Motherhood is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank), by Rachel Jankovic

A few years ago, when I just had four children and when the oldest was still three, I loaded them all up to go on a walk. After the final sippy cup had found a place and we were ready to go, my two-year-old turned to me and said, “Wow! You have your hands full!”

She could have just as well said, “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “Are they all yours?!”

Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.

This is one of the best posts that I’ve read on motherhood.  Go here for the rest.

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The Manhattan Declaration

This is a declaration of the wider Christian conscience against abortion, the subversion of the institution of marriage, and religious liberty.  It is a must read.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, blogs about it here.

A brother, Patrick Schreiner, pulls a few helpful resources together here.

Read the Manhattan Declaration here.

Pitino On Trial . . . with God

This morning the news of Louisville basketball coach, Rick Pitino’s, “alleged” consensual sex with Karen Cunagin Sypher streamed across Sportcenter’s bottom line.  To make matters worse, he paid for her to have an abortion.  It was striking to watch the “matter of fact” style of reporting, and the comments made by Pitino’s attorney and the Louisville Athletic Director regarding this case.  

For those who are not privy to some of the details, Pitino is being accused by Sypher of rape on two occasions, three weeks apart, once in a Louisville restaurant, and was consequently being extorted by Sypher.  Pitino’s response to the allegations were not surprising.  He claims that the sex was consensual – which, though he is married with 5 children, is being presented as a positive alternative – and that he paid Sypher $3,000 for an abortion – again, presented as a positive choice (update: as of later this day, Pitino’s attorney said that he was offering to pay for Sypher’s health insurance – that would cover an abortion).  The stance of his attorney is that Pitino is “not the one on trial” in this case, but rather Sypher (who is in no way innocent, herself).  The Louisville AD stands firmly behind him . . . and his character, nor the nature of his conduct, nor the reality that he paid and participated in what God describes as the murder of an infant matters.  Character has been sacrificed for the sake of victories, money, and popularity.

Here is the point: whether it was rape and extortion, or an adulterous affair and abortion, these are both scenario’s of sin and impending judgment.  And while his attorney is convinced that he is not on trial, and while he may not be judged within the confines of human courtrooms, nothing could be further from the truth or ultimate reality.  “For it has been appointed for man to die once, and then comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).  

Pitino’s sin will be judged.  He will stand before God’s tribunal where championships, money, popularity, and persuasion, much less, his supposed and relative “morality” and “innocence” in the case will get him off the hook.  These will not save his soul.  For God is holy and requires as much, a requirement that no man has, will or can meet with perfection.  Pitino, regardless of the case, has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God as we all have, and is in need of the righteousness that God has made known in the sinless life, substitutionary death, triumphant resurrection, and intercessory ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He needs to know that he is guilty – guilty before the Almighty – and that he will be judged in righteousness, the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, the very righteousness that he must be personally clothed in in order to be declared innocent with God, that is, to be justified, to be saved.  

To this end, my desire is that my God, You, will grant Pitino repentance from sin and faith in Christ, a new life, new heart, new power and abiding principle in the Spirit and Word of God.  That he will, by Your grace, know that he is ultimately on trial, and in need of the salvation that You have accomplished and offered through faith in Jesus’ person and work.  And, Father, that You will awaken this country to the horror of abortion, the snuffing out of life, of people created in Your image – that this is murder; and that we will no longer make casual conversation about gross sins that You hate and condemn.  Turn us, O God, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

The Joy of Babies Crying

Last semester, Dr. Russell Moore (my systematics professor) spoke very personally concerning the sinners adoption as children of God in Jesus Christ, the only Begotten.  It was personal on two accounts: first, that Dr. Moore has been personally adopted by God our Father in Jesus, and secondly, has followed His heavenly Father’s footsteps in adopting children of his own.  When he reflected on time spent in the foreign orphanage, he spoke of one of those occurrences that just seems unnatural, or out of place: despite the many babies, there was no crying.  

It was silent.  The reason was neglect.  The infants had learned over time that no one answered their crying, and so they stopped hoping.  

With this in mind, I couldn’t help but enjoy the background noise during yesterday mornings sermon – babies were crying.  What might ordinarily have been thought an interruption, was a very wonderful lullaby.  It is a joy to hear a baby crying, for a baby crying is a baby with hope.  They are babies who are answered when they cry out – “I am hungry, I am thirsty, I am cold, I need changing . . . and I can’t do anything about it.  I am dependent on dad, on mom, on somebody.”  They have known fullness, satisfaction, warmth, in a word, they have been loved, and therefore, they cry in hope and in absolute dependence.  So it is a joyful sound to hear babies crying, especially in the midst of a good sermon.

And so to bring this full-orbed, is this not the way sinners are when God begins to crackle life and light in upon their hearts, granting them repentance and faith in Jesus.  Is not faith this cry of hope and dependence upon a heavenly Father?  “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (Jesus) will be saved” (Romans 10:13).  And having become children of God through faith in Christ, must we not still now cry out to Him in absolute dependence for food, drink, life, and love.  And He is a perfect Father who gives us all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).  As Jonathan Edwards wrote so sweetly in “God Glorified in Man’s Dependence”, God has given Christ to us “as a feast for our souls.”

Indeed, it is a joy to hear babies crying.  Praise God for babies who cry out.  And however tragic it is that some are not filled on earth, praise God that in Christ Jesus, all whom He has adopted to Himself will in no way go dissatisfied – in this temporal life or in that which is everlasting.

The Sanctity of Life

Introduction

I must admit that I have been horrified by recent studies and discussions concerning the sanctity of life.  Previously, I had not been horrified enough.  What follows is not a comprehensive discussion by any means, but some thoughts concerning this issue as it faces the entirety of the world today in its various forms.  For a fuller discussion see the links provided below – in fact, I would commend them to you first and foremost.

History 

This is nothing new.  Abortion and euthanasia are not horrors conceived in the minds of contemporary secularists, philosophers, or embarrassed parents who are normally seated in the first few rows of their congregations pews.  The issue of the sanctity of life dates to the inception of humanity in Genesis 1:26-28.  There, God wills to create man in His image, the imago Dei, and succeeds in doing so.  Man is created in the image of God, created to reflect that image to the nations.  It is precisely because one is so created that the sanctity of life is an issue.  To destroy human life is to assault the crown of God’s creation, to rebel against God, Himself.  Thus the prohibitions against murder (see Cain in Genesis 4).  In Genesis 3, man created in God’s image faces an adversary, one to whom he would eventually listen to and fall from that Edenic union that he had with God – this adversaries attack on the first Adam centered on his word contra that word of God, it was a counter word.  God curses Adam and Eve and the devil, but not without telling the devil that He would and had already lost and how that would come about – “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15) – only a few millennia before that offspring, Christ, would come into the world.  What must be highlighted here is the reality that Satan has, ever since, violently attacked the seed of the woman, children.  Why?  Because his defeat, which has happened and is happening, was promised to him by God in the form of a child, who was Jesus Christ.  Now we know that Christ was bruised by Satan (on the cross), but that Christ fatally crushed Satan (on that same cross)!  

We should not be so naive then as to separate the biblical assaults on children from their source, namely, Satan’s warfare against the image of God and His Christ.  For throughout the Scriptures, unborn humans, infants, and other young children are murdered – murdered to end ancestral lines; murdered to squelch out the line of the coming Messiah (2 Kings 11:1-3); we find it in the infanticides of Pharoah (Exodus 1:8-22) and Herod (Matthew 2:16-18), again to bring about the death of Christ’s line or in the case of Herod, Christ, Himself; moreover, the pagan nations that surrounded Israel offered their children in the fire as sacrifices to the the gods; others, when famine arose because of covenant curses being realized due to sin, parents would eat their children to survive.  

We are not far removed from such atrocities.  Today, the number of abortions in America since Roe vs. Wade in 1973 has climbed near to or reached 50,000,000.  Fifty million human beings murdered in the mother’s womb – that is one-sixth of the American population.  That does not take into account that many aborted in 1973 would now be 35 years old and parenting children of their own.  To our shame (which does not really do the situation justice), we have removed an entire generation of God reflector’s from history.   And for what reason?

The Real Issue 

Many speak of the instances of rape, incest, etc. as reasons for abortion – and while these issues are indeed horrifying, and in need of much counsel and discernment, – these kind of cases account for three percent (3%) of all abortions in America.  What of the other 97%?  We are left to understand the other 97 abortions out of one hundred as cases wherein the unborn human, the child to be born, simply did not fit in with the lifestyle or plan or self-interests of the couple (and any accessories to the event).  Today, 33% of pregnancies end in abortion, making the womb the most dangerous place for a human being to be – not the streets, not in gangs, not in the military, but in the mother’s womb, – and it is because the child cramped his or her purported parents style.

America is indeed a confused country – a country whose citizens (84%) claim that religion is important, and yet give obvious evidence that cups of tea with religion, secularism, New Age, postmodernism, or whatever do not in any way effect our convictions or our mental capacities, much less our heart, or souls, or the forthrightness of our actions.  The real issue, at last, is a gospel issue.  Convictions, mind, heart, soul must be changed if actions are to be changed, but moral reform will not accomplish the task; such conversion is exclusively a God work (John 1:12-13); I write not of dead orthodoxy but of the real, the true vibrancy that one receives as a gift from God when they (seeing themselves as what they truly are, that is, sinners before a holy God who is just to condemn them, and us all, to hell) then repent of their sin and embrace the perfection of Jesus Christ’s life, and death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead, as their own (and only means of salvation with God whereby God declares the sinner perfectly righteous, removes the guilt of sin, and gives the very righteousness of God to us to fill our account) – we are thus and then a new creation, and only then able to turn from following the worn out paths of the devil begun long ago from Genesis 3:15, to the new paths of Jesus Christ, informed by His Word, by which we live and move and have our being.

Applications and Exhortations

Allow me two applications, one to the unbeliever and one to the believer: first, to the unbeliever, to the one who perhaps has experienced an abortion(s), the gospel of God (see above) stands open to you, and I plead with you to receive the grace and mercy of God in it; God saves sinners, not simply addicts, or abusers, or sensualists; not sinners of a certain type or degree; God saves sinners, even you; to the believer (who also has perhaps endured an abortion(s)), know that God has forgiven in Christ, that He does in fact love you, that you are in a particular situation whereby you can be tremendously helpful in counseling other women and men who may or may not be considering abortion or euthanasia, etc.  Many believers may become actively involved in pregnancy centers, in writing letters, in blogging, etc. to make known what Satan has tried to hide and make secret.  God knows, He is not mocked, and you, as with America, as with the world, will reap what she has sown.  But God is gracious, and I pray that we all begin to seek His face concerning sin, seeking to be rid of it, seeking to propagate the truth of the gospel and the glory of Christ.  

Throughout history, God preserved the line of His Christ from the abortions, infanticides, and genocides of the adversary, and in doing so has brought to us His salvation by way of a cross.  Let us then be realists about who is the impetus behind the attack on life; let us be realists about the God who thwarted Him in Jesus’ name.  God help us that there might be a day soon when the unborn, and those fighting for life may find life, both now and eternally.

Related Links

Why the Unborn Still Matter to the Church, by Russell Moore

Roe vs. Wade Thursday, by Bryan Baise

The Case for Life Around the Web, by Justin Taylor

The Baby in My Womb Leaped for Joy, by John Piper (his response to Obama on abortion; you can see a clip of his sermon at this site also)

And Finally