Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Illinois Church Challenges Candidates, Christians with National Newspaper Ad

An Illinois church has placed a full-page, pro-life ad in USA Today in hopes of delivering a message to presidential candidates -- and at the same time, challenging churches.

From "Illinois church challenges candidates, Christians with national newspaper ad" by Allie Martin, posted 8/6/07 at

The ad -- found on page 5A of the August 6, 2007, issue of the nationwide newspaper -- is titled "A Lesson from Samuel - A Child or a Choice." The centerpiece of the ad is the famous picture taken by veteran photojournalist Michael Clancy from Nashville. He was hired by USA Today in 1999 to photograph a spina bifida corrective surgical procedure.

During the operation, performed in utero, the 21-week-old baby thrust his arm out of the uterus and grabbed a surgeon's finger. The ad carries a moving testimony from Clancy about what he witnessed in the operating room that day.

Todd Greiner is senior pastor of Community of Faith Church in Carterville, Illinois, which placed the ad. The ad promises to support only pro-life presidential and political candidates -- and Greiner says it is also meant to motivate Christians and encourage them to stop retreating from the culture war.

"We definitely need to stand up and we need to speak out on this issue," the pastor says. "Sadly, the church has been far too quiet. Silence is not golden in this situation."

According to Greiner, the project has unified the church. "I have never witnessed such a spirit of unity [as] what God is giving us here," he shares -- adding that "the sacrificial giving, the commitment, the passion, the burden for this" is a "a complete indication of what God is doing."

The Illinois pastor is hopeful the ad spurs his fellow Christians to get involved in defending the lives of unborn children. "It's something that needs to become contagious; it needs to grow, it needs to become a burden for the believers," he states.

The ad was paid for by a special, one-time offering.

Thank God for courageous, faithful pastors like Pr. Greiner. We need about 10,000 more like him...