A few months ago I was challenged to explain my understanding of the pro-life position. “Ummm…welll…” I began tentatively. And then I floundered. For the first time I realised how little I knew on the subject matter. I have always identified as “pro-life”, but never given much thought to what it means in theory and in practice. And so I decided I had to rectify my nominal pro-life stance. After all, could I really claim to be pro-life if all I ever did was pay lip service to the belief, but shied away from being pro-life in practice?
What is the pro-life position? Simply put, it is the fundamental belief that all human life – no matter what age or stage of development – is inherently valuable and worth protecting (Psalm 139). Why? Because we are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). We do not judge the worth of a person by their quality of life or usefulness to society.
Christians should be pro-life because God is pro-life. He is the God of the oppressed, the Father of the fatherless and the protector of widows (Deut. 10:18; Ps. 68:5). He comes to the aid of those who have no choice or voice. He is the Author of life and is sovereign over life and death. And we are not.
If God is pro-life, and we are called to be like Him, then what might it look like for Christians to be trulypro-life? How do we move from belief into action?
Here are some suggestions:
Billy Graham once said: “To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees.” Pray with awareness that our battle is primarily a spiritual and ideological one. Pray for an end to the injustice of abortion and euthanasia. Pray for pro-life physicians, politicians, organizations and charities to remain steadfast under pressure. Pray that Christians would be actively involved in sharing God’s truth and love through compassionate care in our communities.
Be informed. not indifferent.
If we’re to counter the deceit and faulty logic of those advocating euthanasia and abortion, we must be armed with God’s Word. Christians must know what the Bible says on these issues. God’s Word is the ultimate authority and source of truth and has the power to change people’s hearts (Heb. 4:12).
And if we’re to guard against indifference and inaction, we must uncover the dark realities of the euthanasia and abortion industries. It’s vital we understand the contours of debate on these issues, and where the courts and culture are so that we can work for justice. The more educated we become on the realities of these issues, the more likely we are able to lovingly engage with our neighbours and the less likely we are to be intimidated to remain silent.
It’s no good proclaiming God’s truth if we’re not prepared to promote life through practical demonstrations of His love and compassion (1 John 3:17-18; James 2:14-17). How we do this will look different according to how God has equipped us in our various seasons of life.
Write letters to your state and federal MPs on the issues of abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell abuse. Foster, adopt, or support families who do by assisting financially, providing meals and babysitting. Volunteer at your local crisis pregnancy centre; donate maternity supplies; mentor young women; advocate for more resources to be placed into palliative care; visit the elderly, terminally ill and disabled in your congregation; support your local hospice societies through donations and volunteering. And so on.
God has called us to be salt and light in this dark world. Let’s be proactive about it.
Dr Madeleine Turner
(who has a doctorate in Media Studies, and has recently become a new mum – again!)