I believe human beings are the pinnacle of God’s creation; God’s image-bearers in the world. There is absolutely nothing on the planet more valuable than a single human life. Therefore, I consider myself pro ALL life. I believe all humans ought to be loved, valued, and protected. But that position has several implications. Let’s think through some of them together.
1. Abortion isn’t the only political issue that matters.
When many of my fellow Christians vote, they seem to only consider one issue, “What is this candidate’s stated position on abortion?” They believe protecting the life of the unborn is the only issue that matters.
I too believe in protecting the life of the unborn. And I also believe in protecting the poor from exploitation. I believe in protecting women from sexual predators and perverts. I believe in protecting Americans and non-Americans from bullets and bombs.
Therefore, if I’m going to vote for someone to represent me in the White House or Congress, I’m going to consider a lot more than the abortion issue. I’m going to consider how that person treats women, their economic policies, their policies on war, and many other issues. A person must truly value human life — all human life — to merit my vote.
And sometimes that means I don’t have a candidate for whom I can vote. That’s ok. I would rather vote for no one than vote for someone who dishonors God’s image-bearers.
2. Criminals are human beings too.
I believe I have a responsibility to keep my family safe. I try to do that. I live in a safe neighborhood, I lock my doors, and if someone entered my home I would confront them. But how I confront them isn’t cut-and-dry for me, because I value the life of the intruder and not just the lives of my family members.
This issue is very personal for me. My cousin was shot and killed while trying to steal a pickup truck. From a window in his home, a homeowner saw young men stealing his truck. He went outside with a shotgun. When my cousin accelerated toward him in another vehicle, the man shot and killed my cousin. Investigators said it was self-defense.
My cousin might still be alive today if that man had simply looked out of the window and called the police. But because his first reaction was deadly-force, my cousin died before he reached the age of twenty. My cousin was a criminal, but I loved him and he was a valuable human being.
I’m not saying deadly-force is never warranted. I am simply saying, criminals are God’s image-bearers too.
3. Citizenship doesn’t make someone less valuable.
Isn’t it interesting how human beings seem to value more highly those with whom they share a citizenship? “If you’re a part of my country or tribe,” we seem to say, “then you are a more valuable human than those who are not a part of my country or tribe.” We’ve done this since the beginning and the results can range from relatively innocuous to deadly.
But you see, I am a Christian. Which means I believe the Son of God came to set up heaven’s kingdom, uniting all the things of heaven and all the things of earth (Ephesians 1:10). His mission is to ransom human beings for God from every tribe and language and people and nation (Revelation 5:9). He wants to bring us together under His Lordship.
My allegiance is to my King and His kingdom. I find that other allegiances cloud my judgment and cause me to make compromises with my values. Only when I give complete and total allegiance to Jesus and His Kingdom can I begin to love ALL the neighbors of the world as myself. Only when I give my complete and total allegiance to Jesus can I begin to live out my calling (Romans 12:17-21):
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
May we value human life. All human life. May that be reflected in the politicians we support, in the way we treat each other, and in every word we speak.
I love you and God loves you,