Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Heart of Abortion

If we want abortion to end we must strike at the heart of abortion—rebellion of women against God.  

Most pro-lifers focus their compassionate lens on rescuing women—wooing them, giving them "reason" to "choose" life for their baby, providing a loving place where they can feel safe—viewing the abortion bound female as a victim.  They do everything in their power to keep the conversation positive and non-judgmental. But in reality they fail to tell them the truth—sadly this approach will most likely always deny them the gospel as well! This type of thinking will lead the pro-lifer to completely lose sight of the true victim in every abortion—the precious little baby being ripped to pieces!  

While there are women (mostly teens or those enslaved in prostitution) who are pressured to abort through a situation out of their control, most women boldly walk through the doors of Planned Parenthood and other abortuaries with full knowledge of what they are doing.  They want an "Abortion on Demand and Without Apology!" because they love their sin more then they love their child! It may at times be fed by fear or regret, but it is sin all the same!  And the only answer for sin is repentance from it!

As Christians we must focus on the violation of God's Law: “Do no murder” (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17).   But we cannot hold the light of the law and gospel truth up to our society in the context of abortion only to neglect God's Word when it comes to the biblical mandated role of a mother (Titus 2:5).  For it is here, at this very point, we find the foundation cracked.  To turn even slightly from God's established order will cause breakdown—if not immediately, it will come eventually.  

America no longer holds to any moral standard in marriage, in the home, in school, and now (I type with horror) even in some churches.  Abortion on demand.  This "success" for women was not gained overnight.  It was a gradual process of elimination:  eliminating God's authority!

God treasures babies; He calls them “His reward”. No pregnancy is an accident, whether it was planned or not! God opens and closes the womb, and He declares that “children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3)! 

Abortion is the greatest violator, not only of the womb, but to the entire body, mind, and spirit of a woman! It brings destruction to mother and child. In utter rebellion, abortion demands control of one’s own life and offers innocent blood to the god of self to retrieve it!

This is best articulated from the mouth of the nation's most notorious late-term abortionist Curtis Boyd: "What drove me [to become an abortion doctor] was the knowledge that an unplanned pregnancy could ruin a woman's life. I realized that when it came to pregnancy, women were at a significant disadvantage." (1)

This statement wraps up the “true heart” of women who abort their children, and sadly, one that many Christians have embraced as well! 

Mothers have been given a very high calling indeed; they are entrusted with the lives of future generations. God gives great worth to a mother’s role. Why would a woman ever seek for ways to free herself from such a tremendous part to play? Because she has swallowed a lie!  The lie that she knows best!  It is only through the subtle deceit of our enemy that such a lie is believed in the church. 

Believing that we “know better” than the Almighty is a sin. Sin is rebelling against God’s law and that will always produce failure. Failure just happens to be the synonym of abort. 

A mother who chooses to put the value of her life over the value of her child’s life will easily walk into an abortion mill and choose to “terminate her pregnancy.” It is also true for women who choose to carry to term but allow self to produce a neglect of born children—choosing the pleasure of money and/or position and/or career over their God-given duty of nurturing their children in the home. Oh, but the craftiness of Satan to deceive the church in the area of reproduction—choosing not to get pregnant at all. 

Demanding that we know the “right time” or “right number” or “right financial status” more than our Creator is taking too much into our hands. It is robbing God of His right. It is arrogant. Not only are we slapping the Eternal Giver in the face, but if we use such means as chemical birth control we are not just preventing conception—we are at times preventing implantation. We are aborting our children.  Christians who claim to love the unborn and desire to live a life pleasing the Lord, are aborting their children!

Let us pray that mothers everywhere will embrace their God-created role and not demand the right to dodge their responsibility. Let us pray that mothers will receive their high calling with joy and thanksgiving—rejoicing in the Lord “alway” (Philippians 4:4). Alway! If we would but conform our will to God’s revealed word we would do great damage to the abortion industry! Let it start in the household of Faith—and then let us “go to a world that is dying” spiritually, mentally, physically, morally, nationally “His perfect salvation to bring!”


Friday, April 26, 2013

Who Holds the Gavel?

Judging Righteously

My husband and I get a lot of genuine questions sent to us regarding our Front Line ministry to the unborn but it is the amount of rude comments and/or judgmental accusations that we are being too judgmental thrown our way by fellow Christians that really get us scratching our heads. 

Abortion is an explosive topic in our society and the subject is impregnated with politics.  I understand that.  But the problem doesn't lie there…it lies in the  fact that too many believers have chosen to travel the easy road called “not getting involved” in order to not risk offending someone. Although they believe abortion is wrong they would never want to impose their moral opinions on somebody else—they say, "The people you are talking to don't believe in God anyway, so you shouldn't use His word in your debate." First off, this is not a debate. We are told in scripture that the Law of God is written on the heart of man, it is man that has suppressed the truth through his rebellion—it is our job to declare God's standard of righteousness to a vile generation.  But most Christians in today's world would rather live out their faith without creating conversations that might involve conflict. 

My husband and I do not seek offense with any person but desire to always answer in a respectful and Christ-like manner—we are fully aware that many people:

¬ are disturbed by protesters associated with the likes of the Westboro Baptist Church and want nothing to do with such haters (and rightly so),
¬ have sadly experienced hypocrisy in the church and are wounded by condescension  (or taking up an offense of someone else that has been wounded), or
¬ are simply ignorant of what Scripture actually teaches. 

The latter is all too commonly the case!  In fact, it is knowing what the Scripture teaches that will make nil and void the first two reasons for not engaging in public square evangelism—calling sinners to repentance!  "Because others have done it/are doing it wrong!" is never an excuse to not boldly do that which Scripture commands!

The truth is, God has already passed judgment and He has commissioned the church to let people know what that judgment is.  How else would mothers turn from abortion, how else would souls be saved from Hell? We do not stand outside of abortion mills to personally judge according to our own opinion; we go to warn those going in that God has already spoken plenty on the subject.  Plenty! 

It is extremely easy to quote scripture out of context and form a belief that is erroneous to the whole of the Book.  I’m sure you’ve heard them, or maybe you have used them.  Like this famous line, “it is not our job to judge!”   And how about this one, “a sinner judging another sinner is #*^@$%” (actual quote)!   That heated statement (made by a professed Christian) is based on Scripture misapplied.  The passage (from which all this rhetoric stems) is as follows: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1-2). 

The Lord addressed “the hypocrite” in his earthly ministry many times—but before we start name calling and drawing nasty conclusions, let’s make sure we define hypocrisy in the same manner our Lord did.  Jesus did not characterize a “hypocrite” as being a sinner pointing out the sin in another, but a sinner who did not allow the Holy Spirit’s work in his own life pointing out the sin in another.   Jesus is teaching us how to point out sin—He is not telling us to stop!  Jesus is teaching us how to judge according to His judgment and reminding us of our own tendency to sin along the way.  It keeps us humble.  It gives us proper passion and the desire to see others come to the Savior.

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thin own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye" (Matthew 7:3-5).

When we stand and proclaim truth at an Abortion Mill we are judging that life is precious and worth protecting—that the life of every person, no matter how small, is of great value.  And those women, men, doctors, nurses, and people driving by who yell out obscenities, or just act put out that we are “all up in their business” and accuse us of judging…well, ya, they are also judging.  By their words and actions they judge life to be cheap and something to casually throw away—casually murder away.  They judge that life has no value. 

According to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew, those who declare life will receive life—“for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.”  And those who demand death will receive death—for “with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” 

God commands His people to speak up.  In the book of Romans, Paul asks a series of questions which lead up to the most amazing conclusion—God intends to use man to warn man!  Yes, that is right…fallen, imperfect, sinful man to preach His gospel to fallen, imperfect, sinful man!

"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed" and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher" And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:14-15).

Sadly, Christians give love an unprecedented part to play in declaring what is right.  God’s love is bound to the truth—it is not bound to a feeling!  My husband says “always speak the truth in love—but always speak the truth!” 

Just because you witnessed a fellow believer speak harshly to an individual, or arrogantly raise himself above the consequence of the law when putting someone in their place, does not negate your own duty to speak!  Regarding the topic of abortion, God clearly demands your voice—“Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy"(Proverbs 31:8-9). God commands us to let others know what He already declares concerning  the murder of innocent blood!  

The point is, we will judge, there is no getting around that fact.  Let’s just make sure we are passing the right judgment!  

Another common problem Christians have with our stand is founded on an improper use of the word compassion—with the idea that women seeking abortions have been victimized, are running from the hypocrites of the church, have had no moral training, are scared of being disowned with no one to turn to, etc…  And then, “there you are telling them that what they are doing is wrong—pushing them farther away from God.”  No compassion.  No understanding of where they are coming from.  “You really should get to them before you meet them at the door of the abortion clinic”—somehow minister to them before they find themselves pregnant?  “Your message comes across too pharisaical!" “Abortion is murder—is too hard a statement!”  It might get their attention...might hurt their feelings…might tell them the truth…might rescue them from a lifetime of guilt...might save a life from being slaughtered in cold blood?

In Ephesians chapter 4, Paul exhorts the church to “put on the new man” and therefore, (performing that action) man will be putting away all sin. The new man is made after God and is characterized by “righteousness and true holiness”—two attributes we would never gain through our own efforts, no matter how hard we tried. But they are what is required to satisfy a righteous and holy God! When it comes to the thoughts and intents of my heart (for out of this reservoir flows all my behavior) I must not rely upon my own understanding. I must take myself and set it aside! And then I must pick up the “new man” and clothe my mind and my will and my emotions with the garment of God’s absolute truth.

Our feelings, “compassions”, or preferences must never dictate our responses. Therefore, we might need to hold out on them—we might need to sit on them for a bit…and take time to consider if God would agree with what we think and feel is appropriate.

“Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord.” This plea comes after a rather disturbing discourse on God’s disgust over Israel’s actions. He wanted nothing to do with Israel’s appearance anymore. With strong language, God tells them that their sacrifices and feasts were a trouble to Him—“My soul hateth [them]…I am weary to bear them” (1:14). “Come now,” He says, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (1:18). Our Lord wants nothing to do with “obedience” if our hearts are tainted and rebellious. No matter how holy our words and actions appear they are a stench in His nostrils. He longs for those who seek Him with a whole heart. He desires humility! With humility we are promised “the good of the Land,” but a stubborn refusal to submit to God’s standard will guarantee “the sword” (1:19-20).

We must ask Christ to be an intricate part of every thought and every action—“Lord is this what I should think, say, do…is this glorifying to your Name…is this what your Word teaches?” We must allow Scripture the influence over our feelings, compassions, and preferences FIRST…and then allow those God-given emotions to be used for His glory!  They were given to us in order to motivate our response not to decide it. Without consideration we would never see a need. Without passion we would never speak out. Without sensitivity we would never work with those who required help.

But misplaced emotions—and the actions that can come from them—may actually hinder the work of the Lord. 

There are women (a few, I might add) who seek abortion out of shame, or fear of getting caught in their sin and are walking toward the clinic wishing for someone to show them a way out.  Their hearts are tender and receptive right away to the truth.  We rejoice when this happens and are so grateful that we were there to reap the harvest.  Oh, that there were counselors on sidewalks at every clinic every single day that one is open for business. 

But mostly we find women seeking abortion because they are skirting responsibility, being pressured by a boyfriend (misplacing the loyalty they should have for their own baby onto a fragile romance), or sadly, too often (married and unmarried), they just do not want to be burdened with a child.  This pregnancy was not planned and allowing it to continue will mess up their comfortable reality or future dreams.  Granted, they have buried their feelings—their natural affection—but buried they have, so deep and for so long, that the truth is now suppressed. "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness" (Ephesians 4:18-18).  I have been literally amazed with what comes out of the mouths of women.

Our hearts go out in tenderness to even the most hardened of hearts—we desire for them to know God’s incredible mercy.  That mercy comes only through realizing their sin and repenting of it.  Let us never forget that God is the One who brings change and redemption to a heart—even a heart that was closed.  We live in a pagan society, surrounded by people who worship the god of self.  I have yet to have a woman look shocked when I show her a picture of a baby in utero, or not believe me when I tell her that her child’s heart was beating even before she was aware she were pregnant—quite the opposite.  They know!  They call it exactly what it is.  Murder.  They have been indoctrinated through a pagan culture, wicked media, godless schools, lack of parenting, negative peer pressure, and a million other wicked venues!  Our society, on a whole, is believing a lie—and God is giving them over to their own lusts. They are hardened to the point of their own destruction. It is only the true message of the Gospel that will change them.  This religion of self has also crept into our churches as well.  Oh, shame on the church who will not confront sexual sin in its congregation—doing everything it can to keep personal conviction far from those who sit in the pews.  Much of the American church has embraced the throw-away society—it has quit desiring children as God’s reward and loves pleasure over sacrifice. 

Believers are never given licence to be rude, proud, arrogant, condescending, hurtful, or disrespectful no matter how gross the sin they are addressing in another—but even when spoken with ardent love and blessed kindness on the lips, truth will most likely offend.  That is why this ministry is bathed in prayer.  That is why spiritual introspection and personal confession is so vital"I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin" (Psalm 32:5). We "open our mouths" because we are commanded to—we leave the conviction and correction to the Holy Spirit and plead with God in prayer for souls to be saved and babies rescued from death!

My husband and I will go stand at abortion mills and we will plead for the sake of the children who will be murdered that day.  Our hearts will continue to break over the atrocity happening in our own city!  And we will continue declaring the truth of “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3)—no matter the cost!    

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Our Sorrow Satisfied

Are you ever hit hard with the word why?  

Whether I am just entering a "time of trouble" or have long processed the effect one has had on me the resounding why fills my head at times with all sorts of questions that desire most earnestly to be answered.  
Although my heart may be fully surrendered to God's plans, purposes, and timing the grief, heartache, or just plain confusion that accompanies my difficulty wants to know!  

It wants to know why?  

This last week I was rather undone by extreme sadness and felt my heart would break all over again with the loss of my tiny, little baby.  The pain welled up inside of me and slowly escaped through tears and quiet sobs...that nagging, ever-to-be-answered word why would not stop pounding around in my head?  

Why is it I can't hold, raise, get to know my sweet son? Why is it I can't still be filled with anticipation of his arrival, why did I have to put away all the things we would need to care for him
—things I had joyfully placed by a basinet?  Why can't he be tucked away safely inside of me...36 weeks inside my womb?  Why?  Why did you take him from me, Lord?

They poured forth without any hindrance!     

Asking why has the potential of two very opposite realities: it can rob us of peace or give us opportunity to hear God's specific word.  It is not wrong to ask why. God welcomes our honest questions. But it is wrong not to take the time to listen to His answer and accept it!  A sincerity on our part is vital if we are to not give way to bitterness.  It is not that we are resisting His sovereign purpose or the truth that "all things work together for good"it is that, quite naturally, our grief has a need to be satisfied! The need for balance, for a logical explanation, gnaws away at our core.  And believing that Christ is the only One Who can satisfy our sorrow will drive us to our knees and beg for Him to speak!

I wanted comfort, an ease to the painand the desire to get away with the Lord and find succor
 in Him alone.  I knew I would find it in His word.  He offers Himself freely to all who long to settle into His resta promised rest, even in the midst of a turbulent sea.  I needed that rest!

I was in the book of Job for my daily scheduled reading and I wished it wasn't so.  The thought of delving into a dry, careless dialogue from men who thought they knew everything did not bring me any relief and I foolishly thought I would find no consolation from that sad story.  But God directed me to start reading right where I had left off.

As only the Lord canthe ONE intimately acquainted with all of my waysHe spoke to me in a most powerful voice!  I asked my questions...and He righteously and faithfully spoke!  He reminded me over and over of who He is and that He is closely acquainted with all the things in my life that are hardand then gave me wonderful composition to form both prayer and praise back to Him.  

"Whence cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?  Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.  Destruction and death say, we have heard the fame thereof with our ears..." (Job 29:20-22).  

Yes, Lord, how can I know!?  Will the knowledge of my loss always be hidden from my eyes?  Will you ever see fit to tell me why?  Or 
is it even your purpose to let me know?  I asked as if my only source of contentment was found in knowing—thankfully true contentment is found in something quite deeper and much better!  Job's own need for consolation came in the next verse—it was my answer as well!

"God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof.  For He looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole of heaven...He made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: then did He see it, and declare it; He prepared it, yea, and searched it out..." These were precious verses to me.  I was quietly sitting still in front of my Lord.  Bowed low.  He was allowing my tears to fall on His feet. And He was choosing to bow Himself, down to where my misery dwelt, and speak directly to my hurt.

Thank you, Lord, for putting the prayer into my mouth...the words onto my very lips...especially when praise did not know what to say!  When I am naturally mute before the Lord, if I am willing to learn, He will graciously teach me how to speak righteously.  

"You do understand, Lord, You know every little detail of my heart...and that is enough to bring me comfort."  

"Oh, Lord!  You made a decree! child's life, my own, was your idea. You made a way for my son.  You saw William (You knew William); You declared his conception; You prepared my womb for his shelter and development; and You searched out his dayshow many he would have, the purpose for which he would live them, and his eternity!"  

"And unto [his grieving mama] He said, BEHOLD the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom!" (Job 29:23-28).  And God gently whispered, "that is the answer to your why!

Wisdom is knowledge, right?  Knowing!  God is worthy to be feared.  That is all the explanation I need.  That is my answer!  That alone was given to me to bring fulfillment, relief to my sadness.  And that was enough.  It is always enough.

God never promises to remove our pain, but He does promise to bring ease and safe passage through the entire storm, reasons to hope it will one day pass, and motivation to thank Him for even this.

I needed that comfort, that word to behold God's complete knowledge and fear Him for it.  I needed to know where to place my ever racing mind.  

Does your mind drive you wild with grief this morning?  Do you own a lonely longing to know why He has allowed your trouble?  Maybe you just long for peace, an end to the endless questions?  Do you want to know why He hasn't taken it away?  Find the stillness, that calm you desire, in Him!  I pray you will know that wordthat you would "behold" the knowledge of His wisdom and fear Him for it.  

It is a comfortable place!  It is a most sacred place!  

And remember that He will be there tomorrow; He will be there next month or next year or even the very next moment.  He will be there whenever you are overtaken with the need to have your sorrow satisfied!  He is always there!