Guest Post : You can be Pro-Life and Missional
Today's post is by guest blogger Daniel Darling. Darling, along with Dillon Burroughs and Dan King, are the co-founders of the dynamic Activist Faith movement (ActivistFaith.org). You can join these men as they shine the light on Christians who are moving beyond politics and opinion to actively engage 12 divisive social issues. Activist Faith shares biblical contexts, personal stories, and practical guidance for a new generation of Christian activists. Daniel blogs at DanielDarling.com Activist Faith goes on sale today. If you would like to purchase Activist Faith, you can buy it by clicking here.
One of the more popular criticisms of the evangelical church is its seeming obsession with politics. And in some ways this criticism is justified. At times we’ve become like Phariseeical moralists, pointing the finger at the culture rather than engaging it with the good news of the gospel.
Abortion is one of those areas where the Church has been loudest. And while there have been extreme and shrill voices, I believe this activism is justified. If we accept what the Scriptures tells us about the unique dignity of every human life, we must stand up for the innocent, as long as we have a voice. But this effort can be discouraging. Politicians and parties rise and fall. And while public opinion seems in our favor, there is no guarantee that it will translate into actual law.
But there is another way to stand up for the unborn, outside of the heat of politics: crisis pregnancy centers. While we are waiting and praying for Roe versus Wade to be overturned, there are opportunities to snatch babies from the precipice of death—in our own neighborhoods, one life at a time. And we have an opportunity to apply the grace of the gospel to young unwed mothers, helping them care for their children well after they give birth.
I’ve had the chance to work with a crisis center in our community. I’m amazed at the compassion, the love, and the effectiveness of this outreach. Though most young evangelicals might not see it this way, to serve and support a local CPC may be the most missional thing you can do. Not only are you shepherding a young girl through the biggest decision of her life, it provides an opportunity to share the good news of God’s love with someone who may feel as though their choices have left them ineligible for God’s grace.
CPC’s are surprisingly effective. In my book, Activist Faith (coauthored with Dan King and Dillon Burroughs), I shared some of the recent research:
According to a recent survey conducted by a consortium of national pro-life organizations, it is estimated that perhaps ninety thousand lives have been saved by the nearly twenty-three thousand crisis pregnancy clinics across America. Most offer ultrasounds to clients, which is highly effective, as an estimated 60 percent of women who view an ultrasound choose life. These clinics not only walk women through their various options but also offer parenting support and training, free resources such as diapers and food, and even post-abortive counseling. According to a recent survey of post-abortive women, seven out of ten said that if they had been given the opportunity to review their options, they would have chosen life.
Incredibly, the vast majority of crisis pregnancy centers run on a shoestring budget. Most are staffed by volunteers and funded by local churches. They see an estimate of about 2 million women every year, with each center averaging about 350 to 400 women. Despite being largely understaffed and underfunded (twenty-nine out of every thirty CPC workers is a volunteer), they serve on the front lines, rescuing people from the edge of death. (info taken from: A Passion to Serve: Pregnancy Resource Center Service Report, Second Edition: http:// downloads.frc.org/EF/EF12A47.pdf.)
Most Christians I know are fed up with politics. And while I don’t think we should abandon the public square, perhaps it’s time we put more of our emphasis on pro-life solutions that really work, like Crisis Pregnancy Centers. The women who come in are not Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals. They are simply people whom God loves. When Christians stand read to offer them compassion and hope through the gospel, not only are babies saved from death, but entire lives and even families are transformed. This is meeting the needs of our communities, one life, one decision at a time.
We should still prayerfully engage our politicans to create laws that protect innocent life. But after the elections are over, when the legislative seasons are adjourned, there is likely a frightened, lonely, pregnant young girl somewhere in your community. She is contemplating the biggest decision of her life, often with little or no support from her family.
The question is this: will God’s people put their arms around this girl and show her God’s love?