Every January, Southern Baptists mark the sad anniversary of Roe vs. Wade by celebrating the sanctity, or sacredness or human life. Instead of mourning the American “culture of death,” we look hopefully to the future and celebrate the God who cherishes his creation.
Scripture often refers to God as the God of the fatherless and the widow. “God executes justice for the fatherless and the widow” (Deut. 10:18). ”Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation” (Ps. 68:5).
In Bible times, as in many places in our world even today, widows and orphans were the most vulnerable people in society. They were people without a voice. To be orphaned was to be abandoned. To be a widow with no immediate family members was to be impoverished.
But God declares that He is the Father of the fatherless and the protector of widows. He is the God of the oppressed. He is the one who hears the cries of those who have no voice. And that is why we, as Christians, are pro-life. We are pro-life, because our God is pro-life.
We believe human beings have a right to live – because of who they are – as image bearers of God – not because of what they do – as productive members of society. We do not judge the worth of a person by their usefulness to society. But sadly, our culture is beginning to do just that.
Human embryos are disposable - maybe useful for future medical research. And thus an embryo’s value is found it what it can be used for, not in what it is.
The unborn have no voice. They cannot yet think or reason, so their rights depend on the circumstances of the mother. They have value only if they are “wanted,” and they can be terminated if they are “unwanted.”
The senior citizen battling dementia – what useful purpose does she serve for society? Why not allow her to die? After all, euthanasia provides “death with dignity.” Society thinks the elderly have no value in who they are, as fellow human beings who bear the image of God, but in what they can do to serve society.
We must fight against our society’s mindset with the most powerful weapon in the Christian arsenal – compassion. We must make it clear that the reason we prize human life is because God prizes human life – at all stages.
The human life of an embryo in a science lab
The human life of an unborn baby in development
The human life of an expectant mother faced with a crisis
The human life of a mentally handicapped child
The human life of a man in a vegetative state
The human life of an elderly woman in a nursing home
Our approach to abortion is the compassionate one. We stand up for those who have no choice, those who have no voice. Through the work of pregnancy support centers, we walk alongside hurting mothers, helping them through pregnancy after they decide to preserve their baby’s life. We are there to counsel the other women who feel the enormous burden of guilt after having taken their child’s life.
Our approach to the elderly is the same. We do not agree with the term “death with dignity,” because no death is ever dignified. Death is a mar on God’s good creation. It is our greatest enemy.
But our Savior – the one who raised the widow’s son, congratulated the poor, raised up the oppressed and gave voice to the voiceless – He himself defeated death on Easter morning, unleashing God’s new creation into our world.
And that is why we are pro-life. In God’s eyes, every human life is precious. Every human being bears his fingerprints. Every person – from the embryo to the elderly – deserves life.
May God give us the courage to show the love of the Father to the fatherless.
written by Trevin Wax. © 2007 Kingdom People Blog