The local church is a chosen instrument of the Lord to bring light into the midst of darkness and influence society with principles of the kingdom of God. We can be thankful for those who went before us and worked to abolish slavery. We can be thankful for those who have, and are working to address issues such as poverty, racial division, and the sexual exploitation of vulnerable people. One critical issue that demands increasing action by the local church is defending the sanctity of human life. In Genesis 1:27 we read, "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (NASB) This verse clearly establishes the value of all human life under the sovereignty of God. Although the value of human life from conception to natural death can be logically defended by secular arguments, the church stands upon the higher authority of scripture. In Psalm 139:13-17 we read, "For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." These verses, among many others, make it clear that God determines the value of each life, and that the value of each life begins at conception. Physical birth simply allows us to see and hold the one whom God already knows and values.
Although there are many well-organized and dedicated organizations working to defend the rights of the unborn and promote a culture of life, it is the church that should be leading the way in fulfilling this responsibility. It is the church that can reach millions of people with a biblically-based view of life, reach out with the reconciling love of Jesus Christ to those in need and raise up people to serve as volunteers for life-affirming ministries, like pregnancy resource centers. Amazing things can and will happen as more churches rise to the occasion. The need is great, but our God is calling every local church to meet the need. The role of each local church will be different, but a collective awakening to the great opportunity before us will have far reaching impact!