"This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27)

Blue Ridge Christian News

[The following article was published in the 'Carolina Christian News' newspaper]

Are We Pro-life or Just Pro-birth?

By Ed Rosella

I travel often to several countries in Western and Eastern Europe. The church voice against abortion in Europe is almost non-existent. In America, the church still speaks for the rights of the unborn. But why don't our words have much effect? What does it mean to really be "pro-life?"

To be "pro-life" means we will be there for the life of the child and not just the birth. Unfortunately, I don't believe the American church has this testimony. We say to our lawmakers, "Every baby is made in the image of God and has the right to be born." However, once he's born, we walk away and the State is left to raise the child without us. Our words are without credibility!

There are well over half-million children in the American foster care system. They're in our communities and yet many churches barely even notice them. We say abortion is wrong and yet we don't help the "unwanted" children who have already been born. Our words are without authority!

There are over 100,000 foster children available for adoption in America. Unfortunately, most of them will not be adopted. I'm often asked, "Isn't there a ten-year waiting list for adoption in America?" - that's for the babies! We all want the babies who come with fewer problems. So, why aren't they being adopted? The honest answer is - they're too old, too handicapped, or have a different skin color. I hate to write this, but a simple look at the foster children available for adoption on your state's website will show this to be true.

When we protest against abortion without providing solutions for the foster children who have already been born, our words are empty and without credibility. We prove we're just pro-birth and not really pro-life. However, I believe the American church has the ability to become truly "pro-life."

I once heard that Mother Theresa said to the members of the U.S. Congress, "Do not abort your babies; give them to me!" What authority! What power! Her words were spoken with credibility! Which congressman could challenge this "pro-life" woman who lived what she spoke? Thousands of rescued children gave her the authority to speak this way.

The Bible gives a clarion call to every church to care for the suffering children in their communities. It says, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." (Proverbs 31:8-9)

I speak often to churches about becoming relevant for foster/orphan children. I have noticed that people listen to my words, not simply because they're true, but mostly because my wife and I have adopted three siblings. Our actions have given us authority to speak. Faithful actions will give our churches credibility to speak for the value of human life.

One day a pastor said to his church at the end of our conference, "We need less talk and more action!" About a year later, he and his wife took an "unwanted" teenage girl and her unborn child into their home. His wife said to their church, "I want you to treat both of them as our children." They speak with a new authority against abortion.

It is sad in our country that the color of one's skin, age, or a handicap label many foster children as "un-adoptable." Social workers desperately need our help to care for these "unwanted" children. If your church could provide foster or adoptive families for the children in your state, you will show the love of Jesus in a substantial way, and you will truly find your "pro-life" voice.

[If you would like a conference to help inspire your church towards mercy ministries you may write to info@eleosinternational.org.]

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