What examples do we see of people obeying God’s call to rescue the innocent? How did they do it?

What examples do we see of people obeying God’s call to rescue the innocent? How did they do it?
  1. Biblical Examples and Methods /li>
  • Reuben rescued Joseph from being murdered by his brothers. He used moral persuasion and earnest pleas to stop the shedding of innocent life.
    • David saw himself as a person in the womb and referred to himself in personal pronouns.
  • The midwives rescued newborn baby boys from infanticide. They used faith in God to muster defiant courage and with it, refused to obey the policy of the king.
    • “The midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live” (Ex 1:17).
  • Moses’ mother rescued him. She used secrecy, hiding Moses in a safe home (see Ex 2:1-10). Later she turned to adoption in order to provide him a safe place to grow and to fulfill God’s plan for his life.
    • “He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son” (Acts 7:19-21).
  • Rahab rescued the spies. She used deception and was commended for it (Josh 2, Jm 2:25
  • Large numbers of people stood together as one in order to rescue Jonathan.
    • “The people said to Saul, ‘Shall Jonathan die…Far from it! As the Lord lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.’ So the people ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die” (1 Sa 14:45).
  • Obadiah rescued 100 prophets from Jezebel. He provided them with a safe place to live.
    • “The people said to Saul, ‘Shall Jonathan die…Far from it! As the Lord lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.’ So the people ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die” (1 Sa 14:45).
  • Esther rescued her people from lawful genocide by working to change the law (see Es 4:14).
  • Jesus taught us to use practical means and personal resources to save human life, following the model of the life-saving practices of the Samaritan (see Lk 10:25).
  1. Historical Examples and Methods
  • First Century: In the first-century Roman world, abortion and infanticide were common. Then the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead filled the hearts of the new believers. They taught one another, “do not murder a child by abortion or kill a newborn infant” (Didache). They rescued babies and adopted them. They personally helped pregnant mothers have their babies.
  • Third Century: Augustine exposed the moral culpability that men bear in abortion. “They provoke women to use poisonous drugs to secure barrenness or else, if unsuccessful in this, to murder the unborn child.”
  • Fifth Century: Justinian taught, “The finder of the baby is to provide Christian care and compassion. They may be adopted, just as we were adopted into the kingdom of grace.”
  • Sixteenth Century (Reformation): John Calvin declared, “Whether declaring God’s truth against Satan’s falsehoods or in taking up the protection of the good and innocent…we must undergo the offenses and hatred of the world which may imperial either our life, our fortunes, or our honor.”
  • Nineteenth/ Twentieth Century: In India, the missionary William Carey stopped babies from being thrown into the river to be eaten by alligators. In Africa, the missionary, Mary Slessor, rescued twins from ritual killing. Christians invented orphanages, created hospitals, and practiced adoption in every place of need. Christians helped slaves escape in the USA. They hid missionaries during the Boxer rebellion in China. They rescued Jews from the Nazis in Europe.
  1. Modern Examples and Methods
  • Pregnancy Crisis Intervention. Today, Christians are standing for life by reaching and rescuing mothers and couples in pregnancy crisis. Individually, people are acting as Good Samaritans, offering personal help when they meet someone in a pregnancy-related crisis. Christians and churches also have organized to rescue those near them by opening Pregnancy Help Clinics and Maternity (Mothers) Homes. Over 6,000 such ministries have opened worldwide in the last 45 years. Typically, help begins with a free pregnancy test and medically accurate information regarding her options. It often includes an ultrasound, practical interventional and long-term support in developing a parenting plan or placing for adoption. 

       What to do and say:

  • Express sympathy. Say: I am sad to see you in this difficult situation.
  • Listen and learn. Say: Help me understand why having a baby now is difficult.
  • Inform. Ask: What do you know about your unborn baby? Abortion? Options?
  • Be a Good Samaritan. Say: I will help you have your baby. We will figure it out.
  • Apologetics: Make the case for life in our secular culture.

       (1) Summarize the case:

  • It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.
  • Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being.
  • Therefore, abortion is wrong.

       (2) Use science (embryology) to answer the question, “What is the unborn? Is it human?”
             See Question 1.

       (3) Use philosophy to make the case for equal rights for all people.

“There is no morally significant difference between the embryo that you once were and the adult that you are today that would justify killing you at that early stage of development. Differences in size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant such that we can say that you had no rights as an embryo but you do have rights today.” —Stephen Schwartz

But they are so small! True. Embryos are smaller than toddlers, who are smaller than teenagers. The principle of equal rights among all human beings means size is not relevant. Rights do not increase with size. In general, men are larger than women. Does this mean they should have more rights?

 But they are in the womb! True. But where you are does not determine what you are. Location is not relevant to the concept of equal rights. You are not less human in your house than on the sidewalk. Nothing happens spiritually or philosophically to a baby simply by moving through the birth canal.

But they are not self-aware! True. Toddlers are less cognitively developed than teenagers. People in surgery are less aware than when awake. But their human rights do not rise and fall with their degree of awareness. Is it morally justifiable to cut their throat while they are in surgery, or is their level of awareness not relevant to their rights?

But they are still dependent! True. All babies, young children, even teenagers are dependent on others. The old and the sick are dependent. Those who are dependent on insulin do not lose their right to life. God says that dependent people are to be cared for, not killed.

  • Exposure: Most people need to see injustice in order to reject it. In turn, injustice usually requires darkness (secrecy) in order to work freely. Therefore, Ephesians 5:11 says, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” This is especially true of abortion. It works in the dark, but when exposed, the clear injustice of it is revealed and most people will reject it.