Abortion is

In light of the undercover videos released by the Center of Medical Progress many in the media are having a difficult time describing what abortion is.

Clinical?

Some have downplayed abortion to something that is clinical.  It is merely a procedure that removes an unwanted pregnancy from the womb of a mother who has every right to do whatever she wants to do with her body.

Political?

Abortion is primarily about women’s health and women’s right to choose.  The issue is about oppression of women equivalent to the civil rights movement of American segregation and slavery.  Therefore to suggest anything else makes you a bigot, extremist, and right-wing zealot.

Moral/Ethical?

When discussing abortion many see that the main issue is that is it ethical?  Various analogies are used such as rape, the violinist example, or the now popular and effective SLED test.

Theological

I would contend that abortion is a mixture of all of those things but the primary reason why abortion is so controversial  is that because it is a theological issue.  Believers and unbelievers have some level of disgust at what the shocking videos display because what they see is not merely “fetal tissue, clumps of cells, products of or conception.”  When our eyes see images of flesh that look images of ourselves we instinctively realize that life was just terminated.  Life was aborted.  Murder has taken place upon a defenseless and speechless person.  It is theological because every person has within them the image of God.  To destroy that image is to commit a crime not just to that person but to God himself.  A crime for which we must answer and be held accountable to.  God has established the law of capital punishment early on in the Old Testament (Genesis 9:6).

Murder is wrong because God declares it so and we know it to be so.  How then does one go beyond the threshold of murder that it would take dismemberment to awaken our conscience to something that is wrong?  The Bible speaks clearly on this issue.  People suppress the truth that God exists.  In Romans 1:18-19 Paul states that God’s wrath falls upon those who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.”   To suppress the truth of God means to reject God, to ignore God, to rebel against who God is.  In a word: unbelief.

A society that promotes unbelief and godlessness provides a catalyst for this unbelief.  The consequences to such unbelief soon follow after.  It begins with how God’s wrath is revealed and applied to those who suppress the truth.  Paul describes this wrath as “giving them over.”  The way wrath is applied to sinners is that they are given over to what they want instead of given over to what God wants.

First they are “given over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them” (Romans 1:24).  Paul says that they dishonor their bodies and “exchange the truth for a lie” and “worship and served the creature rather than the Creator.”  Instead of believing God as He has revealed Himself in the Scriptures people are given over to their lusts which are their sexual desires. Instead of worshiping God their is a worship of self and of animals.  The sexual needs of men and women become primary and therefore we enter into a sexual revolution where our sexuality and hunger for it become primary.

Secondly after people are given over to their lusts it gets worse.  They are also given over “to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error (Romans 1:26-27).”  After the hunger for unlimited and inconsequential natural sex is no longer satisfying a new passion and craving for unnatural sexual relations take over.  It is not just a sexual revolution but a homosexual revolution that takes over.

Lastly the final consequence of those who suppress the truth of God is when “they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper (Romans 1:28).”  The description of what improper things are a listed in the longest list of vices in the entire New Testament.   Instead of seeing the most basic of moral issues their minds are unable to function and make simple determinations.  One example murder.  Murder is no longer seen as murder but a removal of fetal tissue.

Our society does not reach this point slowly.  Rather it is a series of steps where a little bit of suppression of God’s truth takes place.  Rejection of God leads us to go beyond threshold of murder and require something more shocking like dismemberment to awaken our conscience.  We are being handed over to what we want: lives separate from God and lives in rejection to God.

There is no hope for a nation when its best thinkers and leaders aren’t able to make a determination upon the most basic moral decisions.  The good news is this: there is always hope for individuals.  We can’t change a nation but there is hope to individuals of that nation.  Hope that is found in the message of the Gospel.  Jesus Christ offers life to those who have rejected Him and have committed heinous acts of adultery, homosexuality, murder, rape, incest, and any other sin.  Instead of rejecting God, believe that God not only exists but God has appeared to us in the person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus came because God’s wrath must be unleashed upon deserving sinners like us.  The reason Jesus came was to die for sinners and He received God’s wrath in our place.  He became our substitute as He bore our penalty.  The Bible describes what Christ did on our behalf as “He [God] made him [Christ] who knew no sin, to be sin in order that we might have the righteousness of God in him” (2Cor 5:21).  Jesus the sinless one took our sin and therefore paid our punishment.  In exchange He gave us something we don’t deserve His righteousness.  To receive what God offers one must believe by faith (1) who they are: sinners before God; (2) who God is: perfect and holy; (3) who Christ is: the only one who could pay for their sins; (4) respond by turning from sin and following Christ as their Savior and their Lord.

Abortion is horrific.  Abortion is murder.  Abortion is not an unforgivable sin.  If you have read this far, God is inviting you to receive by faith His Son Jesus Christ who lived and died in your place.

God in the Wasteland

This summer I’ve been reading a few books including God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams
In this book he helps Christians discern the movements in modernity.   I want to share a few quotes from that book.

One of his observations about our society is that we have neglected the sovereignty of God who is above us and outside of us.  He makes the claim that far too many Christians have neglected the God of the Word and fashioned an internal God that is within.  He says

The church has succumbed to the seductions of our therapeutic culture, and in that context it seems quite natural to favor the relational dimension over the moral dimension, mysticism over cognitive conviction, self-fulfillment over personal surrender, self-image over character, pluralistic religions equality over the uniqueness of the Christian faith.  When all is said and done, modernity dispatches the God who is outside, and all that remains is the God who is inside.

To combat this temptation he suggests that the church recover a strong biblical emphasis on God’s holiness.

1) God’s holiness carries with it the demand of exclusive loyalty to him (Exod 20:1-3) instead of falling into wordiness and infatuation with a fading culture (James 4:4).

2) The Old Testament stands in contrast to Ancient Near East literature that ascribes holiness to people, articles, and places.  Instead the Old Testament declares that God, Yahweh, along is holy and all else is derived from His holiness.

3) The Holiness of God is associated with the tenderness of God.  He gives the example that, “Yahweh identifies himself as the ‘high and lofty One who inhabits eternity,’ the one ‘whose name is Holy,’ who dwells ‘in the high and holy place’ – but who also dwells ‘with him who is of contrite and humble spirit’ (Isa 57:15; cf/ ps 25:11; 79:9; Jer 14:7,9).

Giving sinners what they want

On June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court held a 5-4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples. Justice Kennedy declared that “the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex cannot be deprived of that right and that liberty.”

Chief Justice Roberts rightly asserted in his dissent that, “the majority’s decision is an act of will, not a legal judgment.” Roberts would continue to say, “The majority lays out a tantalizing vision for the future Members of this Court. If an unvarying social institution enduring over all of recorded history cannot inhibit judicial policymaking, what can?” His warning is urgent: if the Supreme Court allows itself to redefine marriage, there is no restraint on the judiciary to redefine anything else! Roberts would go on to warn that, “It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage?”  Within the week cases for polygamous marriages started to surface.

Justice Antonin Scalia had these remarks to the ruling, “I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy.” He would go on to say, “[I]t is not of special importance to me what the law says about marriage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create ‘liberties’ that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

The Supreme Court of our United States has made its decision. The result is that states are able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and must recognize same-sex marriages performed by other jurisdictions across all 50 states.

Just as we are trying to discuss and address the meaning of that ruling on July 14, 2015 a video was released showing the senior medical director of Planned Parenthood casually discussing the sale of organs from aborted babies which is a moral challenge thrown right in the face of all Americans.

The video reveals Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood, discussing the intentional harvesting of organs and other tissues from babies aborted in Planned Parenthood clinics. While reaching with her fork for salad, Dr. Nucatola openly tells a group she believes to be medical researchers that there is a great demand for fetal livers, but “a lot of people want intact hearts these days.”

Her language is beyond chilling as she described how abortions are conducted specifically to harvest intact organs: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part. I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

After weeks of having our senses overwhelmed with the Culture of Sex and Culture Death, how are Christians to rightly handle these challenging times?

Sin is rampant. Sin is everywhere. A quick look on your Twitter feed (or folding Newspaper) you will be quickly reminded that our world is getting worse not better. The reflection of what you see at the regional, national, or international level is a reflection of what’s happening at the individual level. Every single person is under the stranglehold of a power that left unchecked leads them towards self-destruction. That power is sin. That power is rampant. Sin is everywhere.

Listen to the full sermon here: Giving Sinners what they want

God of the small and insignificant

In studying the subject of God’s Providence Ruth Glover summarizes well the involvement and care of God to his creation:

“He is God of the small. He is God of the mite, the morsel, the mote and the molecule; He is God of the particle and the pittance. To Him insignificant is significant, and there are no secrets.”

I was made for another world

C.S. Lewis famously said the following worlds in the chapter entitled Hope, in his book Mere Christianity.

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.  If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud.  Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.  If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage.  I must keep myself alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.”

Lewis expresses the longing of every generation that there is something better.  What we taste and experience in this life is but an echo of the real thing.  Interestingly, this longing that he shares is expressed by the character Reepicheep in Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

“While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek will be head of the talking mice in Narnia.”

You and I are made for another world.  We are made to glorify God and every pleasure this life offers is but an echo of our ultimate pleasure and satisfaction that can be found only in God.  Here the words of the psalmist in Psalm 16:11

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Cordless Vacuum

Choosing a Cordless Vacuum

If you’re thinking about replacing your vacuum and don’t want to deal with moving the plug from outlet to outlet and tripping over a cord, check out bestcordlessvacuums.net. The product guides will help you narrow down which features are most important to look for along with the best vacuums for particular cleanup tasks. If you choose a stick vacuum, you can replace your corded upright vacuum and be able to clean any type of flooring.

Raw vs. Jpeg

Raw vs Jpeg looks like a holy war today. On the one hand RAW is better, it contains all the data, you may process it in any way you like. On the other hand, Jpeg images are lightweight and can be viewed in almost any image viewer. So if you have folders packed up with Raw photos and you do not plan to work with them later, it may be a good idea to turn them into Jpegs. Any camera that shoots in Raw comes with a special program that will convert raw to jpeg. If you have no idea of where that CD is, try a third-party RAW converter like Total Image Converter from CoolUtils. It supports RAW files from almost all cameras including Nikon, Canon, Kodak, Minolta, Casio, Sony, Pentax and many more.

God’s Power

According to 2Cor 12:7-10 the unique partnership between God’s Power and our weakness is this: He supplies all the power, we supply all the weakness! We can only experience God’s power when we are weak.

Pope Steps down

The leader of 1.2 billion Catholics is stepping down. Not since the Middle Ages (1294) had a sitting Pope stepped down from his office. Joseph Ratzinger, also known as the conservative Pope (nicknamed, “Gods rotweiler”) will be stepping down from his office as Bishop of Rome on Feb 28th, 2013.

Many in the public are already questioning Ratzinger’s move as a result of the ongoing sexual abuses that has plagued the Catholic Chuch.

Bill McMurry, a lawyer from Kentucky, who has sued the Vatican for sexual abuse allegations going back as far as 1928, has told Karen McVeigh in New York it was difficult for him to believe that Benedict had stepped down for health reasons.

He said: “The world is stunned. We don’t see in the history of the papal world a pope stand down. It makes you wonder what’s going on.”

McMurry said he personally held Benedict responsible for “decades” of cover-up of the sex abuse scandal in the US, giving the example of his instructing bishops to send more paedophile priests from one district to another. He told the Guardian: “It is a good day when a bad pope or a bad leader of your religion steps aside.”

The Guardian 

 

Source: Yahoo News