Murder Is Not Pro-Life

December 01, 2015

by Peter Lillback

Dr. Peter Lillback responds to the news of the November 27th shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs that wounded nine people and killed three. More information on the event can be found here.

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It is a deeply ironic tragedy when a practitioner of abortion is slain by an alleged pro-life gunman to vindicate the principle of life. The commitment to the sanctity of life implies two irrevocable principles concerning ultimate justice and earthly justice: 1. A belief in ultimate justice embraces the profound truth of the Scriptures—“’Vengeance is mine’, says the LORD, ‘I will repay.’” And 2. Earthly justice is to be addressed by the work of the courts and not by vigilantes. When earthly justice is delayed by courts that fail to heed the wisdom of the LORD to protect innocent life, the LORD still has the last and final word of true justice. Faith is willing to wait for God’s pro-life retribution. The lex talionis, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” can never be fully requited in a fallen world even by the best of judicial process. But justice will be satisfied.

No sole executioner can ever act on behalf of God to satisfy justice for the taking of innocent life.

Our Founders believed this and appealed to it in their Declaration of Independence. Having asserted that we have been endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights that include LIFE as well as liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they subsequently appealed to the “Supreme Judge of the world” for the rectitude of their commitment to defend life and other God-given rights. This is the posture that the pro-life position must also take. The test for the rectitude of our actions is simple and direct. Can we stand before God and declare that anyone has the right in His name to be a murderer and so take human life without due process to honor His name? The resounding cry of the justice upholding the sanctity of life declares, “NO!” Both the unjust murderer and the unjust taker of unborn life will give account to the final and perfect justice of Almighty God. No sole executioner can ever act on behalf of God to satisfy justice for the taking of innocent life.

Peter Lillback

Dr. Lillback (PhD, Westminster) is president and professor of historical theology.

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