July 27, 2010

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GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – Bringing Good News to Life was the theme as over 200 Lutherans gathered, July 23-24, from across the United States and Canada, for the national conference of Lutherans For Life.

In her welcoming message to conference attendees, President Diane Schroeder said that someday the “horror of abortion will end in our country … because God is in charge and abortion grieves him greatly … He has given us the calling to defend His precious children—the unborn, handicapped, and the elderly. Let us not shrink from that calling … planning and working to carry the torch of life into the future until the victory is finally won.”

Mrs. Schroeder said those involved in Lutherans For Life need to be a people of prayer; instructing children, nieces, nephews, and more, training them for work in the prolife movement; helping congregations become more active; and to show we are more than an anti-abortion group—that we are FOR LIFE—by speaking the truth in love and showing compassion toward women and men struggling with life issues such as abortion.

Wesley J. Smith, noted author and bioethicist, gave a wide-ranging Friday-night keynote address on the theme The Need For Good News: The Death Culture and Ways to Fight It
Mr. Smith stressed the need to contrast the culture of life with the culture of death. He said the culture of death is “very powerful and wants us to believe that being a human being doesn’t matter … and that is very dangerous.” He said much of society is all about eliminating suffering at all costs, which has led to support for abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia, yet “love is word you don’t often see the other side use too often … eliminating suffering quickly morphs into eliminating the sufferer.”

To counteract the culture of death, Smith said we need to offer both hope and facts because “the facts are on our side.” He said, “when an embryo or fetus is called ‘not human’ it is not rational!” He warned of Personhood Theory that sets arbitrary guidelines for who is and who is not a “person.” In reality, he said, “Personhood Theory tells us who we can kill and get a good night’s sleep.”

Saturday morning included plenary addresses from Dr. Jeff Gibbs (Professor of New Testament at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, Missouri) on Bringing Good News to Life in the Church; Alan Shleman (Stand to Reason) on Bringing Good News to Life in the Culture; and Wesley J. Smith on Talking Human Rights: The Good News Delivered in a Way a Secular World Can Understand.

Workshops, led by Renee Gibbs, Anthony Horvath, Kim Ketola, Dr. Ryan C. MacPHerson, Alan Shlemon, and Rev. Dr. Kevin Voss, focused on different aspects of Bringing Good News to Life.

Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb, LFL executive director, in his opening worship sermon, focused on the conference theme, based on Acts 17. He said, “Paul loved the Good News … he desperately wanted his fellow Jews to know that Jesus Christ was the Messiah … we too have been given the Good News … Lutherans For Life understands that this Good News is Good News FOR LIFE—a message tailor-made for the issues of life … when you mess with life you are messing with the Author, and Creator, and Redeemer of life … We are compelled to speak … We live in a society that desperately needs to value life.”

The 2011 Lutherans For Life National Conference has been set for August 5-6 in Dallas, Texas, under the theme Adopted in Christ.