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Is Abortion the Issue that Determines Everything Else?

We must ask, “What is God’s role in human life?” And the answer has far-reaching consequences.

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I will confess.

I have never been a huge pro-life activist. I have never donated to pro-life causes. I have never been to a pro-life march. Yes, I have always been pro-life but never understood not only the importance of the issue in and of itself, but how the position one takes – or society takes – will determine your position on almost everything else.

That has changed, and while I am late to the movement, it is better late than never.

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Perhaps you are the same way that I was. Perhaps you are pro-life but do not yet understand how important the issue is. If so, I would like to challenge you to think this through with me.

There is one premise we must agree upon, because if we don’t then it would make sense that one would be pro-abortion. The premise?

God. Pro-life is in the domain of God. If there is no God, then abortion is entirely fine. Survival of the fittest, right? Kill or be killed. Whoever is powerful will make decisions, including decisions on who lives and who dies, even if it is the life inside of you.

I am reminded of a debate I got into in college with a secularist professor. I usually sat in the front row of the huge auditorium where he regularly badmouthed Christians and Christianity (ironic considering this was a “Christian” school. There is a difference between a Christian school and a “church” school), and repeatedly declared that there is no God. One day, however, I was late and found myself sitting in the very last row at the top of the auditorium. The professor was talking about how evil animal testing was, particularly using monkeys for testing.

Soon my hand was raised and the professor called on me. “Yes?” he asked.

“You can’t take the position of being against animal testing given your worldview.”

“Why not,” he prodded.

“Because you don’t believe in God. If there is no God, then it is just survival of the fittest, most powerful animal gets to do what it wants. The Frog eats the fly, the lion eats the antelope, and humans can eat – or test – whatever they want. We’re just lucky to be at the top of the food chain. However, if you were a Christian, then you could be against animal testing – or could at least make an argument against it – because God makes us stewards of the earth and we would have to deal with the ethics of animal testing. Concern for anything is predicated on a belief in God.”

The class was silent, waiting to hear what he would say in return. What could he say though? It is an airtight argument and he was in the corner because of it.

“Point well taken,” he said and quickly moved on to another topic.

If there is a God and if God is involved in the affairs of humans, as orthodox Christian teaching teaches, then we must ask, “What is God’s role in human life?” And the answer has far-reaching consequences.

Christianity teaches that God creates life. Conception is not merely a biological function. When sperm collides with egg, God infuses it with life.

See where we are? If you don’t believe in God, then abort the cluster of cells. Survival of the fittest. If you do believe in God, then abortion is a rejection of His work and the life that He created.

Think through with me some of the scriptures that teach us about God and life:

Psalm 139:13-15 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”

God created us.

He knit us together – that’s active.

We were made and woven together.

Galatians 1:15: “But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace.”

Before we were born He had set His plan in place for us.

Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;”

He formed us.

He consecrated us.

Now, I imagine that most of us here agree with much if not all of the above, but what about my main contention that everything else stems from one’s position on life?

Let’s start with this. Remember the phrase from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

What can we derive from this simple statement? What are the facts we can take away?

The truths are self evident. Anyone who doesn’t see them is not looking at reality.

All men are created equal. “Men” is obviously being used her like one would use “mankind,” as a word for everyone. This includes, well, everyone, including the unborn life.

We have unalienable rights. They cannot be taken away or removed. The dictionary defines unalienable as “Not to be separated, given away, or taken away.”

These rights are granted to us by God Himself. The government does not determine our rights. They protect our rights that are given to us by God.

The three rights listed here are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

So I ask, is it possible that these three are listed, in that order, for a reason? Of course it is. If you don’t have life, you cannot have liberty and if you do not have liberty, there can be no pursuit of happiness. That’s obvious. But again, what of my contention that what you believe about life is how you will believe about anything – or everything.

In order to be pro-abortion you have to get rid of a few things:

God.

Unalienable rights.

The right to life.

My question is this: If you can reject God, deny unalienable rights, and kill a child in a womb that God created, what would you not do? Where do you possibly go from there?

Well, you can imprison people for anything you want to. You can support the Chinese even when the have millions of slaves and political prisoners. You can engage in free sex (which is never really free), resulting in unwanted pregnancies that you simply get an abortion for. You deny the idea of absolute truth, allowing you you to foist almost any idea you want on a public that now rejects God and absolute truth.

Yes, once you cross the line, there are no more lines that can’t be crossed. When you do not respect and honor the very basic premise of the value of life, there is no value left at all.

Yes, they will try to use mental gymnastics to make sense of it, but if you are grounded in truth, it makes no sense at all. How about this one? Why is it that if a woman goes into an abortion clinic four months pregnant and terminate her pregnancy, it is totally fine for society, but if that same woman were walking into a bank at four months pregnant and a bank robber was leaving the bank and shot her and killed both her and the baby, she would be charged with two murders? This is completely and totally intellectually disingenuous. The only difference for the baby is who killed it. Either way it is dead, yet one person – the mom – is lauded for her “choice,” while the other – the robber – is sent to prison.

So, I challenge you to think through these things. If you have already been fighting for life, I applaud you and I apologize for being late to the movement. If you are like I have been in the past, join me in thinking – and praying – about this issue that is the foundation for everything else.

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Chris is one of the World's Top 50 Speakers, member of the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame, and one of Inc. Magazine's Top 100 Leadership Speakers. He considers it a privilege to be able to speak to people, help them lead successful lives, become extraordinary leaders and, masterful salespeople. Chris has authored twenty books with three million copies in print in 13 languages and over 450 articles on success, leadership, sales and motivation.



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Faith

Decrease in Marriage Continues a Spiraling Wave of Problems, and Churches are AWOL

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Over 60 years after the decline of marriage began in the 1960s due to the rise of the “free love” mentality, the results are more dismal than ever. In 1960, only 28% of adults were single. Now almost 50% of adults are single. Marriage rates are at their lowest ever in U.S. history. There are eight times more children born to unmarried parents than married. 

 

This is a problem. While progressives love to tear down the traditional nuclear family, they can’t argue with the increasingly negative facts coming out. Cohabitation arrangements break up around five times more frequently than marriages, and unplanned pregnancies occur three times more often with cohabiting couples than married couples. Unmarried couples with children are three times more likely to split up and have lower incomes. Children without fathers are more likely to suffer an “Adverse Family Event,” which is abuse, neglect or other trauma. Disregarding the old saying “Marriage tames men” is why we are seeing a spike in bad behavior by men.

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Two authors with extensive backgrounds in marriage and the Christian church have written a book, Endgame: The Church’s Strategic Move to Save Faith and Family in America, outlining the crisis and showing how the church has failed to address it — but also providing specific solutions to fix it. “Endgame” refers to the crumbling of marriage. 

 

Co-author J.P. De Gance, a Catholic who came from the political sphere working for Americans for Prosperity, pioneered a marriage relationship project called Culture of Freedom — later rebranded as Communio —  which had tremendous results. He launched it in several cities, working with churches and faith-based organizations. In Jacksonville, Florida, which had dismal marriage rates, divorces fell 24% after the three-year project, which focused on 58,912 couples.

 

Similarly, John Van Epp, an evangelical relationship expert, ran his own Christian marriage relationship service, Love Thinks. In one area in Indiana that he focused on, divorce rates dropped 20% over 10 years. 

 

What the authors found is that churches are lacking in marriage ministry. Three out of four churches don’t provide any substantive relationship courses or resources for married couples. And even though singles make up almost 50% of heads of households, more than 90% of churches don’t have an adult singles ministry. 

 

What should be most alarming for Christians is the decline of relationship health is now the most significant factor in disrupting a relationship with Jesus. This is why church attendance is at its lowest rate ever on record in the U.S., 47%. In 2000, it was 70%. Church attendance is largely determined by one variable — parental marriage. Both children with unmarried parents and divorced parents were equally less likely to attend church.

 

Marriage crumbled because of the decoupling of sex, romantic partnerships and parenting. Today, the majority of couples have sex before starting a relationship. The authors point to online dating as one of the culprits — it’s made it easy to leave a relationship the instant a problem arises, because you can find a new romantic interest right away.

 

They found a correlation between atheism and lack of married parents. Millennials who were the least emotionally interested in attending church were also the least likely to report having a positive relationship with their parents. The 30 most well-known atheists in the world had a defective relationship with their fathers. 

 

Progressives may pretend that Christians are no better off than the rest of the population, but the authors found that churchgoing Christians have sex more frequently and are happier in their sex life than those who don’t attend. While one quarter of couples in church have a struggling marriage, 39% of couples in general do. 

 

Unfortunately, pastors don’t realize they’re not doing a good job in this area. While 93% of pastors counsel couples in crisis, 57% of them do not believe they are qualified enough. A “marriage 911” is lacking in the church. Churches spend lots of money on youth programs, but that’s not helping people stay in church. 

 

The authors say we need to go out into the community to find couples to help, not expect them to come searching and find these services. It needs to be portrayed as something everyone needs, in order not to scare people away thinking it’s only for couples who are on the verge of breaking up, otherwise people will be afraid of the stigma.

 

The authors reveal what works as successful techniques. They teach couples to address problems early on in relationships. It’s a myth that good relationships don’t require work. The “balanced relationship” is an illusion. What is normal in a good relationship is this: About the time a couple feels that they have a routine that is working for them … life comes at them fast. One of the most valuable tasks the authors have couples do is to make a top 10 list of what they think their spouse wants and needs from them.

 

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient (EQ) is key to a good marriage. This means both interpersonal, which includes communicating with your spouse, and intrapersonal, the ability to monitor your own emotions and actions. Studies of people doing tasks who have somewhat higher EQs but also somewhat lower IQs than others reveal that the former perform better, shattering our traditional views of IQ. 

 

The authors also emphasize the importance of both skills and virtues. Secular counseling focuses on skills, whereas Christian counseling tends to focus too much on just virtues. Skills include discernment, appreciation and expectation, self-control and commitment. 

 

The authors conclude by saying the church needs to make marriage ministry and relationship outreach normal. Marital problems shouldn’t be left up to social agencies to handle. The secular world is going to continue to disparage marriage and continue the downward cycle that the misnamed, so-called “free love” brings, so the church has to step up and stop the leak in the dam. 

 

 

  

 

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Faith

Seek Out the Good in Others

If you try, you can find at least one thing admirable in everyone you meet.

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Will Rogers, a political satirist, entertainer, and beloved figure in the first half of the twentieth century allegedly said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Many people have interpreted Will Rogers to have meant that he could find something admirable in everyone he met. So, too, can we all.

Something Admirable

Is there a co-worker with whom you have had a nasty relationship? Is there something good about this co-worker that you can draw upon, so that you can actually say something nice to him/her at your next encounter?

Is there a neighbor with whom you have had a continuing squabble? What would it do to your relationship if you sent your neighbor a card or a brief note that said something along the lines of, “I noticed how lovely your garden was the other day and wanted to let you know that I appreciate the work you’ve done in maintaining it.” Too syrupy, or, pardon the expression, too flowery?  Guess again.

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You’re on this planet for finite amount of time. Do you want to go through your life trading hostilities with people, never having the where-with-all to restore some semblance of civility to the relationship?

Finding the Good

Try thinking of and listing five people who you may not have a good relationship with but can acknowledge. Next to each person’s name, write what is good about them. Do they maintain a nice garden? Here are some ideas for you in case you’re drawing a blank. This person…

* Is kind to the receptionist at work.
* Turns assignments in on time, and hence, supports the team.
* Walks softly past your office, so as not to disturb you.
* Greets you in the morning when you arrive.
* Maintains his or her office well.

Away from work, here are some ideas for finding the good in others:
* Keeps the street in front of the yard free of debris.
* Is respectful of others’ needs for quiet.
* Dresses well.
* Has well-behaved children.
* Drives safely in the neighborhood.

If you try, you’ll find something good!

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