Sanctity of Life Sunday (Jan 18) and Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan 19) are back-to-back. Both racism and abortion are questions of justice. Christians should care about both. Both are addressed by the truth of the gospel.
I’ve been listening to Justice by Michael Sandel on CD. It’s an enlightening and instructive book which covers many different ideas of justice, from Utilitarianism to Libertarianism; covering moral philosophers from Kant, to Rawls, to Aristotle. All of the philosophers struggle with the idea of justice and of human dignity. All start, however, with purely human notions of justice.
This got me thinking, what does the Bible bring generally, and the gospel specifically, to the questions of abortion and racial harmony? I’m sure it says a lot more than the short list I have here, but this is what came to mind this morning:
- Foundationally, God’s Word teaches us that all people are made in the image of God, regardless of race or stage of development. Each life is sacred and worthy of care (Gen 1:27).
- The gospel teaches us to have the mind of Christ, looking to interests of others (Phil 2:4).
- The gospel teaches us that “neighborliness” extends beyond those with those in our particular clan (Luke 10:25-37).
- The gospel teaches us to be good to those who cannot repay us (Luke 14:12-14).
- The gospel teaches us that God’s grace in Christ extends beyond social barriers.
- The gospel gives us a vision of heaven, of a unified worshipping community, from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev 7:9-10).
- The gospel breaks down the dividing wall of hostility (Eph 2:14).
- The gospel makes us one in Christ (Eph 2:15-16).
- The example of Christ shows us that love is essentially self-sacrificial (1 John 4:7-11).
- The gospel gives us the ministry of reconciliation – both vertically and horizontally (1 Cor 5:11-21).
- The gospel teaches us to care for the oppressed.
- The gospel offers true freedom from guilt through the sacrifice of Christ.
- The gospel acknowledges the horrifying and truly evil nature of sin – and then defeats it on the cross.
- The gospel teaches us that evil can be overcome with good (Rom 12:21).
- The gospel offers us hope for the future – with no more death, or tears, or mourning (Rev 21:4).
Also, I would like to share with you a good video with John Piper and Lacrae where both issues are addressed. A little further on in the video Piper waxes eloquent about the need to address both issues since concern for both comes from how are ethics are transformed by the gospel in Christ.