Thursday, May 13, 2021

I am Pro-Life!

As I write that statement, I must consider what that means in all its ramifications:
Capital punishment
Wars and weapons manufacturing
Poverty / Minimum wage
Free trade / Fair trade
Immigration / Refugees
Diet / Global food distribution / Climate change
Health care 
o Privatized / Socialized
o COVID vaccinations
Globalism vs. Nationalism
Taxes / Charitable contributions / Investments

Jesus is Pro-Life!  

When asked what the greatest commandment is, he said:
Love God
Love you neighbor 

All the law is summed up in this!  

Loving your neighbor, is the practical outworking of loving God, since man is the image bearer of God.  To me, this is the essence of being Pro-Life!

As I consider what Pro-Life means throughout the Bible, I need to consider some things that help me clarify how to think about it.

God ordered genocide in the Old Testament.  He also gave a commandment about executing rebellious children. If I take these parts of the Bible seriously, then I need to wrestle with how this squares with my understanding of Jesus, since Jesus is God.  Is there a contradiction?

The answer I come up with is: Death is overrated!  

Death is a tool that the world uses to threaten others into submission, or to eliminate those who disagree.  For those who don’t believe in God, this is the ultimate end, and is fearful.

But for those who follow Jesus, death is just a passage into another phase of eternity, one that Paul looks forward to as “better”.  What’s the big deal, other than the process might be a bit uncomfortable for a time?  Jesus taught us to not fear death or those who can inflict it.

Another thought to add to the mix: I have read from reliable sources that infanticide was in common practice during Jesus’ lifetime on earth.  Families that couldn’t manage or didn’t want another child would leave it to die.

At least in the canonical Bible, it is never recorded that Jesus spoke anything about this practice.  

Can I possible conjecture that for a family in poverty, with little food to go around, allowing the death of a newborn was in some sense pro-life?  I have been taught since childhood that babies who die go to the presence of God.  How does the presence of God compare to a life in poverty, possibly unwanted or rejected?  Do we over-rate the death of a baby from God’s perspective?

Certainly, I do not mean to discount the grief of parents, family and friends over the death of a beloved child.

But, it seems indeed strange to me that those whose primary issue in voting is “Pro-Life”(meaning abortion), align themselves politically with those who are so anti-life in so many other ways!

I am indeed Pro-Life, but am compelled to think of this in a broader sense.  I see Pro-Life as loving my neighbor, who bears the image of God.  This includes loving a woman, who makes an agonizing decision to not bring her baby into the world.  I doubt Jesus would criminalize her, but would rather embrace her in her grief and fear, shed tears with her, and comfort her in the knowledge that her child will be safe with him.

Thoughts from Athens
May 11, 2021