NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Whether it’s the struggle in Florida to keep Terri Schiavo alive or the rulings by two federal courts to stay the ban on partial-birth abortion that made the legislative victory short-lived, the matter of the preciousness of human life is headline material.
Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Richard Land isn’t surprised at the give-and-take over human life. On his “Richard Land Live!” radio program recently, Land noted that contemporary culture is home to two very disparate civilizations: the Judeo-Christian civilization, which is based upon the sanctity of all human life, and the neo-pagan civilization, which zealously promotes a relativist quality-of-life perspective.
“When these two totally antagonistic worldviews come up against each other, it makes a real difference in peoples’ lives because real people die when the quality-of-life ethic usurps the sanctity-of-life ethic,” Land said, warning that 30 years of Roe v. Wade has severely eroded the sanctity of human life ethic in the United States.
“By allowing this barbarity — for over 30 years now we have been killing a baby every 20 seconds — we have brutalized our whole society, including our court system, in that we have devalued and de-sanctified human life to the point that a court can as casually sentence a human being to die by malnutrition and dehydration as it can allow a partially delivered healthy baby to be murdered by a physician.”
The only hope, Land said, is for the people of God to stand up and say enough is enough. Marking his 15th year as head of the SBC entity for ethical and moral issues, Land said in the November-December 2003 Light magazine, “We stand at a critical juncture, and the choices we make will produce long-lasting results. In another 15 years we will live in a different climate than we do today.”
Land is fond of saying that if the culture is going to be redeemed, it hangs on the response of Southern Baptists. And that is no truer anywhere than in the sanctity of human life issue.
The ERLC understands that many church leaders need resources to help educate members of their congregations on this important issue, Land said, recommending that pastors consider inserting the ERLC’s Faith & Family handouts that focus on life issues into church bulletins in January. Also available are pamphlets, such as “What the Bible Teaches About Abortion,” “What They Never Told You About the Facts of Life” and a tract by Land titled, “Is Life a Right?”
The ERLC also produces a suggested sermon outline and Bible study on the issue, along with theme posters and an extensive fact sheet. “There’s no better way to keep Southern Baptists aware of these critical social and moral issues than for them to receive For Faith & Family’s Light magazine,” Land added, referring to the entity’s bimonthly periodical that churches can order by a bulk annual subscription.
Land said the commission also offers a wide array of books and videos on the sanctity of human life issue, drawing particular attention to text he recommends, “The Right to Die? Caring Alternatives for Euthanasia” by Mark Blocher.
“The America we will know [in 15 years] will be much better or much worse than it is now. We will live in a society that has much more aggressively affirmed Judeo-Christian values or much more aggressively affirmed neo-paganism, where the only absolute is that there are no absolutes,” Land said, warning that one way or another society will move off the balance point upon which it rests today.
Where it falls is totally up to Southern Baptists and other believers and their response to God’s leadership, Land said.
For more information on sanctity of human life resources provided by the Ethics & Religious Liberty, phone 1-800-475-9127 or visit www.familybookstore.net.