Last week I wrote about a tough subject—thanks for sticking with me. The cultural trends—like hooking up—that sweep across our nation affect our churches, too. A solution I suggested was one of friendship, and it can be boiled down to one word: Value.
Or as my friend Aretha put it, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T!”
Students, young men and women, need someone(s) to show them through a loving, Christ-reflecting friendship that they have value and are valued. They have value because they’re a human being made by God in His image. They are valued above all by God, and they must value themselves as well.
Valuing human life, or devaluing it rather, may be the root of many of our society’s troubles. The past two days I have been reminded of this. (Thank you, Pastor Jim Lorch, for preaching poignantly about this yesterday.)
Yesterday was Sanctity of Life Sunday. Churches across the nation paused to remember the sad day 41 years ago (January 22, 1973) when the infamous Roe vs. Wade verdict made abortions legal in the U.S. This blatant national disregard for human life led to the death of nearly 45 million babies since then. About one million babies (human beings in the womb) are aborted each year. What should be the safest place in the universe—a mother’s womb—has become a place of horror, where war is waged against defenseless persons.
I’ve written about this before here, and here, and I know that not everybody views this issue quite as clear-cut as I do. But God says life in the womb is precious, so I’m gonna stick with Him on that one.
To quote a favorite president…
“I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.”
Good point, Mr. Reagan.
Why have we chosen to not value life?
Any Age, Any Color
Today is Martin Luther King day. His birthday was last week (the fifteenth) and today we remember his life, passion, and work. Last August, we recognized the 50th anniversary of his “I Have A Dream” speech.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was also an advocate for valuing life. He spoke out for ethical treatment of people during a time when a person’s race determined his value. This was wrong; another example of the devaluing of human life. King fought for human rights for people of any color, because the truth was (and still is) human life is valuable because it is created by God in His image. And I’d say that’s enough to merit worth.
Any Age, Any Color, Any Gender
There’s one more group of people who are suffering horrifically because of a devaluing of human life. The victims of human trafficking—about 27 million men, women, and children—are traded as property for labor and sex. Eight out of every ten trafficking cases worldwide involve the sex industry, and 80% of the victims are women. The multi-billion dollar industry uses human beings (made in God’s image) to fulfill sinful desires of lust and greed. It’s sickening, and if I go on I may actually be sick. You can learn more about it at www.ENDITmovement.com.
By the way, large conferences and sporting events (like the SuperBowl) are hotbeds of human trafficking crime. Please pray, and if you’re going to something like that, be paranoid and travel in packs.
So here’s the question. What are you doing to value life today?
If you’re lost as to how to get started, here are some ideas:
– Visit Abort73.com to get involved with an anti-abortion organization.
– Volunteer at a local pregnancy resource center. For my friends in the area, check out Pregnancy Resource Center of Lapeer and Women and Teens in Pontiac.
– As you have opportunity, befriend a pregnant woman and help her with whatever needs she has. Love her.
– Be aware and get involved for those trapped in human trafficking. Resources here: END IT Movement and here: The White Umbrella Campaign
– Become familiar with the International Justice Mission, Compassion International and Women at Risk (WAR, International).
-Above all, PRAY to the God who sees, knows, loves, and rescues.