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Friday
May292009

What Actually Works?


When asked about my political perspective, I tell people I’m a pro-life pacifist. At times that tends to alienate me from both Republicans and Democrats. But it really isn’t a perspective born of politics. It comes from my understanding of Christianity. I understand that in using that phrase I’m pointing to two incredibly complex issues (and leaving out several other complex issues). I do not come to my conclusions lightly. I’ve spent decades studying and teaching on these issues. You can agree or disagree with me. That’s alright. But for me, those two concepts are consistent.

Sojourners is an organization devoted to peace and justice. They are often referred to as part of the “Christian Left” or the “Evangelical Left” (by others, particularly critics). Yet, when it comes to the issue of abortion, they have always taken a stand in defense of the unborn. In the cover story of the current issue of Sojourners Magazine, Julie Polter talks about a “promising new movement” that “leaves the bumper-sticker platitudes behind and offers the potential to achieve real abortion reduction.” It is not ideological in nature. It that is what you are looking for, you will be disappointed. Rather, it is about finding practical ways to bridge the divide (as the cover art shows) between the pro-life and pro-choice movements. It tries to speak to ways of actually reducing the number of abortions in our country.

If you really want to be challenged and inspired, read Glen Stassen’s article, What Actually Works? It shows that it will take much work, creativity and love to save the lives of the unborn.

The New Testament teaches us to love—the guilty and the innocent, our enemies and our friends. And both Testaments teach us that if we do not care for the most vulnerable among us, we really don’t understand what it is to be the people of God.

Reader Comments (1)

I really appreciate your pro-life pacifist position Phil and the way that you communicate it from the pulpit. It truly is the position of the teachings of Jesus. I've always been pro-life, but I've struggled with the idea of "Just War" since my high school days. I believe that in this evil world our country needs a military, and I served in it myself. I was a Cold War soldier, trained to fight the Russians, but as a Christian, I never bought into hating them or considering them my enemy. It would have been a sad day for me to meet them on the battle field. I would have done my job, but I would have been fighting for the lives of my fellow soldiers. Anyway...the older I've gotten the more I see that war is sometimes necessary, but always evil. It is man's way to deal with problems, not God's. The big question is, how can we avoid war? We can avoid initiating a war but, what can be done if war is thrust on you like WWII? Questions I still can't reconcile in an imperfect world.

July 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Fletcher

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