Dear PBC Family,
As you all know, after 50 years, Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States. In short, this ruling removes abortion rights from the federal level and returns them to the state level.
In writing this, please know my goal is not to be political, but biblical. Not to promote a side, but to point us to a kingdom ethic. And to shepherd you to do the same.
So, how should we respond to the recent ruling?
One passage that has been on my mind all week is Luke 19. Jesus looks over the brokenness of Jerusalem and his response is deep compassion, even to the point of tears.
No matter how you have viewed or experienced abortion, we can all acknowledge there is deep pain for everyone involved. As Christ-followers we should follow Christ’s example and before we do anything else, we should lead the way in showing sincere compassion for those whose pain has been stirred in recent days.
In addition, our compassion and kindness should be evident as we engage those who believe differently on this issue. This applies to conversations, relationships, as well as social media.
And this compassion especially extends to women. Many times in the church we talk about abortion, but rarely talk and listen to women. This must change. Women in general, and especially women who have had any experience with abortion, need to know and feel from God’s people, the radical grace and loving-kindness of God Himself. To all the women in our church, please know I love you, and more importantly God loves you, right where you are.
The foundational doctrine of the “Imago Dei”, Psalm 139, and other passages throughout Scripture clearly show the inherent dignity and value of all human life, including life in the womb. Specifically, we see instances where God cares for, and is actively involved with, life in the womb (ex: Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Mary).
Therefore, anything that helps preserve and protect the precious gift and value of life in the womb should be humbly, but boldly advocated for and affirmed.
However, we must not stop there. Our advocacy and affirmation of life in the womb, must equal our advocacy and affirmation of life outside the womb. This means applying the same level of care and concern to those affected by poverty, abuse, racism, classism or anything that threatens the value and dignity of life, rooted in the image of God.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18
The way we say it at Phoenix Bible Church is “Love Moves”. We must continue our commitment to actively love those around us, especially the least of these, with the love of Christ.
We will continue our efforts with “Love Fosters”, community partners like Hope Women’s Center, and global efforts with The Gem Foundation, serving individuals with special needs. In addition, we invite you to partner with us in other ways by opening your hearts, homes, hands, schedules, and wallets to bring hope and healing to the most vulnerable among us.
Church, I love you. My deepest desire is to help you love Jesus, live like Him, and lead others to Him, even in difficult conversations. I hope this message encourages you, and even challenges you in that way. And please know, if you are wrestling with this conversation in any way, our team would love to talk and pray with you.
Pastor Tim Birdwell
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