02 November 2016

Ten questions for my "pro-life" friends

(Before I ask these questions, please know that I am ardently pro-life. There has never been a time when I haven't been, so please keep that in mind when responding).

1. When you think of being pro-life, does that only, or even primarily, mean that you are against abortion?

2. What is your position on issues of life after a child is born? Are you as strongly committed to meeting his or her needs during childhood, adolescence, young adulthood? Not abstractly, but practically, what are you doing?

3. At what point does termination of life become a reasonable option (e.g., death penalty, targeting civilians during war) and, being pro-life, what is your justification for that position?

4. If you are a Christian, you believe that there is also life after death and most of you believe in a literal heaven and hell. Are you dedicating as much time and effort and prayer to a person's eternal life as you are to their physical, earthly life? Are you as committed to sharing the gospel with people as you are to talking about the horrors of abortion?

5. What does a truly pro-life position have to say about issues like caring for the poor, orphan care, pornography/human trafficking, substance abuse, bullying?

6. When you hear of someone who has committed a heinous crime, or when you think about those who are in prison, what thoughts pop into your head? Do your thoughts degrade them, or do you view them as a someone who bears the image of God and as someone who needs Jesus as much as you do?

7. God also speaks an awful lot about widows and the aged? What are you doing to love well those who are older than you or whose minds and bodies are failing them?

8. Do you find yourself judging people of other races or religions, assuming you are better than they are or that you would never do the things that they do or have done? When you see news stories about violence in the streets, is your gut reaction to think, "well, of course, they're black thugs" or "must be a Muslim terrorist"? or is your first response to think, "I should withhold judgment because I don't know the circumstances. What I can do is pray for how to best love right now."

9. Are you cautious with your tongue? Do you use words to build up or tear down? I understand this is not the same thing as the destruction of a physical child in the womb, but an evil tongue damages a soul. Many times, a person who is made to feel worthless or ashamed wishes they had never been born and may even seek to end their own lives. We need to communicate to people, even when we disagree with them: "YOU MATTER."

10. In general, at a deep level, do you view others as less worthy of life and love? Do you think that are other people are less in need of the Christ's saving grace? Blacks, Mexicans, White supremacists, women, drug dealers, pornographers, liberals, Muslims, gays, abortionists? If you were to dig beneath all of your self-protective armor, are there ever flashes of viewing some people as less inherently valuable.

Friends, to be pro-life MUST mean to be pro-human in all of its forms. The Bible speaks about the sanctity of the preborn, but there is a whole lot more evidence for how we care for those who are already here. God's love for the downtrodden is everywhere in the Bible. That doesn't mean that we call good the things that God says are evil, but it does mean we seek to love well even when we disagree. That doesn't mean we shift our responsibility to the government or a relief agency, but it does mean we must ask ourselves, how can I be "pro-life" right now?

No comments: