Never fear. There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Tho those who knock it is opened. -C.S. Lewis, “The Great Divorce“
One of the principle tenets of our theology is free will. God steadfastly refuses to use his omnipotence to make His creation follow him. If there is no choice, there is no love. Conversely, it also means that humans are capable of great evil and our history has borne that out. But despite the atrocities committed over the centuries, God remains fiercely committed to allowing us to choose good or evil. And because we ALL choose evil, he sent His Son to shed His blood and cover that sin for those of us that seek Him.
Knowing this nature of God, I think the doom and gloom I hear from many conservative Christians due to the election of a staunchly, even activist, “pro-choice” candidate is misplaced. No, I’m not saying Barack=God. Hear me out.
Life begins at conception. Intentionally aborting after conception is killing a human. It’s murder. It’s a horrible choice to make and the numbers of abortions performed annually amount to genocide. I know. And I understand the one-issue voter who will only vote for candidates that support an overturning of Roe v. Wade are sincerely trying to save countless lives. But before we proclaim a curse upon the land for voting in someone who has vowed to sign the Freedom of Choice Act and start devoting lots of time and energy to finding and grooming new, attractive, pro-life candidates, we should ask ourselves a huge question. Are our political activities in response to the scourge of abortion what God wants from us, or is he calling for us to refocus our efforts?
Ever since I was a child the majority of campaigns I have seen coming out of churches in an effort to save lives lost to abortion have focused on either protest or election of certain candidates. These efforts have been going on for many, many, years. We have elected countless pro-life candidates. Abortion continues at an alarming rate. Most people who point this fact out are told something along the lines of, “Yes, but the key is that the President nominates Supreme Court justices.” The hope is that there will some day be enough justices on the bench to hear a case and overturn Roe v. Wade, declaring abortion illegal. That would be considered the ultimate victory to most pro-lifers. When the pro-choice lobby raises hypothetical scenarios about an overturning of Roe v. Wade involving back-alley abortions, millions of kids on welfare, suicides by potential mothers, etc. they are generally dismissed by pro-lifers as rhetoric. But in the absence of changed hearts they are very real situations that will need to be dealt with in a post-Roe U.S. Do we have a thought-out practical answer to how to deal with them? And what will be the legal consequence of having an illegal abortion? Rather than treating a scared teenage mom who made a bad decision with compassion and grace, will we throw her in the slammer to punish her further?
My wife volunteers time at a pregnancy center that I think models what our response to abortion should be. It’s a place where women are educated about what is growing inside them and how valuable that baby is. It’s a place where they are loved and encouraged to carry the baby to term. They are mentored and supported on an individual basis according to their needs both before and after the birth of their child. Low-income mothers are helped with obtaining the things they need to care for their child, or helped with the process of adoption should they choose that. And women who have had abortions are greeted with open arms and grace.
What if all of the people who vote pro-life as a rule and mourn the deaths of innocent children volunteered for organizations such as this, started new ones, and made it such that there was one in every small town and dozens in every large community? I think a massive movement of genuine care, love, grace, and monetary support for women and children would do FAR more to lead toward the eradication of abortion than an overturning of Roe vs. Wade.
Choice is not the enemy. God allows us to choose all sorts of evil, even murder. Without choice we cannot love. So those of us who are pro-life should adamantly and proactively choose to love. We don’t show our love by protests and voting. We do it by, well, loving.