Over at Patheos, I just blogged on who I’m voting for this presidential election season. This topic afforded me the chance to talk more broadly about how abortion is not simply a position, one among many that we could choose. It is instead a holistic theology. It is, specifically, a theology of death.
Tag Archives: pro-life
If you’re so inclined, use the hashtag code #youngcons on Twitter while Tweeting in Twitteresque ways about the second presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
A bunch of, well, young conservatives used this hashtag for the VP debate and saw a major response. It may just crack the Twitter top ten tonight, and that might inspire visions of global domination. You never know (not that one wants to aim too high or anything).
Here are a couple of Christianity Today pieces I wrote recently on Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, by the way. And here’s a very good one from my buddy Denny Burk on the importance of bringing pro-life convictions to bear on voting. Evangelical conservatives are of course “whole life” advocates–we wish for holistic human flourishing at all stages of life. But to get to all the stages of life, of course, one has to exist, and not be killed in the womb.
One of the best ministries I know of is called Speak for the Unborn. It’s based out of Louisville’s Immanuel Baptist Church, a congregation led by powerful preacher Ryan Fullerton that is absolutely on mission for Christ. The ministry opposes Satan by sharing the gospel with women at abortion clinics, praying for them, and generally doing whatever it can to promote life in a gracious and bold way.
Here’s a bit of info on this ministry:
We are a group of Christians from Immanuel Baptist Church who heard a sermon on the sanctity of life by our pastor in January 2009 and made a commitment to no longer let our pro-life beliefs remain theoretical.
Therefore, we started a ministry called Speak for the Unborn in obedience to the passage found in Proverbs 31:8-9:
“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
The two main components of our ministry are sidewalk counseling and prayer. We go out to our local abortion clinic twice a week and seek to persuade women not to go through with their abortions and also stand and pray for the Lord to end abortion in our town. We are also seeking to mobilize other churches to do the same.
Visit the site, which is filled with “how-to” resources to get similar efforts off the ground.
Some churches may already be involved in such ways. It is a great thing, I think, for churches to a) engage women who need the gospel and b) promote a culture of life by opposing abortion clinics and strengthening crisis pregnancy centers.
Churches themselves do not have to found such efforts, in my view, but it is truly God-honoring when they foster a culture of gospel-driven concern in which members band together, push away from apathy and a “quietist” faith, and plunge into the world to be salt and light (Matthew 5:17). My own congregation, Kenwood Baptist Church of Louisville, is involved in this ministry, which I love.
How can your church, in whatever community in which it finds itself, go and do likewise in the name of a sinner-welcoming, crisis-conquering, all-children-loving savior?
(Photo of Immanuel/SftU)
The above clip is one of the more horrifying things I’ve seen caught on camera. In the 38-second video, pro-life Christians confront an abortionist. I don’t know the circumstances of this conversation, but it is clearly a visceral encounter.
In the course of the confrontation, the abortionist yells at the pro-lifers “I as a taxpayer do not wish to pay for those babies to be born, and brought, and kill those people in Colorado.” He then identifies the babies, saying “Let me see you adopt one of those ugly black babies.”
This is jaw-dropping on several accounts. First, the abortionist, Ron Virmani, has the race of the Aurora shooter entirely wrong. James Holmes is white. Second, the racism here takes your breath away. Third, you see the logic of abortion–it’s best to kill in order that others will not be killed (there’s a major logic problem here).
It shows how fallen our world is that something like this can’t galvanize a nation and make it realize the terrible evil of abortion. As anything but a life-saving device, it’s pure evil on its own terms. It also is a Trojan Horse for other sins, however, including racism. In other words, because abortion has been sold to–and bought by–upstanding America as a good and a right, racists can use it to exterminate children they hate. That’s not some controversial claim on my part, by the way–that was Margaret Sanger’s stated intention in founding Planned Parenthood, to exterminate black children, or “human weeds,” as she so kindly said.
And don’t think that’s not on the abortionist’s mind as he crushes the skulls of little babies with forceps or administers drugs that leave them gasping and clawing for life before they perish. Racism is the great secret when it comes to abortion. The man in that video, yelling at Christians, thinks he is performing a righteous deed. He and others think that abortion is a noble cause, when it is in reality the scourge of our civilization.
How videos like this–and the confrontations faced by courageous pro-lifers like those in this outstanding Louisville ministry, which my church (Kenwood Baptist) is involved with–make us long for the spread of the gospel. It is the mission of God to welcome all the nations in Christ, not to murder them in the womb. As Christians contend for the gospel and a holistic culture of life–from womb to grave–we remember that we are fighting against principalities and powers that hate children. Keep fighting. And keep adopting, as so many of my friends and evangelical peers have.
We love the little children.
And Lord, come quickly.
(HT: Washington Examiner)
The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as “pro-choice” is at the lowest point ever measured by Gallup, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
A record-low 41 percent now identify themselves as “pro-choice,” down from 47 percent last July and 1 percentage point down from the previous record low of 42 percent, set in May 2009. As recently as 2006, 51 percent of Americans described themselves as “pro-choice.
Meanwhile, 50 percent of Americans now consider themselves “pro-life,” one point below Gallup’s record high on the measure.
This is just a poll. Public opinion could and will shift in different directions in coming days. Polls, furthermore, are inexact. I don’t ask polls to do a lot of heavy lifting in my intellectual life. With that said, this is a surprising development, a significant one.
This means that the “culture war” has not been for naught. Granted, some have fought for the cause of life in less than ideal ways. Championing a pro-life position from a God-and-country stance–linking the kingdom of Christ with the nation of America–is a mistake. Some who have fought for the pro-life cause and other conservative (biblical!) social positions have made personal compromises and used the church as a platform. With all these qualifications stated, though, the “culture war” is a worthy one to fight.
The media, of course, loves this language of a war. Conservatives are read as a crusading, domineering force; to contend for the rights of the unborn is to become some sort of vigilante, to shirk thoughtful, respectful dialogue and become a spittle-flecked warrior. Again, some may deserve this reputation, but many do not. Many Christians have fought for the unborn on staunchly biblical and intellectual grounds. These people take a great deal of heat from the secular press. But in reality they deserve a great deal of praise. Their efforts have not been in vain.
All the campus pro-life groups and silent protests and counseling at abortion clinics and legislative action and making of films like Bella and careful appointment of pro-life justices and, most importantly, prayer, has all been worth it. This is not to say that abortion is now illegal. It is not. But it seems that gains are being made.
This is a pretty strong counter to the rhetoric making its way around evangelicalism that politics don’t really matter, that evangelicals should be neither blue nor red when it comes to social policy, that earthly causes aren’t really worth fighting, that the pro-life cause is really about power and domination and winning the “war.” For most Christians, fighting abortion is not about power. It is not about personally inaugurating Christ’s kingdom. It is about speaking up for the least of these in a profoundly Christocentric way. Psalm 139 matters; the fight for righteousness mapped out in the Beatitudes matters (Matthew 5).
I am glad to contend for the pro-life cause in a reasoned, rational way. But I am not willing to lay down this fight because someone brands me a “warrior” because of it. God’s glory is in this fight. We may never win it, or we may. But it is worth our time and effort. If we abandoned abortion as a first-order issue to focus on other issues of less import, we would not be seeing the gains we are currently witnessing.
So, young evangelicals: do not believe the “fetus fatigue” language. Do not pass on an issue because it’s controversial and people won’t like you because of it. Do not cease to contend for the unborn, whether through calm conversation in the lunchroom or advocacy in the nation’s capitol. Never make the mistake of thinking that this cause is the kingdom, or that the state is the church. Don’t make the further mistake of writing everyone off who came before you simply because the media branded them with the “culture warrior” tag.
With a proper perspective of this issue, keep fighting and praying for the day when Roe v. Wade is struck from the books.
This coming Monday, January 23, 2012 from 8am-11:30am (EST), I’ll be blogging and “live-Tweeting” the ProLifeCon, put on by Family Research Council. I’m very glad that FRC is such an outspoken and courageous defender of the unborn, and I hope that this event advances the cause.
Here’s the link to the live webcast, which will obviously be operative on Monday morning at 8am. And here’s some info about the event:
Pro-life internet activists will gather at Family Research Council headquarters on January 23rd, 2012 for ProLifeCon, the premier conference for the online pro-life community. The event will be webcast live, and will feature experts and legislators to inform you about the cutting edge of the pro-life movement and give you ways to make a difference on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the rest of the online world.
The event has included numerous political leaders, prominent pro-life activists, and has attracted media from outlets such as Fox News, CBS News, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Scripps Howard News, Congressional Quarterly and others. The event is also webcast live to thousands across the nation.
Featured speakers include Lila Rose of Life Action Network, Senators Chris Smith and Vicky Hartzler, and Tony Perkins of FRC.
I would strongly encourage you to watch the live webcast, and to pray that events like this continue to turn the tide of our nation toward life and away from death. There are very encouraging signs that this is happening; as William Kristol of the Weekly Standard has reported, there are now triple the amount of crisis pregnancy centers in America compared to the number of abortion clinics. College students are opening scores of “Students for Life” groups. May this work only continue.
Two major news stories suggest that men–and evangelical men–are in danger of extinction.
The first is from Newsweek and is entitled “Saint Sarah: How Sarah Palin is Reshaping the Religious Right.” Here’s a key quotation from Lisa Miller’s essay:
[W]hile leftist critics continue to shred Palin as a cynical, shallow, ill-informed opportunist, and new polls show her unpopularity rating to be at an all-time high—53 percent—Palin is now playing to her strengths. Even if she never again seeks elected office, her pro-woman rallying cry, articulated in the evangelical vernacular, together with the potent pro-life example of her own family, puts Palin in a position to reshape and reinvigorate the religious right, one of the most powerful forces in American politics. The Christian right is now poised to become a women’s movement—and Sarah Palin is its earthy Jerry Falwell.
The second is from the Atlantic Monthly and is entitled “The End of Men.” Written by Hanna Rosin, who published on Patrick Henry College some years back, the article considers whether men are fit for modern society. Here’s a snatch:
Even more unsettling for Ericsson, it has become clear that in choosing the sex of the next generation, he is no longer the boss. “It’s the women who are driving all the decisions,” he says—a change the MicroSort spokespeople I met with also mentioned. At first, Ericsson says, women who called his clinics would apologize and shyly explain that they already had two boys. “Now they just call and [say] outright, ‘I want a girl.’ These mothers look at their lives and think their daughters will have a bright future their mother and grandmother didn’t have, brighter than their sons, even, so why wouldn’t you choose a girl?”
As one can see, these are significant stories, pieces that have considerable implications for life in modern America. There are major shifts afoot; huge pressure is upon the church of God to conform to society. Exactly how things will play out one cannot know, though we do know that a Man figures in rather prominently in the last days. For some that is a consolation; for some it is a curse.
“More than most Westerners, Americans believe — deeply, madly, truly — in the sanctity of marriage. But we also have some of the most liberal divorce laws in the developed world, and one of the highest divorce rates. We sentimentalize the family, but boast one of the highest rates of unwed births. We’re more pro-life than Europeans, but we tolerate a much more permissive abortion regime than countries like Germany or France. We wring our hands over stem cell research, but our fertility clinics are among the least regulated in the world.
In other words, we’re conservative right up until the moment that it costs us.”
The whole piece is worth reading over. If Douthat is right, Christians who desire a just moral order are struggling not simply against secularists, but against weak-willed conservatives and theists. Perhaps it is this group and its weak will that has cost us many crucial cultural battles, not others that we might identify.
One wonders, furthermore, how much this kind of weak will applies to the church in its own right. How often do we vouch for conservative theological ideals, only to flinch at the last moment, leaving someone else to fight the battle, someone else to do the hard work of ministry, whatever form it may take? Douthat’s words are worth thinking over both in a cultural sense and a kingdom sense.
1. My TEDS buddy Andrew Lisi recently wrote a thoughtful blog on a report by NPR about how sex is, for the younger generation, almost completely separated from any lasting connection or bond. (Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts, NPR)
2. A Wheaton PhD student and friend of mine, Jeremy Treat, shares a stirring story about one inner-city Chicago high school’s transformation.
3. Newsweek has an audio slideshow up featuring a book on Patrick Henry College students by Jona Frank called Right. It’s worth looking at and listening to, even if it comes from a liberal perspective.
4. Armchair basketball analysis: The Magic-Lakers game last night was quite frustrating. Orlando deserved to lose, with Howard and Turkoglu unable to make free throws. Too bad. This will conclude our analysis.
5. So much for the whole “need-blind” admissions policies of some American colleges. Reed College of Portland, OR has been hard hit by the financial downturn.
“Use the acronym SLED. Size: are big people more human than small people? Level of Development: Does self-awareness make us human? Are older children more valuable than infants? Are those with dementia less valuable? Environment: Do your surroundings determine your humanity? How can a journey eight inches down the birth canal change the essential nature of the child? Degree of Dependency: Does viability make us human? Are newborns or those who need dialysis not deserving of human rights? (28)”
–Have a great weekend, all.