The stories of 2022 we don’t want to forget

December 29, 2022

In the modern era of the 24/7 news cycle, it’s easy to begin each day looking for the latest breaking tidbit. The amount of information we all digest is unimaginable to previous generations, and much of what we take in we simply forget. But the people of God are those who are called to ponder and discern (Psa 101:2; Rom. 12:2). As we close the book on 2022, some of the ERLC staff have reflected on the stories that they don’t want to forget because of their significance. Whether they mark truly historical moments, consider important ethical questions, or reflect the priorities of a particular season of life, all are meaningful and help us recognize our deep need for our Sovereign God. May this exercise encourage you to prayerful reflection and humble dependence on the Lord, as well. 

“The invasion of Ukraine is what stands out for me in 2022. A good college friend of mine has served as a missionary there since 2005, so I watched news updates with a personal lens. What I remember being struck by is how it felt like history books had come alive. Studying history you read about past wars and which country invaded who, but you don’t expect (or at least I didn’t) to see that happening in real time. And however doom and gloom the news seemed about Ukraine, there was always an element of hope that sprung up. Whether it was watching Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy post a video on social media about his commitment to stay and fight or a pianist playing her piano in a bombed-out home, hope seemed to remain, despite all the tragedy. This is exactly what I want to focus on as we approach the end of 2022 and the holiday season: hope brought by an incarnate Savior 2,000 years ago will always reign supreme.” – Julie Masson, Director of External Engagement

“One of my favorite stories from the past year has been the emergence of a number of pro-family policies from lawmakers in the wake of the Dobbs decision. That was such a historic moment and the culmination of decades of dedicated advocacy, but it also really opened the eyes of many to the gaps in support for vulnerable women and families. To that end, this summer at the SBC annual meeting, messengers affirmed ‘pro-life and pro-family policies that serve and support vulnerable women, children, and families.’ Over the fall, I worked to develop some guiding principles for ERLC’s engagement on this issue, and I was able to lay out those principles and make the case for our support in this article of ERLC’s Light Magazine, ‘A vision for a pro-family world: Why policies that help families foster a pro-life culture.’”Hannah Daniel, Policy Manager 

“Earlier this year, I had an opportunity to talk with Gretchen Smeltzer who founded a ministry called, Into the Light, that combats human trafficking. This issue is one that we don’t like to think about and often feels far removed from us. But in reality, many in our country and abroad are being exploited and abused by predators in this horrifying industry. I don’t want to lose sight of the important calling God has placed on our lives as believers to protect and advocate for the vulnerable among us.” – Elizabeth Bristow, Press Secretary

“My daughter was in speech therapy this year because of a delay, so the story, ‘“Parentese” Is Truly a Lingua Franca, Global Study Finds’ hit me at the right time. It says that across the world people, no matter their language, speak to babies in the same kind of cadence and tone. It reminded me of the truth that children are a universal gift from God, and that parenting and the family are a universal feature of humanity.” – Alex Ward, Lead Researcher

“I think of two articles, ‘Is the Lesser of Two Evils the Right Question’ by Dana McCain and ‘What Makes a Vote Moral or Immoral? The Ethics of Voting’ by Jonathan Leeman. I commend them both along the same lines, that as Christians, our standard of righteousness must be weighed and measured by what God says in his word. All other scales of righteousness fail, and as Dana McCain says, ‘When we misrepresent our imperfect choices as truly righteous, we compromise our integrity and misrepresent our Savior before a lost and dying world. We make it harder for the people we’re called to evangelize to believe us about the most important thing—the gospel of Jesus Christ.’” – Mark Owens, ERLC Podcast Producer

“Every day at nearly every turn, we’re faced with new challenges as we are bombarded with content, entertainment, and messages that challenge a faithful understanding of the biblical sexual ethic. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed as we walk through what seems like uncharted territory. But no matter what we face in our ever-shifting culture, God’s design for human sexuality has never changed. The event, ‘Discipling Your Church for a World in Sexual Crisis,’ that we hosted back in June helped remind the Church how we can navigate these challenges with both the truth of God’s Word and design as well as the grace found in the gospel message. We all need to be reminded that our sexuality is not the defining aspect of our humanity, but it is central to what it means to be human.” – Jason Thacker,  Director of the Research Institute and Chair of Research in Technology Ethics

“I have spent many hours over the last year speaking with pro-life leaders in settings both professional and private. Yet, my conversation with Karen Ellison, founder of Deeper Still, brought to the forefront for me the millions of Americans, men and women, who are still dealing with the effects of an abortion years and decades later. She said, ‘There is a huge population of Christians who are abortion-wounded, and they are not talking about it.’ So many of those are anticipating judgment from fellow believers, and I believe the Church must grapple with this reputation. It is my prayer that our churches will do the hard work required to have both a culture of life and a culture of healing, so that they can welcome those in the depths of their brokenness and help them find freedom.” – Jill Waggoner, Content Editor

“I’m not sure how I could ever forget it, but the astounding pro-life victory in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the story that stands out to me. The overturning of Roe v. Wade was almost 50 years in the making and a reminder that sometimes good, worthwhile work takes years. The victory magnifies the tireless and bold work of so many who were driven by their conviction that God created every individual, no matter how young and helpless, with innate dignity. It reminds me that nothing is too hard for the Lord and that our times are in his hands. It’s a shot of adrenaline in the arm of the pro-life movement that, by God’s grace, will sustain many, many more years of advocating for the preborn and vulnerable moms at the state level. Lest we doubt that our work matters, all we have to do is recall what wonderful things God did through those committed to advocating for the smallest among us.”  – Lindsay Nicolet, Director of Content