How Pro-Life Are We? PDF Print E-mail

KevinSmith news file68Kevin M Smith, Pastor of New City Fellowship in Chattanooga, TN, asked this challenging question in a sermon at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, June 10, 2015.

Text: Matt 5:21-22 & Exodus 20:13

"A Pro-life movement tied to the Republican Party is not pro-life enough," began Pastor Smith. The Sixth Commandment is our "pro-life mandate," he stated. We need a "robust and biblically centered" pro-life movement that addresses not only abortion on demand but a number of other issues as well.

 

Smith believes just as the O.T. Commandments were given following a declaration of what God had done for his people, modern day Christians ought to begin with what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. The imperative to obey then follows naturally. Smith does not hesitate to call abortion murder—the "unlawful and unjust taking of human life"—and states that it is forbidden. "Lives are a gift."

In Genesis 9, Smith finds that, "God gives capital punishment cause he takes it personally when people unlawfully take human lives created in His image, such as the crimes of abortion and euthanasia."

Jesus expands on this pro-life (Sixth) commandment

The Biblical "pro-life mandate also invokes a pro-life attitude." "Hates and insults of our brother are also murder according to Matthew 5:20." If we are saturated by love of Jesus we serve others "out of love for God and man."

We talk about "those people" yet we say we are pro-life. Insults show we believe people are worthless –it is no less than "murder of the heart". How pro-life are we really?
Are we making the "right choice" to love our neighbors as ourselves? "Is it enough that we do not kill our neighbor?" Smith asked provocatively. No. more is demanded, as we are instructed in the Westminster Confession of Faith. Christians are also called to "prevent injury."

 Q. 135. What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves and others. . . and protecting and defending the innocent.

Q. 136. What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves, or of others, except in case of public justice, lawful war, or necessary defense; the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life; sinful anger, hatred, envy, desire of revenge; all excessive passions, distracting cares; immoderate use of meat, drink, labor, and recreations; provoking words, oppression, quarreling, striking, wounding, and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.

"Each life is created by God and has potential to be re-created in the image of Christ."

We may be anti-abortion but are we really pro-life?

"If we took it—the pro-life movement out of the hands of the Republican Party and put it into the hands of the Church—with a robust theology, Christ centered theology, moved by the Gospel of Jesus, we would have a more robust pro-life group that comes rightly out of the Church of God."

"Sometimes we keep busy with doing good things to avoid doing what God says is best." The Good Samaritan opened his heart to someone else's pain. He did three important things according to Smith: 1. Got involved even when things were messy. 2. Invested his own time and money. 3. Followed up, fully restored cross-culturally – not allowing race or economic standing to prevent pro-life love. Smith challenged his listeners to follow the example of the Good Samaritan and show the positive side of the Sixth Commandment. "Protect life one life at a time because we have a Savior, who is life, who has shown us life. That life is to be passed on."

 

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