Put differences aside to end abortion and be our brother’s keeper
What does it mean to be “my brother’s keeper?” This question has been asked time and again by Christians over the years. It played out in the first pages of the Holy Bible when we read how Cain killed Abel (Genesis 4:9) :
Afterward the LORD asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?”
“I don’t know,” Cain responded. “Am I my brother’s guardian?”
In this story Cain was jealous that God chose the sacrifice of his brother Abel over his – so he murdered his own brother. But, can we in effect do the same thing with our neglect to do what is right to help our brother? What happens if our inaction brings about more years of suffering for our brother?
Charles Spurgeon, the feisty preacher credited by some for bringing great revivals in the 1800’s once asked, “What say we of those who never sow? Well, they will never reap; they will never have the joy of harvest.”
In his history of the Pro-life movement from the viewpoint of the early church, Dr. George Grant described the effectiveness of the church with regard to protecting life and the secret for success:
“The church was only effective in its task of protecting innocent life when it remained steadfast in doctrinal purity and Scriptural fidelity. Whenever it began to slide into comfortable heresies of the day, it became compromised and impotent. But whenever it would “earnestly contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the Saints” (Jude 3). God blessed its efforts gloriously. Whenever and wherever it took its every cue from the dictates of the sovereign God, it was remarkably successful.
So simple are these words that I often think some of us have become so embattled we can forget that the goal is to simply stand for truth, protecting life. Grant, considered at one time a giant in the pro-life movement and whose historical documentation dated 1991 when the call was to rescue those being led to the slaughter also writes:
“As a single interest group the pro-life movement has failed. As a political force it has proven to be a disappointment. As an institutional philanthropic enterprise, it has been more than a little impotent. But, as an outreach of the historic church, it has had stunning success. The modern pro-life movement has proven that commitment to the sanctity of life is the consequence of the Spirit’s work in the authentic sacramental church.”
Keeping this in mind it becomes important to remember that the work of the Spirit belongs to the Spirit. He is the one who puts it forward and the one that should get the glory. And, if this is my belief as it is yours, why couldn’t we support an all out ban on abortion even if it comes from those once known for their criticism of our very movement? Well…such a bill exists and as Christian News has recently reported and as Saynsumthn has also documented, it was proposed by the group Abolish Human Abortion, which has been very contentious with the “pro-life movement” regarding immediate versus incremental methods to end abortion.
Sen. Joe Silk, R-Broken Bow, recently introduced S.B. 1118 which adds killing an unborn child to existing murder statutes.
“No person shall perform or induce or attempt to perform or induce an abortion after conception,” it reads. “A person commits murder in the first degree when that person performs an abortion as defined by Section 1-745.5 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes.”
The bill defines abortion as “the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug or any other substance or device to intentionally kill an unborn human being” and provides the unborn with protection from the moment of conception.
My personal goal is to see abortion end in our nation- through whatever means God chooses to use. He chooses to use His people – all of us – if we so choose. That is why I would like to get behind any effort that seeks to protect our preborn neighbors.
As was the day when slavery existed in the world – we saw incredible bravery as individuals rose up to cry for an end to the slave trade. America was rich with defenders of the slave from the outspoken William Garrison to former slaves themselves like Frederick Douglas we heard time and again how the cry rang on “No compromise with slavery.”
The abolitionists often pierced the hearts of those in their day with the simple message asked by Jesus “Who is my brother?” Imergery from that era showed the enslaved Black man asking: “Am I not a man and a brother?”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer defines “who is our brother” in the Cost of Discipleship where he writes:
“The first law which Jesus commends to His disciples is the one which forbids murder and entrusts their brother’s welfare to their keeping. The brother’s life is a divine ordnance and God alone has the power over life and death. There is no place for the murderer among the people of God…”
Spurgeon also expounds on “who is thy brothers keeper” when he writes in the aforementioned text:
Shake yourselves up, brothers and sisters, from sinful sloth. “Oh!” says one, “I am not my brother’s keeper.” No, I will tell you your name; it is Cain. You are your brother’s murderer; for every professing Christian, who is not his brother’s keeper, is his brother’s killer;and be you sure that it is so; for you may kill by neglect quite as surely as you may kill by the bow or by the dagger.
As you ponder this history, we look to today as we face the possibility of a Supreme Court that could turn majority hostile to life and we ask, as they did so many times before over the course of history, with whom do we place our trust: in God or in man? If we abandon an opportunity to propose measures that end all abortions because it has not worked before, or it “will never pass” are we being truly honest to our core and our deeply held values? How will history itself play out at this crossroads?
An incident documented in the book Amazing Grace by historian Eric Mextaxas on the life of the great British abolitionist, William Wilberforce, gives us some direction and perhaps insights. It reads as follows:
When he [Wilberforce] spoke that day urging Parliament to strike from the peace agreement the clause that gave the French five more years of their commerce in human beings, he sounded especially toward the end of his wholly unprepared speech, like what one could well imagine the conscience of the nation might sound:
“When the heads of all those now living are laid low, and the facts which now excite such powerful feeling are related by the pen of the cold, impartial historian, when it is seen that an opportunity like the present has been lost, that the first act of the restored King of France was the restoration of a trade in slavery and blood, what will be the estimate formed of the exertions which this country has employed, of the effect which they have produced upon a people under such weighty obligations? Surely no very high opinion will be indulged either of British influence or of French gratitude.”
Please consider coming together to seek an end to abortion. Let’s put differences aside to be our brother’s keeper!
“We make alliances of peace where we ought to proclaim war to the knife; we plead our constitutional temperament, our previous habits, the necessity of our circumstances, or some other evil excuse as an apology for being content with a very partial sanctification, if indeed it be sanctification at all. We are slow also to rebuke sin in others, and are ready to spare respectable sins, which like Agag walk with mincing steps. The measure of our destruction of sin is not to be our inclination, or the habit of others, but the Lord’s command. We have no warrant for dealing leniently with any sin, be it what it may.” ~ The Treasury of David.