GREEN BAY, Wis. — Someday the “horror of abortion will end in our country … because God is in charge and abortion grieves Him greatly,” Lutherans For Life (LFL) President Diane Schroeder told more than 200 people attending the LFL conference here.
Schroeder said God “has given us the calling to defend His precious children — the unborn, handicapped and the elderly. Let us not shrink from that calling … planning and working to carry the torch of life into the future until the victory is finally won.”
Those involved in LFL, she said, need to be “people of prayer”: training children, nieces, nephews, and others for work in the pro-life movement; helping congregations become more active; and showing they are more than an anti-abortion group — that they are for life — by speaking the truth in love and showing compassion toward women and men struggling with life issues such as abortion.
The theme of the July 23-24 conference was “Bringing Good News to Life.”
In his address on “The Need for Good News: The Death Culture and Ways to Fight It,” author and bioethicist Wesley J. Smith stressed the need to contrast the “culture of life” with the “culture of death.” The latter is “very powerful and wants us to believe that being a human being doesn’t matter … and that is very dangerous,” Smith said.
Much of society wants to eliminate suffering at all costs, he said, which has led to support for abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia. But “love is a word you don’t often see the other side use,” he added, and “eliminating suffering quickly morphs into eliminating the sufferer.”
To counteract the culture of death, Smith said Christians need to offer both hope and facts because “the facts are on our side.”
Calling an embryo or fetus “not human” is not rational, he said, and he warned of a so-called “personhood theory” that sets arbitrary guidelines for who is — and isn’t — a person. In reality, he said, the “personhood theory tells us who we can kill and [still] get a good night’s sleep.”
Smith also led a session on “Talking Human Rights: The Good News Delivered in a Way a Secular World Can Understand.”
Other plenary presentations were given by Dr. Jeff Gibbs, professor of New Testament at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, on “Bringing Good News to Life in the Church,” and Alan Shlemon, of Stand to Reason, on “Bringing Good News to Life in the Culture.”
Workshops led by Shlemon, Renee Gibbs, Anthony Horvath, Kim Ketola, Ryan C. MacPherson and Dr. Kevin Voss focused on different aspects of the “Bringing Good News to Life” theme.
In his opening worship sermon, LFL Executive Director Dr. James I. Lamb also focused on the conference theme, which was based on Acts 17. “Paul loved the Good News,” Lamb said, and “desperately wanted his fellow Jews to know that Jesus Christ was the Messiah.”
As Christians, “we, too, have been given the Good News,” he said, and LFL “understands that this Good News is Good News for life — a message tailor-made for the issues of life.”
Lamb added that “when you mess with life, you are messing with the Author and Creator and Redeemer of life.” He said Christians are “compelled to speak” because they “live in a society that desperately needs to value life.”
LFL’s 2011 national conference is planned for Aug. 5-6 in Dallas, under the theme “Adopted in Christ.”
Posted Aug. 4, 2010