We recently heard the sounds of the celebration of evil. The sounds are haunting. The cheers and claps of New York state legislators as they celebrate the passing of the ironically named Reproductive Health Act. This legislation, which greatly expands women’s access to abortion, was signed into law by the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. Amid concerns that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, this new state law permits abortion to occur at any time during the nine months of pregnancy.
Our ears were again assaulted by the eerily calm tone of Virginia governor, Ralph Northam, discussing his support of legislation allowing babies born only to be aborted (infanticide).
Can anything good be said of a society that cheers on the slaughter of its weakest members? Do we dare celebrate the discarding of unwanted children made in the image of God?
Can anything good be said of a society that cheers on the slaughter of its weakest members?
Surely, these sounds have invoked our rage. They’ve broken our hearts and inspired our pity. Perhaps they’ve even shocked sleepy Christians into the reality of how depraved our society really is. How great our need for Christ really is!
These sounds of evil advancing are loud. William Wilberforce, the great abolitionist, said, “Let it not be said that I was silent when they needed me.” Now is not the time for silence. Now is the time to let the world hear the sounds of the Church. So, what does the Church sound like?
The Church celebrates when a birth mother walks into a crisis pregnancy center and is given the opportunity to hear her baby’s heartbeat for the first time, knowing that she will be far less likely to choose abortion.
The Church offers parents who want to abort their children an alternative. We welcome children into our homes through foster care and adoption. We invite the noisy chaos that accompanies children into our lives. We lend a hand, we don’t point a finger.
The Church demonstrates the mercy of Christ to mothers who have chosen to abort their children. We teach of the forgiveness offered to all who turn to Jesus and repent of their sins. We speak the gospel of grace as recipients of this same grace.
The Church proclaims the gospel in pulpits and on park benches. In stadiums and on sidewalks. In books and backyards. We are proclamation people, and we proclaim the excellencies of the One who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
“Let it not be said that I was silent when they needed me.” — William Wilberforce
The Church speaks of the imago Dei. Our words lead to actions. We demonstrate our love for our Father by valuing what He has made in His image.
The Church repents and inspires others to turn from their wickedness to pursue holiness in Christ. We humbly invite others into a life of repentance and obedience.
The Church anticipates God’s kingdom coming to earth where He will make all things new. Our hope for our coming King can be heard far beyond the walls of our meeting spaces. Our lives testify to our tangible longing for Him. Our beholding of Christ reverberates among the nations as we become more like Him. The world hears the unmistakable sound of a people’s hope for the return of their King.
The Church images our Father who hears the cries of the oppressed, not just the cheers of their oppressors. When Cain killed his brother, Abel, God confronted him saying, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10). Abel’s blood cried out to God for vengeance. Our God who heard the cries of Abel’s blood chose to send His own Son to shed His blood for sinners. The blood of Jesus “speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24). His blood cries out for the forgiveness of God’s children. His blood offers atonement. Hear the sound of His blood crying out!
The noise of evil is hardly new. Jesus heard the sounds of an angry mob yelling, “Crucify Him!” Pilate tried to appease the noisy crowd by offering to punish Jesus instead of killing Him. “But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that He should be crucified. And their voices prevailed” (Luke 23:23).
Their voices prevailed, and our Lord was crucified. Against a backdrop of the murderous cries of the enemies of Christ, God was demonstrating His great love for sinners. Instead of leaving us to suffer His wrath, God sent His beloved son. We could not make our way to God, so Jesus made the way by spilling His blood for us. He suffered for us to bring us to His Father (1 Peter 3:18).
When the sounds of evil assault our ears, we must listen for the beautiful sound of love and redemption coming from heaven. Hear the Savior’s voice respond to the sound of His enemies: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). What a Savior! William Wilberforce said, “If there is no passionate love for Christ at the center of everything, we will only jingle and jangle our way across the world, merely making a noise as we go.” Church, do we passionately love Christ? If so, let’s do more than merely make a noise as we go about our business. As we combat the slaughter of the unborn, let us boldly declare His triumph over evil. Let us lead with compassion. It’s time for the world to hear what the Church sounds like. May our lives reflect the beautiful image of the glory of Christ so loudly that the world falls silent to hear the good news.
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