cinema review: Amazing Grace 2007

As always, I am late to the party. But I do agree a party is due in honor of this film. Amazing Grace is the story of William Wilberforce the Christian British parliamentarian who, through the process of legislation and persuasion, improved the lot of many oppressed classes, including animals, prisoners, poor children, and African slaves. It's the last class that makes him a hero. It is the last class that took him the longest and worked him the hardest, nearly ruining his health. He argued for 20 years before the slave trade was finally ended, but abolition was not finally enacted until 30 years later a month after his death. Politically, I think we who are opposed to abortion need to heed some lessons from Wilberforce.

1) Patience. Even though Wilberforce caught the sentiment of the people early and broadly in his campaign to end slavery the monied interests in the Parliament who profited from the slave and sugar trade held the power. That echelon of power was eventually outlived by the younger generation who grew up appalled at slavery.

2) Consistency. Wilberforce wasn't a one issue Christian. He cared about all of God's creation. He was appalled at senseless animal abuse. He was appalled at humans being treated like animals, whether in the slave trade, in the factories, or in the prisons. He fed the poor who came to his house. His wealth was shared with others in need.

3) Perseverance. Every year he would introduce an abolitionist bill. Every year, another MP would join him.

4) Faith. He fought for human rights because he was radically changed by Jesus Christ. He was a good Samaritan because everyone was his neighbor. He treated his neighbors, all mankind, as he would be treated.

5) Fellowship. He wasn't alone in his endeavor. He was advised and met regularly with Quakers, Evangelicals, John Newton (slaver turned Christian turned pastor and abolitionist and author of the hymn Amazing Grace), and former slaves. One strand is easily broken but not two or three.

Our fight for unborn babies has been 34 years long. Not long by Wilberforce's standard. We need to stay patient. The younger generation is supportive of abortion restrictions. Popular cinema recently made the case for life. The old guard in the halls of power are passing on. Let us continue to seek the good of all people as well as the unborn. Let us continue seeking prison reform, education reform, and human rights in general. Let us not grow weary. Let us find our strength in out Lord. And let us love one another as we labor together.


Geoff said…
here here!

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