A Statement on Roe vs. Wade from Pastor Messer
A few weeks ago, Lisa and I were invited to dinner with several women in our church that are ministering to pregnant women who are in need of and who are seeking help. The focus of their ministry is to help the women decide to keep their babies by providing a support system that comes alongside and provides physical, emotional, logistical, and spiritual support through their pregnancies.
At that dinner, they shared with me their own stories of terminating pregnancies when they were younger and how they have carried shame, guilt, and grief with them for years. Truthfully, it was some of the most powerful conversation that I have had in my life as we listened to their stories. God’s grace was evident in their lives, both in the way that they are dealing with the grief and guilt of past choices, and the way that they have used their path as a platform to help others.
That experience has been helpful as we processed the news from last month’s ruling from the US Supreme Court regarding Roe v. Wade, which removes the federal constitutional right to abortion and returns abortion laws to the individual states. This is a monumental decision, one that we have prayed for and waited for, for almost 50 years. There is still much work to be done to further protect the lives of the unborn and to encourage a pro-life ethic for every single person, both born and unborn.
It is clear from both scripture and science that unborn babies are human lives. At the heart of the abortion debate is the reality that we are all made in the image of God. Because we are made in the image of God, attacking the unborn is as assault on God. This is supported in scripture in the book of Genesis (Genesis 1:26-27). Scripture is also clear that life developing in the womb is a life fashioned in his image (Psalm 139:13-16). The taking of a human life is egregious, it is the greatest evil against humanity.
I agree with Dr. Tony Evans who says that maybe, by God’s grace, once we as a nation stop shedding innocent blood, it may lead to a decrease in violent crime in our nation. (Tony Evans on Twitter: "https://t.co/dKY7g88onE" / Twitter). My prayer is that this might lead to a spiritual awakening and revival in our nation.
It is a core belief for us as Christians and as a church that all people, including those in the womb, are made in the image of God. We are called by God to care for the poor, vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced people. We are not going to start doing that, we already do through so many ministries of mercy. This article by Bruce Ashford emphasizes the responsibility of the church in regard to the pro-life issue. (The Single Greatest Cause of our Time: Building a Whole-Life, Pro-Life Ethic – BruceAshford.net)
This is a great time to live out our mission of helping everyday people experience an extraordinary life with God. In light of the recent ruling, it has encouraged me to lead our church to deepen our efforts to support the ministry of the Trinity Rescue Mission where we care for the homeless and addicted. In fact, this week a partner church threw a baby shower for some of the ladies in our shelter who are expecting children. We are going to come alongside the ladies in our church that are already working with people who are in crisis over pregnancies through the ministry of Embrace Grace. We recently had discussions about further involvement with the Baptist Children’s Home here in Jacksonville, we have engaged with a ministry involved in foster care (Isaiah1:17), and we will further engage with local crisis pregnancy centers that need help and support.
This is a moment in time where we must stand with courage and conviction for what we believe is a fundamental human right, the right to life. We must do so with compassion and the realization that the church is for broken and hurting people. We must be a church that welcomes those that are dealing with difficult decisions and who are wounded by their past choices.
The world is filled with brokenness and in need of redemption. Every problem in life finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ. He is the hope of the world, and he is the hope for every person. If you or anyone you know has been impacted by a decision to terminate a pregnancy, please know that there is help and healing for you. We have people in our church who would be glad to talk with you and walk this journey with you to help you find grace, healing, and hope for your life.
Every person in our church can be involved in pro-life activity.
- Pray for the will of God to be done in the laws that will be passed in states that protect the life of all people.
- Get involved in efforts with organizations that are actively trying to make a difference in helping women and children.
- Support the church financially as we seek to partner with gospel centered and pro-life causes that are making a difference in the lives of people.