What Mother Teresa told me about abortion, and what to do about it
“We must be the voice of those who have none.” Those were the words Mother Teresa spoke to me in 1994 in her living room in Calcutta, India when I thanked her for making an uncompromised stand at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier that year.
I told her how inspired I was by her boldness, as she stood beside then-President Bill Clinton and delivered a message to a packed room at the Washington Hilton. Her words were caring and urgent: “Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child.”
Fifty-six million children’s lives have been taken since the U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973. It must not be a silent epidemic. As a pastor I call upon other pastors and those who recognize the Bible to be an authoritative word of God, to be the voice of those who have none. It is time to boldly and lovingly stand for life.
In Exodus 1:8 the Bible states, “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” Joseph stood for God and his ways in his generation, but was now forgotten. This is all the explanation needed for why life became cheap.
The new king ordered the deaths of all male babies in order to reduce the Hebrew population. God’s response? He raised up a new voice in the land, the great deliverer, Moses.
It was politically correct in Bible days for people to discard their babies if they were unwanted, by abandoning them where the animals and the elements would snuff out their lives. It was the ancient form of abortion.
Female babies were the most vulnerable, as males were prized in male-dominated societies (tragically, this is still true today under some policies). The followers of Jesus Christ would collect the babies, protect their lives and give them a future. It is the role and the heritage of the church.
Jesus called his disciples, “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” Salt is a preservative that keeps away decay. Light dispels darkness. The church is called to be the preservative agent in a society that wavers between a culture of embracing life or death, light or darkness.
When a woman faces an unwanted pregnancy, she should be treated with great respect and understanding. Regrettably, the nation’s foremost provider of abortions (Planned Parenthood) reports that in 2013 its affiliates performed 337,653 abortions while receiving over $528 million in tax dollars.
The much more caring option is the nearly 2,000 pregnancy centers across America who help women navigate through questions in a loving manner that values the mother and the child.
When the mother is unable to keep her baby, they offer a safer, healthier and honorable path. Parents are found who have the means to raise the baby with love and tender care.
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King David, the great king of Israel and a “man after God’s own heart,” wrote the powerful words of Psalm 139 — a song of worship that unveils the wonder of God’s creative hand in every human life.
May these words help us to see the immeasurable value of each person, no matter how small:
“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.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand — when I awake, I am still with you.”
— Psalm 139:13-18 NIV
Pastor Bill Shuler serves as lead pastor of Capital Life Church, a life-giving interdenominational church in Arlington, Virginia serving the DC capital region. He and other faith leaders will be participating in One Voice DC, a prayer and worship event on January 21 to proclaim life. This Bound4LIFE article is reprinted with permission.