Today's Underground Railroad

I have the honor several each year to hold an infant or young child in my arms and dedicate him/her to the Lord during our Sunday services. I’m nearly always moved at just how precious that child I’m holding is. It’s not mere sentimentalism. What moves me is the incredible potential that child possesses. As I look at that little one, what I see is someone utterly unique. There’s not another person in all the world like him or her.

The moment that child was conceived, God placed within him/her a unique spirit. In His infinite, all-wise plan, God called that little man or woman into existence to be a revelation of Him in some way no one else in all history is able to accomplish. That’s the great potential of every human being.

God is infinite; His love, power and perfection, without limit. Every human being, because we bear the image of God, has the potential of making visible to the rest of creation something unique about God. This is why Paul says in Ephesians 2:10 that we are God’s workmanship – created in Christ Jesus for good works. That word “workmanship” is the Greek word poema – from which we get our word poem. It speaks of a finely crafted work of art.

We are God’s finely crafted work of art.His work begins with our conception, continues through our time in the womb, reaches a critical moment of revelation in birth, proceeds through our childhood, adolescence, teen years and into adulthood. The whole time, He’s at work shaping and molding us to reveal something of Himself to the rest of creation.

In 1 Peter 1:12 we discover the angels are intently watching us; not because we’re so interesting – after all, they behold the glory of God. What does interest them so, is how God is revealing Himself in and through us.

The Pro-life movement is based on this principle of the sanctity, the special-ness of human life. This is the foundation upon which the whole Pro-life worldview rests; that there’s intrinsic value to each and every human being because each of us bears the image of God, and we bear it in a unique, individual, and God-planned way.

Those are familiar with the Pro-life worldview know how often our cause is likened to the Abolitionist Movement of the 19th Century.  There are many notable parallels. We point out that Laws making slaves nothing more than the property of their owners were immoral and wrong. No one today argues with that because it’s a self-evident truth. It’s difficult for us to conceive of a time when some men considered other men, not as human beings, but as property to be bought and sold; as tools to be used in the creation of wealth. Yet that is precisely the way it was and the Law enforced it. Now we know those laws were wrong and needed to be changed.
One of the main arguments in support of abortion today is that it’s the Law, it’s legal. A woman’s right to privacy has been stretched to include a right to terminate her pregnancy. Just as the laws permitting slavery were wrong 150 years ago, the law permitting abortion today is wrong, and the day will come when some future generation will look back on ours with the same confusion and bewilderment we look back on those who supported the right to own slaves, just because that man or woman was a different color. That future generation will look back on this with shame and regret that some supported a woman’s right to kill her boy or girl just because it hadn’t been born yet.
 
Slavery came to an end because those who believed in the sanctity of all human life, regardless of color, or age, or social status, demanded that all be treated with dignity and respect. At first, their numbers were few, but by the persuasive force of reason and logic, they were able to convince a few others. That few persuaded still more. There were many long years when it seemed to the Abolitionists nothing would change; the status quo was too entrenched and would never yield. Abolitionists lost members as the years dragged on with no real victories to show for their cause, just a lot of bad press that painted them as radicals.

But those who were driven by the principle of the sanctity of human life remained true to the cause, and slowly but surely, the mindset of the common man began to change. There was something irresistible about the logic of the Abolitionist’s argument. Every man, woman and child knew that deep in their heart they wanted others to treat them with respect and to recognize their dignity as a human being. It wasn’t difficult to see in the face of a passing slave the same humanity and to realize they too held the very same desire! Eventually, the lies that supported slavery came tumbling down and the evil institution ended.

It’s crucial that we do not stop proclaiming the foundational truth and premise of the Pro-Life cause; that human life is sacred, special, and held valuable by God. Our cause too has the weight of reason and logic behind it. And though it seems to have stuttered a bit in the last few years, losing some of its supporters because of discouragement that we’ve not been able to accomplish more in terms of ending abortion, we must not grow weak or faint-hearted. The common man is waking up to the fact that our message is true. They feel it: Life is sacred. They desire to be treated with dignity and respect. Every time they see a pregnant woman, they’re reminded there’s a whole class of people today to whom that dignity and respect is being denied; the unborn.

The lies that support abortion are tumbling down and one day, that evil institution will end. It must.

One of the primary ways we can demonstrate our conviction about the sanctity of human life is through the vital ministry of local pro-life pregnancy centers. This is the most effective way for us to prove we are not merely engaged in some kind of social or political agenda. This isn’t about politics at all, though that seems to be the only way the pro-abortion camp thinks of things. They don’t understand that we see this, not as a political issue, but as a moral imperative. They frame the issue as a civil right; we see it as something much more important. It’s the heart and soul of an entire civilization; for a civilization is judged on the basis of how it treats the weakest and most vulnerable in its midst.

The pregnancy center is a place where we demonstrate to a woman with a crisis pregnancy that WE REALLY DO BELIEVE in the sanctity, not just of human life as a general principle, but of her and THAT specific life inside her womb. Pregnancy centers are a ministry we must support, because it’s the front line in the battle for the sanctity of human life in our culture.

While we wait for abortion laws to be changed, the local pro-life pregnancy center is today’s Underground Railroad,  seeing little men and women who would be destined for destruction, brought to birth, and the women enslaved to the abortion lie, set free by a gracious and gentle demonstration of the truth.

May God bless the ministry of the pregnancy center, it’s staff and volunteers and all those who support it.
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