Jesus told his disciples to make an effort at converting the nations to saving faith in Christ. It was his last earthly instruction to them before he ascended into heaven. Those followers of Christ who take him seriously have been trying to do just that for the past two thousand years. At certain times better than others, in some ways better than others, and some with more unbridled and untampered zeal than others. I’m aware of the checkered past of the confessing church and its questionable evangelistic methodologies at times. Forced conversions are oxymoronic and a grave aberration of what Jesus meant when he gave that Great Commission.
The truth is though that anybody who really believes something is going to be somewhat evangelistic with their beliefs. This is why Marie Stopes International (MSI) would risk for decades the consequences of offering illegal abortions throughout the continent of Africa. They really believe they are helping hurting women, and they’re willing to face fines and legal scrutiny to do so. Like Christian evangelists, they do what’s illegal because they believe in what they are doing.
Recently, however, African nations like Kenya, Niger, Tanzania, and Zambia have been shutting down various MSI clinics for their illegal and immoral practices. I guess these governments don’t believe it’s OK to slaughter babies in an effort to provide help to ladies in need. And to that I say, “Thank God for Africa.” There are ways to help but killing one person to help another is a bad evangelistic strategy. I would submit it’s worse than forced conversions.
How refreshing it’s been to pray this week through the 139thPsalm. David looks back to the most vulnerable time in his life and thanks the Lord for knitting him together, forming his parts, and intricately weaving his frame. All while he was in his mother’s womb. God’s image is precious no matter what stage its development. Human life is sacred no matter hold old it is. And while the rest of the world seems bent on preaching a different message regarding unborn babies, I’m thankful for my friends in Africa who continue to resist such destructive evangelistic strategies.