[Below is an article that appeared on February 9, 1984 of the Gordon-Conwell Trib, months before I graduated with my M.Div., and two months after I began full-time in pro-life ministry while completing my last year of academics there (I squeezed a three-year degree into six while working full-time, as my wife and I also had our first two children, and as I also contracted a virus-caused chronic illness that kept me out of school for a season). The article is fun to look at over thirty years later (plus the picture — my goodness, how young I was, and how long my hair still was). It also represents, prior to the publication of our first newsletter, and just one month after a sermon I preached in chapel at Gordon-Conwell, my initial diving into the issue, from the perspective of a third party. And too, we shortly thereafter changed the name from Massachusetts Bay to New England, as almost immediately I was invited to speak in several other neighboring states. It was written by a fellow student, long since on the faculty.]
Rankin Named Executive Director of Mass Bay Christian Action Council
by David M. Kaezirian
“One of the greatest ways we reflect God’s image in us is in procreation — giving birth to children who also bear His image.” So said John Rankin, executive director of the Massachusetts Bay Christian Action Council (Mass. Bay C.A.C.).
The Mass Bay C.A.C. is a charter member of the Christian Action Council (C.A.C.). The C.A.C. was founded in 1975 by Harold O.J. Brown [and C. Everett Koop and Billy Graham], and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
In “A Covenant To Secure Justice,” the C.A.C.’s statement of purpose, four fundamental tasks to which the members of the organization are committed are listed. The first task is to raise a standard of truth in our communities, proclaiming the sanctity of all human life.
A second task is to actively resist abortion by holding public officials accountable to the sanctity of life ethic, and by protesting against institutions that provide or encourage abortion.
Third, C.A.C. members are committed to bringing relief to the victims of the inhumanities they seek to prevent. And fourth, they are committed to living sacrificially so that they may rescue those threatened by this violence.
The Mass Bay C.A.C. is presently seeking to educate church members in Massachusetts as to the issues involved regarding the sanctity of human life. Rankin, a senior year student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, has a modus operandi for accomplishing this goal.
He is in the process of contacting churches, requesting they set aside a Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Rankin plans to preach on the given Sundays on the issue of the sanctity of human life.
His second effort is that of establishing Sanctity of Human Life Seminars. Such seminars would run for eight consecutive weeks, for one and a half hours. Topics to be discussed include God’s image in mankind, the biblical process of redemption, the history of the church’s involvement in social justice [,] and Darwinism.
The Mass Bay C.A.C. is financially independent from the national organization. Financing is provided solely by the gifts of individuals and groups who support the commitments of the Council.
Rankin sees abortion as a primary and concerted effort of Satan to attack the image of God in humanity, and to attack the basis of redemption, namely the creation of men and women in God’s image. He cited statistics which state than in 1983 an estimated 1.6 million human fetuses were aborted in the United States. Such an estimate averages out to one abortion every twenty seconds.
“The fabric of society lies in the family,” said Rankin. He continued, “To attack human life is to attack the very basis of human society. Apart from the continued procreation of human life, the human race will cease to exist.”
Such a destruction of the human race, Rankin believes, is the ultimate goal of Satan. “Satan,” Rankin said, “Knows that the only way in which he can personally [attempt to] hurt God is to hurt that which is closest to God’s heart, namely men and women who bear His image.”
He continued, “And the unborn human fetus is the most defenseless of all the image-bearers of God. There is no dispute within the medical community today, that at the point of conception every ingredient for full human life is present.”
Rankin concluded, “You cannot separate destiny from origin. To deny the unborn human fetus life is to deny the very order of all life as God has created it.”
Rankin and other members of the Mass Bay C.A.C. are trusting God to raise up continued leadership within the Christian community for the promotion of the sanctity of human life. Those interested in receiving further information can write to: Massachusetts Bay Christian Action Council, P.O. Box 27, Rockport, Ma. 01966, or they can call: 617-546-9229.