That's a powerful testimony, Shasha. Thanks for sharing it.
It’s not cool (in some circles anyway) to speak of God anthropomorphically. And yet God became incarnate. His doing so enabled us a clearer understanding of his nature, of his heart. Our focusing on His humanity provides us with insight and a safeguard against a false Gnosticism.
In scripture we read that God (Jesus) said: “he who sees Me sees the Father.”
It’s not cool (these days in contemporary America) to lose your cool. Not cool to be seen to lose your cool. Not cool to get hot! The enlightened, the sartori boys, don’t lose their cool. The sophisticates of media and intelligentsia regard with contumely those who lose their cool, who might evidence passion – such folk are distinctly non-cool and dismissed with haughty eyes. Only losers lose their cool.
In scripture we read: “And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.”
So, Jesus at 30, having observed for a few decades the goings on in the temple area, got hot! Upset and angry at it all, he took action – passionate action at that -- making a whip, flipping tables and chairs, chasing people out. He who sees him sees the Father.
Think for a few moments, lectio-divina style perhaps, on what Christ’s action and anger might be relative to the even uglier goings on concerning the issue of life itself (abortion) and watching for four decades its continued endorsement – and an endorsement grown into by those within Christian churches even. Money changing got Him hot. Abortion …? Aiyee! Endorsement by ministers claiming to be his own ….? Aiyee!
It’s not cool (these days in contemporary America) to be frank. Not cool to be seen as politically incorrect. Not cool to be counter-cultural. Not cool to ‘judge’, to have an opinion distinct from the popular opinion. Not cool to call a spade a spade! Actually, a good number of Christians fear calling (even thinking) another’s spade is a spade. (Who am I to judge?) The spirit of the times intimidates and bullies them – not the Holy Spirit mind you, but the false spirit (ha! the accuser of the brethren himself). The accuser of the brethren accuses the brethren and so, no one accuses the sinner. Slick!
One of the spiritual works of mercy (first one I think) is to admonish the sinner. These days, to admonish is to sin (seemingly); since to admonish one has to judge. Ha! Slick! And the sin goes on and the silent majority remains silent – and … enlightened!?? Seemingly.
In scripture we read that Jesus had no problem in being forthright (perhaps an example for us to consider modeling). In speaking to the leaders of his faith, he called them names (Can you imagine?): Blind guides! Brood of vipers! Whited sepulchers! Hypocrites!
Think for a few moments, lectio-divina style perhaps, on what Christ’s action and anger might be relative to the even uglier goings on concerning the issue of life itself (abortion) and watching for four decades its continued endorsement – and an endorsement grown into by those within Christian churches even. What might he call those Christian ministers who supposedly in his name endorse the right to take an unborn’s life? Can we not believe that Jesus might be -- much peeved?
Zeal for certain things concerned Christ. Those things were never about money or the loss of money. Not about worry or fear. Not about security. (Not in the gospels I read).
About love, about life, about true freedom, character, virtue, integrity, etc. – that’s what I read in my NT.
How would he vote in contemporary America these days? How might his disciple vote?
Pop-pop (an Indy from among thee)
p.s. maybe this would have been better posted on the POTUS thread.
Good points once again Pop-pop!
In response to your post, I thought of this video. Kris relays a dream, what I am sure is truly prophetic. It will move you too...no words. (The book that he is referring to here is Kris's book on purity.)
Kris Vallotton's dream (how God feels about abortion)
I'm so happy that Bethel Church, Bill Johnson's church, is conveying this message.
I really enjoyed this youtube video 'Debunking the “Pro-Choice” Euphemism' on the Shameless Popery blog.
Yes, Jacques, "pro-choice" serves to distort and deny the gruesome and unconscionable reality of abortion. And notice "choice" is such a wonderful word, healthy, freedom-loving, pro-individuating, easily digested by 16-25 year-olds who are needing to differentiate from their parents/authority.
From that website, the author shares this from the book, "Logical Thinking." --
The user shapes language, but language shapes the user as well. If we consistently use language that serves to distort reality, we can eventually come to believe our own twisted rhetoric. Such is the power of language. At first hearing, terms like “cultural revolution” and “reeducation” might sound quite harmless. Then one learns that they masked totalitarian brutality at its worst.
It is juvenile to use language simply to shock. But shocking language is preferable to evasive language, if it can disabuse people of hazy ideas and acquaint them with the truth
Same goes with pictures.
Abortion clinics are opposed to pictures of aborted fetuses displayed OUTSIDE their centers, but they are not opposed to the actual practice of aborting fetuses INSIDE their facility.
Under 4-minute video report from BBC News:
British Pregnany Advisory Service: “We are not trying to stifle protest...it is utterly wrong to engage women in a debate about issues when they are coming to access care.” Yes, killing the growing baby in the womb is the “care” they’re referring to here.
Center for Bio-Ethical Reform writes that they come up against fierce protest from abortion providers. “They know our photo signs make it far more difficult for them to delude and victimize vulnerable mothers, so they make the cynically self-serving argument that only abortion providers should be permitted to interact with women considering abortion.”
The prosecution in this case “will have to prove that the images were critically abusive or insulting.” Umm...let’s consider who all is being abused here?!
But if you have evidence that these signs literally save lives and convert abortion-minded women, I say: Keep up the hard work!!
Here’s a note from Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.
On July 31, 2012, a twenty-six-year-old woman from Bradford, VT contacted us today to say our abortion imagery had saved her baby’s life. She had scheduled an abortion but told us that “...anti-abortion protesters outside of a Burlington, VT, Planned Parenthood really opened my eyes!!!!” She explained that she “...was met at the door by these protesters and they gave me a card...this card I will never forget.” On the back of the card was the CRB website address, and when she saw the abortion video, it convinced her that “...when people have the reality of what they are doing shoved in their faces...a lot more people will change their minds!!” She concluded by thanking us and declaring that “today I am six months pregnant and very excited about this baby.”
Good video clips, both of them. I thought it hilarious that the Democrat delegates thought the government had every right to regulate the size of sodas we put into our bodies but no right to regulate "a woman's right to choose" an abortion. Somewhere in all this the "common good" needs to be considered, but don't expect to have a rational argument about it.
I think "pro-abortion-rights" is more accurate than "pro-choice," which is far to sanitized and not specific enough. Similarly, "pro-life" really means "anti-abortion-rights" as many don't really support other "rights" issues.
If political ads are considered "free speech" in the service of influencing public opinion, then why not graphic pictures of aborted fetuses? In fact, the latter are far more honest!!! Of course, that doesn't resolve the issue of where such "speech" can be expressed. There are private property rights as well. It's one thing for someone to say they can utter profanity in the public square or publish pornography and be protected by free speech rights, but I have every right to forbid it in my home and to request that violators leave. Same goes for abortion clinics, I would guess.
Then he took a little child, stood him in their midst, and putting his arm around him, said to them. “Whoever welcomes a child such as this for my sake welcomes Me.”
As Christians we’ve read: “He who sees me sees the Father.”
I ask you, how can a Christian not believe that Christ’s arm doesn’t extend around the child in utero?
As for all the nuanced questions put forth by some relative to ‘personhood’ and when it applies ……… can a Christian really believe that Christ is into pharisaical nuancing? He hated that kind of behavior. I doubt that he likes the ‘blind guides’ of the third millennium any more than those in the first. Certainly, as petty as they were, they did not condone, let alone endorse abortion. The blind guides I speak of are today’s pro-abortion rights ministers and catechists. I’m thinking Christ would exclaim: “Out of my sight, you evildoers!”
That being in utero became a person the instant the Father said ‘Yes’ to its coming into existence …. the instant the Father said ‘Yes’ to its fertilization.
That’s the Christian perspective.
“Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13
The ‘you’ in the above verse is God – the person par excellence.
Yes, abortion-rights advocates seem to be both a cause of the division in the Church and a reflection of its fragmentation.
Apparently, God is allowing Satan to sift us...This message has been edited. Last edited by: Shasha,
Your comment about God allowing Satan to sift us is a reality I agree with you on -- and often ponder the totality of.
Sometimes I wonder whether the 'New Evangelization' will be a 'last call' -- whether we might be 'heading for the last roundup' as the Gene Autry song lyrics went.
Globalization is a forboding consideration imo -- actually (and I admit I might be too dark) I pretty much think it very well might be the greatest threat to mankind and to the Christian Churches in particular.
The last century brought us totalitarian states that resulted in the deaths and persecutions of millions. The Marxist, Communist philosophy sounded like a decent idea on the surface.
This century may bring us a totalitarian globe.
Pop, I agree that for Christians, the matter ought to be settled. In addition to the examples you gave (including Psalm 139), there is the Annunciation and its implications. In the dialogue between Mary and the angel Gabriel, we learn that the one conceived has a name, Jesus, and a destiny as well. This matter of having a destiny (future) to realize is very important, as it applies equally to all who have been born and unborn (including old codgers like us ).
But . . . (and you knew this was coming, didn't you?), we are a pluralistic culture and so our dialogue with others has to proceed out of a non-theological framework. That's why I think the best way for us to proceed is to affirm the linkage between genetic individuality with a future human destiny to be realized if given the proper developmental environment. Under what circumstances is it justifiable to deprive anyone of this? People need to think long and hard about this question.
I agree with you about it being a pluralistic culture and the issues of dialoging in a pluralistic culture. But, lol … (and you knew this was coming), I was writing to Christians about Christians. And so I don’t know that I should proceed out of a non-theological framework at all. Not really, imo of course.
It seems to me that Christ in speaking to his people of the Old Covenant spoke within a theological framework and called blind guides: blind guides.
It seems to me that it is okay to imitate Christ in using scriptures and theological understanding when speaking to people of the New Covenant. Why deny use of the power of the God’s word? Certainly I was not speaking harshly to anyone in particular. I was writing to Christian readers in general, believing that the H.S. would convict as he saw fit any readers who needed to hear the truth.
With all due respect,
p.s. I don’t run around calling every non-Christian I personally meet a blind guide; nor those who are Christian that I meet and who have a pro-Abortion rights position. Believe it or not, I am able to behave pastorally. Lol. And I do often enough keep my mouth shut.
I agree, Pop. I've little sympathy for Christians being pro-abortion-rights.
By "Christian being pro-abortion-rights" you mean Catholics in America? In Poland only the leftist, anti-clerical parties support abortion. They support also homosexual "marriages"/adoption and drugs legalization, so usually no-one would think that a practicing Catholic would agree with that! But I remember one post-communist leader of the Polish left wing party said that he is a Catholic and goes to church every Sunday. But no-one dared to ask him about his attitude towards abortion or I just don't remember that.
Is abortion legal now in all the states of America?
It's been legal throughout the land since the mid-70s (1974 I think).
And we've killed 53 million unborns and a few borns ( babies that survived the abortion procedure and were left to die without medical care) since that legalization.
In the US there are even some denominations in Protestantism that preach its legitimacy and discourage pro-life believers from attending their church. All in the name of Christ they believe!
The US also funds UN programs in other countries that promote abortion, sterilization and contraception.
We are on the brink of fighting for the right to not be forced to perform abortions if it violates a Christian nurse's or doctor's conscience. Many are putting forth arguments that to refuse would constitute discrimination against the woman desiring the abortion. Christian medical folk may be forced to give up their careers lest they violate their conscience.
Currently the govt has already passed a law that mandates (among other businesses and institutions) that religious institutions provide money to be spent in support of abortifacient drugs, sterilization and contraceptives. Fines approximating $100 per day per institution employee are to be levied for non-compliance with the govt mandate. The Catholic Church and various Catholic Universities and EWTN the Catholic TV network and those churches and universities of other religious faiths have lodged legal suits against the validity of the law. Forty-plus law suits have been started to date. The govt however seems to be refusing to entertain the suits. Certainly they will be slow at processing them in any event.
In New York City a few years back, abortions were performed on 41% of the pregnancies, and 56% of those were repeat customers!
Glad to see Poland is doing far better than we at protecting life!
Tonight EWTN aired a special titled 'Blood Money'. It was a supremely powerful expose on the abortion industry! OMG. I commend it everyone.
Even Uber Pop-pop was in tears watching it! I'm thinking that even Rachel Maddow might be too, if given the chance to see it. It's that powerful.
www.bloodmoneyfilm.com has it available for purchase.
If 60 Minutes or Nightline or PBS aired it, wow.
Oh, hi Pop-pop,
I didn't realize you posted this till just now.
Yes, I did see Blood Money. Our Church showed it a few years ago.
Very disturbing. Here's a 3-minute trailer of that documentary.
And this is a 3-minute clip from the movie:
In other news, look at this scare tactic and distortion by the pro-choice NARAL.
Nancy Keenan of NARAL Pro-Choice America immediately issued a statement following the debate condemning Ryan’s pro-life views. “Let me be clear: The Romney-Ryan ticket is extremely dangerous to women’s health and Americans should be very concerned about the future of women’s health and rights if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan win on November 6,” said Keenan.
Note to thinking women: elective abortions are not about women's health.
A healthy pregnant woman with a health baby growing inside her womb will benefit from various levels of medical care to manage her pregnancy .
Yes, in our warped culture, killing a baby in a woman's womb is called a 'medical' procedure. Yes, the abortionist is an MD, wears a white coat, and uses 'medical' tools specially designed to destroy the child.
But these factors don't make elective abortion 'health care.'
I wanted to share this post from Abby Johnson, who is the former Planned Parenthood director. She is now a fervent pro-life advocate. Abby had a change of heart when watching an ultra-sound guided abortion and she could see the reality of abortion, something most people prefer to avoid, deny, or rationalize.
I'm sitting in my hotel room watching 20/20. They have been talking about the neonatal nurses that carried babies as small as 2 pounds down 9 flights of stairs during the storm. Then they show a clip of our President talking about his gratitude that they "saved these tiny newborns." I just couldn't stop myself from crying. I'm watching these courageous women risking everything to save these precious babies...
and I know that babies this small are aborted every day. How DARE Obama pretend to care about our children. He would have just as well had these children aborted in the name of "choice." Just the thought of Obama and what he stands for makes me physically ill.
I can relate to her sentiment.
As much as I like the idea of a one-payer system and universal health care, I cannot see past Obama championing pro-abortion rights!
As much as I have always been a Democrat (at heart) because their policies are more sympathetic to the needs of the poor, minority, and abused, I cannot pretend the pre-born thousands of children who are killed every day in this country don't require the same legal protection.
Furthermore, I even like the idea of a 'big government,' a protective government who keeps the privileged and overly greedy ambitions folk from exploiting the lowly. But who are the lowliest in our society? The voice-less, helpless pre-born children who are legally ripped apart limb by limp in the name of a 'woman's right to choose.' Astonishing denial of evil.
Shasha, I'm still a Democrat, too, but will change to Independent after this election.
The Demcrats traditional emphasis on abortion rights and now free contraception have been drastically stepped up under Obama. I can't stomach it any more . . . want no more affiliation with them whatsoever.
I've just read that 57% of Catholics in America previously voted for Democrats, even though now the situation may change. I had no idea. I was convinced that Catholics are mostly Republicans who always supported a traditional model of family, religious values and appreciation for the past. In Poland we don't have traditional political polarization between the left and the right, mostly, because we didn't have any real capitalism in our history, but we have a strong polarization between patriotic, traditional, pro-family, Catholic part of society (which we call "the right") and "European", anti-tradition and morally liberal, lefty part. In our country some bishops strongly warn politicians who declare themselves to be Catholic that voting pro in vitro or abortion is a sin, which, by some, is regarded as too much involvement in politics on the Church's part.
Anyway, I am a bit surprised to see that you, Shasha and Phil, are Democrats! Maybe, I don't know the details of American political situation, but I know that the Democrats legalize homosexual behavior and abortion, so I'd not vote for them.
(By the way, Shasha, is the Democrats' sympathy for the "needs of the poor, minority and abused" necessarily a Christian thing? The socialist politics of European Union, which supposed to help the poor, somehow turned out in the end to be more "sympathetic" to huge corporations, banks and politicians more than to the poor which now are unemployed (25% in Spain, for example) and more miserable (Greece) than people in capitalist America...)
It seems we Americans are experiencing the same polarized tensions as you in Poland. And the same politics-Church interaction problems.
To clarify, I said I've always been a Democrat at heart.. I never actually cast a vote for either party in my life until last Presidential election in 2008 when I voted Republican. By that time, I awakened to the evil of 'abortion on demand,' and the Democrat Obama was clearly platforming for it.
Before that time, I just didn't care much about going to the polls. I didn't care much about doing God's will, in general. When I awoke from my narcissistic slumber of being 'prayerfully pro-choice' (thinking one could somehow find right reasons for doing the wrong thing), I realized I had to take a stand against legalized/moralized abortion in every way reasonable.
About your last comment, yes, I am pretty naive about these things. I see that those socialist politics are no sure-fire means of operationalizing Christian values.
Glad to hear from you! I pray for your family, that you may enjoy Christ's holy peace.
One right-wing Polish journalist some time ago said that in the Western world nowadays the only countries in which the "war of civilizations" is still going on are the United States and Poland. I don't know about the situation in other post-communist countries of Europe, but in the Western Europe the war has been already won. For example, British conservative party asked Polish conservatives to change their attitude and agree for homosexual "marriages"! Two years ago I taught some classes for the students of medicine from abroad. There were Americans, Scandinavians etc. They were outraged, but even more - stunned and confused, that I, as an intelligent person and a scholar, can have anything against homosexual "marriages"/adoption, abortion, and everything they called "freedom", "tolerance", and "equal rights". Probably, they came to a conclusion that I'm some Eastern Europe barbarian who will extinct as dinosaurs did... Well, I think that legalized abortion, to name the worst, is a barbarism disguised as an advanced culture or civilization.
I think it is quite symptomatic that anti-Christian forces in the Western culture taken over words like "choice", "liberty", "tolerance", "openness", "progress", "social sensitivity", "compassion", "awareness" (I could go on with that...), changed or twisted their meaning and devaluated the values which are essential to the Western, Greco-Roman-Christian culture. Now it is no longer Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, but "cultural", "democratic", "intellectual", "spiritual" even people or more or less anonymous agencies which culturally, democratically and spiritually destroy from within our civilization.
Thanks Shasha for letting us know: "I wanted to share this post from Abby Johnson, who is the former Planned Parenthood director. She is now a fervent pro-life advocate" Good news. I definitely want to see them defunded. Not that they would miss that 435 million of taxpayer money per year, because they still have that dreadful lucrative abortion business, but it would at least cut into their funding Democrat elections.This is such a painful subject for me, but I have to keep it on the front burner to continuously beseech our merciful God to grace mankind with an evolution of consciousness -- love of God and love of neighbor.
Phil, many years ago I registered as Independent. Living in a rural area of La. and working in a physician's office it was easy to see and hear the Democrat policy of buying votes by appearing to be the party for the poor. Baby after baby was born to receive another monthly check and then neglected while the money was spent elsewhere.And other details I was aware of first hand. My main point is that the Democrat vote was solid among the poor. I was happy when Bush spoke boldly about the govt helping the faith based communities who interact on a personal basis with the individuals in need. Knowing how to assist them with a friendship accountable basis indeed helps all concerned. Most Churches do a great deal while constantly trying to raise money to cover the need. But something happened these last four years as entitlements grew, even with encouragement to accept when not needed. That happened to me and others many times. I would ask to have my name taken off the list, but it would then come from another source. When I told that to a Democrat relative she said they just want to make sure no needy person is left out.
Claire, as you seem to know the LA situation, then you would understand why one would register Democrat in that state, and it might help to clarify for others as well.
In 1968, when I turned 18 and joined the ranks of first-time 18-yr old voters (it had been 21 prior to 1968), I registered Democrat as that was, for all practical purposes, the only political party in LA. Republicans were a small minority and never garnered more than about 20% of the vote in general elections for governor or local offices. So if you wanted your vote to count, you were a Democrat, for the real elections for state and parish offices took place in the Democratic primaries, not the general elections. So I registered Democrat, and promptly voted for Nixon as he promised to end the war in Viet Nam and seemed more conservative while Humphrey seemed like LBJ v. 2.0. I liked that I could vote for whoever I wanted in the general elections and could still have a voice in choosing state and local Democrat candidates. Through the years, LA changed as the Democrat Party became more socialistic, but Democrats still prevailed in state and local races, so I stayed Democrat.
When we moved to KS in 1990, the political situation was different. Republicans predominate here, but they are far-Right and often neglectful of some of the truly good causes championed by Democrats. So I stayed Democrat, knowing I can vote for whoever I like in the general elections and, in KS, at least, a Republican is a Republican is a Republican: very Tea Partyish, which I cannot fully support. I have always voted in national, state and local elections since 1968, and have probably voted for more Republicans in national elections and for more Democrats in local and state elections.
There are fundamental differences in the emphases of both Parties, and these are best understood through the lenses of Spiral Dynamics, which we have discussed elsewhere. In common lingo, I would probably consider myself a conservative Democrat or a liberal Republican. As these stances have become oxymorons, I will soon be an independent, which means I will forfeit my right to vote in the Democrat or Republican primaries. So be it.
I understand completely, Phil. For the sake of brevity, I did not reveal that though I was registered Independent for years, this past year I registered Republican because I had not been able to vote in the primaries. I plan to return to Independent again. I will always vote against any party who is obsessed with promoting abortion.One recent Democrat ad featured very young girls, stating that we would want that "right" for them.
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