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Pro-Life


I know few, if any, people who are truly pro-life.  And it makes me really upset, especially since most of my friends are devout Christians.


What I mean is that I am rarely, if ever, among friends who are:  pro-life/anti-abortion, pro-adoption, anti-capital punishment, pro-peace/anti-war, anti-hunger, anti-obesity, pro-finishing all the food on your plate, etc.


I know people who claim to believe in all these things, including myself, but very few people actually do, including myself.  I know Christians who would turn hot and red if you spoke proudly of the war in Iraq, but would words of mercy and tolerance if you had an abortion.  And I know Christians who would become equally disturbed if you had an abortion, but only mildly affected by your passion to see Scott Peterson get the needle.


What is with us?  What is with me?  It is easier to take on the categories of the world and define ourselves and our convictions accordingly rather than to re-imagine our entire ethical vision for the world–a vision that comes from the Almighty himself.


Of course, even the things that I brought up are coined in the lingo of the world–pro-this, anti-that.  I am just as guilty.  The matters at hand are not easily tamed by euphemistic titles.  Maybe we need to toss all those categories out the window and start all over (or pick up where godlier and more biblically-minded Christians have already started).


I believe that Scripture is pro-life, even when it demands death.  Otherwise, there would be no resurrection, no new creation, no justice.  But it is up to us–the Church–to live by the Spirit, think by the Scriptures, and present a pro-life vision and ethic to the world (and one another).  How’s that for evangelism?


“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

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2 thoughts on “

  1. Anonymous says:

    Forgive me if I sound rambling and disjointed, but you’ve thrown out a couple of  bombshells that I feel I should say something about.
    First of all, as you say, pro-this and anti-that is the lingo of the world.  But may I ask: since when has the world only been binary?  Does everything unilaterally have to be one side or another?  Take for the example the issue of abortion.  In general, I am pro-life.  I will brook no excuse for the woman who casually gets pregnant and doesn’t want to deal with the consequences.  But what about the women who are victims of rape and pregnancy is a result of that violent act…should the mother have to carry a reminder of that act and should the child be a result of a sinister birth?  And what of the tremendously emotional aspect…should the mother be denied closure and remain a shell of herself for the rest of her life?  Should the option of abortion not be available to women who are carrying deformed children…some so abnormally deformed that their quality of life has already been compromised?  Couldn’t an abortion be considered mercy?
    Abortion is a moral dilemma.  I believe it can be compared to the homeless man stealing food to feed himself or his family, or the doctor who chooses to lose one patient’s life in order to save ten others.  However, the war in Iraq is a political situation gone medieval, and it was based upon the choice of one man who believes he hears the voice of God and has turned a deaf ear to the millions who begged him not to invade.  We have lost hundreds of lives, have several more thousand wounded, lost thousands of Iraqi lives, spent billions of dollars, but have we even captured Osama bin Laden?  Is America safer is general now?  I don’t believe it is, because while we were invading Iraq, bin Laden went fully underground and North Korea and Iran went nuclear.
    I am reminded that we are created in God’s image and likeness…and I don’t believe God created us to live in a world of pro/con situations.  I believe that diversity among human thought is in imitation of God’s limitless nature.  What I also believe is that the commonality that must be shared by all mankind is the search for truth according to the Scriptures.  The various paths during the search must be left open for interpretation so that humanity as a whole may grow.
    Today’s hot-button issues such as abortion, gay marriage, stem-cell research…I am not defending them nor am I condemning them.  I am a firm believer that traditional values and customs of old have a solid place within our society.  However, I am also reminded that Jesus himself was a radical for his time period and that today’s liberalism might be tomorrow’s conservatism.  What Jesus did which we all struggle to do was that his radicalism fulfilled and complemented his conservatism.  I believe the true struggle is not in choosing one or the other; I believe it is reconciling the dichotomy.

  2. Maybe I was too subtle about it, but I was actually poking at the whole binary way of thinking, which is why I believe that we need to change the way we think in a categorical fashion.  I follow the thought pattern of Stanley Hauerwas, who says that if we only frame issues in the categories of the world, we will only end up with the world’s answers.  (E.g., the world pits the rights of the mother against the rights of the baby–how unnatural is that?)  And I’m sorry, but the objections you brought up against a strong anti-abortion stance do not promote a new way of thinking about the issue–they only keep us stuck in our trenches.  As Christians, we need to approach the abortion situation with a biblical vision and ethos, not just accepting the terms of the world and christening them for our own purposes.  But I’m not that sure how to begin either.
    I figure that I’m probably being misunderstood here, so at the risk of being tacky, I will try to state it very plainly:  I am not trying to muster up arguments for or against abortion.  I am trying to challenge the very language, thought patterns, and stories with which we use to arrive at such decisions.
    But the point of my entry is not really about abortion at all, but about being pro-life people in such a way that is about life, not just abortion. 
    Gosh, I think we too easily buy into the -isms of the world (e.g., convervatism, moderatism, liberalism) and tack on a ‘Christian’ label to it.  Our allegiance to the ethics of the kingdom has got to transcend the ideological boundaries of our American political landscape.  What I was upset about was that there are politically conservative Christians who can’t stand to fellowship with politically liberal Christians, and vice versa.  What upsets me is that we can even pigeon-hole ourselves so as to be easily labeled by ideology.  And we forget that the enemy is not our other-camp brother, but sin, injustice, and any other worldly power that struts its stuff against the glory of God.
    I am not quite sure where I am headed with all this, but that’s the point.  I am trying to begin a conversation that will hopefully lead us to a sort of Christian unity that bring us into agreement about life (not just abortion), love (not just tolerance), justice (not just punishment), and all those things we consider biblical priorities.  I’m just not sure how we get there, at least not yet.

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