Thirty Nine Years Ago and Fifty Four Million Lives Later
Sunday and Roe v. Wade
by Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb
Executive Director, Lutherans for Life
God and abortion come face to face this year with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973, falling on a Sunday. People will gather 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.”
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.
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 ESV)
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 ESV). Christ’s Church has a responsibility to help her people connect this wonderful promise to the life issues.
Our prayer at LFL, is that the Church will make this connection, not just this Sunday, but frequently Sunday after Sunday. We stand ready to help and equip the Church to connect and apply what she is already proclaiming, the Gospel, to these issues of life and death. It is the Gospel that truly changes hearts and lives.