Thoughts on Sanctity of Life Sunday

January 20, 2014

By Rev. Dr. Timothy Witmer, Professor of Practical Theology

Some years ago I found myself walking the line outside an abortion clinic in center city Philadelphia. By that time there were ample restrictions on the distance you had to maintain between “protesters” and those entering. As I walked the line that day, I asked myself if this was the most effective place for me to make a difference in the lives of those who were faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Was it in line, seeking to influence someone entering the clinic who was already warned about the fact that “protesters” would be there and “just ignore them?” Or was the place to make an impact found on the other end of the continuum, where a woman had just learned that she was pregnant and was wondering what to do?

Early the next year I phoned the Director of the Amnion Crisis Pregnancy Center at the time, asking if they were interested in working with our church to partner in establishing a crisis pregnancy center in Upper Darby, home of the largest high school in the state of Pennsylvania.  They had the expertise; maybe we could provide some elbow grease, volunteers, and funding. That call was made in January, their board was excited, and by October of that same year (1999) sufficient funds were raised for the down-payment on the purchase of a property a short distance from Upper Darby High School and Bonner and Prendergast Catholic High Schools.

The center is still there and thrives 15 years later.  Hundreds of men and women have been counseled. Lives have been saved. People have met Christ.  About the time that the Upper Darby center opened, they established a relationship education program (RealED) which is now sought out by public and private schools and reaches thousands of teens a year. 

What’s my point? Abortions are still happening every day in this country. The sixth commandment teaches us about the sanctity of life as a gift from God. To be honest, for many years all that I did to address this issue in our church was to mention it in the pastoral prayer on Sanctity of Life Sunday. We needed to do more. What can you do? Praying is good but I would encourage you to take another step and find a way to support a Christ-centered Crisis Pregnancy Center in your city. Lives will be saved and God will be glorified.

Click Here to read Dr. Edgar's article, "Abortion Once Again"
Click Here to read Dr. Garner's article, "Life: Who Decides?"
Click Here to read Dr. Oliphint's article, "Word and Work: Beginning a Crisis Pregnancy Center"
Click Here to watch a video by Dr. Powlison, "What is the Process of Healing After an Abortion?"