Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:11-20
Pastor Todd Buurstra
This is a recording of the Contemporary Service (9:15am).
During the month of November I sense God calling me to help you think biblically about some great ethical issues of our day (care of creation, violence, gay rights). But since today is All Saints Day, and since this is the 500th year since the birth of the reformed faith’s forefather, John Calvin, I want to raise another ethical issue. What might have happened if this genius of the Reformation had been aborted? Then we may not have had:
any sewer system in Geneva. Calvin may have doled out crap, but he also cleaned it up;
any US representative government since some say we got our government from Calvin;
as much of a work ethic since the Protestant work ethic was inspired by this hard worker;
no Calvin, no Puritans, and no Mayflower;
grand theology of God’s glorious reign with which we humbly cooperate in all of life.
That’s the loss of aborting just one fetus. So how might God call us to address abortion?
Well, abortion, as we know it, didn’t exist in the Bible, although the surrounding cultures did sacrifice children to the pagan god Molech. In Carthage, from whose inspiration this 20th century painting comes, sacrificing your child was the equivalent of lighting a votive candle in a Catholic church—a wish/vow. The child slid down Molech’s hands, like a playground slider, into the fire in hopes of more figs. In order to cover up the child’s screams, the clamor of loud drums and flutes accompanied. But the Hebrew God said, You shall not sacrifice your child to Molech (Lev. 18:21). Pro-life, OT style.
But when Moses preaches to the children of Israel in today’s passage, Choose life! his meaning is broader than don’t kill your kids, or the unborn. Moses goes on to explain… God’s focus here is on more than a heartbeat and brainwaves, but on a blessed life and lifelong prosperity. In other words, God is calling us to create a culture of life.
But the church’s abortion debate focuses too narrowly. I was handed a pen in a MI RCA church to sign a pro-life petition that many from that congregation were signing. Though I consider myself pro-life I wouldn’t sign it. Why?! Because it doesn’t allow for exceptions like for the mother’s life, or rape, or incest. Huh?! Now most Christians agree that abortion shouldn’t be a convenient means of birth control, but beyond that let’s not argue about details, so we can get on with God’s greater work of creating a culture of life!
Jesus needs everyone to help with that. The__helps create a culture of life when _.
Businessperson…they provide jobs because abortions go down as employment goes up
Teacher…they educate kids who can go out and get a job to care for kids one day.
Social worker…she helps a pregnant teen learn about adoption possibilities.
Elder…they assist in a church baptism to celebrate God’s gift of life.
Friend…they say Talk to the school counselor if he’s pressuring you for sex.
Grandparent…they bounce grandkids on their lap so that one day they value their kids.
Beth and Duane Kavanaugh create a culture of life through welcoming foster kids that they eventually adopt into their family. And this, God bless them, is their second family! Shawn and Justin are adopted, and Christopher just went back to his biological family.
But can we realistically create a culture of life? Not alone, but with God’s help its doable. How? We commit before God to make every child within our sphere of influence to feel wanted because wanted children want any kids that God may give them.
See I have set before you life and prosperity, death and adversity… Choose life! How is God calling you to create a culture of life by helping all feel wanted?
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