Posts Tagged ‘sin’

This Thanksgiving season, there’s good news and there’s bad news and it may depend on your perspective. As you know, most of our founders came to this bountiful land to live in freedom from religious persecution, and their standards were based on the principles in the Holy Bible. And yet, here we are in 2018 – hanging on by a thread to the religious freedoms this nation has enjoyed – and has taken for granted. 

Though we’re seeing a toxic increase of hatred, we can be still thankful for our history – and especially for hope.

The very first Thanksgiving took place almost 400 years ago—long before the nation was even born. But prior to arriving on these shores, William Bradford, the founder of Plymouth colony settlement wrote:

“…Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honor of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony.”

God is a big part of our history and always has been. The United States Congress once issued an official Proclamation of Thanksgiving and Prayer on October 18, 1780, calling on Americans “to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread all over the Earth.”

Sadly, true American history has been edited or even deleted from public school text books. We have forgotten that the good news of Jesus Christ was once foundational to our liberties as well as our lives and as a result of our forgetting, the nation has gone from spiritual to secular. Proverbs 14:34 states:

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

Lincoln was right. He implored the people to confess their sins, and to pray for forgiveness and God’s mercy on America.

Today, we are plagued by political correctness and moral relativism, lawlessness, people calling good evil and evil good, a loss of values, and the breakdown of social order. Moreover, Hollywood and the culture have a far greater influence on the church than the church has in and on our culture.

Signs of the times indicate this nation is in rapid decline, but how long do we really have? This is up for debate and speculation. But let’s consider some of the cultural, social, and spiritual symptoms common to nations that have fallen or have been destroyed:

  • Increasing rebellion against God
  • A loss of economic discipline
  • Greed; increased materialism
  • Rising government bureaucracy and taxes
  • Declining education in quality, morality, and in measurable results
  • Lack of respect for authority
  • Policies based on feelings over facts
  • The acceptance of foreign gods and empty religious practices
  • The promotion of sin and perversion
  • A decline in value of human life leading to abortion and euthanasia

Perhaps instead of asking God to bless America we should be asking Him to save us! Repentance must come first, and Christians must lead by example. If your heart is heavy reading some of this, know there is a God who loves you and wants you to turn back to Him.

If you tend to be on social media or look at the news a little too much, at government, public schools, the corporate world, the entertainment industry or culture in general, it can be quite discouraging. But if we look at all the things we each have personally and at this country in which we’re blessed to live, we can be thankful and we can take heart.

First, there’s always hope in the promises of God which the Bible describes as an anchor to our souls during storms in life. Second, if Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of your faith, your foundation won’t be shaken as it is built upon the Rock and you know all this is temporary.

Third, as imperfect as it is, we still live in one of the most amazing countries on earth. We have countless blessings, conveniences, and advantages as citizens of this beacon of freedom. Why do you think millions of less fortunate people dream about living in America? Many still risk their lives to come here.

And fourth, if you woke up today, opened your eyes and got out of bed; if you generally have your health, family in Christ, food on the table or in a refrigerator; if you have clean, running water, electricity, a house to live in, a car to drive, a job to go to and even some bills that are paid, you are abundantly blessed more than 75% of people in countries around the world.

I am particularly grateful for each day because by the grace of God, I had a successful heart operation in April of this year.

Every day we have so much to be thankful for, so let’s –

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever.Psalm 136:1

O God, restore us and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. Psalm 80:3

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If you claim to represent God, but refuse to live by His moral laws, please leave the church and stop lying to everyone! Enough. This story is both heartbreaking and disturbing, but darkness must be exposed, and wicked men must finally be held accountable. Those who commit or condone evil have again given Jesus a black eye.

Tragically, the Roman Catholic Church has known all about it: decades of sexual abuse and yet, they covered-up extensive abuse by its leaders – abuse that has robbed children of their innocence, further tarnished the church’s image, and destroyed countless thousands of lives. This is a gut-wrenching and sickening story.

First, some headlines:

  • A History of Cover-ups in Boston Archdiocese
  • Church Allowed Abuse by Priests for Years
  • Gay Sex, Booze Scandal, Shakes Boston Seminary
  • Scores of Priests Involved in Sex Abuse Scandals
  • Report details sexual abuse by over 300 priests in PA’s Catholic Church
  • ‘Predator Priests’ Named In PA Grand Jury Sex Abuse Report
  • Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

Our purpose as Christians is to know and obey God, to make disciples and make Him known by preaching the gospel, and to be light in the world – essentially to transform culture. The Catholic Church however, has again cast a thick, dark veil over the cross of Christ and the truth of His resurrection.

In a report 900 pages long, a grand jury in Pennsylvania alleges over 300 priests abused more than one thousand children. Predators guilty of criminal conduct were never brought to justice even in some cases going back seventy years. Many priests have died, others retired, but none will escape the justice of a holy God whom they have mocked.

…Sixteen years ago after one of many Roman Catholic Church scandals, Pope John Paul II said:

“The abuse of the young is a grave symptom of a crisis affecting not only the church but society as a whole.”

Where is the accountability? You may remember the 2015 movie “Spotlight” took home the best picture Oscar for its drama about the Boston Globe investigation of the Roman Catholic Church covering up sexual abuse by multiple clergy.

To be sure, abuse occurs worldwide by all kinds of people because the heart of man is sick (Jeremiah 17:9). But evil is even more horrific when committed by those in positions of authority who should know better.

…There is a righteous God that will judge the living and the dead. Yes, He is loving, forgiving, and patient, but He is also holding back His wrath. And one day God will unleash His justice and vengeance. 

Are you seeking the approval of God or man? Yes, it does matter. Stop conforming to this world!

The Apostle Peter wrote:

“…it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  1 Peter 4:17

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE (resource links included):

This just in! Once again, researchers are thrilled about the possibility of life on Mars! Maybe. A recent report of water a mile underneath a slab of ice seemed to boost the odds of life on the red planet. One scientist from the University of Arizona stated if they did find life, it would be microbial, somewhere in the Martian crust.

My question is this: why don’t we use this same determined, scientific, optimistic approach to find human life on earth? We’re often told a heartbeat in a human mother’s womb is not a sign of life. Come on.

NASA’s John Grunsfeld commented on the report at a news conference:

“It suggests it would be possible for there to be life today on Mars,”

Researchers said in the journal, Nature Geoscience, that further exploration is warranted to determine whether microscopic life exists there. One of the lead scientists says the only way to know is to keep collecting rocks from Mars and doing soil analysis on the specimens. It is astounding and bewildering to me that scientists, university departments, NASA, and independent researchers have been studying for decades hoping to find evidence indicating any sign of a living organism on Mars.

What about human beings, and why all the confusion about a living, developing fetus in a mother’s womb? We know it’s certainly not just a clump of cells because dead things don’t grow!

Twenty-three chromosomes from the mother and twenty-three from the father are joined together at the time of fertilization. At this early point, the unique, genetic makeup of the individual is determined, and the terms “conception” and “fertilization” are interchangeable.

Please consider sharing some eye-opening information about a newly conceived baby:

  • Its DNA, everything she will grow into, was fully present at the moment of conception.
  • Her heart began to beat eighteen days after conception.
  • Her brainwaves were detectable forty days (six weeks) after conception.
  • Your baby could move and she could suck her thumb (and hiccup!) between six and seven weeks.
  • Eight weeks after conception, all of her major organs are developed.
  • A baby’s respiratory system begins to function, and she begins to breathe amniotic fluid at nine weeks
  • She can smile, suck her thumb, and clap at eighteen weeks.
  • A baby can feel pain at approximately twenty weeks gestation.

This last medical finding has led to what is called the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a U.S. Congress bill to ban abortions after twenty weeks, and especially late-term abortions.

A baby can feel pain, and a baby can feel joy. You may recall from the Gospel of Luke (1:43-44) when Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist said “the baby in my womb leaped for joy” when Mary visited her and was pregnant with Jesus. Since a fetus is in fact human, then destroying it is murder.

You may have heard the heartbreaking story earlier this year of 23 year-old Shelby Taylor who was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for throwing her newborn baby girl into a dumpster – umbilical chord still attached. Someone heard the baby crying and called police, and fortunately the baby is alive today.

But wait a minute! Millions of young women simply pay Planned Parenthood to remove their babies and it’s completely legal. Please understand that when God’s law makes something immoral, man cannot make it moral.

I appreciate what author and teacher, Peter Heck said about this:

“But it is also impossible to read this story and not acknowledge a mind-bending and confounding reality: had Shelby Taylor entered a Planned Parenthood facility that very day and had her baby girl decapitated and dismembered for a price, our society would justify that as a moral right of empowerment and liberty. But since she waited a couple hours and, with as horrible as her act of callous abandonment was, still gave her child a fighting chance at survival, she is going to prison for 25 years. This is not just morally incongruent, it is the height of absurdity…”

You do know what they do with all the baby body parts after ripping them out of a mother’s womb, don’t you? If they’re not sold for research they end up in dumpsters outside abortion clinics. Or perhaps you’re in denial like so many people whose consciences have been seared by a hot iron.

What does Scripture teach? See Jeremiah 1:4-5, Exodus 21:22-24, Psalm 51:5, Psalm 139:13-16, Luke 1:39-44.

The Bible treats babies in the womb as real persons. Verse after verse relating to pregnancy always refers to a living human being already in existence. It is crystal clear that God considers the unborn to be human beings who have value and should be protected.

As far as life on Mars goes – no confirmation yet. It’s pretty foggy and we may be waiting for a while.

Vice President Mike Pence says God speaks to him, but some call it mental illness. Oprah says God will speak to her if He wants her to run for president, and liberals cheer. Is this glaring double standard the new normal?

It’s not just Joy Behar. Christianity is generally not tolerated in Hollywood and the entertainment industry. And they’re not shy about it.

But in a recent interview with Ann Silvio on 60 Minutes Overtime, billionaire entrepreneur, Oprah Winfrey said she hasn’t heard God’s call to run for president, “Because if God actually wanted me to run, wouldn’t God kinda tell me?”

And on The View recently, a clip was played of disgruntled White House staffer Omarosa Manigault trashing Mike Pence as an “extreme Christian” who has conversations with Jesus. The View panel then proceeded to mock the VP’s faith.

Behar ignorantly cackled,

“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”

One of the best responses I’ve heard was from Fox & Friends co-host, Ainsley Earhardt, a Christian herself:

“…she [Behar] doesn’t know Christ. She doesn’t know the joy and the love that He provides to so many people, so it just made me feel sorry for her.”

By the way, Pence didn’t say He heard voices. He said what millions of us believe regarding our relationship with Jesus Christ and how God speaks to us in various ways.

Speaking of double standards, what about Hillary Clinton who apparently still communes with the dead? Even hubby Bill reminded an audience several years back that she hears from Eleanor Roosevelt frequently. I haven’t heard a peep on that, have you?

So, on last week’s episode, after claiming people in Indiana hate the Vice President, View co-host, Sunny Hostin stated:

“When you have a Mike Pence who now puts this religious veneer on things and who calls people values voters, I think we’re in a dangerous situation.”

Dangerous? We’re not talking about ISIS here; not bomb threats, a viral outbreak, rape, or a shooting rampage. These women are referring to the Christian faith.

Mike Pence responded saying “it’s just simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance.”

Aside from religion, on previous episodes, Hostin referred to Pence as incompetent, and Whoopi Goldberg once compared Mike Pence to a member of the KKK who wanted to hang her on a tree. Seriously?

At least one person confronted the twisted dialogue on The View. Meghan McCain said:

“I understand, if you’re a liberal, obviously you have certain problems with Mike Pence. …We see the world through very different veneers.”

Some people do have wrong ideas about what it means to be a Christian. Joy Behar once said Timothy McVeigh was a Christian, and Goldberg actually claimed:

“There have been a lot of horrifying – there have been a lot of monster Christians. Hitler was a Christian.”

Sorry ladies. Wrong on both counts. Do some research.

Remember when Masterpiece Cake Shop owner, Jack Phillips was on The View and said endorsing a same-sex wedding and baking a cake for it would contradict Jesus’ teachings. Speaking for the Lord, Behar declared,

“Oh come on. Jesus would have made the cake.”

And in June 2017, the entire lineup on The View blamed Christians for taking away free contraception. I’m not kidding. Joy Behar asked, “How is it different from the Taliban? Let’s not forget they are trying to keep women in their place, barefoot and pregnant.”

I’m almost speechless.

Back to Oprah for a moment. Over at CBS on Sunday, 60 Minutes devoted 11 minutes to Oprah Winfrey’s conversation with Michigan voters. She asked people about accusations against Donald Trump and, of course, his mental health.

“There have been some members of Congress, including Republicans, questioning his stability and fitness for office. What do you think of that, and do you believe he has the temperament to be president?”

Regarding her “mental illness” comments, Franklin Graham weighed in saying all believers should be alarmed by the anti-Christian rhetoric on The View. He continued,

“For Joy Behar to say that all Christians are mentally ill is like suggesting we need to lock them up. They need to be taken out of society…”

Bigotry against any group is absolutely wrong, but if Joy Behar had said that about gays, feminists, or Muslims, she’d probably be fired on the spot. Criticizing Christ followers however, now gets a pass.

This is what often happens when someone on the left doesn’t understand something, especially spiritual things: they tend to attack or criticize it.

This may explain why many don’t even try cracking open a Bible.

 

Here’s Mike Pence’s first response to the debacle:

“I actually heard that ABC has a program that compared my Christianity to mental illness. And I’d like to laugh about it, but I really can’t. It’s just wrong; and it’s an insult …to the vast majority of the American people who, like me, cherish their faith. My Christianity is the most important thing in my life.”

“But I just think [this] demonstrates just how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people that you could have a major network like ABC permit a forum for invective against religion like that…”

Isn’t it nice to have someone in the White House defending Christians?

At the risk of stating the obvious, for centuries, millions of believers have claimed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He speaks to us in various ways including through Scripture.

We shouldn’t expect unbelievers to have biblical morals. They need the gospel and ironically, they need to talk to Jesus and confess their sins.

The good news is Americans are not only calling out ABC over this, but thanks to Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center, over 25,000 phone calls have been made so far demanding an apology.

Unless advertisers back out of sponsoring The View, I’m not holding my breath. Jesus said,

In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

 

 

*A shorter version of this article originally appeared at Freedom Project Media.

As I drove by what may be the only Planned Parenthood clinic in Wisconsin yesterday, on the sidewalk out front was a woman holding a “Defend Life” sign with a photo of a baby. God bless her and all those who have taken action, prayed, or raise awareness about the ongoing slaughter of life in mother’s wombs across the land.

Most of us know what the Bible teaches about the value of every human life. Heck, even the animal kingdom knows how to protect their own. And yet, according to our laws, eliminating life in the womb for any reason is legal and acceptable including late term, partial-birth abortion.

This regardless of the fact science and biology now confirm a baby’s heart starts beating 22 days after conception, and they can feel pain by at least 20 weeks.

But do we really know when life begins? This question was asked during legal arguments in the Supreme Court case, Roe V. Wade in 1972-73. Granted, they did not have the advances in technology we do today including sonograms and ultrasound. They did have the Word of God – and ignored it completely.

That was 45 years ago. What’s our excuse today and where is the church?

Also available are the many undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employee’s convicting admissions, so we can no longer say abortion is not pure evil being promoted as a choice, a right, and a service. The progressive media won’t touch news stories when they reflect negatively on their precious political party and the abortion industry.

In 2010 for example: “Little Shop of Horrors” Abortion Clinic Closed When Frozen Bodies of 35 Aborted Babies Were Found.” Abortion practitioners in Maryland were found guilty of murder and a host of other crimes. The good news is now the building that the former illegal business was using is now the home of a Pregnancy Center serving women with life-saving care.

These stories are out there and have been for a few decades, and they’re only shocking perhaps to Christians who have turned a blind eye to our culture of death and have knowingly gone on with their busy entertainment-filled lives. Remember abortionist and convicted serial killer, Kermit Gosnell? What about the dark history of Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger?

This isn’t about politics; it’s about life and the right to be born. For years I’ve written about this battle and am thankful for those who also believe this is a pivotal moral issue in a country with a seared conscience. Some say a society is judged by how the most needy and vulnerable are treated. If this is true, we’re in a lot of trouble with our Maker.

We ignore the moral decline because too many Christians in America have “progressed” from accepting what the Bible considers sin to accommodating sinners or even celebrating sin in various popular forms.

There is a huge difference between accommodating and loving sinners -those who need the truth of the gospel that includes the satisfied wrath of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

One more example of our indifference is the fact a major report was done last year when the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee published a 500-page report on Planned Parenthood. With decades of destroying human lives and of corrupt practices, the report was a glimpse into the dark, chilling world of selling human baby body parts.

It is a sick, twisted industry and federal law is very clear: it is illegal to make a profit from the body parts or specimens of fetuses or parts of any human. But the documents subpoenaed from Planned Parenthood and related companies show how the law was completely and willfully ignored.

Representative Diane Black said the report should “incense all people of conscience.”

“Over the last year, the Select Panel’s relentless fact-finding investigation has laid bare the grisly reality of an abortion industry that is driven by profit, unconcerned by matters of basic ethics and, too often, non-compliant with the few laws we have to protect the safety of women and their unborn children,”

Without getting into extensive details of the House investigation, the panel concluded and recommended Planned Parenthood must be defunded. After receiving more than $4 billion from American taxpayers over the last decade, Congress should make Planned Parenthood ineligible to receive federal tax dollars and instead, redirect those funds to the thousands of low-cost health clinics that do not sell abortions.

The panel also recommended Congress take action to protect women and infants from unscrupulous tissue procurement practices, and from the repeated failure to report the sexual abuse of young girls. By far, the abortion industry is one of the least regulated in America so it’s business as usual for them.

Plenty of statistics show eugenicist and racist, Margaret Sanger’s mission not only continues today, but truth is often buried or denied. According to the Center for Disease Control, over 35% of aborted babies in America are black. 

However, more citizens appear to be changing their minds as polls generally show most people (one poll, 84%) think there should be restrictions on abortion. A majority overwhelmingly believe our tax dollars should not be helping fund Planned Parenthood. Hollywood, the government, the education system, and the media do not appear to be siding with the majority of the people on this issue.

If there’s a glimmer of light, in the last two-plus decades, the number of abortion clinics has fallen by more than 74%. At least twenty states now have from two or less abortion clinics, and since the early 90s, 81% of abortion clinics have closed.

Some former abortion clinics have turned into life-affirming pregnancy centers in recent years include two in Iowa, two in Miami, one in Toledo, Ohio, and a former flagship Planned Parenthood building in Bryan, Texas, that now houses 40 Days for Life and a pregnancy help medical clinic. Some prayers are bring answered.

There is some momentum for the pro-life movement, but this is not time to celebrate. America has blood on its hands. Much damage has been done and every other week it seems another young woman is taken to the emergency room due to a botched abortion. It’s also clear we are simply too busy to care or do much to reverse one of the most evil, unjust Supreme Court decisions in this nation’s history.

What can we do? Keep believing, keep raising awareness, keep voting for life, and keep praying; but don’t hold your breath.

David Fiorazo’s new book is Redefining Truth: Delusions of Replacing God and Calling Evil Good

Last week she was furious. How could the GOP take taxpayer money from the noble cause of gender identity politics and allow the people who worked for it to keep it? Only days ago, Nancy Pelosi went on record to say Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for voting to cut generous Department of Defense funding for transgender members of the military who want to have cosmetic surgeries. Also known as “gender reassignment” surgery, Pelosi went so far as to suggest that taking away taxpayer funding for these unnatural procedures “undermines our national security.” 

If you missed the story prior to this, the House Rules Committee passed an amendment last week stating, “Funds available to the Department of Defense may not be used to provide medical treatment… related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care.” Finding a way to accuse those “immoral” Republicans of hating people, Pelosi declared the GOP was “fighting to rip away the health care of thousands of brave service members.”

As you know, the Obama administration allowed transgenders to openly serve in the U.S. military and the current policy entitles them to receive any medical help deemed necessary – including surgery and hormone therapy. The national cost for “medical services” for transgender military members is estimated to be as high as $8.4 million annually. It was claimed by supporters of the amendment that the financial bill for transgenders could exceed $3 billion over the next decade if no action is taken.

Democrats were livid that this provision placating a special interest group was being threatened. But it ended there.

It turns out that 24 liberal Republicans decided to vote with Democrats and ensure our tax dollars will fund these “sex change” operations. Pelosi politics prevailed and the common-sense amendment was narrowly rejected. If just three Republicans would have voted with the majority (214-209), the decision would have flipped in favor of the people and family-friendly policy. Maybe next time. How did support for this irrational ideology grow so quickly?

Whatever happens in Europe doesn’t stay in Europe including the rapid decay of biblical morality. Abortion, same sex marriage, transgenderism, moral relativism – you name it. Now get this: under the guise of “equality,” National Health Service doctors in the UK think taxpayers should also fund “womb transplant procedures” so transgender men can be pregnant. You read that right: the godless promoters of cultural insanity are now working with fertility doctors so that men could theoretically have a baby.

As part of these womb transplants for men, one Liverpool doctor explains this could also help gay and straight men who ‘wanted to experience the joys of carrying a child.’ One Stanford professor even says we could soon see more pregnancies created in a laboratory. What does this all mean? God is being completely removed from the equation.

Man has succeeded at perverting something so beautiful and intimate as God creating human life, and a biological man and woman procreating under the covenant of natural marriage. When we, in our depravity and desire to be our own gods, rebel and try to “reassign” what He designed, what could go wrong? Confusion about our humanity and bathroom etiquette as well as what sex people should be. When we allow our feelings and emotions to rule over truth, are we then much different from animals?

We are seeing the consequences of this moral relativistic poison in the American public school system as too many kids think they are purposeless acts of nature possibly having evolved from apes – or from nothing rather than being uniquely designed by a loving Creator who gives our lives meaning. Some of the chaos gender ideology has wrought includes hedonism, depression, and too many teen and transgender suicides.

God help us. 

We do not have much time left and the lukewarm church had better get serious. If we are not already a stench in God’s nostrils and unsalvageable as a nation, we sure must be close. How much longer will He withhold judgment? Many seasoned Christians believe we are living in Romans 1 and drawing near to some of the most intense parts of prophecy in the book of Revelation. 

The good news is truth will prevail. The damage however, that’s being done to the very moral underpinnings of our nation has become irreparable. There is no turning back and tragically, many souls have been lost for eternity. I understand this is all happening fast, but if we remain on the sidelines and out of these conversations and public policy debates, expect the transgender train to plow full steam ahead leaving death and destruction in its wake.

If you and I love the truth, then we will speak up and work to defend and protect the truth of God and His Word. Take this personally. These attacks on the very truths of creation, marriage, family, and gender are attacks on the person and deity of Jesus Christ, aiming to minimize and redefine human beings made in His image. 

For more by David Fiorazo:

 

*Photo: Illinois Family Institute

The following is the second part of a book excerpt from The Cost of Our Silence: Consequences of Christians Taking the Path of Least Resistance. This is from the compelling, statistic-filled chapter, “The Anguish of Abortion.”

Largely unreported by pro-abortion media is the fact abortion often causes women years of emotional pain, torment, and guilt. Many young women try to act normal and hide the fact that they are in pain, often experiencing severe trauma soon after receiving an abortion. Moreover, countless women have experienced increased alcohol or drug use and eating disorders. They suffer from depression and nightmares. They agonize with self-destructive behavior and suicidal thoughts or attempts. God help us help them!

There are two battles on this front and we should be engaged in both. First, we must raise awareness about biblical truth that God is the Author and Creator of all life. He values every single human being. Life begins at conception, and destroying innocent life is an immoral act against His law. Second, we must love, support, and care for women and young girls who have had abortions, pointing them to the forgiveness of Jesus Christ and loving arms of the Father. We also need to embrace and support struggling single moms, praying and caring for them however we can.

If you have had an abortion, here are some questions to consider: Would you now advise your best friend or sister not to have an abortion if she were considering it? If you were a Christian before having an abortion, has your relationship with God or with those in the church changed?

growing_growingA young woman who gets pregnant is often confused and intimidated into aborting her baby through emotional, financial, or relational threats. According to a 2004 study on post-abortive women reported by the Medical Science Monitor, 64% of the women felt pressured to have an abortion. Sadly, an often-neglected subject is how women are affected afterwards. As many as 91% of all abortions cause severe psychological problems, both immediate and long-term, according to reports of the Department of Education and Alan Guttmacher Institute.

Approximately 40% of minors who’ve had an abortion don’t tell their parents, and 51% of women having abortions are under twenty-five years old. This is another important reason to have open communication with your daughters. Conversely, in cases where young women do tell others about their abortion, they often try to act normal and hide the fact that they are unhappy or in any kind of pain. Many experience severe trauma soon after receiving an abortion. The following are post-abortion symptoms that may be experienced:

Alcohol or drug use to distract from the pain; anger, anxiety (probably non-specific or in forms of a panic attack), abusive relationships (believing she doesn’t deserve better).

Denial or repression (the “pushing down” of intolerable emotions), depression, deterioration of self-worth/self-image, disruption in relationships (increasing inability to be intimate or social with friends and family), anger, violent behavior.

Eating disorders, feelings of helplessness or powerlessness, flashbacks, grief, guilt, purposely having unprotected sex or increased sexual activity as self-punishment.

Nightmares about a baby or babies crying, the same nightmare over and over; preoccupation with the abortion procedure or thoughts of babies.

Regret, remorse, sadness to the point of inability to handle basic responsibilities, self-destructive behavior and suicidal thoughts or attempts; death.

In a study of post-abortion patients eight weeks after their abortion, researchers found 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor.[1] A New Zealand study that tracked women for more than three decades discovered 42% of women who aborted experienced major depression.

According to Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University,

Women who have had an abortion have an 81% higher risk of subsequent mental health problems compared to women who have not had an abortion. Also, women who aborted have a 138% (another study showed 160%) higher risk of mental health problems compared to women who have given birth.

Tragically, many so-called “counselors” at abortion clinics downplay mental and physical health risks the majority of the time in order to sell customers abortions, not to mention the fact the procedure will violently end their child’s life. My heart goes out to those who believe the godless lie that this “procedure” can be justified in any way.

I came across a familiar Bible verse from the story of Mary that you and I have probably read dozens of times through the years during Christmas. But something jumped out at me this time when I read Luke 1:43-44:

But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

Notice babies in the womb are able to sense such feelings as “joy.”

It is also indisputable and documented that babies in the womb have a developed nervous system and feel pain. How irrational to think a baby senses or feels nothing until the very moment they are delivered, and then all of a sudden upon seeing daylight or when the umbilical cord is cut, pain receptors kick in. Abortion mills such as Planned Parenthood do not give a baby in the womb pain medication before they are destroyed.

Here is some eye-opening information about newly conceived babies:

Her DNA, everything she will grow into, was fully present at the moment of conception.

Her heart began to beat eighteen days after conception.

Her brainwaves were detectable forty days (six weeks) after conception.

Your baby could move at six weeks.

She could suck her thumb (and hiccup!) at seven weeks.

Eight weeks after conception, all of her major organs had developed.

Your baby’s respiratory system began to function, and she began to breathe amniotic fluid at nine weeks.[2]

…Abortion in America has created a culture that disregards the dignity and value of human life, endangers women, and demeans motherhood. Our sexually permissive and progressive culture encourages young women and teenage girls and boys to be sexually active. Those who have had abortions need our prayers, not our judgment. Being a product of America’s secular culture, post-abortive women, especially religious women, suffer enough for their sin. They first need God’s forgiveness; they then need to learn how to forgive themselves.

We hear little talk of purity and self-restraint. The teaching of biblical principles and abstinence education in churches, schools, and society is vital to effect positive change. Stop messing around, yes. Limit abortions, yes. Vote for pro-life candidates, yes. Stop funding Planned Parenthood with our tax dollars, yes! But we also need to remember the power of prayer and true, caring Christianity. People may not respond to debates, laws, or rules, but many will – eventually – respond to genuine love and truth.

Are we willing to confront abortion defenders and speak about some of these facts? Will we do a better job promoting the truth that every baby is a gift from God, created in His image and has value? We need to reach people with the message “every single life matters.” The root of this culture of death and of every problem is sin, and the only solution is Jesus Christ.

Read the entire excerpt here:

The Anguish of Abortion – part one of this book excerpt

all-lives-matterOne danger in our society is many people have gotten used to the back and forth debate over the most sacred of rights on earth – life. Though the pro-life movement has had some recent success, there is so much political give and take depending on who gets elected and who follows through on campaign promises, too many people tune out.

It’s tragic however, when Christians, religious folks, and true conservatives look the other way as well. Make no mistake: this is a battle of worldviews. Who should be born, how long should people live, and who determines the quality, productivity, and value of human life?

Pastor David Platt often emphasizes God’s heart for the unborn and recently said:

“Children are so precious. They are a treasure to be cherished. And yet, we live in a culture where children are a problem to be avoided.”

Most of us have heard the argument by some pro-abortion activists insisting pregnancy is comparable to a disease that must be cured and thus, a baby is something to be removed. The logical progression of this extreme thought process and its lack of value for human life doesn’t stop at the dismembering of baby body parts. Support for assisted suicide has also increased – even among church-goers in America.

First, in a story ignored by the media and that few paid attention to because it came out just before Christmas, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee published a 500-page report on Planned Parenthood. The report gives a small glimpse into a very dark, strange and chilling world of selling baby parts, a world where nothing goes to waste in this huge, profitable business.

And it is a sick, twisted industry. The law is very clear: it is illegal to make any profit from the body parts of fetuses or any body parts of any human. But the documents subpoenaed from Planned Parenthood and related companies show how the law was completely and willfully ignored.

Journalist and filmmaker, Phelim McAleer produced the Gosnell movie and co-authored a book about America’s most prolific serial killer, abortionist Kermit Gosnell. McAleer describes how the Committee documented how one $15 an hour “technician” spent his time on a summer day in 2014:

The ABR “technician” obtained a 20 week-old fetus at a [Planned Parenthood] clinic. From that one fetus, ABR sold its brain to one customer for $325; both of its eyes for $325 each ($650 total) to a second customer, a portion of its liver for $325 to a third customer; its thymus and for $325 and another portion of liver to a fourth customer; and its lung for $325 to a fifth customer. These fees are merely the service fees for the specimens themselves; ABR separately charged each customer for shipping, disease, screening, cleaning and freezing, as applicable. So from that single fetus for which ABR paid a mere $60, ABR charged its customers a total of $2,275 for tissue specimens…

…How long has it been since America lost its collective conscience and heart for truth? Just like Kermit Gosnell who was allowed to kill for years, most of us have turned a blind eye to the baby-part selling even though hundreds, perhaps thousands of professionals were part of it.

Incidentally, it costs $120 to send an aborted baby’s brain through FedEx Priority Overnight. The report does not detail where the parts were shipped but presumably they went to universities across the nation who kept signing the invoices and paying them.

And just today there was more breaking news – “Congressional panel publishes final report on Planned Parenthood body parts scandal.”

Representative Diane Black said the report should “incense all people of conscience.”

In another breaking story, Alabama becomes the seventh state (Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and West Virginia) to allow wrongful-death actions before the pre-born child becomes viable.

Next, two more unreported stories came out last month on the subject of euthanasia. One activist in Australia claims assisted suicide is not just for the terminally ill and the option should be available to everyone. Philip Nitschke once wanted to make suicide pills available in supermarkets, even to “troubled teens.”

It may seem like an extreme position to believe that individuals have the right to dispose of their lives for any reason, but this has more support than most of us realize.

Why discuss this issue in the same context as abortion and profiteering from baby body parts? For many decades, we have allowed the culture of death to spread across America right under our noses and with the approval of many Christians.

A majority of Americans – including 4 in 10 professing evangelicals – want doctors to help terminally ill patients end their lives and believe it is morally acceptable. A recent article reveals opposition to assisted suicide is dying and the heart of the problem is our apathy and indifference as a civilized society. It proves we may not have the will to take a stand for righteousness and truth.

Even the American Medical Association (AMA) has described physician-assisted suicide as a serious risk to society and “fundamentally incompatible with a physician’s role as healer,” but apparently millions of Americans disagree.

Man thinks he knows best about life and death and should be able to play God; what could go wrong?

Read the extensive post here:

*Photo credit: Times of Malta

Open pages of bible isolated on white backgroundNow after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”  Mark 1:14-15

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

In 1965 the epic religious movie The Greatest Story Ever Told was released, retelling the story of Jesus Christ from His humble birth and His teachings through the crucifixion and resurrection. The media and critics at the time gave it excellent reviews and some even raved about the brilliant and inspiring, Bible-based production. Times have changed; but the gospel has not.

The gospel, aka the “good news,” is the greatest gift God has given the church, because its message is about Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the greatest treasure God has given the world. Like the apostle Paul, we are to deliver to others what we also received, because people’s salvation depends on it. No one would keep the best news in the universe to themselves – would they?

As committed Christians, our priority in this life must be to consistently believe, live, and deliver to others the message about Jesus Christ and the truth about His life, teachings, death, resurrection, and ascension. For those who have believed and have confessed Jesus as Lord, our ticket is punched and our place in God’s presence is reserved for eternity! Our faith is in Him and our hope is in heaven.

Every person alive today and who has ever lived will stand on one side of eternity or the other. The universe revolves around the most pivotal event in the history of the world: The resurrection of Jesus Christ; the eternal Son, one with the Father and the Spirit, and the exact representation of God’s nature.

… The gospel is not some formula or a simple “sinner’s prayer.” It encompasses the entire Bible as its framework with plenty of background setting the stage. Its truth can transform our lives and its power can save the worst of sinners.

With the increasing attacks on free speech and religious expression in America today, do you see how important it is for us to be able to preach the gospel? This basic freedom is affected by politics, laws, and government. Enemies of Christianity will not relent in their agenda to squelch the mention of sins they endorse, but when push comes to shove, we must obey God rather than man. Speak the truth and leave the results to Him.

Since we have received and accepted the gospel, we must reject the world because the two are in opposition to each other. This can present a problem for many of us. If we love Jesus, we will obey Him (John 14:15), but if we love the world, we will end up following anything else except Him. Because this temporary earth is passing away and we are faced with an eternity that will not wait, the choice should be clear…

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).

Where does Jesus get such authority? It bears repeating Jesus Christ overcame death and the grave and is seated at the right hand of the Father. His tomb is famous for what it does not contain. Even the Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus acknowledged His tomb was empty when they made up lies to try and conceal the resurrection.

Isn’t it interesting in their attempted cover-up, the religious leaders testified to the empty tomb? The story gets even more bizarre, because their lie included instructing the soldiers to say they were asleep instead of guarding the tomb of Jesus. This was not some small conspiracy, because in those days a Roman soldier caught sleeping on duty would have been executed.

Moreover, all other gods or religious leaders who have lived on the earth have burial sites or memorials where their bones remain. We can easily understand how some of their followers hate Jesus, because He is the only true, living God; other gods people worship are false, dead gods.

… The disciples did not have all the resources and technology we have today, and yet the early church grew in numbers day by day even in the midst of threats and persecution.

But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20

Please understand regardless of whether or not you have placed your trust in Jesus and bowed before Him acknowledging His majesty, a day is coming in which every human being will bow down before Him and confess this truth – Jesus is Lord.

… Charles H. Spurgeon once stated:

My hope is not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died. My trust is not that I am holy, but that, being unholy, Christ died for me. My rest is, here, not in what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is and must be, – in what Christ did, and is still doing as He stands before yonder throne of glory.

Are we willing to preach this gospel in an increasingly rebellious culture and risk being called intolerant, narrow-minded, or worse? Are we willing to be criticized and misunderstood for delivering the truth Jesus commanded us to speak? Do we love others enough to live what we believe, expose the darkness of sin, and when necessary, confront wayward Christians?

… God’s foreordained solution (Acts 2:23) was to send His only Son, Jesus, to give His life as a ransom for us. By believing, confessing Jesus is Lord, and repenting of our sins, we are saved and have everlasting life with God. May we not muddy up the message that we are saved by grace through faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8).

If the Bible is true, then this is why you and I live: To make sure the greatest story ever is told!

 

*This a book excerpt from The Cost of Our Silence. To read the entire chapter, click here:

chipped flag on brick wallMore sobering polls have emerged recently further proving America’s downward spiral. Our decline has been so gradual many of us did not notice – or did not want to notice – how the lines of acceptable behavior have shifted and the standards of morality have plummeted – even among professing Christians.

A friend of mine who works on several farms came over recently to help me get a nice garden started. He emphasized the importance of tilling the ground, fertilizing and possibly erecting a small fence to protect the garden. But even before starting the work, he evaluated the land in order to find the best location and soil.

Not only have we failed to protect our spiritual and national heritage, but due to a generally lukewarm church, America has been easy, fertile ground for enemies of God to cultivate, plant and water seeds of immorality. They have taken root and produced an abundance of what the Bible considers sin.

Barna’s new research shows 41% of “practicing Christians” think cohabitation is a good idea, and 48% live with or have previously lived with their boyfriend/girlfriend. Let that sink in a moment.

According to Gallup’s recent poll on what is morally acceptable to Americans, cohabitation is up to 65% approval. Next, divorce is at 72%, and birth control is up to 89%. If we think like liberals, that abortion is another form of birth control, this latter number is not at all surprising. As Matt Walsh stated after the Supreme Court ruled against Texas abortion restrictions, “if leftists believe abortion mills are medical clinics, why don’t they want them to be treated that way?”

Jesus stated in Luke 18:20:

You know the commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’

Sadly, truth and moral absolutes are now based on feelings, opinion, and what’s popular in culture rather than a fixed moral and ethical standard.

Those who think sex between an unmarried man and woman (fornication) is acceptable is now at 67%, and not surprisingly, homosexual sex is up to 60%.

In addition, the number of Americans who think it’s fine to have a baby out of wedlock has risen, from 45% in 2001 to 62% today. To me, this is a double-edged sword because sexual promiscuity is rampant, but at least more women seem willing to choose life over abortion. It has been proven that as truth and medical facts about abortion are promoted, many more lives are saved!

Though there has been a radical LGBT agenda since at least the 1970s, Christians have helped pave the way by minimizing God’s covenant of marriage between one man and one woman through no-fault divorce, adultery, pornography, and fornication. God abhors all sexual sin.

How can Christians preach the gospel and shine in darkness when we have had so much sin in our own camp?

No wonder homosexuality is now accepted by a majority of citizens (up 20 points since 2001) and by some in the church. The problem is we have gone from loving our neighbor (which is biblical) to accepting their lifestyle (which is unbiblical) to flat out celebrating sin (sinning with them). What major city or state does not have a gay pride parade or similar event?

The LGBT hijacked rainbow is everywhere; but the current estimate of LGBT adults is around 3.9% pf the U.S. population and less than 0.4% are married to a same-sex spouse. This proves the left is definitely winning the war of words, gaining ground and swaying popular opinion.

One year after the SCOTUS decided to rebel against and redefine God-ordained natural marriage, less than ten percent (123,000 couples) have married a same-sex spouse. The way the media portrayed their plight you’d think the majority of LGBT people would have flocked to the courthouses and wedding chapels in America.

Apparently, marriage wasn’t the end goal after all; and the Left’s appetite for evil cannot be satisfied.

Truth be told, we all need our sins forgiven and I hope you’ve trusted Jesus Christ for salvation. He is Lord and the Bible is true whether we believe or not!

Reflecting on the anniversary of last year’s SCOTUS decision, apologist, Alex McFarland stated:

God has the ultimate veto power. As an evangelist, I don’t want any of those 123,000 couples to be surprised by this fact. All same-sex couples should realize that what they’ve entered into will never be recognized by God. As an evangelist, I want to tell every person that they should turn to God now and be saved.

I believe God is also calling a lukewarm church to turn back to Him and repent. Jesus is standing at the door!

Is our faith strong enough to survive the massive tides of moral relativism, humanism, and secularism? It is vital we wake as many soldiers of Christ as we can before time runs out. In order for us to be more influential in our culture, let’s get back to the basics of speaking God’s eternal truth and of course, living it ourselves.