Monday, February 19, 2007

What's the Fire Department For? [SK]

Some Christians seem to think the pro-life movement is "unfaithful" unless it puts a theologically correct gospel at the center of its mission.


Is the fire department "unfaithful" when it spends time putting out fires rather than preaching the gospel?

Clearly, the purpose of the fire department is not theology, but rescue. Its job is to save lives. The same is true of the pro-life movement. Our primary goal is not to save souls, though many of us rejoice when it happens. Our mission is to protect lives. We don’t need a theological litmus test to do that.

True, Evangelical Christians committed to sound doctrine must distinguish themselves theologically from those who reject fundamental truths of the Protestant Reformation. Theological unity must never come at the expense of those truths. However, cultural reform efforts like the pro-life movement are not primarily about doctrine, but social justice. To work, they must be broad and inclusive.

Historically, for example, social reform efforts designed to abolish slavery and establish civil rights for all Americans were led by large ecumenical coalitions that, despite their theological differences, committed themselves to a common goal: establishing a more just society. The same is true of abortion. While rejecting religious pluralism (the belief that all religions are equally valid), we must work closely with those who oppose the destruction of innocent human life, regardless of their religious persuasion.

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