A WORD FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - FEBRUARY 2017
I attended my first pro-life rally when I was in the 8th grade. I went with our church youth group. At that time the pro-life movement was still in its infancy. Over the years the movement has grown, matured, and made significant progress in helping Americans think more deeply about the issue of life. Recently I asked my Facebook friends who consider themselves "pro-life," what that phrase meant to them. I thought I would share some of their responses with you.
Kathleen, a nurse from Torrington, Conn., says, “Life begins at conception. Just as I believe all who are living now have a God given right to life, so does that unborn child growing inside of its mom. God sees us as we are forming in our mother’s womb (Jer.1:5). He has a plan for each of us (Jer. 29:11). Only He can give or take life. No man has that right or power.”
Peter, an engineer from Manchester, Conn., reminds us that Jeremiah 1:5 teaches “life begins at conception and before birth. God already knows you and loves you before you even know that you are you.” He goes on to explain that Ephesians 2:10 teaches “all life is a part of God's plan, and we are his handiwork. We were designed to do the good works for Christ. Work that God prepared in advance for us to do. We have a destiny. ”
Michelle, a Vermonter currently living in Italy, keeps it short and simple by declaring “all life is created by God and for God and should be respected as such.”
Paul, a businessman from Spencer, Mass., says, “It means God’s children will have a chance to love JESUS” because they will not be aborted before they are born.
Joel, a pastor from Lyndon Center, Vt., says “It means that, since we're the Lord's creation and made in God's image, only he has the right to take life.”
Steve, a group insurance analyst from South Windsor, Conn., feels that being pro-life is “seeing the image of God stamped on his creation.”
Joe, owner of Faith and Family Films, from Randolph, Vt., says, “Every life is beautiful and life starts at conception. Who are we to play God and decide who lives or dies?”
Melanie, a special education assistant teacher from Worcester, Mass., says, “God does not make mistakes. Just because the baby wasn't planned in your eyes, does not mean it wasn't planned by God. Each life He creates is unique and special and perfect in his eyes.”
Jennifer, a mom from Springfield, Vt., simply comments that “God doesn't make mistakes.”
Sherrill, an executive assistant from Bennington, Vt., breaks it out this way, “Pro-life = Pro: for, in favor of, positive, yes to. Life: living, alive, quickened. Pro-life: in favor of life.”
Sherrill goes on to explain, “For me personally, pro-life means I am for life. It means that I am for the preservation and protection of all human life, before birth, at birth, and at every stage of life. Most of all, I am pro-eternal life. This means I am for sharing the hope of eternal life to whosoever will come to the Giver of all Life, through simple faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.”
Brian, a retired corrections manager who now runs a growing faith-based non-profit, from Wolcott, Ct., offers this powerful personal testimony.
“My view towards life has been transformed since my salvation 20 years ago. For nearly 30 years I held to a pro-choice position in regards to abortion. I viewed the unborn child as a possession or property being transported by the mother. After my salvation, nearly overnight, my position was transformed. I realized individual life was fearfully and wonderfully made with a purpose and plan conceived before the dawn of time. I was able to see that the unborn child my wife carried was no less human, special or precious than the 13 and 11-year-old children we already had.
“I struggled with my position on capital punishment much longer. Because of my job in a prison, I was readily in support of the enforcement of legal consequences to take the life of one who also takes a life. But my new-found faith required me to study God's Word. I have come to believe that God's Word compels accountability for one’s actions and God allowed the processes of human law to even play a role in how Jesus would reconcile man with God. Therefore, I remain pro-capital punishment. It has always intrigued me that many who are willing to end an innocent life are opposed to ending a heinous and guilty one.”
Amy, a teacher from Gorham, Maine, says, “I do feel the care for widows, orphans and the ill is part of valuing life, although I do not believe it is a personal requirement alone, but the work of the church body and community to make sure that it happens and that every individual is valued. There is a pervasive problem in a society who throws away people due to the perception that quality of life is equated with value of life.”
Zak, the founder of “Entering the Public Square” says, “Being pro-life means more than just pro-birth to me. Being pro-life also includes things like opposing physician-assisted suicide, doing what we can to eradicate starvation, disease and deadly crime. For me, being pro-life is about creating a culture of life that encourages people to choose life in a variety of ways.”
Christians must continue to wrestle with this issue. We may all find different ways to address it, but address it we must. To do less is to fail to honor the gift of life the Lord gives us.
Your Missionary to New England,
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett
Executive Director, Baptist Convention of New England