Note: Jamie Buckingham's insight in this 1990 Charisma & Christian Life column still challenges believers to this day. We honor his memory today, as Feb. 17, 2017, marks the 25th anniversary of his death.
We have four generations living in our home. Jackie's mother, Daisy Law, is 82 years old. She has Parkinson's disease. Some days she is fine, helping Jackie in the kitchen. Other days, she can't get out of bed.
We also have Amy Kathryn Buckingham, age 10 months. My son, Tim; his wife; two boys and little Amy are living with us while they remodel their home.
Daisy and Amy have something in common: Neither is able to take care of herself. Both are totally dependent on the love and care of someone else for their earthly existence. If either were put out in the backyard by herself at night, she would probably not survive more than a few hours. However, because of our love of family and a biblical reverence for life, both are fed, clothed, sheltered and have all their needs lovingly fulfilled.
In the purest sense, that is what it means to be pro-life.
In today's society, however, pro-life means but one thing: anti-abortion. That is understandable in light of what is going on in this nation concerning the wholesale slaughter of the unborn.
The morally brave but socially reckless approach of Operation Rescue has virtually put itself out of business—alienating many it hoped to persuade. Marches on state capitals and threats against pro-choice politicians have accomplished little. Thus the question remains: Is legislation the best way to fight evil? Thomas Aquinas once wrote: "Where there is no consensus, there is no law."
Yet, while abortion remains, the test question all politicians must face, can we afford to elect officials on a one-issue platform? Many Christians say yes. But what about the other anti-life problems threatening our society: drugs, child abuse, the homeless, the plight of the elderly, crime, alcoholism? Should we not also take these issues into consideration?
Pro-life means concern for all life—not just the unborn. Unfortunately, many Christians don't understand that. One Christian politician, badly stung by militant conservatives, rightly pointed out: "For most Christians, pro-life begins with conception and ends with birth. Biblical pro-life means we care from the womb to the tomb."
Rob Sider, chairman of Evangelicals for Social Action, once wrote: "Only as the church truly models the values it proclaims does its political activity have integrity." In short, we don't have the right to demonstrate in front of an abortion clinic unless we're willing to take a pregnant mother and/or her newborn into our own home. And some Christian pro-life activists have done so.
Down here in Florida, we're in the midst of a governor's race. The incumbent is anti-abortion, but he's weak on other pro-life issues. One of his challengers, U.S. Congressman Bill Nelson, is a Spirit-filled Christian. Nelson is strong on other pro-life issues but believes it is the mother, not the state, who must answer to God concerning abortion. I disagree with his stance. I believe government should reflect God's will. But I'll vote for him because I want a praying man in the governor's chair. Besides, I can't help but admire him for not bending to the pressures of those who are able to write their entire theology on a bumper sticker.
Commenting on the race, a pro-lifer told me: "I'd vote for the devil if he were opposed to abortion."
The devil is anti-life. Satan not only wants to kill the unborn, he wants to kill our children with drugs, our youth with suicide, our elderly with depression. He wants to wipe out the human race with nuclear weapons and the animal and plant kingdom with bad ecology.
God is pro-life. Human life is holy. All of us—the born and the unborn, the genius and the mentally retarded, black and white, rich and poor—are created in His image.
God's image means we reverence and respect all human life. We are commanded to protect it, even with our own if necessary. We are to love one another, care for one another and come together as one family under His love.
That's why we have Jackie's mother and little Amy living in our home—at our own great inconvenience and expense. When they are gone, we shall replace them with someone else, for it's not right to have a spare bedroom when some have no bed at all.
I am pro-choice. My choice is to be pro-life.
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