Faith

Why a Commitment to Life Takes Faith-Driven Activism

'The Bible is clear that life begins not just at birth, but God knew us before we were born' — author urges practical steps connected to these beliefs

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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” — Jeremiah 1:5

Christians cannot be committed to investing their God-given resources in a biblically responsible way without also having a commitment to the unborn.

The Bible is clear that life begins not just at birth. God knew us before we were born. Our births were not accidental — but, rather, intentional acts of God with His purpose for us to realize on Earth.

Millions vow to communicate these truths during the month of October, which is Respect Life Month and Abortion Recovery Awareness Month.

Art Ally, the founder of Timothy Plan, the pioneer of biblically responsible investing (BRI), was pro-life for as long as he can remember.

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Yet it was when he and his wife, Bonnie, attended a screening of the film “Silent Scream” that he really woke to the horrors of abortion and decided to do something about it.

“The movie was life changing for both Bonnie and me,” Art Ally told me. He’s also written about this as well.

“Once you come to grips with what abortion really is, you simply cannot continue to stand on the sidelines. Not only that, but as Bible-believing Christians who were beginning to fully understand God is Creator and Finisher of all life, to simply sit back and do nothing was not an option.”

Related: It’s Never OK to Invest in Abortion or Pornography — Not One Penny, Says This Group

Ally became active in Florida’s pro-life movement and served in a leadership role in numerous pro-life rallies and events during the late 1980s up through today. His activism began while living in Boca Raton — and his first real involvement was a rally called “Why We Stand.”

Held in the fall of 1987, it drew thousands of people and featured numerous national pro-life speakers, including Josh McDowell and several elected officials.

This rally served to fuel Ally’s unwavering passion for the protection of the lives of the unborn. On Jan. 15, 1988, the Palm Beach Post reported that in conjunction with the upcoming rally, Art Ally and 13 other businessmen and women “vowed to offer indigent pregnant women in Boca Raton a choice: If they reject abortion and choose life, they would help pay the cost of raising those children for 18 years.”

After returning to Central Florida, he decided to duplicate the Boca Raton rally by holding one in Orlando on Feb. 22, 1990.

“As far as I knew, this was one of the first pro-life rallies in Central Florida,” he said. “Once again, we had a lineup of speakers, including syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, that drew a crowd of several thousand.”

Then, along with other Central Florida pro-life leaders, Ally heard about a “life chain” event in Bakersfield, California, at which pro-life advocates lined major streets holding signs reading “Abortion Kills Children.”

“We decided we should do one here in Central Florida,” Ally said. “They decided I should lead it. We held organizational meetings for several months, leading up to Orlando’s first Life Chain on Oct. 6, 1991. With the help of willing churches, we had 9,000 Central Floridians standing, side by side, lining two of the busiest streets in Orlando, holding signs. One read ‘Abortion Kills Children,’ and the other read ‘Jesus Heals and Forgives.’”

“At that time, it was one of the largest life chains in the country,” he continued. “With an understanding of media bias on this issue before the event, we met with the Orlando Sentinel editor and explained to him we didn’t want the same thing to happen here that happened in Fresno, California. There, the Fresno Bee over-reported the size of a small group of pro-abortion demonstrators and far underreported the number of people standing in the life chain.”

“This led to a boycott of their newspaper by tens of thousands of subscribers. As a result, we received fair coverage for our Orlando event. They got the message.”

“We repeated the event the following year,” Ally continued, “and working with willing churches, we ended up with more than 10,000 participants lining the streets for two hours. The next year, my last year as chairman, we gathered again, this time growing to over 15,000 participants. It took your breath away when you were driving down either of the two streets. This one was reported to be the strongest turnout in the nation.” 

That year, nationally, 700,000 participants in 360 cities lined intersections, making 1991 an historical declaration of support for the unborn.

“In 2003, we met with all the crisis pregnancy leaders in Central Florida and heard their thoughts on Timothy Plan’s distributor sponsoring a pro-life concert to raise money for them,” Ally said. “Of course, they became excited. In October, Debbie Hart, an outstanding vocalist in her own right, recruited other top vocalists. The event was so successful we hosted more concerts over the next three years.”

Many crisis pregnancy centers benefited, including Adoption by Shepherd Care, Greater Orlando Right to Life, JMJ Life Center, Inc., Pro-Life Action Ministries, Sanctuary Ministries, Life for Kids, and True Life Choice.

“More recent events include buying out a theater to show the movie ‘Gosnell’ to our local community in 2018,” Art Ally explained.

“On March 26, 2019, we bought out seven theaters in a 20-theater complex to show the movie ‘Unplanned.’ It was a real hit since these 500 ‘free’ tickets paid for by Timothy Plan’s distributor were snapped up within 24 hours. At the movie’s conclusion, we asked the audience to remain for a couple of minutes while we introduced the directors of 11 of our local pro-life, crisis pregnancy centers.”

Art Ally has promised, “We will continue to support pro-life ministries, as well as other causes advancing biblical principles.”

This article is excerpted from “Invested with Purpose,” a recently released book by Robert Knight and Art Ally about the Timothy Plan story. Robert Knight is a writer for Timothy Partners, Ltd. He is a regular weekly columnist for The Washington Times and Townhall.com and is frequently published by American Thinker, The Daily Caller, OneNewsNow and others. His latest book is “A Nation Worth Fighting For: 10 Steps to Restore Freedom.”

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