Editor’s note: this article appears in the Spring 2022 issue of Southwestern News.
The sanctity of human life is a foundational principle in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. Humans are created in the image of God and have worth, regardless of utility or disability or vulnerability (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 139). The people of God are called to stand up and speak out for the vulnerable in our midst (Micah 6:8). So how can we do that in practical ways in our communities? Here are four ways to be pro-life every day:
1. Actively support the work of your local church in meeting pro-life needs in the community. It’s likely that your church supports a local pregnancy care center, helping young women in crisis make decisions about an unplanned pregnancy. Delivering Gospel hope, these centers care for both the woman and her child. You can help by donating money, time, and other resources to ensure these ministries can continue to do the work God has called them to do.
2. Model human dignity in the way you speak up for the vulnerable. It’s not only important to speak up for the unborn in our communities through our words and actions, but it is also important that we consider the way we speak about this issue. James 3:8 says that our tongues can either be instruments of life or instruments of death. As we talk about this issue, we must remember that those who disagree are people made in God’s image. While we should make strong, forceful arguments for the sanctity of life, we should make them in ways that recognize the dignity of those we are trying to persuade.
3. Consistently apply your pro-life ethic to other areas of human dignity. It is good and right to stand up for the unborn and to champion laws that recognize their humanity. And yet we should also take our pro-life ethic into consideration when we think about issues like poverty, immigration, and other weighty matters. This doesn’t mean we agree with every prescription to solve these issues nor does it mean Christians can’t disagree on finding the most prudent policy, but we should at least have a sensitivity and desire to help the real people who suffer in our communities.
4. Use your vote and your voice to champion laws that recognize the dignity of the unborn. Politics isn’t ultimate and we should always let our faith shape the way we engage in the public square. Still, in a representative republic like ours where citizens have a voice in shaping the laws that govern us, we should not shy away from making our voices heard and carefully considering whom we vote for. Laws that protect the unborn should not be the totality of our pro-life witness, but they are important in acknowledging what we know to be true: humans, from conception to natural death, are image-bearers of the Almighty.
Daniel M. Darling is director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement and assistant professor of faith and culture at Texas Baptist College.