Church family it is with great joy that I send you this email. Today’s ruling of the SCOTUS has overturned Roe v Wade. Since 1973, an estimated 63,000,000+ lives have been taken through abortion. The Justices ruled the Constitution had no provision for abortion and is therefore not a federally protected right. For now, the issue of abortion has been pushed down to the States.
In Ohio, abortion is legal for up to 22 weeks. The ‘heartbeat’ bill is the proposed bill in our legislature now. Most people expect this bill to pass and be signed quickly. This bill will ban all abortions when a heartbeat is detected. There are two exceptions to medical conditions but nothing related to mental health.
For us as a church, what does the overturning of Roe v Wade mean? First, it means we rejoice. The Lord has shown great kindness to us as a nation after the scourge of abortion. We are as a nation, more fractured and separated from biblical ethics now more than ever. Yet even in this, God has shown his might in this decision. We can take no credit for this. God is the one who has defended the life of the unborn, just like he always has.
1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. 2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. 3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Proverbs 21:1–3 (ESV)
Second, we must mourn the loss of life of 63,000,000+ image-bearers. Each of these lives was made in the image of God. He formed them in the womb. He knew them. He loved them. He created them to live for his glory. Even in this, he knew their days. He knew the shortness of their life. The worth of their life is determined by God their Maker and being made in his image. The worth of their life is not determined by those who took their lives in the womb. God determines their life and with their deaths, we must mourn.
13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13–16 (ESV)
Third, we must continue to do business as usual. It is a blessing to be part of a church that has a history of caring for the unborn. As a church, we support A Caring Place a pregnancy resource center that leads the way in our area. Keep them in prayer as centers similar to theirs have been vandalized since the Dobb’s opinion leaked. We support children in our area through our sewing ministry where blankets, clothes, and other items have been donated by the thousands to the Cincinnati Children’s hospital. We donate backpacks for kids in foster care who are in need. These are the regular things we do as a church. Some of you work individually in various ways in our community. As a need arises, we have always cared for people in need. Recently, we have supported families, single moms, and even older adults who are in need. For us as believers in Jesus, caring for the needs of others is the most natural thing we can do. We agree with and model ministry was given to us by James, the brother of Jesus.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27 (ESV)
Fourthly, we must renew our efforts in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must recognize the enemy has blinded the eyes of many who try and justify abortion. If their eyes are not open to the atrocity of abortion and the seriousness of their sin there is no hope. God will not be mocked. He alone is the author of life. He will not let sin go unpunished. Their only hope is the life-saving message of the gospel.
The message is this: God has made man in his image. He created them but they rejected him in sin. Man has lived contrary to God’s law and sought to usurp his power and his place as supreme in this world and their life. Their acts of rebellion against God deserve God’s wrath. They are unable to appease God because they have positioned themselves as God’s enemy. The only hope man has is in God’s intervention. In his great kindness and love, God sent his one and only Son into the world. Jesus came to earth and lived in perfect agreement with God’s Law but in a great reversal, he was sent to the cross to die. In his death, he died for our guilt. The innocent died for the guilty. He paid for our sin and guilt. On the third day, he rose from the grave. Anyone who calls on his name will be saved. When this message is heard in the heart of man, if they will call out to God for salvation, his wrath is appeased because of the death of Jesus on the cross. This is the message we must share. It is our only hope and this hope is more than enough.
11 Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. 12 If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? Proverbs 24:11–12 (ESV)
We must share the message of the gospel and pray for a mighty move of God. Man cannot be saved by persuasive speech. No one comes to the knowledge of Jesus as Savior unless the Father draws them and the Spirit reveals it to them, so we must pray. Prayer must be accompanied with sharing the message of Jesus. The world may see it as folly but for those who hear it through the work of the Spirit, it is the very words of life.
21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:21–24 (ESV)
Today, we celebrate life. We mourn for the loss of life. We press on in our efforts to care for the lives of those in need. We do all this so we might share the message of the gospel.
Until everyone hears,