Will Abortion Go Away?


The great news is that abortion, in all likelihood, will no longer be the law of the land in the US. Many Constitutional scholars believe that the US Supreme Court will decide now what the Court in 1973 should have decided: that there is no “right to privacy” granted by the Constitution, and therefore, there is no federal protection for abortion.

What conservatives might not realize—there is also no Constitutional prohibition of abortion laws either. Rather, it’s up to each state to decide what they want for their people.

Some states have already moved to put limitations on abortions, and undoubtedly others will as well if the “landmark” Roe v Wade ruling is overturned. But there are others that may take a stand for abortion that will, in essence, threaten the very lives of new born infants. I learned today that some states are crafting legislation that includes language referring to post-natal infants and the “right” to euthanize them up to a month after birth. This is nothing short of infanticide.

People who see nothing wrong with killing a baby are actually playing out the logical end to their belief that humans are nothing special. We are just animals, which some people kill because they are harmful or inconvenient or good to eat. Babies are the same, though perhaps short of the “good to eat” category. Not short of the, “we need your stem cells category,” however.

Further, in states like California there is already pressure on pregnancy crisis centers that advocate for alternatives to abortion (adoption, support for single moms), so it’s foreseeable that more will be done to disadvantage such a center while promoting a planned parenthood organization that actually is all about selling abortions and transgender procedures. (Yes, I recently learned that Planned Parenthood facilitates gender change as part of their “services.”)

If the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v Wade, as many think will happen, the fight over abortion will not be over. Rather the issue will now be decided, as far as the legality issue is concerned, at the state level. Some states may allow voters to decide. Others will pass laws in their legislatures. The point is, in red or blue or purple states, abortion will become a focal point.

And actually, real human lives hang in the balance.

To be sure, in some states abortions may increase. But in others, the very inconvenience of having to travel to a different state, may deter some young girls from getting abortions.

The key now is to prepare. Believers who understand that God forms every human being, that we are created in His image, that He regards each life as precious, must support those ideas with Scripture. This discussion should not be a he-said/she-said argument. Christians have God’s authoritative word to undergird our ideas.

Then, too, preparation must involve prayer. Every believer can pray. And we must come boldly before the throne of grace to find help for these crucial decisions. Pray that God will be glorified in each decision. Pray that He will work to bring an end to the violence against the unborn, and that He will protect the newly born in those places that might now target them. Pray that He opens the eyes of those who do not believe humans are uniquely made in the image of God. That would change a lot of hearts, I think. Pray that people on the fence will make a decision for life and not for death, since that’s actually what’s at stake.

Published in: on April 11, 2022 at 3:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Abortion: And Then There Is This


For years the issue of abortion has basically lain dormant. After all, Roe v Wade. That settled the issue, right?

Lots of people thought so, until President Trump appointed two conservative Justices to the Supreme Court—those who looked at law through a conservative or “strict constructionist” lens. Meaning they believe laws should be judged by their adherence to the Constitution as the Framers intended. No “living document” extrapolation or Justices legislating from the bench. Which, of course, is why President Biden has assigned a committee to look into expanding the number of Justices on the Court. From nine to thirteen, I think. Meaning he could appoint four liberal judges who would see the Constitution in the same light as the progressives do.

But all that is a side point, yet it explains why there has recently been some kickback against the Roe v Wade ruling in state legislatures, notably in Texas. As I understand it, Texas passed a law that made abortion only legal until the heartbeat of the baby could be detected, which generally is around the six-weeks mark. The pro-abortionists are up in arms.

There has been some effort to get Congress to pass a sweeping “abortion protection” law which would mean that states could no longer pass restrictions and that abortion would be legal at any point during a pregnancy, if a medical professional determines that a pregnancy would be harmful to the mother’s health, including her mental health. (in other words, a friend who is a nurse could say, I see you are dreading having a baby. For your mental health, you should get an abortion. This approach could also include aborting a baby because the parent wants a boy instead of a girl or vice versa.) So far, I don’t think that bill is getting any traction.

To be honest, I care most about what the Bible has to say about abortion, or more accurately, about the existence of life in the womb. Now, in the 21st Century, we have the science to know that life does in fact begin at conception. But apparently that isn’t enough for abortionists. They want this life to be viable, or valuable, or somehow meaningful. Expanded to its logical conclusion, that position would also mean that a child, teen, or adult who is not viable—the disabled, for instance—or valuable or living a life society concludes is meaningful, could one day be treated in the same way as the newly formed baby in a mother’s womb.

But again, what matters most is what the Bible says. And it says a lot. At least, more than most people think. Probably the most well-known passage is in Psalm 139 in which David said  in v 13, “For You created my innermost parts;/You wove me in my mother’s womb.”

There are at least 14 other such passages. Some are admittedly troubling, like Psalm 58:3-4: “The wicked have turned away from the womb;/These who speak lies go astray from birth./They have venom like the venom of a serpent;/Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear.” So God knows wicked people even when they are in the womb. That certainly undermines the idea of “innocent children” or the popular modern idea that babies are “clean slates.”

On the flip side, a number of people in Scripture were called by God while in their mother’s womb. Samson, for instance, was called to be a Nazarite while he was in his mother’s womb, recorded for us in Judges 13:5. Isaiah also mentions more than once people, including himself, being formed in the womb. He culminated this point by saying he was also called from his mother’s womb: “The LORD called Me from the womb;/From the body of My mother He named Me.” (49:1b)

The list continues, including Jeremiah, the Apostle Paul, and an unnamed Psalmist who wrote Psalm 71:6, “I have leaned on you since my birth;/You are He who took me from my mother’s womb;/My praise is continually of You.”

But the greatest example, I believe, is John the Baptizer. Many Christians know that John’s mother, Elizabeth was an older woman, past the age of giving birth, yet God miraculously enabled her to get pregnant. She was six months along in her pregnancy, when a young relative of hers, named Mary, was also miraculously impregnated. Mary was a virgin and her Child was implanted in her womb by God.

When an angel told Mary this would take place, he also mentioned that Elizabeth, who was beyond child-bearing years was also pregnant. In fact she was entering her third trimester. Mary left her home and went to Elizabeth. Did she want verification? Did her parents send her to help out? We don’t know her motive for going, but she stayed there for three months, right up until the time that Elizabeth would have her baby.

But here are the important parts of this story. First, an angel told John’s dad, Zacharias, that John would be, much like Samson, special even before he was born:

your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice over his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb.  (Luke 1:13b-15, emphasis added)

So, here’s little unborn baby John, full of the Holy Spirit, and along comes Mary, barely pregnant.

she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit . . . . “behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. ” (vv 40b, 41 and 44)

I could be wrong here, but I suggest that the unborn John, full of the Holy Spirit, responded in joy to the little life growing inside Mary. In other words, a little life which had only just days earlier begun to form. It’s possible John was joyful because of Mary’s arrival. But clearly, the Holy Spirit within him made it clear that Mary wasn’t just another relative come to see his mom. This young woman was already special. And what made her different? She had a special life growing inside her. She was carrying the Son of God.

So here are two unborn children at two different stages of development. They were as valuable then as they would be after they were born. They both had to go through childhood and learn and grow before they entered into the ministries God had for them, one as the Baptizer, the other as the Savior. But clearly their formative years included those beginning moments inside their mothers wombs.

Christians don’t need to wonder what God says about the beginning of life. The Bible makes it clear.

Published in: on October 21, 2021 at 4:47 pm  Comments (5)  

The Ups And Downs Of The Straight And Narrow


A Reprise.

Life is often compared to a path leading from one place to another. Jesus used the picture of a road in one of His teaching sessions to describe the journey to life or to destruction. The first has a small gate and is narrow. The latter has a wide gate and a broad road.

Elsewhere in Scripture the path God wants us on is described as straight. For example, Jeremiah 31:9b says

I will make them walk by streams of waters,
On a straight path in which they will not stumble (emphasis mine)

While many are familiar with the road metaphor and may even know of the narrow versus broad comparison or the straight versus crooked analogy, fewer of us realize that this road is as much like a roller coaster than anything else. Scripture is filled with examples of people who experienced great success only to turn around and encounter great adversity.

Elijah is one example. He experienced a great success when he confronted Baal’s prophets, and God proved Himself true. He followed this showdown by seeing God answer his prayer to bring an end to the three-and-a-half-year drought. But what happened next? Jezebel threatened to kill him, and he ran for his life.

Jesus experienced this roller coaster more than once. Right after He was baptized–a spiritual high point–He spent forty days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan. I’d call that a spiritual low point, if ever there was one.

There are even several of these high/low experiences connected to the Christmas story. After the magi made their visit, Herod, in his jealousy, attempted to kill this prophesied Messiah. Because of God’s warning in a dream, Joseph was able to steal away with his little family and head into Egypt. But back in the region of Bethlehem, male babies under the age of two were slaughtered. Part of the Christmas story, then, is the weeping and wailing of Rachel, lamenting for her children.

Thus says the Lord,
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
Lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
She refuses to be comforted for her children,
Because they are no more.” (Matthew 2:18 quoting Jeremiah 31:15)

Of course the ultimate up and down ride connected to Christmas is that Jesus left the glories of heaven to be born as this sweet baby boy for the purpose of dying. But His death is the very means of life for all who believe in Him. Talk about a roller coaster!

No surprise, then, that life holds ups and downs for each of us. Not forever, though. There will be a day when the rough places will be made plain, when the mountains will be brought low and the valleys exalted.

Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 40:5)

This post is a reprint of one that first appeared here in December, 2012.

Published in: on September 25, 2018 at 4:56 pm  Comments Off on The Ups And Downs Of The Straight And Narrow  
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Everlasting Life Changes Everything


One of the issues that’s come up in some of the discussions I’ve had with the FB group promoting dialogue between theists and atheists, is our attitude toward life. In one thread the topic of abortion came up, though the originator of the post hadn’t intended that aspect to take center stage. The thinking of many of the atheists fit closely with their belief in relative morality—if society says abortion is OK, then it’s OK. Because . . . no soul. An aborted fetus would not know existence, so it can’t miss something it doesn’t know about.

In another conversation, the idea that the Christian has a different outlook because of the hope for life after this life, became very apparent. To the atheists, anything that God allows that brings suffering is considered His moral failure, because this life is all we have. There’s no point to suffering that conforms us to the image of Jesus Christ, because they don’t believe there’s anything beyond the grave.

The point is simple. Belief in everlasting life has an enormous affect on a person’s world view. It can dictate what a person thinks about abortion, euthanasia, suffering, the purpose of life, the death of a loved one, views on a “just war,” and more.

Because, put simply, if this is the only life we have, and it comes to an end when this body stops breathing and the brain waves cease, then this body, this life is the one we ought to value above all else. But if this body merely houses an eternal soul, then what happens to the soul should be of supreme importance.

Maybe other people have known all along that this fundamental rift exists between theists and atheists, but I don’t think I did. I’ve said more than once, we Christians are no different than any other sinner. And I think that’s true on one level. But that doesn’t mean that we think the same way.

Oh, sure we may all reason, and study, and deduce the same (though often Christians are accused of somehow turning off our logic), but our fundamental starting places are different. Think about geometry, if you ever had to take the subject in school. At some point you had to use the laws of geometry to construct certain “proofs.” You had a starting place known as a “given” and from that to a stated conclusion, you had to show how the laws of geometry, lead you to the conclusion.

But what if not everyone in the class had the same “given” statement? Could you all successfully prove the desired conclusion? Of course not. A “given” is a statement that needs no proof, either because it is fundamental, like a definition, or because it is a measurement made before hand. So a problem might start by saying, if A, B and C are points on a line (definition), and AB=BC (a predetermined measurement).

However, if some of the class have a different “given,” the steps they take and the conclusion they reach will be very different from everyone else. What if their “give” stated AB=BC-2? Clearly, a starting point that is skewed, can’t arrive at the same conclusion.

In the same way, the important things in life like purpose and values and destination and significance, hinge on what a person understands about life and life after life.

In that regard, theists do have a common starting point—and that point is very different from the one atheists have.

The stark differences between theists and atheists do make for lively debate, I’ll accede to that. But I question if there’s much else we can ever agree upon if some of us believe humans have souls and some don’t.

We won’t think the same about “animal rights,” for instance, or human rights either. Although, I continue to believe that much of the beliefs that those who reject God hold, come from Christian underpinnings.

No one can tell me, for instance, why one person should sacrifice himself for another, as did those teachers at the horrific school shooting last week. Why would they do that, if their life would come to an end? Did they think a young life was more valuable than an old life? On what basis? Or did they act because of some other reason, some other fundamental belief? Would atheists ever sacrifice themselves for another? If so, why?

I tend to think Christianity has informed our society so that sacrifice is something we admire, that we incorporate into our own thinking, whether we embrace Christ or not.

As far as practical take-away from this idea, I think those who do believe that life will continue after this life (and a 2014 Pew Research study indicates that’s as high as 72% of Americans), need to think seriously about that next life, that everlasting life. What, where, and how are questions that come to mind.

Of course those are beyond the scope of scientific study. We’re trafficking now in the realm of the spiritual. And it seems to me to be a wise investment of time to nurture our spiritual life even more than we do our physical life.

Published in: on February 19, 2018 at 5:34 pm  Comments (6)  
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Thanks And Another Shooting


I’m starting to lose track of all the mass shootings, but I think the massacre in the church yesterday makes three in the last two months.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Oh, sure, we still have a few weeks to pump ourselves back into the “holiday spirit.” You know, when we celebrate Family, Food, and Football.

And what’s happened to Thanksgiving? You know, the one with historical roots that grew out of gratitude?

I try to imagine what those early Americans thought when they held those early feasts. I suspect it was relief as much as anything. They had withstood. They had enough food to make it through the winter. They were going to live.

Today, we so seldom have our backs to the wall like that. Our greatest vulnerability is not the uncertainty of supplying food for the table. Generally our issues are less certain: hurricanes or tornadoes in their season, wild fires, drive-by shootings, gunmen in concerts and churches, hit-and-run drivers.

But I wonder. Though the circumstances are very different, should our reaction be? Yes, tragedy struck—in Texas and Florida and California and New York and Nevada and Texas. But today we can thank God that He has seen fit to give us life.

We are all, after all, destined to die. Though we often forget it, each day is a gift from God. We tend to get that notion reversed. We believe we “deserve” to live, and anyone who dies has had a tragedy foisted upon them.

So why would people who feel entitled then feel grateful? Are you thankful if you receive what you believe to be rightfully yours?

I find it ironic that so many who don’t believe in God still think life is their right. They believe they are an accident, that they have no eternal purpose, that they are doomed for annihilation, and that they exist only because of chance.

But yowsers! They are quite certain that life ought not be snatched from someone for any “unapproved” reason. God certainly can’t condemn wicked people to die in a flood (see the people in Noah’s day) or to die in battle against His people (see the Amalekites).

But I’m getting far afield.

Thanksgiving. I wonder. Has life become so meaningless in the twenty-first century that whenever someone asks us what we’re thankful for, we don’t automatically think first and foremost that we’re grateful for another day of life?

Here in America, the tradition was to sit down as a family for meals, always offering thanks first. Thanks became “grace” and then it faded away (along with family meals, I suppose).

I don’t think thanks should be relegated to a tradition, and apparently that’s part of what Thanksgiving Day suffers from. But I suspect it also suffers from a change in our hearts that steals gratitude and replaces it with a sense of “deserve.”

Of course, I suspect for those who do not believe in God, it’s hard to be grateful for a new day of life. After all, to whom are they grateful? It seems to me that gratitude is a two way street. You are responding when you express gratitude. And if all we have is only because of chance . . . well, then, it kind of reduces Thanksgiving to the three F’s.

But the truth is, God does give life, and more so, He gives abundant life and eternal life. He pours out His love in countless ways that we’re often too preoccupied to recognize. Sure, we maybe bought our food in the grocery store instead of growing it and harvesting it, but does that make it any less a miracle, any less a provision from God’s hand? He provides the growth, the harvest, the preparation, the packaging, even though it might be out of my sight. He provides the money to pay for it all.

And that’s just one aspect of our lives. What about the air we breath? the knowledge we now have about how to care for our health? the sleep we enjoyed that gives us needed rest? And I haven’t even mentioned the things we get to enjoy in this life.

We are blessed every day we open our eyes and put our feet on the ground, and we have every reason to praise and thank God for seeing fit to give us another day.

Life is pretty much a miracle. Even if we didn’t have wicked men and women doing wicked things, even if we didn’t have natural disasters that interrupt the regular aspects of life. We live on a planet that is as fearfully and wonderfully made as is each of us with our coded DNA that makes us who we are.

In short, God made life and He made life possible, and what He made was good. We are right to thank Him for it. Every day.

Published in: on November 6, 2017 at 5:26 pm  Comments (6)  
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A Quiet Conversation About Purpose, Meaning, And Destiny


115898_twins_1One day twin brothers were having a quiet conversation, and the meaning of life came up.

What do you suppose it’s all about? the first brother asked.

It’s about getting what you can in the here and now, brother number two answered. There’s nothing else after this.

Seriously? His brother wrinkled his brow. You mean, when we leave, we …

Go into oblivion. What else could it be? I mean, when you’re gone, you’re gone. If you go first, I won’t see you again and vice versa.

It all seems so pointless.

That’s why you have to make every minute count while you’re here. Grab what you can. Live for the moment. Eat and sleep like there’s no tomorrow, because there really might not be one.

I don’t know. I have this feeling that there’s more.

Crazy talk.

No. It’s talk that makes me think there’s more. I’ve heard things.

What kind of things?

You know, voices. One especially. Over and over I hear, ‘I love you boys.’

Your imagination.

I don’t think so.

Look around. You see any mysterious person who might be talking to us?

Well, no.

All right then.

But why couldn’t this person, you know, be somewhere else and when we leave here we join them there?

Because there is no other place.

How can you be sure?

Do you SEE another place?

Well, no.

Case closed. If you can’t see it, taste it, smell it, feel it, or taste it, then it doesn’t exist.

You said ‘taste’ twice and you left out hearing.

Do you hear anything now?

No.

All right then.

But I’ve told you, I hear this voice almost every day. Sometimes it even sings.

You’re losing it. And I’m stuck with a crazy for a brother.

Why is it so crazy to think there’s a world beyond the one we know?

Because you have no evidence, no proof.

I’m telling you, I do have proof. I’ve heard the voice of one telling me how much we’re loved.

That’s nothing but your wishful thinking tricking your mind into believing something that has no basis in fact.

How do YOU know there’s no basis in fact?

Show me this mysterious, invisible person. Where are they, huh?

Next time I hear their voice, I’ll wake you up.

Don’t bother. If I have a sour stomach, I can imagine things too. Hearing voices of invisible people is not proof.

Then what is?

How about an actual person, right in front of my face?

I don’t think it works that way. Somehow, I think we need to go to the I-love-you person, not the other way around.

You’re making this up.

No, actually I’m not. I’m on my way now.

And with that the first of the twin boys was pushed through the birth canal and born.

– – – – –

This post first appeared here in May 2013 as a rebuttal to the atheist notion that there are no “invisible beings with superior powers,” by which they mean God or any other spiritual beings. Of course what they miss is the limitations we humans have: how can we know of things beyond the scope of our ability to investigate? And they discount revelation simply because it contradicts their presupposition.

The Planned Parenthood Scandal


A History Lesson

I have been thinking over what I wanted to say about Planned Parenthood, abortion, and selling fetal body parts for over a week now, and I still don’t know how to address this issue.

Here are my random thoughts:

* I’m so glad the people at The Center for Medical Progress and David Daleiden who spearheaded this three-year plan to out Planned Parenthood and the companies to which they sell fetal body parts, had the courage of their convictions and acted.

* Because the liberal left so recently used undercover video to discredit Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, they don’t have a legitimate argument against these tactics.

* The mainstream media was initially slow to embrace the story, but some have given it a fair hearing. More recently, however, I don’t hear anything on the news about the new videos. Are they becoming indifferent to the horror? Or do they simply have nothing to say because there is no defense, yet they don’t want to encourage the logical opposition to Planned Parenthood funding by our tax dollars? Interestingly, Fox News is planning an exposé on Planned Parenthood September 5. Should be enlightening.

* I had no idea the extent of this aspect of the abortion industry. It’s far more horrific than I imagined and has been going on far longer than I realized.

* I don’t understand how thinking people can continue to support Planned Parenthood. Set aside the controversy over abortion for a moment, and ask whether or not Planned Parenthood is obeying the law against selling fetal tissue or not. They claim “reasonable compensation,” but they talk in the undercover videos like capitalists working to best monetize the commodity they have to offer.

* The bottom line is still the law that allows abortion. When the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 in the Roe v Wade case, the selling point for abortion was that the woman had the right to choose what she did with her own body. The fact that science has since proven that life begins at conception, that this zygotic/embryonic/fetal state is unique, no longer in fact “the woman’s body” but a separate individual with his or her own DNA simply has not been addressed.

* The issue of what we as a society do about life is a dividing point, with Christians on one side and atheists on the other. A large group of compatriots are “swing voters,” voting with their approval or disapproval, and moved largely by the emotion of the day. When women were fighting for a more equal stand in society, then those in the middle swung toward abortion, but when videos come out revealing the trafficking of infant body parts, making it impossible to ignore that the liver and heart and lungs and brains come from living humans, the swing group moves toward the pro-life position.

* Pro-life and women’s rights ought not to be seen as mutually exclusive. A woman ought to have the right to say no to sex that leads to pregnancy. Why isn’t that right brought front and center?

* The left-leaning proponents of “women”s rights” have confused a woman’s right to be who she is with a woman’s right to do what men do. So Rosanne Barr, in her 90s TV show, claimed the right to spit and chew and scratch the way men do. Oh, yay! But to the point of this article, sexual promiscuity has now become a woman’s right. And just like men who don’t have to bear the consequences of their licentiousness, so too, women wanted to be free of the product of their immorality. Birth control was the first step, abortion the end game when all else failed. So now women can be like men! That, the feminists say, is women’s rights.

* I read a NYTimes article today about women who are refused abortions. Apparently this does happen, most commonly, according to the article, when a woman doesn’t realize until late in the pregnancy that she’d going to have a baby. So if she goes to the wrong clinic—one that doesn’t do late term abortions—she may get turned away. This article says there needs to be more studies about the effect of a woman carrying and delivering a baby she wanted to abort. But what seemed shocking to me was that 95% of these women are glad they gave birth. Most bonded with their baby and, in the words of this slanted article, “adjusted.” The article, reporting about the woman in the anecdote who had been turned away from having an abortion, said, “S. now says that Baby S. is the best thing that ever happened to her. ‘She is more than my best friend, more than the love of my life.’ ” Still, this is held up as only one factor in measuring how well this woman is doing. How well off she is economically seems of equal value.

* None of these studies has anything to do with the spiritual aspect of what’s going on in a woman’s heart, so no matter what the findings of any of these studies appear to be (and there aren’t many studies—not even ones examining the effects of an abortion on the state of a woman’s mental health), they are incomplete.

* All this serious look at the well-being of the woman who wants to or who has aborted her baby, looks past the fact that the life of a child is at stake. Either a baby will have the chance to live or will be denied that chance, based solely on what the mother decides is good for her.

* The best thing churches can do to combat abortion in the long term, in my opinion, is to provide compelling, Biblical reasons to young people to avoid promiscuous sex. The secondary reasons aren’t enough. Young people need to determine if they love God more than they love sex.

* Apart from teaching the next generation, churches can also make a huge impact by caring for teens who are pregnant and have chosen not to abort. If we value life, we should be willing to put our hands to the plow and do the work that would honor life and help young, single moms learn to parent well. For many that may start with learning about their Creator God and how He fashioned their child in their womb.

Is Your Dog A Person?


512px-Cheddar_CheerleaderIn the recent discussion about abortion at author and friend Mike Duran’s site, the pro-abortion commenter asked more than once when a baby (he said fetus or one of his other preferred scientific terms) was a person.

To me that was an obvious—we’d established, and all agreed, that life begins with conception. However, in his mind, that just-conceived life was not yet human, not yet a person.

Another commenter, a pro-life advocate in Canada, highlighted the question of personhood as central to the discussion:

the more pressing question and one perhaps that we could have engaged him on more fruitfully was , “But when should they be assigned a right to life, and why?”

In other words, for what reasons do we assign “personhood”, with all of its attendant rights, on a human being?

I’m a little stunned. I should think when they’re alive would be a good enough answer to the question, “When should they be assigned a right to life.”

But ultimately this discussion comes back to belief in God. Man cannot create life. Yes, I know, that’s somewhat under review, what with the advancement of cloning. But in reality, unless there is life to begin with, there is no cloned life, so Man still can not create life.

God creates life, and even if Man someday figures a way to produce life apart from “natural causes,” that doesn’t change the fact that God is supreme, and still the giver of life. I don’t look at this issue as any different than a person taking antibiotics as a way to recover from an infection. Man did not heal him. God still healed, but He used the medicine.

But let’s say we agree that a person gains personhood at conception—that a life is considered a person when he first becomes alive—what about the life of an animal? Shouldn’t a dog’s life be preserved and protected the same way as an unborn baby’s life? In fact, if life determines personhood, is my dog a person?

No, the issue isn’t simply the preservation of life, any life, in any form. Setting aside the fact that plants are also alive, I’m addressing the Hindu idea that animal life is sacred, an idea that is gaining traction in the US and perhaps in other places in western society.

Of course evolutionists who ascribe to the common descent theory—in which all life descended from a common source—don’t see human life as unique. For them there is no reason to protect an unborn child over against a titmouse. Both are alive but society has not recognized either as persons. In other words, society gets to decide who is a person and who isn’t.

Except, society does recognize the unborn as a person when the mother wants to give the child birth. The irrationality, then, is with society. Why would a woman wanting a child or not wanting a child change his personhood?

In essence this view says slave owners were right—if they didn’t recognize the personhood of a slave, then he wasn’t a person.

Today we think that view is hateful. And it is.

Why, then, would society choose another class of people and determine they are not persons?

The frightening thing is that this rationale carried to its logical extreme means other groups of people can be stripped of personhood—homeless people or those with Down Syndrome or the schizophrenic or those with Alzheimer’s. If society gets to say who’s a person, why should we think there will not one day be a determination that an undesirable group is stripped of personhood.

At the same time, since human life is viewed as no different from animals, why not elevate our pets to the place of personhood. We already call them our children, and more and more owners are putting clothes on their dogs. It’s a natural leap for us to give them the “right to life.”

We Christians need to understand this issue. More than the lives of the unborn are at stake, and that’s saying a lot since so many babies lose their lives to abortion.

The real issue is the evolution-creation divide that so many Christians seem to be wearied with, and since children are, by mandate, taught evolution in school, in one generation our country will no longer think human life is separate and distinct from animals.

Unless we teach our children otherwise. Purposefully. Clearly.

Creation isn’t just about genesis. It’s about God breathing life into Man, giving us a spirit which He did not give to any of the animals. Why do you suppose no suitable helpmate was found for Adam? It wasn’t because of sexual comparability. It was at the level of personhood. No animal was created in God’s image, after His likeness.

Man is more than what the animals are. We have capacities animals don’t have. We can reason, we can sin, we can worship, we can forgive, we can judge, we can aspire. These are not things we’ve learned or gained because of superior intellect. These are part of our personhood, part of our moral fiber, our spiritual makeup. They are part of human life.

Consequently, all human life should be valued. The taking of life should not be something done for convenience or comfort. Today, a woman can kill her unborn baby because it’s inconvenient for her to be pregnant at this point in her life. Tomorrow will she be able to kill her aging parent because it’s inconvenient for her to be a caregiver at this point in her life?

And will our dogs be given more rights than our unborn children?

Maybe we’ll simply stop giving birth since we have these dog children who don’t have all those irritating tendencies to think for themselves as human children do. Maybe we’ll simply let the culture go completely to the dogs.

Published in: on February 6, 2015 at 6:06 pm  Comments (4)  
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Abortion


A History Lesson
Sometimes the bits of culture I look at are things I don’t like. Abortion is one of those. Friend and fellow writer Mike Duran recently addressed the issue and a surprising (to me) discussion unfolded, started by someone who took a strong stand in favor of abortion.

After several rounds of comments, Mike finally asked him to stop because he was not saying anything new. Before I read Mike’s request (which I took to heart as much as I expect the pro-abortionist did), I’d posted what I consider to be a blistering comment, in which I called some of the things the pro-abortionist said ludicrous, insulting, and wrong and his position despicable, reprehensible, and unconscionable.

The thing is, I had more to say! I didn’t address some of the worst of what this commenter said. In response to Sally Apokedak who related that she had had two abortions but knew of God’s forgiveness, he said

Maybe you had two abortions and killed two of your fetuses, but Sally, you didn’t do anything wrong for which you need to be forgiven! You did the morally right thing under the circumstances. Let’s face it – you weren’t ready to be a mother. If God exists, you did exactly what he would want you to do. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

That he would claim the moral high ground for killing human life. He didn’t want anyone calling the unborn babies. Rather he wanted us to use precise scientific language in a discussion like this, calling these unborn zygotes and fetuses. But he pretends to know what God would think (if he exists!).

Well, Scripture, not this man’s imagination, shows us what God thinks. One such instance is the conception of Samson. His parents were childless until one day an angel appeared to his mother who then related to her husband his message:

But he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death. (Judges 13:7)

So, before she conceived, she was to observe the conditions of a Nazirite because her son, Samson would be a life-long Nazirite. And that life started in the womb, at conception, deduction leads us to believe.

Job, in one of his discourses makes clear statements about his own life:

“Did not He who made me in the womb make him,
And the same one fashion us in the womb? (Job 38L15)

His comment is reminiscent of David’s:

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. (Ps. 139:13-16)

Or how about this clear statement of faith:

Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.
Upon You I was cast from birth;
You have been my God from my mother’s womb. (Psalm 22:9-10)

Isaiah echoes what David says about a person’s conception:

Thus says the LORD who made you
And formed you from the womb (Isaiah 44:2a)

And again a few verses later:

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb (Isaiah 44: 24a)

Some chapters later, he speaks of God’s hand upon him:

The LORD called Me from the womb;
From the body of My mother He named Me. (Isaiah 49:1b)

Just as Samson was set apart as a Nazarite, so Isaiah was set apart spiritually. Clearly God not only physically formed the unborn, but He interacted with them spiritually!

God also gave Isaiah purpose, while he was still in the womb:

And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant (Isaiah 49:5a)

Jeremiah’s experience was much the same:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer. 1:5)

Shall I go on? There’s more!

It’s upsetting to me when someone slanders God’s name and lies about Him, and I felt a need to set the record straight. Far from approving of abortion, I suspect God looks at these unborn aborted babies as orphans who He takes special notice of.

Here’s another piece of intolerable disinformation from this same commenter:

The right to life begins wherever the human community decides to assign it!

In short, people like this commenter put “the human community” in the place of God. Mankind has simply made himself into an idol. It’s the very thing Satan tempted Eve with: Don’t you want to be like God, knowing good from evil? Some scholars suggest that idea of knowing good and evil was the desire to determine good and evil for ourselves, just as the pro-abortion people do.

Killing life is not good. This commenter conceded that after conception, the union of the sperm and egg is life. He simply didn’t want to call it human life. As if the product of two humans could be some other kind of life. It’s so illogical, it’s hard to believe intelligent people hold to these views. Yep, they are heinous, reprehensible, and unconscionable ideas. I don’t know how a civilized society can hold to such selfish savagery as abortion!

Published in: on February 4, 2015 at 6:33 pm  Comments (7)  
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Life Is Too Big


fortress-of-stone-5-979165-mI have a little life. By that I mean, my life is pretty uncomplicated. I work from home, don’t have a mortgage, live a fairly simple life with no ex’s or in-laws or extended family putting demands on me. And yet, at times I feel life is too big.

And that too needs explanation. For one, there’s so much to do. I’m certainly not saying I have more to do than other people, but the fact is, I’ve gotten myself into a variety of roles—administrator for the CSFF blog tour, regular contributor at Spec Faith, judge of an ACFW contest, organizer of the Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction, freelance editor. and now workshop instructor at the Oregon Christian Writers conference.

Each of those roles—and I didn’t even include writing, either my fiction or non-fiction, or blogging—has various “stuff to do” attached to it. Sometimes, it all feels too big.

But more than that, I have a friend whose father just passed away, a couple I know who are both in the hospital—she with cancer and he with serious respiratory issues—another friend who’s husband is looking at a lung transplant, a neighbor whose daughter has an undiagnosed illness. Sometimes just the physical needs of people make life seem too big. Who can visit or write notes of consolation or even pray for everyone in need?

I haven’t even gotten to the spiritual needs or the emotional needs of people I’m privileged to have in my life.

How about the notes or emails or phone calls to those I care about—some friends I don’t want to lose, some relatives I dearly love.

All this in my little life.

Add in concerns, and even responsibilities as a good citizen, for my state and my nation and yes, the world. To be honest, my involvement at this level is small, mostly concentrated in prayer, though I try to stay informed, make every effort to vote, and do pay my taxes.

The sum total of it all makes it clear to me—life is too big.

I think it’s gotten bigger in the last two decades, what with the Internet and social media, which also carry wonderful advantages even as they increase the bigness of life.

I spent three years as a short term missionary in Guatemala and went for months not reading a newspaper (they were in Spanish and I’m not fluent) or watching TV. I didn’t know who was in the Super Bowl, what the President said in his State of the Union speech, or what movie had just been released.

I didn’t know what was happening in France or Israel or Cuba. Life was considerably smaller, and I suspect that’s the way life in the US used to be, too.

But now we are global and instant and connected.

It all feels too big to me.

It’s times like this that I am so thankful I have a big God. It’s sort of silly to call God “big” because He has no limit. Can Someone unlimited be measured and compared so He can be described as “big”? It doesn’t quite feel right, but the point, I guess, is that God is over, above, beyond, outside of all the other bigness of life.

He’s bigger than my concerns for my sick or grieving friends. He’s bigger than all the activities I’ve got on my to do list. He’s bigger than my concerns for the spiritual well-being of our nation, for the spiritual well-being of my neighbors and family and friends.

In many respects, I’m glad I’m aware that life is too big for me to handle because it presses me into the cleft of the Rock Who is higher than I.

I am so much more aware of my need for God when I am aware of how life is too big for me to take on by myself. Honestly, I can’t imagine how anyone manages without God. I mean, friends and loved ones can support and encourage and help, but life is too big for them too, so in the end we’re doing little more than shuffling the furniture around and hoping that makes life easier to manage. It doesn’t.

Only God, with His strength and understanding and plan and purpose, can make it all come out right. I don’t even know what “right” looks like. He does. He’s got the whole thing in His hand.

Published in: on January 20, 2015 at 6:38 pm  Comments (2)  
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