A New Generation Discovers the Life-Saving Power of Silence
by Bryan Kemper, Founder and President, of Stand True Ministries
Six years ago, the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity began as a peaceful demonstration by a few thousand students on some 300 U.S. campuses. Last fall, the event drew more than a quarter of a million participants from over 4,700 campuses in dozens of countries all over the world.
But those aren’t the numbers that matter most to Bryan Kemper, author of the new book, Social Justice Begins In The Womb. His tireless efforts to enlist his fellow Christians – and especially young people – to stand up in bold opposition to abortion are at the heart of the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity, and the numbers he cherishes represent the babies whose lives were spared because their mothers heard love and truth at Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity events.
"Every generation has a fight, and for this generation, this is it."
Kemper has already learned of nearly 30 unborn children whose lives were saved by the most recent Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity activities. He reflects here on how his own heart was seared with a passion for life, and why so many young people the world over are coming to share that passion.
It was only a job, and it was only supposed to last a year. I was an aspiring musician, making a little extra money by helping out some pro-lifers, inserting numbers for a crisis pregnancy center into the magazines in the waiting area of a Los Angeles abortion clinic. Suddenly, a door opened.
I looked up … and saw, right there before me, an actual abortion, underway.
And in that moment, my whole life changed.
Abortion was no longer an ‘issue.’ It was life and death. I thought, “This is it. No other job for me. For the rest of my life, I’ll be fighting this.” And for more than 15 years now, through Stand True Ministries, I have been.
Stand True is an international Christ-centered pro-life organization that focuses on reaching young people, in particular, with the message that life is sacred, to be affirmed, celebrated, and defended. Our activities range from Mother’s Day collections of items for crisis pregnancy centers to March for Life prayer weekends, summer missions outings, and the annual Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity, when students take a vow of silence to show their compassion for children killed in the womb.
It’s hard to imagine anything more peaceful than silence; nevertheless, the teens who take part in the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity incur a lot of abuse. Many are screamed at, laughed at, pushed by their fellow students, but they stand up anyway. It makes abortion one of the most talked-about issues in school for that week.
"For me, standing up for Christ is pro-life."
One of the things we emphasize at Stand True is that pro-life is not just about abortions. It’s about personhood. It’s about treating every single person on the face of the earth as if they have value. It’s about chastity, euthanasia, stem cell research – and how we live our everyday life.
For me, standing up for Christ is pro-life. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. When we stand up for life, we’re also standing up for the truth. Now, people get angry about the truth, because the truth hurts. People who have been involved with abortion don’t want to see or hear or remember anything that reminds them of things they want to forget.
This is a sticking point for many Christians. They tell me, “We don’t want to offend anybody.” I would beg to differ. People need to be a little more offended by the 4,000 children who die in abortion clinics every day. I don’t set out to offend people, but I’m a little more worried about the children who are dying than I am about somebody being upset.
In my experience, there are two kinds of pro-lifers: 1) those who understand abortion for what it truly is, and 2) those who think it’s just another issue. The thing about the second group is that, if you stood up in their church service Sunday morning and told them someone was killing the children in the nursery, there’d be a massive reaction. Now, of course, that’s not happening – but they are killing children in the abortion clinic down the street.
Too many Christians still can’t equate the child in the womb with the baby in the nursery. Until we do, it’s going to be an uphill battle to change the abortion laws in this country.
That’s why it’s so exciting to see so many Christian young people getting passionate about defending life. It’s spreading like wildfire. These youth are personally affected by abortion. The babies being killed are their brothers and sisters. They’re recognizing the truth that so many adults refuse to acknowledge – that social justice begins in the womb.
Every generation has a great fight, and for this generation, this is it. But they couldn’t do it without the support of the Alliance Defense Fund. They support these young people. They’ve stood up for them, defended them, and provided literature and information on student rights free of charge. Kids can just text ADF, and there’s a lawyer there to answer any questions they have.
Lots of Christian legal firms out there do good work, but when we were nothing, ADF treated us like we were the most important people in the world. They are just very much in tune with what it takes to help young people. They’re not in it for the money. They’re there to defend the students … to be an advocate for them. Without them, a lot of us wouldn’t be able to do what we’re doing.
And what we’re doing is saving the lives of a lot of children, in the name of Jesus Christ.