This is an excerpt from today's broadcast of Nancy Leigh DeMoss' radio program Revive Our Hearts (www.reviveourhearts.com). It may be the most challenging pro-life message I've ever read...
"Proverbs 24:11 gives us this mandate, this challenge. “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.” We cannot just stay in our little ivory towers, our little sanctified fortresses and watch the world participating in this culture of death and not care, and not get involved.
"The Scripture says we are to be actively involved in rescuing those who are being taken away to death, holding back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. Now, there are people who are stumbling to the slaughter in a lot of different ways—some in physical ways, physical death, millions and millions in spiritual death, in emotional death, believing lies that are causing them to go to the slaughter. So there are a lot of different ways we can live out that verse. But it calls us to care about those who are dying.
"There are many ways to be engaged in the battle for life. At the very least, certainly, we need to be concerned about laws that devalue life. We need to know where our elected officials stand on the issue of life. It’s really not just the issue; it’s the issues related to life. We need to vote, and we need to vote knowledgably and responsibly.
"I’m aghast when I hear how many people, Christians, well-meaning people (I know they love the Lord) vote for certain candidates, have voted for certain candidates who devalue life. And they say, “They have these other good points.” That’s not voting responsibly. That’s not rescuing those who are being taken away to death, holding back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
"A number of the staff in our ministry are involved in our local pregnancy care center here in Niles. That’s a way to be engaged in the battle for life. There are those in this room who are providing foster care, who are adopting unwanted children. Those are ways to be engaged in the battle for life. But those are the ways you think of most often. I want to take just a few moments in this session to probe a little more personally and a little more deeply into what it means to be pro-life.
"Most of our listeners I think if a poll were taken would identify themselves as pro-life—not all, but certainly most. I would say that undoubtedly that most in this room today would consider ourselves to be pro-life. But then the question comes, “Do we really treat all human life as precious? If we’re so pro-life, what are we doing to honor our Creator’s view of life? Do we value and protect life around us? So let me just in a stream of consciousness here give you a few things to think about along this line.
"First a question: Are you or perhaps your children being entertained by movies, shows, or video games that sensationalize or trivialize murder or that promote a cheapened view of life? Think about the shows that you go to see, the movies that you rent in your home, the TV programs you watch, the video programs your kids are playing. Are they showing a cheapened view of life? If so maybe you’re not as pro-life, truly pro-life, as what you claim.
"You see, the value we place on life, the value we really place on life, is not so much seen in what we call ourselves, what label we put on ourselves as it’s seen in how we view and treat other people including children. When I hear somebody say, “I can’t stand children,” I’m thinking this is not a pro-life person. They may call themselves pro-life, but if you’re pro-life, you will love children. Now children can be nuisances. Children can get in the way. Children can create issues. I’m not doubting that. But God loves the little children! And you can’t be pro-life and not love children.
"God loves the poor. None of us would say, “I don’t like poor people.” But how many of us go out of our way to avoid having to engage with someone whose needs are such that it’s going to call upon a response and we just don’t want to go there? Whether we’re really pro-life is seen in how we view the poor, how we treat them. How we view and treat those with disabilities, the elderly, those who can no longer care for themselves. How we view and treat our parents, in-laws, difficult people, those of other faiths, those who are immoral, people with whom we disagree politically, theologically, ideologically.
"These people, and everybody else I could name, are precious to God and they need to be precious to us. The way we talk to and about others says something about whether we are really pro-life, how we view life. When words come out of our mouth that are harsh when we’re talking about others, that are slanderous, when we destroy the reputations of others, when we say things about others behind their backs that we wouldn’t say to their faces, can we call ourselves pro-life? Can we say we view those people as precious to us, to be valued and protected?
"Let me just tell you one place where this really gets violated and it’s become a great heartache to me is on the Internet, in the blogosphere. What gives us the license? I’m talking about Christians here who disagree with someone theologically or ideologically and they slam them in the blogosphere, and they’re consigning them to the pit of hell for taking a different theological position.
"I saw some this week (and maybe it’s why it’s so heavy on my heart) that came into another ministry talking about another Christian leader. Now, you may not agree with everything this person stands for. You may not like their personality. You may not like their style. But what gives us license to ridicule them, to be harsh and mean-spirited? To be cruel and demeaning?
When we talk that way, when we write that way, we are demeaning the image of God. An attack on another human being, even if they are the most evil human being ever created, an attack on that person is an attack on God Himself. Now some of those people need to be dealt with. I’m not saying that there isn’t an appropriate way through legal means, through means that God has instituted to deal with evil people. But for us just to mouth off, spout off about people we disagree with . . .
"You see this is not just an issue out there. This is an opportunity for us as God’s people to model what it really means to view life as being precious. When the world sees us able to disagree even with pagans in a way that is civil and courteous and kind and gracious . . . Now I realize some of these are huge. How do you deal kindly and courteously with some of the heinous things people believe and do? It’s not easy. But when they see us speaking the truth in love it says that we’re of a different kingdom. "