I woke up the other morning and started my normal routine: grab my Bible, wipe the sleep out of my eyes, pour a cup of coffee—but I didn’t even get a chance to take a sip. God began to speak to my heart about the state of our nation and the state of His church.
With absolute clarity He shook me, saying: “Derrick, the condition of the nation should fall heavy on the conscience of the church.”
Photo: Will Foster / Flickr
I knew immediately that should meant that currently, beyond a select few, “the state of our nation does not fall on the conscience of the church.” I also knew this macro statement applied just as strongly to the micro reality: the state of our nation, states, counties, cities and neighborhoods do not fall on our conscience as the church.
For example, here in California we allow a 13 year-old child to get an abortion without parental consent; we hand out condoms and Plan B/morning after pills like candy in public schools; and we force pro-life pregnancy centers to refer clients to the county for abortion services. Yet apart from a small few, there is no outcry from the church.
Human Dignity Over Death
The latest development in California is the passing of a bill sanctioning physician-assisted suicide. Following “right to die” bills passed in Washington, Oregon and Vermont, Governor Jerry Brown signed a state law on October 5 allowing the legalized murder of terminally ill patients in California. Because the bill could not find support among state legislators, assisted-suicide supporters circumvented normal process to pass the law.
The elderly will face the brunt of a new assisted suicide law in California (Photo: Roy Sinai / Flickr)
In a key sense, there is no difference between legislation sanctioning physician-assisted suicide and legislation sanctioning abortion: both legalize the murder of an individual. No matter how you spin it or sugarcoat it, murder is always murder.
It is horrific enough that we as the church have already allowed the murder of more than 57 million children through abortion. Now, as laws change state by state, are we going to allow the murder of our elders?
Proponents of “right to die” legislation declare that as a society, physician-assisted suicide is one of the most dignifying, merciful and compassionate things we can do. This sounds a lot like Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, who once said: “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
I beg to differ. Mother Teresa did too, saying: “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received; and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.”
Mother Teresa of Calcutta at a pro-life gathering in 1986 (Photo: Túrelio / Wikimedia)
Mother Teresa had it right: dignity and mercy are not exemplified in hastening death. Showing true compassion is to meet someone where they are at and love them, no matter the circumstance.
God Created the Church to Be His Voice
Only one time in all of human history has death spoken a good word—and that death was not the final word. Jesus died so that He could defeat death and be resurrected! Death will never be the solution.
Isaiah 59:19 declares: “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”
Pro-life believers from across the nation come together annually at OneVoiceDC (Photo: Aaron Wong / OneVoiceDC)
We, as the church, are that standard. We are supposed to be the resistance. It is the church who is called to uphold the law of God—not in some legalistic way, but with wholehearted abandon. We must take a stand for justice and righteousness.
Being a follower of Jesus is not a passive lifestyle; we are called to action. You may hide in fear from the battle, but the battle will never end. There are two kingdoms at war: the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. The enemy has declared an all-out war against the children of God. A kingdom cannot survive if it does not advance; there is no stalemate.
We find a compelling story in the book of Judges, about a man named Gideon whom God calls to lead. The problem? Gideon is the least of all the men in his family, and his group seen as the smallest and weakest (Judges 6). Gideon is consumed by fear and doubt, even asking the Lord for multiple signs. Yet we find God indeed uses this small, weak group of only 300 men to achieve great victory.
Silent Siege: People pray for redemption and the ending of abortion (Photo: Mikel Darling / Flickr)
There is a Gideon-like army within the Church: those who faithfully pray and act to defend vulnerable lives. They have been perceived as weak and the least important, because they pray and make intercession. Just because God can use a seemingly small group like Gideon’s army to win, does not give us as the church an excuse to disengage or cower in fear.
We must not forget the words of our Savior in Matthew 10:33. Jesus says, “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” Many well-meaning Christians state they would never deny Jesus, yet by remaining silent they disdain the very Man they claim to follow. Silence is a form of denial.
God desires all His people to join in the partnership of prayer—He wants to achieve victory through a united body, that the faith of all may be built up! We are not called to live in fear, shrinking back. Rather we are called to rise up and be counted.
Derrick Sanderson is the founder of RevolutionFireMinistries where he serves as an intercessory missionary. He has previously served in ministry with the International House of Prayer-Kansas City, TheCall and Justice House of Prayer DC. He and his wife Heather lead the local Bound4LIFE chapter in Chico, California.