June 29, 2022

 

A Word from Walker

 
It is not uncommon for me to approach writing my monthly newsletter with a bit of trepidation. Whether it is driven by my desire to say something that is truly helpful, or it is triggered by wondering how I could address a current issue from a biblically faithful perspective, I have always recognized both the opportunity and obligation writing this article affords. This particular article feels like it is weighted by all of the aforementioned motivations and even some more unspoken ones. So, here goes my latest effort.
  
Last week the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade decision made almost fifty years ago which made abortion legal in all states. For orthodox Christians, this decision last week by SCOTUS represented the result of a lot of prayer, peaceful protests, increased involvement in the political process and compassionate care of those who were dealing with unwanted pregnancies. While it pushed this decision back to the States to legislatively determine what to do next, it once again brought to the forefront how deeply divided our country is today over what some have coined “culture wars.” I have lived for sixty-one years and don’t recall a time when things were this conflicted, including the tumultuous days of the late 1960’s. How should we respond in such days of vitriolic rhetoric and threats of further civil unrest?
 
I do not think a faithful Christ-follower should operate from a spirit of triumphalism or fear. On the one hand we shouldn’t gloat, brag or treat those who disagree with us with disrespect. There should be a diffused type of humility about us that reflects how the perfect Son of God operated in the midst of sinful people (Phil. 2:1-11). On the other hand, we shouldn’t back away from our convictions concerning what we believe to be true about the inherent value of all life, especially the unborn. As we seek to strike this balance, it is important to remember that people support on demand abortion all the way through the third trimester for various reasons. This viewpoint can range from a simple view of women’s reproductive rights all the way to a hedonistic approach to life where there should be no challenging consequences or inherent responsibilities attached to sexual encounters. Because of this, we should be ready to give a defense for the beliefs we live by, especially when dialoging with people about this issue (1 Pet. 3:15).
 
As I have mentioned in previous articles, Christians are to be salt and light in a beautiful and yet broken world (Matt. 5:13-16). This means that this is not just about the words you speak but also the very way you live that illustrates the blessing of being a follower of Christ. There are both comforting and challenging applications of what this looks like on a day-by-day basis. We want to help the hurting and confront falsehood. This balance enables us to be kind and courageous. Without this Spirit-empowered approach we will either find ourselves being harsh apologists or fickle witnesses. Neither extreme accurately reflects the power of the Gospel to bring forgiveness and transformation.
 
I am in prayer for all of us as we move forward during these days of great conflict and even more powerful opportunities to not lose hope. God is at work in the midst of all of this. May we discover what he is doing and join him in the ever-expanding work of redemption upon the earth.
 
In Christ,
Walker