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NOTE: The content below expresses the views of the individual named as the author and does not necessarily reflect the position of the WRF as a whole.
WRF Members in The USA Seeking to “Live Out” Isaiah 58 and Matthew 25

WRF Members in The USA Seeking to “Live Out” Isaiah 58 and Matthew 25

Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the American law recognizing the legality of abortion should be overturned. By that ruling, the law known as “Roe v. Wade” was rendered null and void. There has been much discussion of this matter and some of that discussion has suggested that evangelical Christians tend to demonstrate greater concern for the human fetus than for human beings after they are born. 

That certainly is not the case with the World Reformed Fellowship and its members.

The official WRF Statement of Faith says this about abortion:

Abortion of a fetus is really the destruction of a new life (XI., 5.).

And that Statement also makes these comments

Just as the creation of a new person is God’s action, so it is he who determines the end of a person’s life.  Both origination and termination of life are in his sovereign control.  (XI., 6).

We affirm the great need for Christians to be clothed with compassion in the name of Christ, in the midst of poverty, disease, injustice and all forms of human misery.  We are concerned that there are millions of people in this world living in desperate poverty.  In calling us to clothe ourselves with compassion we are called to walk with the poor and convey the transforming grace of God with a quality of spiritual life that allows us to enter a suffering community not as saviours, but as servants of Christ the Saviour. (X., 3)

We understand the transformation of community to be the comprehensive reversal of the effects of sin over all of life and all the earth that alienated men and women from God, from self, from others and from the environment and the restoration of God’s order in creation.  It is God’s intention that all human beings should be full bearers of his image.  This task begins in this life but will only be completed when Christ returns in glory at the end of time.  It aims to transform the sinful culture and society in which we live and to construct a new culture and new society in conformity with the nature of the Kingdom of God which has been inaugurated by Christ.  (X., 4.)

Thus, the World Reformed Fellowship and its members stand officially OPPOSED to any understanding of Scripture which fails to see the sanctity of human life as beginning at conception and continuing until actual physical death.  We believe that Isaiah 58: 5 – 14 and Matthew 25: 31 – 46 describe accurately what our Triune God desires His people to be and doHere are those two passages:

Isaiah 58: 6 – 8 (NIV): “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

Matthew 25: 31 – 46 (NIV): “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 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.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

Those last words, spoken by Jesus Christ Himself, must be – and are – the commitment of the World Reformed Fellowship.  But it is, of course, one thing to take an official “stand.” It often is a very different thing to “incarnate” that stand in specific, concrete actions, especially where the pains and complexities of life in a fallen world seem to intrude on even the best intentions.

The World Reformed Fellowship wishes, therefore, to recognize the ways in which some of our members have sought “to transform the sinful culture and society in which we live and to construct a new culture and new society in conformity with the nature of the Kingdom of God which has been inaugurated by Christ.”  We believe that this recognition will also provide a very small but significant response to those who claim that evangelical Christians do not care about the sanctity of human life after birth.

Below are listed a few of the ways in which some of our denominational and congregational members are seeking “to transform the sinful culture and society in which we live and to construct a new culture and new society in conformity with the nature of the Kingdom of God which has been inaugurated by Christ.”

We anticipate adding to the list below further materials as they are sent to us (at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  So we encourage those who are reading this material to “check back often” . . . and possibly even to encourage your churches to follow some of the examples provided below.   

 

DENOMINATIONS

God loves his children, and this includes the young children among us. In fact, in many places in the Bible, God calls on his followers to care for, protect, and nurture children because they are precious to him.

On June 24, the United States Supreme Court overturned its 1973 decision (known as Roe versus Wade) that allowed induced abortion in all 50 states. The overturning of this decision is of such importance in our mandate to care for children, and for the sanctity of human life, that we wanted to share some reflections with the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the broader community. While there is no such law against abortion in Canada, the following reflections are relevant in both countries.

First, a bit of background. In 1972, the CRCNA called believers “to a ringing testimony against the evils of abortion as practiced in our society, and encourage[d] them to promote action and legislation that reflects the teaching of Scripture.” As part of this synodical decision, the denomination expressed deep pastoral concern not only for children but also for women who have had an abortion and for women who have an unwanted pregnancy. These women are also God’s children and require our care and concern.

For women (and their male partners) who have had abortions, the CRCNA urged us all to “be careful to deal with such a person with loving concern rather than judgmental pronouncements” (Acts of Synod 1972, p. 64). For those with unwanted pregnancies, we urged “churches to give more attention to sensitive ministry to those who carry children to term, to the care of unwed mothers and their children, and the social ills associated with this issue. We further encourage governmental agencies to support programs which will address these needs” (Acts of Synod 1998, p. 401).

In many ways, the June 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a positive development for people in the church. We are thankful for increased protection of the lives of unborn babies, and we pray that it will ultimately reduce the number of abortions in the United States. Yet we also recognize the limits of this decision.

The Supreme Court decision did not outlaw abortion. Instead, by overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has merely remanded decisions about abortion law to the states. Right now, about half of the states in the U.S. will prohibit or severely limit abortions, and 17 states will continue to allow them.

 We also recall reminders from past synods that abortion is not only about unborn children but also about their parents. The overturning of Roe v. Wade will not necessarily result in a cultural shift that supports men and women facing unplanned pregnancies. It will not walk alongside them during what can be an excruciating journey of panic, isolation, and shame.

Nor will this decision eliminate abortions in all cases. In fact, it is likely to have unintended consequences. For example, those with enough money will still be able to take time away from work for prenatal care and, in some cases, may travel to a state that permits abortions if that is what they choose. Those who cannot afford to take time off or who lack financial resources will not have those options.

This heightens the likelihood of at-risk pregnancies, illegal abortions, and attempts to abort the pregnancy alone. All of these things put both mother and child at risk. In many cases, ethnic minorities and socially marginalized families will bear the brunt of these outcomes.

God calls us to love his children. To reduce abortions and reduce the injustice and racism inherent in our health-care systems today, we need to love. This requires us to listen to what the CRCNA said back in 1972. As Christians, we need to “encourage governmental agencies to support programs which will address these needs,” such as proven public policy measures that reduce abortions. This includes affordable child care and affordable health care.

It is also requires us to remember that people who have had or are considering abortions include many within our churches. They need our love. As the Do Justice blog noted recently, “Four out of 10 women who have abortions are regular church goers, but only 7 percent of them talk to anyone at their church before making their decision (ProGrace). When the church is not a place where women feel they can seek support, we participate in making life less safe for unborn children and their mothers.”

Reducing or outlawing abortion must be accompanied by public policies and personal/corporate actions that address injustice, poverty, and racism and that honor the sanctity of all human life and demonstrate love to people facing the painful struggle of an unwanted pregnancy. To learn more about how you and your congregation can support the sanctity of human life for all people, see the extensive resources provided by our Social Justice ministry.

  • The Evangelical Presbyterian Church – Route One Ministry - an anti-trafficking ministry in Boston   https://lovedbyrouteone.org/  Contact person,  Rev. Bonnie Gatchell, Evangelical Presbyterian Church

 

 

CONGREGATIONS

  • Bay Presbyterian Church, Bay Village, Ohio (EPC) – https://www.baypres.org/ (A ministry to those with special needs.)
  • Bellefield Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA (EPC) - https://bellefield.org/ (An extensive food bank ministry)
  • Calvary Presbyterian Church, Willow Grove, PA (PCA) - https://calvary-wg.org/ (Full care for a family of Afghan refugees)
  • First Presbyterian Church, Baton Rouge, LA (EPC) –  https://fpcbr.org/ (Special support ministry whenever a hurricane hits South Louisiana)
  • First Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, Maryland (EPC) supports these ministries
  •  First Presbyterian Church, Orlando, FL (EPC) - https://www.fpco.org/ (Ministry to the Homeless)
  • Hope Presbyterian Church, Memphis, TN (EPC) – https://www.hopepres.com/ (Outreach and care for under-resourced communities in Memphis)
  • Memorial Park Presbyterian Church PA (EPC) –  https://www.memorialparkchurch.org/  (Two ministries to people with Special Needs: 1) Special Friends (adults) and 2) Friday Night Kids (children) with subsequent Bible Camp)
  • The Orchard Church, Great Barrington, Illinois (Independent)  --  https://safe-families.org/ (Church families take at-risk children into their homes for a few weeks to a few months prior to those same kids hitting the foster care system. There’s assistance for the mom, as well, to help her get back on her feet.)
  • The Reformed Christian Church of Orlando, Florida – https://meninasdosolhosdedeus.com/en/ (We have an alliance with a ministry in Nepal (Girls of the God's Eyes) who has been doing a wonderful work of rescuing children who are trafficked from Nepal to India - Sex trafficking of minors.)
  • Second Presbyterian Church, Memphis, TN (EPC) – https://www.2pc.org/  (Outreach and care for under-resourced communities in Memphis)
  • Trinity Presbyterian Church of Charlottesville, Virginia (PCA) - https://www.trinitycville.org/ 
    • Adoption and Foster Care – The call to "look after orphans" (James 1:27) is prominent throughout the Bible, and our Adoption and Foster Care Ministry exists to support the church body in this work. We aim to encourage families who have adopted or fostered children, as well as those who are interested in being part of the process.
    • Faith & Finances—A 12-week financial education class with curriculum designed to teach financial literacy and sound practices to those who may be living paycheck to paycheck, have poor credit, have no emergency fund, or who have utilized payday loans.
    • Mercy Closet- Trinity stocks a closet of personal care and household items that cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits. Items like baby shampoo, body wash, feminine hygeine products, shampoo and conditioner, body lotion, laundry detergent, dishwashing/dishwasher detergent, household cleaning supplies, cleaning products, paper towels, kleenex, toilet paper, deodorant, and paper towels.
    • ThriVe - ministering to those in crisis pregnancy situations
    • WorkLife—A relational jobs ministry for the underemployed or unemployed in our community, providing participants with the skills, self-confidence, biblical understanding of work, and employer connections they need to get a job to provide for themselves and their families.
  • Trinity Presbyterian Church, Rye, New York (PCA)  - https://www.trinitychurchny.com/ 
  • Trinity Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Plymouth, MI (EPC) – https://www.trinityepc.org and Ward Presbyterian Church, Northville, MI (EPC) – https://ward.church/
    • Long-standing ministries to under-resourced areas of Detroit, such as home rehabilitation and “ABC in the D” literacy program

 

ORGANIZATIONS

  • Second Glance Ministries, Denver, Colorado (EPC) – https://secondglance.otg/ (Focuses on sexual abuse and pornography issues)

 

INDIVIDUALS

Among the MANY individual WRF members who are personally involved in Isaiah 58 and Matthew 25 ministries is the member who provided the information below but requested that there be no indication of the individual’s identity.  That request is being honored.

Like many American Christian families, we have long had a child in an orphanage in Africa whom we support, probably about the last 25 years.

After the war in Ukraine started, my wife helped a Ukrainian Christian school connect with a Czech Christian school, with the result that the Czech school invited the Ukrainian school to take refuge in their village in the Czech Republic. Of course, a few dozen people helped, including some who arranged Czech government financial support. School children, mothers and grandmothers, teachers, etc. are now in that Czech village, with their Christian school working in the Ukrainian language. Their men are in the army.

We helped with finances and communications to get a Ukrainian Christian family resettled in Prague. I am about 2.5 years into helping a Middle Eastern Christian family relocate to Canada. In 2005, when I was director of a ministry in Europe, the Lord opened the door to start a Roma (Gypsy) student program. This people group is on the fringe of society because of prejudice, and they are also largely illiterate. Now there is a stream of them (mostly from a group of Roma churches) who are getting something like a GED, while being mentored by Christians, and some of our friends are paying for the whole project.

From my personal experience traveling in several continents, I know that a large percentage of the people working in secular humanitarian aid organizations are deep Christians; this includes organizations such as UN relief and the Red Cross.

 

 


Dr. Samuel T. Logan is WRF's Associate International Director and may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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