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June 1, 2020

Choose LIFE

Dr. John Neufeld

For those of us who are pro-life, this has been a very difficult week.  Those of us who have the stomach for it have watched the video of a US white police officer with his knee on the neck of a black man, as his life slowly ebbed away.  When he could, the dying man begged for mercy, but found none.

The result has been an overwhelming, and justifiable sense of anger that has swept the nation.  And of course, as we are all aware, rioters and anarchists have used this as an opportunity to burn, loot, and create chaos.  In the wake of this, many have lost sight of what the righteous protesters have been trying to say.  Anger is followed by additional anger.

Furthermore, as many of us saw the crowds that filled US cities, we thought of this as a natural point of a further outbreak of the Coronavirus.  As one young protester said, “This is not a time to be worried about the Coronavirus.”  But, as we all know, the Coronavirus does not take time off because the nation is angry the outrage of the callous way in which one police officer took the life of another man.  It is now quite likely that we will be 2 weeks away from another uptick in the pandemic, and that this crowding of people will result in untold more deaths.  Perhaps (and I trust I am wrong) in the future, these protests intermingled with riots will be seen as the cause of the second wave of the pandemic.

In all of this, I am left to ponder Deuteronomy 30:19–20a. 

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days.”

When many of us think of the term, “pro-life”, we think of it in terms of abortion, and the unjust killing of children in the womb.  We might remember the words of admonition from the 4th century preacher John Chrysostom, who said, “Thou shalt not make the chamber of procreation, a chamber of death.”  The mere fact that abortion continues unabated, even though a horrible pandemic is a rage against heaven.

But many of us who are pro-life constantly remind others, that the issue for which we struggle is not just the curse of abortions, but the curse of death itself.  Moses’ call to Israel on the plains of Moab, is that we should choose life.  That is, since all human beings are created in the image of God, all have inherent worth.

It matters not whether they may seem to be inconvenient, as in the case of the child in the womb or the senior citizen in a home.

It matters not if they are despised because of the colour of their skin as in the case of all acts of racism.

Indeed, it matters not if their businesses can be used to make a point, as in the case of looting and burning of stores and businesses.

And it matters not, if in our rage against injustice, we give an opportunity for an already existing pandemic to kill more of our elderly and those with preexisting conditions.

It has been a very bad several weeks for us who are pro-life.  We understand the anger of the hour.  We are angry too.

But we also understand that our greatest enemy is Satan, who constantly whispers into our ears that we have every right to take action in a way that chooses death.

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