Uniting for Life
From the Executive
By Rev. Ben Sheldon
Those who have been regular readers of this newsletter probably
noticed that a few issues back we gave it a formal name. After
all, "Newsletter" is pretty generic and doesn't convey any
special message. But "Uniting for Life" has meaning and does
convey a very important message, one that is basic to the
reason why the NPRC is in existence.
For we are, according to the words of our Purpose Statement:
"a coalition which acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior,"
and we are seeking "to affirm and witness to the Biblical
standard of the value, dignity and sanctity of human life."
And behind those affirmations are dedicated Christians from
many denominations and pro-life groups: Baptists, Catholics,
Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Orthodox, Presbyterians,
and United Church of Christ, men and women, clergy and laity.
We are all United (and Uniting) for Life. The National Pro-Life
Religious Council is here to stay, and we have pledged ourselves
to work for the day when "every Christian denomination or
fellowship proclaims and obeys the Biblical teaching and Christian
tradition that affirm the value of all human life."
It is an uphill struggle for many of us; for others, the
official stance of their particular denomination or organization
is pro-life. But all the polls tell us that there is a large
number of members in virtually every church, Catholic, Orthodox
or Protestant, that is either indifferent or actually antagonistic
to a pro-life viewpoint. So we know what the NPRC's task is.
And we are committed to this task. We are truly United for
It is my earnest hope and prayer, as Executive Director,
that every reader of this newsletter will actively encourage
his or her pastor to investigate the work of the NPRC, include
support for the NPRC in the benevolence giving of the congregation,
and consider becoming an Associate member by sending in the
form on the back of this newsletter with a $10 Associate Members'
fee to our office. As more and more of us Unite for Life,
we will see a change in our churches and even see the tide
of public opinion shift in favor of protecting the babies
and standing for all the life issues that NPRC supports.
From the President
By Will Dodson
Will Dodson is Director of Government Relations for
the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty
Commission. He is currently studying for the ministry at Southeastern
Theological Seminary. He was elected president of NPRC at
the fall board meeting.
In 1831, French social philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville
toured the United States of America to observe our way of
life. He recorded his findings in a two-part volume entitled
Democracy in America. De Tocqueville believed that one profound
truth was the "key" to America's great success. He related
this critical element in the following passage:
"I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America
in her harbors...; in her fertile fields and boundless forests;
in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school
system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her
democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
"Not until I went into the churches of America and
heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand
the secret of her genius and power.
"America is great because America is good, and if America
ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
While there are exceptions to this rule, it can no longer
be said that the pulpits of America "flame with righteousness."
The consequence of this lack of conviction and passion has
been that America has largely become a nation without a moral
compass. Nowhere is this more obvious than with regard to
the loss of respect for the sanctity of human life. The loss
of at least 32 million pre-born babies since Roe v. Wade attests
to this reality.
De Tocqueville was right! America's once and future greatness
depends on pulpits which "flame with righteousness." If the
rising tide of immorality in America is to be reversed, it
will happen only when pulpits "flame with righteousness."
If respect for human life is to be restored, it will happen
only when pulpits "flame with righteousness." If there is
reason to hope that the force of laws will protect our innocent
pre-born babies from slaughter, it is only when pulpits "flame
Success in the political arena will not come until there
is greater public sentiment for our innocent preborn babies.
This sentiment will only come when our pulpits "flame with
Indeed, the whole success of the pro-life movement depends
upon pulpits which "flame with righteousness."
In order to encourage this process, the National Pro-Life
Religious Council (NPRC) is organizing a national symposium
and seminar to appeal to church leaders to ignite the pulpits
of America with flames of righteousness, with particular regard
to abortion, the greatest manifestation of unrighteousness
in America today.
Not nearly enough energy has been spent on the one solution
which is indispensable to abolishing the horrible act of abortion.
The NPRC is an organization of little financial means. But
it is our hope and prayer that somehow, our public life would
be infused with a passion ignited by holy flames. Please contact
the NPRC if you are interested in this project. More details
will be forthcoming.
Communicate the Facts
The veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban for the second
time by President Clinton, despite its passage by large majorities
in both House and Senate, means greater efforts in education
are needed, for many are not aware of the brutality and extent
of this abortion procedure.
"President Clinton's veto means that each year thousands
of living babies will be pulled feet-first from the womb and
their heads punctured--unless Congress overrides the veto,"
stated Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National
Right to Life Committee (NRLC).
The Senate approval of the vote last May fell three votes
short of a two-thirds majority, but is the largest margin
yet. The House and the Senate are expected to vote later this
year on whether to override the veto.
In the meantime, all pro-lifers are urged to continue the
effort to communicate the facts about partial-birth abortions
to legislators, the media, and fellow voters. Support of state
partial-birth abortion bans is also important in reducing
the scope of this heinous procedure.
Further documentation on any facet of the partial-birth abortion
issue can be obtained by calling National Right to Life Committee
at (202) 626-8820 or on NRLC Homepage at www.nrlc.org.
Great Will Be Its Fall
By Rev. Paul Stallsworth
In one of His parables, Jesus described a poorly built house.
This house was built "upon the sand; and the rain fell, and
the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that
house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it." (Matthew
Consider a house built on the sand of an American beach.
The first heavy rainstorm that drenched the house would buckle
its floors, crack its walls, destroy its roof and ceilings,
and perhaps even wash it, as a unit, out to sea.
Contemporary American abortion law, which legalizes abortion
on demand, is like a house built on sand. Why? Because the
abortion liberty is built upon a false foundation. The abortion
liberty is built upon the sand of the autonomous individual,
and the account of the autonomous individual does not represent
the truth about man. After all, autonomous individualism allows
the powerful to violate and eliminate the weak. But man was
created by God to pray, not prey.
Unfortunately, there is a coalition of denominations that
presently hides the fact that American abortion law has no
real foundation. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive
Choice (RCRC) is its name. It has enlisted agencies from the
Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United
Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, and others
in its cause. RCRC, in effect, baptizes abortion on demand
in American law and society. That is, RCRC provides religious
cover for the legal liberty to choose abortion.
The pro-life organizations in the aforementioned denominations--all
of which belong to the National Pro-Life Religious Council--are
striving hard to disconnect their denominational agencies
from RCRC. In time and by the grace of God, these pro-life
organizations will succeed and move their churches away from
RCRC. Because of that, in time, RCRC will fall. And when RCRC
falls, the religious legitimization of abortion on demand
These collapses will not happen overnight, any more than
does the fall of a rain-drenched house built on sand. Rather,
these collapses will probably extend over many years. But
still, they will occur. And when they do occur, great will
be the fall of the abortion liberty in American society. Its
crash will thunder forth in a way that honors God and God's
Rev. Paul Stallsworth is a United Methodist minister
with Rose Hill United Methodist Church, North Carolina. He
is President of the Task Force of United Methodists on Abortion
and Sexuality, and the editor of Lifewatch.
Women of Hope
By Dr. Jean Garton
It is women who are most affected by abortion and sexually
transmitted diseases. It is women who are most involved in
caring for elderly parents and in making end of life decisions.
It is women who are the primary educators of children and
providers of nursing care. It is women who are most directly
involved in crisis pregnancy work and in post-abortion counseling.
In my vision to help equip women for those vital roles, I
and a group of Christian women with extensive experience in
pro-life work and witness have designed a conference -- a
forum for women by women -- to inform Christian women on life
Women of Hope: Engaging the 21st Century is planned for March
13-14 in Kansas City, Missouri. It involves speakers from
a variety of Christian church bodies. Conference planners
include Candace Mueller, co-founder of NPRC; speakers include
Terry Schlossberg, former NPRC president. Conference goals
include providing practical resources for making beginning
and end of life decisions, motivating women to be positive
role models, and utilizing the experience, knowledge, and
wisdom of "older" Christian women in mentoring women who are
"younger" in age, experience or knowledge. (Titus 2: 3-5)
In addition to general sessions there will be two panels:
one on religious heritage called, "Traditions of Hope" and
another called "Stories of Hope" featuring women who made
difficult choices that have brought great blessings. Workshops
will address topics such as ethical decision-making, conflict
management, educating children, healing the hurting, citizenship,
Hear new voices and new information from women who are experts
in their fields!
For further information, contact:
WOMEN OF HOPE
Fax: (913) 390-5353
Phone: (815) 282-8274
Address: 1156 W. 103rd St., Suite 105
Kansas City, MO 64114
National Right to Life
This year NPRC had a booth at the National Right to Life
Convention in Chicago in June. Each member organization provided
pro-life materials for convention participants to pick up.
The booth was a great opportunity to promote the sale of the
book of pro-life sermons sponsored by NPRC, The Right Choice;
all copies available were sold, and there has been great demand
ever since for this excellent resource for churches and pastors.
How to Work with Your Pastor
Practical strategies for lay people to help their pastor
provide pro-life leadership to the church have been developed
by members of the National Pro-Life Religious Council. This
guide comprises a comprehensive list of suggestions based
on experiences of pastors, pastors' wives, and active church
If you would like to obtain a copy, please contact:
Rev. Ben Sheldon, The National Pro-Life Religious Council,
Box 535, Elverson, PA 19520.
The Right Choice Materials
Edited by Paul T. Stallsworth
Published by Abingdon Press
"This collection of sermons is an effort, sponsored by NPRC,
to express the Christian understanding of the dignity of human
life. It makes clear that the Christian churches here represented
are seeking to inform and form their people in the context
of worship, according to the revelation offered to the world
though the Word of God. Where God has spoken, we must speak,
as best we can."
(from Forward by Rev. John B. Brown)
A collection of pro-life sermons from:
- Elizabeth Achtemeier
- John Cardinal O'Connor
- Connie Roland Alt
- Frank A. Pavone
- John B. Brown
- Terry Schlossberg
- Paul M. Clark
- Benjamin E. Sheldon
- Edward Fehskens
- Paul T. Stallsworth
- Michael J. Gorman
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
- Richard John Neuhaus
- Charles E. Whited, Jr.
No. of Books________@ $8.95 each + $2.50 postage. Total Due_________
City__________________________ State_____________ Zip_____________
Please make check payable to NPRC and send order to: National
Right to Life Committee, Outreach Dept., 419 7th NW, Suite
500, Washington, DC 20004
Sanctity of Life Materials
Those who would like materials to distribute on Sanctity
of Life Sunday, January 18, may obtain some from either the
Southern Baptist Convention or Lutherans for Life. Brochures,
bulletin inserts, posters, Sunday school lesson, and suggested
sermons are among the resources available. To order, write
Christian Life Commission
901 Commerce St., Suite 550,
Nashville TN 37203-3696; (615) 244-2495
Lutherans for Life
P.O. Box 189
Benton, AZ 72018
(501) 794-2212, Fax (501) 794-1437
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
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, Catholic, Episcopalian, Evangelical, Lutheran, Lutheran
Church Missouri Synod, Orthodox, 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.