Posts Tagged ‘Abortion’
Posted on January 23rd, 2015 by Jonathan
Abortion and the Gospel: “Too often, pastors and church leaders assume that, when talking about abortion, their invisible debating partner is the “pro-choice” television commentator or politician. Not so. Many of the people endangered by the abortion culture aren’t even pro-choice.” Russell Moore encourages us to meet the culture of abortion (and all its casualties) head on with the Gospel of Jesus on Roe v. Wade‘s anniversary week.
Social media and our narrow view of motherhood: Specifically aimed at mothers caught in newly packaged keep-up-with-the-Joneses game of comparison on Facebook, Instagram, and the like, Catherine Parks’ encouragement to broaden the range of people you follow on social media is instructive to everyone. “At the heart of it, our requirements for one another are too small, rather than too great…”
9 Myths About Abortion Rights and Roe v. Wade: This week marks the forty-second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade. Kevin DeYoung seeks to set the record straight by highlighting nine false conceptions people commonly have about abortion rights and Roe. “Get informed. Keep praying. Be ready to act.”
Supreme Court Defends Freedom in Landmark Religious Liberty Case: Joe Carter gives us the basics on the recent Supreme Court ruling on Holt v. Hobbs, in which the Court upheld an Arkansas inmate’s right to grow a half inch beard out of religious conviction. Quoting Eric Rassbach, “This is a victory not just for one prisoner in Arkansas, but for every American who believes and wants the freedom to act on those beliefs.”
2 Big Reasons Evangelism Isn’t Working: “While a person’s response to Christ is ultimately a matter that rests in God’s sovereign hands—something we have no control over—a person’s hearing of the gospel is a matter we do have control over and responsibility for.” Jonathan Dodson goes on to unpack two of the reasons he thinks people find our evangelism unbelievable.
It?: A powerful poem about abortion from John Piper.
Posted on January 16th, 2015 by David Burnette
In view of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday coming this weekend, the following excerpt from David Platt’s new book, Counter Culture, is worth reflecting on as we think of God’s sole authority to give and take life:
As you read through the Bible, you won’t find the word abortion anywhere. But that doesn’t mean Scripture is silent about it, for the core truths we’ve already seen in the gospel concerning who God is, who we are, and what Christ has done speak directly to the issue of abortion.
Consider the way the Bible describes the relationship between God and the unborn baby. The psalmist writes to God:
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. (Ps 139:13-16)
As we read these words, we’re reminded of the core gospel truth that God is the Creator. He alone has the power and authority to give life. Elsewhere in the Bible, Job says, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4). He also says, “In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10).
God is not only the Giver of life; he is also the Taker of life. Again, Job confesses, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21). God himself declares, “I put to death and I bring to life” (Deut 32:39, NIV). This is why murder and suicide are both sins. It is God’s prerogative alone, as Creator, to give and take innocent life.
In light of these biblical realities, it becomes abundantly clear that abortion is an affront to God’s sole and sovereign authority as the Giver and Taker of life. (60-61)
In the coming weeks, we’ll be talking more about how our views on the critical social issues of our day should be motivated by the gospel and the authority of God’s Word. For more on how you can get involved on the issue of abortion and a number of other critical social issues, go to www.counterculturebook.com. Counter Culture releases on February 3rd.
Posted on January 14th, 2015 by Jonathan
This weekend, many churches around the country will be observing Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Of course, the lives of the unborn are to be valued and defended throughout the year, but collectively setting this Sunday aside helps to make a statement about what we value as Christians.
It is fitting that this is also the weekend Americans honor Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who valued and defended human life until his was taken. The many parallels between civil rights and pro-life advocacy are stirring; but it should suffice to say, if we believe that all men are created equal and that all therefore have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we cannot ignore those whom God is wonderfully knitting together in the womb (Ps 139:13).
In the ERLC video below, Russell Moore further illuminates why it is so important that Christians stand for the unborn.
Posted on September 18th, 2014 by Radical
What the church needs most today: Robert Godfrey points to Psalm 81 to make the point that the church’s greatest need is to listen to God.
Abandoning the term pro-choice: John Stonestreet points out that abortion advocates are redefining themselves by taking an even harder “pro-abortion” line. Trevin Wax also wrote about the change–“If the abortion-rights agenda is to succeed, then, abortion must be de-stigmatized.”
Ministering to those who experience loss: By sharing her personal experience of losing everything in a house fire, Julie Lowe of CCEF helps us think through how to minister to those who experience loss.
How to criticize a preacher: David Murray gives us ten questions to think through before telling your preacher that he got it “badly wrong.”
Ten ways for husbands to exercise Christ-like headship: Over at CBMW, Owen Strachan lists ten ways husbands can exercise biblical, Christ-like headship.
Posted on August 8th, 2014 by Cory Varden
Cultural Disintegration and the Revival of a Moral Imagination, Joe Rigney: We live in a time of cultural disintegration. Not just America, but the entire Western world is jettisoning the wisdom of the ages and striving to remake the world after our own image. And, unsurprisingly, the fundamental arena in which this cultural unraveling is playing out is that of sexuality.
What’s Wrong with the “Wrong Side of History” Argument?, Kevin Deyoung: No doubt, the “wrong side of history” retort is rhetorically powerful. But it also happens to be intellectually bankrupt. What’s wrong with the phrase? At least three things.
Aborting in the Name of Jesus, Russell Moore: It is one of the most disturbing articles I’ve ever read. The current issue of Esquire magazine profiles the “abortion ministry” of Willie Parker, a doctor who flies in and out of my home state of Mississippi to perform abortions at the state’s only abortion clinic. The word “ministry” isn’t incidental. Dr. Parker says he aborts unborn children because Jesus wants him to.
Posted on June 30th, 2014 by David Burnette
In case you missed it, the Supreme Court of the United States sided with Hobby Lobby in its ruling this morning, saying that the government cannot force closely-held, for-profit corporations to purchase abortion-causing drugs in violation of their religious beliefs. Conestoga Wood of Pennsylvania (another for-profit corporation) sided with Hobby Lobby in challenging this provision of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Russell Moore notes,
“The ruling isn’t just a win for evangelicals, like the Southern Baptist Greens. It’s a win for everyone. Here’s why. A government that can pave over the consciences of the Greens can steamroll over any dissent anywhere. Whether you agree or disagree with us about abortion, every American should want to see a government that is not powerful enough to set itself up as a god over the conscience.”
Sadly, today’s 5-4 ruling will go unnoticed by many people, including many Christians, while some media outlets continue to misrepresent the objections of these Christian business owners. So what was at stake? And why should you care as a follower of Christ? Here are some reactions worth reading, in no particular order:
1. Why Hobby Lobby Matters, (Russell Moore)
3. What You Should Know about the Contraceptive Mandate Decision, (Joe Carter)
5. Hobby Lobby and the Liberty of Conscience, (Kevin DeYoung)
6. Moore Explains Good and Bad News of Hobby Lobby Decision, (TGC interview with Russell Moore)
7. Grateful but Sobered by the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Verdict, (Denny Burk)
8. Supreme Court Ruling on Hobby Lobby Case, (Al Mohler, The Briefing)
Here’s Russell Moore with a four-minute video on the ruling . . .
Posted on May 9th, 2014 by Cory Varden
“I Feel Super Great About Having an Abortion” – The Culture of Death Goes Viral, Albert Mohler: Emily Letts is a 25-year-old abortion counselor at the Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey whose video has gone viral. These days, videos go viral on a daily basis, and most are soon forgotten. But not this one. Emily Letts decided to make a video about her own abortion, and the result is one of the most disturbing video messages ever presented to public view.
Walking the Wedding Aisle Without Your Virginity, John Piper: I think the main thing I want to say is this: Virginity is a precious gift that you cannot give to your fiancé, nor she you. That is a great sadness and a great loss. But there are gifts you can give her and God will multiply those gifts so wonderfully that the loss will not be destructive.
Kevin Durant offers emotional MVP acceptance speech, Denny Burk: Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder won the NBA’s MVP for the 2013-1014 season. In an emotional acceptance speech earlier this evening, he gave thanks to God and honored his teammates. But perhaps the most poignant moment came at the end when he honored his mother. His remarks to her begin at 4:58, and it’s worth your time to watch.
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
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).
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