Several days ago New York made changes to their abortion laws by allowing abortions up to nine months in some situations. New York Magazine’s headline boldly states “New York has finally updated its archaic abortion law” revealing their happiness in this change. This law change came mainly in response to the current administration’s plan to overrule Roe vs Wade. Those who voted in favor, believed that this was their attempt to keep abortion available to women no matter what. The courtroom erupted in applause after the vote because they felt they were protecting women’s rights.
Even still, much of the United States was shocked. They argued that celebrating the right to kill our country’s most vulnerable is horrifying. Ever since this moment, social media has been broiling with anger coming from both sides .
The question is: how do we as Christians respond?
First, we must not lose heart. It’s tempting to be overwhelmed by the cultural changes that are decidedly un-Christian. However, we must remember two things: 1) The original disciples lived in a world much more hostile to our faith. They were completely outnumbered and many believed their sect was ridiculous and/or dangerous. We all know about the arenas where Christians were fed to the lions and many have heard how Nero himself used burning Christians as lights in his garden. 2) They didn’t set out to change the world–only to proclaim His Gospel. God did the transforming work Himself.
In fact, the impact the early Christians in many ways lay in their acts of sacrificial love. Rodney Stark, a historian, notes in his book The Rise of Christianity that during a plague Christians refused to run. Instead, they chose to stay and care for those who were ill, no matter how dangerous. This radical picture of love turned many people to faith.
So what does that look like for us?
We should absolutely not stop lobbying for anti-abortion laws. However, in the meantime, we need to do our best to love those who would consider abortion. This is more than just offering to adopt their children. This starts with investing in people who are in need. We need more ministries like Carenet, a crisis pregnancy center in Indian River County. Their goal is to help mothers keep their babies, by providing needed resources and parental training. They also provide Gospel instruction.
We also need to show our commitment to adoption, not just by adopting babies, but adopting the many who need a home. For example, our foster care system has over 100,000 children who need homes right now. What would happen if every church, like David Platt’s, stepped up to invest in those who are needy and vulnerable right now?
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This act would help legitimize our stance on the value of life at every stage. And many times it is these vulnerable children growing up into adults who struggle to make good choices for their lives.
What else can we do?
My husband is a youth pastor, but we have found our ministry does not end when they graduate from high school. These young men and women are at their neediest when they are stepping into adulthood. They crave an adult who will invest in them and give them the guidance their parents may not be able to provide for them. Since the majority of abortions are done by women in the 20-29 category, we can proactively prevent abortions by giving these young people the support they so desperately need.
The good news is the church is already doing all these things I’ve mentioned, but it’s just a start. If we will speak loudly against abortion, which we should, we should also speak loudly in our actions of taking care of those who need it. Our young people need us and taking the steps to stop abortion start with us loving those around us.
We Need to Focus
We must also remember that our battle is not against people or organizations. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) states, “ For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Our battle is first spiritual. In that vein, the biggest weapon in our arsenal is not the words directed at each other, but the words that are directed heavenward, releasing the power of God in our world. When we pray, we learn to see things through his perspective, understanding that God is working all around us.
We can join the long history of believers whose testimonies are rooted in the loving acts they performed. It is in this way, more than with political maneuverings, that our world will be changed. Like the early church, our greatest influence will come out of our sacrificial loving and giving. This should be our primary focus.