Regardless of the money and time spent by pro-life advocates, yet another sitting U.S. President commemorated the recent anniversary of Roe vs. Wade by extolling the benefits of abortion to society. As our political leaders race towards socialism and communism, overturning a law allowing what many on the left consider a sacrament, seems virtually out of reach for the foreseeable future.
Is the battle unwinnable? Hardly.
The problem it seems, however, is not the battle but rather the battlefield. A massive population in this country wishes abortion to remain legal. The challenge, it would seem, lies not in legislation, but rather the extended hand of life. “Thou Shalt Not…” endures as a clear command of the law, and yet how many offenses against the Ten Commandments pile up daily? Mandating morality remains difficult.
Laws fail to change hearts. Thus, the cross.
The life and work of William Wilberforce teach us that overturning a bad law can take a lifetime. While overturning Roe vs. Wade appears unlikely anytime soon, changing hearts, however, is immediately accessible. Organizations offering free ultrasounds to expectant mothers considering an abortion can testify to powerful (and moving) changes of hearts. Extending compassion rather than judgment to those bearing abortion scars in their bodies and spirits can facilitate a changed heart today.
Ultimately, the Word of God penetrates where politics cannot. The question arises as to whether Scripture is used as a cudgel – or to speak life into death and light into darkness. While the pro-abortion movement possesses the massive microphones of media, academia, and at least two branches of government, the pro-life movement contains one: the Word of God.
History reveals a lengthy list of individuals standing on the Word of God who changed a culture and even the world. Are we doing the same?
Do we wave the Bible like a talisman or do we allow God’s Word to permeate and flow from us into even the most desperate of circumstances?
Few feel as desperate as a woman or a teenager about to end the life of her unborn child. Overturning a law fails to overturn desperation. Pointing a clear path to safety, however, allows a moment for a desperate soul to catch her breath. In doing so, she is afforded a choice for life; a choice that transcends legislative acts.
Maybe others possess the ability to do so, but a political reason to argue someone into the pro-life viewpoint seems non-existent. Yet, there remains ample and compelling spiritual reasons to do so. Rather than civic issues such as roads, taxes, and so forth, abortion remains firmly ensconced as a spiritual issue. How can the pro-life viewpoint exist apart from recognizing God as the author of life?
Overturning Roe vs. Wade remains an admirable goal and worthy of our constant efforts. Sadly, however, massive numbers of Americans feel abortion is health care, a viable option, and a right. The battlefield now encompasses changing the beliefs of that now multi-generational group.
Into that bleak scenario, however, the church can speak life to those who consider death—whether the unborn or those facing end of life issues. The world’s playbook seems to invoke removing or ending anything or anyone that makes us uncomfortable. God’s Word, however, strengthens and equips us to endure the unimaginable.
As believers, we rejoice with and must care for those choosing life. While we mourn for those who do not, may we mourn in such a way, however, that those individuals see the compassion of Christ reflected in our tears. Their need for a Savior remains no greater than our own.
Working humbly and diligently to change both hearts and the law, may we also recall the text of that great hymn written by Philip Bliss:
"Sweetly echo the Gospel call, wonderful words of life.
Offer pardon and peace to all, wonderful words of life.
Jesus, only Savior, sanctify us forever.
Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life."