For or Against ?

The Christian community has taken a stand on the issue of abortion. To end a pregnancy is to end a life. Not potential life. Life. We object to abortion. We work to change civil laws that violate God’s moral law. We fight for the plight of the unborn.

The world knows we are for the life in the womb. They know we are against abortion. But do they know we are also for the mother?

Every year, more than one million abortions are performed. At least one-third of American women will have had an abortion by age forty-five.

Before we dismiss this as a problem outside the Church, surveys indicate 78% of those who have had abortions claim some religious affiliation. One survey indicates that one in five women who aborted their baby were born-again or evangelical Christians. Hundreds of thousands of women sit in church each week with a secret that is destroying them. These are women we know and love: our friends, daughters, sisters, wives—maybe even our mothers…or ourselves.

The baby in the womb is not the only victim of abortion.

Women with abortion in their history often struggle with Post-Abortion Syndrome. Symptoms include guilt, promiscuity, and suicidal thoughts. Eating disorders, emotional isolation, and alcohol or drug abuse can follow. Crying spells, depression, and nightmares are common experiences.

Yet these women struggle with connecting their past abortion to the symptoms they experience sometimes decades later. They become experts at stuffing the event behind them, convinced that what’s past is past, unrelated to their present circumstances. Even if they are saved and serving in church, they are emotionally stuck, unable to get past the abortion that altered their life forever.

Confidential abortion recovery programs provide an opportunity for women to receive the support of facilitators and peers who understand their pain. Many of these facilitators and peer counselors have abortion in their own history and have experienced God’s forgiveness, healing, and restoration.

People - Women holding hands - praying - lightstock_131372_medium_user_8104670
Post-abortion recovery classes address biblical principles that apply to all areas of life, not just abortion. Participants discuss topics such as the need for healing, the character of God, post-abortion symptoms, and the importance of forgiving and being forgiven. Forgiveness is an especially significant turning point because of the condemnation they expect from God and other people.

“Love the person, hate the sin” has almost become a cliché within Christian circles. Yet it describes our need to stand for life even as we reach out to offer healing and freedom to people shackled by the pain of abortion.

When abortion occurs, we lose a life. If Christians respond with compassion to the mother, we – and she – may gain a life: the eternal life of a woman who personally experiences God’s grace, forgiveness and restoration.

Surrendering the secret of abortion is painful, but it is a critical journey.

If you are burdened with the secret sorrow of an abortion in your past, contact a local crisis pregnancy center today. For locals on Florida’s Treasure Coast, call Confidential Abortion Recovery Experience (CARE) – a ministry of Care Net Pregnancy Services of the Treasure Coast, 772-249-2473. The call is confidential. Don’t wait another minute to begin your healing.

And for the rest of us? For or against. The world knows what we are against. Let’s start showing them what who we are for.

Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

My mother said it so often when I was a kid that I’d roll my eyes as soon as I heard the first two words. I knew what would follow as sure as I knew my own name.

“Two wrongs…don’t make a right.”

I wish Robert Dear had learned that lesson at his mother’s knee.

For those who aren’t familiar with his name, Robert Lewis Dear is the man who attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last month. Authorities noted that, in custody, he had rambled about “no more baby parts.” His apparent concern over the atrocities occurring at Planned Parenthood locations seems to be the motive for the attack. He is charged with killing three people and wounding nine others.

Dear has since called himself “a warrior for babies.”

Which brings me to one of my mother’s favorite adages. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The fact that someone has done something wrong doesn’t give us the right to respond in kind.

At least, that’s what Jesus taught.

We say: “You hurt me, I’ll hurt you.”
Jesus said, “Turn the other cheek.”

We say, “I’ll make my enemies pay.”
Jesus said, “Love your enemy.”

Remember the account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane? When the guards came to arrest Him, Peter drew a sword…and drew blood. But Jesus stopped him and healed the injured man.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I have no doubt that in the name of health, Planned Parenthood deals in death. It breaks my heart, because the parents will be dealing with the effects of their decision to abort for decades, apart from the healing that only Jesus can bring.

Is Robert Dear a Christian? I doubt it, despite his public stand against abortion. True believers in Christ don’t kill those who disagree with them. We love them.

Photo credit: Nancy DeMott

Photo credit: Nancy DeMott

Which is why I so appreciate crisis pregnancy centers such as Care Net. You see, it’s not enough to be against abortion. What the world needs to see is the fruit of our moral position. In the case of organizations such as Care Net, staff and volunteers serve in practical ways to meet the needs of women and couples in crisis.

By doing so, more than a life is saved. Two lives are saved—mother and baby. A marriage is strengthened. A family is encouraged. A community is blessed.

And it’s all done without anyone firing a single shot.

The Value of a Single Life

The 7-billionth person was born recently.

Don’t feel bad if you missed it. Record keepers aren’t absolutely sure when he or she was born. There’s also a slight disagreement between the predictions of the United Nations and the U.S. Census Bureau. With an estimated population increase of 215,000 per day, the U.N. Population Division had projected that the 7-billion mark was crossed by April 30th of this year. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates a daily world-wide increase of 367,000.

In either case, the 7-billion threshold would have been met no later than this month. One thing is certain, though. This milestone has reinvigorated fears about limited resources on an overcrowded planet. Sound familiar?

In the 1960s and 70s, researchers published reports warning of the dangers of overpopulation. Movies such as Soylent Green painted a horrifying picture of a dying planet and starving people who became unwitting cannibals.

For almost half a century, we’ve been led to believe that limited food resources combined with a growing world population is a recipe for disaster. But is this science or hype?

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has stated, “the world currently produces enough food for everybody, but many people do not have access to it.” The problem is distribution, not production. In fact, our own government actually pays farmers to not grow certain crops.

In an apparent coincidence, the Supreme Court issued their 1973 landmark ruling on abortion the same year Soylent Green was released.

But what if the solutions to many of humanity’s problems would have been discovered by the very lives we’ve destroyed? Billions of dollars are spent on research to find cures for everything from cancer to AIDS. What if the person who would have achieved a breakthrough is one who was aborted in the name of “quality of life”?

What if the life ended in a womb is the person whose kind words or gentle smile would have brought encouragement to your life or my life last week or next year? What if the baby determined “abnormal” by the medical community is the infant who would have influenced her parents to draw closer to their Sovereign Creator? Or what if such a child might have shown his siblings that being different is not bad, it’s just…different.

Is the value of a life determined by the economic status of her parents or the convenience of their lifestyle? Is a baby really a baby and not a blob of cells only if the parents want him to be a baby?

If a child in the womb is not a “life” until he is born, why do we protect sea turtle and sandhill crane eggs before their babies hatch? If the single cell of a pre-born baby does not constitute life, then why are scientists eager to find even a single cell on another planet that would prove the existence of life outside of earth?

The value of life is not found in sheer numbers. Neither is it found in individual development. Seven billion people or one baby growing in his mother’s womb – each one has value because they are created in the image of God. He sent His Son to die for each one. If we truly want to define the value of a life, we need to look in the right place. It’s found at the Cross…and in the Resurrection.

Care Net’s annual fundraising banquet will be held September 21st.
Will I see you there? Contact me to reserve a seat at my table!

The Trouble with Youngsters Today…

What’s the matter with young people today?
If this is the future of our country, our nation is doomed.
The trouble with youngsters today…

I can remember hearing statements like these when I was a teenager, 40+ years ago. And I’m still hearing them today. I’ve even been guilty of saying similar things on occasion.

Phrases such as these have been around for ages. Consider this quote, attributed to Socrates by Plato:

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

Sounds like the more things change, the more they remain the same!

But the problem with blanket statements is that they’re stereotypes. For every example, there’s an exception. Lately, I’ve been impressed with some of those exceptions:

–       Gabby Douglas – 16-year-old gold medalist in the London Olympics who proudly proclaimed, “I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to him and the blessings fall down on me.”

–      Rachel – 26-year-old Chick-Fil-A employee who politely responded to the man who heckled her on camera, and then publicly forgave him.

–        James – my 18-year-old nephew who recently returned from a short-term missions trip serving at an orphanage in Romania.

–        Katie and Krissy – 17- and 14-year-old sisters who spent one of their few remaining vacation days before school starts sorting baby clothes for the local Care Net center.

Well-known basketball coach John Wooden once said: “Young people need models, not critics.”

Sometimes young people are the models.

Is there a young person in your life who you’d like to recognize? Leave a comment!