I took this picture—of about 50 Catholics and their priest performing mass—last Friday while standing on the sidewalk near the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood. The clinic performs abortions on Thursdays and Fridays (aided in part by any American who pays taxes). This was the first time I’d been to an abortion clinic.
Colorado Springs is sometimes referred to as the Mecca of Christianity. There are many Christian organizations headquartered there, such as Focus on the Family. However, only three evangelicals showed up to plead for the lives of the unborn and to proclaim the law and the gospel to those who were there to murder their children.
The woman who was the de facto leader of the Christian contingent has been doing abortion ministry for five weeks, and had to bring her 15 month old son. I’m very grateful to her for what she’s doing, but it’s indicative of the state of the church that the most experienced person there is brand new. I’m not at all surprised that so few evangelicals show up, but I am ashamed.
The same sad state of affairs seems to be the case (in my experience) in any type of evangelism. Those of us who wish to proclaim the gospel are told that we’re not doing it right while the critics don’t do anything.
The reason there are 50 Catholics there is because the priest was there. People follow their leader. Christian pastors don’t go out witnessing, so Christians don’t go out witnessing. It seems that very few of us really do anything.
I don’t mean to come off sounding bitter. I came to grips with this situation long ago. I’m merely pointing out the issues. But I’ve been thinking about how abortion ministry might be best done. After going once,
I’m clearly not qualified to say anything, my few hours of experience now ranks me among the top 1% of American Christians.
It seems to me that there is a normal way to present the law and the gospel in most situations, and that’s what we should all be doing, and should be getting very good at. If you have that ability, you’re 95% prepared to witness at a gay pride parade, to a bar crowd or at an abortion clinic, because it’s all about the gospel.
Those of us thinking about trying something new may be hoping to find a qualified Christian leader to show us the ropes, but that may not happen. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for our pastors to lead us to do something. We are commanded to expose unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11) even if we have to figure it out with just other laymen and the Bible.
This is the picture of a young fourteen year old girl. Most of us would look at her and think she was probably a normal kid without a care in the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, she has been charged as having murdered her newborn son shortly after his birth. According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, this young girl (I am leaving out her name for obvious reasons) became pregnant, lied about it to her parents, concealed the pregnancy by wearing loosed clothes, then gave birth in her bathroom. Once the 9-1/2 pound baby boy was born, she choked the life out of him and hid him in a shoe box underneath soiled laundry in her room. After a series of events, the child’s body was discovered and the young girl was arrested.
Christians, it might be easy to dismiss this tragic event as one of a handful of terrible events in our country. It might be easy to say that this is not representative of our youth as a whole. Or it might be even easier to lay this at the hands of liberalism in our country, claiming that they have been indoctrinated to believe promiscuity is the norm and that they should never be burdened with the results. A thought made all the easier to believe when one realizes had she gone to an abortionist, she would have never been arrested. But I have to ask you, do we not bear some responsibility here? Haven’t we, as the church, as the salt and light in a dark and dying world, failed young girls like this because we have failed to affect the culture through the preaching of the gospel?
Before this post gets assaulted with the obvious theological implications of personal responsibility for sin, sovereignty of God, and such, please understand I am not saying that the Church is personally responsible for this young girl’s sin. It is her’s and she will be held accountable for it. But what I am referring to here, what I have been getting at for several articles now, is that the Church has a duty to preach the pure and unadulterated gospel throughout the world, including our own back yards. Yet, for some time now, Christians have failed to do this in numerous ways. We have claimed evangelism is a gift instead of a command, thus denying our need to do it. We have shuffled the responsibility to the preacher instead of doing it ourselves. We have settled for seeker-friendlyism, allowing churches to dilute or change scripture to attract the unsaved masses into what is supposed to be gathering of the saints. Or when we attempt to evangelize, we settle for a “God has a wonderful plan for your life” model which is unbiblical and an adulteration of the true gospel. Or worse, have even tried to shut down the true preaching of the gospel as if it is something to be apologized for (as in this picture where a student is apologizing for Pastor Emilio Ramos’ message).
With such obvious efforts to avoid the command to preach the gospel, the church has lost it’s influence over the culture, and the post-modern, secular humanist mindset has filled that void. A mindset that denies that humanity has been made in the image and likeness of God. That denies life is created by God in the womb, but rather is an amalgamation of proteins that washed up on the beach. That exalts personal enjoyment and fulfillment as the highest human achievement, and teaches that any obstacle to that achievement should be done away with. That denies the sinfulness of man and denies that a judgment will one day be applied.
With such a loss of church influence, is it any wonder that the youth in our culture show little restraint in their sinful behavior? They have been told that they are inherently good and that whatever they choose to believe is true. Yet, amazingly, the culture acts shocked and horrified when someone like this young girl takes that mindset to its logical conclusion. In a culture that exalts personal fulfillment, kids are getting a mixed message when they actually take it to it’s full extent.
Christians, we are the ones who have the real answers! We are the ones with the words of God who declares good from evil, right from wrong. We are the ones who can point our culture to the Scriptures and show that people are not good, but wicked from birth. We can declare to them that they are trapped in their sinfulness, bound only to their sins which make them rebels against the Lord. Then, and only then, does the actions that this young girl committed make sense. She is not a good kid that somehow society failed, she is a wicked sinner following her base desires. And, thanks to a sinful culture that celebrates sin, she was able to justify what she did by what she had been taught.
This is why we cannot and must not abdicate the command of our Lord to preach the gospel and to make disciples, because young people like this girl are trapped in their sins and the only answers that they have are given to them by a sin burdened culture. They are the blind leading the blind (Matthew 15:14). Only Christ can remove the scales from their eyes and make them see the ditch they are headed for. Only Christ can expose their hearts for the sin hardened stones that they are. Only Christ can break down the walls of sin and recreate a heart of flesh. Only Christ can make people a new creation. And it is we who were once one of them that Christ has commanded to preach this life saving gospel. What else is there to give this world that can do more? What else should we occupy our time with that has more value that saving young girls like this from hearts that lead to murder of newborn children? Can you honestly look back during the last year and tell yourself you have spent time in pursuits that brought more honor and glory to God than the preaching of the gospel?
I implore my Christian brethren to look at the picture of this young girl again. Might she be the girl you saw standing next to you at the store? Maybe she is a friend of your daughter’s? Or maybe even your own child? Knowing what you know now, would you have taken that extra five minutes to share the gospel with her? Knowing that one day she would murder her child, would you plead with her to repent of the life of sin she was living? Would you pray earnestly for her salvation? Now, I ask you this, what about those whose futures you do not know? You do not know if they will murder a child or if they will become a successful CEO. But you do know this, they are sinners just like you were, and they are bound for Hell, just as you once were. Isn’t that reason enough?
To vote or not to vote…that is the question. At least it has been the question at Defending. Contending. for many months now. We have all discussed whether a Christian should or can vote for a Mormon candidate…or if we should or can vote for a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage candidate, or if we should just stay home and not vote at all. Previous articles: Mormon President?, Vote for Mormon?
I don’t have a solution for the good readers of DefCon, as this is split along many different lines of conviction. However, I do offer this interesting video of a round table discussion at Southern Seminary this week. The title tells the story:
“The Mormon Moment? Religious Conviction and the 2012 Election”
The roundtable discussion features Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, Greg Gilbert, and Mark Coppenger. This video contributes to the conversation and helps each of us think through the issue from several angles. The panel discusses what Mormonism is, where they have appeal to our society, how it is a false gospel, and what impact a Mormon President of the USA might have on the world stage.
(you may have to press “play” twice)
**** This video is in no way an endorsement for either candidate or an endorsement for not voting, but a contribution to the discussion.****
Why? Because murdering 12 people in a movie theater is a crime, but murdering 248 children in their mothers’ womb is a “choice.”
It’s what happens when the culture of situational ethics and the culture of death collide.
A fishing trip in Russia’s Urals ended with cries of horror as a man found canisters filled with human embryos, some already shaped to baby bodies.
Lids on the bright blue containers apparently unlocked as the canisters hit the ground, and many embryos spilled out. The little bodies, no longer than 15 centimeters, shrank, turning into mummies.
“A friend of mine called at night and said he went fishing and wanted to get some wood for his fire. He found some abandoned water canisters and wanted to take them for his house. And when he came up, he saw… little baby bodies,” a local told Russia’s Channel 4.
Arriving Monday morning, police found 248 embryos aged 12-16 weeks in and around the four canisters. Labels attached to tiny hands and legs listed family names of assumed mothers and some digit codes, which may refer to the pregnancy period, date of abortion or the hospital where the body originated from.
The 50-liter canisters filled with formalin seem to have been thrown out of a vehicle not far from a road leading to Nevyansk, a town on the slopes of the Ural Mountains.
Nevyansk authorities immediately said the canisters could not have originated in their town.
“Our area is too small; we can’t have so many stillborns, miscarriages or artificial abortions,” they said.
Later it was revealed that the horrifying content was “biological waste” from at least three hospitals in Ekaterinburg, the region’s major city.
“It appears a waste disposal company has failed to carry out its duties properly,” remark local authorities as the investigation continues. The Ministry of Health has been requested to determine which companies provide embryo disposal services to Ekaterinburg hospitals.
In Russia, embryos are subject to immediate disposal as they are classified high hazard waste. Prior to disposal, they are to be kept in special packages, not in canisters with formalin. It is also out of practice to attach labels with any information, at least in Ekaterinburg hospitals.
But the bodies found near the Urals not only fall out of this description – the labels show they may have been stored for over ten years.
Some medical experts believe the embryos might have been meant for studies or other purposes, as they contain stem cells. The cells are widely used for immune illnesses treatment and in cosmetic procedures.
Prosecutors are talking tentatively of criminal charges, but most probably the guilty party will bear an administrative punishment.
See more here (with news video).