Over the last few months, our blog followers have likely noticed a number of posts I’ve written on the topic of physician-assisted suicide and how the expanded availability of professional assistance for terminating one’s life is likely to impact the disability community, the mental health community and the medical profession. We’ve also discussed an argument for “after-birth abortion” circulating in the medical ethics community and discussed the impact of the video series detailing the investigation of the Center for Medical Progress into allegations that Planned Parenthood is violating Federal laws by trafficking in the sale of organs and body parts following abortions at their clinics across the U.S.
Shannon Dingle is going to launch a blog series this coming Tuesday on the topic of disability and abortion. I’ve read the first couple of posts in Shannon’s series and I think she’ll do a great job in addressing this topic with the grace and sensitivity required by a topic that impacts as many as one in three women in the U.S. and the men who contributed to unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.
I want to address why we’re speaking into these topics when the mission of our organization is to promote meaningful connection between churches and families impacted by disability for the purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ.
- Our willingness to publicly acknowledge God as the Giver of all life and proclaim the extraordinary value God places upon each and every human life is foundational to the faith we promote.
- The respect that we demonstrate for human life…especially the lives of those seen to be of less value to society…is an essential component of our Christian witness.
- Experience suggests that churches that fail to embrace this understanding of life are unlikely to embrace kids with disabilities and their families.
Russell Moore reinforces why this understanding is so critical…
The gospel tells us that human life is of infinite value and importance. Human beings are created in the image of God himself. (Gen. 1:27). Not only that, but human life was joined to God forever in the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. That means that human life matters infinitely. And it also means that the demonic powers of hell wage constant war against it. Whether through Pharaoh’s order to cast babies into the Nile, Herod’s jealous genocide against Bethlehem’s infant boys, or the pristine floors and shiny signage of a Planned Parenthood clinic, Satan has always sought to attack human life at its most vulnerable.
The value of human life isn’t just an issue for Congress or activists or ethics professors. It’s an issue for every single Christian and every single local church. The church is the embassy of the Kingdom of Christ, and the Kingdom is where the unborn are prayed over, where the widows are visited, where the orphan is adopted, and where the disabled and the “unwanted” are made heirs with Christ of the universe. The church must speak a prophetic, gospel word to our culture of death. The cause of life is not a liberal vs conservative or red state vs blue state issue. It’s a Kingdom issue, and children of the King must stand up in defense of all human life.
Shannon has been invited to represent us on January 21st and 22nd at Evangelicals for Life, where she is scheduled to speak along with our friend, Emily Colson, David Platt and an outstanding lineup of influencers from across the Christian community. Evangelicals from across the country will gather in Washington DC to be inspired and equipped by top speakers including Russell Moore and Jim Daly. The conference is being co-organized by Focus on the Family and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Shannon will be on a panel with Emily discussing the topic Disabilities, Special Needs and the Sanctity of Life.
Upon the conclusion of the conference on Friday the 22nd, speakers and attendees will be participating in the 2016 March for Life, starting from the grounds of the Washington Monument and ending on Capitol Hill.
We honor God by acknowledging that He and He alone has the authority to give and to take life, and by seeking to model the value He places upon all human life – especially those lives valued less highly by the standards of the world.