On abortion…..

I have no idea why this is a subject that has come to the forefront lately for me. In the last couple of weeks I have discussed the topic of abortion more than any other social issue that theology pertains to. 

When it rains it pours, right? 

Since I have written only a little on the subject I figured today’s posting would be in regard to what the Bible has to say about Abortion. The answer is that the Bible does not address abortion directly. Meaning there is no text found therein stating something along the lines of, “Thou shalt not allow abortions.” But don’t get too excited pro-abortion advocates because what I am about to say will not sit well with you I imagine. 

In spite of the Bible’s silence in regard to the specific usage of the term abortion, the text has a great deal to say in regard to the unjust taking of human life, or rather, murder. It is wrong to murder someone. There are very few people out there who will take issue with that particular teaching from both the Old and New Testaments. Which is why the arguments surrounding abortion tend to rely on this purported belief that the unborn, are not to be considered “people” until after they have exited the womb. Because, if the unborn are not people until after they have exited the womb, then it cannot be considered murder to end their lives so long as you do so before they exit…..right?????

There is so much wrong here I am genuinely having a difficult time figuring out how to begin to address this from a Biblical perspective. I think I will set the stage for what is expected of Christians in regard for how they are to treat human life and then move on to common pro-abortion arguments. Hopefully this will keep things clear:

Human life is that which is human by nature, and alive. No I am not being cheeky. This is essential in understanding a Biblical perspective. There are no accommodations made for scientifically vague stages of human reproduction. Meaning that human life does not begin at some post-zygote molecular level at some stage along the development of the embryo. Human life began when God created Adam and Eve. Their reproductive tools, eggs and sperm, continued human life through the ages down to all of us in the here and now and our reproductive tools. Which means when a child is conceived (no matter the means), that conception is a continuation of human life. Live human eggs and sperm, when united, continued their process into a live human zygote/embryo, infant, adolescent, and finally adult. Life did not end and then begin. Upon having united the two things required to form and adult human (egg and sperm) you have continued human life.  

Now that this has been established we come to how life ends Biblically. There is a difference in the Scriptures between life ending in a just way (killing, or natural death…notice how God makes specific accommodation for war, self-defense and capital punishment as all justifiable ways of ending human life {Deuteronomy}), and life ending in an unjust way (murder {Exodus, Deuteronomy, and elsewhere}). Murder occurred when an individual or group ended human life in a way that God does not condone. Hence the admission of murder into the Ten Commandments as a unilateral command that we are not to engage in such activity at all. 

So the question then becomes, if the unborn are human by nature and alive, would then the ending of their lives be just, or unjust in the eyes of God? Has the unborn been found guilty of a crime punishable by death?

Of course not.

I hope by this point you are following where I am going with this. The biggest issue that I have come up against discussing this issue with fellow Christians and non-Christians alike is the reliance upon clinical terminology to de-humanize the child in the womb. It’s easier and more pleasant to think about the “removal of a zygote” then it is to think about murdering unborn children. Such reliance is absolutely ludicrous when you put it in terms of whether or not the unborn is human by nature and alive. Of course the unborn is human by nature and alive. There is no debate about this until you reach the sheer magnitude of what it means when you want to end that life unjustly. That is murder loved ones. Period. There is no getting around it. 

The best thing you can do if you find yourself promoting abortion and wanting to remain consistent Scripturally is tear out those sections of Scripture that teach not to murder. I will give you a moment to go and do that…..it’s going to take you a while. 

Now for the fun. Let’s engage some common Pro-abortion arguments:

1. So long as the unborn remains in an embryonic stage prior to the abortion occurring, all the mother is doing is essentially discarding a group of cells. This is not unlike scratching dead skin off of your arm….

This perspective fails to address whether or not the embryo is human by nature and alive. If the embryo is human by nature and alive and you end that life unjustly, you are still guilty of murder. Moreover, the embryo is undergoing one of the early stages of becoming an adult human being (Meiosis). Your arm skin is undergoing a Mitotic cycle and is not an early stage of producing an adult human being. The scraping of said cells in question is entirely different.

2. But what if the child is a product of rape….?

This is a really sad scenario to occur, but yet again, this objections fails to address the fact that the child that was a result of the rape did absolutely nothing to deserve being murdered in the womb. It does not make any sense to say, Person A raped Person B, therefore murder Person C. The only person we should be discussing the ending the life of here is the rapist. It makes no sense to murder the child. 

3. Better to be aborted than to live a life of not being wanted…

This objection has always really bothered me. Really? Who are you to decide who lives or dies contingent upon the life they may or may not lead? I actually had a good friend of mine tell me that she supported abortion because there were too many unwanted children in the world. How does this make sense, “I think that there are too many unwanted children in the world so let’s go ahead and murder the new ones.” Sounds a lot worse when presented clearly doesn’t it? 

I think what bothers me the most about this objection is that it is actually recognizing the murder and condoning it. That is really dark. I am completely blown away hearing that come out of folks mouths that I go to church with. I guess at least with this one they are recognizing the murder? Perhaps we are making ground? 😦

4. It’s just not the right time in my life to be raising a child…

So….let’s go ahead and murder it?! Seriously again, this is murdering due to inconvenience. You wanted to have sex and not live with the consequences of your actions so you’re going to murder your child? Same problem as the rest with this one. Another failure to address the core issue of whether or not the life in the womb is human and alive. Of course it is. Of course it is wrong for you to murder someone because it was more convenient for you to not have to deal with. 

5. What about when the life of the mother is at risk….?

This one is not as difficult as folks make it out to be. I am not being insensitive here, close family members of mine have had to deal with this situation and it is unbelievably painful. Ending the pregnancy is still murder in this scenario, the only caveat is that in true life of the mother scenarios, the mother will die if the pregnancy is not terminated (I say “true” because folks like to feign life of the mother when it’s more like life-will-be-exceptionally-difficult-during-the-course-of-the-pregnancy-for-the-mother…true life of the mother scenarios are exceptionally rare). The scenario forces a choice between lives here. My answer to this one is prayer. I honestly do not know what else to say in this case except that to murder either party is morally incorrect. I assure you this is not a cop-out it is just that I would be lying to you as an Apologist if I claimed to know Biblically what to do here except to pray for a miracle. God has a habit of doing those when we are faced with a scenario only He can solve if we are obedient to His teachings. 

To be fair, I have yet to be faced with an example of a true life of the mother scenario. Most scenarios are that the pregnancy will end the life of the mother and child and therefore the child will die to begin with. In those cases we pray and ask God to be patient with us and our dealings with the result of sin in the world. I can already hear the cries from my non-Christian readers of why God would allow such a thing to occur. Sorry guys, that’s for another post. Long story short, if this scenario is really occurring then we need to save the mother and pray for forgiveness for not knowing how to do both. This is exceptionally sad for me to write. Praise God that this scenario is so rare that I have yet to actually see one occur.  

In closing (I know I’ve written a book but considering the number of followers I have, apparently you all like to read), there is no excuse for allowing the murder of the unborn by abortions in the numbers our country does. I realize that there are a lot more objections out there and you are more than welcome to post them below. I will attempt to get to everybody in good time. 

Please consider being an active voice for the voiceless in the womb loved ones. 

In Him,

A.R. 

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So my phone alerted me today…..

Yeah, so I was getting ready for orientation at my new teaching position today and my iPhone alerted me that my blog had some unreviewed comments. I was all, “That’s cool, I’ll check it out. I didn’t think anyone was reading my blog anymore. It’s been a while.” 

That’s when I logged in and saw that I had 600 page views……

OHMYGOSH WHAT?! 600 PAGE VIEWS????????? ……MULTIPLE UNREAD COMMENTS?????!!!!!

I have been remiss, my followers, forgive me! I should have a new posting up sometime this afternoon. I have no idea why I have only just now received these alerts.  

Cheers and thanks everyone. I really mean it. Folks are reading and commenting. I will get to your comments in the order in which they were posted. 

Thank you so very much! 🙂 

Chick-fil-A and the Homosexual Agenda

There has been so much going on with Facebook and the Chick-fil-A (and now Starbucks day) in regard to the debate over Gay marriage that I feel it’s time to throw in my two-cents, for whatever it’s worth to you my loved ones. I’ve been in several debates over this issue of late and there are some points involved in this argument that I think are really not broadly circulated, or at least they are not recognized as presuppositions in this debate. I intend on discussing those issues in this posting.

Firstly, when did it become hatred to disagree with someone in general? Why are the terms “hate speech” thrown around so freely in this debate? Last I checked, no one is burning any of the LGBT community at stake, or stopping them from using the same water fountains as straight people. When I say to someone, “No, I’m sorry but I disagree with you and what you are saying or how you are living,” I am HATING them?! Really? So, am I hating my loved one when I tell them that I think that they should stop doing heroin or getting drunk and driving? It’s absolutely ridiculous to say that hate is the same as disagreement but it comes up in this specific context all the time. Why? I realize that this is a heavily emotion-filled topic but can you imagine during a Presidential debate, Mitt Romney telling President Obama that he is hating him for disagreeing with his Economic Plan? He’d be laughed off the stage, yet that is not happening here in this debate. I suspect this is due to the fact that there is an assumption placed on the debate that goes as follows:

1. If disagree with Gay marriage, then you must support traditional marriage.

2. If you support traditional marriage it must be because you are a Christian.

3. Christians believe that Homosexuality is immoral.

4. Christians disagree with Gay Marriage.

5. Disagreement is the same thing as hating.

6. Therefore disagreeing with Gay marriage is the same thing as hating Gay people and because Jesus was about love, Christians are being inconsistent and hateful. 

Sound familiar? 

Now I am not saying that this is clear thinking by any means, but what I am attempting to demonstrate is that there are a ton of assumptions going on here that are not accurate and need to be addressed by we Christians before we talk about Gay marriage. Obviously Jesus was a nice guy and yes he spoke a lot about love. But he also spoke a lot about other issues as well, like for instance his validation of Mosaic Law:

“If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5:46-47)

So when your friends quickly dismiss your quotes from Leviticus about Homosexuality because they claim that Jesus never said that Homosexuality was wrong and therefore Jesus would support Gay marriage, ask them why then did Jesus validate Moses’ writings and affirm that they were written with regard to him? (then take them to Romans Chapter 1 were Lesbianism is discussed…but that’s for another posting….)

My point is, I suspect that the vitriolic response that some of us receive when we say,”No, I do not believe that Homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle and I support the notion of traditional marriage,” stems from an emotional hurt that is experienced by the Homosexual community by not being unilaterally considered acceptable. Because it really is not a tenable argument to say that expressing a dissenting opinion is tantamount to hatred. Moreover, if I am to assume that expressing a dissenting opinion is in fact tantamount to hatred, then I am free to say that the Homosexual community is hating me for not agreeing with my position….

…the hypocrisy in this scenario is palpable….

Now onto my next point: No one is stopping members of the LGBT community from getting married. I know you’re thinking right now, “What is she talking about?” but just bear with me here for moment. At any given time an openly practicing Gay man can take a willing lady and get a marriage license. No one asks you what your sexual preference is when you apply for a marriage license. They are then completely free to go and have a wedding, with the whole nine yards, and qualify for all the tax breaks that they want. No one is going stop them (on civil level) from doing so and the same is true for Lesbians.

So what’s my point? My point is that the Homosexual Agenda is not seeking to have the right to get married. They already have that right. The Homosexual Agenda is seeking to:

1. Redefine what Marriage is…

2. Find unilateral acceptance of the new definition through federal-level legislation (because obviously Civil Unions aren’t good enough otherwise we wouldn’t still be discussing this issue) And…

3. Silence those who disagree with their lifestyle by passing “Hate Speech” legislation that calls for the jailing of those individuals who have the audacity to verbalize their beliefs in public…

This is why I am writing this post. Because this issue is serious. Very serious. I can’t say that enough. My right to write this blog for example may be quickly waning and I want to get this out there just in case the Homosexual Agenda wins the day. The issue of “Gay Marriage” is much much more than just an upset minority getting louder. It is a serious affront on all American’s right to speak freely and without fear of expressing their opinions. Chick-fil-A day on August 1st was a great exercise in calling attention to the hypocrisy and showing the world that we still support Free Speech.

My call to you this afternoon is to keep it up and to keep aware. I don’t care what group it is, LGBT or otherwise. It should never be the case that our right to Free Speech is infringed regardless of what our personal beliefs are. And so long as I still have the right, this is what I am going to say…

I believe that Christianity is a necessary pre-requisite for interpreting reality correctly. I disagree with those who disagree with me and I am going to continue to fight for Christian World-View as long as I live. From marriage issues to political ones, social issues to personal ones, this is what I believe. I say this not because I hate those who disagree with me, but because I love them and want them to know the truth. I have said this before and I will say it again, if I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t care to tell you otherwise. 

…it is my ardent hope that even if you think I am completely nuts that you will, at the very least, stand with me in support of our right to disagree with each other. 

In Him,

A.R. 

Time to forfeit our 501c3s…….

Hey guys. Long time no see but it is for a good cause as I am currently studying directly under the internationally renowned apologist Dr. John Frame. This means that my blog posts will be becoming more and more interesting (God willing) as time progresses. I should be back in with the social networks at the end of my studies with him (He studied directly under Cornelius Van Til!!!!! Ahhhhh! I’m theologically geeking out).

Alright enough of that….

Now onto the reason that I am writing today: I was just informed that the IRS addressed the Pulpit Summit this year and warned the Pastors attending that it would be illegal for them to comment from the pulpit on any of the goings on of the Presidential Candidates. My response was, “I’m sorry…..WHAT?!” Exactly what business does the IRS have addressing the Pulpit Summit? And how exactly do they feel that such a comment isn’t a massive infringement on our Constitutional rights?! So I did a little digging…..

Long story short, the IRS’ justification stems from the Johnson Amendment in 1954 where the amendment states that a church organization which receives government funding (in most cases a tax exemption in the form of a 501c3) are legally obligated not to discuss, endorse or indirectly endorse, a specific candidate for office or political party. This amendment, to my great dismay was passed and is still in effect. How this isn’t an infringement on free speech I have no idea. It’s perfectly acceptable for other non-religious/religious organizations who receive the very same funding to endorse a presidential candidate but it’s not cool if you speak out from the pulpit? Really?

Insanity. Does no one study church history anymore?!  

So what’s my advice to my brethren in the church in light of this? Follow the law. Do not break it. We are obligated by Scripture to do so. We are not obligated however to take and use government tax credits and we needn’t feel as though we are. Tell the government that they have no business being involved in what is spoken about from the pulpit. Give back your 501c3s and trust that if you are doing the job that the Holy Spirit has appointed to you, then the funding that you need will come from our Father in heaven who will not fail to give us everything we need in order to accomplish His plan for us. 

Spread the word! And if you would like to show your support consider praying for the leaders of your church and those of us who are fighting the good fight daily! We need your prayers. 

In Him,

A.R.

 

For more information, check this out!

http://blog.speakupmovement.org/church/churches-and-politics/irs-official-warns-pastors-to-keep-silent-during-elections/

So about the Presidential Election Coming Up…

I thought that I would go ahead and alert you guys to a petition going around the internet. It’s called, “For the Sake of the Gospel” and it is a petition that requests that regardless of your political affiliation, that we recognize Mormonism is not a Christian belief system.

The petition was begun by a few Pastors who were steeped in the political sphere. They realized that their support of Mitt Romney or lack there of was being interpreted by their lay people and the folks whom they would talk to as an affirmation that Mormonism was a Christian denomination. This confusion greatly affected the Pastors and they thusly began the “For the Sake of the Gospel” campaign. What the campaign states is that as Pastors and lay people we believe that no matter what religious background our future president has, whomever they are, what have you, that we believe that the Gospel is clear and that anyone espousing anything other than what the Gospel states is not a Christian. No matter what they say or how sincerely they believe they are. 

In Mitt Romney’s case, if he ends up winning the election, regardless of anyone’s political affiliation, the petition states that we want to make it very clear that his religious affiliation is not Christian. It is fine for him to espouse Mormonism, he certainly has a Constitutional right to do so and we affirm that that should be the case, however we Pastors, Theologians, and lay people will not say that the LDS Church (Mormons) is a Christian church. 

Please be so kind as to read the petition and if you feel so moved, sign it. This stuff is important guys. It is absolutely necessary that the Gospel of Christ not get compromised for the sake of political correctness or sincere belief. The Gospel is clear and we ought to fight for that clarity no matter what. 

So check it out! I have signed it and my professors at Seminary have signed it. Take a stand for the Gospel’s sake. And if anything, just read the petition to see why we feel so strongly about this…

http://forthesakeofthegospel.com/

 

Fighting off sickness and what not…

So no, I haven’t forgotten about you all. Let’s just start there. 

Between this horrendous sinus infection, losing my laptop charger, my students freaking out over the 3rd Grade SAT, and Grad-School, wedding plans, and moving everything I own 9 hours away to the Smoky Mountains, I simply haven’t been able to write. 

I know, shame on me. 😀 

However, I should be back online here sometime around the 17th. So be patient with me and pray. There’s so much going on!!! I am truly blessed, however the stress is beginning to rear its ugly head so the blog updates are just going to have to wait. 

Thanks for understanding. 

And who knows? Some great studies might just come out of my hikes in the Mountains…

Maranatha,

A.R. 

What is the Bible?


2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed…

At first glance, this question may seem a little redundant. This is not the case, I assure you. In order to clarify the misconceptions regarding the nature of the Scriptures we must first define precisely what the Bible is. Knowing this, we can then identify what the Bible is not.

 I. The Bible is “God Breathed:”

 What this means is that the Scripture itself was inspired by God in the mind of the respective author (Paul, Moses, etc.). What they, in turn, record is then the self-revelation of God, meaning that the Scriptures are precisely what God has deemed necessary for us to know about Himself and in regard to how to proceed in the situation in which we find ourselves.

II. The Bible is the standard of Truth:

Because the Bible is God’s revelation to mankind, it is, in effect, perfectly true and correct in every way. We know that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and thusly when He speaks through the authors, they too record what God has revealed as true.

*A note on the circularity of revelation: it is true that there is a circularity to this reasoning. The approach that the believer takes on this point is one of faith to some degree. For example, to say that the Bible is the inspired word of God because the Bible says that it is the inspired word of God is in fact a circular argument. The problem of course with this is that there is not any way to escape this predicament.

The nature of our situation is that human beings haven’t a way to escape the system in which we dwell in order to stand objectively separated from both the supernatural and the natural to observe the validity of this claim. Instead, we test that which claims any level of the supernatural with the test of consistency as well as time. If it is true, then it will stand up to the test.

There are myriads of examples within the Scriptures that reveal aspects of the world hundreds of years before the knowledge would have been available to the authors who recorded it. Descriptions, prophecies, etc. are only to name a few. For example, at one point (Psalm 22) there is an account of crucifixion that was written 400 years before crucifixion was invented by the Phoenicians. Scripture demonstrates a knowledge that man could not have fabricated.

The final point is that yes, Christianity recognizes the issue at hand and yes there is an account as to why this is the way it must be. The faith required in this is perfectly informed and logical. The natural skeptic assumes the same circularity in denying that the supernatural exists. Because of his or her complete inability to test this hypothesis, they in turn assume their own circular argument: The super-natural cannot exist because it cannot be proved naturally. See the problem?

Having established this, let’s proceed in clearing up a few of the more prevalent misconceptions surrounding what the Bible is.

  • The Bible is not “more like guidelines.” Because of the nature of the revelation (truth), the Scriptures are not merely good ideas or suggestions. There are very real consequences to actions and what is revealed therein contains a very real account of what is, has been, and what will be.
  • The Bible is not irrelevant in light of the Society of today. What the Scriptures reveal should and must be interpreted in light of their specific context. However, this does not mean that what is established is to be disregarded when the present society does not agree with what has been revealed as true. Society is subject to Scripture. Not the other way around.
  • The Bible does not contain contradictions. A contradiction is established when one set of circumstances does not allow for the possibility of another set of circumstances. It is true that there are difficulties in the Bible that take a little more time than others to explain but this does not mean that they represent examples of contradictions.
  • There are no parts of the Bible that are “more inspired” than others. Scripture is uniformly and entirely God breathed. This means that Christ’s words in the Gospels, for example, are equally as valid and true as the Apostle Paul’s words in the epistles or the prophet Isaiah’s words in the Old Testament.

This has been just a quick survey of the issues that are out there regarding Scripture. The important thing to remember is that you have every right and a Christian responsibility to live and breathe by the words found within. We, as a body of believers, have a responsibility to uphold these truths above all else as well as subject even ourselves to its standard. It’s tough, but in the end, do you really want to live a life where your basis for living is a lie? I didn’t think so.

 

In Him,

A.R.