Today is Sanctity of Life Sunday, so I sensed an urge to write my first blog post here at “By the Brook Cherith” even though the site is not fully complete. I was reading a free chapter online of For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper, ed. Sam Storms and Justin Taylor [Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010] posted by Justin Taylor. The title of the chapter is “Abortion is About God: Piper’s Passionate, Prophetic Pro-Life Preaching.” In my reading I was led to a sermon preached by Pastor John Piper in 1993, right around the inauguration of President Clinton. His sermon was from the text of 1 Peter 2:13-17.
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (ESV)
The title of the sermon is “Being Pro-Life Christians Under a Pro-Choice President.” I encourage you to read or listen to the entire sermon yourself. Given that our current president is unabashedly pro-choice, I though it appropriate to highlight below Piper’s eight answers to the question, “How do pro-life Christians honor a pro-choice president?”
- We will honor the President by humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6) and acknowledging that we are ourselves sinners in need of mercy and forgiveness from God.
- We will honor the President by acknowledging that you are a man, created in the image of God (James 3:9), and distinct among all the beings in the world.
- We will honor the President by acknowledging that government is God’s institution and the President is in power by God’s appointment.
- We will honor the President by submitting to the laws of the state and the nation wherever they do not conflict with our higher allegiance to Christ.
- We will honor the President by not withdrawing into little communes of disengaged isolation from American culture, but by trying to do as much good as we possibly can for the unborn, and for unwanted children, and for women in distress, so that we will not be thought insolent or inconsistent in asking from you what we are not willing to do ourselves. (1 Peter 2:15)
- We will honor the President by opposing his position as long as we can with non-violence instead of violence, with reasoning instead of rocks, with rational passion instead of screaming, with honorable speech instead of obscenities, with forthright clarity of language instead of dodging the tough realities and tough words, with evidence instead of authority, and with scientific portrayals of life instead of authoritarian blackouts.
- We will honor the President by expecting from him straightforward answers to straightforward questions.
- We will honor the President by trusting that the purpose of our sovereign and loving God to defend the fatherless and contend for the defenseless and to exalt the meek will triumph through your presidency. (For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper, ed. Sam Storms and Justin Taylor; Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010; p. 333)
Finally, here are seven practical things you can do to apply this to your life (there are many more):
- Contact your local crisis pregnancy center and volunteer
- Get licensed in your state to be a foster care family
- Adopt a child through your state’s child and family services agency (likely will require the foster license first)
- Get behind and volunteer on the campaign of a solid pro-life man or woman running for state or national office in your district
- Vote in an informed manner…research candidate’s positions on abortion
- Get training to counsel women who have had an abortion so that you can effectively communicate God’s grace and forgiveness