Sunday, January 25, 2009

From Life, to Choice, To Economics: A New President and a Change in the Debate Over Life

Now that President Obama has been inaugurated, the issue of abortion has become more divisive and more front and center than it was during the election. Despite the many hopes and dreams of "change" and a new tone in Washington, the same old rhetoric remains. Obama has promised change, and in a way we are getting it. Rather than end the untold millions slaughtered through legalize abortion, our elected officials (not just President Obama) are doing all that they can to increase them, including using our hard-earned tax dollars to do so.

I have recently been appalled by the words of Obama's inaugural address. In his speech, he stated:


We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense. And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken -- you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you. (Applause.)

One of the first things the new President did as President was ensure the increase numbers of abortions. I find it hypocritical that Obama promises to defend America against those who slaughter innocents, and yet ensures the slaughter of the innocent. Apparently some among the living aren't worthy of life after all.

But the madness doesn't end there. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, 2nd in line to the Presidency behind the Vice-President mind you, has recently said that one of the best ways to fix our economy is to "reduce cost," and one of the best ways to reduce cost is to increase spending on family planning. By "family planning," Madam Speaker means to support abortion clinics and other similar resources. By reducing the number of births the state would save money by slaughtering the innocent among us. In other words, the less mouths our country has to feed, the more money we will save.

Should we really be surprised by this attack on the sanctity of life? Despite what Jim Wallis and others continue to blind themselves with, the next four years will not lead to a reduction in abortions. Rather, more millions of our countrymen will be slaughtered in droves.

The debate over abortion, it seems, has changed. Before, it was over the question of life. When did life begin? Then it became a debate over choice? Who has the right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body? Now, it seems to be an economic issue. Our economy is tumbling, how can we save money?

Abortion, then, is almost equivalent, at least it seems to me, to laying off workers at a factory. The number one way to reduce cost is to lay off workers. Likewise, a government that has only increased in size must find a way to reduce cost. One way is to eliminate the demand for government funds. To do so, government is encouraging death and murder. Hey, what's the big deal? Maybe the economy will grow after all . . . right?

The blood of the innocent is on our hands. Our culture has placed economic prosperity over life. Shame on us for putting our wallets before our hearts. Our money before our children. If is was change America wanted, it is change that we are getting. Choice is no reason for murder. May God help us fight against legalized murder in a nation that pride's itself on freedom and opportunity for all men, young and old, black and white, protestant and catholic, theist and atheist, male or female, born and unborn . . . well, scratch that last part.

__________
The following video is quit profound and should make us think. It should also be noted that this ad was rejected by NBC during the Superbowl.




Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Day of "See, I Told You So's"

Today is just one of those days. One of those days when you just can't help yourself from saying, "See, I told you so." Homosexuality and abortion remain the two hottest issues in America today. And they should be. One regards marriage and it's definition while the other regards life and who has the right to live. Over the years, I have laid out a Christian worldview on these issues and once again, the Bible has been proven itself right.

Man will do whatever he can to normalize, legalize, legislate, and enforce his sin. Whenever man is given an inch, he will take the rest of the road. This is why the debate over homosexuality and abortion are so important because the debate runs deeper than gay rights and woman rights. The root debate is over life and sex. To deny a woman's right to an abortion says a lot about what a culture believes about life. Thus euthanasia, infanticide, and other right to life issues become less prominent. Likewise, to deny homosexuals the right to marry affects the culture's continued depravity regarding other sexual issues.

Two things have been brought up today that have proven me right: 1) a pro-choice candidate will not limit abortions he will increase them and 2) polygamist will use the same arguments homosexuals did in hopes of gaining the same access and freedoms of homosexuals. Both are happening. And for both, I must say, "See, I told you so."

OBAMA'S POLICY TO INCREASE ABORTIONS:

The newly inaugurated President has used the 36 anniversary of Roe vs. Wade as his opportunity to make executive decisions that will increase the number of murdered innocents Americans. As if 50 million weren't enough!

Remember during the campaign those that promised that only a pro-choice candidate was the answer to the abortion deadlock. The argument was that Obama would support abortion reduction and would pass legislation that would lead to the reduction of murder. However, after just over 1 day in office, Obama has signed an executive order that will increase the number of abortions.

POLYGAMIST USE SAME ARGUMENTS AS HOMOSEXUALS:

Another lie we have been fed is that homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle that we should embrace while polygamy and other sexual abominations remain taboo. In other words, we should adopt homosexuality while rejecting, at least in terms of marriage, other sexual lifestyles.

However, I have made clear on a number of occasions that the same argument made by homosexual proponents can and will be made by proponents of polygamy and other sexual issues. And that is exactly what is happening.

Canada has adopted homosexuality into their culture, politics, and social life. Recently, Canada has arrested individuals who were breaking the law for practicing polygamy. The inmates have responded by suing defending their lifestyle using the same exact arguments homosexuals did.

And if the truth be told, they are exactly right. If we adopt homosexuality for the reasons given, then we have no reason to reject polygamy, lowering the age of consent, and other abominable lifestyles.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What Is To Be Our Response? Living as a Christian in an Obama Administration

In just a few minutes, the 44th President of the United States will be sworn into office. The election of Barack Obama is both historical and controversial. But as Christians, it is time that we begin to think how to respond and interact with the next four years. Barack Obama will oppose most of what social conservatives stand for: pro-life, the protection of marriage, the sanctity of life, etc.

I want to offer a few things that Christians must think of as we embark on the next 4 years.

PRAYER

The first and primary thing that Christians are called to do and that is to pray. Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy. 2:1 saying, "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lad a quit and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." It is clear then, that the response of all Christians, regardless of our leader, to make supplications, to give prayers, to interceded, and to give thanks to them.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr shows us how to pray on this day. He begins his prayer with:


We know that you and you alone are sovereign; that you rule over all, and that you alone are able to keep and defend us. We know that our times are in your hands, and that "the king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord" [Proverbs 21:1]. Our confidence is in you and in you alone. We come before you as a people who acknowledge our constant need for your provision, wisdom, and protection.


Father, we pray today for Barack Obama as he takes office as President of the United States. We pray that you will show the glory of your name in our times and in these days, confounding the wisdom of the wise, thwarting the plans of the arrogant, and vindicating those who do justice and practice righteousness.


Father, we pray with thanksgiving for the gift of government and the grace of civic order. Thank you for giving us rulers and for knowing our need for laws and ordered life together. Thank you for this nation and the blessings we know as its citizens. Thank you for freedoms unprecedented in human history. We understand that these freedoms come with unprecedented opportunities.


As Christians, we must remember that God brings glory to His name through anyone. I am reminded of King Cyrus of Persia and how God describes him as His "anointed one." It was not because Cyrus was righteous or God-fearing, but that God sovereignly used him to fulfill His purposes. Whenever we pray, it is a reminder that we are not the one that decides elections or chooses a president. God, and God alone, does that.

SUBMISSION

Paul also commands us to submit to government (Rom. 13). On the surface, this is pretty easy to do especially since we have had a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, openly Christian president. But what about a president in whom we have very little in common with.

First, we must be reminded that Jesus, Paul, and all of the first Christians never had a leader that agreed with them on anything. Even the apologist Justin Martyr pleaded with Caesar that Christians were their greatest ally because they sought peace and obedience, but they were still being killed.

And so as Christians, we are called to submit to the demands of government even whenever we disagree with them (policy speaking). If taxes are raised, we must pay them. If laws are passed, we must obey them. Why? Because God, in His sovereignty and providential care, has given us our President whether we like it or not. Truth is, God couldn't care less what we think. He has given us our President. Period.

But we must make our self clear. We are to submit to God first. Therefore, there are two instances in which submission and obedience to government must not be done. First, we must not submit/obey whenever government demands we do something that God has commanded us not to do. Secondly, we must not submit/obey whenever government demand we do not do something God has commanded us to do.

Scripture gives us a number of instances where believers did not obey (cf. Daniel, his three friends, Peter and John, and others). However, we must not be falsely looking for occasions to disobey. Chances are, none of us will be put in a situation that directly contradicts our submission to God.

ENGAGEMENT

Finally (and this is no exhaustive list), we must be willing to engage the new President and Congress. By this I mean that we must hold our government accountable, celebrate when they are right, correct them when they are wrong, while doing it with an attitude of love, grace, compassion, and concern.

This is perhaps the toughest part of being a Christian in a fallen culture. We are called to be light who place our trust in the gospel first and then politics. Oftentimes we confuse the two. We begin with politics thinking that it will bring about the spreading of the gospel. We must not fall for this trap. Christianity does have political implications, as does all worldviews. But we must begin with the heart, not the tax code.

CONCLUSION

As we begin the journey toward the next four years, let us act as Christians, not as angry Republicans/Democrats/Libertarians/or anything else. We seek to fulfill the Great Commission to the glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, let us not forget that we live in a dream world compared to the early Church. None of us have faced death in our country because of our faith. That day may come, but until then, let us not forget that though the early Church faced death, they continued to pray, submit, and engage their culture and their government.

We can learn a lot of them. But learning is only part of the equation. We must also live out what God has revealed. So today, let us pray for our new President hoping that God will glorify His name no matter who is sworn in every four years.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Proud Legacy For a President: The Sanctity of Life

Although most of the news over the past several weeks has been regarding the incoming administration (and rightly so), we must not forget that we still have a president in whom we elected and whose term has not officially ended. This is significant because amidst all of the excitement of the new administration and what the next four years will be like, an important event has taken place that is a reminder of who our current president is and how he will be remembered.

Today, President George W. Bush declared January 18, 2009 as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. The proclamation reads:


All human life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our country recognizes that each person, including every person waiting to be born, has a special place and purpose in this world. We also underscore our dedication to heeding this message of conscience by speaking up for the weak and voiceless among us.


The most basic duty of government is to protect the life of the innocent. My Administration has been committed to building a culture of life by vigorously promoting adoption and parental notification laws, opposing Federal funding for abortions overseas, encouraging teen abstinence, and funding crisis pregnancy programs. In 2002, I was honored to sign into law the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which extends legal protection to children who survive an abortion attempt. I signed legislation in 2003 to ban the cruel practice of partial-birth abortion, and that law represents our commitment to building a culture of life in America. Also, I was proud to sign the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, which allows authorities to charge a person who causes death or injury to a child in the womb with a separate offense in addition to any charges relating to the mother.


America is a caring Nation, and our values should guide us as we harness the gifts of science. In our zeal for new treatments and cures, we must never abandon our fundamental morals. We can achieve the great breakthroughs we all seek with reverence for the gift of life.


The sanctity of life is written in the hearts of all men and women. On this day and throughout the year, we aspire to build a society in which every child is welcome in life and protected in law. We also encourage more of our fellow Americans to join our just and noble cause. History tells us that with a cause rooted in our deepest principles and appealing to the best instincts of our citizens, we will prevail.


As is typical during Presidential transitions like this, our country begins to debate what the legacy of the outgoing president will be. President Bush has without a doubt been a controversial President and many vehemently do not like him and have disapproved of much he has done. Nevertheless, as we debate his legacy, one truth cannot be denied: the sanctity of life was precious and defended under him.

Over the past 8 years, the pro-life movement has gained a lot of ground. Sadly, however, the past 8 years of hard work will be diminished in a matter of days by the stroke of a pen. The incoming President's policies will destroy and turn the clock back on all that has been accomplished.

It seems fitting to me that one of the last things that the President will do before leaving office is to remind us of the sanctity of human life, whether born or yet still in the womb, whether handicap or elderly; all life is sacred.

Former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush made the same annual proclamation and during their presidency they celebrated the gift of life. Former President Bill Clinton, however, did not and it seems inevitable that President-elect Barack Obama will not either. Therefore, this will likely be the last celebration of the sanctity of life for at least the next 4 years.

This means that this years celebration is especially important. As a culture, and as President Bush's proclamation makes clear, we must celebrate and protect life. 2008, as has been said, was a banner year for those who celebrate death and it seems that the next 4 years will not be much different. But nonetheless, we must continue the fight for our future, our children, and our nation depends on it.

"...I will not revoke the punishment, because they have ripped open pregnant women..." -Amos 1:13

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Colson: The March of Death

Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, has written an article at his Breakpoint website marking 2008 as a great year for culture of death advocates. By culture of death, Colson defines what he means. This label includes: "euthanasia, assisted suicide, abortion, fetal experimentation, and even population control." I would add eugenics and infanticide to that definition.

Although part of me wants to say that Colson is sounding an alarm before there is a fire, I sadly cannot. Colson is exactly right. 2008 was a great year for the culture of death. Changes in the culture, society, politics, and debate have shifted. The major events that Colson marks include:


  • Washington State Passes "Death with Dignity Act" - this allows physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to their terminally ill patients.
  • Freedom of Choice Act - The Obama administration has promised during their campaign to enact the FOCA which would lead to a massive increase in abortion.
  • Embryonic Stem Cell Research - The new administration will also do all that it can to promote the use of human embryos for stem cell research.
  • “Right to Death” - In Luxemburg, legislators decided that the “right to death” was so important, that they stripped Grand Duke Henri of his constitutional right to veto legislation because he oppose a new euthanasia law.
  • Suicide Online - Britain’s Sky Network aired a documentary that showed the final minutes of the life of Craig Ewert as he killed himself.
  • Another Online Suicide - 19-year-old Florida man who committed suicide while some 1,500 viewers watched online. The video spread all over the Web like wildfire.
One could certainly find more examples, but these will do. Western culture has chosen death over life. Somehow, we have learned to put words like mercy, dignity, love, and compassion with words like death and suicide. And it seems that the next several years aren't going to get much better.

But I want to add two more to that list. First, the compromise of abortion reduction. I have written a number of articles on the subject of abortion reduction, but what concerns me most is that the charge to limit the number of abortions is being led by many of consider themselves Christian. We were told that the two sides must compromise and agree to give women the right to choose while at the same time encourage the reduction of abortion. The way to reduce the numbers is by dealing with economic issues and other issues.

The problem with abortion reduction, as we have mentioned before, is that this is no compromise. You cannot compromise on this issue. One who wants to defend life must reject this compromise because it still leads to the death of millions of unborn infants. Furthermore, how many deaths aren't too many? Isn't that the goal of abortion reduction. Rather than have the goal of ending murder, we'll just become content with a certain number? What is that number I ask?

It is telling about the change in the culture whenever Christians are leading in this charge. Perhaps it is fatigue and perhaps it is a difference in theology. Regardless, the Church, and the culture for that matter, should never ignore or compromise on the issue of death.

Secondly, the lie that there are more important issues than life. We were told this pass election cycle that issues like the economy, the environment, and foreign policy are more important than life. Again, many who consider themselves Christians led in this charge. Those who defend life were lectured in 2008 that abortion and similar issues are less important this time around. Maybe whenever we fix our economy, we can elect officials that agree with us.

But are they more important than life? There will be no economy without life. There will be no saving the planet without life. Life to culture and society as water is to life. It is telling whenever issues over life and death take a back seat in the public square. It not only reveals our lust for blood but shows that most in the West care more about their bank account than they do about their brother.

Colson is right. 2008 was a great year for right to die advocates. But the war is not over. Christians and those who defend life must not give up. Fatigue is not an excuse for laziness in this regard. Colson calls upon the Church to pray and to continue the fight. Such action is required. Let us pray for repentance and that God might open our eyes to the many sins of our culture. And let the Church lead in the charge in this fight. For the gospel is pro-life. God looked at our miserable state and redeemed us, and He was willing to die so that we won't have to.

In 2010, let us look back and say the contrary of what we must admit today, 2009 was the year that everything changed and life was celebrated once more.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Marriage of Faith And Fame: Tim Tebow and the Glory of God

Last year, I wrote an article discussing the success of Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow after he won the Heisman Trophy and how he was almost aborted. A year later, Tebow continues to have great success and although not winning the Heismann again, he did win another national championship. It is amazing to think what we would have missed if Tebow's mother had listened to her doctors and aborted her son. It makes one wonder what and who we have missed and will miss as a result of abortion.

But Tebow's testimony goes beyond his birth. His parents were missionaries overseas and Tebow continues to live out his faith publically, even in the midst of the many temptations that come with football success. Having the verse John 3:16 on his eye black is not the level of depth of Tebow's witness and influence. It goes much deeper than that. Tebow uses his success and influence beyond pop-Christianity.

First, Tebow spends every summer in the Philipines with the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association and presents kids and others with the message of the gospel. Furthermore, Tebow visits many prisons and other institutions encouraging the needy, the outcast, and the helpless.

For spring break last year, Tebow gathered a number of his college friends and returned to the Philippines with his dad visiting a number of orphanages, speaking with students, and conducting medical clinics with the hopes of sharing the gospel with as many as possible. According to reports, Tebow reached over 7,000 people and many made a decision to follow Christ.

There is more that can be added and much of what Tebow has done has been chronicled. It is refreshing to see a student convicted by his faith and using his gifts and influences for the glory of God. Tebow is more than just a good football player. He is a Christian who is giving God glory through the skills that His Savior has given Him for the purpose of furthering the Kingdom.

There is no wishy-washy Jesus believer here. Tebow is not someone who is deep in his faith on Sunday and engulfed in the world on Saturday. Tebow is certainly not perfect and he would be the first to tell us that, but he is certainly someone that we can all admire and be grateful for. Here is someone who has married his faith with his fame all for God's glory.

Tebow's career continues to climb. Regardless of his decision this year, Tebow will one day play in the NFL and make more money in a year than I will see in a lifetime. Nonetheless, Tebow knows that despite all the fame, the money, the success, the prestige, and everything else that comes with being a star quarterback, he is a sinner saved by grace - God's unmerited favor. No touchdown pass could buy it. No visit to an orphanage could earn it.

In the end, Tebow is no different than the rest of us who have put our trust in Christ. We are all sinners saved by God's unmeritted favor. Except that for many of us, we refuse to give God the glory in our life whereas he has mastered it.