Monday marks a dark day in our nation’s history. On this day (January 22) in 1973 our Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand through the infamous Roe V. Wade decision.
Considering the overall makeup of Charis, many of us have grown up associating abortion with freedom of Choice, the right to privacy, a matter of personal convenience or basic health care for women.
This week, I would encourage all of us at Charis to step back for a moment to consider how the Gospel of Jesus Christ should inform our thinking and our response to the issue of abortion.
Here are some of my thoughts that are in no way comprehensive.
1. Our Citizenship is in Heaven. Yes, Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, but Philippians 3:20 is clear, our allegiance is to heaven, not earth. The Gospel reminds us that what is legal is not always what’s right. We answer to a higher law. In Acts chapter 5 the Apostles were arrested for preaching the Gospel and they were strictly charged not to teach in the name of Jesus. Their response in Acts 5: 29 is startling, “We must obey God rather than men.” Indeed, in our day, we’re faced with similar circumstances. The temptation is very real to remain silent and view abortion as “a private matter between a woman, her doctor and her god.” But, in the face of the Gospel we know this is a lie. For years, I’ve gone to the old McLean County Courthouse in Bloomington on January 22 at noon, just to gather with others in our community to pray. I’d invite you to join me again this year. The whole event seldom takes longer than 10 minutes. There are no signs or protests, just a brief time of prayer. Symbolic? Yes! But, it’s an important reminder to me that my citizenship is in Heaven and I must pray for the world around me that desperately needs the love, grace and forgiveness of Jesus.
2. Life is messy. It’s safe to assume that most of us have come face to face with the issue of abortion at some point in our life. If not, in time we will. Abortion offers the false hope of a quick fix (“we can take care of this for you”). But, like most lies of Satan, we’re promised freedom only to discover bondage. Guilt and shame, haunt people. Fear of being exposed and possible condemnation from Christians causes many to bottle up their past. The Gospel would have believers walk the extra mile with others, to listen and not judge, to forgive and seek understanding. Walking in the light of Jesus requires vulnerability and that’s not easy. It’s messy, but it’s necessary to believing the Gospel. In John chapter 8, Jesus comes face to face with a woman caught in adultery by her accusers. Jesus’ words, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her,” left him alone with the woman in question. His words to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you,” remind us of the central truth of the Gospel, that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8: 1). That’s good news for all of us.
3. There’s work to be done. Forty-five years after Roe, the challenge still loons before us to reach the hearts and minds of people with the message that every human life is a divine gift. A woman does not have to walk this road alone. There are better choices available, but they require action from us. We can pray. We can volunteer at a caring pregnancy center. We can help with post abortion healing. We can open up our homes to a pregnant mother who has no place else to go. I’ve seen many at Charis rise up and do these things. As Christians we defend and support the widow, the orphan, the disenfranchised, and the most vulnerable of society, the unborn. We rise above comfort and convenience to a world where all are welcomed into existence.
These are just a few of my thoughts. I’d encourage others to join in on the discussion on this blog of things that are on your mind about this important topic.