By Garret Kell
A great tragedy unfolded less than one week ago on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
The tragedy was not found in the celebrations of elected officials or the concessions of defeat. It was not colored red or blue, and it wasn’t wrapped up in meaningless campaign promises.
The tragedy of the 2012 election is that in this land of the free and home of the brave, many people were not allowed to vote. Their voices were silenced. Their votes were not cast. Their opinions not expressed. Why?
Because they were dead.
The great tragedy of the 2012 election is that roughly 33 million would-be voters had been murdered. From 1973 to 1994, roughly 35 million babies were aborted. That’s roughly 35 million 18- to 39-year-olds who could not vote from the grave.
This is an unspeakable tragedy.
They did not have the chance to learn what makes our nation so great. They did not have the chance to watch the results roll in with their friends and family. They did not have the chance to rest their heads on a pillow in the land of the free.
But this tragedy is not over.
In 2016, roughly 5 million more voices will be unheard. Why? Because more than 3,500 babies will be killed today. And each day leading up to Tuesday, November 8, 2016. In the three minutes it takes you to read this article, seven babies will have been aborted in the United States of America. Their voices silenced. Their freedom robbed. Their bravery unknown.
Close to Home
This is a tragedy that hits close to home. When I was 19, I chose to end the life of my first child through an abortion. My friend and I were in a scary place, we didn’t plan to get married, and we had nowhere else to go. So we opted to end the life of our child.
That child would be 16 today. They’d be excited about driving a car and, in just a couple of years, they’d be excited about voting. But they won’t be doing any of that. We won’t be sitting down together as I explain how to think about policies and the candidates who represent them. I won’t be able to tell them about freedom and justice for all. I took that freedom away with my injustice.
I cannot undo what I’ve done in the past. None of us can. Only Jesus, who shed his blood for sinners like me, can heal those wounds. Jesus gives us great hope in the midst of this tragedy, and all the other tragedies we face in this life.
Refuge in Jesus
If you have committed an abortion, I want you to know there is a refuge in Jesus. He will heal your wounds. There is no sin so great that he cannot forgive and no sin so small that does not need to be forgiven. If you will confess your sins and turn to him in faith, he will wash away all your guilt and all your shame. Come to Christ.
If you support abortion, I encourage you to spend time in prayer and ask God to show you if abortion pleases him or not. Ask a Christian to help you learn what God’s Word says. I know you already have deeply rooted ideas. I did too. But I encourage you to take the time to read what God says about life and who has the right to give and take it away. I encourage you to start with Psalm 139.
If you are a Christian, be patient with those who view things differently. But also speak truth in love to those who are in need. Find ways to help those who are struggling through unplanned pregnancies. Investigate options for adoption and invest in the lives of those who are facing difficult choices.
I have on my wall a picture of a 3-year-old boy in cowboy boots. He nearly wasn’t with us today because his mother was in a difficult place. She was unmarried, pregnant, and scared. But my wife met with her, prayed with her, and took her to a Christian doctor who showed her the baby in her womb through a sonogram. That young mother had the courage to keep her child.
That young boy’s smile reminds me that God can save children, one at a time. He does this by using his people to come alongside the struggling to lovingly show them the Christ who can walk them through any terrifying situation—even an unplanned pregnancy.
I believe the only hope to turn the trend of this tragedy is for people to turn their hearts toward the God who made them through the way paved by his Son Jesus. Jesus changes hearts, and changed hearts can change a nation. May God give us grace as a country, and may God give us courage to stand up in the midst of this tragedy so that, if he tarries, many more will cast votes in 2030.
Lord Jesus, we need your help.”
The Christian community is scrambling over themselves to publish articles and blog posts encouraging us to vote for the ‘conservative’ choice, Mitt Romney. Leaving aside the fact that by any historical definition Romney is not a “conservative,” or why we would want to ‘conserve’ any aspect of the political environment today, there is rarely any commentary related to more fundamental questions. Instead, appealing to the lowest common denominator, the strategy can essentially be summed up with one statement; ‘anyone but Obama.’
While it is true that many Christians have avoided altogether any discussion over Romney’s profession of faith in a false god, yet the objections to Romney, as a Mormon, are overturned or dismissed via a historical answer that has been used before in past candidates; namely that Obama is much worse. No doubt this statement is true, but the political environment of the moment does not set our standard for leadership, God does. Why do we look to Scripture for our standard of leadership both in home and church but leave civil government to pragmatics and compromise? Said another way, we eagerly support candidates for political office that would be easily dismissed and disqualified in other institutions.
Are the State and its officeholders suddenly beyond Christian reproach? The incremental approach to curbing evil, as is often cited as a reason to vote for less-than-ideal candidates, has actually worked against Christians for many years. Instead of a candidate representing a broad range of Christian opinions, we are now asked to support a man who not a Christian at all. In our eagerness to throw Obama out of office, we are now willing to cast our vote for a Baal worshipper as our political leader.
Below are three reasons why I cannot, in good conscience, vote for Mitt Romney:
- There is a big difference between God using wicked pagan rulers for His purposes and God’s people ‘asking’ for one by casting their vote for a known pagan, anti-Christ worshipper. The prophet Habakkuk was incredulous at the thought of God using the Babylonians to punish them but it appears in the case of America, we are self-consciously asking God for Babylon to rule over us. The only place we find Israel asking for a king is in their disobedience and lack of faith by wanting to be ‘like the other nations’. Peace and freedom are by-products of obedience, faithfulness, and repentance, and these will not be accomplished by asking God to give us Cyrus over Nebuchadnezzar.
- There is no biblical mandate that commands us to ‘cast our vote’ for someone. In other words, to not vote is not to disobey. Civic duty perhaps, can be called into question but I am more interested in Biblical Truth than national ‘obligation’. Writing in candidates or withholding their votes are both viable options for Christians. It is God who sets rulers on their thrones and it is man’s duty to be faithful to His Word.
- Getting the ‘lesser of two evils’ elected at the federal level is a short sighted and pragmatic goal, as if voting for any form of evil is acceptable at election time. Our goal as Christians should be to disciple the next generation on what godly civil government looks like. If that means not voting at the federal level for several elections, then so be it. We don’t have to achieve ‘victory’ in our lifetime; we are called to be faithful. Today’s governors and mayors are tomorrow’s presidents; we should focus our efforts on raising a generation of Christian statesmen at local levels and hope for political revival in the generations to come. As for the immediate future, as much as I would never wish or pray for persecution in this nation, if the Church is strengthened and our dross removed, to God be the Glory.
I would challenge Christians to define the ‘line’ at which any given Republican candidate would be unqualified for office. Is their abortion stance the only litmus test to earn their vote? God tells us that false weights and unjust scales are an abomination as well. If Christians demanded more from their candidates and withheld their votes from those that do not seek to uphold righteousness according to God’s law, the bar would be raised and the doors opened for true Christian statesmen to take office.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34, ESV).
“What shall we call the unborn in the womb?
If the entity is a living thing, is it not a life? If your person began as a single cell, how can that fertilized egg be something other than a human being? Isn’t it more accurate to say you were an embryo than that you simply came from one?
So when does a human being have a right to life?
Shall we say size matters? Is the unborn child too small to deserve our protection? Are big people more valuable than little people? Are men more human than woman? Do offensive linemen have more rights than jockeys? Is the life in the womb of no account because you can’t hold him in our arms, or put him in your hands, or only see her on a screen?
Shall we make intellectual development and mental capacity the measure of our worth? Are three year-old children less valuable than thirteen year-olds? Is the unborn child less than fully human because he cannot speak or count or be self-aware? Does the cooing infant in the crib have to smile or shake your hand or recite the alphabet before she deserves another day? If an expression of basic mental acuity is necessary to be a full-fledged member of the human community, what shall do with the comatose, the very old, or the fifty year-old mom with Alzheimer’s? And what about all of us who sleep?
Shall we deny the unborn child’s right to life because of where he lives? Can environment give us value or take it away? Are we worth less inside than outside? Can we be justly killed when we swim under water? Does where we are determine who we are? Does the eight inch journey down the birth canal make us human? Does this change of scenery turn “its” into persons? Is love a condition of location?
Shall we reserve human dignity only for those humans who are not dependent on others? Do we deserve to live only when we can live on our own? Is the four-month old fetus less than human because she needs her mom for life? Is the four-month old infant less than human when she still needs her mom for life? What if you depend on dialysis or insulin or a breathing apparatus? Is value a product of fully-functioning vitality? Is independence a prerequisite for human identity? Are we worth only what we can think, accomplish, and do on our own?
If the unborn life is human life, what can justify snuffing it out? Would it be right to take the life of your child on his first birthday because he came to you through sad and tragic circumstances? Would you push an 18 month old into traffic because she makes our life difficult? Does a three year-old deserve to die because we think we deserve a choice?
What do you deserve now? What are your rights as a human person? Did you have those same rights five years ago? What about before you could drive? Or when you used training wheels? Were you less than fully human when you played in the sandbox? When you wore a bib? When you nursed at your mother’s breast? When your dad cut your cord? When you tumbled in that watery mess and kicked against that funny wall? When your heart pounded on the monitor for the first time? When you grew your first fingernails? When you grew your first cells?
What shall we call the child in the womb? A fetus? A mystery? A mistake? A wedge issue? What if science and Scripture and commonsense would have us call it a person? What if the unborn child, the messy infant, the wobbly toddler, the rambunctious teenager, the college freshman, the blushing bride, the first-time mother, the working woman, the proud grammy, and the demented old friend differ not in kind but only in degree? Where in the progression does our humanity begin and end? Where does life become valuable? When are we worth something? When do human rights become our rights? What if Dr. Seuss was right and a person’s a person no matter how small?
Why celebrate the right to kill what you once were? Why deny the rights of the little one who is what you are?”
We are all aware of hellfire-and-damnation preachers who rave and scream about the decadence of the world. It can become tiresome to listen to all of that. I think we all respect people who can disagree with others in a spirit of charity, and as a rule, I try to abide by that as much as I can. But when it comes to this question of abortion, my tolerance dissipates. I’m convinced that the matter of abortion facing the American public right now is the greatest wickedness in our nation’s history. It makes me almost ashamed to be an American. I’m ashamed of the medical profession, but I’m most deeply ashamed of the church for its failure to scream literally, “Bloody murder” about abortion.
Abortion is a monstrous evil, and if I know anything about the character of God, I am totally convinced that this is an outrage to him. From the beginning to the end of sacred Scripture, there is a premium on the sanctity of human life. Anytime we see human life cheapened—as it clearly is in the wanton destruction of unborn children— then those who have an appreciation for the value and the dignity of human life need to stand up and protest as loudly as they possibly can.
From a biblical standpoint, the issue focuses on the origin of life. It would be merely sophistry for me to accuse somebody of murder if in fact they were not killing a human life. I think the biblical evidence is manifold that life begins at conception. We see that repeatedly in the literature of the prophets in the Old Testament, in the psalms of David, and in the New Testament where at the meeting of Elizabeth and Mary, after she has conceived Jesus, John the Baptist, as yet unborn, bears witness to the presence of the Messiah, who also is not yet born. Neither one of these are born infants, and yet there is communication taking place. Jeremiah and the apostle Paul both speak of being consecrated and sanctified while they were still in their mothers’ wombs. These and a host of other passages indicate clearly that life begins before birth and, I believe, at conception. I just pray that this nation will sober itself about this and do something to restore the sanctity of life.”
The following is an article written by Dr. Bob Gonzales, a professor at The Reformed Baptist Seminary. I thought it demonstrated scriptural wisdom very clearly as well as a Presuppositional method of apologetics. As I said, I wrote none of the following article, all credit goes to Dr. Gonzales.
“One of the marks of a Christian is a desire to share the good news of the life-transforming gospel with others. In the words of the apostles, “We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). But what if a friend, fellow worker, schoolmate, or family member asks us to desist? Does there come a time when we should refrain from speaking to a person about Jesus and Christianity?
Thanks, But No Thanks
A few years ago, I sent John Piper’s booklet The Passion of Christ: Fifty Reasons Why He Came to Die to several close friends and relatives. To my knowledge, most of them were not Christians. I had already shared the gospel with some. With others I had not–at least not in a more comprehensive way. I wanted to be able to face Jesus on Judgment Day with the knowledge that I had attempted to share the gospel with those who were close to me.
Disappointingly, one couple replied with a letter and some materials that made it clear they rejected Christianity, affirmed materialistic evolution, and wished me to relinquish my attempts at trying to convert them. They were polite. But they were also resolute. They didn’t believe in God, and they preferred that I give up any attempt in persuading them otherwise.
A Time to Keep Silence
According to Scripture, there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Eccl 3:7). I believe gospel witness falls under the umbrella of this general axiom. All Christians have a responsibility (according to their level of maturity, gift, and opportunity) to propagate the good news about Jesus (Matt 5:13-16; Acts 8:1-4; 1 Thess 1:6-9; 1 Pet 3:15).1 Moreover, we should be prudent, patient, and persevering in our gospel witness (Prov 26:4-5; Matt 10:16; 1 Cor 3:6-7; 1 Tim 1:12-16; 2 Tim 2:24-25; 1 Pet 3:9). Nevertheless, there comes a time when we should refrain from speaking
The New Testament teaches by principle and precedent that Christians should temporarily or, in some cases, indefinitely terminate their explicit communication of the gospel with certain individuals when those individuals resolutely reject the truth and clearly request that your evangelistic efforts stop. Jesus told his disciples to move on when a person or group of people firmly rejected their gospel witness and no longer welcomed them (Matt 10:11-14; cf. Acts 13:46). Elsewhere he repeated the directive in metaphorical terms: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces” (Matt 7:6). Jesus himself continued to share the gospel with antagonists up to a point–then he was silent (Matt 26:63; Mark 14:61).
One Last Time
So I judged it was time to stop sharing the gospel with this couple–at least overtly. I also thought it wise and appropriate to communicate my intent with kindness and tact. However, since this would be my last opportunity to address with them a topic of such eternal magnitude, I decided to accompany the promise to cease with a final gospel challenge. Below is the letter I sent to them, edited to protect their identity. (Those familiar with Christian apologetics will note my “presuppositional” approach.)
Dear ______ and ______,
I regret that a busy schedule has forced me to put off a response to your letter. But it has remained on my list of “things-to-do” for some time, and the opportunity has finally come!
First of all, thank you both for your love and concern. I am doing much better now, though to some degree I must live with a measure of chronic pain and fatigue. But compared with many who suffer in this world, my bodily affliction is relatively light. I thank God for the health I do enjoy and which I do not deserve. Secondly, thank you for the nice map. Our family is big on maps, and this one has made a nice addition to our collection. Thirdly, I want thank you for responding to my earlier request that you consider the truth and claims of Christianity. The National Geographic article arguing for evolution, the magazine article entitled, “How to Think About the Mind,” and the comments in your letter make it clear that you have chosen to believe a materialistic-evolutionary view of reality rather than a Christian view of reality. As a Christian, I still love you and respect your freedom (as individuals made in the image of God) to choose your own beliefs. I would, however, indulge one last time upon your patience and goodwill. Let me assure you that I will never bring up the Christian faith or gospel with you again unless you ask me to. But I would like to leave you with a couple of final thoughts.
You may not realize this, but I am a converted evolutionist. As a young man, I was taught the theory of evolution as fact, and I eventually embraced it as such. However, later in life I was introduced to the Christian worldview, which contradicted evolution. But it was not merely the teachings of Scripture that finally convinced me evolution was untenable. I have rejected evolution on both scientific andphilosophical grounds as well. And as the National Geographic article you sent suggested, I am not alone: “nearly half the American populace prefers to believe that Charles Darwin was wrong where it mattered most” (p. 6). Of course, the author of this article, a rather zealous evolutionist, blames “Scriptural literalism” and widespread “ignorance.” But another cause, which he overlooked (?) is a growing rejection of evolution among well-educated and scientifically-minded people. Either the author of this article is himself ignorant of the growing body scientific and philosophical literature that exposes the fallacies of evolution, or he prefers to win an argument by ignoring his opponents. A much more honest and humble approach is exemplified by Dr. W. R. Thompson—himself an evolutionist—in his preface to a reprint of Darwin’s Origin of Species:
As we know, there is a great divergence of opinion among biologists, not only about the causes of evolution but even about the actual process. This divergence exists because the evidence is unsatisfactory and does not permit any certain conclusion. It is therefore right and proper to draw the attention of the non-scientific public to the disagreements about evolution. But some recent remarks of evolutionists show that they think this unreasonable. This situation, where men rally to the defense of a doctrine they are unable to define scientifically, much less demonstrate with scientific rigor, attempting to maintain its credit with the public by the suppression of criticism and the elimination of difficulties, is abnormal and undesirable in science (emphasis mine; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1956).
Because I know you both like science and because I assume you want to follow the truth wherever it leads, I’m sending you two books, which seriously undermine the so-called scientific or philosophical basis for the theory of evolution. Let me quickly point out that neither of these books has been written by a pastor or theologian. The first book, Darwin’s Black Box (The Free Press, 2003), has been written by Michael Behe, professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University. This book has proved so persuasive that a leading atheist has recently become a theist. (See the enclosed ABC News article, “Famous Atheist Now Believes in God.”) The second book, Darwin on Trial (Intervarsity Press, 1993), has been written by a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Let me assure you there are many more such books, but I have found these quite helpful and enlightening. I am also sending you a taped debate between an evolutionist and Christian theologian-philosopher entitled, “The Great Debate: Does God Exist?” The books and the debate will demonstrate that Christianity does not require one to put his head in the sand. Please accept them as a gift.
But perhaps you feel skeptical. After all, according to the article you sent there are still a number of Americans today—at least 12 percent—who believe “that humans evolved from other life-forms without any involvement of a god” (p. 6). We know that religions can sometimes hold on to and perpetuate bad dogma. But is it possible that educated people could hold on to and perpetuate bad “science”? Absolutely! Take, for example, the medical practice of “blood-letting,” which killed our first president. The medical establishment of George Washington’s day defended and practiced this deadly “remedy” as sciencedespite the total lack of evidence for its effectiveness. (Even the Bible cannot be blamed for this superstitious practice since, according to Scripture, “the life of the flesh is in the blood” [Lev. 17:11, 14]!)
But I believe there is another reason, besides bad “science,” for the tenacious insistence and perpetuation of evolution. I would suggest that many people prefer to retain evolution—despite the lack of realevidence—because it justifies living life apart from God and apart from any absolute standards of morality. In your letter, you assert that “almost all the battles and wars [of world history] are over religion.” I won’t deny that religion has often had some part to play in wars. But I would point out that atheistic evolutionism as a view of reality and ethics has also had a part to play. Indeed, it was Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” that moved Hitler to exterminate so many Jews as inferior specimens of the human race. Of course, if I were an evolutionist, I could not condemn Hitler or Nazi Germany for the Holocaust. After all, as the Harvard professor in the article you sent me argued, what many of us would call “murderous,” “hateful,” “depraved,” and “evil,” was in reality nothing more than “the activity of the brain.” If I were an evolutionist, I would have to chalk up Hitler’s “atrocities” to overcharged neurons orchemical imbalances in the brain!
I am in no way implying that you, ______ and ______, would excuse Hitler’s actions, any more than I would excuse atrocities committed in the name of religion. But I would ask you to consider this: how does materialistic evolutionism provide you with a basis to judge the rightness or wrongness of another man’s beliefs or actions? In reality, evolution provides you with no basis of ethics, which is another strike against it. You have to assume a worldview in which there are absolute standards of right and wrong—a worldview in which human beings have intrinsic worth and therefore should be “respected” because they’re not just a sophisticated blob of molecules!
I know you know this in your heart of hearts. You have been created in the image of God with a moral faculty called “conscience,” and you cannot escape the nagging reality of human value, human sin, and human accountability to the Lord of all creation. At least that’s my view of things. In any event, I don’t want to try your patience and goodwill. I suppose you wish I would simply keep my “theory” of Christianity to myself, just as you keep your “theory” of evolution to yourself. If you insist, I will comply with your wish. But I confess it’s not as easy for me as it is for you. Once again, look at our “theories” as views of reality. Imagine there’s a building filled with people and smoke rising from the top. Your “theory” says, “The smoke’s just part of the building. It’s normal. Nothing to worry about.” My “theory” says, “There’s a deadly fire and people’s lives are in danger.” My theory compels me to “meddle” in others’ business and warn him of perceived peril. Your theory, on the other hand, allows you to mind your business and leave others alone. Of course, this illustration does not by itself prove or disproveeither “theory.” But it does account for the reason why Christians, like your two sisters, ______ and ______, find it difficult not to share their views with you.
In closing, let me reiterate my love and respect. At one level, I genuinely view you both as “good people.” That is, you have many admirable qualities and have done many admirable things. Yet, at another level, I view you both, as I view my own self and all other men, as sinners who have rebelled against their Creator and who are in need of a Savior. If you are ever interested in learning more about that Savior—Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God—I’d be delighted to tell you! Otherwise, from this point forward I will keep my Christianity to myself until you ask. And whether or not you ever want to talk about religion, I still hope to see you again.
With sincerity and love,
It’s been over seven years since I wrote that letter. This couple has remained very friendly and generous toward me. I love them. I hope they’ll change their mind about the gospel before they die. But until they give me the “green light,” I’ll try to live a life that adorns the gospel I believe and keep praying for God to grant them a change of heart.
The original can be found here: http://drbobgonzales.com/2012/a-time-to-be-silent-when-and-how-to-stop-sharing-the-gospel/
Recently I stumbled upon this video on Moveon.org
Many Christians see Abortion as nothing but another political issue than can be haggled and debated about. But that is not the case. The Battle over Abortion is nothing more than the cosmic battle between the forces of God and forces of Satan being played out in the national public arena. The Abortion advocates of the Democratic Party represent Humanism. The view that Humans(at least those outside the womb), are the measure of all things. Humans determine reality, declaring right from wrong and determining what obligations they hold and to what standard they are bound. This is in stark contrast to the message of the thestic worldview, Where all people are in the image of God, deserving respect, dignity, and value, even if they are unborn. In the thestic worldview, man is not the measure of all things, God is the measure of all things, determining right from wrong. For this reason Christians believe in protecting the life of the unborn and in the sanctity of marriage. The hostility and hatred expressed by the humanist towards those who would defend the rights of the unborn , is nothing more than the humanists hostility and hatred towards God.
Humanism is represented by many in both the Democratic and Republican parties. Many Christians themselves fail to uphold the principles they stand for, such as staying silent on the issues of Abortion, or ignoring issues that make them uncomfortable, such as Divorce. But the great truth of the Christian Faith, is that all people, Pro Life or Pro Choice, Republican Or Democrat, Humanist or Christian, will one day stand before the throne of God to give an account for the deeds they have done on the earth.