The April third Virginia March for Life was a fantastic event. An estimated 6,500+ Virginians came from all over the state, representing all ages and races. They recognized the right to life’s importance, and duly concerned with events from this last legislative session. People shared their testimonies about why we should care, why recognizing life matters. This is all very good.
Without the right to life nothing else matters. It’s true, an idea’s consequence. So I must ask, why weren’t more people at the event? Delegate Tran’s bill would’ve allowed any child born alive during an abortion procedure to simply die by not providing them care. The measure failed to pass by only one vote.
Add to that Governor Northam’s disgraceful and unacceptable comments. As a doctor he took an oath to do no harm. His self-enlightened thought, however, must believe this choice to be okay because such a child is not yet alive. How absurd. Further, our Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General’s displayed their corrupt behavior. One must wonder at the timing of those stories though. Were they just meant to distract us from the real issue?
A Weak Leader’s Effect
I submit all three men mentioned above are weak leaders. Consider the words of Jonathan Edwards, one of the greatest preachers of the first Great Awakening of the 1730’s. An event setting the stage for the colony’s War for Independence a few decades later. Edwards stated that a land became unsettled when its leaders were ‘weak rods.’ They were weak because they lacked the necessary virtues to lead. Further, this unsettled state of public affairs was a calamity because of the,
“[L]and being in a changeable posture, whereby a people are exposed to lose their rights, privileges, and public blessing which they enjoy ...
‘Rulers are not so deeply engaged in seeking the public good. They don’t act with that strength and resolution, their own circumstances being unsettled and uncertain. And rulers, not being united among themselves, don’t assist and strengthen one another, but rather weaken one another’s hands.
‘Such an unsettled state is commonly attended with abundance of strife and contention, with jealousies [and] envyings. Rulers are divided into parties, and so the whole land with them. The distemper becomes general, so that the devil hereby gets a great advantage to promote his kingdom amongst one to another. And while all are engaged in contention, justice and righteousness is neglected. The suppressing of vice and wickedness is neglected, and they take advantage and prevail without restraint.
‘Rulers, instead of discouraging and suppressing vice, do rather encourage it by their own unchristian behavior in their heats and debates. And commonly at such a time the wealth of a people is greatly wasted and consumed. While a state is unsettled, its strength and wealth consumes, as the health of the body natural under a sore disease.
‘And such an unsettled state, if continued, tends to a people’s ruin. It tends to its ruin from within and from without. The commonwealth is exposed, to become a prey to the ambition and avarice of men in its own bowels, of those that should be its fathers.”
Edwards could’ve written those words today. Look at the divisions within our society, the media circus, and our leader’s failure to stand for our founding Judeo-Christian principles. Timeless principles. Instead our leaders support death for our most vulnerable citizens. But we elect our leaders, they are a reflection of who we are as a people. So we must ask ourselves who are we, and who do we want to be?
The Importance of Ideas
The answers to these questions begins with ideas. They shape our character. They determine who we choose to become. We are blessed. There has not been a country like America before. We have the people, resources, technology, and intelligence to create new and wonderful things. The items just mentioned present significant challenges to progress for any country not possessing them. Ideas, on the other hand, are relatively easy to change. This makes the problem easier, if we have the heart and will for it.
We All Follow Something
We are all made in God’s image, an inward image. Our ability to reason. This image is essential for man’s relationship with God. When we choose to turn away from our Creator we form a relationship with someone, or something, else. We cannot help it. We were made that way, to have relationships with others. When God is missing we choose things such as money, power, sex, or drugs instead. Those other thing(s) we choose take God’s place. They become our god—an idol.
The ideas we choose determine who, or what, we serve. Joshua gathered the Israelites for a farewell address and after reviewing their history ended with, “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.” We can have only one master. We each choose whom we serve, either God or something else. That choice is the product of the ideas we hold. So who do the leaders mentioned above serve? It is not God. He gives life, not death.
The Christian Covenant
As Christians, we voluntarily enter into a covenant relationship with God. This covenant is special, a voluntarily commitment made between each one of us and God. We each acknowledge who God is, why He matters, and commit to following Him. If we acknowledge who God truly is, how can we not follow Him? As Creator of everything ever created, God’s authority and power are absolute. He can create, change, or end anything at any time.
But this covenant goes even further. We make a pledge to each and every other individual making this same pledge. A relationship extending in two directions, following God and being His people. A single people. We are no longer a single people today because we hold two sets of incompatible ideas and values. One Christian and the other pagan—one from God and the other from man.
Taking God to be our king commits us to a life of transformation. We follow Christ’s example. We voluntarily obey. God gave us a set of unalienable natural rights. One of these rights is the right to life as we are not to kill. All life is sacred as it comes from God. We are not to needlessly take another’s life as God will demand an accounting for all the blood man sheds of his fellow man.
Toward the end of his life, Moses recited the law to the Israelites one final time. He closed with, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants” We choose life when we follow God, we receive the benefit of the gifts he’s given to each one of us. However, when we turn away, those blessings are lost—even though we still possess God’s gifts. We each make that choice, but it begins with the ideas we choose to hold and follow.
This brings us back to last week’s march. It doesn’t mean we all need to do everything. We don’t all need to attend events such as the march. We’ve each received different talents, skills, and abilities. So we each accomplish our common purpose differently. We do need to hold true ideas, and then stand for those ideas and the values coming from them. This can only happen when we are turned toward our Creator, whom we’ve voluntarily entered into a covenant relationship with. When we understand what He requires and do as He says, we will have strong leaders and there the need to march will no longer exist. Pray that day comes soon.
 Edwards, Jonathan, pp. 357-8, The State of Public Affairs, The Jonathan Edwards Center, Volume 17, Yale University, http://edwards.yale.edu/.
 Joshua 24:14-5, New American Standard Bible.
 Deuteronomy 30:19, New American Standard. The context is provided in verses 15-18 which state, “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it.”