America is more pro-life now than at any time in the last half century. Close to sixty percent of us believe human life begins at conception, and close to eighty percent believe it’s just plain wrong for taxpayers to fund the termination of unborn children. This attitude squares nicely with the Christian scriptures, although it is squarely out of step with most governmental leaders. (More on that later.) This pro-life majority came about as the fruit of thousands fighting the culture wars God’s way instead of their way.
In Luke 10, Jesus sends seventy apostles out to share His revelation throughout Israel and Judea. His instructions were explicit: bless everyone they could, hang out with them and enjoy their company, meet their needs as the Holy Spirit provided, and share their stories of encounter with the Living God. The world thinks this is a silly way to fight a war, but that depends on the war and the objective of winning. I praise God for our military people who stand ready to protect me and my family from violent invasion, but I don’t want to be protected against the lost. I want to be able to reach out to them as I was reached out to forty-five years ago. Most people who want abortions are lost beneath the pressure of their circumstances. Forty Days for Life has one of the best track records for relieving people in crisis of that pressure. They are one of the principal reasons for the current pro-life majority in America.
Founded by David Bereit and Shawn Carney in 2004, they gathered volunteers to stand in front of abortion clinics and do what Jesus told His seventy friends to do — in that order, nothing more and nothing less. Mareza is one of the people who got blessed in that first campaign which saw a near thirty percent reduction in abortions in Bryan College Station, Texas. She encountered a lone volunteer standing on a wintery morning in front of the clinic she and her friend entered to abort her baby. The man said, “God bless you. God bless both of you. Actually, God bless all three of you.” Through her tears – even now – Mareza says she marched into the clinic, turned around, and marched back out – still carrying the child inside her womb. Fueled by word of mouth, the movement went national in 2007 and was soon an international phenomenon. Today, six hundred twenty-five thousand volunteers conduct semi-annual campaigns in five hundred forty cities in twenty-four nations.
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Forty Days has never wavered from their basic strategy of blessing. They count nine thousand unborn lives saved, not to mention the physical and spiritual trauma to moms they avert. (Abortion is not the safe procedure it is advertised to be.) More than one hundred workers have left their clinic jobs and nearly sixty centers have closed in the wake of the peaceful and loving witness of these humble people. Appointments for abortions tend to decline by seventy-five percent on days the volunteers are on duty. Their ministry addresses the number one cause of death in the world today – abortion – and gives people involved an opportunity to choose life.
The Fall campaign begins Wednesday, September 24, and runs through Sunday, November 2. The theme of every Forty Days campaign is 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” It is not about getting the rest of the world to change — it’s about us who claim the Lord as our own. Readers who want to participate can go to www.40daysforlife.com to contact the ministry in their own community. Those in live in or near Redding or Chico, California can contact PrayNorthState and I will connect you with local leaders in those cities.
About government leaders being out of step with the pro-life majority… Elections come in November. Most pro-life people – indeed, most Christians – pay little attention to whether candidates reflect their values – in pragmatic action – when choosing their voting preference. We are too busy rejecting the guy we don’t like in favor of the guy we dislike less. This is especially prevalent in state and local elections in which we tell ourselves these candidates have no impact on issues of life itself. The trouble is, they do. California’s legislature cannot reverse Roe v. Wade, but they can and do vote to fund thirty thousand abortions each year with taxpayer funds. They do vote for bullet trains and scholarships for illegals instead of benefits for veterans, school curricula that teach traditional values, and crisis pregnancy centers.
Whether a person is pro-choice or pro-life – in the actual decisions and priorities they make – is a harbinger of a fundamental mindset. A pro-life mindset is a fundamental and across-the-board blessing at any level of government; a pro-choice or a lukewarm attitude is a force for business as usual.
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This November, suppose we let the less objectionable know less objectionable will no longer cut it with us. Just as we can choose to go to war, but only in God’s way of blessing those we name enemy, so we can choose to vote only for candidates who bless our culture, not just those who don’t make it too much worse. God is in this for the long haul, as is Forty Days for Life. It’s our turn now — once more into the breach with gladness. Once more into the breach for forty days and once more into the present with our eyes on God’s declared future.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.