The Issue of Our Generation

January 19th marks the 30th anniversary of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, which President Reagan designated on January 22, 1984, 11 years after Roe v. Wade overturned laws in every state opposing abortion. Since Roe v Wade, 41 years ago, we’ve had over 54 million abortions, the entire population of the Great Lakes region, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New York, and the province of Ontario, over 17 percent of the current U.S. population.

This is the single most important issue of our generation. If a church in the segregated south didn’t insist that the image of God given to mankind of every race ensures equal rights, what would God say to that church?If a church in Rwanda in 1994 didn’t take a stand against the genocide of the Tutsis by the Hutus, what good would that church be? And in our day if a church doesn’t oppose the infanticide that happens in doctors’ offices for tens of millions of dollars of profit off those in desperate circumstances, that church has lost its saltiness. Our shepherds are cowards and the sheep are devoured. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6).

Opposing abortion isn’t the only issue of our day, but it is the most important, our calling to stand up for the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Like any enormous injustice, the ways of repentance are many. It begins with fathers having the heavenly Father’s heart, sacrificing themselves for their wives and children, rather than using women and allowing their children to be sacrificed for them. It includes men and women repenting of murder for convenience. It includes the church repenting of her cowardice for not addressing this issue, and failing to disciple its own. Idols always call for blood. So does the true God. We are cleansed by the blood of Christ, and his grace is greater than our sin, including the sin of murder. This is our great strength and hope, the only way of deliverance.

Love Pervades

Paul says action without love is useless, but faithful love, true love, really does act.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.  -1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Preaching the gospel in other languages, teaching the Bible, understanding the deep things of God, a faith to move mountains, generosity and even martyrdom, without love, are unprofitable for us.

Love is patient and kind, without envy or boasting or selfishness. But love isn’t passive nor simply an absence of sin. Love rejoices in the truth, bears, believes, hopes all things, and it endures. Prophecies go away, tongues cease, knowledge passes, but, he says, love never ends. Paul says when the perfect comes the partial will pass away. It’s hard to even guess what this will be like, when we love in full, but we know what to do now, how to love in part.

Love isn’t something we sprinkle into our lives as a separate category of action or emotion. Scripture says love is the fulfilling of the law. It is what we are to do. If anything we do is going to matter, glorify our Lord, and bless our neighbor and ourselves, it must be done in love.