What kind of society do we want to live in?Continue Reading...
Archives For abortion
I don’t know Jen Hatmaker. I don’t follow her on social media and I have only read a few of her posts or articles that other friends have shared. I know she has a beautiful family with adoptive and biological children. She also has a large audience and shares her Christian perspective on family and life in general in an often humorous and candid way.
I wasn’t surprised by her statements in a recent interview that have become controversial, prompting Lifeway Stores to pull her books off their shelves.
I am not going to respond to her views on homosexuality, politics, or even the Black Lives Matter Movement. There are plenty of other people who have written with more grace than I could and have articulated why many Christians disagree with her statements.
If Jen and I were to sit down and chat on these issues, I think we would both find ourselves at an impasse on where our views differ according to scripture. But Jen’s views are no different than many of my own personal friends, yet we manage to find friendship despite our differing Christian perspective on social issues.
What troubles me most about her interview and why I have not been a supporter of her platform, is something that God has had to teach and humble me about in using my voice as a follower of Christ. In the past, I could manage enough grace and mercy for those struggling with sin or who don’t identify themselves as followers of Christ. Scripture clearly commands me to love and have mercy for those who don’t know Christ. But grace and mercy for Christians- for the church- that’s was a little more difficult for me.
I could give you a list of grievances about Christians, the church, hypocrisy…. I am a daughter of a minister. Do I need to say more?
If I was to write a book, I could give the reader story after story how people who call themselves “Christians” have hurt other people, have been unforgiving, and the stories would pour out of my bitter heart of where the church has gone wrong in loving their neighbor. But God has tugged on my bitterness and revealed to me that although my grievances against the church and the Christian community are accurate assessments, they are also a form of my own self-righteousness which divides and does not unite or heal people towards the Christian community.
Jen Hatmaker responds, “I’ve seen too much pain and rejection at the intersection of the gay community and the church.” Yes, Jen, I get it. I have too!! But the church is made up of imperfect people trying desperately to follow a perfect God. Please show grace to the church (believers of Christ) as well as the homosexual community. We are all trying to navigate this world together but calling out Christians for their grievances against the gay community will only further direct the LGBT community away from Christ and the church.
I have come to realize that the Christian community and its impact on social issues is much larger than the four walls of one’s church building. I have written about abortion and questioning the church, as a whole, on where it stands in the pro-life movement. I still feel the body of Christ can do more in standing against the injustice of abortion but I strongly disagree with Jen’s statement on abortion in the Christian community. She responds, “There’s something incredibly disingenuous about a Christian community that screams about abortion, but then refuses to support the very programs that are going to stabilize vulnerable, economically fragile families that decide to keep their kids. Some Christians want the baby born, but then don’t want to help the mama raise that baby.”
I don’t understand how Jen Hatmaker- a Christian adoptive mother herself- does not pay tribute to the many, many Christian families who have opened their lives and homes to children and have been examples of the hands and feet of Christ. Does she not know of the numerous Christian organizations who raise funds each year to support pregnancy centers in their community to help the vulnerable and economically fragile? I know so many Christian brothers and sisters who have been the exact opposite of disingenuous when it comes to abortion. I ask Jen, as well as others, to look broader out into the Christian community and the numerous families supporting and raising adoptive children and the quiet but strong impact they are making against abortion.
There will always be injustice, pain, and rejection in the body of Christ. We are human. We are sinners but Christ calls us to draw closer to Him and his scriptures regardless of the hurt and bitterness. God is continually reminding me that I will never be a testimony of His righteousness to any community if I constantly call out the church for its grievances. It’s a lesson He seems to constantly teach me over and over again because I am an imperfect person worshiping God in an imperfect community of believers. By complaining, I am not honoring Him and I am not honoring the community of people I call my brothers and sisters in Christ. The foot of the cross is meant to draw and unite the sinner and the saint and none of us are worthy.
“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God- that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30
As parents, don’t underestimate your voice in the prolife movement.Continue Reading...
The conservative collective voice has great potential if we just agree to collectively use it…Continue Reading...
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19Continue Reading...
Photo courtesy of theradiancefoundation.org
The only way to describe it is my soul just grieves.
The undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress have caught everyone’s attention on social media. In the initial video, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services Dr. Deborah Nucatola is caught casually eating her lunch while describing how she kills babies in routine abortions – all while carefully trying to preserve fetal body parts for outsourcing.
It was mind-dumbing to watch. How could a person talk so casually about human life, and in such a callous and calculated way?
But really, why am I surprised? As a writer, I have done enough research on the subject to discover that many medical and pharmaceutical companies use fetal organs for research purposes. Those human remains have to come from somewhere.
I am also not shocked at the fact that Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in this country- with a staggering average of 327,000 abortions a year.
But in order to face the facts about abortion in this country, I do what many other people do: I compartmentalize this type of horror. It’s not a part of my immediate world so I draw a curtain over it and try to forget what I cannot change.
These viral videos are a dose of reality for all of us who try to place a veil over what we know is the reality in our world. We came face to face with evil, and she looks just like us. She acts just like us while casually enjoying a lunch. She is the product of what our society has become and there’s no way to describe it but soul grieving.
As I began to grieve over the reality of that undercover video, I decided to ask God for a scripture to encourage me that He is in control even amidst such evil. I decided to look up my daily Bible scripture on my phone app; Proverbs 22:6 was the day’s verse. “Train up a child in the way they should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Well, I thought obviously that didn’t really apply and I began to search my bible for more revelation to the day’s events.
The next day, as I was scrolling through article after article – some commenting on Planned Parenthood’s callousness for human life, and nearly every news organization coming to its in defense- Proverbs 22:6 came back to me.
I have always read that verse as a reminder to train my children in God’s Word, but I never really thought about how that scripture applies to guiding my children through the everyday events of our world. Walking out God’s commandments is about teaching our children how to apply those commands to the world they live in, where evils like abortion exist.
I asked God to encourage me, and instead he gave me a mission call.
I may not be able to end abortion today, or control the reality of evil that I often want to pretend isn’t there – but I can train my children to love the value of God-given life.
My generation has grown up with abortion as a part of our society. We’ve grown up with the lie that abortion is the answer to a mistake. But the world will never be able to teach our children what we know through the love of Christ: redemption and mercy.
I want my children to understand what abortion is, and I filter the events of our world based on their ages. As parents, we need to share with our kids how we react to the evil we see in the world. If we don’t, they will only witness the reaction of the world that rejects God’s commands and sees abortion as a solution.
Don’t throw a curtain over the world’s events to shield your children from evil. Evil exists and it’s our job to train them to live among the darkness offering hope that only Christ can bring.
My children know that abortion is a sin, but more importantly I want them to be able to understand that Christ already paid a price for our sins. I want them to know that life is messy, and there is evil in this world. Yet there is a freedom we can walk in that the world will never be able to give.
I hope my children are never faced with an unplanned pregnancy. I hope they understand that they are sinners and they live in a fallen world. I hope and pray that they understand forgiveness and grace so that they might be able to help future friends who are caught in what seems like an impossible situation.
I hope that my children know that abortion is never the answer because God’s grace is sufficient for all our needs. Sometimes God uses the ugly events of our world to remind me of my life mission as a parent.
As parents, God has given us all we need to change the world- if we just train up our children in the way they should go. This doesn’t mean there won’t be struggle and hardship; it means there will be freedom to walk out the unexpected in their lives.
I pray one day that there will be an end to abortion in my children’s lifetime. I pray that organizations like Planned Parenthood are put out of business from profiting off of destroying life. But until then, as a parent, I have a mission to train my children about the precious value of all human life.
The world gives us abortion as an answer but God gives us an ocean of grace that says, “Choose life and watch what I can redeem.” Let’s train up our children so that they can offer up that same grace, a grace the world fails to recognize.
“These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9
Last week, I had the privilege of attending the 2015 March for Life conference and walking in my first March. I was there as a volunteer for the Radiance Foundation – an educational, life-affirming organization that inspires people to live a life of meaning. (Check them out here.)
I had no idea what to expect at the largest gathering of pro-life advocates who made their way to Washington D.C. from all over the country and even Canada. I don’t consider myself a pro-life activist –at least not in terms that media often defines it with anti-abortion banners and staged protests. I am just a Christian woman, raised in a ministry family, surrounded by Christian friends and family who always held the sanctity of life and the pro-life belief.
At the conference, there was the first ever evangelical worship gathering called OneVoiceDC. This was a non-denominational event- open to all- to pray and worship to end abortion and bring healing to our country which has allowed legal abortion for 42 years. Hundreds of people were gathered to pray an end to abortion in our country and I was personally moved by well-known pro-life leaders who came to the gathering to bow before God and humbly seek the answer to abolishing abortion.
However, there was a point in the worship service that I felt such great conviction and I couldn’t stop crying. One of the leaders prayed about the church’s “sin of apathy over abortion.” His words hit me with such great conviction. I kept hearing that phrase over and over again in my head. I have been guilty of the “sin of apathy” over abortion. That apathetic notion that abortion is legal and I can’t change things so why dwell on something I cannot change. That was once me but tragically that is the state of the evangelical church in America.
I grew up in ministry, I have attended various protestant churches all my life, and I can’t remember one time where abortion was ever a focus of a sermon or a mission of the church. Of course, I have sat under biblical teaching preaching forgiveness and grace for sins. I know and have witnessed the healing power of Christ in lives of women and men who were healed from the pain and destruction of past abortions but I don’t remember the church taking up the pro-life cause to end abortion.
The sin of apathy has led me to the question, “Where is the church?”
Grappling with my own sin of apathy and questioning why the church has been so silent, I came across a timely book by Online for Life President, Brian Fisher titled, Deliver Us from Abortion. Like me, he too has questioned and “discovered that the American church, on the whole, is not actively defending and protecting innocent life.” In his introduction he addresses this great concern:
“In many churches, abortion is never mentioned from the pulpit. If abortion is discussed at all, it is once a year on Sanctity of Life Sunday, the sad reminder of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It is rare to find post-abortive recovery and healing ministries in churches, and almost all of them are for women. Support for post-abortive men is virtually non-existent. Precious few pastors or priests write about abortion, and few will publicly defend the unborn. Most denominations have no organized effort to assist families in a crisis pregnancy.”
Why has the church been so silent when it comes to abortion?
Most of my own questioning is regarding the protestant evangelical church in America not necessarily the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has often been outspoken warriors for life and they are without a doubt a strong presence within the anti-abortion movement. But unfortunately, even a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute (a pro-abortion research group) reports that 27 percent of Catholic women and 37 percent of Protestant women received abortions. A large population of Catholic and Protestant women are taking the lives of their unborn children.
Where are you church?
Brian Fisher’s book has important facts regarding abortion in America that I have never read before. He challenges all Christians to understand the biblical, moral, ethical, and social ramifications of being silent on abortion. It should be required reading for every pastor, youth pastor, and leadership staff in every church in America. Abortion is an epidemic that the church, as a whole, has refused to acknowledge. One out of every five unborn children are murdered through abortion. Fifty-six million people have died since 1973. Let that staggering number sink in and ask yourself if you have seen your church be a voice for this abortion holocaust.
What difference will I make?
This is a question I am asking myself over my own sin of apathy over abortion. How do I defend the unborn, stand for the sanctity of life given by God my creator, bring healing to the post-abortive community, and help the church to wake-up and be a pro-life voice? I don’t know the answer yet, but I know God instilled a conviction in my own heart as I was worshiping and praying with other pro-life believers. That still small voice that convicted and tugged at my heart is the same voice that God wants to awaken the church of America.
If we, as Christians, truly believe that God is the author of all life then we need to stand boldly against abortion and be the Church Christ has called us to be- reaching the lost and saving souls. The church cannot be silent anymore!
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ –Matthew 25-45 (NLT)
Wake up church!
To learn more about Online For Life and order Deliver Us From Abortion go to: http://store.onlineforlife.org/collections/book/products/deliver-us-from-abortion
Here is my latest Politichicks article about the trial of Kermit Gosnell, his atrocities and those that are willing to defend him…
I was once carrying a child. It was not a fetus or blob of tissue but a developing baby. I remember the nurse consoling me that this fetus had no heartbeat. She said to me, “It is not a death just an absence of what was needed to become human”. Then why did I feel such sorrow? I was barely two months pregnant but I had already experienced an overwhelming amount of emotions with this new baby developing inside of me. I was excited to have a sister or brother for my one year old daughter. What would this child look like? Would it be a boy or girl?
The news was devastating that this baby would not be. Why was I feeling such sorrow over a child I had not even held? I remember praying and asking God to help me understand why this baby was not allowed to be a part of our family. I then had this beautiful picture in my mind. There were hands, cupped together and holding many things inside. I realized as small as those things were, they were not things but babies. Millions and millions of babies kept inside His hands. Those hands were cupped not just to catch but to protect and hold tightly. There were too many babies to count. I knew that my child was there, in His hands, for a reason I might not ever know.
Whenever I hear the word abortion that picture comes to my mind. They were not fetuses or what was called, “an absence of what was needed to be human” but fully formed babies in His hands. I remember crying to God feeling not just my own sorrow but the sorrow God feels for those babies who were not given the opportunity to live. I realized that God gave me but a glimpse of His pain over abortion. My loss was accidental but His loss through abortion is tragic.
There are so many circumstances and emotions wrapped up in the decision to have an abortion. I have a different perspective with the loss of a baby. It is not just from my own personal experience but from my brief picture, I believe, God gave to me. Abortion should be seen through God’s eyes. It should be felt through His sorrow. The child I lost early was not mine but His and was taken by His timing. There are too many babies being caught by His hands by the untimely decision of others. Abortion is not a personal choice of an undeveloped fetus. It is the death of millions of babies caught by the hands of God in unbelievable pain and sorrow.
To understand the horrors of abortion please view the following documentary video about Kermit Gosnell and his killing spree of innocent women and babies.
“That most fundamental set of rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, fundamental rights that were denied to college students at Virginia Tech and high school students at Columbine and elementary school students in Newtown; and kids on street corners in Chicago on too frequent basis to tolerate; and all the families who never imagined they’d lose a loved one to a bullet, those rights are at stake. We’re responsible.”- Barack Obama
Tomorrow will be the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. My soul mourns just thinking of it. We live in a nation that allows our unborn to be killed. You can disagree with the life at conception theory but you can’t disagree with the fact that the possibility of a life is ended with abortion. So when I listened to our President defend the rights of our children who were lost to the violence of guns my heart aches at the hypocrisy. We have a President and Vice-President who have taken strong actions to make sure more children don’t die from gun violence. Yet, these are the same men who have legislated to keep abortion, partial-birth abortion and the murder of innocent children legal in this nation.
It’s a great hypocrisy in our government and in this country. What would happen if we put as much energy and emotion behind the defending of the unborn life as we do behind our gun violence? So today we have a President being sworn in for his second term determined to change our gun laws and to make sure no more children die from gun violence, while tomorrow we mourn the 40th anniversary of the legal killing of our unborn. So I simply write my own quote on this great hypocrisy,“They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that most fundamental set of rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, fundamental rights that are denied to over a million babies every year. Where on an average of every 23 seconds a baby is aborted on too frequent a basis to tolerate; and all the families who never were able to hold that newborn child because abortion was an option, those rights are at stake. We’re responsible.” -The Velvet Brick