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Nine Marks of a Prolife Church

Nine Marks of a Prolife Churchby John Ensor /

This is the last of three posts on abortion this week by John Ensor. The first two are here and here. On Thursday, each attendee at the Evangelicals for Life Conference in Washington, DC, received a copy of John’s book, Innocent Blood: Challenging the Powers of Death with the Gospel of Life.
  1. They know the Word. The people are taught the Scriptures regularly and repeatedly regarding the intrinsic value of human life, the inviolability of shedding innocent blood, and the call to cherish and defend innocent human life, including the preborn.
  2. They fear God and let their babies live. More than half of American women having abortions self-identify as Catholic or Protestant. The problem is not “out there,” but in our midst. So is the solution. The prolife church creates an environment where no matter how embarrassing or difficult a pregnancy is, abortion is no more acceptable than killing a two-year old.
  3. They love their pregnant neighbor. The prolife church hears sufficient testimonies to understand that pregnancy often presents itself as a crisis; for some mothers a pregnancy feels like a death sentence and abortionists look like saviors. The prolife church responds as a Good Samaritan, providing direct, practical, life-saving help.
  4. They hold true, but link arms. Without compromising theological convictions, the prolife church intentionally cooperates with other churches, even those that differ in meaningful ways, to establish and sustain a pregnancy-help organization that identifies and assists those in pregnancy-distress in their communities.
  5. They articulate the case for life. From teenagers to grandparents, the prolife church is trained to make the case for life to our secular culture. They know how to use the science of fetal development and our common philosophy of human rights to show that if the unborn are human beings, then abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human being, and therefore unjust.
  6. They affirm the administration of justice. The prolife church encourages Christians to seek out positions of authority and leadership in every area of society and to use their authority to protect or advance human dignity. Whether as headmaster, police chief, corporate CEO, or a civic or political leader, those who “enforce justice” (Hebrews 11:33) promote life.
  7. They practice citizenship. The prolife church respects governmental authority and submits to just laws, even as they advocate, organize, and vote for new leaders and laws that protect human life and well-being. They take full advantage of living in a democratic republic.
  8. They bring the gospel to the guilty. They bring the atonement of Christ to the anguish of mothers and fathers who have chosen abortion. They proclaim the cross as full payment paid for full punishment due: innocent blood for innocent blood. They offer the cleansing power of God’s Spirit, which turns the secret shame of abortion into glorious testimony.
  9. They pray for the end of abortion. Concerted, public prayer protects them from making peace with death. It prevents elective abortion from becoming settled law. It acknowledges our limited power to affect change, but confesses God’s almighty power to so work in us that future generations may one day look back on abortion the way we look back on slavery. It fuels enduring strength to say with Wilberforce, “Never, never will we desist till we have…extinguished every trace of this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, looking back to the history of these enlightened times, will scarce believe that it has been suffered to exist so long a disgrace and dishonor to this country.”

John EnsorJohn Ensor, an ordained Evangelical, is President of PassionLife, a leader in the prolife movement, and author of several books, including Innocent Blood: Challenging the Powers of Death with the Gospel of Life.


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