Dr Death and the Promise of Life

While driving to my office recently, I noticed a leaflet attached to the middle of a stop sign. It read, “Same Day Abortions” and included a phone number along with the name of the doctor. The leaflet was weathered, so I couldn’t make out the name of the doctor. I’ll just call him, Dr Death.

As I drove away, I was deeply troubled—perhaps especially because of what had been on my heart and mind for several days: the imminent sending away of a child who has been in our care for the past fourteen months.

After driving about a hundred metres past the stop sign, I turned around, stopped my car and removed the advert. Later that day, I phoned to speak to the doctor.

The receptionist said that he was busy. I shudder to think what he was busy with. I told the receptionist that I wanted to ask the doctor how anyone could possibly advertise a “service” for killing children. I told the receptionist that he should quit his job since it made him an accomplice, and therefore also accountable to God for this evil. Before ending the call I told this man that I am on the lookout for the doctor’s advertisements and, if in my rightful power, I will remove them with a goal of putting him out of business.

In what is a perverse irony, this doctor violated the law of the land, not by killing unborn children, but rather by sticking his leaflet on a stop sign. He can murder with impunity, yet he is legally liable for defacing government property. Surely this is an “evil day” (Ephesians 6:13)—one in which many share the ungodly worldview of Dr Death. Yet, thankfully, this is not the whole story. No, for we also know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has produced millions of those who are conduits of life. The gospel is the antidote to the venomous vice of the likes of Dr Death. It is for this reason that Christians are prolife. And what a blessing to be so!

This week our family was deeply blessed as we placed “our” beloved sixteen-month-old little boy into the loving and godly care of his forever family. Thankfully, his birth mother had steered clear of the services of Dr Death. Rather, she carried her son until his premature birth at 28 weeks. He weighed in at 1.1 kg. For reasons unknown, she chose not to keep him. But, thankfully, she left him at a hospital to be cared for. At two months and 1.6 kg, he came to live with us. I weep as I reflect on God’s blessing to us. What a joy this little (and now, not so little!) guy was to our family!

Our beloved boy has now been united with his forever family, one that will love him and raise him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We are so grateful for answered prayer! His little life was spared in the womb, and he has continued to be spared after leaving the womb. We remain persuaded that the future of his life is as bright as the gospel promises of God.

And so, even in the midst of our family’s very deep sorrow at his departure, at the same time we are hopeful, being reminded of the significant difference the gospel makes in an otherwise evil and broken world.

The gospel is “the promise of life” (2 Timothy 1:1) in every way that matters. Because of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, those who were once dead in their trespasses and sins are given eternal life. This eternal life is not merely unending existence, but rather the unending qualitative existence of a condemnation-free, reconciliation-rich, loving relationship with the triune God. It is this life that drives Christians to be prolife. The love of God, existentially brought home to our life by his Fatherly adoption, drives us to love others. And perhaps particularly, it drives us to love the most vulnerable. God chose to love those with no claim on him; we therefore choose to love those who have no biological or legal or relational claim on us. When we embrace the gospel, we inherit a compulsion to choose to love the hopeless, for that is precisely what we were outside of Christ (Ephesians 2:11–12). We who have experienced the abundant life of knowing Christ (John 10:10) have a profound appreciation for all of life.

Christians are to be known for their love, particularly for those who are Christians (John 13:35). But this love cannot remain contained within the community of faith. No, it overflows to all—yes, even towards the likes of Dr Death.

I hope and pray that Dr Death does go out of business. Christians should speak up; we should speak out. We should protect life in every way that we legitimately can. But coupled with this, we must point the guilty to God’s judgement. This is not merely a moral battle, but rather a spiritual battle. And so, as we press God’s law upon the conscience of sinners, we hope to render them humanly hopeless. Then, and only then, will they be helpless enough to embrace their only hope: God’s love in the good news of the sinless, crucified, risen and ascended Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I don’t know if I will ever have opportunity to speak with Dr Death. If I do, I will confront him with his sin. But I will also seek to point him to the Saviour. Would it not be glorious if he were converted? What a joy if one day he stopped killing babies but rather began saving them so that they, like “our” beloved boy, can be raised by those who will point them to the one who gives life, and who does so abundantly.