A few days ago, we “celebrated” the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court Decision known as Roe v. Wade.
In light of that anniversary and the stances taken by the new presidential administration, I thought I’d share with you an email I received from a good friend, Duncan Brannan. Because Duncan was so clear in his explanation of the issues, I have included it in its entirety with minimal edits. Granted, it is lengthy. But it’s worth reading!
I completely agree with Duncan’s remarks about this not being a “political” issue. This is by all definitions, a Kingdom of God issue. As such we dare not shy away from it.
Standing before Pontius Pilate, our Master said,
“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world — to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” — Jn. 18:36-37 ESV
With these words, Jesus clarified the nature of our warfare in this world, something the Apostle Paul said in these words,
“For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.” — Eph. 6:12
I say all of this because there are those in the public spectrum and even in the Christian sector who would mistakenly dub what I am doing today as a “political statement.” Point of fact, it is not. It is a matter of the Kingdom of God because it concerns life — specifically the life of the unborn, which Father deems sacred. If our current president was about to sign a bill into law, or if our current Congress was considering a bill that would forever redefine marriage in this country as “anything goes”, this would still not be a political message. Why? Because marriage was God’s idea, His institution — not man’s. And so was LIFE… and that is why I’m coming to you today.
Our current president has demonstrated from day one of his administration a clear agenda to undo all restraints on abortion, though he himself claims to support life. The Freedom of Choice Act, if implemented, will be the most radical abortion agenda this nation has ever seen in its brief history:
1.) Our country’s tax dollars will be funding more abortions — both here and overseas — than ever before…
2.) 38 states’ bans on the abomination called “partial birth abortion” would be instantly overturned… (Because of technology and the media, every one of us now knows what happens to an infant in this “procedure” that comes straight out of the mouth of hell — and, no, I do not hesitate for a moment to use those exact words! If I were testifying before Congress, I would use these words and more.)
3.) 44 states’ laws governing parental involvement would be removed… (Think about that for a moment. God forbid that one of our children would ever be sitting one day in an abortion clinic with a “counselor” considering an abortion. But God forbid further that the government would pass a law standing behind someone who ever looked one of our daughters in the eye and said, “No, honey. We don’t need to notify your parents. They don’t even have to know we ever had this conversation.” I am not prepared to give up that right, and I am not prepared to watch my fellow countrymen relinquish it quietly either. Are you?!)
4.) 40 states’ laws that signficantly restrict late-term abortions would be lifted… (In my estimation, “late-term” abortions means only two things: a.) More unborn children will be murdered and b.) because of their stage of development, they will be more able to feel and experience the horrors being inflicted upon them.)
5.) 46 states’ laws protecting an individual health care provider’s right to deny an abortion on the grounds of conscience… (Think about the doctor, the nurse who says, “This violates my conscience,” or “I can’t do this. It goes against everything I believe.” Then think about our president saying, “Sorry, fella! Your feelings, or opinions, or beliefs, or religious convictions don’t have anything to do with it. You do this or you’re out of a job! You provide these over the counter “morning after” pills or you can go work for another pharmacy. You monitor the drip on this anesthesia or you’ll never work in another hospital.” etc., etc, etc.)
And this is just the beginning, men and women of God! Also at stake are:
6.) 27 states’ laws protecting institutions with a “conscience” policy. (There you go: one of the most fundamental Constitutional rights — conscience — thrown out the window. Why? Because “it’s not about YOU. It’s all about ME! What I want and when I want it, and YOU have to give it to me.”)
7.) 28 states’ laws requiring a mandatory waiting period before an abortion. (No waiting period whatsoever. Essentially, we’ll have an Abortion Express Lane!)
8.) 16 states’ laws which mandate that an ultra-sound be performed before an abortion (After all, we can’t have people experiencing a possible attack of conscience, or maybe actually believing that this is a child — not a “fetus”, or “inviable embryo” — whose life they’re about to take!)
9.) 33 states’ laws requiring counseling before an abortion. (Unbelievable! “Let’s make this process as easy and as inhumane as possible.” That’s precisely what the president’s agenda says.)
10.) All 50 states’ reporting requirements on abortion. (Before you pass on this one, pay close attention: Notice who the States are REQUIRED to report to, instead of Vice Versa. Our Tenth Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Did you catch that? This is amazing! Our president is making a HUGE power grab here. He is turning the Constitution upside down saying, “You States will report to us on this!” Excuse me! NO. Not the way it works. You, the public servant, sir… you madam congresswoman… you, mister supreme court justice, etc… you report to us — not the other way around and what rights are not delegated to the power of government belong to US the people, not YOU — the ruler.)
So, there we have it.
I am asking you as children of the Kingdom of God to make your voice heard — for our King and for His “orphans”, the millions of unwanted babies awaiting abortion in this country. I have personally sponsored a petition against the Freedom of Choice Act. (You will notice my name at the top of the page.) If you would please, click on the link below, and complete the form.
After signing the petition, you will be presented with an opportunity to make a donation. If you are not interested, simply click the “x” button to close the window.
This is what our responsibility is about — defending widows and orphans (James 1:27). But here, the “widows” are women whose hearts are blinded by the god of this age and teenage daughters who won’t have to wait at all, get any type of counseling, listen to a heartbeat, or even pick up the phone to let us know what they’re about to do. And here the orphans are… well, they’re too young to ask for our help. But, God help us if we ignore their cry because it will scream to God from the dust far louder than Abel’s blood ever did!
I recently was referred to this great tool from Logos Software. The way it works is that you add their code to your blog’s template and when you encounter a Bible passage like John 3:16, the blogging software pops up the Scripture reference.
Hover your mouse over the reference above and see what happens.
Update (2012): I had so many problems with Logos Software’s RefTagger, I moved to another product, bib.ly by John Dyer. It’s a great product!
It’s been a while since my last post. Please forgive my making up for it in this post. 🙂
A lot has happened. I’ve begun to do something I’ve felt God calling me to do since I was in Middle School: be a pastor.
A year ago, Bethel Baptist Church in Weatherford Texas asked me to lead them. I had already been their Interim Pastor, filling their pulpit until they found the one that God had for them. But God had more in store for me and for them. It has been a wonderful fit for everyone. Unfortunately, a few have moved to other churches, but a few have begun worshiping with us.
Being a “bivocational” pastor is something I swore I would never do. I got burned 14 years ago in another church and basically said that I would never let that happen to me again. In June 2007, while serving on staff on one of Fellowship of the Sword’s “Quest”, God broke some things off of me, including my vow to never be hurt that way again. One week later, I was in the pulpit at Bethel.
A year ago, we looked at the Names of God and how God progressively revealed Himself to His people. The series was very well received. Thanks to my friend, David Terry, for his CD message that was the basis of the series (“Giving God a Name”).
I recently began a study on the Old Testament Tabernacle. We moved through the Tabernacle Complex, looking at each part individually and how it fit in with the whole. I pointed out that far too often, when we look at the Tabernacle, we rush into the Holiest Place and talk about the Ark of the Covenant. We can’t do that. There is so much we need to understand before we get there.
It begins with an understanding of the holiness of God. The Outer Courts were surrounded by 7 1/2 foot tall curtains of pure white linen (in contrast to the earthtones of the other tents and desert environment). As you move from the tribe of Judah (praise) into the Outer Courts through a curtain with Blue (heaven/God), Red (earth/Man), and Purple (royalty/[a mixture of blue and red] embroidery, the first thing you see once you get inside is an altar. You realize that something has to die. You can’t go any further until that happens.
This past Sunday, without a working PowerPoint and without my notes and Bible (I had left them in my office) I pointed out that God never intended the Tabernacle to be about the sacrifices (altar) and the ceremonial washing (laver [basin]).
The Tabernacle was always to be about what happened in the Holy Place: fellowship (“table-ing” with God), being illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and being a fragrant incense to Him — things that only the priests were allowed to do, and what happened in the Holiest Place: seeing our sin (violating God’s commands [10 Commandments], rejecting His provision [gold pot of manna], and challenging His authority [Aaron’s Rod] being separated from God’s presence by the Mercy Seat. What a wonderful picture!
Sunday Night, God showed up! With a handful of us present, God showed up about 5 minutes into our church service. We sang, wept, sang and wept, and just sat in silence. An hour and a half later, we felt God was sending us out as embers to light fires where we went.
It was an awesome privilege to be graced with the presence of God.
We will spend some more time in the coming weeks studying worship in the Bible. I pray that God will continue to not only visit, but rest on our fellowship.
More posts to come! (And more visitations?!)
Check out Wade Burleson’s article on the larger issues facing the SBC here.
Here we go…. My very first blog… and it’s about a couple of things near and dear to my heart: SWBTS and the Holy Spirit.
Please check out Bryan and Abbey Padgett’s blog (http://thenationswillknow.blogspot.com/2006/10/sad-day-for-swbts-and-its-trustees.html).
Of all of the comments I’ve read today in the news and on the blogosphere, I feel theirs express my feelings very clearly. And though I don’t know them, I believe we’re on the same page.
I believe there’s room enough in the SBC for lots of people, so long as we remember that what makes somebody a Southern Baptist is cooperating with other people to accomplish God’s purposes.
We have come to a crossroad and something is going to happen. Either God is going to remove His hand from SWBTS, and the SBC in general, and go around the “powers that be” (or has He already?) to accomplish His purposes, or God is going to drop a bomb on the denomination that will send everybody’s head spinning trying to make sense of what He is clearly doing.
If, however things continue in the direction I see them headed right now, the rapture may occur and much in SBC life (and SWBTS) will continue as they did the day before.
Tongues isn’t the issue. The issue is the character of God and whether we will give Him the freedom to be God, the freedom to call the shots (ALL of them), and the freedom to do things as He sees fit. Really.
Grieving for SWBTS and the SBC, and pleading for God’s forgiveness and blessing in spite of us,