After reading her words, some friends and I exchanged a little dialogue about the subject of abuse of the system leading to the kind of judgment Traci mentioned.
Here are my thoughts (you can blame my friend, Esther, for this becoming a blog post) in regard to pro-life Christians (especially) and their God-given responsibility to take Traci's words to heart.
Even if people are taking advantage of the system (the system sort of allows it), how often are we the only link to the gospel that these people will ever see? We are Christians before we are Americans and if we let our nationalistic pride block the light of Christ, we have made a mistake. Regardless of what people have done in their lives, without the gospel changing them, they're going to do whatever they need to do to survive. If that means cheating a little here and there- they're probably going to do it. Without the voice of the Spirit of God urging my heart to do the right thing (in too many situations), I am quite sure I wouldn't. My past is proof.
People who are pro-life should never see (or treat) children as mistakes. I've heard too many seemingly well-intentioned people criticize people (even solid Christians) for having large families, for mothers having babies out of wedlock (even though they should be praising her for not having aborted her baby), for having babies of mixed race...(why is this even a thing anymore). But for what? If we love life and support choosing LIFE, we need to show it. Otherwise, we are really just pro-birth.
I stayed away from church for five years because I couldn't explain my unborn son, and then later, after his birth, the fact that my son had no father. I was lost then, but I knew what my life should have looked like to be acceptable to Christians and to God. I just didn't know how to get there. At a time in my life when I was the most helpless, the most lonely, and the most desperate for grace, I couldn't approach the one place where I should have been able to find it. Only when I entered Calvary Baptist Church in my town and saw the hands and feet of Jesus in action through this body of believers was I able to let my guard down and truly experience the grace of God in Christ. It brought me to saving faith and I will never forget where Jesus found me when I was welcomed by this family.
A lot of people who profess to be Christians seem to feel justified in wrapping themselves in the flag and hurling insults and anyone who is lazy, confused, immoral, misguided, or dishonest. That is fine for lost conservatives who don't know any better but to base their existence on the U.S. Constitution. However, for American Christians who are inexplicably blessed to live in this free nation, we are not so "free" to think or say whatever we feel about them. In such instances as Traci described, we are presented with the perfect opportunity to reach out to people in their lowliest, most broken states and show them the love of Christ... even if they've lied to the government to get benefits; even if they've stolen from tax payers to get more than they should; even if (brace yourselves, everyone...) they've murdered their unborn babies. Yes. I said that "out-loud."
Without Christ, the morality conservative Americans desire of them means nothing. Who cares if they keep the whole [American] law and [never] stumble in even one point...? How unfortunate! In that case, there is no reason for guilt, no need for rescuing. But, if we love them where they are... lost, lying, cheating, stealing, and murdering... they WILL see the love of Christ in us. We never know when God is planning to use us in a grocery line. We never know when someone is aching for the gospel and they don't even know it.
Supporting life through all of these situations does not mean supporting the breaking of laws or accepting/condoning immoral lifestyles. But, if we don't reach out to those who need it most, our beliefs become just opinions - really stinky ones- to those who see Christians as hypocrites. I have some pretty liberal friends whose main objection to pro-life people is this very issue... They believe we are pro-birth and don't care what mothers need to ensure their children have have their needs met. Meeting their needs doesn't make us bad (read liberal) Americans, but not meeting them makes us lousy (read disobedient) Christians. Someone may not use our gift of twenty bucks, or a helping hand, or our support with the right motives. They may still carry on in their dishonest, immoral ways. What do you expect from lost people? We aren't responsible for their choices. We are only responsible to serve others; to do unto the least of these as if we were serving Christ. Sometimes our service may be the exact catalyst God uses to turn broken, wicked hearts toward Him. People rarely want to hear truth from people whom they don't know and love and who don't love them back. They will, however, tolerate "the wounds of a faithful friend."
Traci's article resonates with me so much because were it not for the tenderness of Christians who were different than the pro-life couple in this article (not that the author said they were believers) I would never have been saved. I shudder when I think of how close I came to missing eternity with Christ. For those who were instrumental in that change in my life, I am literally eternally grateful.
What kind of Christians do we want to be? Will we stand on Plymouth Rock wrapped in the Gadsden flag crying out in the name of God that our Constitution has been trampled? How important is that really? More important than the Father of Lies ensnaring countless lost people, convincing them that there is no hope? Are we willing to let lost people trample temporarily on a finite word from men in hopes of having an opportunity to give them the eternal Word of Life?
What does it really mean to be pro-life? U