Why start with the Bible?

PassionLife is now working in almost 30 different countries. We’re working with churches and Christian leaders in all these countries, trying to mobilize them to stand strong for life and to rescue the innocent. It’s a big project and it raises a lot of strategic questions.

The question I want to raise today is: why do we always start with the Bible? This is my kind of well worn out Bible, which I guess is a good sign. One of the reasons I start with the Bible is because this is the book that changed my own life.

When I was 17 years old, I was pretty aimless like most 17-year-old kids were. I didn’t know what I wanted. I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t know what was a good decision and a bad decision. I was kind of floating along by what my friends were doing. And in the midst of that, and right before I made a lot of really bad decisions for my life, I heard about this gift from heaven of establishing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

And I thought to myself, well that’s pretty interesting. If God created me, He probably has a plan for my life and I should probably find out what it is. And so I began to listen very keenly to this message that we can start a relationship with Jesus Christ because He has first reconciled us to God the Father through His death on the cross, vindicated by His resurrection, which took away the problem of the sin that separates us from God.

So the whole message of the gospel was to come and know Him who created you and walk in His ways because He’s made this relationship possible through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Well, that certainly appealed to me at a very young age and almost the first time I heard it.

And so I became a Christian at 17 years of age, and one of the first things I began to do was to search through some of the books in our house until I found an old Bible. I opened it up and began to read it. That was over 50 years ago, and I would testify that though I got a lot of books behind me, I’d throw them all in the dumpster. If I only had room for one book, it would be this one. This is the book that changed my life, so I start with the Bible in all of our work around the world because that’s part of my personal testimony, number one.

Number two, we start with the Bible because the Bible itself seems to have its own convicting power in ways that just reason, arguing and debating don’t have. The Bible itself says in the book of Hebrews chapter 4 that the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.

So when we want to teach with conviction, with life change, we want to have the sharpest weapon possible that can cut through all the rationale, the defenses and the wounds of the past and the fears of the future. We want to have a sharp instrument. We’ve just concluded that among all the ways that you can persuade people, starting with the Word of God is the most persuasive.

Even people who don’t identify yet as Christians generally have a fear of God and are intrigued by what the Word of God says, which brings its own conviction. So my friend Scott Klusendorf and I wrote a book on pro life apologetics together and he emphasizes wherever he teaches, the main question being what is the unborn?

And he tries to answer it using science. Then he raises the question if the unborn is human, how should we treat it? Then he turns to moral logic, philosophy, or moral reasoning. This is just an absolutely wonderful approach when it comes to talking to people in our culture at large, people who don’t have any respect for the Bible.

They’re not going to get excited about me quoting from the book of Hebrews or Proverbs or telling the stories of Jesus or anything. So we need to know how to be able to speak without quoting the Bible. But in our case, we always start with the Bible because we’re largely trying to mobilize masses of people.

We’re trying to ignite a movement in Cuba right now. We want to start with the church. There are lots and lots of Christians in Cuba. So how do we mobilize and train up those churches to be armies of Good Samaritans that know how to move directly into a pregnancy-related crisis and to offer help right there on the spot?

Well, we’re going to do it by teaching those people what the Bible says. Even the story of the Good Samaritan itself is the call of rescue that comes from the Gospel of Luke. But how do we reach those people in the church? Well, you’ve got to reach the pastors and the leaders of those churches. So whenever I go somewhere like Cuba, we try to gather pastors and leaders and we begin with the Bible because we may have differences over politics.

We may have differences over our human experiences in the way that we’ve been raised, the values that we’ve been raised with, the experiences that we have in our backgrounds, whether you are rich or poor, white, black, and so on. Everything can be different, but this is the common ground that we have with most pastors of the churches.

So we always say, what does the Bible say? And if you ever take a chance to look at our four questions, you may be surprised that they always start with that question. What does the Bible say about human life, including life in the womb? Number two, what does the Bible say about the shedding of innocent blood, including abortion? Number three, how do we bring the grace of the gospel as it’s written in the Bible to the guilt and the grief of abortion so that people can be forgiven and set free according to the word of God? And number four, what does God’s Word call us to do to stop the shedding of innocent blood? And what examples do we have from the Bible and throughout history that can instruct and inspire us to do the same thing on our watch today?

So that’s why we start with the Bible. We believe it. I’ve experienced the life- transforming power of it, I’ve witnessed it in the field where pastors begin to teach their people, the people begin to share it with their family and friends, and out of this a movement grows in which the people of God know the will of God and begin to act in ways that bring glory to God.

That’s our strategy. Here, now and around the world. Everywhere I share with people what these four questions are, they’re immediately intrigued and they want to say, what is the answer to that first question? What does the Bible say about human life, including life in the womb? So again, I’d like to encourage you to visit passionlife.org and right there on the homepage, you’re going to see a blue ribbon with the Word resources on it. If you click on that, you’ll find our four questions, answering the crisis of abortion with the gospel of life. Pretty much all of it is questions that we then try to answer using Scripture.

That’s our starting point and I think that you would profit much by going through those four questions and then beginning to share with others. Hope you visit our site today.