My Story of Learning to Live My Faith

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I am pro-life. 

Let me tell you a story couple of stories.

As I was a young mom with two tiny sons, I understood the value of human life and my heart wept for the millions of babies being eliminated by abortion since Roe v. Wade. I prayed about it daily. 

Then one day, my church decided to join with other churches and picket across the street from the local abortion clinic in my hometown in Florida. As I was marching past the the clinic’s entrance, I felt the presence of God (really) instruct me: “You won’t convince any of these women by being against.”

It was the last protest-against anything I ever did.

But I was still praying for those babies. Then in the 1980s, the Republicans noticed how many pro-lifers there were…

Back in those days, if you were born in the South you were born a Democrat. (This was a vestige of the Civil War, when those darn Republicans under Abe Lincoln…well, you know…)

But somewhere in the early 1980s, the Republicans got gutsy and decided to recruit Southern pro-lifers. They started sending spokesmen to our churches. They made us pro-lifers a promise: “If you switch parties and vote Republican, we’ll do something about abortion. You simply need to commit to becoming ‘single-issue’ (abortion) voters.”

So, en masse, right in our church auditoriums, we filled out the “Change Party” forms and became Republicans. Then we sat back to wait and watch as the Republicans kept their promise to end abortion. It was a pretty good deal for us. We didn’t have to make all the ruckus or march anymore, we had the Republican legislators who promised head to DC and pass a law and end all the abortions. We could relax and let the Republicans keep their promise; all we had to do was maintain our commitment to being single-issue voters.

That was almost 40 years ago. Now tell me, what has changed?

Roe v. Wade is still in place.

For decades, I kept saying to myself, “But the Republicans have told us, ‘Keep being single-issue voters! We’ve got this.”

Then in 2016, I had another feel-the-presence-of-God-instructing-me-moment: I realized that I would never see anything done about abortion by the Republicans, because IF they did do something, they would loose their “single-issue” that kept us voting for them. 

In fact, the only real thing they did about abortion is: right before elections, they would flood social media with pictures of aborted babies. That would get all us Evangelicals riled up and remind us that we are single-issue voters!

I also realized that the true reason that abortion was not being stopped is because Christians:

  1. are sitting back and expecting the problem to be legislated away rather than living lives of prayer and repentance according to II Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land. KJV
  2. (and more importantly) are so busy being “against abortion” that they couldn’t do anything to fix the things in the culture that drove women to that option.

I then realized if I wanted to see the problem change, I had to be part of the change. That meant I am led by God to:

  • Work to help change the wicked and systemic entrapment of poverty and racial injustice and align myself with Scriptural teachings in James 2: 15-17 
    • If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.KJV
  • Work to make sure that every baby born has access to healthy food, medical care, clothing, good housing, good education, safety and support to align myself with Jesus’ clear teaching 
    • “I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me…since you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me…” Matthew 25 KJV
  • Work to change a culture that objectifies human bodies, whether it is women as sex objects or people of color as second-class citizens. To align myself with God who so loved the world and in whom there is neither male nor female nor race. 
    • Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.KJV
  • Work to influence people of faith to walk in the fruit of the Spirit, that people would know we are Christians by our love. 
    • Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. I John 4:7-8 
    • The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
    • (Recently when I was talking about walking by love and in the fruit of the Spirit, a friend tried to point out to me that Jesus himself was vocally and violently against some people. I responded, and rightly so, that the people that Jesus was against were the hypocrites in church leadership and business people conducting business in the church building, which was meant for prayer not selling.)
  • Praying daily according II Chronicles 7:14 and I Timothy 2.
    • II Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land. KJV
    • Notice who is doing the work here: Christians! They are:
      • humbling themselves
      • praying
      • seeking God’s face
      • turning from THEIR OWN wicked ways (not telling folks who don’t know God about their wicked ways)

I will not judge (lest I be judged) if a person thinks differently than me, but I will work to make to world so good a place that all women and children, no matter their race, creed or color, have a life of love, safety, security, possibilities and respect.

I realized that NO political party was going to do the work for me. That was mine, and every Christian’s, to do.

However, as a US citizen, it is my duty to vote and to hold my government accountable. So I asked myself, which party appears to be working to fix the roots in our society which make abortions necessary. It is not the Republicans, who repeatedly show they have more interest in the security of big business than in helping babies once they are born. 

Democrats created legislation to deal with poverty, spoke up about racial injustice, worked to shore up and expand medical care, food, housing, education and safety programs and at least had many women (of all colors) running for office.

So they are at least trying to fix the deep, societal problems that we Christians have largely ignored since the foundation of our nation.

So I switched parties. I will vote for people who are willing to change the cultural woes that feed the abortion issues.

I was discussing this with an Evangelical acquaintance recently. She said to me, “Don’t you realize that the Democrats and deep state are trying to snuff Christianity out? If Democrats lead the country they will turn us into communists and outlaw our faith!”

Do you know what I replied? I told her:

“Republicans have been telling us this same thing since the 1980s when they came into our churches and converted us all into Republicans. They threatened that if we didn’t keep to the single issue voting and let Democrats gain any power, they would: outlaw Christianity, they would lock us in jail, they would outlaw the Bible and religious broadcasting. It’s been 40 years and no one has managed any of that yet…because they have better things to do…”

And then I continued to tell her this:

“BESIDES, Jesus himself said, ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake.’ (Matthew 5: 10-11) Want to be like Jesus? Want to be blessed? Be so righteous and loving that you get persecuted!”

So this is why I am now living with all I have to pray and work as Christ instructed me to work. I will do my part in works and prayer to make the world so good that abortion is simply forgotten and people are drawn to God by the goodness that they see.

I am pro-life. I am pro-unborn babies, I am pro-people who have experienced injustice because of their black or brown skin. I am pro-people who never had a chance to have a safe or decent life. I am pro-anyone who will walk in the fruit of the Spirit and love of God. I am pro-life.

6 responses »

  1. Vicky, I appreciate this so much. This is exactly how I remember things changing living in the South. Although, I didn’t realize it was in the 80s. I don’t remember being told I wasn’t a Christian for voting Democrat until the Gore vs. Bush election in 1999. As a Tennessean, I thought it was a no-brainer that I would vote for our local guy. I never even considered his party. I remember a student of mine saying to me that he didn’t vote on moral issues either and I was really surprised by those words. I didn’t consider one party moral and the other immoral. The courts had made the decision about abortion and I didn’t see it as a party decision. Through the years I have always voted my conscience. I voted for the person who I believed wanted the best for our country. I never considered their party. I have voted Republican, Democrat, Libertarian and Independent over the years, so I don’t consider myself to be anything but a moderate Christian. This article speaks to me because I’m tired of being told I can only vote for one issue and let the rest of the country fall apart. Right now we are in a huge spiritual war in our country, but it’s not the one being screamed at me from die-hard Republicans. It’s a war against our ability to think and stand up for what is right. Voting for someone that I would not let my children be alone in a room with and who consistently lies and creates horrific division in our country is not the way to do that. Thank you for being so bold to stand up for those of us who feel like we are being trampled by our fellow Christians.

  2. I don’t know how I could say this any better- I certainly lack your Bible scholarship, for just one thing! But absolutely, everything I’m screaming in all-caps on Facebook to friends and family is explicated perfectly by this post.
    The whole notion that we can fix society’s ills from the high bench of a court has now been proven to me to be completely barren. Tell your evangelical friend that the Church was never more pure, supportive and effective than when it was persecuted under the Romans. And yes, Republicans have hooked us like fish for decades with unfulfilled promises as far as the real solutions go.

    I’m reading “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” because some idiot designed an Adventure Literature course and now I have to be ready to follow his plan. The parallels are of course startling and the biggest lesson of all, that an ill like slavery affected absolutely everyone, that it would require deep thought and repentance by a nation, is not lost on me.

    But the best part of this excellent essay is the lightning-strong distinction you draw between being anti-one thing (or anything) and being pro-all good things. So simple, yet it’s a revelation I hope to more than just myself.

    Love this. Love you!

  3. Hi Vicki, I appreciate your southern historical perspective. Coming from Canada some of the nuances have gone over my head. Insisting that elections are about 1 issue has caused many of our children’s generation to think we don’t care about those less fortunate than ourselves. They just don’t see us doing anything to help so why be a Christian. I’ve been wrestling with the line drawn by politicians for many years.

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