Public Square

After Roe v. Wade: How Should We Then Live?

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In spite of the prior leak, I was stunned upon hearing the news: The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. It’s still hard to fathom the veracity of this shift. For so many years, women could readily assume a right to choose. And for so many years, many conservatives worked and prayed toward evoking a change so more babies could live. 

In God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life, Gene Veith Jr. asserted:

Christians who mobilize for pro-life causes—even when this means criticizing officials and working to change laws—are acting in their divine vocation as citizens. Christians who, like the prophets, challenge the evils in their societies, including those perpetuated by their officials or their institutions, are acting in their divine vocation as citizens.

Over previous decades, I recall hearing numerous pro-life leaders proclaim, “We labor on this faithfully, but the likelihood of a reversal is oh-so-slim.” Now, it’s come to fruition. Wow! Honestly, I must confess that I am surprised, and I personally face a conundrum of responses. 

Within minutes of the announcement, social media lit up. I went ahead and stuck my toes in the water. I posted along these lines: “I’m rejoicing at this decision for life, but I am realizing there’s still great work to be done.” In short order, I saw people pushing back toward me and others.

Some expressed once again a woman’s rights related to her own body and their passion to be pro-choice about reproductive health. Others issued me a corrective call. “Just applaud all the noble pro-life efforts already rendered across many years; retract your call to increased action.” Still others declared great disdain for Christians acting un-Christlike and gloating.

As a result, I’ve found myself pondering Francis Schaeffer’s famous question: How Should We Then Live? Though I am still processing such fresh news, I’m moved by these three ideas for moving forward.

Let’s Resist Inappropriate Postures of Power

While we should certainly rejoice over what we deem a more just and ethical decision in favor of life, we must maintain a humble, Jesus-style response with others—especially if we desire to reach more people with the good news and do good kingdom work in days to come. Recall that our aim is to work as redemptive servants in this world (Phil. 2:1-11). 

In Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life, Makoto Fujimura astutely observes:

The cultural fragmentation we have experienced, and the reductionism that has accompanied minute categorization within all disciplines, has contributed directly to today’s polarized ideological positions. Too many of us live isolated . . . We have no meaningful engagement with or understanding of the human beings across the divide. Few people are able or willing to build bridges.

Instead of posturing as power-hungry change-makers, let’s intentionally choose a sweet, sweet spirit for our interaction. We can aim for robust, caring conversations over coffee or a plate of ribs. We can spar courageously over differing perspectives, yes, but let’s share in ways that flow from generative kindness. Ask winsome questions like Jesus did, and then listen with a generous spirit. 

Right now, many people’s angry responses are really rooted in their deep fears. Let’s listen well, aim to understand, and care deeply. Bridge builders can build greater unity during this unique cultural moment.

Let’s Keep Working to Promote Life

We should continue promoting life, but now with fresh creativity and redoubled entrepreneurial spirit.

We’re hearing the pundits declare looming crises. The concerns go along these lines:

This reversal opens a whole new set of tricky, sticky issues! What in the world will happen next? How about women’s personal privacy, worth, and dignity? What are the economic ramifications? How will young mothers and fathers shoulder the assumed burden of unplanned, perhaps even unwanted children? What about healthcare costs? Can our already-mixed-up economy handle the weighty ramifications resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision?

In many ways, the pundits and skeptics are right. Very real issues surface with this reversal. What if we view these issues as precious opportunities to craft new initiatives? What if we very deliberately bring our best brainstorming with fresh creative capital into the boardrooms and community-building meetings? How about dreaming fresh, entrepreneurial dreams? Perhaps curating stronger business ingenuity will more effectively help mothers, fathers, and children discover greater flourishing and the immense care offered by Jesus’ kingdom people. 

Let’s Stay Kingdom-focused

Remember your true King and your true allegiance to him.

If I’m honest, part of my personal conundrum is born from my own fear in the wake of this stunning moment. What if we gleefully think we won the abortion culture battle, only to end up losing the bigger, longer-range challenge? Saving babies is truly good work, absolutely. We can confidently assert because God is the author of life, it’s wonderful kingdom work. 

But consider this: while Christians can and should fill governmental roles and work to effect changes for the common good, we must consistently ask, “What sort of person should I be—in light of King Jesus?” What sort of person should I be as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven? We must keep in focus our even larger kingdom endeavors beyond the current politics, parties, and policies of present-day America.

Let’s rejoice together in big decisions for life. Let’s rejoice there will be even more precious little ones arriving, little ones made in the imago Dei. And we dare not forget, we have the missio Dei to motivate us in kingdom business, in service to others to the glory of God!

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