There is a Way That Seems Right

There is a Way That Seems Right

March 8, 2024 Uncategorized 0

If you ask any group sports fans to tell you who the greatest basketball player of all time is, you’re likely to see an argument break out. The same thing might happen when you ask about the greatest quarterback or the greatest football team. For several strange and concerning reasons, people hold these kinds of things close to their hearts. They hold them as essential truths of the sporting universe. When anyone with an opposing viewpoint challenges what they hold to be true, things can get dicey.

What I am about to say might evoke strong feelings in you. For that reason, I want to start by saying, you are solely responsible for your emotions. I cannot make you feel anything. Each of us has the opportunity to choose what we feel in any given situation. More to the point, what we feel is a direct result of what we think and believe. Thus, sometimes when you see people who vehemently oppose God’s ways being confronted with the truth of His Word, they become agitated or angry. In these situations they are actively choosing to react to something that is contrary to their belief system(s). Other times, you can see their stony visage begin to erode as the Spirit of God penetrates the deepest recesses of their hearts and they listen with new ears.  

As you read this, you may find yourself feeling some very strong emotions. You might disagree with everything I say and chalk it up to the rantings of one of those people. You might decide that I am a fundamentalist and choose to ignore everything else I say, because of how you feel. If that is where you find yourself as you read this, I wholeheartedly encourage you to stop and pray about why. If what you think and believe is being challenged, you need to determine why. Is it your politics? Is it your understanding of God’s Word? Is it something yet to be identified? I’ll even go a step further and say, whether you agree with what I say here or not, you need to test everything by the Word of God, whether it comes out of my mouth or your heart. With that in mind, let’s dive in.

Don’t let smooth-talking politicians con you into being an enemy of God.

In general, I try to keep my remarks somewhat politically neutral for two reasons. First, I personally lean more toward a “none of the above” stance than I do with either of the two dominant political parties. This is because politicians are people and my allegiance is to God, not man. I choose to walk in alignment with God’s Word, not with man’s ideas. Neither of the two dominant parties fully represents the totality of God’s Word or character, despite their sometimes insisting that they do. Second, I like to leave room for us to have discussion on subjects where we do not agree. Whether I am in a live Bible study or having a conversation with other believers, I want them to be their authentic selves so we can put all cards on the table and deal with real thoughts and emotions not masks or presenting selves. This allows us to get to the heart of what is really going on and do the work of coming into alignment with God’s Word without pretense.Third, God’s Word is the plumb line for all human thought, law, interaction and belief. It is the living word of the sole moral authority amongst all of creation. The theater, games, smoke and mirrors of politics will never change these facts.

“There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death…”

(Proverbs 16:25 NASB 1995).

When it comes to issues of morality, we need to stop letting politicians define what matters and why. Many so-called social issues are just moral issues about which the Word of God is clear and yet we allow politicians to manipulate our beliefs by making appeals to our emotions. We allow political ideology to ask the question, “Did God really say?” We listen to Christians who perhaps consider themselves to be better educated or more socially enlightened as they tell us that “the scripture is silent” on that particular “social” issue. They carefully twist selected scriptures until they can present an interpretation that aligns to what the “majority” believes is morally right. Then, we begin to push back on what we know the Word of God says. Why? Perhaps because it is politically and socially expedient. Perhaps because now we feel this new way of looking at things must be right. Don’t let smooth-talking politicians con you into being an enemy of God. There are immutable truths that no amount of manipulation, social gaslighting, name-calling or political trickery can change.

“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:5-8 NASB 1995).

There were things said in an important national address last night that I’m certain have stirred the hearts of many Americans. Some of those stirring remarks represent an objectively, inherently evil position (using the Bible as the standard). This is not necessarily unusual for a political speech as politicians often say what they believe they need to say to get elected (including, “I’m a Christian”). If those remarks stirred you to the point that you feel emboldened to go to the polls to win back rights of which you have been stripped, you need to read on. If you feel your heart moving in a way that makes you push back on the substance of God’s Word, or if you find yourself saying “Did God really say?…” (again because of those remarks) your heart  needs a realignment and you need to read on.

Abortion is one of the moral issues masquerading as a social issue I mentioned earlier. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing ministers talk about abortion. I can assure you; it is a tiresome issue for many of us as well. The reason I personally find the issue tiresome is that so many believers have been conned by politicians, persuaded by a depraved society, and duped into the delusion that this is about healthcare, women’s rights and protecting freedoms. That argument is disingenuous and the people who parrot it know it. Abortion (infanticide) is a settled moral issue and it has been for more than 2,500 years. Yet somehow there are still Christian and Jewish scholars, theologians and religious leaders who attempt to cast doubt onto the certainty of God’s desires on this issue.

Some argue that references in the prophetic writings and in the book of the Kings that reference Molech (Moloch), do not actually reference child sacrifice. This is an irrelevant argument that ignores the other scriptures that address the issue of child sacrifice (infanticide). Some argue that Rabbinical authorities via the Talmud make provision for abortion in some situations. Again, whether this is accurate or not is immaterial as it is yet another example of someone interpreting God’s Word in the interest of making policy.

“There are six things which the Lord hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers
.”

(Proverbs 6:16-19 NASB 1995)

Before going further, perhaps we need to lay all cards on the table. We need to call abortion what it actually is rather than sanitizing it to protect our egos and our sensibilities, to do so I’m going to use some clinical terminology for a moment. Abortion (the termination of a pregnancy) in cases where the embryo/fetus is otherwise healthy as is the mother, directly results in the death of that embryo/fetus. Are there cases in which the fetus is non-viable (i.e. dead)? Yes, that does happen (see miscarriage). However, when the expulsion of the fetus is induced (or other methods are used to terminate fetal development), the result is the death of the life that is growing inside the mother. Functionally, abortion is causing the death of a developing life at its earliest stages. Regardless, causing the death of another human being through an intentional act is murder. The reasons why people abort babies are numerous and pertinent to the discussion at hand. The fact remains, however, that this blood that is being shed is innocent.

Regarding the reasons why people have abortions, this was a question I asked several years ago. I decided to dig a little into the data available at the time to see what kinds of reasons people were providing to healthcare entities.

“For 2011, a total of 730,322 abortions were reported to CDC. The CDC also reports 17.8 pregnancy related deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011. Again, according to the CDC, “Of the 1,751 deaths within a year of pregnancy termination that occurred in 2011 and were reported to CDC, 702 were found to be pregnancy-related. The pregnancy-related mortality ratio was 17.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011.“ 

The Guttmacher institute (the other major organization that tracks this data) reported in the years 1987-1988 risk to maternal health at 2.8% and risk to fetal health at 3.3%.
If we use those numbers to interpret our 2011 data (more recent data is strangely difficult to locate) there would have been 20,449 abortions due to risk to maternal health and 24,101 for a combined total of 44,550 abortions performed for medical reasons.

If we add in the total number of pregnancy related deaths and assume they could have been prevented by abortion we have 45,252. Subtracting that from the total number of abortions reported by the CDC for 2011 leaves us with 685,070 abortions performed for other reasons. As an aside, I did not include abortions performed because of rape or incest because the data indicates that the incidence is extremely low.”[1]

I have since attempted to locate the source data online for that article to no avail. I am certain, however, that should you attempt to duplicate this very basic experiment in data analysis, you will find much the same trends (at least up to the reversal of Roe v. Wade). Why is this important? This information is important because (as I indicated earlier), politicians would have you believe that this is a matter of rights and healthcare. Is that story supported by the data? Or does the data (anecdotal or otherwise) show that in general, this is something that Americans want to do and they believe (or perhaps feel) it is their right to do so and no one can tell them otherwise.

“However, instead of proponents simply and honestly saying, “we want to do this and we don’t care if you think it’s wrong,” some of them are trying to argue the basis of the believer’s position on this issue is flawed. No, it is not.”

That really is the crux of all of this, isn’t it. You have a very large group of people shouting that this is a fundamental human right (a healthcare right) that should be constitutionally protected. To be clear, having the right to (choose) kill another human has nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with the heart of those who push this way of thinking. On the other hand, you have a group of people making a Biblical argument, shouting that this is a grievous sin that is going to cause problems for our entire society. However, instead of proponents simply and honestly admitting they want to protect the right to kill unborn babies at their discretion (commit infanticide) and don’t care if anyone thinks it’s wrong, some of them are trying to argue the basis of the believer’s position on this issue is flawed. No, it is not.

If you are a believer, and you have questions or misgivings about what the Word of God says about abortion, consider that both Israel and Judah were guilty of child sacrifice that was endorsed and practiced at the highest levels of their governments and social structures (Psalm 106:34-49, Jeremiah 7:30-31, Jeremiah 19:16). Going back to the notion that perhaps the argument about causing children to pass through the fire to Molech has been misinterpreted by abortion opponents, even if that position is accurate (which is not a given), it still doesn’t address the fact that God, through the prophet Jeremiah (and also through the psalmist), specifically calls out child sacrifice to pagan gods as a reason for his wrath being poured out in acts of national judgment. This child sacrifice was something they adopted from the pagan civilizations around them and it is one of the reasons for the destruction of Judah in 587 B.C.

Setting aside instances of rape and incest (which represent only the tiniest fraction of all abortions performed since the practice became legal), what is it about abortion that makes it such a hot topic? Today, we don’t necessarily sacrifice children to pagan entities (directly), but we do sacrifice them on the altar of our own selfishness and immorality. For almost 50 years, our nation terminated pregnancies in an attempt to remove the natural outcomes of sexual intercourse (i.e. abortion as birth control rather than because of maternal/fetal health). This nation aborted babies because people had school and career commitments, marital status issues (unmarried, divorced/divorcing, etc.), because of personal finances, and more. Were these abortions necessary or were they the sacrifice a precious gift from God on the altar of self and individual desires. If abortion is an issue of rights, it is the expression of human beings’ right to choose between good and evil and nothing more.

At the time Roe v. Wade was overturned, I said this will not fix the underlying problem, and it hasn’t. That’s because the underlying problem is American’s insistence that the will of God has no place in their lives. The underlying problem is that rather than submit to the will of the Creator, many Americans are determined to create their own morality and live in their own delusion where God tolerates our rebellion.

As an aside: Am I saying that the onus of preventing unwanted pregnancies should be on women? No, I am not. There are two people involved in every pregnancy and the responsibility of the father doesn’t stop at conception. No, the moral, financial and practical implications of every pregnancy fall as much on the father as they do on the mother (as do the moral ramifications of a terminated pregnancy).

From a Biblical standpoint, this issue is not without actual consequences for all of us. If one of the reasons God destroyed the lands of His chosen people (and He did) was that they sacrificed their children (and it was), we need to at least consider the possibility that in this society that was first established by Puritans, we might incur God’s judgment as a result of our own rebellion. It is indeed possible that in overturning Roe v. Wade, this nation dodged a bullet (as it were). Whether we will stay the course and come to our senses about this (and several other issues) or if we will return to those practices for which other nations have been judged, remains to be seen. Either way, you must choose whom you will serve. Don’t let a political party influence your beliefs to the point of determining your eternal destination.

It’s not my job to make people feel good. It’s my job to call people to repent, to make sure people choose Messiah and that they don’t later disqualify themselves from the prize by looking back to Sodom and Gomorrah (or perhaps Canaan). Choose life…

[1] David S Sims, “Murder vs. ‘Murder,’” Life Christian Fellowship, October 15, 2015, https://lcfaz.com/2015/10/05/murder-vs-murder/#page-content, para. 5-8.

Bibliography

Sims, David S. “Murder vs. ‘Murder.’” Life Christian Fellowship, October 15, 2015. https://lcfaz.com/2015/10/05/murder-vs-murder/#page-content.


 

 

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