Pastor Dan Borgelt
Proverbs Chapter 24 verses 11-12:
11 Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?
“The context of those proverbs a difficult one to figure out. Some people think that this proverb was written in the context of war trying to preserve people from being led to death through an unjust war. Other people recognize the common practice back then of infanticide where many cultures around the Biblical times of the Old Testament practiced various forms of infanticide where they would have these child sacrifices.
And so it’s hard to know for sure exactly what the context of this proverb was, but one thing we know for sure was that God saw this unjust, killing, or leading to death of some human life, and he calls his people to stand up and to do something about it—to rescue them, to hold back those who are being led in this path… let’s do something about that.
This is the subject of life and rescuing life.
Now of course around the whole pro-life / pro-choice argument has often been for decades whether or not we were really dealing with a life when we’re talking about a child inside of a mother’s womb. That argument even from the pro-choice movement is fading quickly.
Embryology, the science of embryology is advancing and growing, and it is starting to really squelch that whole argument.
A few decades ago many of you would probably say, “You know, we were just taught in high school…” and you would share some story that basically made it sound like the idea of having an abortion was not that big of a deal. But with the advancements of embryology, we are starting to realize more and more undeniably we’re talking about life,
In fact, I was rereading a book this past week from a guy who goes around from college campus to college campus and debates, from the pro-life perspective, others who are there to debate from the pro-choice perspective.
And he’s getting to a point now, or like in this book, he doesn’t even have a section on the arguments for the fact that we’re dealing with life because he realizes that in the debating world, that is a declining argument from even the pro-choice perspective–they’re no longer even really holding on to that argument.
And here’s the thing… once we embrace the idea that what we’re dealing with is life, and isn’t that a wise thing to do, if anything, to at least err on the side of life, then we would have to acknowledge that many if not all of the arguments from the pro-choice side begin to fade very quickly:
- the betterment of a child;
- the betterment of a mother even in painful circumstances such as sexual assaults;
- arguments of my body my choice
All those, when really tested up against the reality that does this circumstance justify taking someone else’s life, really begins to fade away.
The advancement of embryology is helping to make that happen.
Ultimately, Proverbs 24:11-12 is about action. They not only tell us to rescue and to hold back but then in verse 12 you can tell the writer of Proverbs is anticipating the excuse for inactivity. .. “But we don’t know anything about this injustice that you’re talking about.”
And the answer we get back is, “Hold on. Wait a second. Yeah you do. And, more importantly, God knows that you do.”
“… does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life really know what you really know?” in other words.
And will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?”
This is ultimately a proverb about moving into ACTION, rescuing those who are being Unjustly having their life taken from them.
Now we could, in order to respond in action, we could take up the cause like this author has done and become a debater and an arguer of people.
That has its role and its value in this subject. But here’s the thing and as far as when we study church history when we study the truth of God’s Word, the Church has rarely transformed culture and society by arguing and debating, but it has almost always transferred culture and society by love_in_action… by their faith being put into action.
In fact, he tells a wonderful story about how the body of Christ did exactly that for a particular woman. He tells this story of this woman who we will recognize here in just a bit. He says,
“Consider this. how it happened to win over the most famous pro-abortion advocate in the world. Anybody remember her name?
Norma McCorvey aka Jane Roe. The plaintiffs in the infamous Supreme Court case Roe versus Wade that declared that state laws against abortion were unconstitutional.
She writes previously, “Abortion was the sun around which my entire life orbited. I once told a reporter the issue was the only thing I live for. I live, eat, breathe, and think everything about abortion from a pro-choice movement.”
Well turns out by the sovereignty of God that her organization ends up renting space right next to a Miami Valley Women’s Center-like organization—they shared a common wall with one another. And so people from both sides of the subject crossed each other’s paths. Some from the Christian side who were there on the pro-life side maybe didn’t handle themselves the way they should’ve, but ultimately the majority of the people who operated out of that place next door to Jane Roe, eventually won her over. And here’s what she goes on to say,
“Love shakes people to the core. You begin to question your long-held beliefs, then the lie soaked with love like a hillside slowly softens and then it gives way. In a moment your whole world view is mud.”
In Norma’s case, her defense of abortion gave way soon after she put her faith in Christ. She says, “When my conversion became public knowledge I spoke openly to reporters about still supporting legalized abortion in the 1st trimester. The media was quick to use this to downplay the seriousness of my conversion saying I tipified the general ambivalence of our culture over abortion.
But a few weeks after my conversion I was sitting in the OR’s offices when I noticed a fetal development poster. The expression was so obvious, the eyes were so sweet. It hurt my heart just looking at them. I ran outside and finally, it dawned on me, “Norma,” I said to myself, “they’re right!”
I had worked with pregnant women for years. I had been through 3 pregnancies and deliveries myself. I should have known. Yet something in that poster made me lose my breath. I kept seeing a picture of that tiny 10-week old embryo.” (and we have a 12 week old on display in the back of the sanctuary).
“I said to myself, “That’s a baby… as if blinders just fell off my eyes and I suddenly understood the truth… that’s a baby.”
You see Church, we’re talking about Proverbs 24 calling us to action and we’re acknowledging the fact that the Church has won people over and been the most winsome when it put its’ love in action.
So it has to be more than a political vote right?
To satisfy the demands of Proverbs 24 it must be more than just trying to sleep at night saying, ‘I have voted for the party which I think is most pro-life.’ It has to be more than the denominational change doesn’t it?—to satisfy the demands of Proverbs 24 upon our life, it must be more than Kirkmont left a pro-choice denomination a few years ago and became a part of a pro-life the nomination. Right?
It has to be more than just that. It has to go beyond to active, real genuine as Michael saying, real genuine support of organizations like the Miami Valley Women’s Center.
Some of you have more money than time and some of you have more time than money. And I think they need both. The only thing I would ask you is that you don’t decide whether God wants your money or your time, but rather you open that question up to him and let him decide for you.
My mom was forced into retirement a few years ago because of her battle with cancer, and about 9 months ago she was given no viable mainline course of treatment that was going to deal with her cancer.
And so since then, she has been spending a lot of her money in dealing with holistic forms of treating her cancer. She was a pro-life person her whole life but had never done anything besides vote in that direction.
And so now she has more time than money and so she recently decided to start volunteering at her local version of the Miami Valley Women’s Center. They could use either one, I’m sure.
Another option is foster care.
That’s why we said at the beginning if we’re going to be truly a pro-life Church it has to be more than things like just voting in this direction, there has to be actual love and care and things put in place so that women have choices and options.
You know the majority of the women who are having an abortion right now are having an abortion, believing,
1) that it’s wrong and,
2) they justify doing what they’re doing because their circumstances demand it, they believe.
We get so hung up on the media and how far and extreme it is. We see examples of women bragging about abortion and forget that the majority of women enter into a situation that they believe is so dire, so hopeless, that they do something life-changing and altering even though they don’t think that they should.
And so the church has to rise up and provide other options. Foster care is a great one. What if moms knew that there were an abundance of loving homes waiting for children.
You know right now in Ohio, there are more churches that exist than children waiting in the foster care systems. Which means that it just in one family or person from each church in the state of Ohio decided to respond to this pro-life movement by putting their faith in action here, we could take all the children out of the foster care system and put him in loving homes.
Of course, adoption is another means.
Michael shared his having adopted both a son and a daughter. Or support in adoption and adopting a child and knowing that women are providing women an actual alternative option.
Some of you are here you’re on the stage in life where you think, “That’s not really relevant to me, I’m too old to adopt.”
Let me just say this, that just because you’re past your natural years of childbirth doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily too old to adopt.
Michael shared that he was 48 years old when he adopted.
Now some of you, you may be too old to adopt. (LAUGHTER) But that doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in supporting someone else who adopts.
You guys help support us in our most recent adoption, and our last church helped us with our previous one. But there was one woman who wasn’t a big fan of the whole idea. In fact, we were having an adoption fundraiser for another family, and I remember her coming up to me and saying, “Why are we doing this? We don’t help people pay for their medical bills when they have a child. Why are we supporting these families who are trying to do this?”
And God gave me this example, an illustration:
I want you to imagine that one day we gathered here Sunday, morning for worship and when we walked in we saw a child had been dropped off before our gathering. And, as a church family knew 2 things about this child
1) We knew that this child needed a loving family to bring them in,
2) it was going to take a large sum of money to bring them into a loving family.
Once that had been announced we’d all start looking at each other looking around the room, waiting for someone to rise up, waiting for the family over there to rise up; waiting for the family over there to rise up. We’d probably be looking at each other… we’d probably be crickets after we made that announcement.
But then I want you to imagine if one of our families or one of our individuals in our church raised their hand and said, “Hey… we will bring this child into our house, and we will parent them, and we will feed them, and we will clothe them, and we will pay for the water and electricity that they consume, and maybe by God’s grace will even be able to put a little aside for their college some day. We will be their family and treat them as our son or daughter, but we don’t have the sum of money that it takes to put that child into our family
All the rest of you like, (handing them money), “Here you go, here you go…” You’d be so relieved that someone else was willing to take on that incredible burden, you’d gladly as a church family come around that person and help make it happen. and together we will have rescued that child.
So the point is simply to say that, no matter what stage you are in life the concept of paralleling our spiritual adoption in Christ is always available to us… to support, as we bring children into loving families and provide options for our moms so they can see the love of Christ indeed in action.
I’ll close by reading the Scripture that speaks of our spiritual adoption. It tells us this:
“What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. For he is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law (faith and love in action), to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full right of sons. Now because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s son, his child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
This is a passage about a call to action regarding helping those who are in justly being led to their death to be saved and rescued And we would probably be remiss to close our time without .pausing and saying, “Thank you.”,
I hope you leave here today with a challenge but I hope you leave here today also with a sense of. “thank you”. Because when you support Kirkmont, as he said, you also are supporting the Miami Valley Women’s Center
Some of you already volunteer there; some of you have already done things in your life to advocate for this cause and we thank you for just that.
Link to Kirkmont Presbyterian Church Website
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