Our society is critical of hypocrites in general, and especially judgmental of perceived hypocrisy within the Christian community. Yet, consider the double standards espoused by our culture. And no where are they more obvious than in the area of protecting life.
Think of the convoluted logic that passes laws to protect unborn eagles but not unborn human babies. Or social mores that advocate protecting women from physical and sexual abuse, but have no problem ending the lives of females inside the womb—the ultimate physical abuse.
How is a Christian to respond to this double standard when it comes to valuing life?
Throw a pity party at the injustice of it all?
I’ve talked to many believers who figuratively and (literally) throw up their hands at the unfair way our culture treats Christians. Citing the adage, “you can’t fight city hall,” they give up. They stop voting, they stop serving, they stop interacting with society. After all, if the culture is against you, what’s the point in trying?
Gloat over those who disagree with us?
Other Christians appear to rejoice in the coming judgment of those who stand against God. They gloat about the hell and damnation unbelievers will face. Their message seems to be, “You’re making life miserable for Christians and killing babies now, but you’ll get yours!”
Shred our opponents with intellectual arguments?
I recently saw a post on social media titled, “Intellectually Shredded!” It celebrated the debate victory won by a believer over his unbelieving opponent.
Christians mock the illogical presumptions of those who live as if God doesn’t exist and claim pre-born babies aren’t really alive. They cite facts with the goal of chalking up a decisive victory against unbelieving opponents. The problem is, our motivation may deteriorate into winning the argument instead of the person.
While these options are practiced all too often, there’s a better way. The way of living with integrity, loving well, and serving humbly. The way modeled by hundreds of thousands of employees and volunteers in crisis pregnancy centers across the United States.
Living with integrity
The world is watching how Christians live. Yes, they may be watching us to catch hypocrisy, but many are watching because they want to know if Christianity is real. Do we put our money where our mouth is? We say we believe certain things, but do we live consistent with those beliefs? For example, we say we’re pro-life, but how do we support the ministries that work to protect life? Do we give of our finances? Our talents? Our time? We need to walk our talk if we’re to have any credibility with those who don’t share our beliefs.
When Jesus told His followers to love their enemies and pray for their persecutors (Matthew 5:44), He wasn’t speaking theoretically. Jesus prayed for His executioners when He said, “Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34 NIV).
Today, when we speak of unbelievers and abortionists going to hell, we ought to remember what D.L. Moody has been quoted as saying: “When we preach on hell, we must do it with tears in our eyes.”
One of the best examples of humble service I have ever witnessed is the work done day in and day out in crisis pregnancy centers around the country.
The work of employees and volunteers on the front lines of the pro-life effort is often unnoticed. Men and women who support those responding to an unplanned pregnancy provide counsel, support, and material resources. Clients may receive services such as pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STD/HIV testing, and parenting classes. They offer these services without pressure in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
Equally important are the abortion recovery services offered to those who have chosen to terminate life, but then live with the physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences of their choice. Clients never hear, “I told you so.” What they do experience is love, and lots of it.
The Sanctity of Human Life is marked annually, the third Sunday in January. This year, we’ll observe it this Sunday, January 21, 2018. As you learn of the work being done in the crisis pregnancy center near you, will you do more than just listen? Will you live with integrity, love well, and then find a way to serve humbly with your time, talents, and resources?
The difference you make will last for eternity.