For decades the people of Bethlehem Baptist Church and its affiliated ministries have prayed and labored on behalf of the unborn. We have marched in the frigid temperatures of Minnesota. We have supported crisis pregnancy centers and cultivated a culture of adoption and foster care. We have voted for life, and lifted up the worth and dignity of the least of these at every opportunity. We are especially grateful for Chancellor John Piper’s leadership on behalf of the unborn in our community over the last 40+ years. It is because of him that we have been regularly reminded, “Abortion is about God.”
Today marks a significant milestone in the fight for life. With the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Court has rightly held that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”
At Bethlehem College & Seminary, we join millions of our fellow Christians in celebrating God’s sovereign mercy in this decision. We recognize the efforts of millions of Christians and non-Christians over the last fifty years to bring us to this day, and we gladly say,
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases. (Psalm 115:1-3)
Indeed, he does, and we glory in his steadfast love and his faithfulness and his righteousness which he has displayed in the sight of the nations and this nation.
We know that there remains work to be done. Our own home state of Minnesota has its own state Supreme Court decision (Doe v. Gomez) which enshrines abortion as a constitutional right. The battle is not over, and will not be over, until our Lord returns. In the meantime, we give him glory for his marvelous deeds and ask for his grace to uphold and strengthen us for the work ahead. And we have confidence that he will do it.
I close this celebratory prayer letter with the words of John Piper in his final Sanctity of Life sermon (“They Poured Out Innocent Blood”) as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in 2012.
Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times! Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them.
When you have sinned grievously, and you have received the mercy and the steadfast love of the Lord, secured for you by the blood of Christ, what do you do? What does life become? What’s the meaning of your existence now — on this side of salvation? What’s your purpose on the earth?
What you do is set your face to enjoy the fullest blessing of God in observing justice and doing righteousness. Verse 3: “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!” You know your God now. You know what he is like. You know what he has done for you. You love him and you trust him. And you want his fullest blessing.
And to that end you cry out for his help. Verse 4: “Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them.” You set your face toward justice and righteousness — in this case for the unborn — and you call on God for help. And you act.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Clinging to Jesus with you,
Joe Rigney, PhD
President and Associate Professor of Theology and Literature
- We Know They Are Killing Children — All of Us Know by Chancellor John Piper
- John Piper’s Prayer at Planned Parenthood by Chancellor John Piper
- Life at the End of Roe: Recovering the Sanity and Wonder of Wanted Pregnancy by Marshall Segal, MDiv ’12
- Post-Roe America May Get Ugly: Next Steps in the Fight for Life by Scott Klusendorf