Summarizing the ethical demands of the Bible
 This past week I was with John Ensor in Atlanta, Georgia. We were addressing a group of people at a church there and we started our evening together with a story of a young woman and her baby. She was a teenage girl who was being trafficked in Zambia and was at the mercy of sex traffickers. One way they kept her in submission was by forcing drugs onto her and then getting her addicted to them. This was the kind of lifestyle that she lived. She was in and out on the streets. She was a young woman of the streets and she found herself pregnant from time to time. But on one particular occasion the Christians in that city in Zambia found this young girl while she was pregnant and intervened in her life. They offered her practical help. What they said was they would do whatever it takes to help her have her baby, if she wanted to have her baby. Now, why would this girl like to have her baby? Well, there are lots of reasons why someone might like to have a baby, even in the circumstances that she was in. One of them is the fact that if you have an abortion in these circumstances, you are probably going to be right back out on the street doing the same things next week that you were doing last week that got you into this predicament. But a baby changes everything.

In Atlanta we use the theme verse from Psalm 82:3-4: This is to rescue the weak and needy
and deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Now this girl was an example of weak and needy. Again, she was the property of other people who had addicted her to drugs and were trafficking her on the street. She was as weak and needy as people can be. The people who were doing this really would fit the other half of the verse, which is the wicked. The people that she needed deliverance from were these wicked people who were doing this to her. The Christians were the ones who obeyed the call to rescue the weak and needy. They involved themselves in her life. They said: we’ll help you get a job and we’ll help you find a place to live. Whatever it takes, we would like to be there to help you in your time of need. Indeed, one of the things that they did help her do was stop taking drugs because she couldn’t have the drugs and have a healthy baby. So they worked with her to get her off the addiction of the drugs. They found her a new place to live with some Christian women because that way they could get her away from her traffickers. They helped her get a job raising chickens. The Christians there taught her how to raise chickens and how to sell the chicken eggs on the street. It’s not a huge living, but it’s a living where she could make enough money to support herself and her baby and get away from her former lifestyle. I think it was a welcomed change. Now she is smiling, happy that she has this beautiful baby that is her pride and joy. And actually now she is married with two more babies. She is the mother of three currently, and she is serving and living in a Christian church. This is exactly what we mean when we say that when we get involved in rescue movements, we are most often involved for the long term in these people’s lives.
The slam against pro-life Christians is that all you care about is babies being born. Nothing can be further from the truth. History has demonstrated time and time again that the Christians are always involved in the lives of these women far beyond just birth. That is not the only thing that Christians care about. The Christians, of course, are still involved in this lady’s life.

Though the question before us today is how can we summarize all that it is that the Bible ethically demands of us as Christians regarding human life? If we were to take all of it and boil it down to a simple, most rudimentary phase, what would we be left with? Well, we will start personally. We will start small, individually and then we’ll work out in concentric circles from there. Number one, if we were to summarize what the Bible says about human life, it would be that life is valuable and that we as human beings have no right to take human life for any reason at any time from anyone. God alone is the author of life, the giver of life and the creator of life. God alone has given the image of himself and placed it on humans alone. No other part of creation bears the Imago Dei. It is not up to us to decide who lives and who dies. So number one, do not kill. That means reject killing, murder and abortion as we know, and we have talked about in the video series that we’ve been doing.

Abortion is always killing and murder. We bring up the pro-life syllogism which goes this way: It is wrong to intentionally take the life of an innocent human being. Abortion intentionally takes the life of an innocent human being. So therefore abortion is wrong. That is the simple pro-life syllogism. Abortion is wrong. Number one, if we are to summarize all of what the Bible says, we will reject abortion. We will not put to death any human being, no matter what circumstance it seems to alleviate in our life, any painful circumstance or in crisis. We will not ourselves abort our own children, you and me. We commit no matter what our circumstances are that we will not abort our own children. That’s where we’ll start, any more than we would abort or kill or murder a two-year old child in order to get out of some problem or some crisis life situation that you and I are in. So that’s the first one.

Number two, we are not going to close our eyes to abortion any longer. To pretend that something is not happening does not mean that we don’t know that it is happening around us. To keep silent in the face of adversity is complicit. We are involved in some way if we close our eyes and pretend like it’s not our problem. We will not close our eyes to abortion any more than we close our eyes to someone killing a two-year old in our presence and say that it is not my place to say anything about that. If we believe that abortion takes an innocent human life, then we will not allow it and we will speak up when the time comes.

Number three, broadening to outside of ourselves, we will rescue. We will obey the biblical call to rescue the weak and needy around us and to deliver them from the hand of the wicked. That is not a suggestion, not an if it is a convenient call. That is the call to rescue, even if it means I know it’s happening. I can’t say I’m not going out and find the people who are doing it and put a stop to it. This is incumbent on every Christian to get involved in some way in the rescue movement of the weak and the needy.

This is what Proverbs 24:11-12 says: “Rescue those who are being taken away to death. Hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘behold, We did not know this.’ Does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it? And will he not repay man according to his work?” Proverbs 24 says to rescue those who are being taken away to death. That is our job as Christians, to go out and find the places where the most vulnerable and most threatened are and to put a stop to it, no matter what it takes.
So, we could summarize all of God’s moral law, and Jesus does, in Matthew chapter 7, when He gives us what’s often quoted as the golden rule: “whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” If we want people to rescue us when we are most vulnerable, when we are most likely to be harmed, when we’re in trouble, we do the same thing for the others around us. We summarize the law, how God feels about abortion, all the biblical ethics, these three ways: reject abortion, don’t close your eyes to abortion, and rescue. Rescue the weak and the needy among us.