Next week, I am going to be speaking during the College’s “Justice Chapel” on abortion (Feb 24). The goal will be to present students with a short outline of the state of abortion legislation in Canada (i.e., there is none!), and then to give some counsel to students as to how to make their voice heard on this issue as Christians.
I’m convinced that Christian witness on issues of justice needs to be clearly identified with our Lord Jesus. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:17). While there is no need to “preach to” or to “condemn” our political leaders when we sense a lack of movement on an issue, I am more than ever convinced that they need to hear from us as Christians, as Jesus’ followers. A letter, for example, to an MP or Minister of Justice on abortion needs not only to ask for specific legislative actions to be taken to protect the unborn, but also should be unashamedly self-identified with Jesus, even if it is only 5 words. Politicians are used to hearing from every other kind of identity groups, so there is no reason to think that somehow Christians need to write as if they were “neutral.” Unfortunately, I think that reasoning is common amongst Christians who think that writing a letter is a means to persuade an MP or Minister of a position, when in fact, it is highly unlikely that we will accomplish that in a short letter. What is important, though, is that they know Christians care about these things. For every letter they get from a Christian, they can know that there are probably hundreds of others who share the same sentiments. If an MP got 100 letters from self-identified Christians on an issue such as abortion, they will have a pretty good sense of who is in their constituency, whether or not they agree with your position.
Oh, and by the way, be respectful. There is nothing worse than a politician associating hateful condemnation as the main ethos of Christians. And yes, from what I understand, many MPs say that they get more hateful letters from Christians than from any other group. That, to me, is a not a good Christian witness.
At our justice chapel, we will be giving students an opportunity to write a brief note to their MP on this issue. As you think of me, I ask for your prayers for this.
Finally, as I have been preparing for this, I came across a Youtube presentation by a 12 year old girl from Toronto which she prepared for a school competition. In some ways, I am tempted simply to show this video to our students because of how clear-headed and compelling it is, though in the end, the message she gives, while certainly laudable and well worth sharing, is not overtly a Christian witness. Nevertheless, I highly recommend that you watch it.
You can read a fuller account of the story of 12 year old Lia’s speech on Lifesitenews.com here.
2 thoughts on “Abortion and Christian Witness”
I’m glad you’re doing this, David. I know that I am concerned sometimes about identifying myself as a Christian on a particular topic because I do not wish the reader/hearer to say, “Oh, you’re just one of those…” and effectively write me and my opinion off. I’m particularly concerned about this when I have limited time/space to communicate, such as in a letter to my politician, or perhaps in a letter to the Editor of a newspaper. I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I suspect not. I wonder if this would be something to address in the Chapel?
I hear your concern, Grant. I suppose the other side of it is this: If more Christians started to speak out publicly about these issues AND having their voice seasoned with the salt of grace and truth, perhaps there’d be less reason for those around us to think, “Oh, it’s just another one of those CHRISTIANS!”
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