Christians are by definition pro-life, right? God’s infallible word teaches that all humans are his image-bearers. Scripture teaches that it’s a sin to murder fellow humans, whether they’re newly conceived or grey and wise with age. And it teaches that as temples of the Holy Spirit who empowers us, Christians are to pursue what is right, hate what is evil and proclaim the truth to the dead-in-sin world around us.
Abortion is morally wrong, and part of being Christian and pro-life is to reveal the unpopular truth that it is a sin, and worthy of God’s judgement. Part of being Christian and pro-life is to use our voice to speak into the culture we live in to advocate for the pre-born.
But there’s more to being a pro-life believer than ‘just’ speaking out against abortion. It’s easy to ‘talk big’ and yet do nothing, when what we need to do most is to put hands and feet on our theology and act. And if we look around, there are actually lots of brilliant Christian organizations already doing this ‘preserving and dignifying life’ work who really need our help.
Here in Northern Ireland, one such organization is The Baby Love Project, and it was a privilege for our denomination to be able to collaborate with them in their work last month.
The concept of this Christian-run charity is simple: to seek and show Christ to vulnerable families and newborns in our local community. Zoe and Norman McGlade who run the project were spurred into action by the commands of Isaiah 1: 17: Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause, which they saw as directly applying to single-parent families, broken families and unwanted children in our own society. The Baby Love Project meets the practical needs of vulnerable mums and newborns who are referred to them by gifting them a ‘Baby Love Bag’, a bag of essentials to help families navigate the first week of parenting when they leave the hospital.
There’s nothing ethereal about this pro-life effort; each bag contains items that are ingloriously, intensely practical -nappies, breast pads, baby vests. But alongside providing for basic physical needs, the Baby Love bags also contain a note of encouragement written by Christian volunteers, and each bag is sealed with a bible verse so God’s word goes into each home alongside the hand-knitted hats and baby wipes.
On 27 April, our denominational pro-life movement (Let Them Live) organized a collaboration day to donate items for the Baby Love Project. Cookstown RP church, where it was held, was filled with donations from all over Northern Ireland, Donegal and even Scotland, and it took a big van to transport everything back to the Baby Love Project HQ when the whole thing was over.
We were able to have fellowship and coffee while we packed bags and sorted through pre-loved donations.
Our covenant kids, who are so privileged to know the beauty of Christian community, stacked up nappies for mums and babies who haven’t experienced being part of God’s family (yet).
It wasn’t anything fancy, to be honest. Christians donated some stuff and spent an afternoon packing some bags. We didn’t radically transform the lives of the families we were serving, and even the most lovingly prepared Baby Love Bag can’t meet the eternal needs of sin-riddled people in a sin-riddled culture. But we serve an almighty God who can transform hearts and give life to dead souls, and who can and frequently does use small, weak things that are despised by the world to call his elect to himself. So I’d encourage you to go do the small things. Find a local way to put hands and feet onto your pro-life theology. And praise God that it’s by his grace that you’re one of his beloved children, eternally secure in his family.
Sarah Wright, Cookstown RP church