It is necessary for us to be passionate proponents of life in the womb—we must be a voice for the voiceless. We must counsel women going through unplanned pregnancies to preserve the lives of the unborn. We must lobby and pray for laws and lawmakers who understand the sanctity of life of the unborn; however, our advocacy, our passion, and our ethics must be so much more robust than just being against abortion.
Rightly, we see abortion as murder and an affront against our Creator, but we must also see our apathy against the injustices toward life beyond the womb as the great co-conspirator against our fight for life.
If we truly have a pro-life ethic that values the Imago Dei, then we will exemplify and follow the model of Christ that Paul laid out to the church at Philippi:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among ourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. — Philippians 2:3-8
Pro-life, Not Just Pro-birth
I ask people all the time, what will our talking points be if, by God’s grace, abortion is made illegal? What action will we take? The answer to these questions identifies if we are really pro-life or if we are just pro-birth. Will men step up and get off their smart phones and stop amusing themselves to death and join their wives in caring for the single mom in their sphere of influence to show her and her children a positive male role model? Will we be willing to sacrifice our time to mentor a woman or family that is in crisis and has lost children into State custody because of addiction, poverty, or poor decisions?
Are we willing, no matter our stage of life, to use our home to foster children while they are displaced from their homes? Will we adopt children from the foster care system, from American women who need to place their babies instead of parent, or children from other countries? Are we open to adopt these children no matter their past trauma, no matter their special need, and no matter their age?
You see, being pro-life is not just about eliminating abortion. Being pro-life means putting our families into action to live out our passion for guarding the Imago Dei.
Standing for Life is a Call for Justice
Justice, righteousness, and reconciliation are often used synonymously in the Bible. The world has come undone, and the world is in need to be redeemed by her creator. This is why Paul calls us to be ministers of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21. We are to participate with God in pushing back against the darkness of this fallen world. Paul Lewis Metzger, professor of Christian theology at Multnomah Christian Seminary says,
Biblical justice involves making individuals, communities, and the cosmos whole, by upholding both goodness and impartiality. It stands at the center of true religion, according to James, who says that the kind of “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27). Earlier Scripture says, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern”(Prov. 29:7).
Because we are ambassadors of reconciliation, instruments of God’s justice, and those who crave the righteousness of God, we must understand that the call to defend life, is a call to justice in the world.
This blog was adapted from Chapter Three of Image Bearers: Shifting from Pro-birth to Pro-life by Herbie Newell, the President/Executive Director of Lifeline. You can purchase a full copy here.