A Pastor’s Response to the VA Abortion Debate

Christians must use all legitimate civil means to stop the government of Virginia from embracing Governor Ralph Northam’s position on infanticide and abortion. In an radio interview on WTOP earlier this week, He said the following in regards to House Bill 2491,

If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.

Regardless of how one may attempt to slice or to spin the governor’s comments, the words always point to one meaning: Infanticide. Governor Northam believes parents and doctors should be allowed to determine whether or not a child lives. If a mother’s  physical or mental health could be hurt by the existence of the “comfortable” baby, then the mother could choose to kill her baby. And the definition of health provided by court case Doe v. Bolton is so vague almost any maternal inclination would be ample justification for killing the baby in question. A mother could terminate her child because the child was the ‘wrong’ gender, or because the child threatened the mother’s financial or career goals, or because the child had deformities that promised to consume the mother’s time and financial resources. Governor Northam’s statement did not concern women’s health. It concerned infanticide.

Now before I proceed further, I want to be clear. I do not want to minimize the sacrifices associated with motherhood. My four siblings and I taxed my mother to no end. And as the father of three kiddos, I watch my dear wife repeatedly sacrifice her desires, health, money, and mental well-being for our children. Motherhood is a huge undertaking.

But Governor Northam and by extension Kathy Tran who sponsored House Bill 2491 are not seeking to support motherhood through tax breaks or government programs. They are seeking to empower mothers to kill their children after birth. They are seeking to normalize infanticide. They are seeking to allow one portion of the population to exterminate another portion of the population.

And once one part of a society is permitted and licensed to kill for convenience sake, others will seek similar permissions. If all human life is deemed to have no intrinsic value, then ultimately any life can be sacrificed for the ‘greater good’ or mental health reasons. If the old, the Jews, and the mentally infirm (to name a few groups) are deemed by the government to be causing a significant portion of the population mental anguish, what will stop Virginians from exterminating them?

The press and the Democratic Party of Virginia has attempted to deflect the outrage bubbling up around House Bill 2491 and Governor Northam by claiming the whole ordeal is an orchestrated political stunt engineered by Republicans seeking to protect their control of the Virginia legislature. After all, four similar bills have already been put forward and voted down in Virginia over the last three years with little fanfare. Sarah Jones from New York Magazine dismissed the whole controversy and encourages us to do the the same writing,

The idea that abortion providers tear apart full-term, viable babies about to breathe has animated the right for a long time. It’s the stuff of pulp fiction, and the myth bears little resemblance to reality.

And as Governor Northam’s office said, “No woman seeks a third trimester abortion except in the case of tragic or difficult circumstances.”

Sadly, Sarah Jones and Governor Northam are mistaken. The idea of abortion that Sarah Jones mocks as pulp fiction is not the day dream of crazied political junkies; it is reality. Abortion kills millions of viable babies in the cruelest and most uncaring of ways as can be seen in the medical drawings that detail the abortion procedure. Abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood suck babies from the womb piece by piece.

Infanticide will also harm the innocent. Notice that the governor’s office defines tragic and difficult circumstances as things, “such as a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities.” Non-viable pregnancies that could claim the mother’s life such as ectopic pregnancies are already covered by Virginia law. The governor is not talking medically non-viable pregnancies. He is talking about killing babies who have fetal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome or anencephaly that may disrupt their mother’s quality of life. In short, Governor Northam believes doctors and mothers should be allowed to let unwanted yet viable babies die.

Though the press may now view the defense of life as being ‘sensationalism,’ Christians must continue to declare the truth about abortion and infanticide. Abortion and infanticide are not Democratic Party and Republican Party issues. These practices are moral issues of the highest level, issues of good and evil.

Regardless of their political affiliation, Christians cannot call evil good; they cannot sit quietly on their hands as their government casually discusses murdering its citizens. Christians must deal with reality identifying abortion for what it really is…murder.

The Scriptures clearly teach that all life from inception to death represents the image and beauty of God. The words of Psalm 139:13 apply to all people regardless of their age, gender, or health.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

Luke chapter 1 also clearly teaches that both babies in the womb and out of the womb are fully human. And Exodus 21:22-25 states that anyone who takes the life of a baby should be charged with murder.

Theologian Wayne Grudem concludes,

The Bible teaches that we should think of the unborn as child as a person from the moment of conception, and therefore we should give to the unborn child legal protection equal to that of others in the society.”

As a Christian, as a husband, as a father, as a pastor, and as a voting Virginian, I call upon Governor Northam to defend the life of every Virginia. I call upon him to disavow his support of infanticide and of abortion on demand. I also urge my fellow Christians to join me in supporting life. I encourage them to use their voices and their votes to defend the life of every Virginian.

Will you join me?

5 Ways To Resolve Conflict

Conflict-BlogIt finds us. Whether we stay at home, go to school, or commute to the office, conflict will find us. Kids will disobey us, coworkers will disagree with us, and friends will say hurtful things to us. And what often starts as a bright day full of hope quickly becomes rocked by thundering rain clouds of frustration. Conflict has arrived.

Now not all conflict is bad.  Often competing ideas can be used by God to promote godly change, to increase productivity and to develop godly character. As we learn to submit to another in love, the church wins. As Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

But obviously many conflicts do not turn out this way. Instead of leading to unity, conflict often produces anger, bruised feelings, and broken relationships. Why does this happen? According to James 4 sinful conflict explodes in our lives because of what’s in our hearts. Notice what he says,

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.

We fight, we get mad, and we quarrel with each other because we are not getting what we want. Think about some of these common responses to conflict: “I don’t care what he said, he has no right to talk to me that way; I deserve better; all I wanted was a little peace and quiet; who does she thinks she is; don’t they realize all my skills, abilities and years of service.” This is not to say that the other party is innocent. But the reason we get mad, the reason we respond to sin with more sin is that we love things more than God. We want respect, peace, ease, and love. When we don’t get them, we arm our passions and go out on the war path seeking to attack, humble, and destroy anyone who does not worship us like we worship us. Hence, we are involved in sinful conflict because our hearts are focused on things other than God.

So how do we resolve conflict and bring it to a conclusion?

1. Seek To Glorify God:

Conflict is not fun. But it is also not pointless. Conflict exists so that you and me can
become more like Christ. As we repent of sinful heart attitudes, practice forgiveness, and extend love, we will see our faith expand. Though trials are never enjoyable, they are not pointless. Conflict exists so that we will become perfect and complete. If we want to see our conflicts resolved and our relationships restored, we must seek to redeem the situation we find ourselves in. We must not fear conflict. We must see it as an opportunity for good and for kingdom expansion!

2. Repent:

We get mad not because of what someone else did or said. We get mad because we are peace maklerfinding satisfaction in something other than Christ. To disarm our hearts, we have to confess to God that we are prideful, selfish, and coveting. We have to set our minds on the things above. We must meditate on all that God has done for us through the cross. We must find our hope, joy, and validation in him. Before we can hope to solve human conflict, we must first get our hearts right with God.

3. Confess:

After we repent of our sins, we must seek out those whom we have offended and confess our sins to them. Even if the other person started the fight, even if they’ve done more wrong than us, we must go to them in love, confessing our sins. If we hope to win our brothers and sisters back, we must honestly tell them all our wrongs and ask them to forgive us. We must as Jesus says get the log out of our own eye (Matt 7:5). Many conflicts roll on year after year unresolved because no one is willing to confess their sins. We can’t make others change. But we can deal with our own sin. To begin the process of restoration, we must repent and confess our own sins to every person that we have wronged. As Proverbs 28:13 says,

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

4. Go In Love:

After we have confessed our sins and mistakes – then and only then- can we loving
express our concerns to others. Of course, we should only directly talk to those that have wronged us. Telling our friends what so and so did may validate our sinful heart attitudes, but those words will not lead the other person towards repentance. Rather, we go privately go to the person who has offended us, and tell them their sin (Matt 18). And we do not list every character flaw they have ever had. Instead, we tell them about specific sins, hoping that they will respond with repentance.

5. Forgive:

If someone has wronged us, we must be ready to forgive them. When a former enemy asks us to forgive them, we must say yes. We must remember all that God has done, forgiving others because God has forgiven us (Col. 3:13). Regardless of what someone did to us, we have done more to God and been forgiven. If we are God’s children, we can forgive others. This may not come easy. Our flesh will say, “No way.” But as we plead with God to help us, he will change our hearts. If we have been redeemed by God, we can love our enemies. Now forgiveness does not mean that consequences disappear. The child who ate a one-pound bag of Oreos by himself is still banded from the pantry. But his parents, no longer hold the crime against him. They no longer mention it or bring it up. They have forgiven him. As Ken Sande said,

Forgiveness is a radical decision not to hold an offense against the offender.

We must be ready to forgive.resovling conflict

Conflicts can get tricky in a hurry. But no conflict has to destroy. For Christians, there is always hope. For more info about how to deal with conflicts, I highly recommend that you checkout Resolving Every Day Conflict or The Peace Maker by Ken Sande.

Are you ready to biblically resolve your conflict?

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/28842017@N00/26326972123″>street portrait</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

It’s Time To Stop Planned Parenthood

In an abortion there is always a very serious risk to the health and often to the life of the patient. – Margret Sanger (Women and the New Race)

STOP PPWatching Plan Parenthood (PP) doctors calmly describe the killing and selling of dead babies over a glass of wine has sent chills down America’s spine. And we should be horrified by the content of David Daleiden videos. But, we should also be grateful that these stories have broken. They’ve awoken us to reality. These conversations have reminded America that abortion is the nothing less than the cruel, unadulterated murder of innocent children.

But, It’s Just a Tissue

End of lifeThe CEO of PP, Cecile Richards, spent most of the weekend calling the murdered babies fetuses – a unborn vertebrate. But by selling the organs to research facilities dedicated to helping humans, Richards has admitted that the tissue is actually is human. She and her staff can sell the organs precisely because researchers want to human organs for their experiments. The research firms are not contracting with zoos for monkey livers. 

Moreover, a baby’s organs (like an adult’s organs) are only valuable if they come from a living host. Let me explain. For adult organs to be useful, they must be extracted from a body that’s both dead and alive. Although adults are declared “brain dead” before their organs are harvested, their bodies still possess some vitality (often via medical equipment). True death (the cessation of breathing and heart function) comes after the organs are extracted. Babies are no different. For an infant’s organs to be useful, they must be extracted from a living host. (The one major difference between adult and these criminal donations is consent. No baby has an organ donation sticker on her driver’s license) By selling the organs, PP has declared the fetuses to be living, human beings. It’s not a fetus; it’s a baby. Planned Parenthood has all but indicted itself for murder.

It’s Not For Profit:

is it legalTechnically, Richards can truthfully say that her organization does not profit from the selling of human organs. The price extracted for the organs is not being sent to PP shareholders. After all PP is a nonprofit organisation. But the money from the organs is being used to run local PP branches. As you can see from the YOUTUBE videos, the babies’ organs are being sold to cover operational costs. So Richards is technically right, Planned Parenthood isn’t profiting from the selling of dead babies. Such sales just go to paying for things like the electric bill and potentially Richard’s salary (a modest $523,616). And incidentally, any organ sale that goes beyond covering the cost for the removal of the organ is prohibited by federal law. And PP is regularly breaking federal law according to its employees.

But Planned Parenthood Does So Much Good:

Or so goes the claim. According to PP, abortion only counts for 3% of their services (BPNews). While true, the number is misleading. PP only counts the actually abortion procedure as an abortion. The other services the patient receives such as a pap test, or STI while preparing for an abortion are counted separately. We don’t know exactly how many of PP’s services are tied to the abortion industry. 

Moreover, it was recently discovered that only 5 of 97 surveyed PP locations offered pregnancy care in addition to abortion services.  

baby-784609_1280But, we do know that women who receive abortions are more likely to suffer from depression, alcoholism, and substances abuse (AAPLOG). Some researchers have tried to defend abortion by pointing to the fact that women who have aborted their babies face emotional challenges very similar to those faced by women who lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth. But little ground is gained with this claim. The studies still reveal that women who undergo an abortion always suffer emotional and sometimes even physical pain. Abortion does not improve a woman’s emotional or physical health.  by killing their babies. PP is knowingly afflicting women with pain and mental anguish. Even the famed founder of PP, Margaret Sanger, recognized the evils of abortion writing, “in an abortion there is always a very serious risk to the health…of the patient.” 

We do know that PP directly harms women by killing their babies. How many discussions about family planning does it take to justify all the harm that PP has caused?  

The Christian Response:

We need to speak for the unborn. Babies are not tissue or a societal burden. They are people designed by God with intrinsic value and worth. The tiniest, most malformed baby is just as valuable as you or me (and the staff of PP). We were all created in the image of God (Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5; Galatians 1:15; and Luke 1:15)!

For you formed my inward parts;/you knitted me together in my mother’s womb – Psalm 119:13

 The two videos released by Center for Medical Progress have reminded the world that babies are valuable. Catching the attention of Dr. Russell Moore, John Piper, and David Platt (to name a few) the center has reinvigorated the abortion debate in a great way (No shootings or bombings). Congress is now investigating PP and presidential candidates are lining up to add defunding PP to their political platform. The church has the attention of America. We have a chance to close PP’s doors. And perhaps, we could even put an end to abortion. If we can keep the atrocities of abortion in the public eye by posting and reposting videos, pictures, and articles, politicians will continue to respond and eventually they may even take action. Today, the church is gaining momentum and PP is retreating. Join my in keeping the dialogue going. And then join me in praying that truth will win. Let’s pray that abortion will finally be ended! May God be merciful to us.