June 6, 2020

We Cannot Be Complacent

Liam Siegler ‘23 - Contributor

Since 1973, abortion has wrought the death of over 50 million unborn children in the United States. Over 600,000 abortions are performed every year.

Asleep. While dignity is corrupted by silence…

An estimate of over 400,000 people in the United States are believed to be victims of modern day slavery. Worldwide, human trafficking generates over $150 billion in income a year.

Asleep. While life is belittled by apathy…

Christians cannot afford to be complacent in the face of these great evils. Everyday hundreds of innocent lives are being torn apart in the womb, justified by utilitarian ethics and dogmatic ideologies. All across the world, thousands are being sold, used, and manipulated by an industry motivated by greed and power. Over 40 million souls are in bondage to modern day slavery.

How can we but not grieve these tragic realities? How does this not stir our souls? Do we not believe that human beings are beautifully created in the image of God? Are not the words of David still true for all of humanity? That “you [God] formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Like the Psalmist said, how can we not praise Him, for we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”? Every person was “made in secret…intricately woven in the depths of the earth.” This value never ceases to exist whether one is undesired, neglected, or abused, nor does it fail to matter regardless of how small, weak, and vulnerable the life. 

As Christians, we are particularly equipped in this broken and fallen world to make a difference on these issues. We know with full clarity the preciousness of life because our perspective is woven in a tapestry of grace and love: the truth. This truth firmly declares that every man and woman is purposefully created in the image of God. 

This truth allows us to unreservedly treat other people with respect, to see the dignity each person deserves, and to purely seek the restoration of those abused and hurting.  This truth desires us to lay our lives down, to serve with passion, and show to the world the good news of Christ. At no point does this truth reveal anything less.

As Christians, we are called to be redemptive agents in a time wrought with corruption, so how can we be comfortable with silence? How can we be complacent? Is apathy worth the cost of human life?

Perhaps we are afraid of the politics? Fair, life issues can be polarizing. Maybe the allure of comfort is too enticing? Makes sense, any war against evil will roll you out of bed.   

But these are not merely political issues. Is it political to declare that the unborn life is unique, special, and worthy to survive, irrespective of the pragmatic? Since when do economic quandaries and social dilemmas determine that death is the answer? Is it political to find answers that meet the needs of not only the women, but also the other lives involved? I contend it shouldn’t be. 

Abortion is simply one example. Human trafficking is another. The value of life is undermined across the world in many, many ways. 

Nevertheless, should the scale of the problem overwhelm us with fear? Will we, as Christians, submit to the tragedy inherent in indifference? Or should we passionately seek to make change? Will we accept the struggle? As Fredrick Douglas said in his West India Emancipation,

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.” 

Shall we plow the ground? There are many places to start. 

We can become informed on the issues that matter. We can dedicate our time, money, and resources to raising awareness, supporting victims of abuse, and walking with those who struggle. We can show those around us the truth. Regardless of what it is, whether that be great or small, as Christians, there is zero room for complacency. 

Change can happen. Look at William Wilberforce, a British Abolitionist who spent 20 long, gruelling years proposing the same bill to abolish the slave trade, over and over and over again. He fought against the same apathy we see today, but he won. He lived to see the trade abolished and soon the entire institution of slavery destroyed. By providence, there is no reason why we can’t see such dramatic change today.

I for one, want to see it happen.

Lest we forget, millions of voiceless people are weeping. Millions of innocents are dying. Many, many more are suffering for the sake of monetary, political, and personal gain. As Wilberforce said to those concerning the evils of his day, 

“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”

May we be without excuse. 

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