Herbie Newell is a graduate of Samford University and has served for eleven years as the Director of Lifeline Children’s Services, which is a global and domestic adoption agency. In January of 2020, he released Image Bearers: Shifting from Pro-Birth to Pro-Life, which presents a challenge to the Church and a call-to-care for people of all ages, races, and circumstances.
Most of the time we hear the terms pro-life and pro-choice associated with political candidates and parties. It is something that determines how a lot of evangelicals vote, but this is a much more vast and deep and urgent issue than I personally, and we as a culture treat it. As a Christian, I believe life begins in the womb and is indescribably valuable. When I hear many pro-choice speakers arguing that because of the broken adoption and foster care centers, disaster would strike if abortion was outlawed, I can’t help but see where the church has failed. These are valid thoughts, and I can see where the Church has been very outspoken about being pro-birth but has failed to care for the parents in these very difficult situations.
To prove the babies for whom we are fighting will be loved if the mom chooses life, we need to care for orphans well, care for people with special needs, and care for foster children and families. This is where Lifeline steps in. Lifeline sets an example of holistic support for life through shepherding families through adoption, while also providing resources for those in the foster care system and support for parents who would like to regain custody of their children.
James 1:27 says,
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
As Christians, we have a clear responsibility to care for those in distress, and in this episode, we walk through what whole-life advocacy looks like for the Church as well as how to get involved as college students. In Image Bearers, Herbie leaves us with several questions, “Am I willing to be inconvenienced in order to defend life?” and, “Is my apathy towards the voiceless contributing to injustice?” These are challenging questions, but wrestling with them will lead to finding out how we may use our prayers, unique positions, and gifts to fight for the voiceless and care holistically for distressed families.