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Thirty Nine Years Ago and Fifty Four Million Lives Later

January 21st, 2012
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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.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Guillaume
    January 21st, 2012 at 07:35 | #1

    I for one just don’t care for numerous invasions into the church’s calendar. I understand that this is the date for Roe vs. Wade. But couldn’t we attach life Sunday to perhaps a spot in the life of the Church that deals with this issue? Now this Sunday we have the message–Repent and believe the good news!” A nice place to talk about the country needing to repent of this travesty. The text of the day leads to it Many years this is not the case. The solution I guess would be have a special service that day or weekend closest to it.

  2. John Vincent
    January 21st, 2012 at 13:38 | #2

    I can’t help thinking about the fact, when abortion is discussed in a Lutheran context, that the ELCA through its health benefits plan is willing to pay for any and all surgical abortion procedures performed during the first five months of the unborn child’s life, no questions asked. The money that pays for these abortions comes from the members of ELCA congregations. That is, their offering dollars help fund a health benefits plan whose coverage of abortion is one of the most unrestricted in the world. Of all the problems related to the ELCA’s departure from historic Christianity, surely this is the most grievous to God.

  3. Tracy
    January 23rd, 2012 at 00:32 | #3

    John, you are right. I was reading some early church history over the weekend, including how the early Christians rescued babies that were exposed to be killed by their cosmopolitan Roman parents. what a far cry from modernist church members in the US. I wish all those that are pro-choice would read this article.


  4. Karen Keil
    January 26th, 2012 at 10:38 | #4

    I wonder how many weeks premature the baby in the picture is. The baby looks very small held in the adult’s hands. Roe vs Wade paved the way for abortions up to six months and even later, targeting babies like the one in the picture.

    I was born about 10 weeks premature and was baptized in the preemie unit at age 10 days by an Air Force Lutheran chaplain surnamed Lau. He wore hospital clothing over his street clothes. Two nurses were witnesses at his side with my parents watching from a viewing window. There were no baptismal pictures, no baptismal dress, just memories. At the time, my weight was the lowest it had been and declining. Then after the baptism, I began to gain weight, ultimately going home about 8 weeks later.

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