On January 22, 2018 a significant battle was lost in the war to proctect the lives of unborn children when New York legalized abortion up to the moment of birth. All, no matter which side of the line one is on, recognize this is not merely one battle in a chronology of many. This was a momentum changer. This was the type of battle which could determine the outcome of an entire war. Inevitably, this will be the first of many such events in our nation in the days, weeks, and months to come.
So what do we as Christians do? How do we, how SHOULD we respond when the world seems to be winning, and that in a landslide?
A number of months ago I made such a statement in regards to the political climate we were living in and received a fair amount of criticism. I was accused of being trite and a acting like simpleton. There is nothing trite nor simplistic about exercising trust and faith in His Lordship, sovereignty, goodness, and omnipotence. Faith is foundational to our relationship with God. The writer of Hebrews states, “…without faith it is impossible to please Him…” (Hebrews 11:6). Faith and trust are active. It is the ignorant and simplistic who themselves believe a call to trust is a call to inactivity. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Genuine faith moves the faithful to action and sustains their faithful actions even when times seem hopeless. Genuine trust looks beyond what is visible to the eyes and emotions, not allowing passion to turn to panic. Psalm 37 calls men and women of God to persevere in wicked times without sinking into the depths of fret and worry.
A couple thousand years ago a truly innocent, righteous, and holy man was executed by an angry mob, liberal and vain religious leaders, and evil politicians. Wicked injustice was celebrated with cheers of victory and His followers retreated into hopeless defeat.
Then, when all seemed lost and the darkness of despair seemed to be swallowing them whole, Jesus was raised from the dead in an unmistakable display of victorious glory. In a few short weeks those who had called for His death and cheered His demise were calling out in terror, “What shall we do?!” (Acts 2:37). THAT was the game changer as 3000 were turned to Christ in one overwhelming work of the Spirit upon the hearts of sinners.
Yes, let us trust and faithfully “…hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful…” (Hebrews 10:23).
While in the midst of challenging times it is critical to keep reminding ourselves of what our purpose is. Our calling is simple. We have been called to make disciples. Discipleship contains many elements but teaching is central. A disciple is a learner.
The victory being celebrated is based on the passing of a legal matter into law. Law though, has limited ability to bring about good in society. Laws will indeed restrain some and laws will give freedom to others regarding morality. The truth is though, law has almost zero ability to transform individuals and society.
Let’s not be ignorant. Law reflects a society’s moral world-view and the application of law will have significant impact on the lives of those living under its rule. Those truths are certain. What will bring about transformation though is not changing the laws of society, it is changing the MIND of society. To change society we must change individuals. To change individuals, we have to change their mind.
Do we want change the way people view abortion? We must return to our biblical roots. We must teach God is Creator. We must call people into submission to His sovereign lordship. We must teach our eternal accountability to our Creator. We must personally be devoted to those truths and live those truths. We must demonstrate the value of life by the way we love and care for all people, born and unborn alike. We must confess our hypocrisy of caring for the unborn child while having wicked hatred in our hearts for those pass laws allowing for their death. Let’s not forget there is a difference between hating the immorality and evil of those who celebrate the death of children and hating THEM. Remember, they were once an unborn child we fought to protect. Just because their thinking has become repugnant, they are still a “life” Christ died to save.
Yes, let continue to fight for laws which are right, good, and moral. Let us even more submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ and be ready to make a defense of our hope (1st Peter 3:15).
Yes, talk. Talk to God. Talk to Him passionately, emotionally, consistently, and in humility. We need to cry out to God on behalf of those whose hearts are hardened and for those whose lives are most vulnerable.
The prophet Habakkuk cried out to God. He cried out for the Lord to help. He was surrounded by violence, iniquity, wickedness, injustice, and the resulting destruction those elements will always produce (Habakkuk 1:1-4). God answered the prophet’s despairing cry. God responded with the assurance that He was about to do something “…you would not believe if you were told…” (Habakkuk 1:5).
We are called to teach and proclaim God’s word and to be a light to the world. We are called to care for those God places into our lives. We are called to live driven by conviction and purpose. We are called to be diligent, faithful, and hard-working in serving the purposes of God. Ultimately though, we are called to believe (and trust!) that only God can change the human condition as well bring about justice.
The prophet loved his people. He was despairing at what he saw and experienced. The intercession he raised to the Lord on behalf of the nation did not rescind his responibility as prophet but revealed the source of change if change was to happen.
Our greatest efforts will come to naught without the intervention of the Lord. Likewise, any success cannot be attributed to our own good efforts but to the power of God working through us; many times in spite of us.
Yes, let us trust and not despair. Let us keep working, teaching, and pleading with those whose hearts are hard. Let us keep bringing our efforts and those we seek to minister to before the Lord, the only author and perfector of faith (Hebrews 12:2).