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The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade is among the most important political developments in a generation, and the people of God must be prepared to assist needy families while continuing to work toward the abolition of abortion. In this special edition of G3 Weekly, Brian Ottinger—the director of expansion for Love Life—discusses the ways in which local churches can bring grace and truth to bear on the issue of abortion to the glory of God.
Love Life, according to Ottinger, is a pro-church ministry that mobilizes and equips evangelical congregations to support abortion-vulnerable families. Pastors across the United States are invited to lead their churches through a four-step process of repentance and obedience based upon the reforms led by Nehemiah—which includes prayer and fasting, a peaceful prayer walk at a local abortion clinic, a sermon on the sanctity of life, and an opportunity to participate in further ministry opportunities.
“Most of our staff are either current or former pastors, so we really try our best to honor pastors by giving them a structured, comprehensive, and holistic ministry that they can plug into without having to invent another ministry,” Ottinger told G3 Weekly.
Indeed, Love Life is distinctly oriented around the local church—which has been “given the Spirit of God to rightly divide and obey the Word of God and therefore advance the Kingdom of God.”
“We have a divine responsibility in Scripture to stand for righteousness and oppose the evil of abortion,” Ottinger said. “As ambassadors of the King, we are also called to offer both mercy and justice to those who are seeking abortion.”
Ottinger cited the doctrine of interposition, by which believers “stand in the gap” to physically offer mercy to those in need, and the doctrine of the lesser magistrate, by which believers seek justice by “opposing unrighteous rulers and raising up righteous leaders.”
“There is literally no other people group in America like the preborn; we know when and where they are being slaughtered. The people of God must help rescue the people in the womb from abortion. If we don’t, who will?” Ottinger continued. “We cannot expect unrighteous rulers to act righteously. Rather, it should shock and surprise us when they do.”
Ottinger mentioned the command to “rescue those who are being taken away to death” and “hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11)—an exhortation to protect those subjected to injustice.
“We have a God-ordained calling to use our power and authority to help children from being murdered through abortion,” Ottinger said.
In a post-Roe America, Love Life is seeking to build a culture in which mothers see churches as places to seek refuge.
“Untll abortion centers are shut down for good, we will continue to stand outside and offer abortion-minded parents the hope of the gospel and the help of the church,” Ottinger told G3 Weekly. “However, it is our desire that they would never end up at the abortion center in the first place. We believe that a culture shift needs to take place in the church—a shift that will result in people who are pregnant running to the churches for help instead of the abortion centers.”
Ottinger explained that the majority of churches react to abortion through apathy, by showing little to no concern for their preborn neighbors; through anger, by offering nothing more than condemnation toward parents guilty of abortion; and through absence, by not being available for people in their cities who find themselves in crisis pregnancies. As a remedy to these erroneous responses, Ottinger pointed to the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37).
“Jesus teaches us how to show compassion, which leads us to action,” he recounted. “It was not enough to just preach a sermon informing people about the man in the ditch, or vote for someone who will stop people from getting in the ditch, or give money to the inn so they could take care of people in the ditch. Rather, God has called His church to get out of their comfort zone and to rescue people who are dying in the ditch.”
Ottinger made clear that no Christian is exempt from the work of opposing abortion.
“We can all do something,” he added. “We see abortion centers as legitimate mission fields which pastors and churches can visit together to intercede through prayer and proclamation of the gospel for the lives of these children. We bring our whole families, from the oldest to the youngest. We want to teach our kids early on the value of life and death. Abortion is not a normal thing, no matter how much our progressive leaders try to make it; however, our response to abortion should become part of who we are as God’s people.”
Love Life offers multiple avenues of action for pastors desiring to build a zeal for the sanctity of life among their members—such as becoming a “House of Refuge” for families in crisis pregnancies, signing up for sidewalk outreach training with experienced Love Life staff members, and serving as “City Catalysts” dedicated to launching new Love Life chapters in their regions.
“Start with prayer and ask God what he wants you to do,” Ottinger recommended. “There are many ways you can get involved in the fight for life. Outside of Love Life, there are many other great gospel-centered ministries and care centers with whom you can partner and serve.”
Love Life—which has witnessed 4,000 families choose life since 2016—is presently in fourteen cities across the United States.
“I don’t know any other ministry where you can be a part of where you get to preach the Gospel and see lives spiritually saved and physically saved,” Ottinger remarked. “It’s truly a blessing.”
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