On Wednesday, January 23, 2019 New York passed a bill that would allow abortions to be performed right up to the time of birth if the mother’s life or health was in danger. That’s the fact.
There is no doubt in my mind where Jesus stands on destroying human life. He is FOR life and the sanctity of all human life. We worship Him by acknowledging the beauty of human life and caring for it in radical ways. Jesus, the Apostles and the early first century church called this radical love “agape.” In modern English, “love.” Selfless, sympathetic, empathy filled radical care. Radical, caring love for all ages of human life.
I am completely convinced that this legislation is another indication of the evil that the Bible so clearly reveals exists in this world and the celebration of its passing is a fulfillment of how this evil will increase in the “last days.” But that is only, “a sign of the times,” a rehashing, true, but empty comment that does nothing. Simply stopping here with the rhetoric is unacceptable “church knowledge,” “ain’t that a shame,” “look at them heathens” talk.
Following Jesus has never been about puffing ourselves up with knowledge and repeating phrases of rhetorical truth. Following has never been about pointing to signs and protests that shout, “See we are right!” Following Jesus has always been about following the Creator of life that loved humanity so much He was willing to give up His life to reconcile it to Himself. This sacrifice for a humanity that rebels against Him in the most offensive of ways. Now, those who have accepted His life saving sovereignty are commissioned to follow Him into the world He is saving.
The appropriate question is…”Where do we follow Jesus now?”
Jesus commanded commissioned His followers to teach the fullness (all) that the commands He gave (Mt. 28: 16-20). The Apostle Paul summed up the commands of the law in the Galatian letter (which echoed Jesus own teachings) as “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Next requires us to love those who are advocates for this law. Not only the advocates of this law, but those who have participated in the grim acceptable act of abortion…and those that will defend and use this law.
I’m not suggesting we simply lay down and act as if nothing to say. But what we say is going to be louder through action than our words and protest signs, tweets, blogs and social media memes. We CAN love “those” people. Why? Because they are people suffering from all the same struggles that every human struggles with. They are people, just like you and me. People created with the image of God stamped all over them. They have the same struggles that Jesus followers have struggles with navigating. You don’t have to agree or accept that abortion is the appropriate answer to love people who think that way. Difficult, right?
Loving people, all people, “these people,” “those people,” is exactly the commission Jesus gave people who are concentrating on following Him.
Loving requires more than making your point or opinion on abortion heard. Love is listening to a young woman who decided to abort the pregnancy because she had such anxiety (worry) that she was blinded by any other answer.
Loving requires disclosing a time in your youth when sexuality was what drove you to sexual indiscretions you were guilty of because you defined yourself by pleasure, acceptance or found your identity in your own sexual practices and preferences. Activity you engaged in before you realized that Jesus is your identity. And explaining that your life is different now that you have began following Jesus.
Love requires showing young families (married or unmarried) that you will babysit their children.
Love requires our sympathetic ear. Love requires our empathy. Love requires vulnerability. Love requires time. Love requires our generosity.
The love Jesus taught requires such radical expression that the people around us will recognize how deeply we love the born, unborn, lesbians, marginalized, oppressed, bi-sexual, frail, weird, opionated, gay, religious, transgender, confused, democrats, republicans, queers, independents, artists, questioning, asexual, conservative, liberal, rebellious, legalistic, animal loving, poor choice making, self righteous, humble and prideful, Bible stomping, Bible thumping, humans in this world.
Jesus didn’t commission us to propagate passionate opinions of political culture. He gave the radical charge to love the people who are already here around us…all of them.
This doesn’t mean we can’t speak out, it means can do more good with a whisper than shouting through individual bullhorns. There is arguably a place for both, but one without the other is NOT love.
This must be our first priority must be love.
It is time we recognize that our passionate opinions are not the place Jesus has led us to expend our energy. Jesus has called all of His followers to the passionate response of living under His reign as Lord and King committed to saving the world that will follow Him through our advancement of the Kingdom. This Kingdom will advance through the supernatural expression of love in the new life He has given us and the new supernatural love He empowers.
As a Jesus follower you will express this love to the young in your community. You must express your concern for young life in our everyday interactions with the people you live and come in contact with, they are your neighbors. You must be committed to expressing love through your sincere love of the image of God stamped upon the young, aging and old. This means less time in spirited and emotional discussion of “how lost the world is,” and “what a shame…,” and more time caring for the needs of children who are living in the womb and have already made it through that stage.
We, the church, must ensure we are about loving children, not simply counting them. We often see children as the future of the church. If children are the future of the church our churches would be thriving. The future of the church is built upon Jesus followers. Over and over againg through the New Testament Scriptures we are told that the supernatural love for Jesus and one another is the change agent for the world. The intensity of love Jesus empowers His followers to have will bring the world to a staggering halt.
In the past, the church has expressed this well and many still do through things like, “baby showers.” When you hear of a new forming life in the womb of a mother, throw a party and invite your friends, but don’t stop there!
Love radically! The World will then hear a voice like the roar of many rushing waters!