[Image courtesy of FoxNews.com]
Last week there was a Pro-Life march held in Washington, DC, where over 400,000 protestors gathered on the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling which legalized abortion.
And there’s good reason to be upset, as an estimated 55-million babies have been aborted in that passage of time.
Pause, and dwell on that number for a moment.
That’s 1 life plus 1 life plus 1 life, until you reach 55-million. If you could add once per second, without stopping to sleep, it would take you almost a year and a half to reach that total. So for those of us who believe life starts at conception, there’s obvious reason to be angered (amongst many other emotions).
I’m grateful that Americans, whose political institution allows such peaceful protests, feel lead to stand up for the rights of children on a national level. And for the simple sake of making it illegal to kill children, I hope such behavior sways the Supreme Court to change its ruling.
And yet, I propose that protesting may not be the best use of our time—neither might petitions, which I’ll still sign, nor campaigns, which I’ll still endorse—at least not when you consider there are far superior means of engagement to undertake.
Protestors look to enforce with laws what people, as humans, will only ever enforce with their hearts. Even if laws change to reflect the will of a populace, they by no means guarantee the submission the innermost will; for the human heart transcends the boundaries of law, surely abiding by outward action in their most noble of souls so as to remain just, but inwardly unmoved.
If it’s any consolation to individuals or groups who disagree, consider that not even God’s laws, given through Moses, were able to change the heart. It can be argued that the entire Old Testament is in fact a testament of man’s inability to abide by law, and thereby law’s inability to change the heart. So why provide law in the first place? For God, I believe, it was merely a demonstration that law (at man’s request) was never and nor will be sufficient in changing the heart.
As such, true heart change renders law, or its absence, inconsequential, other than law playing a subservient role to preserving humanity until such point as heart change might occur.
Man will always conform most wholly to what’s won his heart, not what demands his behavior.
This is why Jesus was sent, to win hearts, not reset regulations. His sacrifice did infinitely more than any laws could. And yet with his love came (and still comes) with a living set of regulations, administered by the Holy Spirit: the laws of the Kingdom. The Law of the Spirit of Life (Romans 8:2), whose mandates gain traction in a Christian’s life, holds unprecedented respect only because the heart was first won by Jesus.
So which method of pursuit is superior?
No one (least of all me) is suggesting we not speak our minds for the preservation of Biblical core values, abortion being just one example. But I can not violate other Biblical doctrines, such as the guidelines of what true love and wisdom are (pure, peaceful, long-suffering, kind, etc), simply to justify or satisfy my righteous indignation. Aside from the women we’ve counseled not to go through with abortions, or my public proclamations of its error, I’ve had amazing encounters of bypassing the raging line of Christian protestors outside abortion clinics only to have fruitful, Jesus-centered discussions inside with women who needed Jesus but did not need the Christian without.
My good friend and secretary, Rebekah Berthet, once went with a group of Christians whose church she was visiting, to protest outside an abortion clinic. Disgusted by the unbiblical tone set forth by her contemporaries, she broke ranks to join the women on the other side of the picket line.
As Rebekah engaged in dialog with one pregnant woman, the lady tellingly said, “If that’s really Jesus over there, I want nothing to do with him.”
“That’s nothing like the Jesus I know,” replied Bekah, and was able to minister Christ’s love to the woman with profound depth.
My challenge to you, my reader, is don’t take the easy way out. Anyone can hold a sign. Anyone can shout. But it takes a person of superior caliber to creatively minister to a life. By example, over time, with consistency, patience and hard work. Yes, most times it takes longer, but in kind await the benefits.
If 400,000 protesting Christians were to put equal, if not more energy into each winning one soul to Christ as they do organizing their marches (which those 400,000 very well may have), I estimate the affects to be far more beneficial in the scope of ending abortion. For the soul you win may not be struggling with having an abortion, but a person they know just might be. The effects of the Kingdom at work in the open heart are wide-reaching and countless.
Win their hearts and you win the world.