February 25, 2016

In January, Americans celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. More than commemorating a man, this holiday highlights the honorable ideas enshrined in our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Out of the ashes and horror of World War II, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited any public discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Such principles and laws resonate and reflect God’s Word. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Sin’s guilt and our Savior’s grace qualify anyone as human—not class or career or color; not sex or status; not age, ability, affluence, or anatomical features. “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22b-24). The whole Christian faith operates on humility rather than hierarchy, competition, or even equality. “[W]hoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45).

We have been freely received by the Lord God. We have been unconditionally accepted into the household, family, and kingdom of our Heavenly Father. His compassion and forgiveness entitle us to all the benefits and every privilege of life everlasting. Since He generously extends compassion and forgiveness to each human being, we receive as freely, respect as fully, and defend as fiercely as we have been received, respected, and defended.

Yet the civil rights dream remains unfulfilled. Just five days after MLK Jr. Monday, on Friday of the same week, we marked the 43rd anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Since January 22, 1973, over 57,502,263 American citizens—and some 1,320,318,569 children worldwide since 1980—have been discriminated to death by elective abortion.

These staggering statistics, representing one-sixth of the current population of the country and the world, respectively, do not even include embryonic lives exterminated for vaccines, in vitro fertilizations, and other research procedures.

Only one force, only one truth can neutralize and counteract such sin and death. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is greater than governments, media, public opinion, and personal preference. The grace of God is more than a message: it’s a Person. It’s not just a movement but relationships. His love given in crucified sacrifice changes minds, claims imaginations, heals hearts, and saves souls. His power shown in resurrected presence assigns infinite value to all bodies and ultimate sanctity to every human life. Not only will He treat the culture, He will cure the people, because He has defeated the Devil and hell itself.