Defining Pro-Life

Frequently in the gospels, Jesus got into conversations that resembled grill sessions. For example, in Matthew 12, the Pharisees confronted Him about His disciples who were doing what was unlawful on the Sabbath by picking the heads off the grains in the field as they walked by because they were hungry. Jesus brought up a story from their past that they were familiar with.

“Haven’t you read about what David and his companions did when they were hungry?” (Matthew 12:3, NIV)

In another encounter, a bunch of religious leaders and pious men were ready to stone a woman caught in adultery. They tell Jesus what the Law says and Jesus responds, “Let the one without sin cast the first stone.” Gradually the condemners slip away, confronted with the big picture that cast a dark shadow on each one of them.

Jesus brought the whole context of the issue into the dialogue, not a singular moment that could only be interpreted from one incident. Jesus saw the whole book– its individual pages, front and back covers, binding, table of contents, beginning and ending– not just the view of the front cover, the only aspect that can be seen from a straight-on look.

I’ve thought about that a lot as the fervor over the leaked Supreme Court document dealing with Roe vs. Wade has erupted. It has caused me to ponder the implications, the responsibilities, and the opportunities. In other words, the whole book, not just the front cover that is viewed.

At the risk of some deciding not to read any further, I admit that I am an advocate of life. What I’ve come to realize, however, is that being a true life advocate means more than holding a position on abortion. It carries with it the rest of the picture. If I advocate for the sacredness of life I must consider how that affects other pages in my life journey. What are the implications of believing in the sacredness of life as it pertains to the hungry, the afflicted, and the elderly? If I believe in the sacredness of life I must look at all of life or risk being a like the accusing Pharisees, nearsighted and shortsighted.

What responsibilities am I committing myself to by saying that life is sacred? In a culture that is very focused on the self, am I willing to look in the mirror and see the inconsistencies in my life, and in seeing them, am I willing to make the changes that would be God-honoring and Christ-consistent? After all, following Jesus means following the One who promised new life. There’s that word again. Life.

Jesus had a way of causing both his naysayers and also his disciples to stop and consider the stumbling points of their views. They wanted to come back at Him with “Yes, but!” responses, but in the end they would realize the inconsistencies in their views. I feel that way about both sides as the venom spews out about the Roe vs. Wade case. There are inconsistencies on both sides, but no one wants to admit that. Admitting that there needs to be more pondering and praying about a position is too humbling for most of us.

And I’m still thinking about the what it means for my life. In essence, every time I turn to a new page in the story, I discover another part of the journey that causes me to realize there’s something new to consider.

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One Comment on “Defining Pro-Life”

  1. mbmankin Says:

    Thanks for pointing out some of the complexities about an issue that many would rather paint as simply right or wrong.

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