This has been an interesting thing for me. I’ve pondered and considered everything, all the prolife movement has to offer. And it pains me to even think this out loud, but the 40 Days for Life model does not work, and it wasn’t set up to.
Now, while a bunch of my friends are gasping at this, I must try to explain this as simply as I can without pointing persecuting fingers at anyone or any entity. Look, the people who participate in 40DFL are gems. Truly. But if I only see you during 40DFL, then this has become a dismal failure.
I loved 40DFL. I found it online in 2008. I saw this term I never heard before, post-abortive. It was like looking into a mirror, I got it. I needed it. But after all these years, I finally had to take a hard look at 40DFL. I did not like what I saw.
For the most part, and I mean MOST, people who participate in 40DFL will only come during their allotted time they signed up for and when the campaign is over, that’s it. We don’t see them until the next campaign. WHY? Well, as an ex-catholic, I’m pretty sure I know the answer: It’s works based rather than Holy Spirit led.
The 40DFL model has never said they advocate for any one religion. However, they have not done what they should to bring more Evangelical Christians [Baptist, COG, AG, etc.] or Protestant Christians [Episcopal, UMC, Lutheran, etc.], if anything at all. Everything has been Catholic based, and if the Spring Campaigns haven’t proven that starting off on Ash Wednesday, then you aren’t paying attention. And for this, I blame 40DFL for passively advocating for Catholics rather than Evangelical Christians. 40DFL has chased away Evangelicals and Protestants because they see 40DFL as Catholic only. Maybe 40DFL assumed that Evangelicals follow Catholic traditions? Rather, we simply follow the Bible and the Holy Spirit, not a liturgy or sabbath keeping or sacraments.
The model was supposed to bring more people to the sidewalk of abortion mills with the intent of showing folks that they are needed year round. But for the most part, and I mean MOST, that has not happened. The 40DFL model is supposed to attract more participants, all of us, and show us that we are needed to shut down abortion mills. 40DFL – and other prolife groups – like to take all the glory when a mill shuts down, but the truth is that graphic public outreaches work which takes abortion money away, or maybe the law was finally in our favor.
Last campaign, it was quite obvious that 40DFL tried to ‘own’ the sidewalk for the 40 days campaigns; no graphic images, not allowed to openly advocate for rescues, speakers had to be some kind of androgynous 40DFL approved prolifer, etc. As an Evangelical Christian, that binds the hands of God from doing with us His Will.
Prayer and passivity [acceptance of what happens, without active response or resistance] is the 40DFL model, and that is exactly what they got…and continue to get. Passivity has never won one soul to Heaven but it will send someone straight to hell. Other outreach models DO work, ones that preach the Gospel, share Jesus, and loves someone enough to tell them they are wrong and need a Savior.
So I suppose the moral of this story is this: 40DFL is not going to change, neither is there model. It’s the 80/20 rule, only 20% or less will continue being on the sidewalk all year. That is a awful shame.
Pray to end abortion? Arise and go, DO SOMETHING.