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What does it mean to be “Pro-Life?”

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The other week our pastor, Luke Evans, preached about abortion. He challenged us to use all our power to pray, speak, work, and use any political, social, or cultural influence we have to bring the great evil of abortion to an end. And he was right to do this - it is exactly what God’s Word commands us to do. But is that all there is to being pro-life? 

Although American society and politics (both liberal and conservative) see being pro-life strictly in terms of abortion, the Bible and our Reformed tradition teach us otherwise.

Which is the sixth commandment?

The sixth commandment is, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’

What is required in the sixth commandment?

The sixth commandment requires all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life, and the lives of others. 

What is forbidden in the sixth commandment? 

The sixth commandment forbids the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor, unjustly, or whatsoever tends thereunto.

(Westminster Shorter Catechism, 67, 68, 69)

This means that anything we do to or fail to do that does not preserve our own lives and the lives of our neighbors is a violation of the sixth commandment. The Larger Catechism explains this can even include how we feed and care for ourselves, our exercise habits, and our attitudes (#135). Furthermore, “the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life… and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any” is strictly forbidden (#136). 

What are churches doing to preserve the lives not only of the unborn, but also of the poor, the orphan, the widow, the hungry, and the immigrant? Are we guilty of “neglecting or withdrawing lawful and necessary means of preservation of life” for some, while we advocate for the lives of the unborn? Our country needs vocal defenders of the unborn, but it also needs active Christians working against “whatsoever tends to the destruction of the life of” anyone.

This fall Christ Church will be doing several things with the purpose of preserving and enriching the lives of others who have suffered many things that tend to destroy life. 

  1. Operation Backpack - this is an ongoing initiative with Communities in Schools to provide food for families facing hunger.

  2. Boysville Birthday Party - we will throw a birthday celebration for kids who have been placed at the Boysville Home for Boys and Girls.

  3. Children’s Hunger Fund Mobile Pak - we are fundraising to fill boxes of food called Food Paks, which we will get to fill at Children’s Hunger Fund’s warehouse in San Antonio. The Food Paks will be used by local churches to care for families in need in our region. 

I hope these events illustrate a more robust, Biblical understanding of being pro-life - helping those who are hungry, caring for children who have lost or been removed from their families, ministering to those who are broken and are experiencing loss. And there are more things that need to be done. One of the greatest needs in our society is for families willing to foster and adopt children who have lost everything. Being pro-adoption is the Biblical, logical, and necessary consequence of being anti-abortion. At the very least, Christians should see adoption as the one other issue essential to being pro-life.

 I pray that Christ Church will continue to proudly claim the title of “Pro-Life” - not only because we are against abortion, but also because we are thoroughly and consistently in favor of all things that promote, advance, and enrich the cause of life in San Antonio and beyond.

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