This coming Sunday we have the joy of welcoming Dr. Patrick Johnston and family, from Personhood Ohio, to our Sunday services. They are collecting signatures for a petition that would allow Ohio voters the opportunity to define human life in Ohio – and all of the legal rights and privileges thereof – as beginning at the moment of fertilization.
What a privilege to live in a country and state in which such petitions, votes, and definitions are possible! What an opportunity we have, with the current Personhood push, to take the tide at its flood, and make a giant leap forward in protecting the unborn! And what a responsibility, as God’s people, we have for doing just that – protecting the unborn (through things like the Personhood petition, crisis pregnancy centers, adoption, and so on). With that responsibility in mind, and with the Personhood petitions waiting to be signed, allow me to remind you of three reasons why Christians ought to care about this issue; three reasons why Christians ought to protect the unborn ...
1. The unborn are persons, just like you and me. David said it famously, in Psalm 139: “You wove me in my mother’s womb … Your eyes have seen my unformed substance.” The way David speaks of God’s care for his “unformed substance” is the language of love! God looked into David’s mother’s womb and saw, not a mass of biochemicals, but a human being – even when that human being was in its first “unformed” days of existence! Baby David – and all other unborn babies – are persons! Indeed, they are the most defenseless persons of all! And, says David in another psalm: “Blessed is he who considers the helpless” (Psalm 41.1)! Will you consider them? Will you defend them, even in those first days of “unformed substance”? Are they human … to you?
2. It is difficult to “permit the children to come” to Jesus if we do not first let them come into the world! “Permit the children to come to Me,” Jesus said in Mark 10.14, “do not hinder them.” Jesus loves children! He loves it when they place their faith in Him, and rely upon Him as their Lord and Savior. And we are to permit them to come to Him! We are even to teach them and train them to come to Him (Deuteronomy 6.7, Ephesians 6.4). But, as I say, it is difficult for us to urge, or even permit, children to come to Jesus when we permit our culture to do away with them before they are even born! Think of all the little voices that will never praise Jesus’ name in a Sunday School class, or grow up to teach that same class … because their lives were considered valueless at the very outset! This must never be! So permit the children to come to Jesus, I say, by first permitting them to come into the world!
3. Rescuing helpless children is a portrait of the gospel of Jesus! What is the gospel of Jesus? That God sent His Son into the world to rescue helpless people; people who were doomed to die unless someone intervened on their behalf. Isn’t that what we rejoice in, Sunday after Sunday? Isn’t that what we sing about? Isn’t that all our hope and peace? That Christ died for us “while we were still helpless” (Romans 5.6)? And wouldn’t it be wonderful to honor Christ by doing for other helpless ones (on a small, temporal scale, of course) what Jesus has done for us? This is why Christians ought to care for the orphans, the widows, the persecuted church, the starving of the third world, and (of course) the unborn! Because caring for the helpless reflects precisely what Christ has done for us! And what better way to honor this Christ than to become like Him? In Ohio, we have an opportunity to take another step in that direction through the Personhood petitions. And so I urge you, like Jesus, to intervene on behalf of the helpless!