What To Do About Planned Parenthood and Abortion

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Apologetics, Contemporary Culture, Featured

What To Do About Planned Parenthood and Abortion

quotescover-JPG-61-300x300-21463_300x200The news of late has been filled with the disturbing news of Planned Parenthood trafficking in the body parts of aborted babies. Anyone who has watched the horrific videos that have been circling around social media can’t help but notice the sickening glee by which the Planned Parenthood operatives rejoice over the opportunity to use these body parts as commodities. It really breaks my heart that anyone would view these precious unborn babies as nothing more than a means to an end. This anger thankfully is being shared by many across the country.

So what do we do about an organization such as Planned Parenthood or abortion in general? There are a great many calls to defund Planned Parenthood. A worthy endeavor, but unfortunately there is little zeal within the realm of politics to actually pass such a measure. Lots of talk for sure with little demonstrative action taking place and no action likely to take place that will cease federal funding of Planned Parenthood or abortions.

There is arguably more of an opportunity to effect change at the state and local level as the appetite to restrict abortion services seems to be more likely there. Even still, Planned Parenthood is all over the country and has their tentacles extended into all levels of government, supporting financially those candidates who are in favor of the murder of unborn babies in the name of women’s health.

This can all seem very discouraging, namely trying to defund a monstrosity such as Planned Parenthood and abortion. So again….what can one do? I have one suggestion – get involved in supporting adoption and those who offer those services at the local, state, and national levels.

I am the parent of an adopted child so the issue of adoption is very near and dear to my heart. In reality, it should be near and dear to every believer’s heart given the fact that God rescued us from the clutches of sin and death and adopted us as His children. To extend a loving and helping hand to an unwed mother, to a parent who cannot care for their child for whatever reason, to a child who was mistreated by their birth parents and is looking for the loving arms of parents who care – these are things God desires for His people to be about doing.

Even if God has not called you to adopt a child, you can certainly assist those who have been called either financially or through others means of support. You can volunteer at a local adoption agency or crisis pregnancy center. You can be involved in Boys and Girls clubs or inner city ministries that service those whom Planned Parenthood attracts. Churches as a whole can sponsor families interested in adoption. Let me tell you that adopting a child is not cheap. There are many fees (in the thousands of dollars), training that costs money, let alone outfitting your home for a child. The body of Christ can begin to put their money where their mouth is so to speak by investing in families who in turn are investing in the lives of children, both born and unborn.

This is an opportunity for us to act in a way that mirrors how God acted on our behalf. It is a chance to show love and mercy for those who are being targeted for death. Abortion is indeed the murder of the innocent. We should not stand idly by while precious children are being slaughtered and their body parts sold. Political action is certainly one method by which to address this atrocity. However, on a more practical level, we can be involved personally in the lives of those in our community, perhaps even opening our homes to a child and raising them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

What say you? Are you willing to do more than be angry at YouTube videos and new reports? Are you ready to act on behalf of the defenseless? Are you ready to invest in the lives of people who need help and who might feel the only alternative is abortion? The time to act is now. Encourage your local church to become involved with local adoption agencies and crisis pregnancy centers if they are not already. If they are involved and you are not involved as well, the time to become a part of the solution is right now. Do more than just write a check. Mentor young men and women. Reach out and help those in need, the unborn, the born, and those who are looking for answers. Righteous anger needs to lead to impactful action.

Will you do it?

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The Evil of Planned Parenthood and the Hope of the Gospel

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Contemporary Culture, Featured

The Evil of Planned Parenthood and the Hope of the Gospel

1440-dark-clouds“And when he entered his house, he took a knife, and taking hold of his concubine he divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel. And all who saw it said, ‘Such a thing has never happened or been seen from the day that the people of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt until this day; consider it, take counsel, and speak.’” ~ (Judges 19:29-30 ESV)

The above passage is all I could think about this week. In a recent interview with the senior director of medical research for Planned Parenthood, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, horrifically and nonchalantly went into detail about the gruesome harvesting of body parts from aborted (murdered) babies. Saving you from the actual disgusting language (you can read it yourself online), save it to say that this is the most heinous, callous, evil, and any other adjective to describe a lack of human emotion and love that I can think of. I will share one quote with you, which cannot deny that some abortions (at least those Dr. Nucatola describes) are indeed murder:

Nucatola says, while eating her salad, describing how they save the hearts, livers, and lungs of children by delicately dissecting them as if they’re a sixth grade biology experiment, “I’d say a lot of people want liver, and for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.”

But, my question is, will the church speak up for the sanctity of human life? This is human trafficking at its vilest. And then I wonder if our voices will even be heard?

“The people of Israel said, ‘Tell us, how did this evil happen?’” (Judges 20:3 ESV)

At a time when our cultural shift seems to be tolerant and care for people’s emotions, feelings, and behaviors, how can we care more about baby elephants, or baby seals, or even puppies than for human souls? There is a time when the church reads and understands cultural shifts and adapts for the gospel’s sake, and then there’s a time to speak out against atrocities of those who cannot speak. Can you repeat after me, “How did this evil happen?”

I’m literally weeping for humanity, and especially for America. It’s no wonder that we cannot get legislation passed regarding the horrifying acts of human trafficking when the government (your tax dollars) is funding over $500 million a year to help gruesomely harvest and sell children’s body parts—that is explicitly human trafficking—down to its evilest core.

America is sacrificing its children to Molech!

We should be outraged, sickened, and lying in sackcloth! We ought to be pleading with God for mercy, for if His justice comes, we too, will be in the midst—life will not be easy.

Church, it is time for you to use your voice—this is not political—this is about being created in the image of God—this is about loving others.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

This is not about legislating morality, first amendment rights, or agendas, this is about being the people of God—this is about speaking out against atrocities done to humanity. For the sake of those slaughtered, may their voices be heard through us—and if it costs us our own lives—so be it. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 ESV).

This post first appeared at Men’s Daily.

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Morality and a High View of God

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Contemporary Culture, Featured

Morality and a High View of God

all-glory-belongs-to-the-almighty-god-300x300Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones one of the greatest preachers and theologians of the 20th century taught that a high view of God leads to a high view of Jesus. Popular culture flaunts its belief that man in all of his glory is the beginning and the end of all things. The Bible does not begin with man but rather with God and His work of creation. The Bible continues by teaching man about God’s work of redeeming man from his sin. Furthermore, the Bible stands in judgment of men never do men stand in judgment of the Bible.

How important is a high view of God and Jesus? Since the Bible begins with God and ends with God then it is vitally important that we have a proper understanding of God Himself so that we might know who He is and what He is like. Dr. Harold Bergman professor of law at Harvard University in his book The Interaction of Law and Religion notes that one cannot have workable rules for behavior without religion, because only religion provides an absolute base on which morality and law can be based. In other words, what Dr. Bergman is arguing is that western society is doomed to relativism in law because of the loss of absolute. He explains that when men break away from the idea of an authoritative religion and even from the concept of God they break away from the possibility of absolute truth. Their only remaining source is a slippery, unstable, and ever-changing base on which no authoritative system of law or morals can be built. Religionless law can never command law.

When God is abandoned, the truth is abandoned; and when truth is abandoned, the basis for morals and law is abandoned. A consistent, coherent legal system cannot be based upon philosophical humanism, on the principle that right and wrong fluctuate according to man’s ideas and feelings. If there is no religious absolute there can be no basis for real law. People will not respect or long obey laws that are only judicial guesses. An evil, godless society, floating about on a sea of relativism, realizes that it has no foundation, no anchor, and no unmoving point of reference. Law becomes a matter of preference and order a matter of power. A democracy where power is ultimately vested in the people is particularly vulnerable to chaos.

Is there an absolute basis for truth, for the law, for real right and wrong; and if so what is it? Those questions are the essence of what Jesus teaches in Matthew 5:17-20. The absolute, He says, is the law of the eternally sovereign God. God has laid down His absolute, eternal, abiding law and made is known to men. And as God’s own Son, Jesus declared unequivocally that He did not come to teach or practice anything contrary to the law in even the slightest way, but to uphold it entirely.

We continually hear the idea that because times have changed the Bible does not fit our day. The truth is the opposite. The Bible always fits, because the Bible is God’s perfect, eternal, and infallible Word. It is the standard by which true fit is measured. It is the world that does not fit the Bible, and not because the world has changed but because the Bible has not changed. Outwardly the world has changed a great deal since the biblical days but in its basic structure and orientation, it has always been opposed to God and has never conformed to His Word. The world has never fit Scripture.

The argument is also proposed that Scripture is but a collection of various men’s ideas about God and about right and wrong. One person’s interpretation of the Bible is therefore just as good as another’s, and there is no place for dogmatism. Men have been left free to believe or not to believe, to follow or not to follow, any or all of Scripture as it suits them. Each person becomes his or her own judge over Scripture and the end result is to disregard it altogether.

It is impossible to take Jesus seriously and not take Scripture seriously. It is impossible to believe Jesus spoke absolute truth and not to consider Scripture to be that absolute truth, because that is precisely what Jesus taught it to be. If Jesus was mistaken or deluded on this point then there would be no reason to accept anything else that He said. At the outset of His ministry He makes clear that His authority and Scripture’s authority are the same; His truth and Scripture’s truth are identical and inseparable.

God’s revealed Word, Jesus says, not only is it the truth, but is truth conceived with absolute, inviolable authority. It is in and with the authority of His Word that He came to teach and minister, and it is through that authority that He commands His Kingdom citizens to bow and obey. For thirty years, Jesus lived in privacy and obscurity. Only Mary and intimates to the family would have remembered the miraculous events that surrounded His birth and early years. As far as His friends and neighbors were concerned, He was but a unique Jewish carpenter. It was when He began His ministry, when He was immersed in the Jordan by John the Baptist and started to preach, that all eyes suddenly turned on Him. At that point, even the leaders of Israel could not ignore Him.

Jesus’ meekness, humility, gentleness, and love marked him out in great contrast to the proud, selfish, and arrogant scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and priests. His call to repentance and His proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom made people listen, even if they did not understand or agree. They wondered if He was just another prophet or a false prophet. They wondered if He was a political or military revolutionary who might be the Messiah they anxiously awaited, who would break the yoke of Rome. He did not talk or act like anyone else they had ever heard or seen. He did not identify Himself with any of the scribal schools or with any of the sects or movements of the time. Nor did He identify Himself with Herod or with Rome. Instead Jesus openly and lovingly identified Himself with the outcasts, the sick, the sinful, and the needy of every sort. He proclaimed grace and dispensed mercy. Whereas all the other rabbis and religious leaders talked only about the religious externals, He taught about the heart. They focused on ceremonies, rituals, and outward acts of every kind, whereas He focused on the heart. They set themselves above other men and demanded their service while He set Himself below other men and became their Servant.

What will having a high view of God and Jesus mean? Having a high view of God will help believers to stand firm as the battle over gender neutral language in the Bible heats up and also as the institution of marriage is attacked and defamed. Having a high view of Jesus will help the believer understand what the gospel is, what it demands, and how to live by it. Furthermore having a high view of God and the work of Jesus has been a means the Lord God has used in the past to bring revival and renewal to His church. Therefore, having a high view of God and of Jesus is vital not only for the sake of the believers’ growth in the grace of God, but also for the renewal of local churches.

Having a high view of God and of the work of Christ relates to morality because how one views God will affect how they live. How one understands the work of Christ will affect whether they go to heaven or hell. Furthermore, understanding morality and God is important in order to have a biblical understanding of marriage, gender roles, and more. In other words, morality must be dictated by the Word of God because man left to his own devices has proven that they are destructive and unworthy due to his sin and sin nature.

Lastly, the Bible makes it clear that when man walks his own path he walks the way of the fool not the path of righteousness (Psalm 1:1; Proverbs 10:9; Proverbs 12:15). The only way to be moral is not by thinking one is a good person or defining oneself by one’s good deeds. Basing one’s identity, worth and value on how good one is or on how great they have performed is not a basis for evaluating moral behavior. The gospel is God means of evaluating man’s moral behavior. The gospel addresses man’s desperate state and provides the solution to man’s sin with the promise of reconciliation to God through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The only hope for man to be moral and for man’s behavior to change is not through good works but by believing in and on the works of Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

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Marriage: One Man, One Woman for Life Under God

Posted by on Jul 11, 2015 in Contemporary Culture, Featured

Marriage: One Man, One Woman for Life Under God

MarriageLast week saw the Supreme Court of the United States of America rule that gay couples could get married. We’ve also seen calls for polygamy to be allowed in our country. Where does this end? How we approach the answer to that question as a country will determine how far this issue goes and whether or not Christians will be persecuted by the government for their views on traditional marriage between one man and one woman for the rest of their life.

As an organization, Servants of Grace remains committed to a vision of marriage between one man and one woman for life under God. While our culture and our government thinks they can redefine marriage to be whatever they want, God has determined the definition of marriage in His Word. The Creator, not the creature, dictates the terms of our relationships. God is the final authority for all matters on life. His creatures are doubly owned by Him as Creator of all and as Lord and Savior over His people whom He died and rose for.

The hermeneutical gymnastics that go on to get the Bible to support gay marriage are nothing new—they are instead the continuation of the stream of liberal theology that makes the Bible nothing more than a book of fairytales and myths. This is why prosperity gospel is so appealing to men and women because it tickles people’s ears while withholding from them the truth of God’s Word which will feed not only their souls but show them the way to heaven through Jesus Christ. This is where we’re at in our culture today—people would rather be motivated and inspired rather than be told they can only know God through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

The Bible clearly proclaims that marriage is between one man and one woman. God created man in the Garden and then took from Adam’s rib and made Eve from it. Even in the Old Testament we see deviations from the biblical ideal with dramatic and devastating consequences. As Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). God has seen this before—He is not surprised by the latest trend away from Him and toward devaluing marriage. Yet, He rules still over the hearts of man, even men and women who spurn His grace, and rebel against His laws. He is still their Master and they will still be held accountable by Him.

Biblical marriage (one man and one woman) for life will increasingly become polarized in my and succeeding generations. We are not going to see things get easier. We have a Savior and Lord who bled on a Roman cross. He never sinned and died the worst death possible in our place for our sin. He now empowers us to proclaim a message that is foolishness to the world but wisdom and salvation to our God (1 Corinthians 1:21). God uses this message to bring the dead to life. The Lord can do what He did during the time of Jonathan Edwards and bring a great revival to our land where people mourn over their sin and come to salvation resulting in the moral fabric of our country changing. This is exactly what we need—we need hearts to be regenerated by the power of God through the faithful preaching of the Word of God. No policy making will do that. No court hearing can take that away.

True biblical Christianity has always been costly. It has always involved sacrifice. Biblical Christianity involves counting the cost and following Jesus in all of life. It might mean speaking up at work even if you lose your job in order to be faithful to the truth of the Word of God about Jesus Christ and for marriage between one man and one woman for life. Christianity is not easy, it’s a life of sacrifice and identifying your whole self with the real Savior who bled, died, and rose in our place for our sin. This call of the Savior to new life is a call to radical discipleship centered on being cross-centered and to living a cruciform life shaped by the cross.

Christians are called to preach the gospel in faithfulness to God’s Word. The days may seem dark, but there is cause for rejoicing. King Jesus is still on His Throne. The tomb is still empty, they have still not found the body of Jesus, and since, all of that is true—He is ruling and reigning from His throne. He is still taking dead hearts and making them alive unto Himself and giving them a new heart, a new identity, new affections, and desires for Himself. So be encouraged Christian, and stand steadfast Christian always abounding in the work of our faithful Lord who lives to make intercession and empowers His people for His glory.

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Biblical Marriage: An Institution Worth Standing for in the Face of Secularism

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in Apologetics, Contemporary Culture, Featured

Biblical Marriage: An Institution Worth Standing for in the Face of Secularism

MarriageHere at Servants of Grace we believe in traditional biblical marriage—that marriage is between one man and one woman for life under God. In the first two chapters of Genesis, the Bible clearly teaches this position that God created Adam from the dust and took Adam’s rib and made Eve. God didn’t create man to be gay or transgender—He created man in His image and likeness to lead in the home and in the church. He created woman to be a helpmate to the man in the home and in the church. Even at the beginning of the Bible we see clear lines being drawn between what a man is and what a woman is.

Revisionists would have us believe that the institution of marriage is done and over with. Some Christians have even said we should abandon the fight for traditional marriage. Here at Servants of Grace, we believe that standing for marriage is vital to a biblical understanding of creation, God’s purpose for man, and the gospel itself. Paul teaches that marriage is a picture of His relationship with His people the Church (Ephesians 5). To dismiss and even deny marriage is to attack the foundation of these institutions themselves and to render them utterly purposeless.

To attack marriage is to attack God who created marriage. God created man in His image and His likeness. Sadly what we’ve seen in our culture is a move away from traditional biblical values and morals and towards hedonism that is centered on pleasure divorced completely from God. We’ve seen people go their own way and then promote their views as if they are the truth. These same people who are so “open-minded” want nothing more than to shut people down who oppose their viewpoint so they will be the only viewpoint out there. This is the new tolerance in action where people are told by our culture to keep their religion to themselves even while those who oppose biblical Christianity promote their religion publicly. The new orthodoxy of our culture is the newest form of hypocrisy.

Meanwhile, Christians should not be silent. We have a Word from God that is superior in every way to what the new orthodoxy of our culture teaches. Traditional marriage has stood the test of time. No culture in the history of mankind before has gone where America is going morally. It’s not surprising though. We’ve allowed the minority in our country to rule the majority. We’ve allowed those who are politically liberal to become the major voice and dictate to the rest of the population what we’re going to do. Marriage is still an institution worth standing for.

In a culture that devalues the truth, there is little surprise that there is currently an overreaction occurring in our culture towards traditional models of values. The former biblical values are grounded in absolute truth while the new orthodoxy of our culture is grounded in subjective feelings, subject to the latest and greatest in scientific research. For the new orthodoxy, secularism not the church is the pillar and ground of truth. Yet, God has established only one institution, the Church upon which He has said the gates of hell will not persevere over, and for which He bled, died, and rose for. This means that Pastors, church officers, ministry leaders, and churchmen and women everywhere will need to make a decision and count the cost for following Jesus in an oversexualized world.

As Christian men and women, we will need to be the voice of wisdom calling in the streets to our culture and not be silent about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We will need to declare the whole counsel of God to sinners who have chosen to rebel against God’s holy and just law. We will need to declare the goodness and mercy of our God while we preach the justice and wrath of God that burns against the wicked. As Christians, we are to preach the gospel in faithfulness to God’s Word. Through this faithful preaching, God will bring the dead to new life in His name through His death, burial, and resurrection.

The only hope for our country is not new policies or laws—we’ve already seen where that goes. The only hope is the gospel. This is good news. Christian marriage is grounded in God, in the gospel, and firmly planted in the teaching of the Word of God. The Word of God has stood the test of time and will continue to stand because behind the Word of God is the God of the universe who created man in His image and likeness. He who is faithful and true will be faithful to His Word. This is why Christians should stand for marriage and cry out to everyone to repent and believe upon the name of the Lord Jesus. Jesus is still in the saving and sanctifying business. Christian, trust His Gospel—His Word is still true. Proclaim the Word faithfully in a godless culture that wants nothing more than subjective truth when what it needs is absolute truth and absolute morals that biblical Christianity believes and practices.

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The Future of Marriage in America and the Response of Christians

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Apologetics, Contemporary Culture, Featured

The Future of Marriage in America and the Response of Christians

MarriageOver the past several years, I’ve written quite a lot on marriage. I’ve done so because I believe that marriage is a divine institution established by God between one man and one woman for life. Today the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of gay marriage. The gay community is going to view this as a decision that justifies their view that they are right in their own eyes and that the law of the land favors what they want with their own lives. Here’s the thing– there’s a fundamental difference between being right in the eyes of the law and being right in the eyes of the Lord God, the ultimate Judge.

The Lord God created man in His image and likeness. Man is a sinner by nature and choice. At no point in the history of mankind has a country legalized gay marriage until fairly recently. Some people will now say they can be “gay’ and “Christian” because the law justifies their view. We’ve seen this particular brand of theology already and it’s already been responded to time and time again.

How should Christians respond to the SCOTUS decision? We should respond to this and every other challenge to the biblical definition of marriage by preaching the Word of God and declaring forth God’s vision for marriage between one man and one woman for life. We’ve increasingly seen how the cultural views of traditional biblical values are eroding. Nothing about the decision of the SCOTUS today is surprising. Given their trajectory and how they view and handle the Constitution as a “living document” rather than as the rule of law that they are to uphold, the Supreme Court has truthfully today usurped its Constitutional rights, responsibilities, and privileges.

Christians are called to obey the laws of the land (Romans 13) but supremely to obey God and submit to His law. Governments and nations are filled with leaders who are sinners by nature and choice. These leaders, whether politically elected officials or people chosen for their position by those who are elected are all ultimately accountable to the Lord God Almighty. God is the One who can drive a government official or anyone out of their mind for a season as He did with Nebuchadnezzar. What is needed now more than ever in our country and world are people like Daniel and Joseph — men and women who will refuse to bow the knee to a culture obsessed with consciously violating God’s law and spurning His Word.

The Church is the only institution redeemed thro­­ugh the blood of the Lamb of God Jesus Christ who bled, died, and rose so the Church could be holy and blameless in His sight. The Church has a responsibility in the world to be holy and to proclaim not their opinions but the Word of God. Make no mistake about it friends, things are about to change in our country. The future of marriage in our country has changed. We’ll continue to see this decision bear ungodly fruit for decades to come. What we need more than ever is not to convince people of our position but to remain faithful to the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why Jesus called us to love the Lord with all of our heart, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor. Loving our neighbor comes from the fruit of a heart that has been changed by the gospel.

Some people will cry out and say we’ll there goes our culture. Our God is not surprised by the decision that happened today. Our God is in the heavens and His counsel is perfect and just. Man’s wisdom is foolishness next to the wisdom of God. God uses the foolishness of preaching to bring men and women who are wise in their own eyes to behold the beauty of God in Christ.

Christians have a superior Word in the Bible from our God who never changes. As Christians, we have a mission field literally right outside our front door. Our job is not to convince people of our position. Our job as Christians is to faithfully preach the Word and the gospel. The Lord uses our preaching and our testimony to open people’s eyes and bring them to saving faith. He uses our words and our work to testify to Himself and to expose false teaching and thinking.

Gay marriage is not the start of our country’s downward spiral on this issue. The Lord knows the end from the beginning. He is the rightful ruler and creator of all. Those on the Supreme Court who voted against the traditional definition of marriage will be held accountable on the last day for their faithlessness to God. In the meantime, let’s be faithful to Him and declare His Word. Let’s love our neighbor because we truly love God. He will use ordinary you as you are faithful to Him. It may not look like you want and you may not get results, but the answer isn’t to change people’s mind about gay marriage. The answer is to preach the Word faithfully and declare forth that Jesus died in the place of sinners and for their sin so their heart of stone would be replaced with a new heart, with a new identity in Christ, and new affections for the glory of the Risen Christ. The gospel is the only hope for our country and for the world. Let’s truly believe the gospel is good news and proclaim it and live by it to the glory of our Risen Savior Jesus Christ.

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