Thousands of people are preparing to attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C. this Friday, and others from around the country are participating in local marches or joining in spirit through the #FastforLife. As we speak out for the unborn, some of our friends and family may take notice and question our pro-life views. This provides a great opportunity to minister to our friends and family who are pro-choice, and to show the truth, justice, and beauty of the pro-life cause.
Rev. Francis Hoffman, “Father Rocky”, Executive Director of Relevant Radio®, stopped by Morning Air® to share his experience of the March for Life Chicago on January 12, and the examples he witnessed of how to effectively share the pro-life message, even with those who disagree with you.
Recognize the Power of Joy
“I think joy is very important,” he began. “Everyone is seeking joy. On Sunday in downtown Chicago there was a very, very joyful atmosphere. Balloons, lots of young people, really upbeat music. I think the only thing that was missing was free hot chocolate. That would have been great for the crowd!”
“Across the street there were people protesting quite energetically against the pro-life cause,” he noticed. “And I think it’s important not to return that negativity toward those people, but to love these people with compassion and understanding.”
Acknowledge the Gift You’ve Been Given
“Ultimately a person’s conviction for the pro-life cause is a gift from God,” Fr. Rocky reminded listeners. “In fact, there was a young lady who was speaking on Sunday who was really very inspiring. Her name was Katie Douglas, a junior at the University of Illinois. She said that she only recently became pro-life because she is studying molecular biology as an undergrad, and came to understand that human life actually begins at conception.”
“She saw ultrasounds, sonograms, and was convicted by the data of all that. And she admitted that it may be difficult in her environment, when so many other people are in favor of abortion.”
Remember that Truth is Not Hate
“One of the other things I heard that day was from a very inspiring speaker, and I think he’s been on [A Closer Look™],” Fr. Rocky recalled. “His name is Ryan Bomberger, an African-American who was adopted and has now devoted himself to this cause. He’s got a foundation called The Radiance Foundation.”
“And one of the little sayings he had was ‘truth is not hate.’ Sometimes people think that if you’re pro-life you hate women, you hate choice, you hate freedom. Quite the contrary.”
Be Not Afraid
Just because we disagree with someone doesn’t mean we can’t empathize with them and seek to understand their perspective. Father Rocky pointed out that this is the case when it comes to a number of political disagreements. He said, “The fundamental issue here is fear. People are afraid. There isn’t room for one more, there isn’t enough food, there isn’t enough energy. We can’t do it. And what’s the first thing Jesus says as He is walking across the water to the apostles in the middle of the night? They are overcome with fear and He says, ‘Do not be afraid.’ The archangel says to Mary, ‘Do not be afraid.’ That’s what Jesus says to His apostles as He enters the Upper Room, ‘Do not be afraid.'”
“So much of the political discussion in our country – whether it’s on the right or the left – is driven by the common sense of fear,” he said. “And only Jesus can redeem us from that fear.”
Fr. Rocky concluded by offering some words of encouragement, saying, “Speak the truth, and don’t be surprised if at times people reject it. And don’t lose your peace if you can’t convince people of the important things that you’ve been convinced. … Be joyful, speak the truth, pray, fast on Friday, and people will come around sooner or later.”
Listen to the full conversation below: