Take the time and make the effort

Good Morning Everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Resilience”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been wondrously made.” Psalm 139:13-14 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “Take the time and make the effort.”
 
In recent days I’ve been attempting to make the case that resilient Christians have the personal discipline, and will take the time and make the effort, to discover and utilize the strategies that will most effectively advance the cause of Christ in our society. I can think of no better example of this than the issue of abortion.
 
In the years following the infamous Wade v Roe Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, the Christian community was rightly outraged and determined to pushback against it. For almost two decades the dominant strategy consisted primarily of holding demonstrations outside of abortion clinics. Those events were often peaceful and the Christians involved were kind and well-intentioned. But sometimes they were loud and contentious, and sometimes they got out of control and turned violent. Women entering the clinics reported being intimidated and scared. In some extreme cases, fanatical abortion opponents went so far as to bomb abortion clinics and even, in a few instances, ambush and assassinate abortion providers.
 
That strategy was largely a failure and abortion rates continued to climb year-by-year. All the while, the pro-life Christian community was portrayed in the media as violent extremists. Most of us weren’t that, but some were, and to a large degree, that image stuck in the minds of the public.
 
But then in the late 1980s and early 1990s a new pro-life strategy was developed. Christian-operated crisis pregnancy centers were established in communities all across the land. Those centers were pleasant, comfortable places, staffed by kind and compassionate Christians who cared deeply about both the baby and the mother. There were ultrasound machines so the mother could hear her baby’s heartbeat; there were calm and reasoned counselors available to discuss resources and options with the mother; and there were a wide variety of helping resources offered to assist the mothers after they chose to keep their babies.
 
Those crisis pregnancy centers have been extraordinarily successful. Today there are over 2300 crisis pregnancy centers in the USA compared to fewer than 800 abortion clinics, and the abortion rate has been in steady decline in our nation for more than a decade. Today it is at the lowest rate since abortion was legalized in 1973.
 
Let me ask you, when was the last time you heard about one of those loud, boisterous anti-abortion demonstrations being held? (They have become rare and with good reason, because they weren’t very effective at actually stopping abortions). Let me also ask you, between the two approaches – the loud demonstrations or the welcoming crisis pregnancy centers, which one looks more like Jesus?
 
Participating in those demonstrations was a relatively easy thing to do because they didn’t require much time (maybe only a few hours during an afternoon), and they didn’t cost much money (a little posterboard and a stick to hold it up on). Establishing and maintaining a crisis pregnancy center is much more difficult. It requires a much greater investment of people and resources. Taking that approach requires a strong commitment from some resilient Christians, but it’s worth it because it is obviously the approach that works best.
 
Resilient Christians are willing to put forth the time and effort to do it right – sometimes at great sacrifice to themselves. Tomorrow I have another story for you.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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