5/27/2020 3 Comments
The Crisis in America
George Grant, in his book, entitled Third Time Around, highlighted the fact that wicked men love to kill and they have an innate lust for the blood of children. He said, “Since the dawning of time, men have contrived ingenious diversions to satisfy their fallen passions. And child-killing has always been chief among them.”
One historical example is the attempted slaughter of the firstborn male Hebrew children at the hands of the Egyptians. This story is found in the book of Exodus, Chapter 1. There are several key people and events from this scripture that must be highlighted before diving deeper into this story.
Then the king of Egypt (Ex. 1:15aa). The king of Egypt, also known as the Pharaoh, was the ruler of the Israelites and the one who called for the murder of these innocent children. The word “king” in Hebrew in this text of Scripture is moloch. The word is derived from the god of Moloch referring to a king who sets himself up as a god, opposed to the one true living God. This word is not referencing any king in general, but rather a king who has positioned himself as a rival to the almighty God. The gods after the order of Moloch are totalitarian regimes that demand total obedience and total sacrifice from his subjects. The king of Egypt was this type of ruler. He demanded total obedience from everyone under his rule and part of that was the sacrifice of the firstborn male children. The children were to be killed upon birth to honor him as god.
When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live. (Ex. 1:15ab) This was a decree from the Pharaoh, who claimed divinity. In Egypt, the Pharaoh was viewed as an incarnation of one of their gods and, in essence, the messiah of the Egyptian people. The instructions that he gave to the midwives were not just suggestions, but the law of the land. The Hebrews were having children rapidly and this posed a threat to the king of Egypt and his people as they would soon be outnumbered and, potentially, overpowered by the Hebrews if it this was not stopped. The only solution, in his mind, was to command the firstborn male Hebrew children to be sacrificed. This would ensure salvation for him and his people.
The midwives feared God and disobeyed the king. (Ex. 1:17) This story reveals to us where the midwives’ true allegiance was. The midwives rejected the king’s rule over them in favor of the rule of the King of kings. They did not do as the king commanded, and they spared the lives of the children under their care. This obedience brought them out of favor with the king of Egypt but into favor with the one true God. In fact, the text clearly says that God blessed them for it. “So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.” (v. 18-21).
These women were pro-life. They were heroines that put their own lives at risk in order to save innocent children, and God blessed them for it. Today we are facing a similar dilemma. Babies, in their mothers’ wombs, are being sacrificed daily. Modern day midwives who fear God are needed to stand in the gap for these innocent children. This killing of babies is at a crisis level in America and what has our response been so far? Has it been anything like the response of a church in Germany during the Holocaust? The tales told by Holocaust survivors are similar in many ways.
“I lived in Germany during the Nazi holocaust. I considered myself a Christian. I attended church since I was a small boy. We had heard the stories of what was happening to the Jews, but like most people today in this country, we tried to distance ourselves from the reality of what was really taking place. What could anyone do to stop it?
The old man's story is in the past, it cannot be undone, and it is easy to think we would have acted differently if we attended that church. But the old man's last words are haunting, “It's happening all over again in America with abortion. The Holocaust is here.” As American Christians, we have become too comfortable in our lovely buildings and padded pews. We raise our voices as loudly as we can, all in the name of God, and yet remain apathetic to the holocaust around us.
The Crisis in America
While the church has been singing louder, the crisis continues. The crisis that we have today is an official edict that has made it morally permissible for all babies in their mothers’ wombs to be offered up as a sacrifice at the altar of convenience. Since 1973, over 60 million children have been legally murdered. This begs the question. How did we get here? There are several reasons why, but let me give the two most fundamental reasons why.
Margaret Higgins Sanger (maiden name Margaret Louise Higgins) lived from September 14, 1879 until September 6, 1966. She was a birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse. She is most well known for being the person who popularized the term “birth control,” opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established organizations that evolved into what we know today as Planned Parenthood. She has been extremely influential in establishing the doctrine and theology of abortion today in America. Her influence has been far-reaching and her legacy lives on to this day.
Roe v. Wade, a legal case in which the U.S. Supreme Court on January 22, 1973, ruled (7–2) that unduly restrictive state regulation of abortion is unconstitutional. In a majority opinion written by Justice Harry A. Blackmun, the court held that a set of Texas statutes criminalizing abortion in most instances violated a woman’s constitutional right of privacy, which it found to be implicit in the liberty guarantee of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (“…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”). The case began in 1970 when “Jane Roe”—a fictional name used to protect the identity of the plaintiff, Norma McCorvey—instituted federal action against Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas, where Roe resided.
The Supreme Court disagreed with Roe’s assertion of an absolute right to terminate pregnancy in any way and at any time, and attempted to balance a woman’s right of privacy with a state’s interest in regulating abortion. In his opinion, Blackmun noted that only a “compelling state interest” justifies regulations limiting “fundamental rights” such as privacy, and that legislators must therefore draw statutes narrowly “to express only the legitimate state interests at stake.” The court then attempted to balance the state’s distinct compelling interests in the health of pregnant women with the potential life of fetuses. It placed the point after which a state’s compelling interest in the pregnant woman’s health would allow it to regulate abortion “at approximately the end of the first trimester” of pregnancy. With regard to the fetus, the court located that point at “capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb,” or viability.
In a nutshell, with the ruling of Roe vs. Wade, America laid hands on Margaret Sanger’s vision making murder of preborn children legal. The result has been the genocide of 60 million babies and counting. You and I are currently living in the American Holocaust. Imagine if you were living in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. What would you have done? My friends, we are living in something far worse than that. There is a silent genocide going on right around us.
The solution is very clear. The solution is for God fearing Christians to stand in the gap and even risk their own lives in order to save our preborn neighbors from being murdered. Those humble God fearing midwives were willing to risk their lives to save children. We must do the same. It begins by understanding that this is a battle over the ownership rights of our preborn neighbors. Who is the Lord over their lives- God or the State?
One of the justifications for abortion on demand today is due to the idea that civilization has advanced. It is taught that part of this advancement is understanding what makes a person human. Even though none of these advancement thinkers can come to an objective conclusion as to what makes a person human they still all agree that a preborn baby is not human. They have determined that the preborn baby is a fetus with human potential. There are so many things about this statement I could tear apart, but for the sake of time let’s move on! Since they are so superior and so advanced in their thinking they have concluded that it is morally justifiable to end the life of a preborn baby. In fact they call it reproductive justice.
Here is the thing though. The fact that they are justifying abortion on demand on the basis of their advancement thinking reveals one of two things about them. They are either just plain stupid or they are liars.
An Age Old Practice
The practice of murdering children in their mother's womb or just after they are born is a practice that is as old as civilization itself. The advancement thinkers conclude that they have produced a more civilized age and yet they continue this barbaric practice. I know it is confusing! The killing of innocent children does not have its roots in enlightenment thinking, but in the barbaric past. The advancement thinkers of today have yet again with this conclusion revealed the myth of advancement. The only true advancement that takes place in society and culture is through union with Jesus Christ and the adopting of His worldview as taught in Scriptures. Apart from Christ there has never been true advancement. The advancing in one area leads to the digressing in another. Steve Jobs revolutionized the world with the iPhone and yet now many of our children are addicted to it. Modern medicine has raised the average age someone lives and yet it is estimated 100,000 people die each year due to medical error. Advancement based on secular means is a myth. It is a myth that abortion is now morally justifiable due to advancements that have been made. It is a practice that has taken place throughout all of history.
A Little History
George Grant in his book Third Time Around, made such a powerful statement about the reality of baby murdering throughout history, “Since the dawning of time, men have contrived ingenious diversions to satisfy their fallen passions. And child-killing has always been chief among them.” Does that sound like a strong statement? Let’s allow history to speak for itself on this issue. George Grant highlights some of the common practices throughout history:
Unwanted infants in ancient Rome were abandoned outside the city walls to die from exposure to the elements or from the attacks of wild foraging beasts. Greeks often gave their pregnant women harsh doses of herbal or medicinal abortifacients. Persians developed highly sophisticated surgical curette procedures. Chinese women tied heavy ropes around their waists to excruciatingly tight that they either aborted or passed into unconsciousness. Ancient Hindus and Arabs concocted chemical pessaries-abortifacients that were pushed or pumped directly into the womb through the birth canal. Primitive Canaanites threw their children onto great flaming pyres as a sacrifice to their god Molech. Polynesians subjected their pregnant women to onerous tortures-their abdomens beaten with large stones or hot coals heaped upon their bodies. Japanese women straddled boiling cauldrons of parricidal brews. Egyptians disposed of their unwanted children by disemboweling and dismembering them shortly after birth-their collagen was then ritually harvested for the manufacture of cosmetic creams (even Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of murdered children is not a new practice!)
There is so much more history that could reveal the reality that baby killing has been the favorite practice of the people that hate God throughout the ages. It is not due to some advancement thinking, but due to a heart that hates God. The only advancement that the abortionists of today have made is that they have become more precise in their killing. They have figured out how to execute the children swiftly while bringing less physical harm to the mother. Does this make them more advanced or more barbaric? Rome became masters of killing people via crucifixion and does anyone today say that made them more advanced and civilized? Abortion due to advancement is a myth.
My plea for the modern day pro-death camp is for them to be honest and not ignorant as it relates to their position. Stop hiding behind false premises as a means to make murdering preborn children morally justifiable. Stop and just admit the reality. The reason you love abortion is because you love death. You hate Christ and you love death (Pr. 8:36). You kill because you love it. You have an appetite for it. You live to murder these babies and destroy the lives of the fathers and mothers. You are not advanced. You are barbaric.
Orrin Woodward claims to be a Christian, but as a pastor I know that all such claims must be put to the test. The Bible says that faith without works is dead (James 2:26). The real test of a person's faith is not their profession of faith but the works made evident in their life. Does Orrin Woodward display true faith that is evidenced by his works?
Orrin and ONElife for Life
My wife has known Orrin and Laurie for nearly 20 years and I have known them a little over 13 years. When you know someone for this long of a time you get to see if their walk actually matches their talk. Orrin has continually and consistently revealed to us a walk that is committed to faithfully serving Jesus Christ in all areas of his life. Let me just give you one such example.
A little over a year ago our young little church plant, ONElife Church, received a crazy vision from God to actively engage the culture of death which murders the preborn children in our society. We made a commitment that we would do all that we could do to end abortion now starting in our own county and moving beyond. Rather than waiting for abortion minded women, who feel they have no one who will help them, to come to us we decided to go to them. For nearly a year we have had a faithful presence at our local abortion clinic with our team members pleading for the life of the preborn children as well as bringing the life giving gospel message to the mothers, fathers, and workers. By God’s grace 48 children have been saved through this ministry. To read more about our work read the article the Baptist Press wrote about our team. Here is a video of one encounter that our team had.
Orrin Woodward has encouraged us in this task to save babies and end abortion now. In the early stages of starting this ministry he provided valuable insight to us in order to keep our ministry going. He continues to be a great mentor and counselor. He has invested his own time, talents, and treasures into this ministry. This past March our ministry hosted its first ever end abortion now banquet. There was nearly 300 people in attendance at that event. Orrin was gracious enough to be our keynote speaker. Here is the thing many people might not know--Orrin refused to take a speaking fee and would not even allow us to pay for his travel. He funded his way to get to our event from Florida and in addition gave a donation to our ministry. In reality he paid us to come speak at our event! He is focused on investing in the Kingdom and in ending the greatest injustice in our society. Orrin believes in the cause and believes it is one of the greatest works a Christian can do today. I pray that God will raise up more Orrin Woodward’s to engage in this very controversial fight of ending abortion.
At the banquet Orrin delivered one of the finest messages I have heard in regards to ending abortion. He spoke on the Micah Mandate. He brought immense clarity to the meaning of the text and our present responsibility in light of it.
Orrin taught on the Micah Mandate from Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” This is a shorthand description of the mature Christian life. These virtues are balanced together by having a proper understanding of law and grace. Paraphrasing what Francis Schaeffer said, “It is easy to have law in the church and it is easy to have grace in the church. You need the Holy Spirit to have the balance of both.” When both law and grace are in balance then the virtues of justice, mercy, and humility will be displayed. This was the message Orrin was communicating to our audience. To listen to the full message please watch the video below.
Our vision is to be the McDonalds of the pro-life movement. Our team has caught this vision and believes this is what God has called us to do. McDonalds made a commitment to have a store across the street from every church in the country. Our commitment is to have one of our red tents with fully funded missionaries stationed onsite at every abortion clinic in the country. This is the way to end abortion now in our country. It is time to stop waiting for the government to stop the killing of our innocent children and for the church to actively work to end it. We are praying for the church to join us to stop the shedding of the most innocent orphans in our land--the babies living in the wombs of their mothers.
Watch the video below to learn more about our vision and how you can partner with us to end abortion now!
Contributor / Eric Stewart
Eric Stewart is the Lead Pastor of ONElife Church in Flint, MI.
8/8/2017 6 Comments
Maverick Sperm and Rogue Eggs
Now handling a topic like abortion makes most people uncomfortable, even those who believe abortion is wrong. Many churches and Christians will not tackle it. The main reason is because they know there are people in the congregation who have had an abortion and they would not want to make them feel bad. The gospel is the answer to this. To a person that has had an abortion, point them to the cross where they can find forgiveness in Jesus Christ. This article is not to shame that person. It is to help stop others from doing the same thing. We do not refrain from talking about other sins because people have participated in them. We preach Christ and Him crucified!
God is the Author of Life
God is the author of life. Satan is the author of death. David was meditating upon God and his character which brought him to meditate on God being the author of life. Consider what the Psalm says:
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 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.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
David notes how God is omniscient, that is He is all knowing. Since He is all knowing that means that He must be omnipresent, that He is present everywhere. David reflected on the fact that God knew Him because God was the one who gave Him life. He knitted David together in his mother’s womb. He is fearfully and wonderfully made. He also calls God's judgment down upon the one that sheds innocent blood and he cried out to God to search his heart.
No Maverick Sperm or Rogue Egg
There is not a maverick sperm or a rogue egg that exists in this entire world. It is a miraculous process that must take place in order for fertilization to begin in order for life to begin. There are no such thing as unplanned pregnancies. God has planned every single pregnancy that has ever taken place in the history of the world. He is the one who has knitted every child together within the womb of their mothers. Every person is fearfully and wonderfully made by God.
A common objection people will give for standing for life and justifying abortion is based on a person's circumstances. If your starting point is not God then that does in fact make sense. They will say, “What about the case of rape/incest?” They will say things like, “Don’t you know that this child will have a terrible upbringing and they will just grow up to live off the system and cost us all more money?” Without God as your starting point this may make sense. On the other hand, knowing that God is the author of life then, only He can make the rules for how the life is taken away. Which He does in His Word... in His law. When you justify abortion for any of these reasons what you are attempting to do is to play God. You have no idea what God has in store for a person. Let's read the lineage leading to Jesus Christ:
"The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,[d] and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations."
First let’s consider Tamar. Jacob’s son Judah (patriarch of the line of Judah) had three sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah. A woman named Tamar married Er, but then Er died, leaving her a widow. Since it was required that the next of kin care for a brother’s widow, Tamar was given to Onan, but he also died. Shelah was still a boy and could not marry Tamar, so Judah asked her to return to her father’s house and wait until Shelah was grown up. However, once Shelah was old enough, Judah did not honor his promise. Tamar remained an unmarried widow. Tamar then went into town disguised as a prostitute, tricked Judah, and got him to sleep with her. She then became pregnant by Judah and bore twin sons named Perez and Zerah.
Rahab was a prostitute of the Canaanite city of Jericho. The line of Christ passed through her.
David had Solomon with the wife of Uriah. He entered into a relationship with Solomon’s mother through an adulteress affair in which he then had Bathsheba's husband killed. Not exactly the best circumstances and yet God gave them Solomon, the wisest king in history, and eventually Christ the Messiah too came from their lineage.
God is the author of life which means we must look to His Law as the standard of how we are to make our judgments.
Contributor / Eric Stewart
Eric Stewart is the Lead Pastor of ONElife Church in Flint, MI.