Should We Do More?

In June 2023, the Center for a Biblical Worldview, a research arm of the Family Research Council, surveyed 1,009 adults who attend a worship service in-person or online at least once/month. The statistic that popped out for me was that 58% of those adults wanted their church to do more than it currently does to help or support women who have unplanned pregnancies.


In some circles, there is a line of thinking that the church’s business is only to preach the Gospel. Advocates of such a view are often quick to point out:

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Mark 8:36)

The concern they expressed is understandable. The so-called “social gospel movement” of the late 19th century emphasized so strongly helping people get by in this world, that it neglected or diminished concern for eternal life.

That is why some are quick to object to any church or church body activity in social work.

The problem with invoking Mark 8:36 alone is that it neglects the full counsel of God in Scripture. James wrote:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:14–17)

Jesus described the day of judgment this way:

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. (Matthew 25:35-36,40)

No one is saved (has eternal life) by performance (Isaiah 64:6; Philippians 3:9) but by undeserved kindness (grace) (Ephesians 2:8-9). Yet, saved people do incredible works of love and sacrifice for others (1 John 4:19).

As our faith matures, we realize with increasing clarity the value of salvation we received by the blood of Christ. We want to love others as we were loved by Christ (Matthew 18:21-25). We live not for ourselves but for others (Philippians 2:3-5). Gratitude is at the heart of us helping others.

When the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod adopted its 1979 memorial critical of abortion, the third resolve stated:

that we encourage our membership to express their concern and compassion for distressed pregnant women by supporting the development of alternatives to abortion programs which are consistent with God’s Word;

This clarity of mission and responsibility is rooted in our salvation, which is why the final resolve of that memorial reads as follows:

that we more zealously preach the Gospel of Christ which alone can change the wicked hearts of men and turn them from sin to righteousness

To learn what more you can do to support women who have unplanned pregnancies check out our page, Ideas to Help Others.


Recommended Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *