Each month, we hear more and more stories from our affiliated pregnancy centers and our growing network of churches about the impact our Making Life Disciples (MLD) program is having on their community.
Aside from the obvious reasons for us to get excited about this – more unborn lives saved, more families formed, and more women and men transformed by the Gospel – there is another even “bigger” reason these stories fill me with great hope. It’s the growing emergence of discipleship as a key tool in the fight to end abortion.
The traditional tools of the trade in the pro-life movement – political advocacy and material support for pregnant women – are still necessary and important. But, as I’ve laid out in a new book called “Why We Can’t End Abortion Without Discipleship,” the long-term support and transformational power of discipleship are irreplaceable if we are to truly “end abortion.”
There are two primary reasons for this. First, in John 10:10, Christ offers us not just life, but abundant life. If we stop at changing laws or providing short-term material support to parents considering abortion, we are settling for giving folks life… but not necessarily the unique, abundant, spiritual life that only a relationship with Christ provides.
Second, Christ also made it clear that there are two realms we are called to serve. When asked if Jews should pay taxes to the Romans, he said, “…give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s.” To “Caesar,” who represents the material realm, we owe material things. His is a transactional realm, where physical life can be supported but not transformed. But to God, we owe spiritual things. His is a realm where spiritual life is given and nurtured; where lives are transformed. They are both important: we can’t minister to the spiritual needs of our neighbors without also ministering to their physical needs.
Ministering to the spiritual needs of our neighbors, including those considering abortion, means discipleship. If we are not sharing the Gospel and discipling parents faced with pregnancy decisions, they will certainly be discipled by the culture and are more likely become “repeat customers,” getting themselves into the same situations that led to their unplanned pregnancies in the first place. This is why 50% of abortions are to women who have already had one. But with discipleship, our pro-life efforts become Pro Abundant Life efforts that God can use to transform the hearts and minds of those we serve so that they don’t return to us to be served, but to serve others.
This will be the heart of Pro Abundant Life victory, and I am honored that you are partnering with us to make this Christ-centered, God-honoring approach a reality every day in your community and in communities across the country.