Abortion, Gospel

Throwback Thursday ~ Planned Parenthood: There, But for the Grace of God…

Originally published August 15, 2015

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You walk into your doctor’s office for your annual check up—flu shot, cancer, cholesterol and blood sugar screening, blood pressure check—you know, routine maintenance on the ol’ bod. You’ve chosen this doctor because you don’t have health insurance and he’s kind enough to lower his prices and work with you on a payment plan. His office is clean and bright, beautifully decorated, and the staff is always friendly. You even get a lollipop at the end of each visit.

But this year, as you’re walking down the hall to exam room four, you happen to notice that in exam room three, there’s a playpen in the corner with an adorable baby girl in it, cooing away and playing with a toy.

“Odd,” you think, since this is not a pediatrician’s office. You continue to your own room, don that scratchy paper gown, and wait for the doctor. By the time he comes in and begins the exam, you can no longer contain your curiosity. Whose baby is it? Why is there even a baby in the office?

“Oh, yes,” the doctor says matter of factly, “that baby was abandoned by her parents. Nobody wants her, so when I get finished with your check up, I’m going to torture her to death and then sell her organs to medical researchers.”

Your jaw hits the floor. Your stomach turns. You can’t believe the monstrous words you’ve just heard.

“How could you do such a horrible thing?” you scream over your revulsion. The doctor looks surprised that you should ask.

“It’s really no big deal,” he says. “We only do a few of those a week. The vast majority of my practice is providing health care and counseling for patients like you.”

Let me ask you something—would you use that doctor and think that the care he provides you mitigates his atrocious behavior? I hope not. Yet I have heard people defend Planned Parenthood (an organization which has been torturing babies to death for decades, and, we recently learned, profits from the sale of their organs) because Planned Parenthood ostensibly performs a minimum number of abortions and mainly provides health services, such as the ones mentioned above, to women who need them. Somehow, in these people’s minds, the health care Planned Parenthood provides makes up for the heinous murders they commit day after day.

Does it really all balance out? Of course not.

In fact, let’s say, Planned Parenthood had only ever tortured fifty babies to death (instead of the millions they’ve actually killed). And let’s say they provided free health care to everyone on the planet, cured cancer, and brought about world peace. Those are some wonderful things, but does it erase the fact that they brutally ended fifty innocent lives? Do all those good deeds make up for even one murder?

No. They don’t. Good deeds can never make up for heinous crimes. Planned Parenthood’s hands are drenched in blood that all the free health care in the world can’t wash away.

They’re hopelessly guilty. Just like we are.

Apart from Christ, we are Planned Parenthood. We come before God with blood on our hands. Not the blood of millions of babies, but the blood of one child. God’s child. Jesus. We are responsible for His death. It was our sin that caused Him to be tortured to death. Our sin that brutally murdered Him.

“Oh, but it’s no big deal. I’m mainly a good person. The vast majority of my life is spent doing good things and helping people. That totally makes up for those few sins I’ve committed. My good deeds outweigh the bad.”

No. They don’t. Good deeds can never make up for heinous crimes.

But, grace… But, mercy… But the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior intervenes and wipes away the guilt. Washes our hands of Christ’s blood. Cleanses us from all unrighteousness, if we only turn to Him in the repentance and faith that He is gracious enough to give us.

Good deeds can never make up for heinous crimes, but the grace of God can.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7


This article was originally published at Blogging Theologically. Photo credit: Aaron Armstrong

Abortion, Basic Training

Throwback Thursday ~ Basic Training: Abortion

Originally published February 8, 2019

For more in the Basic Training series, click here.

 

I rarely write on abortion. But it’s not because I don’t feel strongly about it. It’s because it seems like it should be a given. That Christians shouldn’t have to be told that we don’t support abortion any more than we have to be told to breathe or eat. When I think about writing about abortion, I think, “What could I possibly say that hasn’t already been said a million times, and by people who have more experience in this arena than I do?”.

But the more I look out over the landscape of contemporary Christianity, the more I realize we can’t take any aspect of theology for granted. Because when we take the basics for granted, they don’t get taught to the next generation and we end up assuming they know things they don’t actually know. And that’s on us – those of us who knew and didn’t properly and explicitly train those who came behind us.

So if you’re recently saved and you’ve just walked in to this brand new, unfamiliar, and counter-intuitive worldview of biblical Christianity, or if you grew up around some form of evangelicalism but nobody ever took the time to sit you down and teach you properly, let’s look at some of the basics about abortion.

🍼 Abortion is murder. When you intentionally and unjustly end an innocent human life, that is murder. Abortion takes a living human being (it’s not a chicken or a hippo or a platypus) and intentionally and unjustly causes the death (causes heart, brain, and all other organ functions to cease) of said human being. That’s not even a theological argument, that’s a medical fact.

🍼 A baby in utero is not part of the “mother’s body.” The pro-abortion side often makes comments like, “No one has the right to tell a woman what she can and can’t do with her body.” This argument is beneath the intelligence of most of the people who make it for a couple of reasons: 

First, we tell men, women, and children what they can and can’t do with their bodies all the time. Children can’t use their bodies to drive a car or serve in the military. Men can’t use their bodies to rape. Women can’t use their bodies for prostitution. People can’t sell their kidneys for transplant. See how that works?

Second, this isn’t the twelfth, or fifteenth, or eighteenth century. Modern science has left in the dust any notion that a baby is an appendage of his mother’s body like her arm or her liver. Pre-born babies have their own unique DNA, blood type, heartbeat, organ systems, and so on. When we say a woman shouldn’t have an abortion, we aren’t telling a woman what to do with her own body … except in the sense that we are telling her she can’t use her body to murder someone else. (Which, technically, is already a law that pertains to both men and women.) A pre-born baby may be dependent on his mother for food, shelter, and care, but so is her two-year-old, and, so far, no one is using that line of reasoning to suggest it’s OK to kill a child of that age. Yet.

And, finally, if you’re a genuinely regenerated Christian who is holding on to the “my body my choice” mantra, your body, your life, and your eternity were bought and paid for by Christ. He owns you, and He has every right to tell you what to do with your body. It doesn’t matter one whit what people say you can or can’t do.

🍼 Abortion is never necessary to save the mother’s life. Numerous OB/GYNs and other medical professionals have stated this publicly. In cases in which the mother’s life and/or health are at stake, the biblical approach is to make every attempt to save both the mother and child (which can often be done through early delivery, not abortion). If the child dies during the attempt to save him and his mother, that is a grievous tragedy, but it is not an abortion. Abortion is the intentional, proactive killing of a child.

🍼 Rape and incest are horrible sins that no one should ever be subjected to, but in the tiny number of pregnancies that result from these heinous crimes, we do not execute the child for the sin of his father. The Bible is clear on that. And the practical results of obeying this biblical mandate bear out its truth. The overwhelming majority of women who get an abortion after having been raped regret it and say it caused additional trauma, while women who go through with their pregnancies after rape do not.

🍼 Because abortion is murder, it is a sin. If you have ever performed, assisted in, encouraged, or received an abortion, you have committed the sin of murder. You are a murderer. It is good and right for you to feel guilty about that and to grieve over both the sinful person you are who has offended a holy God, and to grieve for the life of your baby. Don’t try to skip feeling your guilt and grief over this sin. It’s a vital part of the process of dealing with it biblically and in an emotionally healthy way.

🍼 If you’re counseling someone post-abortion, I know it can be painful to watch, but you must let her process through the guilt that comes with this sin. Don’t immediately skip ahead to forgiveness. She can’t get to repentance and forgiveness if she has nothing to repent of and ask forgiveness for. 

🍼 Also if you’re counseling someone post-abortion, do not just give her blanket absolution. I recently heard a pastor (with the best of intentions, I’m sure) stand in the pulpit and rightly call abortion a sin, and also rightly offer women Christ’s forgiveness of that sin. But he skipped the middle part where you have to confess and repent of your sin and ask Christ for forgiveness. That’s not a step that can be skipped for abortion or any other sin.

🍼 If you repent of the sin of abortion, Christ will forgive you and make you clean. He delights to cleanse the foulest of sinners and welcome them into His Kingdom with open arms of grace and mercy. Trust Him to keep His promise to forgive you.

🍼 Christians should support doctrinally sound pro-life endeavors. Volunteering at crisis pregnancy centers, donating to pro-life causes and services, adopting, housing and providing for pregnant women who need assistance, supporting Christian orphanages, etc. Just be discerning and check out the theology of the organization first.

🍼 Christians should not join with apostate “churches” or other religions in pro-life causesThe Bible is absolutely clear that we are not to partner in ministry endeavors with unbelievers, especially those who claim to be Christians or teach false doctrine(Yes, this includes Catholics. They may be very nice people and they’ve been fighting the pro-life fight for a long time, but Catholic doctrine as contained in church documents teaches many false and anti-biblical doctrines including anathematizing {condemning to hell} those who hold to the biblical teaching of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. Those who hold to such doctrines are not Christians despite what they may claim.) Partnering with unbelievers who claim to be Christians is an even more dangerous sin than abortion because it confuses people about what salvation is and muddies the gospel. It sends the message that you can believe things contrary to Scripture and still be saved, and that is a message that sends people to an eternity in Hell. Plus, it doesn’t make any sense to commit one sin in order to fight against another sin. That is not God’s way nor is it in keeping with His Word.

🍼 For Christians, abortion should be our highest priority litmus test when it comes to deciding whom to vote for. If you’re willing to have children murdered so you can get more money back in your tax refund, or better highways, or more social programs, or whatever, your attitude is anti-Christ. Where would we be if Jesus had had such a selfish, self-serving worldview? Christianity says, “I’ll lay down my life for you,” not, “You lay down your life for me.”. Besides, if your candidate is so ensconced in evil that he advocates murdering children, he won’t think twice about a lesser sin like breaking the very campaign promises that caused you to vote for him in the first place.

🍼 Pastors, youth pastors, and teachers in our churches need to clearly and proactively preach and teach what the Bible says about sex and abortion through the lens of the gospel. Having a largely regenerate congregation will prevent abortions primarily through girls and women getting saved, but having a gospel-saturated culture in your church will also encourage those who do sin sexually and get pregnant to reach out to a brother or sister – instead of an abortion clinic – for help.

🍼 God is the creator, sustainer, and giver of life. If He values life so much, how can we who claim to be His followers treat a human life as inconvenient, cheap, and expendable when it suits our own selfish purposes?

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:13-16

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Psalm 127:3

Abortion is the murder of a human being. You cannot support that at any level if you truly belong to Christ. If you’re a Christian, you must submit your attitudes and actions regarding abortion to the teaching of Scripture, and obey God’s Word.

Abortion, Movies

Movie Tuesday: Babies Are (Still) Murdered Here

 

What’s really going on behind the scenes in the pro-life movement? Why incrementalism instead of abolition? What’s the real solution to the tragedy and outrage of abortion?

Recently released from Apologia Studios, Babies Are Still Murdered Here is the follow up documentary to Babies Are Murdered Here (see below – you may want to watch it first if you haven’t already seen it). It explores the inner workings of pro-life politics, explains more efficient ways to work through the system to end abortion, and demonstrates why the gospel is the real solution to abortion. You’ll hear from pastors and politicians, parents and practitioners, as they point us to the urgent need to do away with abortion altogether, now.

Babies Are Murdered Here was released almost six years ago. It is an overview of abortion culture, BAMH clinic ministry, and a biblical response to abortion.

(For those like me who have a more sensitive nature, there are no visual images of aborted children in these films. There are a few, very brief verbal descriptions of abortion technique and a brief news clip of the Kermit Gosnell story.)

To find out more about these films and how you and your church can get involved in helping to completely end abortion in your community, visit End Abortion Now.

Abortion, Guest Posts

Guest Post: On the Subject of Abortion

If your theology pretty much matches up with mine (as outlined in the “Welcome” and “Statement of Faith” tabs) and you’d like to contribute a guest post, drop me an e-mail at MichelleLesley1@yahoo.com, and let’s chat about it.

On the Subject of Abortion
by Lisa Matthews

A Brief Word from Michelle:

When Lisa first contacted me about writing a guest post on abortion, she sent me this video of a speech she made at a recent pro-life rally. I thought it was so powerful and inspiring that I wanted to include it with her article. Lisa’s speech starts around the 16 minute mark.

 

We are the only creation of God’s with “choice” or free will. Our animal friends have natural instincts and generally do not have the mental capacity to change their behavior. Human beings do. We make decisions and act based on those decisions. As believers, we understand that our behaviors should freely be submitted to the will of God. However, in our society today, we are led to believe that all choice is autonomous; in the world’s view we are under our own authority. This is one of Satan’s many lies.

Unbelievers have not placed themselves under the subjugation of the Lord. They are blinded and live as subordinates to the god of this world, that god being Satan. Dear brothers and sisters, we must not be blinded; we are children of the King and must live as such. Our birthright establishes freedom in Christ and freedom from the bondage of the lost. Therefore, you and I are required to manifest outwardly what we have inwardly become.

The church overwhelmingly assists the poor, hungry, widowed and homeless. We have school supply drives, Thanksgiving dinners and celebrate our Lord’s birth with gifts to the fatherless and single mothers. We exist, in part, to show the love of Christ to a dying world. However, on the subject of abortion, our silence is deafening. The third Sunday in January is “National Sanctity of Life Sunday”, but a drive around my large city sadly reveals a mere handful of the more than 1,500 churches participating in this solemn day. The scourge of abortion has ravaged our world and has silenced our church. Where are we? As a body, do we even know the “National Sanctity of Life Sunday” exists?

Abortion is unquestionably the murder of the unborn; it is the biblical equivalent to the children sacrificed to the pagan gods. It is a life created by God and taken unlawfully by man. The 6th Commandment states, “Thou Shall Not Murder” (Exodus 20:13). It seems straightforward as Christ followers to recognize the cruel and vicious act of abortion. Sadly, our inactivity is revealing; it’s revealing of our hearts and our relationship with Jesus. How can we justify what God condemns? How can we remain silent when the blood of innocents cries out?

I come from a place of experience and not of condemnation. I was a young woman afraid and ashamed. That shame silences many of us and the guilt keeps us in the shadows when we are given the opportunity to stand for life. False teachings and the church’s unresponsiveness to the harsh reality of abortion provide justification. Our guilt and shame stems from being complicit. We have family, friends and church members who have played a part in the death of an unborn child. We hide our faces in humiliation and remorse. We’ve also suffered trauma and consequences stemming from our actions. I admit and accept responsibility for the sin of abortion. Thank God for His grace, mercy, forgiveness and a post-abortive healing Bible study.

As a Christian and a Black American, it’s personal to me. In the United States of America 36% of abortions are performed on Black women while they make up less than 7% of the population (source, source). The act of abortion in our nation would be considered genocide in any other context. Our children are being murdered at an alarming rate; we can no longer remain silent or indifferent.

On June 4, 2019, the fourth abortion mill was opened in Charlotte, North Carolina. This Planned Parenthood is located squarely in a historically Black neighborhood. Today, Planned Parenthood is continuing the racist and eugenics policies of their founder Margaret Sanger. In New York City, more Black children are aborted than born.

Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgives of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” There is hope! We can turn from our sin and stand in the gap for the unborn. We can reject the sin of indifference and join our hardest hit communities and protest. The body of believers does not have the option to be reticent. Titus 2:3-5 tells older women to teach to younger women. The truth about abortion is no exception. We are tasked to speak to our sisters and friends, our daughters and neighbors, our discipleship partners and mentees. The testimony of our lips should mirror the testimony of our lives.

With regard to abortion, society of today’s message is loud, forceful, unrelenting and false. Pray that our message continues to be hope and love solely based on the gospel. When our hearts and minds agree with God, He will equip us for every task He places before us. In Esther chapter 4, Mordecai warned Esther about being silent. We too, are in precarious times. As residents of the United States, we live in a constitutional republic. We are afforded rights and access to real participation in government. Use your voice to speak for the voiceless, comfort the broken-hearted and vote for protections for our unborn children.

If you have been through the trauma of abortion, thankfully, you are not alone. If you have an unexpected pregnancy, want to get involved in the pro-life movement or need healing for post-abortive trauma, there is help. There are many godly organizations and resources available to you.

Surrendering the Secret, founded by Pat Layton, directs those heart broken by a past abortion to Biblical healing. God’s Ballot provides a resource for Christians “to honor God with their votes during every election.” Love Life is committed to “creating a culture where families stop running to abortion centers and start running to the local church.” Lastly, Care Net provides a national directory of pregnancy resource centers. Local pregnancy resource centers provide real alternatives to abortion and connect expectant mothers with churches, individuals and other organizations to assist with any needs that may arise in their lives.¹

Jesus was clear in Luke 12:48, “Everyone to whom much is given, of him much will be required…”. Our salvation and adoption into the family of God is a tremendous gift. It’s more than we deserve and more than we can ever repay. Jesus has paid our debt; out of gratitude we live a life of service. Please join me in supporting the broken, protecting the unborn and appointing legislators who respect our God’s design.


¹Note from Michelle: I am not very familiar with any of these organizations/resources and do not endorse any of them which deviate from Scripture or my theology as outlined in the “Welcome” and “Statement of Faith” tabs at the top of this page. As with any organization/resource, please thoroughly vet the theology of these before joining or using them.

Lisa was a single mother for 15 years before meeting her husband of 7 years, David. They are parents to one adult daughter. A Volunteer Chaplain at the Mecklenburg County Jail, an Area Coordinator for the Search for Jesus Internet Evangelism ministry, President of the Mecklenburg Black Republican Club and a Voter Registration Chair for the Mecklenburg County Republican Party.

Abortion, Forgiveness, Relationships

Throwback Thursday on Friday ~ Aborting People

Originally posted July 24, 2014Aborting People

Cut the negative people out of your life.

Don’t lift a finger for people who won’t lift a finger for you.

Don’t allow people in your life who don’t deserve to be there.

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Hardly a day goes by that I don’t see something like this on Facebook. Clearly, there are people who are violent that we need to stay away from for our own physical safety, and marital problems absolutely must be resolved, but those aren’t what this line of thinking seems to be addressing. It’s talking about the difficult people. We all have them in our lives. You’re probably thinking of some right now.

The constant complainer.

The drama queen.

The narcissist.

The annoyance.

The just plain unlovely.

Maybe it’s a family member, a neighbor, or a co-worker. Somebody who’s in your life for some reason, only you wish she weren’t.

The world’s advice: abort people. If they’re negative, if they don’t further your success, if they drain you, if they’re somehow undeserving of your time and attention. Just cut them out of your life. Abort them.

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Christians are on the front lines of the battle against literal abortion. “Every life is precious,” we say, and that’s as it should be. But somehow, the world’s abortive mentality has crept into our thinking when it comes to the relationships we have with others. Babies are being killed because they’re inconvenient, they’ll hinder someone’s pursuit of success, or they have a disability, and we’re – rightly – grieved and outraged, but do we have any pangs of conscience when it comes to throwing away that inconvenient friend or that personality-handicapped family member? Is every life really precious?

We serve a Savior who loved the unlovely. Took time for the inconvenient. Invested in the drains. He felt their loneliness and rejection and knew the pain of being scorned.

Because He was one of them.

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah 53:2b-3

Jesus stopped along the roadside, not for those who would further His success, but for those who were needy. He called the awkward and personality impaired “brother.” He called a betrayer, “friend.” Even those who wielded the whip, embedded the thorns, and drove the nails didn’t hear, “Go to hell,” but, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Yes, there are people who are so difficult that we may have to love them from afar, taking time between each encounter with them to pray, recover, and forgive.

But we must remember who we were called to be.

I love, not because people deserve it, but because He first loved me.

I am forgiving because I have been forgiven much.

I am kind because God has been so kind to me.

I lay down my life for messy people because Christ laid down His life for the biggest mess of all- me. 

Extend grace. Because in God’s eyes, every life is precious. Even yours.