Devotional By: Pastor Allen Cagle, Sunrise Community Church
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”Ecclesiastes 1:9
Many of us probably think that advocacy for life started in 1973 in the wake of the Roe v Wade decision. But history tells a very different story! For example, we can find overt support for not only abortion but infanticide in ancient thinkers like Socrates (469-399 BC), Plato (427-347 BC), and Aristotle (384-322 BC). Moving into the first century and the Roman Empire, many of the emperors supported both abortion and infanticide. Some have even suggested that this explains the shrinking population of the Roman Empire. In 313 AD, the Edict of Milan was signed under Constantine. This gave Christians legal status in the empire. Sixty one years later, the Roman Emperor Valentinian banned infanticide in 374 AD. Christian influence helped change perception of the value of the lives of the unborn and newly born. Christians were known as advocates for life. They helped end the gladiator games as well! Christians have always stood for life with great effect. (For more on this, see Alvin Schmidt’s excellent book, How Christianity Changed the World.)
I share that quick history lesson for two reasons: to remind us that we stand in a long line of people who have stood for life even in the face of powerful people. The second reason I share this is to remind us that the need to advocate for life is not going to stop! Until Jesus returns, there will always be people who do not value life. The pro-life movement has seen some incredible progress over the past few years. We are grateful for this but we have to remember that this is a debate that is not going away.
That’s why I am so thankful for First Coast Women’s Services. FCWS is helping us join a movement that began thousands of years ago and has taken many different forms over the years. Because we believe that humans are uniquely created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), Christians historically and en masse have held that even the tiniest of lives is still a human being worthy of protection.
FCWS provides practical help for your church or individuals to help stand for life. Our church has been glad to partner through various fund raisers, hosting events, and sharing volunteers. We are grateful for our front line ministry partners advocating for life!
Pastor Allen Cagle, Sunrise Community Church
Learn more about Sunrise Community Church at SCCJax.org!