Friday, January 22, 2016

Sanctity of Human Life

Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed. Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9
This past Sunday was Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.  On this day we, as a church, declare our belief that human life is of inestimable worth and significance in all its dimensions, including the unborn, the aged, the widowed, the mentally handicapped, the unattractive, the physically challenged and every other condition in which humanness is expressed from conception to the grave. We believe life is sacred.
What can we do to help restore the Sanctity of Human Life ethic?
We should examine our hearts for attitudes toward others that violate the spirit of the Sanctity of Human Life ethic. We must struggle against the subtle ways we dishonor or fail to acknowledge the intrinsic worth of each individual. This disrespect may erupt through disdain for someone we do not know based on his or her appearance or even someone who is just different than ourselves. The spiritual sins of superiority, contempt and slander are more frequent and easier to hide than the physical crimes of assault, rape or murder. These seemingly minor and unimportant sins of our hearts are, in fact, expressions of disrespect for God’s human image in our world.
We need to teach the next generation a respect for all human life.
Children who are respected and cherished will better comprehend the concept of the sacredness of every human life. The affirmation of life can also be modeled through church support of pro-life pregnancy resource centers and hospices. Involve children in caring for the aged, impaired, infirm and poor.
We must give value to those who others discriminate against or ignore by sharing our own voices in protection of those who cannot speak for themselves. The Bible says Open your mouth for the speechless… Proverbs 31:8.   Where is our voice in a day that so easily takes the life of the innocent?  Silent voices do not produce the righteousness of God.
Martin Niemoeller, a German pastor imprisoned for opposing the Nazis, illustrated the gravity of remaining silent: "In Germany, they first came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
Tragically, when Christians ignore the issues of Sanctity of Life, whether they are about the unborn, elderly, homeless, handicapped, etc., for fear of "laying a guilt trip on people", we distort the redemptive gospel we are called to share. Silence on the issue does not spare post-abortion men and women guilt; it spares them healing: unconfessed sin is keeping these wounded souls from full-fellowship with their Savior. We must also find it in our hearts to forgive those who have violated the sanctity of life in any form as they confess their sin and seek restoration.

A Scripture to Claim:
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)

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