The sanctity and dignity of human life require Christians to care not only for the unborn but for all people at all stages of life, speakers said on the final two days of the Evangelicals for Life conference in Washington.
The phrase “the womb to the tomb” was heard during several addresses to describe the extent of the sanctity of human life and to call for protection and compassionate care from evangelical Christians.
Evangelicals for Life (EFL) — the second annual event co-hosted by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and Focus on the Family — addressed such issues as adoption and foster care, ministry to refugees and immigrants, caring for the sick and dying, public policies to protect life, and diversity in the church.
The Jan. 27-28 conference — held in conjunction with the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. — broke midday Jan. 27 for attendees to join what turned out to be possibly hundreds of thousands of others on the National Mall for a rally and the march to Capitol Hill.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, told conference participants God “created a world in which human flourishing was His intention,” but today there are “across so many fronts so many assaults” on human life and dignity.
“We are missing the fact that a consistent pro-life ethic requires us to see that anything that diminishes life as the Creator intended it [for His] creatures is an assault upon God’s glory and God’s sovereignty and God’s will,” Mohler said.
Christians’ responsibility “to be the defenders of life cannot be localized in the buildings of government but has to be taken into every local church and every Christian heart, translated not only into right thought but right action,” he said.
Seattle pastor Eugene Cho told EFL attendees evangelicals should support the sanctity of life “from womb to tomb, not just our lives but their lives, not just American lives but Syrian lives, not just Christian … lives but Muslim minority refugee lives.”
Christians should seek justice for all human beings because it “reflects the very character of God,” Cho said. “We need to be awakened to the injustices in our world.”
In the conference’s final address, poet Jackie Hill Perry said Christians should repent as the first step in developing a heart for seeing beauty in diversity. They need to repent of pride and fear, she said.
“We have sinned against people when we have spoken to them, judged them, looked upon them, thought about them or treated them in a dishonorable way because of the color of their skin, the language that they speak or the culture they embody,” Hill Perry told attendees. “And these sins against people are first and foremost sins against God.”
She warned Christians against seeing their “race or culture as the standard.”
“We must turn from this pride and see that Christ is the standard of goodness and beauty; we are not,” Hill Perry said.
She urged conference participants to invite people from different ethnic groups into their hearts.
“Do you have an affection for every tribe, tongue and nation? Or is the work of diversity only a duty? It was in God’s will to invite every tribe, tongue and nation into His love, and I beg you to make it a part of yours,” Hill Perry said.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press