February 16, 2012

God and abortion came face to face this year. The anniversary of Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973, fell on a Sunday. People gathered to worship the Lord and Author of Life on the day when, thirty-nine years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively took the right to life away from the defenseless unborn and declared the right to murder them constitutional.

Since then, over 54,000,000 little lives have been slaughtered under the death cry of “the right to choose.” That equals the population of eighteen of the twenty-two states west of the Mississippi.

Many would say I exaggerate the importance of the convergence of Roe v. Wade and Sunday. They maintain there is no connection. Their oft repeated mantra: “Abortion is political and the Church exists to proclaim the Gospel not to be ensnared in politics.” This flawed and deadly reasoning is precisely why the carnage of abortion continues.

The killing of little boys and little girls at any stage of development for any reason is a travesty. Killing little boys and little girls created and gifted by God, purchased by the blood of Jesus, and children God desires to call into an eternal relationship with Him is a travesty against our Triune God.

Therein lies the connection. Abortion is not just a choice that destroys life. It destroys life precious to God.

Add to this the immeasurable guilt and regret an abortion choice eventually brings to the hearts of those involved in that choice and you have a set of circumstances that compels the Church of Jesus Christ to speak and act.

You have a mission field tailor made for the proclamation of God’s law and especially the proclamation of His life-changing Gospel.

Lutherans For Life (LFL) exists to help Lutherans make the “abortion/Sunday” connection and move them to speak and act out of love for their Savior and His blood-bought gift of life. Our approach to accomplish this goes beyond “Don’t have an abortion, choose life.” It begins with a more fundamental “do”: “Do trust God and choose life.” For the door that leads to the violation of the Fifth Commandment, “You shall not murder,” swings wide open because of a prior violation of the First Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me.”

For the Christian, abortion is at its core idolatry, a failure to “fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” We choose the death of the helpless to deliver us from a difficult situation rather than trust in God “my help and my deliverer” (Psalm 40:17).

But the Church dare not merely pound her pulpits and demand, “Trust God, choose life” as if trust in God is something we can conjure up if we just try hard enough. Time and time again the Scripture associates help from God with salvation from God. “Help us, O God of our salvation” (Psalm 79:9). Those who profess Jesus Christ as the source of their salvation must be led to see and trust that the God who saved them from sin is the source of their help and will never abandon them.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)

Because God’s love for us was demonstrated on the cross, we can confidently trust that nothing “in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39b). The unmarried, pregnant teen needs to hear this applied to her. The world points to the god of death as her source of help with the poisonous lie, “It’s your only choice; but don’t worry, it won’t hurt much, and it will all be over soon.” If the Church does not counter this, it becomes the only message she hears. One young woman who wrote to me put it this way: “All I could think of was abortion. I really could not see beyond the moment.” Another wrote: “If just one person would have told me not to have
the abortion, I wouldn’t have. But no one did.”

Someone needs to! As part of her Gospel message, the Church needs to proclaim with clarity that there is help in the Lord for those in this difficult situation—help in the Lord who, first and foremost, is our Savior. He helps deal with the sin of premarital sex that resulted in these circumstances, through repentance and forgiveness. The young woman mentioned above—she can trust in that. The Lord, who is our Savior, will never leave or forsake her. She can trust in that. The Lord, who is our Savior, will help her through His body, the Church, to bring love, counsel, and support. She can trust in that. The Lord, who is our Savior, will help and bring courage and discernment so she can choose life and do what is best for her and her baby. She can trust in that.

LFL’s life-affirming ministry approaches the life issues of our time based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We seek to help Lutherans make that “abortion/Sunday” connection and then equip them to apply what they are already proclaiming, the Gospel, to these issues. If you are wondering how we do this, I offer this brief summary. (Learn more from our 2011 Annual Report.)

  • Over 200 of our For Life resources are available at www.cph.org.

  • Our website and Facebook and Twitter feeds offer a wealth life-isssue related info and commentary.

  • Need a speaker? We have 21 great ones in our Speakers Bureau!

  • I travel extensively preaching and teaching in congregations, schools, universities, and seminaries.

  • Our network of 12 state affiliates, 138 chapters, 158 Life Ministry Coordinators, and 68 Life Advocates—all volunteers—helps raise awareness of the life issues in a multitude of ways.

  • Our Word of Hope post-abortion hotline offers Gospel-based hope  to over 300 hurting people every month (www.word-of-hope.org; 888-217-8679)

  • LFL’s three major initiatives (Renewal For Life®, Teaching For Life®, Generations For Life) help Lutherans make the Gospel/Life Issues connection.

I close with the encouragement I received from another young woman regarding connecting the Gospel to the life issues: “Tell them pastor! The people need to hear!” LFL will continue to “tell them” about the help we all have in “God our Savior.” We can trust God and choose life.