Posts Tagged ‘Abortion’
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).
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
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
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.
Posted on April 19th, 2013 by Cory Varden
1. What Does God Say About the Boston Bombings by Jared Wilson: It is a dangerous thing to speak for God, but he has spoken for himself about such atrocities. I for one will not dare to say more than the following, but it’s quite enough, really, especially for those of us who lack the energy at this time to say much…
2. 9 Things You Should Know About Female Body Image Issues by Joe Carter: Body image is the mental representation we create of what we think we look like; it may or may not bear a close relation to how others actually see us. Here are nine things you should know about female body image issues:
3. Kermit Gosnell and the Politics of Abortion by Ross Douthat: The most rigorously pro-choice writers really did cover the Gosnell case more assiduously than the mainstream media, because they really do see it, not as an embarrassment to the cause of abortion rights, but a vindication of their worldview…
4. Kermit Gosnell and the Gospel by Russell Moore: The Gosnell case is stomach-turning. Testimonies in court point to a sadistic man… They speak of a man who would prey upon the poorest and most vulnerable women in his community in order to destroy their lives and those of their children. It’s hard to think of the gospel in the midst of all that evil. But that’s just the point.
Posted on April 18th, 2013 by Eric Parker
Much has been written recently over the Kermit Gosnell case as news of his horrific acts spread like wildfire across the social media world late last week. Secular media outlets have only in the last few days begun to take notice. Gosnell’s crimes against women and children are nothing short of disturbing. It’s the issue of abortion and infanticide that we want to briefly consider below.
As believers rightly continue to argue that an unborn child is a person and not merely a fetus, some in our culture want to redefine what it means to be a person. Not surprisingly, this redefinition of personhood doesn’t include babies in the womb.
While we must maintain that a baby in the womb is a person, Graham Cole points to a biblical category that may help us as we think through and articulate the biblical position on this issue. At a foundational level, the Bible portrays God as being chiefly concerned with the preservation and dignity of human life. This doesn’t mean we give up on our definition of personhood, but it does give us another angle to view this issue. Consider Genesis 2:7: “Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”
Life is God’s creation, and God’s concern for life continues as He addresses the penalty for the taking of life: “And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.” And again in Leviticus 24:17: “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death.” The emphasis is on the taking of life.
The Bible certainly has much more to say on the issue of abortion and personhood, and every approach we take will meet with some level of opposition by abortion advocates. Nevertheless, we must maintain that God is concerned with preserving human life. And life begins at conception (Ps 139:13).
The real difference between Gosnell’s crimes of late term abortions/infanticide and more commonly accepted forms of abortion is that with the former, people are confronted with a disturbing visual display of the taking of life. Abortion in its various forms takes place literally millions of times around the world each year. Tragically, most people have an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when it comes to the horrific reality of abortion. That must not be the case for those who love God and His image-bearers.
May we, as God’s people, be zealous for the life of men and women, born and unborn, physical and spiritual, in a moral landscape that is looking increasingly like Romans 1:19-32. Our God is concerned with persons, and He is concerned with life.
We must be too.
To read some helpful articles covering the case, see our recent “Well Said…” for a good starting point.
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