Monday, May 9, 2022

Culture Wars

With last week's leak that the Supreme Court of the United States is likely set to overturn Roe v. Wade, the land's "abortion law" for the past several decades, there's going to be a lot of rhetoric. There already is. There are already groups in the streets (and out en masse via social media) on both sides of this issue, and we must be prepared to engage well. 

We do not need to spend our time this week creating a defense of a pro-life position. We do not need to really talk about why God is heartbroken over our rush to abort fetuses. We do not need to talk about what it means to honor the dignity of life. These things, we already know. These are the things that the conversation always centers around, and every side is very good at their talking points. 

To rehash just a couple, though, as a foundation here, here are two that I think are vitally important to the pro-life position. 

First, all human life is created in the image of God. Therefore, it must be treated with the dignity due to an image-bearer. This is true of every single human being ever to live, including those with whom we disagree or those who make choices that disgust us (murderers, rapists, child molesters - even these are created in the image of God and due the dignity of an image-bearer, even in the midst of reprimand and consequence). The same is true for the fetus, whose life is only starting to become realized. 

Second, life is a miracle. Every time. We know that the sexual act does not always result in a pregnancy, even in a couple who is diligently trying to get pregnant and time their cycles and figure out the schedules. We know that IVF, even done exactly perfectly, does not always result in a pregnancy. Despite our very best attempts through science to control pregnancy, we are simply not able to do it. That is because life is the miraculous working of God and God alone. And if it took a miracle to begin a pregnancy, it is quite a smack in the face to God to abort one. "No thanks, God. No miracles here. Not today." 

(Closely related here is that we know that every life is knit together by God in the mother's womb, so an abortion is not just a rejection of His miracle, but a destruction of His work.) 

Pro-life is a position that most Christians don't articulate very well. Too many just end up shouting things like "Abortion is murder!," which doesn't really get at the heart of the sanctity of life at all. It doesn't demonstrate anything about God, except perhaps that He enjoys a good shouting match (which isn't true). It doesn't give us a chance to talk about God in a meaningful way. And of course, it doesn't help us advance understanding of the pro-life position. We have to get better at this. 

And we're going to have plenty of opportunity. Because as this debate heats up again, the world is already throwing its toughest questions at us. It looks at our position as untenable, at best. Hypocritical, at worst. And everything in between. We say that we are pro-life, and the world says either, "No, you're not really" or "How could you be?" 

This week, I want to talk about some of the arguments that are already coming up and some that are likely to and how we should respond with truth, yes, but also love and grace. We have to know how to engage the world and how to handle the questions they're going to throw at us and the accusations they're going to hurl our way. 

Things like: "You only love the unborn because it's easy." Or "If it were really about the babies, then everything would be free." Or "Why are you so interested in a woman's choice but you're not holding the men accountable for their part?" I've even seen this one this week already - "You only care so much because you can't have a baby of your own, so you want to make sure you can adopt one." (Not me personally, but Christians in general, which is a really weird accusation to make, especially when the world also says they can't believe how many kids "these Christians" have in their families.) So we'll look at these, and maybe some others, and talk about 1) what's really going on and 2) how we should respond.  

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