By Allen Palmeri
COLUMBIA—Brooke Taylor, pastor, Bethel Baptist Church, Independence, seemed at ease preaching here Sept. 21 inside a packed Flanagan Hall at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.
Technically, he was there to give the closing prayer at a pro-life rally. In all actuality, though, he preached. His “pulpit” work was even applauded twice.
Kathy Forck, campaign co-director of the sponsoring “40 Days for Life” prayer chain, introduced Taylor as the representative of David Tolliver, Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) executive director. She held up a copy of The Pathway, explained that it is like the Catholic Missourian, and let Taylor talk about how he is a Christian Life Commission (CLC) official who was under CLC Chairman Jeff Brown. Taylor then thanked Forck for giving him extra time to “pray.”
After cracking open his Bible to Psalm 139:13-16 and reading it, Taylor taught that each human soul is fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator.
“He knows us!” Taylor said. “He knows the extent of all of your days. All people, all children, all babies, are made in the image of God. They have worth and value—not because of what they bring to society, or what the prospects are for their life, but rather because the Giver of life has seen fit to create them.”
That led the mostly Catholic audience of 200 to burst forth in applause.
After honoring the brave Hebrew midwives of Exodus 1:15, Shiphrah and Puah, he dismissed the “cowardly pharoah” of that chapter, the first recorded troubler of babies, as an unknown villain.
“He is not there,” Taylor said. “He tried to save his name, and God erased his name.”
Taylor went on to preach that Satan is angry.
“The rage against the unborn is not a social issue,” he said. “It is not a governmental issue. It is not even a family issue. As we heard tonight, the issue of abortion is spiritual warfare.”
The Independence pastor offered some theology on how to change the current picture in Missouri, where abortion clinics continue to operate in St. Louis and Bridgeton. The Columbia abortion mill has been shut down since Aug. 9, with Planned Parenthood deciding to “put a hold on all abortions” as of Sept. 22, according to a KOMU-TV8 report.
“Ending this horrific practice, where human life is treated like garbage, will take place when our hearts and minds love the Giver of life,” he said. “That we love Jesus Christ. And when we love those He loves—the hurting, the widows, the orphans, and the unborn.
“We come tonight to pray for that change to happen. We pray for change in our own hearts. We pray that we become more passionate. That we would be more loving. That we would be more bold in our witness. That we would be more faithful. We pray for change in the hearts of people in our country, that they would come to that same conclusion, that they would realize what they are doing and the lives they are destroying.”
Hearts prone to sin and violence against the helpless, innocent unborn need to be replaced with hearts prone to compassion, Taylor said. Why is that?
“So that regardless of where life comes from, or what it looks like, we will see these tiny babies the way God sees them—precious in His sight,” he said. “Regardless of whether or not the unborn comes from a womb of a single woman in a jail cell, or regardless of whether or not the unborn comes from the womb of a homeless mother in St. Louis, or regardless of whether or not the unborn baby comes from the womb of a daughter of a deacon at your church, our passion and our conviction would not change. Regardless of the situation, that life has value!”
That drew a second round of applause.
Taylor eventually got around to doing what he was supposed to be doing all along, which was to pray.
“Father in heaven, the Giver of every good gift, the Giver of life, we ask You in the name of Jesus to change the hearts and minds of the people in our city, to change the hearts and minds of people in our state, in our country, and in our world, that we would no longer hate life and the Giver of life, but that we would see life the way You see it—precious and purposeful, valued and loved,” he prayed. “We pray that you would work in those who perform this horrible procedure, that they would realize in their hearts that they are not imaging God in protecting life but rather they are imaging the evil one who comes to kill and to destroy. We pray that You would be with those mothers—young and old, rich and poor, of all nationalities—that their conscience as mothers would take hold of their minds and convict them and confirm in their hearts that they would be, in their time of crisis, adding to that group (of those protecting life).
“Be with each of us, that even while we pray tonight for the end of abortions in Missouri, that we would also take practical action, Father. That we would be willing to serve and assist those in need, that we would invest in these mothers financially, that we would be willing to adopt their babies, that we would be willing to bring mothers and babies into our homes and help them and encourage them and equip them and show them the love of Christ. And may we not just love them in our prayers, or by our words, but may we love them in deed.”