The Fragility and Urgency of Life

Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | Tuesday, November 15, 2022
The Fragility and Urgency of Life

The Fragility and Urgency of Life


I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

My wife and I tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago. While more than ninety-seven million Americans have contracted the virus since the pandemic began, this was our first time. We are both vaccinated and boosted and are under our doctors’ care, so we’re experiencing mild symptoms. This could be far worse—nearly twenty-eight thousand Americans are currently hospitalized with the disease, which is causing more than three hundred deaths a day.

Our experience with the pandemic has brought back terrible memories of the days before the vaccines when it seemed that anyone could infect anyone and anyone could die as a result. Things are much different now, but humanity’s overall mortality rate is unchanged. Every one of us will die of something someday unless the Lord returns first.

From Sunday’s multiple fatalities at the University of Virginia and the University of Idaho, to last Saturday’s deadly midair collision at a Dallas air show, to comedian Jay Leno’s burn injuries following a gasoline fire, each day’s news is filled with reminders that life is finite and fragile.

And as with most gifts, the more fragile life becomes, the more precious it seems.

Unless, that is, we’re discussing the most fragile lives of all.

Abortion vote an "unmitigated disaster"

Most commentators discussing the midterm elections have focused on control of Congress, with more than a dozen House seats still uncalled as of last night. I have been watching a different story line, one that reveals something deeply urgent about the state of our culture.

According to NPR, “in every state where voters were asked to weigh in directly on abortion rights, they supported measures that protect those rights and rejected initiatives that could threaten them.” Voters in several states approved measures to enshrine abortion rights in their states’ constitutions. And Kentucky voters rejected a measure explicitly stating that the state constitution contains no right to an abortion, a defeat Southern Seminary president Albert Mohler called an “unmitigated disaster.”

These outcomes further reinforce the cultural narrative we discussed yesterday: our postmodern, post-Christian society is increasingly antagonistic to biblical moral values. In a post-Roe world, abortion will be legislated on a state-by-state and community-by-community basis. If the majority of your community is for elective abortion, they will elect pro-abortion leaders who enact pro-abortion legislation.

Consequently, protecting the most fragile of our fellow humans becomes your job and mine.

Three responses

One response is logical: unborn humans are humans.

From the moment of conception, the fetus contains all forty-six human chromosomes and is able to develop only into a human being. Nothing new will be added except the growth and development of what exists from conception. At twelve weeks, the unborn baby is only about two inches long, but every organ of the human body is clearly in place.

As a result, a child prior to birth deserves the same legal protections it will receive the moment it is born. All that happens in that moment is that it changes locations from inside its mother’s womb to outside of it. Making the case that pre-born children are children is foundational to saving their lives from abortion.

A second response is practical: pregnant women deserve all the support they need.

Every reason women cite for choosing abortion is a need we can meet. From financial support (the #1 cause of abortion) to counseling and medical resources, churches and ministries can help mothers choose life.

A third response is spiritual: our culture is being deceived.

A caller on a radio program where I was being interviewed made the claim that she is personally opposed to abortion but doesn’t feel she has the right to make this decision for others. Tolerance is the cardinal ethos of a relativistic culture in which “we have no right to force our beliefs on others.” Abortion decisions are best left to the mothers who must make them, or so we’re told.

Of course, in every other dimension of life we enact laws to protect us from each other and even from ourselves. From illegal drugs to seat belt laws, we “force our beliefs” on one another. The greater the consequences, the more strict the law and the more severe the punishment.

But when innocent, defenseless pre-born humans are at risk, we decide we cannot “force our beliefs” on those who would take their lives. This deception comes from “the father of lies” (John 8:44) who blinds the minds of those he deceives (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “comes to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).

"Fearfully and wonderfully made"

The fight for life is shifting into a new season in which every community is on the front lines. This means you and I are on the front lines as well.

We need to make the logical case for life wherever we can. We need to support ministries that support pregnant women considering abortion. And we need to pray daily for a spiritual awakening that would expose the darkness of deception to the light of truth.

Then every unborn child across our land will be able to say one day to God, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

Joni Eareckson Tada observed, “Though gradually, though no one remembers exactly how it happened, the unthinkable becomes tolerable. And then acceptable. And then legal. And then applaudable.”

What will you do to reverse this tragic trajectory?

Millions of unborn lives are in the balance.

Publication date: November 15, 2022

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Ildar Abulkhanov

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.

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