Good Health isn’t Pro-Life?

Pardon me for saying so, but I know why unbelievers think a lot of Christians are kooky.  Some of us are.

Earlier this week I was sitting on the couch sipping a cup of English Breakfast and preparing to watch the evening news when the phone rang. The guy on the other end said he was calling from the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship.

He wanted me to listen to a recorded message on how health care reform would have a “negative impact” on pro-life issues.

I hung up.

There’s a lot of disagreement about the details of health care reform. But on principle, how can improving public health be a bad thing? Helping people get and stay healthy is anti-life? Kooky.

I often appreciated the preaching of Dr. Kennedy, who died in 2007 at age 76.  He was the founder of Evangelism Explosion, a nearly 50-year-old ministry that helps people learn to share their Christian faith in a conversational way. It remains popular and very effective throughout the world.

Kennedy’s dynamic Gospel-preaching at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale,  once the fastest growing congregation in its denomination, earned him a spot in the National Religious Broadcasters association Hall of Fame.

When he waded into the deep waters of political activism, forming the Center for Reclaiming America, he left behind those with less theocratic leanings. The fruit of this is telling. Two years after his death, Coral Ridge continues to struggle with what’s more important in the pulpit — the Gospel or politics?

To me, it’s a life lesson in the folly of mixing politics and religion. The two are like fear and faith – polar opposites. Trying to mix them always leads to division in the Body of Christ. But let’s get back to the phone call, and why I hung up.

The Bible repeatedly tells us to “fear not” and warns that whatever is not from faith is sin.  So when someone urges me to act based on fear of what might happen if I don’t, I think hanging up is the Christian thing to do.

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