Monthly Archives: January 2018
It is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, and as you can see from the title, I am going to jump into controversy times two.
- But to begin, I want to try to clear some obstacles that might keep you from hearing.
- I plead with you to give this sermon a fair hearing. It’s too important to not give it your attention. Even if it is uncomfortable and stings.
OBSTACLE #1: THIS IS REALLY PERSONAL AND HARD FOR SOME OF YOU.
- Several years ago, we did not preach directly on Sanctity of Human Life, but chose to highlight it by promoting Stillwater Life Services and using a video.
- The video was a barrage of quotes in favor of a pro-life worldview.
- I was standing in the back at our connection table, when a young woman came to me with a concerned look on her face.
- She suggested that the video was insensitive and hurtful to those who may have had an abortion. I listened, acknowledged her concern and explained our intentions.
- She never came back. I wonder if she was speaking for herself?
- That has haunted me and I promised myself that if we ever talked about this issue, we would do it in the context of the gospel that sets us free from guilt and death and condemnation before a Holy God.
- We all our dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). But while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). If we would turn from our sin and surrender our lives to Christ by faith, we know there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus before a holy God (Romans 8:1). In the end, no matter what we have done or not done, being right with God through Christ, is all that will matter and forgiveness and salvation and a new life is available to us all in Christ alone.
- It hurts me that this talk may hurt some of you who have experienced the destruction of Abortion, but I can’t stay quiet.
- I want to protect people from future hurt, and help people to think biblically about a hard topic. Please give this your hearing.
Which leads me to OBSTACLE # 2: WE HAVE HEARD THIS BEFORE – OR – AREN’T YOU PREACHING TO THE CHOIR?
- Yes, many of you have. I have preached regularly on this for years. Yes, likely most of you already agree with me and think biblically about all of human life.
- But, let me point out a couple of realities:
- There are many sides to this and the arguments are evolving.
- There are many new people in the room and many university students.
- Studies show that many pastors avoid this like the plague.
- I want our high school students and university adults to be biblically, convictionally pro-life and pro-woman.
Let’s see the big picture, think beyond our comfort and preferences, and not become apathetic. Be teachable and remember it’s not just about you, but the others who are in the room who need this.
THERE MOST CERTAINLY ARE OTHER OBSTACLES, BUT THESE ARE THE ONE’S THAT SEEM MOST RELEVANT.
READ PROVERBS 24:11-12.
- When I read this text I think about how hard it is to watch people be hurt (11a) and hurt themselves and others (11b).
- And when people hurt themselves, they almost always hurt others – I can’t think of a time when they don’t.
Now some of us might be prone to think: “Well, they are getting what they deserve. They are reaping what they sow.”
- And it is true that there is consequence to sin, but should this be the primary mindset of the Christian? That all we can think is: “Well, they got what was coming to them.”?
- Let’s see in God’s Spirit inspired word how we should respond to tragedies like abortion.
(11) God cares deeply about the oppressed and He expects His people to advocate for the vulnerable, outcast and hurting.
- Contextually, the author does not have a precise concern in mind. It is general.
- “Oh hold them back.” Indicates a Deep passion and concern to protect and rescue from harm.
Exodus 22:21-24 is another biblical example of God’s concern for the downtrodden: “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.” As you can see on the bulletin (IG), this runs through the whole of the Bible – Old and New Testament.
- Let’s make it personal. You would want someone advocate for you? To pursue you? To protect you – I hope? You do believe in Matthew 7:12 – right?
- Ask yourself: Do you care about what God cares about?
As I plead with you to care, you might be thinking, “there are so many problems, what can I do?” You can start by caring!
You may not be able to do something about everything that is wrong with the world, but you can know about injustice and care about injustice. And when you can, act to rescue the hurting.
Who are you caring for? Who are you passionate about that is hurting? The LORD God cares and so should His people! That is biblical!
(12) God will hold His people accountable and the claim of ignorance won’t work.
- 12 = Three questions that expect three “yes” responses. 1) He considers and knows your motives. 2) He knows the deep-down truth 3) He will judge you justly.
- Ignorance is not bliss and is no excuse before an all-knowing and just God – especially on this subject.
- ILL: Eisenhower and the Nazi Concentration Camps in 1945 – Eisenhower visited the death camps personally and was stunned at the atrocities. He made the locals walk through the death camps so they would know what they had been an accomplice to.
- “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it.” Martin Luther King Jr.
- “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” William Wilberforce on the slave trade and what was really happening.
In light of these biblical truths, for the next ten or so minutes, I want to advocate for hurting women and the unborn persons they might hurt. But particularly for hurting women.
- You see, I am convinced the pro-life cause is the true pro-woman cause. Let me show you.
We often come at this from the side of the unborn – and we should.
- They are vulnerable, defenseless, created in the image of God. They are persons because God says so in places like Ps. 139 – You were known before time began. God knew you and everyone else.
- And even those who say the unborn are not persons often speak as though they are in fact human persons.
- Their own language betrays them. When not guarding their words, they speak truth too.
- ILL: Hillary Clinton in April 2016 The NYT reported that she was “roundly criticized” because she said, “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”
ILL: PPact wants us to believe that unborn babies are not human, but yet they sell their body parts for human research. They can’t have it both ways.
- ILL: Cosmopolitan (I don’t read it, but thanks to Twitter I came across this) ran an article in March of 2015 reporting research of ultrasounds in which babies react to mothers who smoke, “concluding that nicotine is terrible for unborn babies”.
- Notice they called them babies – little humans. Not fetuses or clumps of cells.
- ILL: The NYT Times ran an article just six days ago, marveling at a “baby” who had surgery in the womb on a spinal deformity, and came out kicking its legs.
- How wonderful that a baby could be helped in the womb – Unless no one wants to help the human baby.
You can call it reproductive rights or women’s healthcare, but we all know what is going on. Human beings are being killed.
- In most cases, organizations like Planned Parenthood are taking advantage of hurting and desperate women, prostituting them for profit.
- I say most cases because, there are women like actress, Martha Plimpton, who “shout their abortions.” Plimpton, at a pro-choice rally, said her first abortion at the age of 19 was her best one, raising her fist in the air with a “yay” as the crowd responded with cheers.
- Planned Parenthood wants women to hurt their unborn children: Planned Parenthood’s annual report typically looks like the 2014-15 report. Adoption referrals: 2,024. Abortions: 323,999 One adoption referral for every 160 abortions. And we know they are selling their dismembered bodies for money. Adoption is not profitable. Selling “human body parts” is.
- The pro-abortion cause has tried to convince us that they are the ones that are really for women because of choice.
But they don’t tell you about the immense suffering abortion produces, for those who are willing to admit it.
- NARAL Pro-Choice America – (National Associate for Repeal of Abortion Laws) tweeted: 95% of women who have an abortion do not regret it and feel it was the best choice for them.
- NARAL and PP often make these kinds of claims – that abortion is good for women.
Yet the research says otherwise:
Abortion Increases Risk of Women’s Mental Health Problems 81%
Sept. 2011 A new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry by leading American researcher Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University finds women who have an abortion face almost double the risk of mental health problems as women who have their baby. Coleman’s study is based on an analysis of 22 separate studies which, in total, examine the pregnancy experiences of 877,000 women, with 163,831 women having an abortion. The study also indicated abortion accounts for one in ten of every adverse mental health issue women face as a whole.
A new study published in the Winter 2017 issue of The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons confirms that many women suffer from long-term negative psychological effects of abortion. This includes regret, shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, loss of quality of life, and self-destructive behaviors. The study included 987 post-abortive women. The results of the study showed that 67.5 percent of respondents sought help from a psychiatrist, psychologist or counselor after their abortions, compared to 13 percent who had sought help prior to their abortions. In addition, 51 percent reported prescription drug use after their abortion while only 6.6 percent used prescription drugs prior to their abortion.
58.3 percent of the women said they had their abortions to make other people happy, and 78.3 percent said that their decision to abort was aided by pressure from others. When asked about the negative results of their abortions, women stated that they felt deep feelings of loss, a decrease in their quality of life, lower self-esteem, and a decrease in their ability to connect with others. Regret, shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior were all common experiences for these women.
- 27% of women who abort contemplate suicide. Amongst teenage women, the rate rises to 50% – @CharmaineYoest CEO of Americans United for Life
BTW, our government reports that since 1973, 400 women have died from legal abortions. And yet PP often tweets that Women should have safe, legal abortion. No abortion is safe. Someone always dies.
AGAIN: NARAL Pro-Choice America – (National Associate for Repeal of Abortion Laws) tweeted: 95% of women who have an abortion do not regret it and feel it was the best choice for them.
- Somebody isn’t telling the truth about the facts or about who is really trying to protect and advocate for women.
Common sense tells us who is right and who is wrong and what is hurtful and harmful to women.
- The Bible tells us it is wrong too.
- Abortion goes against the doctrine of the Imago Dei (Genesis 1:26-18) – that humans were created to be reproducing image bearers.
I know women in our church – women who would be more than glad to talk to you – who have suffered for years because of abortion. Pushing the pain down, hoping it would go away. Living with shame. They can listen to you and help you if you have experienced abortion. We can help you find hope in Jesus Christ. We all need forgiveness and restoration.
So church, who will do Proverbs 24:11? Who will protect those slipping toward death? Who will hold them back?
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Remember the gospel that sets us free from sin, shame and guilt.
- Let your mourning and anger move you to love and compassion. We must not return evil with evil and harm. Be angry about abortion, but do not sin in your anger. Rather love – do what is best for others.
- Be knowledgeable – about the Bible and about science and about the facts. Science is on the side of life.
- SLS handout – volunteer, serve, give.
- Foster and adopt.
- Rose Day
I want to be pro-human and pro-woman. Abortion is not the way. Brothers and sisters, hold them back. Be pro-woman. Keep them from destruction. The LORD God demands it from His people.