Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Apologia Pro Vita (a defense of life)

“If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of virtues was, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of old he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance. The negative ideal of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point.”
-CS Lewis, The Weight of Glory

“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.”
–Proverbs 3:3,4

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
-Matthew 5:14-16

It’s one thing to carry on a discussion about love, and yet it’s quite another thing to love demonstrably. Over the course of the past several weeks you have demonstrated love of the most magnanimous sort. Today Kevin and I were able to write a significant check to the adoption agency to help offset the upcoming Bowen adoption. For a small church and a new church plant this represents sacrifice and overwhelming God-honoring generosity. Be assured that this is an evidence of the grace of God operative in your lives. Because of your generosity a significant difference will be made in the life of a young child. You are to be commended. This is a pro-life apologetic that is second to none. It’s one thing to give assent to the pro-life position, it’s quite another to love by investing in life.

Several years ago I remember reading Melody Green’s tract on abortion and George Grant’s book, Grand Illusions. I wept as I read them, sorrowing over my callousness for the unborn. These were the means God used to awaken my slumbering heart. Grant’s book was one of the most significant pro-life treatises I’ve ever read. I was already convinced of the pro-life position, but I remember the steeling of my soul as I read this book. In this book Grant exhaustively traces the beginnings of the modern abortion and euthanasia movements. It had a chilling and sobering effect. Just recently I read that 43% of African-American pregnancies end in abortion, that since 1973 12 million(!) African-American babies have been aborted, and that every day in the US 1,500 African-American children die through abortion (Anthony Bradley, World, 2/19/05). C.J. Mahaney, in his book, Humility, cites three things he hates; abortion, child abuse, and racism. I must admit I concur with my dear brother C.J. And I can’t help but think that these are some of the things that God hates also.

Not only am I grateful for your commitment to life, not only am I grateful to this child’s birth mother, I’m grateful for the Bowens. The Bowens have demonstrated love for the Savior by opening themselves up to God’s direction in adoption. They could have easily said no. They could have made other things a priority, and yet they’ve become convinced that one of the best means to demonstrate the adopting love of God is to adopt a child. Gospel love is demonstrated by bringing in an outsider and making them a part of a family (Eph. 1:5). God is an adopting God, and in this way the Bowens have shown us the character of God Himself.

In his book, A Godward Life, John Piper expresses his frustration with his limited efforts at stopping abortion,

“Therefore I am frustrated that I only have one life to life for the glory of Christ. One life should surely be devoted to stopping the carnage (we must speak graphically or we lie) of abortion. Another life should surely be devoted to saving people from hell. What shall I do? What is the solution to my frustration? The solution is the diversity of the members of the church of Jesus Christ. I cannot go to all the unreached peoples of the world with the good news of salvation from sin. I cannot spend all the time I would like writing, speaking traveling, and agitating for the cause of threatened children. The only solution I know is you.” (p.206)

Dear friends, thank you for being part of the solution and demonstrating love for the Savior in demonstrating love for this child by your gifts. I am grateful and humbled to be able to serve Christ Our Redeemer Church alongside of you.

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