The Church Must Unite on the Issue of Life
As I write this article, I sit stunned at both the wickedness of man and the silence of Christ’s followers and ambassadors. Surely every Christian leader in America felt a seismic shift in their spirit as the slaughter of more innocent children has been legislated in one state and spelled out and defended by the governor in another.
I know I’m not the only pastor to be mortified upon watching the New York State Senate give a standing ovation with loud cheers of approval when they removed abortion restrictions to allow for ending the life of a child right up until the point of birth.
Just when I thought human depravity had made a new high water mark, days later Virginia Governor Ralph Northam suggested that physicians in Virginia should be permitted to kill newborn babies if they were unwanted by their parents. What he said are the most horrifying words I’ve ever heard from a politician in my lifetime. In a live radio interview, the Governor of Virginia proposed a policy of infanticide.
This sort of blatant and unthinkable evil should be met with a strong rebuke from every Christian across America.
Yet I am compelled to ask, where is the outcry from every voice in every church? Where is the mighty roar of God’s people rising up to defend the defenseless?
Sadly, when I look out across every communication platform we have at our disposal, I find silence from far too many Christian leaders. I see so many of these voices speaking out on nearly every political issue, yet they haven’t addressed the most horrifying issue that’s ever confronted us.
At a time like this, I think back to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
I am not blind to the political climate of America and the polarization that has taken place in both secular and sacred communities. But I must ask this important question of every pastor, faith leader, and church member: When was your voice for right and wrong reduced to speaking up depending upon the letter in front of a politician’s name? When did your hatred for a political party or leader become so great that it caused you to be silent on the life of a child for fear of appearing to side with the one you hate?
Some things transcend politics, and certainly the life of a fully developed, viable infant is one of those things.
It was Paul in First Corinthians who, when pleading for unity in the church, said, “I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.”
What’s more, Paul’s words point to a striking similarity today when he adds, “Some of you are saying, 'I am a follower of Paul.' Others are saying, 'I follow Apollos,' or 'I follow Peter,' or 'I follow only Christ.'”
And here we are now two thousand years later divided not simply by theological differences but by political differences, with many essentially saying, “I am a follower of Trump,” or “I am a follower of Hillary” or “I am a follower of Obama,” and the list goes on and on. Those phrases may never be said explicitly, but the reality of such division has grown increasingly evident.
We are first and foremost followers of Christ. As such, there are many obvious causes that should unite us regardless of where they land along the traditional political spectrum. But I’m afraid we’ve let the cult of personality cloud our conscience and convictions.
Again, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are fitting in this moment. He once reminded us, “Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right?”
I am pleading with each and every Christian, whether you are a leader with a massive platform, or a pastor of a church in small town America, it is your duty to speak out against the growing injustice facing the most vulnerable among us.
In the year 2019, with the power of social media, we all have a voice. We are all without excuse. Don’t let other political issues keep you from using your voice to defend the life of an unborn child, or now apparently, a newborn child. As we’re commanded in Proverbs 31, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
It’s time to do what we’re called to do, which means we must transcend politics in this defining moment.
My fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, be silent no longer. This is a fight you need to be in; and it’s a fight in which we need to be unified.
Pastor Jentezen Franklin is the Senior Pastor of Free Chapel, a multi-campus church. Each week his television program "Kingdom Connection" is broadcast on major networks all over the world. A New York Times best-selling author, Jentezen has written nine books including his most recent, "Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt," the groundbreaking "Fasting" and "Right People-Right Place-Right Plan." Jentezen and his wife Cherise have been married 31 years, have five children and four grandchildren, and make their home in Gainesville, Georgia.