The Abortion Lie Detector

What do you call a failed abortion? 

A child. 

And why wouldn’t we want to protect the lives of all children? Because if we had to provide medical care for these particular children, it would be a public acknowledgement that abortion is a deliberate act to take the life of innocent and helpless human beings.

Yesterday, All but 3 Democrats in the House of Representatives voted against a bill to require medical care for babies born alive after a failed abortion. This is horrific but not surprising because this has been the track record of pro-abortion politicians for years.

Several things are worth noting. This approach challenges the sincerity of the the way abortion is typically justified. Are we really serious in our conversations about “when life begins” or about the bodily rights of women as the foundation for abortion rights? In the case of an infant born alive after an abortion procedure, the child is no longer inside the body of the pregnant woman, thus there are no bodily rights. She is no longer “hooked up to the violinist.” Further, the baby is outside the womb, alive. Under what moral principal would anyone attempt to justify denying lifesaving measures to a living human infant? The woman is no longer pregnant, wasn’t that the goal?

The response to this law shows that we are currently protecting (and funding, and celebrating) the right, not simply to avoid pregnancy, or protect the rights of women. We are protecting the right to kill distinct living human beings. Even after they are viable. Even after they are outside the woman’s body. Even after our failed attempts to kill them.

What other conclusion can we come to? The only acceptable outcome of abortion is a dead child? And the fact that numerous children have survived after failed abortions is a mirror to show what we are trying to hide behind all of the casuistry and euphemisms. 

Suffering: If We Knew What God Knows

William Blake engraving on the book of Job

One of the interesting lessons from reading the accounts of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) and Job in scripture come from understanding our perspective vs theirs. We are being told the story in retrospect. As the reader we are given the view point of God in his omniscience. But neither of those characters understand what is going on during the long night of suffering. They are in the dark on their most distressing questions. How long will this last? Why is this happening to me? This is not what I expected, what is God doing? Where is God?

At the conclusion they will have answers to their questions, even if they are not the answers they wanted. But they will NOT have them in the middle. They will not know during the trial what we know as readers. One of the lessons for us is to apply this to our own circumstances. In the multiplied suffering of our perplexity, we may not know “Why.” But we may know and trust the God who does know why. And his purposes are gracious towards his children. We may trust the wisdom of the one that made all things. We may rest in the power of the one who directs all things. And we may trust the heart of the one who sent his son to die for us. 

There is an important and comforting statement that has helped me in the midst of suffering. I first heard it from Tim Keller, who may have heard it from someone else. “If we knew what God knows, we would choose what God chose. Every time. ” 

James 5:10-11 “As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”

When Killing Becomes The Most Convenient Option

Paralympian Claims Canada Offered to euthanize her when she asked for a chair lift.

When you make killing people a legal option for difficult cases, then taking a life becomes the most convenient option. And the truth is there are times where the death of another person is more convenient for other people. You are not supposed to say that, but it is true. So once you open the door to legalized killing, then the person who doesn’t want to comply with the killing appears to be stubborn, committed to a path that is more difficult for everyone else. The history of modern assisted suicide is that it is sold as a compassionate option for the most desperate situations, and then grows into a way to remove inconvenient and suffering people from our lives so that we don’t have to be inconvenienced.

The stories coming out of Canada are shocking. Medical killing will save health care dollars. Medical killing will provide more organ donations. Doctors encouraged to offer this treatment before patients even ask about it. I have a friend that suffers from severe depression. When they reached out for help they couldn’t get a psychiatry appointment for 3 months, but were offered immediate assisted suicide as an answer. (BTW, I have changed a few details in that story to guard the identity of the friend). But the truth is the same. For government bureaucrats, providing healthcare is more trouble than killing the person.

Live Not By Lies

“Live Not By Lies” is an essay by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. About 7 pages. Definitely worth your time. Written in 1974 Soviet Russia, but relevant in 2022 for the rest of us. We are forging our own chains when we participate in the lies of ideology.  

“When violence bursts onto the peaceful human condition, its face is flush with self-assurance, it displays on its banner and proclaims: “I am Violence! Make way, step aside, I will crush you!” But violence ages swiftly, a few years pass—and it is no longer sure of itself. To prop itself up, to appear decent, it will without fail call forth its ally—Lies. For violence has nothing to cover itself with but lies, and lies can only persist through violence. And it is not every day and not on every shoulder that violence brings down its heavy hand: It demands of us only a submission to lies, a daily participation in deceit—and this suffices as our fealty.

“And therein we find, neglected by us, the simplest, the most accessible key to our liberation: a personal nonparticipation in lies! Even if all is covered by lies, even if all is under their rule, let us resist in the smallest way: Let their rule hold not through me!

Read it here

Cancel Culture Wants to Threaten You Into Silence. Hear Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz is a veritable poster child for the values of the democratic party. At least the Democratic part of the past. A long time member of the ACLU that has fought for civil rights and free speech. He has recently been excommunicated by his group of friends for daring to stand up for the rights of unapproved people. In this podcast he describes listening and mutual learning from debates with political opponents. You may not agree with his principals, but Dershowitz is admirably a man of principal. and it has cost him. 

If you want to gain a greater understanding of the current state of cancel culture listen to this brief podcast interview from First Things.    What stands out to me is that you can be cancelled not simply for advocating unapproved ideas, but for suggesting that people should be treated respectfully.   Quite a few times I have heard the victims of cancel culture say that they are contacted by numerous people that say they agree, but that they are unwilling to speak up publicly for fear of being blacklisted.  Cancel culture thrives when the rest of us stay silent and give into fear. 

All of this seems to be an expression of the idea of “Lenin think.” He views the world as a zero sum game. You are either 100% in agreement or you are a threat. If you disagree 1% with Lenin, you are siding with the enemy and must be destroyed.  Gary Saul Morson explains “Leninthink” here. 

Learning from Monsters How NOT to Think.

I love finding out about an author or resource that leads to the discovery of other treasures. And so, I came across an old Interview with Gary Saul Morson and was really interested in what he has learned from years of studying and teaching Russian literature. You can listen to that interview here. 

I started going down the rabbit hole of some of his interviews and articles and came across this one called Leninthink. 

You don’t have to have read Lenin to be influenced by him. This article by an expert in Russian literature and history lays out some important things for us to consider in our age of polarization and political pragmatism.  You do NOT want to think and live like Lenin.

This is a longer and rigorous essay. But it is worth reading, probably twice. It is full of original source quotes and historical context. The point is to learn from history so we do not repeat it. 

Among the most interesting elements that I found most relevant for us:

Considering life a zero sum game. Every transaction is either an act of oppression or being oppressed.

That the slightest disagreement from the party line is absolute betrayal. There is no middle ground.

Rejection of any morality or limits against the power of the party/state. They are above accountability. Viewing morality as nothing more than an expression of class (we might say race/sex/gender) struggle.

Promising to maintain the civil rights of the people as long as they do not do anything we disagree with. e.g. You have freedom of speech as long as you don’t say anything we do not like.

Arriving at conclusions on issues, opinions, and incidents without the need for facts or evidence. Having a conclusion beforehand. Insisting you don’t need to understand an opposing view before you denounce it.

Radically changing facts about history or even the position of the party while refusing to acknowledge that any change has taken place.

People eagerly confessing to crimes they have not committed to support the party.

Denouncing family members and friends as an expression of party loyalty.

Justifying any means to advance the cause, even those considered immoral, and that you would condemn others for using. 

When Friendly Fire is Revealing

I have been shocked by the amount of slander against Christians in the last few days that is coming from other professed Christians. The decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade has brought a torrent of invective from politically progressive believers. The accusations range from the mean spirited to the fantastical. If you are a Christian and attempting to support abortion, especially in Jesus name, you should know that this is contrary to the beliefs of almost all Christians throughout history, from the very beginning until recently. It is contrary to every stream of Christian tradition in the church. Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant believers have all, practically universally, written and spoken against it. The ethical foundation of this is the fundamental virtue of the Christian faith: Love. We are to love our neighbors, and that includes infants, before and after they are born. If you are supporting abortion, you are embracing an ethical stance that is completely foreign to Christianity throughout the ages. 

The article below summarizes the content of a larger book by scholar Michael J Gorman. One of the interesting points he makes is that early Christians rumored to be doing bad things. “We are accused of observing a holy rite in which we kill a little child and then eat it.” The apologist Tertullian (160-240) wrote in response to these accusations and he explains that Christians are forbidden from such conduct.  “In our case, murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth….”

Read more here

Abortion and Forgiveness

Today is likely a painful day for many with regard to abortion. The Supreme Court released its decision to overturn the precedent of Roe vs. Wade in the Dobbs case. The conversation around the supreme court decision is a reminder to the conscience about what abortion actually is.  I have multiple friends and family members that have had abortions. Some have had multiple abortions. There are many men and women in our church that have had or participated in an abortion.  Most of them regret it deeply. Most of them wish they had made a different decision and wonder about the life that was extinguished. Many of them now have feelings that are similar to those that have experienced a miscarriage, except they know that the life was ended by a choice they made. And most of them went along with abortion because they believed the lie that friends or parents or the culture was telling them. But they have come to know it was a lie. And it was a 2 sided lie.  They believed the presence of a child would destroy their own life and happiness, and they believed that having an abortion would fix their problems.  

And now many continue to feel regret, even while abortion extremists want to celebrate or shout the virtues of abortion, they know deep down they cannot celebrate it. They have seen preemies in the NICU. They have seen and rejoiced over the photos of ultrasounds. They know what was growing inside them. When faced with this guilt, the natural impulse is to search for some kind of excuse. We want a reason, we want to convince ourselves that our decision was justified. But the real path to healing is not in rationalizations or excuses. The best way to heal is to embrace and admit the evil of abortion, to become angry at the lies that led us to abortion and renounce them.  We are invited to realize the power of forgiveness and love that are offered through Jesus Christ.  His life is the opposite of abortion. In Jesus, we have radical self sacrifice for the sake of others. Abortion says “this is my body, you must die for my life.” But Jesus says of his own flesh and blood, “this is my body which I sacrifice for you.”

The forgiveness that comes through Jesus is beyond description. It is full and free, and is exemplified in his prayer to forgive the very people that crucified him on the cross. It is available to all those that confess their sins and turn to Jesus for mercy.  Here are some of the great expressions of grace that attempt to convince our guilty hearts of the magnitude of his forgiveness:

Psalm 103:10-11 “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”

Micah 7:19 “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”

Psalm 51 “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!… Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Isa 1:18 ““Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool…”

I John 1:9-10 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

The curse of entitlement

Entitlement is a curse that guarantees not only unhappiness, but a path to seeing ourselves as victims and the animosity that inevitably grows from it. As proud creatures, it is one of the easiest things in the world to convince us that we are victims of a conspiracy to rob us of the happiness that we believe others have stolen from us.

A Lot of Evangelical “Singles” aren’t Single

This is a great interview about a concerning (understatement) topic. A must- listen, especially if you are a pastor or a parent. David Ayers is a sociologist coming out with a book called “Sex and the Single Evangelical.” Listen to the interview with Carl Trueman here. A few highlights that they develop.

  • Sexual confusion and sin is now the norm among evangelical singles. Ayers discusses the data behind this claim. This is not typical ranting about the “younger generation.” Something has changed. And this is true in churches that are theologically orthodox.
  • It is not just that the sin is hidden, it is often an open practice based on faulty ideas.
  • Many in the church have failed to set forth a compelling vision for the beauty of what the Bible teaches about sex/marriage/gender.
  • Because this is now endemic, many pastors are tempted to avoid the topic because to take a stand on this will me constant conflict.