Posts Tagged ‘Abortion’
Posted on March 24th, 2014 by David Burnette
Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear the final appeal from Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties as these corporations seek relief from a “contraceptive” mandate in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. This particular mandate would require businesses to provide health coverage for FDA-approved devices that can cause abortions (like IUD’s and morning-after pills). The case is set for tomorrow, Tuesday, March 25, @ 10:00am ET.
Denny Burk refers to this as “the most consequential religious liberty case in a generation,” and he has an excellent rundown on some of the misconceptions about the case that have already been perpetrated in the media. Here’s an excerpt from the website of the ERLC (Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) of the Southern Baptist Convention with some guidance on how to pray for this important case:
As Christians who live all of life under the lordship of Jesus Christ, we are compelled to bring our vocations under the direction of our faith. The owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are making their complaint under the umbrella of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bipartisan law designed to provide extra layers of protection for citizens who believe their religious liberty has been infringed.
This is a supremely important case, and will likely set a precedent for how religious liberty is thought of and prioritized for decades to come. Because religious liberty is a bedrock constitutional principle found in the First Amendment, the integrity of this “first freedom” isn’t limited just to Christians, but to Americans of all faiths.
For that reason, Christians should pray that the outcome of these cases would result favorably toward those who wish to exercise their constitutional right to religious liberty. How should Christians pray? Here is a sample prayer guide:
- God wants people to be free to seek him and to serve him (Acts 17:24-28). Pray for a favorable outcome. The cherished principle of religious freedom should receive the strongest constitutional protection it deserves.
- God is Lord of the conscience, not government (Acts 5:29). Pray that the justices of the Supreme Court will understand the importance of the separation of the state from the church.
- God can give understanding to make sound decisions (Prov. 2:6-8). Pray for those who disagree with us, that God would help them understand and respect the consciences of people of faith.
- God can turn the hearts and minds of the justices to do his will (Prov. 21:1). Pray for the Supreme Court justices, that they would be receptive to the arguments being made passionately before them.
- God can guide the mind and speech (Exod. 4:11-12). Pray for lead attorney, Paul Clement, who will be arguing on behalf of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. Ask God to give him clarity and wisdom, for his arguments to be persuasiveness, and for God to give him favor before the justices.
Here are some excellent resources:
- Russell Moore’s call to pray for Hobby Lobby
- A speech by Russell Moore to the Oklahoma Council of Policy Affairs
- ERLC’s Friend of the Court Brief on Behalf of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood
- The Becket Fund’s “HHS Information Central”
- Russell Moore’s helpful explanation of in a special Questions and Ethics podcast
- A recent oped in support of Hobby Lobby by Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California
Posted on March 21st, 2014 by Cory Varden
You Asked: Does God Harden a Believer’s Heart?, Tony Reinke: This is a serious and important two-part question, but it is really six questions in disguise. Though human speculation could not touch it with a javelin pole, God’s revelation helps to unfold the answer. None of us is made modest by tiptoeing past this question if the Bible offers us answers.
The Challenge of Pluralism, Ross Douthat: If we take pluralism seriously, the whole point of the concept is to enable groups to “throw up a shield” against the pressure of consensus, and develop and promote alternatives that are rejected by the powerful, or by society as a whole. (You can read a follow up post to this piece HERE)
How Real is the Book “Heaven in for Real”?, John Piper: In this episode of “Ask Pastor John”, Piper takes on the reality, or lack thereof, of the bestselling book “Heaven is for Real”.
Why Pro-Lifers Are Losing Legal Battles, But Wining the Larger War, Trevin Wax: The hope of the pro-life community is a day when abortion is not simply “illegal,” but unthinkable. The goal is human rights for all human beings, to live in a country where human life is so esteemed that the very idea of abortion is as repulsive as the ancient Roman practice of infanticide or last century’s eugenics movement.
Posted on March 6th, 2014 by Jonathan Lenning
Belgium recently made child euthanasia legal. North Korea daily commits crimes against humanity. The United States preforms 1.6 million abortions each year. Each year, 2 million children are victims of sex trafficking. About 59% of Americans now support (so-called) gay marriage, while lawmakers and the general public are becoming more and more intolerant of those who don’t celebrate it. The current state of affairs makes it easy to be given over to anger or despair.
Emotions are a natural part of our response to these things. If you’re like me though, the anger and zeal you feel is often less like that of Jesus driving the money-changers out of the temple and more like that of a political talk show host. So to help us both out, here are a few things to keep in mind as we respond to the evil in this world.
- Be humble - “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Eph 2:1-3). Without the gospel reality of Ephesians 2:4-10, we would be no different than everyone else.
- Demonstrate love - “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1). Winning arguments is useless without love.
- Don’t be surprised – Even after witnessing miracles firsthand, religious leaders defiantly schemed with one another to bring Jesus down. Then, upon hearing about his resurrection from the guards at the tomb, “when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, ‘Tell people, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.” And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble’” (Matt 28:12-14). This is the sad state of human hearts before God.
- Show compassion – “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt 9:36). We ought to mourn over the lostness of our neighbors, and then lovingly address the needs of their sinful hearts, not just the sinful actions it breeds.
- Don’t take it personally - “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life” (Ex 45:5). Because of his faith in God’s sovereign plan, Joseph was able to let go of bitterness against his brothers. In the same vein, sin is never ultimately against us, but the Lord (Ps 51:4, Rm 3:23).
- Believe in God’s promises – “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’” (Rm 12:19). Nobody’s getting away with anything. All sins will be paid for, either by the sinner in eternity or by Christ on the cross. On top of that, “according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13).
Posted on February 20th, 2014 by Jonathan Lenning
Last month, my family celebrated the birthday of my younger sister. She’s now 23 years old and, in every sense, full of life. Fifteen days later, we celebrated the life of her identical twin. Her death–like her birth–was premature. Celebrating “Amber Day,” as we’ve come to call the anniversary of her passing, has served our family as a time of healing over the years, a tangible reminder of her life and God’s faithfulness through that time of difficulty.
But this year’s Amber Day hit me on a deeper level than it had in years past.
After my wife and I got home from dinner with my family, we watched some videos online in which a woman who was 23 weeks pregnant went into abortion clinics with a hidden camera. The revelations I came away with were disturbing, infuriating, and sad. I could cite many chilling examples, but for now I’ll simply say that death permeated each scene and was esteemed as a virtuous pursuit.
A few minutes after the videos ended, Amber Day and abortion collided in my mind, and life and death were tragically juxtaposed before me. I beheld abortion with striking clarity through eyes that were freshly aware of the beauty that was and the beauty that might-have been in the life of my sisters–people created in the image of God and fought for as such by loving parents.
The life lost on Amber Day was appropriately lamented for all that it was, just as its beginning 15 days earlier was appropriately celebrated for all that it was. And although my sister’s beautiful, brief story ended in death, there couldn’t be anything more opposite of Amber Day than abortion. Instead of vulnerably fighting for fragile lives born in dangerous circumstances, abortion takes life out of the fight before it even begins. Instead of celebrating life, abortion destroys it. No matter where you stand on “where life begins” (which, for the record, I believe is at conception), abortion undermines its value.
And like the death of her twin, the life of my now-23-year-old sister further solidified the horror of abortion as I reflected this past Amber Day. During my mother’s pregnancy, the doctors told her that neither baby would make it. Fast-forward 23 years, and I now have a sister who lives for Jesus daily. As Moses floated down the Nile and Jesus escaped to Egypt, she surpassed the doctors’ expectations of early death and is now a walking testimony to hope, life, and salvation. Marked by good news, her story is the antithesis of the bad news of abortion. And seeing abortion against the backdrop of her life makes it clear that abortion undercuts the gospel.
But it does not invalidate the gospel.
If you’ve had an abortion, please hear me; my sinful actions are not greater than God’s redemptive ones, and neither are yours. The life of Jesus was a beautiful one, and, as in the case of my sister and millions of aborted babies, his death was tragic. But, unlike my sister and aborted babies, Jesus came back to life, defeating death on behalf of sinners like you and me. In Him, even if we may have once celebrated death, we can now celebrate the gospel storyline: life, death… then life again. When my family celebrates Amber Day, we’re celebrating the gospel. I invite you to join us.
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” Acts 2:22-24
Posted on January 22nd, 2014 by Eric Parker
In Secret Church 11, “Family, Marriage, Sex, and the Gospel”, Pastor David helps us think biblically about abortion. Click here to access Secret Church 9 in its entirety.
Posted on January 18th, 2014 by Jonathan Lenning
This Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, be encouraged by Molly Anne Dutton’s testimony to the saving power of adoption in her life, both physical and spiritual.
Posted on November 26th, 2013 by Jonathan Lenning
Here is how Heather recounts her second abortion:
My in-laws have been helping us out financially, so we have no choice but to involve them in our decisions. They gave us $500 cash to bring to the clinic. I felt very forced. I felt like I was required to have an abortion to provide for my current family. Money help is a manipulation. I’m crazy in love with my daughters—imagine if I did that to them? It’s almost too much to open the door of guilt and shame because it’ll all overcome me. In the waiting room, there was a dead silence that’s hard to describe. Everyone was holding in her emotions to a heartbreaking degree. Truly pro-life people should go light on the judgment, because shame motivates abortions.
25 other women who have aborted share their personal reflections on their experience in last month’s New York Magazine cover story, titled “My Abortion.” The article sought to unearth the personal and tangible side of a topic that the American public only feels comfortable talking about distantly and abstractly, despite the fact that “one in three women has an abortion by the age of 45.”
While statistics like that are heartbreaking enough, these 26 stories will break your heart in a way that numerical data does not. Reading them makes it clear that the tragedy of abortion is even sadder than we think.
As Christians, we ought to be deeply distraught over the 1.2 million abortions preformed each year. We also ought to hate this evil practice because it directly opposes our Creator who created these precious babies in their mothers’ wombs… in his image. But let’s add to that hurt for the unborn and hate for their killing a unique heartbrokenness for the mothers who carry it out. The arguments against abortion are strong, but as we attack “the issue” with everything we have (and we should do that), let’s be sensitive to the people behind it. They need our love.
Reading through these stories, you’ll be struck by the fact that there is often a lot more to these women’s sinful decisions than a mere lack of regard for human life. Many of the women in this article are women who are conflicted, who feel like they have no other option, who face all kinds of pressure, who regret their decision, who question what they did, who were hurting before having an abortion, and who are now hurting worse as a result. One woman said that after the abortion, she continued to track her would-have-been pregnancy online, imagining how big her belly might have been along the way. Another woman told of how she’d think about what the baby’s age would be had she not aborted.
A lot of things concerning abortion are angering, from the horrid act itself to the self-centeredness of the sex-crazed men often behind the scenes. But don’t let your anger be without sadness and love, and that not just for the babies. For a moment, let’s peek out from behind our picket signs to see the women to whom we are ministering. Yes, we are ministering to them – or at least we should be. And for them, as New York Magazine puts it, “most have feelings too knotty for a picket sign.”
About 20 years ago, after being sexually assaulted, a woman became pregnant with a baby girl. Her husband gave her two options: abortion or divorce. By God’s grace, she discovered and chose a third option.
This past weekend, because her biological mother chose that third option, Molly Anne Dutton was able to become Miss Homecoming at Auburn University. She won with the slogan “Light Up LIFE ,” her platform being to spread the word about “women’s resources, which promote education, prevention, and support for victims of sexual assault, [and] provide women and children an alternative that is drenched in life and restoration.” Her birthmother took advantage of such an alternative, and Molly Anne is a living testimony to the life and restoration that adoption brings to such tragic circumstances.
Molly Anne was adopted through Lifeline Children’s Services, a Christian organization that “seeks to make an investment in the lives of children, mothers in the wake of crisis, families wanting the blessing of a child, and orphans around the globe needing a home in which they can see and hear the Gospel.” Founded in 1981 as a crises pregnancy alternative, today Lifeline also engages in foster care, international orphan care, birthmother counseling/training, international adoption, and domestic adoption.
Molly Anne wanted to bring attention to organizations like Lifeline so that a young woman knows her options if she is ever faced with the kind of decision her biological mother was faced with. In her words, which are difficult to improve on, “I hope that this will not only bring to light the resources that are available to her, but that she will welcome them. When the glory and power of light is shone, the importance of life is radiated. The hope found in these resources penetrates the lives of women who have even been through trials and tribulations. It gives them something solid to stand upon… I have personally received that hope, light, and truth and I hope to light up the life of another.”
In a world where the local news is often more than enough to leave us feeling depressed and hopeless, it’s nice to be able to report some good news. And as Christians, this is simply a shadow of the infinitely good news we find in Christ’s redemption, by which our heavenly Father adopts us into his eternal family.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
Molly Anne Dutton on Fox and Friends
Posted on June 21st, 2013 by Cory Varden
1. The New York Times Hides Abortion Editorial on Front Page by Joe Carter: No one expects the Times to provide fair and balanced coverage of the abortion issue; that would require a greater allegiance to objective journalism than the paper can muster (especially in the post-Bill Keller era). But the least the Times can do is respect its readers enough to keep the editorials on the editorial page.
2. Perspectives on Our Children’s Education from TGC: We asked three moms of school-age children to share their families’ perspectives on education. Jen Wilkin, Jenni Hamm, and Amanda Allen are three friends who attend the same church and raise families in the same geographic area. All three share mutual respect for each other as parents trying to raise children with intentionality, in the fear and admonition of the Lord. In this series, you will see their perspectives on how and why they chose to educate their children through public school, private school, or homeschooling.
3. How to Read a Book by Jeremy Anderberg: Reading a book seems like a pretty straightforward task, doesn’t it? And in some cases, it is. If you’re reading purely for entertainment or leisure, it certainly can be that easy. There’s another kind of reading, though, in which we at least attempt to glean something of value from the book in our hands (whether in paper or tablet form). In that instance, you might be surprised to learn that it’s not as simple as opening the book and reading the words.
4. 7 Marks of a False Teacher by Tim Challies: No one enriches hell more than false teachers. No one finds greater joy in drawing people away from truth and leading them into error. False teachers have been present in every era of human history, they have always been a plague and have always been in the business of providing counterfeit truth. While their circumstances may change, their methods remain consistent.
Posted on May 3rd, 2013 by Cory Varden
1. Homosexuality, the NBA, and the Morality of Making Moral Judgments by Sam Storms: …Actually, not only does everyone have a right to judge, everyone has a responsibility to judge! In fact, everyone does judge, even if they think they don’t. Making moral judgments is simply inevitable.
2. Broussard, Bigotry, and the NBA by Denny Burk: After the news broke earlier today that Jason Collins has come out as the first openly gay player in the NBA, I didn’t really plan to comment. But that all changed after watching Chris Broussard’s commentary for ESPN. After Collins’ announcement appeared, all the sports shows were abuzz with the news. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” hosted a discussion between two sportswriters: the openly gay LZ Granderson and the Christian Chris Broussard.
3. Dear Mr. President (a letter from a mother trying to answer her children’s questions about abortion): I understand we view the world differently. I understand you think a child burdens a woman, and that he/she breaks a woman down. I think a child is the greatest gift a woman could receive, and giving birth is one of woman’s greatest powers. That doesn’t sound very politically correct, though. I know the world is more complex than that. I understand we are fundamentally different.
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