“Your heart, mind, hands and feet are stamped with the imprint of the Creator. Little wonder that the Devil wants you to be ashamed of your body.” – Joni Eareckson Tada
This one word sparks heated debates, puts feet to marches, and hands to write petitions. It can split people, and rally people together at the same time.
As Christians, we fight to protect the unborn. We vote on the basis of if someone is pro-life. The pro-life/pro-choice issue has been the deciding factor for many Christians for their involvement in politics.
Yet, I want to propose to us a question:
Are you sure you’re pro-life?
Pro-Life and God’s Word
Many Christians quotes the Bible (as they should) to show that God values life. The first verse out of the gate is usually Psalm 139:13-14. This passage gives the mind of God. He forms each child in the womb and each one is fearfully and wonderfully made. God values each human, because he creates and forms each human from conception.
Another one I hear frequently in pro-life conversations is Jeremiah 1:5. God speaks directly to Jeremiah and comforts him with the fact that God formed him in the womb and set him apart for a specific purpose in life.
We may say,”Amen! God values the unborn!” But, hold on a moment. Read the entirety of Jeremiah 1:5 again, “I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Read Psalm 139:13-16.
God does say he values the unborn and forms each child in the womb. But, we miss the next part. We quickly read over it and use the parts that speak for the unborn. Yet, there is more. God creates each person for a purpose in life. You and I were created in the womb to live out a purpose.
However, do we treat people who are born and living as those who have a God-ordained purpose?
Are we pro-life with the already born?
Pro-Life and the Disabled
My parents found out early on I was going to be born with spina bifida. The doctor told them I would never walk, or have a life, and be a burden to them. The doctor said, “Abort. Start over. He’s not worth living.” My parents were even offered a chance to have a beautiful room with a beautiful view, induce labor early, and then they could hold me until I died. My parents refused, trusted God, and gave me life.
Psalm 139:13-14 has always been a special passage to me. But, there have been times where it was challenged. In jr. high and high school, I was bullied because of my body. I was mocked because I walk with a limp. Many times guys would purposefully trip me in the hallway to get a laugh. My more personal needs turned into jokes and ways to degrade me. I felt like the freak. I began struggling with depression, and even had suicidal thoughts because I thought, “Was I created and formed only to be a butt of a joke?” The same people who mocked me were the same who preached a pro-life message. These people claimed to be Christians.
When we look at the disabled, what comes to mind? Is it a snicker over eating issues, walking issues, bathroom issues, or physical features that look strange? Do we view people with disabilities as those valuable in the womb, but in life we mock and get our comedy material from them? Is that being pro-life?
God tells Moses in Exodus 4:11 He forms man with seeing eyes or blind eyes. God is sovereign over each person’s formation in the womb. In John 9, Jesus states to his disciples that the man born blind has a purpose to sing the praises of God.
If we claim Jeremiah 1:5 as showing God is pro-life, then God is pro-life with bestowing each person with a purpose. This includes people with disabilities. They have issues because it is part of that purpose. When we snicker at someone with a disability, we are saying that the only reason God created them was for our own laughter.
Are you pro-life in how you treat those with disabilities?
Pro-Life and Racism
Martin Luther King Jr. Day was yesterday. He was a man who fought for the freedom of the African Americans. He fought for equality. He saw the oppression of a people group, and knew he had to speak up and fight for their freedom.
God created everyone. We all agree on this. Yet, do we see the racism around us? Do we see crime, poverty, and hate towards a people group and think, “They chose that,” or “If they would just stop playing the victim”?
Do we apply Jeremiah 1:5 to those with different skin color than us? Do we see that God has made them for a purpose too?
Therefore, if we are pro-life, then we need to speak up and do something when one people group is oppressed. Micah 6:8 is God’s command to us. Being pro-life means we fight for justice for people, because everyone is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
Are we pro-life when it comes to the oppression in our world today?
Are We Sure We’re Pro-Life?
From considering two situations, are we pro-life? Does our pro-life theology extend from the womb and into all of life? A pro-life theology is a theology that celebrates a biblical diversity because God has created that diversity for a purpose to bring him glory.
Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 139:13-16 claim that God values life in the womb and out of the womb. He has created each person with a purpose. Yet, we tend to fight just for the unborn. It is good, because it is what God values. But, how are we treating those who are different than us? Do we fight for them? Or, do we make jokes about them? Or use them for our own political gains?
We may say, “Amen! Fight for the unborn! Life starts at conception!” But, do we have the same zeal and concern for the already born?
Are we sure we are pro-life?