means more than just checking that box, every two or four years, in an election cycle. I believe it means caring for orphans, caring for mothers, and caring for the children that are born. I believe it means we get involved in fighting human trafficking and sex slavery. I believe it means we work harder to mentor young, at-risk children, to help men become better fathers, to help moms become better moms. It means we stand up for the elderly, the disabled, the less fortunate. That’s what it means to be prolife.

When you see the vast numbers of children being killed every day due to abortion, it turns your stomach. But that anger should move us to concrete action, here in our community.

We ought to be horrified, sick to our stomachs at the thought of babies being mercilessly murdered, but if that anger only moves us to listen to more talk radio, to flip off liberals, and put a bumper sticker on the car, it does no good.

 

It must move us to save lives in our communities, to save babies from the precipice of death by reaching out to confused young women and sharing the love of Christ, guiding them in their decisions, and helping them embrace that life within them.

I think of the example of the midwives in Exodus. While Pharoah was slaughtering young boys, they couldn’t save them all, but they could save some, right there, in their midst. And so can we.

 

Elections come and go and we should have a say. In the meantime, there are vulnerable young girls who need guidance and direction. And we can make a dent in that abortion rate, one life at a time. Today, the church can’t do one single thing about Roe-versus-Wade. But they can offer support to the 3,300 women who wake up every day with a choice of what to do about an unplanned pregnancy.