Bob Lenz, who speaks to thousands of teenagers every year, thinks the pro-life movement has been hijacked, and he begs Christians who call themselves “prolife” to find new ways to be for all life.
For a lot of folks, “pro-life” means little more than angry picketers. How do you think that happened, that the movement gained that reputation?
I would even say that it has come to be known as anti-caring, anti-listening and anti-compassionate. I feel like a few people in the movement have taken the microphone. What has happened is that because of the deep conviction about life, they have taken something good and have been blinded to other issues that are there.
One church father said, “Heresy is always truth out of balance.”
There is still an element of truth that they have and that is why it is blinding. They are blinded by their passion for life and so they have not become compassionate for all of life.
What happens is that because of our passion for an issue, we lose sight of the people.
What is the solution to that? How then does the church connect with the people?
Paul said, “I don’t give you just the gospel.” I don’t give you just the gospel, but I give you my very life because you have become dear to me, so dear, as a woman who nurses her child.
When we enter into relationship with these people, with these women and girls, we will see that each one is a real person that needs care and options. 79% of all women who consider abortion do so because of economic reasons. We have to care for all life from the womb to the tomb. If you are going to be prolife then I think I need a prolife stamp that says, “What are we going to do with the 500, 000 children in foster care in America that are waiting for adoption?” Are we for their lives? Are we for the life of the woman who has an abortion? Are we offering to help with assistance to those who care for that child and person long term? Not just for the fetus?
Where can those relationships start? The parking lot of Planned Parenthood is a hard place to start a relationship.
That is an awesome question. Jesus said, “Be in the world and not of it.” I think we really need to be where these people are. The reality is that they are all around us. We have to talk to them in a way that they can be real with their lives.
We get the story of Jesus with the woman at the well. Jesus says, “You have no husband. You have had five men and the man now is not your husband now.” The way she responded is that she went and told everybody. Is that the way the world responds when we are in a relationship with them? I think Jesus was more concerned about her than her lifestyle. We really need to be in a relationship with people.
Think about the woman caught in adultery—why was only the woman caught? Where was the man? Our society isn’t saying there are two people involved here. Men need to humble ourselves and stand up to the responsibility of our own actions and consequences.
I know you’re on a tour now speaking about the Stork Bus, offering women ultrasounds of their babies, that parks in front of facilities that are performing abortions. Say more about that…
So, we would love the for-life movement, the culture of life, the real prolife to be able to say, “We will provide more options for women who are in abortion-vulnerable situations than we are.” So the Stork Bus offers hope. There is a way to have an ultrasound of your child and it is done in a classy way. No condemnation. Even if they decide to go in to the facility, we will be here afterwards to love and care for them. Three out of five women walk on these buses and keep their child or put them up for adoption because they are seeing options. They are seeing something that is offering alternatives and not preaching and not condemning.
I have seen you with your wife and daughters, so I know firsthand that you have a soft heart for women. How is this good news for women?
Michael Bridges said, “If it doesn’t sound like good news, it is probably not good news.”
That can be a litmus test. If this is good news for women, it gives options. It gives financial support where needed. It gives relationships. It gives counseling when needed. It gives a place to dialogue. The biggest thing is it gives them choices. When they feel there are no options and feel alone and isolated and overwhelmed, nobody should be in that situation by themselves.
We are not dictating. We’re saying that there are alternatives and options. Life is good because life is knowing the Creator: John 17:3, “To know you, the one true God.” We don’t want a woman to do what she doesn’t want to do. We want to give them options and let them know they are loved and cared for. We will come along side of you and walk with you.