Archive for January, 2009

Some Thoughts on Abortion

January 20, 2009

I’m ashamed to say that at one time in my life I was pro-abortion.

I refuse to call that “pro-choice” and here’s why: I think the primary way we support things like this is that we use names for them that help us not think about what they really are. I held this position long before I was a Christian, and I can remember thinking the common “who are these people to tell this woman what she can or can’t do?”. I didn’t bother think that particular piece of logic through, or I’d have realized that I supported all kinds of laws that told all of us what we could and couldn’t do.

Most people, if they took the time to find out a little about what an abortion (particularly a partial birth abortion) actually is, would be appalled. But they don’t. I certainly didn’t. If you think you support abortion, and aren’t familiar with the details, I suggest you become familiar and see if your opinion changes.

This really hasn’t been much of an issue in my life personally, and my consideration of it was limited to a reaction to the occasional article or commentary or verbal comment I’d run across. So I could be “for” it without much thought or controversy. When I became a Christian I thought about it for the first time in a long time. And since, I’ve come to wonder how people can consider themselves Christians but still support it.

If you are an atheist, who doesn’t believe in any higher power, and therefore don’t believe you are bound to any such rules, then while I think you are wrong, I don’t think it is illogical to support abortion.

But if you are a Christian, I’d think Luke 1:39-45 would give you pause:


In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

It is hard to see how a lump of cells without any consciousness would leap for joy at an external stimulus like this, and almost as hard to see how another lump of cells would be able to cause said stimulus.

One might argue that John and Jesus were different or special, and in many ways they’d be right. But it seems a real stretch to me to say that the way they were special was that they were “alive” in the womb, while everyone else is not.

This isn’t the only Bible verse relevant to this issue. If you consider yourself a Christian, and don’t oppose abortion, I urge you to reconsider your thinking and ask yourself if that’s a reasonable position. Ask God to help you decide what you should believe on this. Study the Bible and see if its message is consistent with abortion. Let me know what you find.

Uncomfortable

January 16, 2009

In a recent Bible study someone said “I’m uncomfortable with that”, referring to a couple of verses that we were discussing.

I stopped the conversation and asked him to define “uncomfortable”. I did that because I’ve heard that sentiment expressed many times by people who don’t like what the Bible is telling them. They are usually able to ignore it with some combination of subject changing and rationalization.

But that’s not what this person meant. He meant that he was uncomfortable that he wasn’t able to be more sure of exactly what the Bible meant in those two verses. Basically he didn’t care one way or another what it said – he would accept that as God’s word and try to live according to it. The problem was that he just wasn’t 100% sure what exactly it did say.

To me that attitude seems just exactly right on. It says “I’m going to do whatever God says, and my only task is to figure out what that is.” There is no “that doesn’t feel right” or “I don’t understand why God would/wouldn’t want that.” Simply, “I’ll work to obey what He says.”

Think about how hard it is to submit that totally to God!

"An astrologer and a Christian?"

January 8, 2009

I saved the Friday, October 31, 2008 “Life” section of the Huntsville (AL) Times because it had a story about an astrologer named Keisha Tafari, and I knew when I had time I was going to have to comment. There was a sub story with the title that I’m also using for blog post:

        An astrologer and a Christian?

“Sure. A Christian can study astrology”, says Keisha Tafari, minister of music at Unity Church on the Mountain and a student of astrology for about 13 years. She holds a first-level certification from the School of Metaphysics.

She turns in the Bible to Genesis 1:14: “God said, ‘Let there be lights in the dome of the sky…and let them be for signs and for seasons.'” Then to Luke 21:25, where Jesus is talking to his disciples about the days before his second coming: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars.”

“It’s almost like we’re instructed to study astrology, that it’s a form of God’s guidance along the say,” Tafari said…

I’ve often wondered how someone can honestly think this way. Unfortunately, as incorrect as I believe this lady’s thinking is, reasoning like this isn’t uncommon. What I suspect happens is that people have some idea in their head or some belief that feels good to them and want to pretend that the Bible supports it. So they pick a verse or two that might, possibly, kind-of-if-you-read-it-just-right, almost, sort of imply that belief. And they ignore many other verses that much more clearly address the issue (in this case ones such as Isaiah 47:13-14, Deuteronomy 4:19 and 18:9-12, Leviticus 20:6, Daniel 1:20 and 2:27-28, Acts 16:16-18, 2 Chronicles 33:5-6, Revelation 3:16, Matthew 7:22-24, etc.).

Many of us will scoff at the thought of Christianity being compatible with astrology, but let’s ask ourselves whether we’re making the same mistake. Do we hold beliefs just because they are comfortable? Have we checked them against what the Bible actually says (as opposed to what we want it to say)? I think our obligation to do just that should be stronger than our ability to rationalize our way out of it. Remember what Jesus said in Luke 6:46: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”

The Theory of Christianity vs. The Practice

January 7, 2009

I know a lot of people who know at least something about the theory of Christianity. Most of them believe something vague about Jesus dying for our sins, that God and maybe Satan exist, and that the Bible contains at least some things God wants us to know.

Where the many and the few separate is in what they practice. “The many” see some things the Bible says and decide they like them and embrace them and when it is convenient try to live according to them. But right there on the page next to those things, in painstakingly translated English, is something they don’t like, and somehow they just ignore it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just the same. Or rather, I have been for most of my live – I’m making an effort to not be anymore. And it’s hard, no question.

It isn’t hard in that God’s commandments are burdensome (in fact they are not). I think what’s hard is to change oneself. To get past our pride and admit (or even consider) that we have been wrong for years or decades.

But we have to – that’s the price of following Christ. We can be hot or we can be cold, but we can’t be lukewarm.