Friday, October 17, 2008

Life Chain

The Life Chain is a yearly stand for pro-life. As we've done for years, we recently stood for an hour in front of our church property holding signs of repentance, encouraging adoption, telling the truth that abortion is murder, and proclaiming forgiveness of sins. My prayer is always for one young lady who sees the signs and decides to keep her baby. I am also involved for the simple reason that I want my God to know where I stand on this issue of the mass slaughter of a civilization. As usual, the event was exciting. We encountered drivers honking and cheering for us, others giving us a thumbs down or a finger up, drivers swerving as if to hit us, and one with a sign that said, "You are all idiots."

In 1 Corinthians 4:9-10a Paul states, "For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ!"

Are we OK with this? Can we say proudly, I am a fool for Christ? Whose fool are you? Below is a list of ways to stand for life.

Let me add that the most disturbing actions of those who passed by our Life Chain were those with no reaction. Apathy. This is the defining moral issue of our day — the 21st Century's slavery. What will we do? We have heard, "A woman has a right do what she wants with her body." But the last time I looked at my children, they have a separate body from mine.

How can we help?

1. Pray.

2. Get involved with a local pregnancy crisis center.
Resources for Women
Pregnancy Crisis Center
Alpha Pregnancy Center

3. Support adoption financially or adopt a child.
Christian World Adoption
America World Adoption
Embraced By Grace
Community Partnership for Children
Christian Family Services
Bringing Children Home, an adoption ministry of Tomoka, contact Bobbie Fraine

4. Get involved with local pro-life ministries.
Volusia County Right to Life
Florida Right to Life

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Christian Manifesto - Doctorate Paper 2

Francis Schaeffer was one of the great thinkers of the Twentieth Century. He was a powerful voice for Christian ethics and morality during a time when the American culture was imploding. Schaeffer’s words are more potent for the simple reason that he lived out his faith in the midst of the moral decline that was all around him. In the face of free sex, drugs, and drop-outs Schaeffer was a voice speaking for truth.

Schaeffer starts his masterful book with a discussion of worldviews. Our worldview impacts every area of our lives. What are my basic beliefs about the following?

  • Creator God
  • Creation
  • Morality / Sin
  • Absolute rights / wrongs
  • Afterlife
  • Work ethic
  • Alcohol/Drug use
  • Marriage
  • Parenting

Our basic assumptions about life will ultimately control every decision that we make in our lives. The problem that is pointed out in Schaeffer’s philosophy is that Christians try to compartmentalize their lives, somehow believing that the physical or material world has nothing to do with the spiritual one. Without question, he was confronting a no responsibility culture of free sex, free love and free drugs. He would then help them to find spirituality in the midst of all that sin. Here is a passage from Francis Schaeffer’s book that speaks to this topic:

“True spirituality covers all reality. There are things the Bible tells us as absolutes which are sinful-which do not conform to the character of God. But aside from these, the Lordship of Christ covers all of life and all of life equally. It is not only that true spirituality covers all of life, but it covers all parts of the spectrum of life equally. In this sense there is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.”

The Apostle John taught this reality in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

Nearly thirty years after Schaeffer wrote his words, they still ring true. The real question is, do you believe that the Bible is God’s authoritative Word? One must believe the core truths of Scripture: creation, virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus. Yet this is only the foundation. Will we apply the ethical demands of Scripture to our own lives?

Schaeffer points out that even humanists like Julian and Aldous Huxley know that their world view was much different from the Christian view, while many Christians still try to synthesize the two beliefs. Desiring to be religious, but not wanting to conform to God’s will, many stand on the fence and play a dangerous gambling game with their own souls. If we do not stand firm in our faith we will not stand firm in anything.

It is well stated that one’s decisions along the lines of Biblical truth will set the stage for one’s moral positions on:

· Abortion

· Homosexuality

· Fornication

· Evolution

· War

· Environment

· Lying

· Murder

Hitler and Stalin probably best demonstrated the humanist manifesto. Cultures still believe that man is the measure and that mankind is getting better and is the answer to his own problems. I would dare say that humanism still dominates North Korea, China, Russian, Iran, and many other nations who are in moral and cultural decline.

Schaeffer points out that, “Having produced the sickness, humanism gives more of the same kind of medicine for a cure. With its mistaken concept of final reality, it has no intrinsic reason to be interested in the individual, the human being.” Without a creator God there is no:

· Right and Wrong

· No basis for law

· No ethics

· No marriage

· No government

All becomes right, for in a sense one has enthroned themselves as God. John Witherspoon, a Presbyterian minister and President of what is now Princeton University, preached a sermon to congress and stated, “A republic once equally poised (as a Christian foundational government) must either preserve it virtue or lose its liberty.”

This is a message that our nation and churches need today, yet it seems that Americans believe that God will bless us simply because we are American. It was William Penn who wrote, “If we are not governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.” Many are willing to see America destroyed rather than admit that God has always been a part of this country’s fabric.

Common sense states that there must be a foundational set of values that all laws, ethical rights and wrongs, flow from in any culture. It is obvious that our founding fathers had the Bible as that foundation. Joseph Story reminds us all of this fact when he states, “There never has been a period in which common law did not recognize Christianity as laying its foundation.”

We find ourselves now in a post modern culture where even the Supreme Court judges tell us that what they arbitrarily decide what becomes law. Humanism has become the god of our society. Frederick Moore Vinson, former Chief Justice, said, “Nothing is more certain in modern society than the principle that there are not absolutes.” A great judge cannot see the absurdity of his own statement.

The tyrants are now ruling. Man will vote on morality and Joseph Fletcher’s situational ethics are in full bloom in our generation. What is right for you may not be right for me. What is right today may not be right tomorrow. I have to decide in each situation what is right. Thereby, I become the Lord of my universe. This system might work if you were alone in the world, but if six billion people “do what is right in there own eyes”, anarchy and chaos will ensue. This is the proposition statement of the book of Judges. This worldview creates total chaos.

Schaeffer reminds us that “The dignity of human life is unbreakably linked to the existence of the personal – infinite God.” We read this powerful, self-evident statement in the face of statements like Carl Sagan’s that are taken as inspired, saying “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or will be.” It is a statement that reads like a religious creed. It certainly is not science as it is unobservable and unexplainable, and yet Sagan’s own friends tell us that there are no absolutes that govern the universe. The absolute foolishness of having no absolutes makes everything legal:

· Abortion

· Child Pornography

· Mass Murder

· Abuse

· Infanticide

In fact, under Sagan and his ilk’s view he can not say that Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hussein or others like them did anything wrong. After all, nothing is wrong. If each person or nation decides morality for themselves then everything must be declared good. Trying to teach morality in our schools has become impossible because a child can see through the hollowness of this mock morality. Why, they ask, should I listen to my parents, teachers, or the police for that matter, after all I am god and I decide what is right? Without God no set of values has any merit whatsoever.

Once life is devalued to that of an animal God removes His hand of blessing from a nation. There have been fifty million abortions in America over the last 35 years and while child molesters and mass murders are protected, babies are being slaughtered. Does it really surprise anyone that an all Holy Creator would get intensely angry at those who wholesale massacre his children? Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Hussein have nothing on abortion doctors of the 20th and 21st century.

Our nation in particular, and the world as a whole, is collapsing for the simple reason that we have rejected our Creators ethic for life. Once one buys into atheistic evolution all bets are off. You abort babies, kill the infirmed, sterilize the weak, and sell body parts of children; all this while we focus on protecting the environment, saving the whales, recycling and reducing our carbon footprint. We live in a culture that Isaiah warned us about when he said, “Right will be called wrong and wrong will be called right.”

Schaeffer is calling the church to action. Spiritually, socially, and ethically we must impact our culture as salt and light for Jesus. This means action and investment of money and time in:

· Evangelism

· Pro-life Activities

· Adoption

· Ethical Laws

· Speaking up and voting our Christian worldview

· Creation / Evolution Debate

· Homosexual Marriage / Marriage Definition

· The authority of the Bible

· Feeding the hungry

· Clothing the naked

· Helping addicts

Many of the great Christians that we celebrate paid a high price for their faith. Whether Paul, Peter, Luther, Wilberforce or Mother Teresa they all paid dearly in this world as they dared to stand, live, and die for Jesus and His ethics. Why does this generation think it should be easy for us to be a follower of Jesus? The Christians were not loved in Jerusalem, Rome or Athens, yet when Christians boldly lived for and obeyed God’s Word the church of Jesus grew strong in numbers and in depth.

"Christians have the opportunity to show that Christ, and the Christian understanding of reality, can and do bring forth the “new man - not perfectly of course until Christ returns, but still in a substantial way where the Soviets (humanists) failed.” -Schaeffer

As Christians, our manifesto is to courageously believe through the truth of God’s Word, living it out through our ethical behavior. The Christian faith has to be believed cognately first, but then the daily transformation of our thoughts, words, and deeds are essential. People are known for their actions far more that their thoughts. If you tell a mother whose children are starving that you love her, your words are vain. By feeding the children the love of Jesus and our love is seen without any words at all.