Right now there’s a bill being brought through the parliament here in New South Wales, Australia that will further embed abortion as legal and easily accessible even in late term pregnancies. In the lead up to this bill being brought forth I’ve been challenged by God through a close friend to be one who stands for righteousness and God’s truth. So when this bill arrived I wrote to my local MP to voice my deep concerns and pro-life point of view. A number of pro-life groups here in NSW then organized a rally/protest outside parliament house this past Tuesday night. I felt to go though I have never been to anything like this before. However, in the lead up to the night, the Lord began to speak to me again. He kept saying to me, “Your voice before the throne of heaven is so much more powerful than your voice before the throne of men.” Over and over again it came. In the middle of this, I received an email response from my local MP with his reasons for voting for the bill in the lower house. (The bill needs to pass the upper house now before it becomes law). In his argument, my local MP put forth a very cogent, intelligent argument for his vote to further legalize abortion. I began to see something then which was further highlighted as I attended the rally/protest on Tuesday night.

***

When Jesus walked among us 2000 years ago He walked during a time in history when His people, the Jews, were the conquered subjects of the Roman empire. The Jews hated the Romans and Roman ways and laws. They were looking for a savior who would free them from the Romans and reestablish the Kingdom of Israel. Yet throughout the whole of Jesus’ ministry He said barely anything about the Romans and their oppressive rule. Instead Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God. He taught that, His Kingdom over which He is King, had different ways, different values and different means.  He said, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If it were my servants would fight…But now my Kingdom is from another place. (John 18:36)” Jesus made it clear that His Kingdom was taking over but it wasn’t taking over the way a human kingdom would (see Matthew 13:31 and Luke 17:20-24).

***

As I arrived in Martin Place at the rally/protest on Tuesday night there were already a couple thousand people gathered. As I pushed through the crowd, felt their energy and saw the fluttering flags and banners something hit my heart that moved me to tears. That thing went like this.  “We can get a couple of thousand people out on a week night to protest abortion but if we called people to pray for 3 hours how many would we get? We can get a couple thousand people to stand and yell about human rights before a human parliament but if we asked people to stand before the King of Kings for 3 hours and pray how many would we get?”

***

I had invited a few friends to come along to the rally with me and once they arrived we felt like the Lord was leading us to go into parliament house itself. After we passed through security, we took a little peak into the chamber of the upper house and then sat down together on some couches just outside the door to the chamber. There we began to pour out our hearts to the Lord. It was incredibly powerful. I was reminded again the deep privilege to be called to intercession, intercession where you can feel heaven moving and know that truly our voices are more powerful before the throne of heaven than the throne of men.

But as we prayed we didn’t only pray in regards to this abortion bill. We prayed for the Church and for Christians to come back to the first commandment and for salvations. What I saw in this little journey the Lord has taken me on over the last couple weeks is that this whole issue runs much deeper than abortion. Abortion is a terrible crime against the innocent and helpless of our society but at the heart of this is not opinion or humans rights, it’s Lordship. Do we, as Christians, really believe and live as though Jesus is Lord and King? In our rally and protest were we standing as representatives of our King or were we standing on “our rights” to have an opinion and be heard?

The rally was loud and the voices of the crowd, at times, angry. And I so believe, that as Christians we must not waste the privilege we have as citizens of a liberal democracy to stand for truth and let our voices but heard but is yelling slogans for three hours what Jesus would do?

Earlier in the week as I read my local MP’s reasons for voting for the abortion bill I saw that he has thought about this subject with all the depth and clarity and logic that human wisdom can give. From a human perspective he seems quite reasonable. He’s not made an emotional decision, he’s not made an uneducated decision. He’s looked at the grey areas of the issue and considered the risks and dangers but he’s made a decision without the lens and wisdom that comes from knowing the King in heaven who is Lord of all.

What I realized is that without my MP meeting Jesus as Lord it would be quite difficult for him to come to any other choice than the one he came to. So as we protest and rally and lift up our voices in the public arena about this issue we need first and foremost to stand as witnesses that Jesus is real and Jesus is Lord. In our stand we must represent the King who gives and sustains and values life not only represent “human rights”. It’s not our opinion versus there’s, it’s not pro-life versus pro-choice – it’s a question of whether Jesus is Lord. If Jesus is not real and He’s not Lord then it doesn’t matter for “tomorrow we die” but if Jesus is Lord then those who are in support of abortion need our prayers and cries before God for mercy as much as the unborn. They need our lives’ witness that Jesus is real and that He is a King. And this needs to not only be in a one off protest but in every area and arena of life. As Christians, we need to get serious about holiness and living differently from the world, we need to get serious about allowing our lives to be changed by God’s Word and we need to get serious about prayer – unto living lives that bare the witness of Christ.

So as we watch the slow but steady erosion of Christian values from our laws in this land the solution is not to yell louder, or protest harder. The solution is actually to press more earnestly into the call of Jesus to radical discipleship, to deep intimacy and connection to the Father through prayer, to letting the Word dwell more richly inside us, to putting the fear of the Lord more firmly as our foundation for wisdom. Laws like this come because Christians are losing their saltiness, not because we haven’t yelled loud enough or stood up for our rights.

Jesus is a King who we gave our whole lives to when we were born again. He’s looking for ambassadors on the earth who will search out His ways and live them, who will pray His will on earth as it is in heaven. He also said this about how to deal with a crisis in the land, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14)

So in the midst of lifting up our voices in the political arena, would we also lift up voices to the one who’s seated on the throne of the heaven, would we ask Him for wisdom to know how to represent Him, would we have the courage to ask Him for grace to make Him Lord over more of our lives?

Joel Ratcliffe

Footnote: Back in 2012 I spent 7 months in the US with a ministry who organized years’ long anti-abortion protests outside US courts. I really admire the way in which they protested. You can read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bound4life and https://www.bound4life.com/

2 thoughts

  1. Thanks Joel, I appreciate your insight! May the Lord be King in our lives and may the church in Australia truly be salt & light!!

    Like

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