Linda D. Bartlett, Editor, LIVING-A FAMILY LIFE COMPANION - Published by Lutherans For Life

"Pro-choice thinking is killing America's soul," observes F. LaGard Smith, Professor of Law at Pepperdine University. "Is God to be our God, or is choice to be our God?"

Since Roe v. Wade, we have watched choice become an obstacle to creativity and hope. Deciding that resources don't exist for both mother and child, people have the capacity of being more creative throw up their hands in despair.

"My pregnancy placed my career at risk," confesses a college graduate. "The abortion was the sacrifice I made for myself." "Our daughter looks forward to a bright future," a father confesses. "The abortion of our grandchild was the sacrifice we made for our daughter."

Experience proves that the ethic of choice is not good for women. It has not made women more valued or respected or safe. It has not made them free.

The ethic of choice is not good for men or families. It has not encouraged male responsibility. As women opt out of pregnancies, men opt out of fatherhood. It has not kept our children from harm.

The ethic of choice is not good for young people. It tricks them into believing, "this is my body. I'll do with it as I please."

The ethic of choice is not good for society. It has created an insecure environment in which only those lives that are deamed productive and valuable are protected.

With abortion and euthanasia, choice creates an "either-or" scenario. What do Christians say about God when they imply he can't care for both mother and preborn child; both family and terminally-ill loved ones? An "either-or" choice confines the Creator of all life to human knowledge, human technology, human situational ethics.

While we may feel that our resources are limited, God's are not. Dare we suppose that He must make a choice? Dare we think Him unable to love and care every person he has made? "Do you question Me about My children," asked the Lord, "or give Me orders about the work of My hands?" (Is.45:11b)

God assures us that He can and will care for every human being -- from the moment of conception to natural death. He does not have to choose between a woman or her child. He does not have to choose between the baby scheduled for abortion and labled as "spare parts" for the patient with Huntington's disease.

The world leaves men, women and children to choice, but choice ultimately causes people to disconnect from one another. Doing "whatever is right in our own eyes" builds walls of separation which leave people lonely and alienates the created from the Creator.

"Toleration" of harmful choices risks further separation. With Truth and love, God equips His people to restore connectedness. When we discuss topics that are "off-limits" or even dare to offer a second viewpoint, we build bridges instead of walls. When we take care not to break already bruised reeds, but ask questions that expose reality, we build bridges instead of walls.

The heart of the matter is this: when we tell people things they have never heard before; when we treat people in a way that they have never been treated before; when we come down from our lighthouses to the rocky shore below, we will gently nudge hurting, confused people from their frightened, defensive behavior. In the words of St. Paul, "knowing the fear of the Lord, we pursuade men" (2Cor.5:11).

When we pursuade by asking questions, we help people to think.

When we pursuade with personal experience and reason, we become curiosities. Our sometimes disturbing, but strangely refreshing message moves others to ask, "Please, will you tell us what these things mean?"

When we pursuade from the heart, we move others to ask, "Why?" It is then that we will tell them about Jesus.

You and I may feel overwhelmed by the needs of hurting people, but God is not. You and I may lack courage to come down from our lighthouses to the rocky shore below, but God is present with us in His Word.. sufficient for every circumstance.

Truth be known, there is one choice that does not leave women broken, men complacent, families bitter or children fearful. In the words of the great hymn:

"Lord, Your Words are Waters living; Your Words are Bread life-giving. Death's dread power, its inward strife, wars against Your Word of Life. Many hardened sinners flee in terror at Your Word! Fill me with love's strong fervor. Let Your Word be now my choice!

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