I'm back in the "blogging saddle" after a Christmas season break! And there's something on my mind for which I'd like your input.

In a couple weeks Harvest, like many churches around the nation, will spend a Sunday emphasizing the sanctity of human life.

Now here's my question: what was your first reaction to that sentence?

I ask because I'm sensing that there's a wide variety of reactions today to Christianity's historically pro-life worldview, particularly within evangelical circles. First off the phrase "sanctity of human life" seems to have become a euphemism for fighting abortion (even though it refers to something much broader) since that's been the main focus for the past few decades in our country. And I see evidence of mixed feelings about the fight against abortion amongst evangelicals.

Some seem to be experiencing "abortion fatigue," for lack of a better term -- becoming emotionally worn out from a long fight that seems to have produced few gains. Others appear to have become frustrated at such fatigue amongst fellow evangelicals, pounding proverbial tables and becoming shrill in their efforts to "rally the troops" and keep up the fight against this heinous evil. And then there's a palpable anxiety some evangelicals are experiencing, stoked in no small part by the fact that we're about to inaugurate a president with 100% approval ratings from some of the most pro-abortion organizations in the land.

Fatigue. Frustration. Anxiety. Not a real great mix of emotions.

Interestingly enough every evangelical Christian I hear or read still says they're 100% convinced of the evil of abortion, even those in the "fatigue" camp. This intrigues me: evidently evangelical Christians are not re-thinking their theology (despite what some in the "frustration" camp might believe) as much as they're re-thinking its application.

Of course the question is, where do we go from here? I have some thoughts (no surprise, I know!) and I'll share them soon both on this blog and with the church. But first I want to hear from you.

When it comes to the sanctity of human life, what is your sense of where evangelical Christians are at? Why do you think this is so?


Kimberly said...

I definitely fall into the "fatigue" camp you've mentioned. Primarily because I feel that to try and change things legistlatively is an exercise in futility. Don't get me wrong. I will always prefer to vote pro-life. I'm just not putting very many eggs in that basket. I do not carry any hope that this country will ever outlaw abortion, and even if it did, I do not believe that would actually end abortion. I really, truly believe that the only way to make any dent in the issue is individual-to-individual, heart-to-heart. That is why I believe so strongly in what PRC is doing.

So as an evangelical, my fatigue comes from the listening to some of my brothers and sisters dwell on the issue politically as if it is the only thing we should focus on. I believe there are too many well-meaning Christians who look to a polititians stance on abortion as the litmus test for whether or not they will recieve their vote. Since I don't believe that will ulitmately make any difference, I have a hard time being on board with that philosophy.

Jerry Casper said...

I don't know that I'd put myself in the fatigue camp, but I agree with Kimberly that the political methods have been tried with little success. In addition, I've talked with Evangelicals that will vote for a completely unqualified candidate in every other respect simply because they are pro-life. My tendency is to vote for pro-life, but not at the expense of fiscal and constitutional issues. I think non-Christians lose respect for the cause when "it" becomes the only issue in a campaign because life and politics are far more complex than that.

With that said, I like the approach of PRC because it is both practical and effective. While supporting qualified Pro-Life candidates, we need to look for practical alternatives that make a real impact.

Word Verification: Saunat - Didn't see. "And the blind man saunat the open manhole in front of him."

ann at harvest said...

Hi Matt, I just received an email concerning FOCA, the freedom of Choice act. After reading it I verified the information on right, left and government sites. There is an all encompassing national assault on human rights in the name of human rights. My response to this is highly charged emotionally. I hate the killing of God's children no matter the age. It is the ultimate act of selfishness; a statement that we, the people are in control of our world and no one, not even God can take that from us. However I can't live and act out of hate. That can't be my motive or my power. My fear is that hatred of the act is my motivation, not love for people. When I act from hatred I get burnt out and my spirit sours. I'm called by Christ to live and act from love by His power. That's easy to say and hard to do.
My prayer is that He gives me the grace and wisdom to be Jesus to the world in this battle.

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