On January 22, 1973, the SCOTUS ruled in favor of abortion in the case of Roe vs. Wade. A decade (plus one year) later Ronald Reagan declared January 22 as “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.” I should preface this blog with a statement. I am 100% pro-life. I don’t know how I could possibly be any clearer than that. And because I am 100% pro-life I must be 100% pro-life in both the major political squabbles and in the unseen day-to-day mundane matters. This also means that I don’t store up all the anti-abortion remarks I can with the sole purpose of wreaking havoc and unleashing hell on “those liberals” every January 22. If I am to claim a 100% pro-life stance it also means I must be pro-life every day, all day… not just one day out of the year. But what could these commonplace matters be? What mundane matter can possibly stand against the backdrop of abortion massacres or social injustices on Sanctity of Human Life day? Better yet, why do they matter?
First let’s define what we mean by “Sanctity of Human Life.” To put just a common place vernacular phrase to it the idea implies human dignity or the divinely favored value of human life. The fundamental reason, for the Christian at least, is that human beings are made in the image of God “The Imagio Dei” (Genesis 1:26-27). As with many other theological topics there is an all you can eat buffet of theological interpretations to choose from for the meaning of “the image of God.” Yet even amongst the variety we find at least one common belief. All human life is precious to God. Regardless of age, development, race, socioeconomic status, gender, etc. your life is valued by God. This is typically the point in which Sanctity of Life Sunday begins to thunder with sermons zeroing in on abortion laws, social justice reforms… you know the “giants” of this topic. To be sure, I am not discouraging these sermons. These topics need to be addressed, they are of great importance. Please, preach on brother.
Yet for some reason James 3:8-9 bursts into my mind this morning amidst all the conversation on the sanctity of human life, “but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.” How’s that for monotonous? Conversation. It’s literally something you do every day. Even so, according to James our mundane conversations ought to express our pro-life stance. We shouldn’t degrade one another through gossiping, slandering, boasting against, cursing, deceiving, or any of the million other venues possible through our conversational dialogue. We shouldn’t degrade one another, if for no other reason, simply because humans are made in the likeness of God. Teenage boys degrading women in the locker-room isn’t being pro-life. Teenage girls slandering each other’s reputation isn’t valuing human life. Grown men cursing their wife. Women cursing their husband. Men boasting against other men. Women gossiping about other women. It’s not being very pro-life, actually it’s quite the opposite. It’s easy to jump on a political bandwagon and riot, protest, and point fingers. Anyone can do that. Lost people can do that. But God hasn’t called His church to simply ride bandwagons, Christ has called His Holy church to be different. We should work actively as a church to seek a reversal to Roe vs. Wade, we ought to pray feverishly and zealously for that. We ought to cry out for social reforms on behalf of the weak, the Fatherless, and the defenseless. And we should also be obedient in matters that are much more mundane to us. How silly it must look for a person to display such a passion for pro-life beliefs on Sunday morning only to curse their co-worker on Monday morning. Be pro-life every day, all day. Not just on Sunday’s between 9:00 and noon. Stop jumping on bandwagons and just be obedient in both the small and the big things.