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Uniting for Life

Spring, 1991


NPRC Members Attend 18th Annual March for Life

Members of the National Pro-Life Religious Council (NPRC) representing several different denominations joined more than 50,000 pro-lifers in Washington on Jan. 22, in commemoration of the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion on demand throughout pregnancy. This year the pro-lifers braved freezing cold temperatures to march from the mall to the steps of the Supreme Court.

NPRC's President, Rev. Ben Sheldon, a Presbyterian Pastor from Philadelphia, who also serves as president of Presbyterians Pro-Life said, "It is tragic that in a nation founded on the principle that life is a sacred right, we must come to the citadel of our government to protest the wanton killing of 1.6 million unborn babies each year." Pastor Sheldon continued, "We have come here today to witness to the fact that most Christians do support life and do not support abortion on demand as the Religious Coalition for Abortion would have America believe."

In recognition of NPRC's efforts within the religious community, Congressman Chris Smith (R, NJ-4), Co-Chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, met with NPRC leaders at the march.

Another highlight of the March was an inspirational phone call from President Bush, who took time out of his demanding schedule with the overseas crisis to address the crowd. While attendance may have been down this year due to the situation in the gulf, those who braved the weather enjoyed all of the uplifting remarks from the platform speakers including, Senator Jesse Helms (R, NC), Representative Christopher Smith (R, NJ-4), and Pastor Ben Sheldon.

Pro-Life Leaders Oppose Import of Abortion Drug

Eleven pro-life leaders representing several denominations traveled to Germany and France to meet with Roussel-Uclaf, the manufacturer of the abortion inducing drug RU-486.

The trip, which was coordinated by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), included the following pro-life leaders: Carl Anderson, Knights of Columbus; Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family; Dr. Joe McIhaney, American Academy of Medical Ethics; Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum; Dr. Richard Land, Southern Baptist Convention; Dr. Richard Glasow, NRLC; William Sherman, International RTL; Dr. Carolyn Gerster NRLC; Dr. Jean Gorton, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; Laurie Tryfiates, Concerned Women for America and Dr. J.C. Willke, President, NRLC.

Abortion is Linked to "Legal Reign of Terror"

In January of 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion, it "laid the groundwork for a legal reign of terror," Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk of Cincinnati, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a lecture in Washington, January 23.

The court's decision was "inconsistent" with the fundamental principle of the right to life on which the United States was established. Archbishop Pilarczyk said, "once government begins to operate inconsistently with its own principles, the door is open to everything."

"If the foundational principles are not to apply in certain areas," he said, "then government has taken all power to itself, which is totalitarianism, or it has decided that it's own will is the supreme principle, which is tyranny, or it is saying that there really are no principles, which is barbarism."

Those principles found in the Constitution, Pilarczyk said, "are the most basic of all our foundational documents, the Declaration of Independence." The Declaration, he noted, said government exists to secure and protect God-given rights including, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Archbishop Pilarczyk went on to say that in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion, "government passed beyond its constituted limits, and undermined one of the fundamental rights that it was instituted to defend ...If the right to life is one of the unalienable rights, conferred by the Creator, and if the government exists to protect and secure these rights, then it is not consistent for the government to permit any human life to be subject to the arbitrary will of another."

Moravians in Northern Province Vote to Withdraw from RCAR

At its 1990 Synodical Meeting, the delegates of the Moravian Church, Northern Province, voted to withdraw its membership from the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR). However, because of the Moravian Church's committee structure, the standing Committee on Church and Society will be allowed the opportunity to explore membership in RCAR, but only as a committee.

The vote against RCAR came after several years of diligent work within the church by a group of pro-life Moravians called

Guest Sermon

Who Are The Holy Innocents of Today?

Scripture: Jeremiah 31:15-17; Matthew 2:16-18

What a monster of cruelty Herod must have been!! The slaughter of the little boys in Bethlehem shouldn't have surprised anyone, given what they already knew of this despicable tyrant, whose reputation as a cruel, jealous ruler is unequalled. History records that, when he became king, he slaughtered the members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish supreme court. During his reign, he executed over three hundred other government officials ...

So, when the Magi came searching for the King, whose birth they believed was presaged by the appearance of that star, Herod was profoundly disturbed. And not just "disturbed", but filled with implacable hatred and fear. His evil mind doubtless began to formulate his diabolical plan right then and there. Matthew tells us that he secretly called the Magi and found out from them the exact time the star appeared; with that information, he must have calculated how old the child would be, and, when the Magi failed to return, he immediately gave orders to kill all the boy babies 2 years old and under in Bethlehem ...

This slaughter of the innocents is marked in the liturgical calendar of the church by what is known as HOLY INNOCENTS DAY, which always comes on December 28th. Matthew says that this dreadful event, almost too horrible for us to think about, was a fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy about Rachel weeping for her children. That passage from Jeremiah 31 has important application to our own day.

Jeremiah describes the capture of Jerusalem and the captivity of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. They were probably shackled together and forced to begin the long, death march to Babylon. Their agonizing journey took them on the eastward road out past the tomb of Rachel, some 4 or 5 miles from Jerusalem. Jeremiah imagines the captives hearing Rachel weep in sorrow and pain over the suffering of her children who were passing by her grave.

The account of Rachel's death is given to us in Genesis 35. She is tenderly buried by Jacob after the birth of Benjamin ...

And now, centuries later, Jeremiah imagines the spirit of Rachel crying pitifully from her roadside tomb as the long lines of defeated, dejected, and demoralized captives - the descendants of Benjamin - file past on their way to Babylon.

How can this fearful massacre of the little boys of Bethlehem be a fulfillment of Jeremiah's words written 500 years earlier?

Jeremiah was thinking primarily of the people of Judah and Jerusalem now being taken into hopeless and cruel captivity. In a figurative sense, Rachel represents the land of God's promise, stripped and left destitute of her children. And so she weeps bitterly in hopeless despair, for what hope is left to them now that their children have been so cruelly torn from their bosoms just as Jerusalem's children - "Rachel's children," if you please,- were torn from hers?

As we view the tragedy of our world today, with its cheapening of human life, are we not also tempted to hopelessness and despair?

Look at the holy innocents of our modern age!!!

Look at the easy acceptance of abortion in our society - while those of us who cry out against it are viewed as fanatics, or extremists, or crazy .....

Look atthe way we are acquiescing in permitting doctors and hospitals to let infants die from neglect, if they are born with defects or other problems deemed incurable or hopeless ....

Look atthe slippery slope toward euthanasia that is taking place in nursing homes and hospitals, as we let the aged and the infirm die also from neglect, or even worse, by "pulling the plug" on them ...

Many have compared what is happening today with what took place in the 1930's in Germany. But there is a critical difference! In Germany, people whom the government described as "useless eaters" or "human garbage" were systematically starved to death under coercion by a totalitarian state. But in our own country (and in places like Holland), it isn't a coercive state which is forcing this on people. People are doing it by choice ...

I say, as we view this in our modem world -I believe that we can hear Rachel weeping again for her children - the holy innocents of today's world...Our children are our richest treasures, and our attitude about children will determine our attitude about everything else.

Our children are being led captive to a foreign land, bound with the chains of our perverted culture, and we face a situation as hopeless and despairing as any that Jeremiah envisioned for the desolate city of Jerusalem after her captivity in 587 BC, or that Matthew envisioned for Bethlehem after her children were so cruelly slaughtered ...

There is a vast network of public and private organizations and efforts which are draining off billions of dollars in tax money as well as private foundation grants, in order to promote massive population control measures over families, schools and even churches.

The organizations and movements which promote this erroneous teaching are many, but one in particular is especially blameworthy and I refer to the Planned Parenthood Federation, which actively advocates two of the leading frauds of this modern age, namely the "overpopulation" hysteria and the so called "sex education" program.

And Rachel is weeping for her children - the children who will never be born, the children who are corrupted and twisted by society's efforts to achieve the so-called good life.

But I do not want to leave you there.

For Jeremiah didn't despair. God showed him that there was hope.

vs. 16: "Restrain your voices from weeping and your eyes from tears."

Your work will be rewarded!

(Your children) will return from the land of their captivity.

There is hope for your future.

And the hope on the horizon that I see is ultimately the sovereign purpose and power of God which cannot be thwarted. God will prevail. His way and His truth will not be crushed .

Thank God for dedicated and faithful Christians in every church who pray and are willing to take a stand for truth and righteousness and Godliness.

Jeremiah says, your work willbe rewarded.

And let us thank God that even the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem was part of God's sovereign plan, which eventually led to the Cross. Those little innocent boys in Bethlehem lost their lives, in a sense, so that Jesus' life could be spared, so that eventually Jesus could give his life for them and for us and for all mankind.

And around the throneof God, those Holy Innocents are praising and worshipping the Lamb,as Psalm 8 tells us.

"From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger."

And his enemies will be silenced and God will reign supreme and Jesus Christ will be Lord of heaven and earth ...

The above are excerpts from a sermon preached on January 20, 1991 at Bethany Collegiate Presbyterian Church, Havertown, PA, by the Pastor, the Rev. Benjamin E. Sheldon. Pastor Sheldon is also the National President of Presbyterians Pro-Life and the President of the National Pro-Life Religious Council. Reprinted with permission.

News Notes

United Methodist Group Begins Lobbying Campaign Against "Freedom of Choice Act" Ephrata, PA - The Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality is conducting a grassroots lobbying campaign against the "Freedom of Choice Act." The taskforce's director, Mr. Steve Wissler, asked members of all denominations to "call their congressmen during January and February and urge them to vote against the Freedom of Choice Act." Wissler indicated the group's goal was to counter the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights' (RCAR) lobbying efforts in support of the measure. "RCAR is trying to tell Congress that abortion is a religious freedom which shouldn't be restricted in any way," Wissler said. "We intend to show Congress that most Christians respect unborn human life and do not support RCAR or its support for abortion on demand."

Cardinal O'Connor Speaks to "Seminarians for Life" Washington (Jan. 22) - At a special mass for Seminarians for Life, John Cardinal O'Connor of New York stated that Catholic leaders in the pro-life movement must not forget the importance of "the power of Christ" in the abortion struggle. In his homily, the Cardinal said, "One dynamic, one dimension that has been missing from the pro-life movement and I say this critical of no one - has been a widespread, deep, passionate commitment on the part of priests". He also said, that as ordained priests, he hoped that the seminarians would maintain their "sense of urgency" about the priority of abortion.

More Than 450 Attend National Lutherans for Life Convention Indianapolis (Nov 9-10) - The Convention's theme, Not One Should Perish, reflected the deep pro-life commitment promoted by Lutherans for Life at its national convention. Keynote speakers covered a wide range of pro-life topics and included, among others, Dr. Richard Land, Director of the Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Church, and psychologist, Dr. William Coulson. The convention also included a special youth program to help teenagers become more involved in the pro-life movement.

"The Heart of the South Beats for Life"

June 6-8, 1991

Mark your calendar NOW and plan to attend the 19th annual NRL Convention. Gather with hundreds of Pro-Lifers from across the country and abroad. Meet new friends and renew old acquaintances.

Learn the latest facts on abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide!

NRLC '91 will immediately follow the annual Southern Baptist Convention. This presents a unique opportunity for those persons interested in attending both. Help us spread the word through your church and in your area.

All Pro-Life Areas:

Lobbying, Organizational Development, Education, Fund-Raising, Voter Identification, Political Action, State and Federal Legislative Activities, and MUCH, MUCH MORE!

Learn from pro-life experts in such specialized fields as ETHICS, LAW, AND MEDICINE.

Spread the word among the youth in your area to attend the National Teens for Life Convention held in conjunction with NRLC '91. There will be special youth-oriented workshops and sessions.

Childcare information available... infants through 12 years. (4-12 will enjoy out-of-door activities).

Rush Limbaugh is a highly sought after luncheon and dinner speaker, and his "Rush To Excellence Tour" travels to 45 cities a year. Rush was nominated by the National Association of Broadcasters for the Marconi Award as 1990 Syndicated Radio Personality of the Year.

NPRC Seeks New Members

This is your opportunity to join with other Christian pro-life leaders to help restore legal protection to the unborn child.

The National Pro-Life Religious Council, Inc. (NPRC) is a Christian pro-life coalition which acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and is called to witness to and affirm the biblical standard of the value, dignity, and sanctity of human life.

NPRC's Board of Directors consists of leaders of pro-life religious groups or pro-life groups with a religious outreach.

Associate membership is open to any individual, church, or group who subscribes to NPRC's principles.

NPRC currently has members working within pro-life groups associated with the following denominations/churches: American Baptist, Baptist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Evangelical (National Association of Evangelicals), Lutheran, Lutheran-Missouri Synod, Mormon (LDS), Presbyterian, Southern Baptist, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist.

Please join NPRC today and help us end the tragedy of abortion! Click here for a membership form!

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