Archive for the ‘Cultural issue’ Category

Being Slave vs. Free and Unborn vs. Born

Piper wrote a great article regarding Lincoln’s take on the logic of slavery. He extended the logic very well into the area of abortion.

I saw that one of the most popular posts on WordPress a week ago regarded a technique for stumping anti-abortionists like Dr. Piper (I’m not going to link to it because it would be a waste of your time). The writer proposed that if you want to stump an anti-abortionist, just ask them this, “If abortion were made illegal, what should happen to women who get an illegal abortion?” I don’t think Piper would’ve been too stumped by this line of questioning.

It seems to me that the abortionist’s way to stump the anti-abortionist (a label that I welcome) is to take the focus off of the issue, the personhood of the unborn. The logic is revealed – they do not consider the unborn to be a person and so abortion is permissible for us. Do you see how this compares with the logic of slavery? If certain members of the human race aren’t considered persons, then we can enslave them. If certain members of the human race aren’t considered persons, then we can kill them.

I don’t sit around thinking up ways of stumping abortionists. I think it would be much more profitable to those on both sides of the matter if we would spend more time considering the issues rather than trying to come up with tricky ways of stumping those who may disagree with us.

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Abortion and the Moral Gray Area

The writer of Proverbs 24:11-12 knows there will be some who will disobey his wise council. Not only will they disobey, but they will be capable of offering up ignorance as an excuse for their disobedience. The fact that they are even capable of claiming ignorance in their disobedience implies that there must be some reason for why they are able to do this. John Piper said it something like this – the situation must be that if you wanted to, you could say you were lacking knowledge or you were unaware that people were dying and so you did nothing. To me, this speaks loudly – it screams – of application in our day to the issue of abortion and other attacks on the sanctity of human life. The pro-abortion movement is all about promoting ignorance. Read the literature available at abortion clinics. They use words like zygote and fetus and extraction and CHOICE. And they do this with a purpose. They are giving people the opportunity to stay in the dark if they want to and it is sin. And it is exactly what people want.

Even the judges of the Supreme Court of the United States used ignorance as an excuse. Here is what is written in the majority opinion of the court in the case of Roe v. Wade:

When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.

Do you see what they have said? They have claimed the proverbial moral gray area regarding the issue of human life and abortion. All they did was admit our ignorance and then choose to use it as a reason to NOT protect the lives of the unborn.

Imagine with me if you would what the so-called experts would say to try and explain to my 6 year-old daughter what a doctor is doing when they perform an abortion. Of course I would absolutely never dream of doing that to my daughter, but can you imagine with me what it would look like to watch the so-called experts explain themselves to a child. That’s because words like zygote and fetus and extraction and choice will mean nothing to a 6 year-old and so when it comes down to it – the claim of ignorance is stripped away in the presence of innocence. If you asked any child what was growing in the belly of my wife the overwhelming answer would be “a baby”. That may be partly because they have been taught this (and thank God for that), but even more than that – they have seen what comes out of the bellies of expectant mothers! Babies do!

The reason there is a gray area which mankind is even capable of using as an excuse is because in our own willful and sinful ignorance, we have created the moral gray area to bail ourselves out. It is the church’s duty to strip away the gray area and ignorance and moral confusion. It is the church’s duty on the authority of God’s word, to draw the distinct line that divides right from wrong and truth from lies.

Abort73.com

Situational Ethics and the Sanctity of Human Life

The idea of situational ethics should be troublesome to the mind of a biblically thinking Christian. It should be troublesome to us because in the mind of a biblically thinking Christian, what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong – what is true is true and what is false is false. But there is a line separating those things and it is that line which can, very often, become blurry to us. Why is that? Is there really such a thing as “the gray area?”

I believe there is a gray area – to us. Sometimes the gray area can be a situation that really has no ethical implication and so there really is no right or wrong in the situation (what color shirt do I wear today?). However, most of the time the gray area represents that blurred line between right and wrong. We have to admit that there is such a thing as a gray area. However, I still believe that there is a right and wrong and truth is absolute. I agree with Dr. R.C. Sproul, who has said this “gray area” that we perceive, is really in fact representative of “confusion”. Why is there confusion? It is because we lack perfect knowledge. There is confusion because we do not know everything. We do not have all of the answers and so we become confused in certain situations about what is right and wrong or what is true and what is false. We are human and we are sinful.

However there is one who has all of the answers. There is one who knows everything. There is one who is never confused. There is one who is perfect in knowledge. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth always knows what is right. He always knows what is just, what is true, and what is good. There is no moral situation that you could possibly find yourself in where, if you took it to God, God would look at it and say, “I don’t know what to do here. I don’t know. What is the right thing here?” God always knows the answer. The closer we are to the LORD God, the less confusion there will be and the more the gray area will shrink for us. There is no gray area with God. He is not ambiguous about anything. If we would seek the mind of God, if we would know his word, then there would be much less of a gray area to us.

However, in the post-modern secular humanistic society that we live in, the gray area has become a great expanse of gray. Moral confusion runs rampant. Dr. Voddie Baucham, at the 2006 desiring God national conference related the condition of our culture very well. He talked about how the post-modern secular humanistic society that we live in answers the questions, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”

Who am I? The answer – you are nothing. You are an accident. You are a mistake. You are a glorified ape. That is all. You are the result of random evolutionary processes. That is it. No rhyme, no reason, no purpose. That is all you are.

Why am I here? You are here to consume and enjoy.

When you put these two things together, you get terrible results. If I have no rhyme or reason for my existence, if I am no more than the result of random evolutionary processes, and I only exist to consume and enjoy, the only thing that matters is if I am more powerful than you and if you have something I need for my enjoyment. Because if you have something I need for my enjoyment and I am more powerful than you are and there is no rhyme or reason to your existence, then it is incumbent upon me to take from you what I need for my own satisfaction. Have we not seen the logical conclusion of this kind of social Darwinism. Have we not seen a culture that at one time said, ‘There is one race that is further evolved than all other races. And because the Arian race is further evolved than all other races it is incumbent upon the Arian race to dominate and/or exterminate other races in order to usher in the next level of our evolution.’

Don’t look down on their scientists and their biologists, who looked upon Jews as things and not people in order to justify their extermination because that is exactly what our scientists and our biologists do to the baby in the womb – the same concept of eugenics. The same concept of, ‘All that is, is an inconvenient lump of flesh.’ Or even more sinister, ‘This child will be severely deformed and will therefore hinder your ability to consume and enjoy.’

Remembering Reagan’s Personhood Proclamation on Obama’s First Day in Office

January 14, 1988
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
America has given a great gift to the world, a gift that drew upon the accumulated wisdom derived from centuries of experiments in self-government, a gift that has irrevocably changed humanity’s future. Our gift is twofold: the declaration, as a cardinal principle of all just law, of the God-given, unalienable rights possessed by every human being; and the example of our determination to secure those rights and to defend them against every challenge through the generations. Our declaration and defense of our rights have made us and kept us free and have sent a tide of hope and inspiration around the globe.
One of those unalienable rights, as the Declaration of Independence affirms so eloquently, is the right to life. In the 15 years since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, however, America’s unborn have been denied their right to life. Among the tragic and unspeakable results in the past decade and a half have been the loss of life of 22 million infants before
birth; the pressure and anguish of countless women and girls who are driven to abortion; and a cheapening of our respect for the human person and the sanctity of human life.
We are told that we may not interfere with abortion. We are told that we may not “impose our morality” on those who wish to allow or participate in the taking of the life of infants before birth; yet no one calls it “imposing morality” to prohibit the taking of life after people are born. We are told as well that there exists a “right” to end the lives of unborn children; yet no one can explain how such a right can exist in stark contradiction of each person’s fundamental right to life.
That right to life belongs equally to babies in the womb, babies born handicapped, and the elderly or infirm. That we have killed the unborn for 15 years does not nullify this right, nor could any number of killings ever do so. The unalienable right to life is found not only in the Declaration of Independence but also in the Constitution that every President is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend. Both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law.
All medical and scientific evidence increasingly affirms that children before birth share all the basic attributes of human personality — that they in fact are persons. Modern medicine treats unborn children as patients. Yet, as the Supreme Court itself has noted, the decision in Roe v. Wade rested upon an earlier state of medical technology. The law of the land in 1988 should recognize all of the medical evidence.
Our nation cannot continue down the path of abortion, so radically at odds with our history, our heritage, and our concepts of justice. This sacred legacy, and the well-being and the future of our country, demand that protection of the innocents must be guaranteed and that the personhood of the unborn be declared and defended throughout our land. In legislation introduced at my request in the First Session of the 100th Congress, I have asked the Legislative branch to declare the “humanity of the unborn child and the compelling interest of the several states to protect the life of each person before birth.”  This duty to declare on so fundamental a matter falls to the Executive as well.  By this Proclamation I hereby do so.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death, and I do proclaim, ordain, and declare that I will take care that the Constitution and laws of the United States are faithfully executed for the protection of America’s unborn children.  Upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God. I also proclaim Sunday, January 17, 1988, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.  I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in their homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life they enjoy and to reaffirm their commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of every human life.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.
Ronald Reagan

Another Year to Waste?

When the new year roles around we often take the opportunity to look back and re-evaluate things.  For me, the beginning of a new year on the calendar also means a new year in my life since I was born at the beginning of the year.  Often, each year at this time, I look back, not only at the past year, but on my entire life.  I’ve now lived 34 years, which is about the length of time that Christ lived on this earth.  So the past couple of years have been especially retrospective.  Have I wasted my life?  Is my life on a trajectory that will end up in a place where it is wasted?  Or has my life taken a trajectory that will end up making an impact?  John Piper talk’s about this little plaque that hung in the kitchen of the house where he grew up in Greenville, SC.  The plaque said:

Only one life

‘Twill soon be past

Only what’s done for

Christ will last

In the last couple of years I’ve had the occasion to visit with people who were at death’s door.  Visiting my Uncle Bill the day before he died was one of the most profound of those experiences.  The perspective on life is very different when you are looking at it through the lens of a person who has hours left to live.  What difference does the kind of car you own make in that moment?  Do you really care how big your TV is?  Do you say to yourself, “I wish I had been a better golfer”?  Do you say, “I wish I had taken that chance to have an adulterous relationship”?  Do you think, “My life would’ve been so much more happy had I spent a few more years holding on to that bitterness”?

There is so much talk about “purpose” and “fulfillment” and all kinds of other mumbo jumbo.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  I don’t believe for a second that my Uncle Bill was the least bit concerned with his life’s purpose or his own personal fulfillment in his final hours. Driving home from that visit, what struck me the most was that moments in our lives tend to revolve around the most fleeting of pleasures. I know it is true in my own life. I’m not saying we should live in such a way that we deny ourselves pleasure. Actually, I’ve learned exactly the opposite of that – we should live for the greatest of pleasures. The problem is that our taste for pleasure has become so corrupt.

C.S. Lewis wrote…

The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire. If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

Did you get that – “our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak.” We think so often that what the Bible labels as “sin” is really an over blown desire for pleasure and that Jesus is just a killjoy. That is a lie from the pit of hell. Really, the Bible says that “sin” is a desire for pleasure that has become so corrupt it can’t even recognize what true lasting joy and pleasure are anymore and that those things can only be found in a right relationship with the God who created us for His own glory (Jeremiah 2:12-13).

Here is where I’m going…I know for a fact that my Uncle on his death bed never looked back on his life to say he wished he had spent more days seeking after the pleasures of this world.  And so I hate every moment that I waste seeking pleasure in something that can’t even come close to the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. What do you fill your life with – “drink and sex and ambition”? The gospel of Jesus Christ offers infinite joy to us. After 34 years – I want nothing more than to turn my back every day on the fleeting pleasures of this world and make an impact that will last – “Only what’s done for Christ will last”.  I don’t want to waste another day making mud pies in a slum because I cannot imagine the fullness of joy that is at the right hand of the LORD God Almighty.

Here is a great book to read that says it much better than I could:

opdwl_large

Don’t Waste Your Vote

There is a good article on Dr. Mohler’s blog about Obama and the abortion issue…also you should read the article that he links to at www.thepublicdiscourse.com.

Here is how I would counsel anyone who asks me about how they should vote. In my mind, if two (or three or four or however many) candidates are both pro-life and one has a larger constituency and so a greater chance of winning the election – then I will vote for the one who opposes abortion and has the better chance of winning the election.  The other candidate(s) with the smaller constituency may be more agreeable to me when it comes to financial issues or positions on the war or women working outside of the home or whatever else, but what matters most to me is the abortion issue.  So in that regard McCain is not a lesser of two evils – he opposes the evil of abortion and will work to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Therefore, if I say that abortion is my primary issue, then I must vote for the candidate that is on my side regarding that issue and has the greater chance of winning.  Put aside the whole “wasted” vote argument.  If I were to vote for a candidate who is on my side of the abortion issue, but does not have as good a chance of winning as another candidate who is also on my side of the abortion issue, then I have in essence voted against a candidate who was on my side of the abortion issue which I regard as THE issue that matters most to me.  If I vote against the candidate with the best chance to win because the other candidate agrees with me on other less important issues (economy, war, women working outside the home, etc.) then what I have done with my vote is put the economy and the war and whatever other issue ahead of the abortion issue. Now that is fine if the abortion issue is not the primary issue for you.  If you would rather make a statement about a woman working outside the home or your opposition to the bail out plan or women wearing dresses instead of pants or whatever, then you have a valid argument if those things matter more to you than the abortion issue.  In fact I would argue that if the issue of women working outside the home is so much more of an evil to you than abortion that you won’t support a party’s ticket with your vote – then you ought to at least stop supporting other things that contribute to that “evil” as well.  For example, I take my children to a female doctor and so support that doctor’s work outside of the home.  I work for a business where the COO is a woman and hires women who have young children at home and these women where pants to work.  My wife goes to an OB-GYN practice that has female doctors and nurses and so we’re supporting those women who work outside of the home.  We eat at restaurants that have females working in them and even tip our female waitresses and so I’m supporting those women working outside of their homes. Those restaurants even serve alcohol to people who may be alcoholics…the point is, if you can’t vote for a party’s ticket because you are taking a stand against these “evils” then how much more should you stop doing at least the things I’ve listed above because they support the very thing you are claiming to be so much against.  You only vote once a year, but you probably do these other things much more frequently…

In my mind a woman working outside of the home (and I think Ligon Duncan has stated that Sarah Palin’s candidacy is not a contradiction to the complimentarion view that we share in the church), or the nature of a financial bail out plan, or a view on the war in Iraq will not ultimately determine how I cast my vote.  I understand, as Voddie Baucham has said, that the choosing of Gov. Palin was seen as a slap in the face to those of us who are pro-family, but I shouldn’t expect that a political party or any political leader would be of the same mind as me or the church on all, or even a majority of, the issues regarding the family.  You may think that it would be better for the Palin family if the mother were at home with her kids, just like I do.  But she isn’t, and whether or not she is elected or I vote for her is not going to impact that in any way.  But if I refuse to vote for that party’s ticket because of that then I have elevated those kinds of issues ahead of the issue of abortion.  To me, fighting the massacre of abortion is a much more urgent cause in the secular and political realm than any of those other issues.

Pro-choice and Cowardly

Let’s say 1 million people in our country, unknown to them, are being led away to their death. Now let’s say a national leader knows about this, but there are other national leaders who do not believe that people are being led away to their death. So the one national leader who does believe that people are going to die determines that the right thing to do is NOT stand up and proclaim his belief, try and convince others of what he believes, and ask others to forsake their belief and join him in his belief. Instead, this national leader determines that the right thing to do is to avoid imposing his views on others because they do not hold the same belief that he does. What would you call such a national leader?

Dr. Mohler has a great article on his blog today regarding the Joe Biden interview on Sunday’s “Meet the Press”. Mohler suggested a while back that it is his practice to get the “Meet the Press” podcast and listen to it every week to make sure he is aware of the political news items for the week. So that is what I do as well, since I received the generous gift of an iPod.

Biden made these comments in an answer to Tom Brokaw’s question about what Sen. Biden would say if Sen. Obama questioned him regarding the beginning of human life:

I’d say, “Look, I know when it begins for me.” It’s a personal and private issue. For me, as a Roman Catholic, I’m prepared to accept the teachings of my church. But let me tell you. There are an awful lot of people of great confessional faiths-Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others-who have a different view. They believe in God as strongly as I do. They’re intensely as religious as I am religious. They believe in their faith and they believe in human life, and they have differing views as to when life-I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception. But that is my judgment. For me to impose that judgment on everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout than I am seems to me is inappropriate in a pluralistic society.

So Biden says that he personally believes that life begins at conception. That is what he said. So if life begins at conception and over 45 million babies have been aborted at some point after conception then what is he going to do about it. This is serious. He is a Senator. Biden, by his own admission, believes that over 45 million babies have been killed by legalized abortion. What is he going to do about the killing of 45 million babies…He is NOT going to impose his religiously informed judgment on others because that is inappropriate in a pluralistic society. Do you believe that it is courageous for him to have such a view??? I don’t care if you are pro-choice or pro-life. Either way, you’ve got to have a problem with that. If a national leader believes that millions of lives are being ended yet they are unwilling to impose their judgments to try and stop this because we live in a pluralistic society – then they are cowardly, not courageous.

For most of the pro-choice people I know, I think it is safe to say (though to me it is totally unreasonable) that they believe that 45 million babies have been aborted for “justifiable” reasons. Whether it is justifiable in the name of personal privacy or “choice” or perhaps they say that an unborn child is not really a human life (although there are even secular science books that say otherwise and the more that science learns about the beginning of human life the more that this point of view becomes indefensible). I cannot fathom a justifiable reason to end the life of an unborn baby, but I will at least say that this is what they believe and this is how they try and excuse their position. They believe this and they stand up for it and they try and convince me otherwise and they want me to join their side. But Biden won’t even take this approach. He says he believes that abortion is the ending of a human life, but that it would be wrong for him to impose that belief on others – because that is inappropriate in a pluralistic society. So Biden’s solution is – don’t do anything to stop what he believes is wrong (unless he doesn’t have a problem with unborn babies being killed, which is a more horrifying prospect). That is cowardly, I don’t care if you are pro-life or pro-choice – that is cowardly.

Proverbs 24:10-12

If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?