Seeds of Change

Alrighty, so today I was going to tackle the not so much fun, but very necessary, topic of fundraising.  But… I ended up writing this post instead.  I guess I will go with it, this is so important and fundraising Q&A can always wait…

We are not fundraising so that we can have a child.  If all we wanted was a child for ourselves, there is no way I would ask complete strangers (or even friends and family) to put their money into a dream that was ours.  We would save the money and do it when we had it.  But that is not what this adoption is about.  We are not doing this for ourselves (although it is very exciting for us too!)  So what is this adoption about?

Let’s talk about Juri’s case specifically.  What will his future look like?  It’s hard to say as many of those decisions haven’t been made yet, but there are two possibilities I am aware of.  The first is a mental institution.  If he does not learn how to walk on his own (he might not without braces and regular therapy), he will likely be sent to a mental institution to live out the rest of his life.  He is perfectly cognitively healthy, but because he cannot walk, there is no place for him in his society.

The other possibility is that he will be released to live on his own.  In this case he would be given government housing (or apartments that should be condemned and are infested with all kinds of ugly things), a small stipend to live on and the clothes on his back.  No family, no connections, nothing to help him navigate a world he has never seen or interacted with, a world that has no handicap accessible mindset and no need for a disabled orphan.  With a very small chance of finding any kind of work, poverty and homelessness will almost certainly be his lot, and he would be in the minority if nothing worse happened to him.

Now do you see it?  Do you see why we are so intent on rescuing this boy from the terrible cycle he’s been caught in?  Why this is so much more than just adding to our family tree?  These children, all of them, need out.  Their home countries do not understand their worth, and so they are hidden away on the fringes of society, in institutions where no one has to look at them or interact with them.

It’s easy to judge, but our country has a similar problem.  With an abortion rate of 90% for children who are prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome and routine screening for the express purpose of “terminating” undesirable traits in our children, our mindset is much the same.  We all need to realign our sense of human worth with the One who created us.  And what better way to do this, what better way to show the orphanage workers and government workers that these children’s lives are valuable than to walk into their very court rooms and say “I love this child, whether he can walk, talk, play, work, love… or whether he can do none of these things on his own.  I love him and I see his worth; I have chosen him to be my son.”

What better way to plant the seeds of change when the judge asks you “Don’t you want a healthier child?” than to say “No.  I want this one, with all his sickness and brokenness. I want to give him love, and a family and healing and life.  I don’t care what it costs.  He is more than worth it.”  What better way to show the underpaid orphanage worker the priceless gift in her work than to go visit your bedridden child who smells of filth and vomit, who hasn’t been changed or bathed, who cannot make eye contact or give anything in return… and you hold them close, kiss them, wash them, comfort them and breathe in everything that they are.

Change must come from the inside.  But, how can change come if the seeds are not first planted?  We have been given the gift, the great privilege, of sowing the seeds of mercy and compassion, equality and love in a faraway country, a place that needs those things so desperately.

And what of America?  This land of life and liberty, unless of course you are found to be worth less than your peers.  In which case you are in grave danger of being dismembered in your mother’s womb.  And if you beat the odds and live to be born, you face ostracism, discrimination, cruelty and a culture that, for all its white-washing and attempts to clean the outside of the bowl, harbors a dirty scowl on the inside for people who are different, who cannot contribute to society in the way we think they should, people who inconvenience us or make us uncomfortable.

What better way to show our friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances the worth of these children than to walk into their very homes, schools, churches and playgrounds and to say “I love this child, whether he can walk, talk, play, work, love… or whether he can do none of these things on his own.  I love him and I see his worth; I have chosen him to be my son.”

What better way to plant the seeds of change than when that well-meaning relative asks you “Don’t you want a healthier child?” than to say “No.  I want this one, with all his sickness and brokenness. I want to give him love, and a family and healing and life.  I don’t care what it costs.  He is more than worth it.”  What better way to show your newlywed or empty-nesting friends who are so focused on vacations and retirement and enjoying each other that there is more to life than self indulging, than to take your child who will need lifelong care and to hold them close, kiss them, wash them, comfort them and breathe in everything that they are.

Seeds of ChangeChange must come from the inside.  But, how can change come if the seeds are not first planted?  We have been given the gift, the great privilege, of sowing the seeds of mercy and compassion, equality and love in America, in this place that needs those things so desperately.

And this brings me to my last, and most crucial point, which is at the very heart of what we are doing.  For all the seeds that we are planting, the greatest blessing of all is how this adoption reflects to me and my family an even greater reality and truth.  For, what better way does God have to show us our own worth than to say to the world, “I love this child, whether he can walk, talk, play, work, love… or whether he can do none of these things on his own.  I love him and I see his worth; I have chosen him to be my son.”

Was it not our own Heavenly Father who took on the task of our adoption, knowing the great price and disregarding it for the worth that He saw in our redemption?  Was it not Christ who, when Satan attempted to deter Him by offering Him everything but the salvation of our souls He said,  “No.  I want this one, with all his sickness and brokenness. I want to give him love, and a family and healing and life.  I don’t care what it costs.  He is more than worth it.”   It is in this way that God has shown His love for us, that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.  While we are yet filthy, sick, disabled, orphaned and worthless… He comes to us and holds us close, kisses us, washes us, comforts us and breathes in everything that we are.  He gives us worth.  He makes us lovely.  He restores us to health.

Change must come from the inside.  But, how can change come if the seeds are not first planted?  Christ has given our family the gift, the great privilege, of experiencing His mercy and compassion, equality and love in our hearts, in these places that need those things so desperately.  Adoption is a reflection of this and so much more.  We are adopting to plant seeds.  To plant seeds in Juri’s heart, seeds that he is worthy and lovely, wanted and loved.  We are adopting to plant seeds in Eastern Europe, seeds of hope.  We are adopting to plant seeds in America, seeds of selfless giving and true fulfillment.  We are adopting to remind us of the seed sown in our own hearts, the seeds of love that Christ planted there long ago.

Mother’s Day: Aborting an American Dream

Yesterday, purely by coincidence, I got to transferring my blog post series: Did God Order an Abortion?

On this Mother’s Day morning, I woke up to an unexpected response from an old friend from high school.  This is what she said:

“Hey Dalas, whats up. I just wanted to let you know that I have had two abortions and one miscarriage in my life. I am a Christian and only God and I know what I have been through. But I can’t be friends with you, if you are going to judge others. Only God has that right. Let me know.”

Now, if you have read my series or if you came from that post to this one, what you will note is that I am not writing against women who have undergone abortions.  I am writing against the bloggers of the “Christian Left” (men ironically) who break the 2nd commandment in a horrifyingly blatant way, by taking God’s name and using it to live however they please, whether it is actually pleasing to God or not.  In the process they confuse well-meaning Christians and lead God’s sheep far astray.  This is who I judge.  I judge those who would claim to teach truth whilst spreading evil in the public square.

You may have come here from another post on my blog about abortion (as I will be linking to this post regularly from here on out), and I might have spoken quite openly and forcefully against  this particular sin.  I will not shy away from the truth; abortion is the taking of a human life.  It is wrong, and it is never something God would command or commend.  Abortion is murder  but (and this is important) not every mother who has had an abortion is a murderer.  This is something that I want everyone to understand, but especially you, the dear mother who has suffered through abortions and has found your way to my humble blog.  Yes, in the sense that all of us are guilty of breaking the 5th commandment, we are all murderers.  But I do not go around calling everyone a murderer and neither will I lightly apply that label in this instance.

I realize, though I have never been in your shoes, that there are subtleties and nuances to this massacre of innocents.  There are complexities that most of us will never understand.  All of us have been lied to by the sweet whisperings of feminism, and we have all been affected in our own ways.  We all have mistakes to repent of and sins to confess.  Our society has legalized and normalized killing our children, and that is wrong.  Many women have been convinced that the child they agreed to dispose of was no child at all.  Others have been told that this was in the best interests of their baby.  Some have been abused, threatened and tortured into the decision by the very people who should have been encouraging and supporting them in their vocation of mother.  Abortion is a tragedy for everyone involved, and especially for the mothers whose bodies, hearts and souls bear those scars.

I do not judge you dear mother.  For you are a mother.  The abortion crazed culture would tell you that you are not.  In their eyes you go into the abortion clinic pregnant and come out unpregnant.  But your conscious cries out otherwise; this is not the pain or loss felt by someone who is simply not pregnant.  This pain is the pain of a mother who has suffered the death of her child.  The pro-abortion movement would seek to steal this from you.  Disguised as compassion, the abortion industry is anything but.  For in their very definition of life they must disregard the grief of every mother who has lost an unborn child.  After all, it isn’t really a baby, so you shouldn’t really grieve.  Motherhood is a blessed and esteemed vocation.  But daily… by the thousands… Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics around the country steal that once classic American dream from women and girls.

I write this post not for those women who are righteously convinced of their “rights” and stand firmly rooted in their “choice” to do as they wish with their unborn children.  I write this post for you who have been hurt by my words or by the words of the pro-life movement.  I write for you who have been crushed and convicted of participating in the killing of a precious life that God gave to you to carry, and who feel that burden every time your pro-life friends speak out.  I write this for the hurting, for those whose dream was stolen.  I write this to say… God can restore to you the dream, He can return to you all the years that the locust has eaten.  Take heart.  God is mercy.  You are forgiven.

Please know, from the bottom of my heart, that on this day I see you not as a murderer, but just as much a mother as myself.  I hope that God would pour His rich blessing out on you this Mother’s Day and continue that healing work, reconciling not only you with Christ, but also you with your dear children.

This was my response to the friend who wrote me earlier today; she thanked me for it and gave me permission to share it with all of you.  I pray that on this Mother’s Day Christ brings to her and to all of my dear sisters comfort and healing…

First of all I’m so incredibly sorry for your losses. I can’t imagine the heartbreak of losing a child. If I gave you the impression that I’m judging you (or anyone) who’s had an abortion I apologize for that, because that was never my intention. I hope we can remain friends. Let me explain my position a little more clearly.

I am wholeheartedly against abortion. I will be upfront about that. But honestly? I do not judge, hate or even blame the women who have them. Sure, sometimes there are women who deserve such criticisms, but I don’t know any personally and it will be for God to judge their hearts.

I wonder if it was the blog post that I posted yesterday that upset you? Did you read through the posts? I was speaking against another blogger who would perpetuate the lie that abortion does not hurt women, who would rather than offer the forgiving love of Christ to a woman who is suffering from abortion, would cover up their wounds with “its ok”.

Deep down we know it’s not ok, and masking the hurt and the guilt and the pain that is left after an abortion helps no one. That is who I am against, that part of our society who would take your pain and say there is no good reason for it. The people who would dismiss your guilt rather than allow you to be forgiven of it.

I am not judging you, but I am judging the ideology that would lie to you, take advantage of you and refuse to offer you true healing. I am a Christian, and my aim is not to judge you but to point you to Christ. To point you to Christ who says that what you did by allowing someone to take the life of your two unborn children was wrong. But that is not all. He also says this:

“I forgive you. And I am holding your sweet babies in my arms and caring for them until we can all be together again. I forgive you, because my blood on the cross covers this too and it has made you as white as snow. Your children forgive you, they love you, they pray for you. My child, you are forgiven. Go in peace and sin no more.”

This is real comfort, not that people will look the other way and not condemn you for bad choices and wrongdoing, but that Christ has already been condemned on your behalf for anything and everything you have ever done wrong. I do not judge you because there is nothing left for me to judge. Your sins have been washed away and you are as white as snow.

I pray that you can hold on to this real comfort. Have a blessed Mother’s Day.

Did God Order an Abortion? Part 3

If you have not yet read my first and second posts in this series, you can find them here: Part I & Part II
You can find the original post that I am discussing here.

In my first two posts I answered the initial question, did God order an abortion?  The answer, of course, is a resounding no.  Of course He didn’t!  And just a little digging under the surface of the text gave us our answer.  But there is more to the post than just the title.  What about the rest of the accusations made throughout the post?  I would feel remiss if I did not address these as well.

The very next thing you see in the post after the Biblical text is a picture with this quote: “Will you still be prolife after she’s born?  Will you still apply the same vigor to your work: against war, against hunger, against poverty, against homelessness, against our planet’s degradation, against capital punishment, for human rights, for opportunities for education and jobs… that you do to your efforts to make abortion illegal?  If not, please stop calling yourself ‘prolife’.” – Jay Branscomb

Oh dear… where do I begin?

First of all, the basic assumption that “pro-lifers” don’t also actively fight for these causes as well is a terribly calculated stereotype that might fit a select few, but not many.  I personally speak out against unjust war, I have actively fought hunger, poverty and homelessness here and abroad.  I daily try to make choices that benefit this world that God has created for us; I shudder when human rights are violated (ahem… the right to life included…) and I think you would be very surprised at my stance on capital punishment.

Furthermore, I am also against killing people (or allowing them to kill themselves) simply because they are not as healthy as we think they should be.  I believe in allowing God to choose when to create life, rather than preventing life from existing; I believe also in preserving and protecting that life as soon as it is conceived and after physical birth.  Not only that, but I also believe in preserving life after death, unto eternity, through God’s gift of salvation.  So… am I allowed to call myself prolife yet, or have I not met all of your criteria?

Would it make any sense for me to tell you to stop calling yourself “pro-choice” unless you believe also in eliminating mandatory vaccinations, taking away the income tax and letting people choose whether or not they want to give to their money to the poor, removing any regulations on home schooling so that parents have control over their child’s education, allowing businesses to choose whether or not they want to make their products environmentally conscious, and not allowing the government to mandate to anyone that they need to buy health insurance?

No… it wouldn’t.  Because those, of course, are not choices that most “pro-choice” activists seem to think we should be able to make.  I could tell you that you’re not really pro-choice, but you wouldn’t believe me and it wouldn’t help my case much.  More importantly, your stances on those issues have nothing to do with your position on abortion; just like my stances on your list of issues has nothing to do with my position on abortion.

It’s a ridiculous assertion in the first place, that you must adhere to a subjective, unrelated list of issues in order to be firmly planted in another.  Let alone, that you must apply the same amount of vigor to all these issues lest you be a hypocrite!  I don’t know any activist who can apply the same vigor to ALL of their causes… that’s a pretty tall order.  In short… the quote is worthless.  Moving on.

Alright, we finally get to a point where our author says something.  Let’s see what he has to say: “’Abortion’ is far from a ‘cut and dry’ issue in the Bible.”

Oh really?  Well… abortion is murder, as ya know… a fetus is a human (scientifically even) and killing a human without any authority or command from God to do so is murder.

So… is abortion murder?  Biblically yes.  Does anyone remember the 5th Commandment?  Cause I just kind of assumed that anything in the commandments was a pretty clear no-no.  Do you have any other textual evidence from the Bible that it might not be a cut and dry issue?  Because we already went over your first example, and that was a bust.

Thou shall not murder.  Period.  What more do you need to know?

Next quote from our author: “Jesus said nothing about abortion. Nothing.  If it was such a big important sin, you would think he would’ve at least mentioned it.”

Well, first of all, this is a pointless argument.  Jesus also said nothing about becoming a Nazi or taking your neighbor’s wife out for dinner and a movie… but I think we can both agree that those are pretty bad ideas – sins even.  So, the fact that the word and concept are not mentioned explicitly doesn’t mean… anything really.  There are lots of grievous sins Jesus preached on that the Gospels didn’t have room or time to record.

“Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” – John 21:25

That’s one reason why we have the Epistles!  God gave the apostles the ability to teach and write infallibly (the Bible…) so that they could elaborate and record the faith that was given to them personally by Jesus.  The apostles, personally taught by Jesus, outright condemn the use of abortifacient potions that were used by women at that time.  And, if you rightly understand what the Bible is – namely the Word of God, you will see that these multiple condemnations in the Scripture ARE Jesus.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Don’t you see?  Jesus IS God’s Word.  The Bible is Jesus, written down and recorded for all generations.  If the Bible condemns it, Jesus condemns it.

Final point by our author: “The bottom line is that the political and religious right have used the abortion debate as a cash cow and a rallying point for the rest of their policies of death. We’re not falling for it any longer.  Neither should you.”

Whether it’s the death penalty or abortion, euthanasia or war – both the right and the left are instituting policies of death.  We live in a world obsessed with and immersed in death.  Stop pointing fingers; it’s not going to help.  Instead, let’s focus on what we can do to get out of our leftist-rightest mentalities and return Christ to the center of our lives.

Perhaps the original author is right; perhaps there are people on the political and religious right that are using the pro-life movement as a smokescreen to hide the less Christian policies they advocate for – but the left does the same thing.  Let’s not forget; we’re all human here.  Move past the rhetoric and let’s talk about the real issues.  It’s not about left vs. right – it’s about right vs. wrong and searching for Truth rather than settling for the lies.

Did God Order an Abortion? Part 2

If you have not yet read Did God Order an Abortion? Part I – please go there and read it now.  It is more important than Part II.  Here is the original blog post that I am addressing in this series.

In my first post I began to address the problematic nature of the question posed in the original post, “God ordered an abortion?”  Well, no He didn’t.  And here’s why.

Previously I discussed the cultural connotation we have of what an abortion is, so I’m not going to revisit that in detail here.  Suffice it to say that in the text being discussed the translation used by the author clearly says “miscarry” not abortion.  Let’s take a look at the text again (taken from the original post):

Numbers 5:21 “here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the LORD cause you to become a curse[d] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell.”

In our world, a miscarriage and an abortion are two very different things.  What is different about them?  When we say a woman had a miscarriage we mean that natural causes terminated the pregnancy and caused the child to die.  When we say a woman had an abortion we mean that a person used artificial methods to kill and/or remove the child from the mother’s womb.

In our text the woman does not have an abortion, she miscarries.  It is not the drink itself that kills the child, but the curse of her sin brought upon her by God.  Regardless of the scientific subtleties here, the most important phrase to note is this: “when he makes your womb miscarry”.  He, meaning God, makes the woman miscarry.  God is taking the life, not the woman.

Regardless of whether or not a miscarriage was a result of the curse, (and it does well to note here that this is the only translation that uses that specific word) this was not an abortion in the strict sense of the term, because it’s not a human choosing to take the life of the child – it’s God. This is a miscarriage. Just as when David’s infant son was taken from him after his infidelity with Bathsheeba, God’s discipline was placed on these women in Israel when they were unfaithful.

When reading the Old Testament we must always remember the difference between God taking a life and us taking a life.  God DOES take human life.   The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.   Not only does God take away our life, but he takes the life of each and every person who dies.  That is who He is. Only the Author and Creator of life has the authority to take life; none of us can make that decision.  And so, when we murder or abort our children or commit suicide – we are putting ourselves in the place of God. We are claiming that which belongs solely to Him. This is the sin.

God can kill without sin, because that is His place to do so. But God does not work in the same ways that He used to. He promised never again to destroy the world with a flood, and he no longer commands war to be waged against a people group or for a priest to give to a woman what might be a curse on her or her child.

We are working in a different time, under the New Covenant in Christ.  And so, we cannot take into our own hands what God has not given us – namely the life of another human being.  This is the sin, taking the life of another and putting it into our own hands – putting ourselves in the place of God.

So, in the case of our text, God is choosing to take the life of the child, not the priest.  Therefore, it is not an abortion, because not one of those people involved is choosing to murder that unborn child.  This brings me to the next clarification that needs to be made.  The original questions asks, if God “ordered” an abortion.  Above I explained why this is not an abortion, and now I am going to explain why God did not “order” the death of the child.

God’s instructions here are to the priest, explaining to him what to do if a husband comes to him and says that his wife’s child is the result of an infidelity.  The priest is to perform the ceremony, not to punish the adultery, but to bring to light the truth of what happened.  The woman is a willing participant here.  If she is telling the truth, it is a benign ceremony that will bring no harm on anyone and will restore her marriage.  If she is lying and covering up her sin, she has the option to confess it to her husband before he takes the drastic measure of bringing her to the priest.

In drinking the cup, she is testifying to her innocence.  If, however, she drinks the cup knowing her guilt and the death it will bring to her child – this is on her conscience.  No one forces her to drink; she brings the curse upon herself and on her child for her own foolish pride.  God does not command her to do this – she does it as a rejection of God’s will and as a refusal to turn from her sin.

Is this an abortion?  In a way… yes, if the woman knowingly curses her child to death – she is choosing to kill that child and it can be called an abortion in a stricter sense of the term.  But it is not an abortion commanded by God; it is an abortion resulting from the woman’s sin – her second sin.  Not the sin of adultery, but her sin of deceit and her refusal to go to her husband and receive mercy.  Her pride and reputation are more important to her than the life of her child.  Not unlike, I would wager, the case in many abortions performed today.

Now, you might say, that’s ridiculous!  If she told her husband the truth he would have her killed and the baby would die anyway.  She’s protecting herself.  You would, of course, be referring to the Old Testament law that adulterers be put to death.  And you might be right.  Perhaps, she and the baby would die anyway… but is this a good reason to kill your child?  Many women feel that a baby would ruin their life, and so they have an abortion.  Others believe that they will be bad mothers, perhaps abusive or impoverished, and so they have abortions to “protect” the baby from that life.  Again, none of these are good reasons to kill your baby.  None of these give us the right to take another human’s life into our own hands.  We are not God!  We don’t know what this child’s life will be or do, and so we cannot determine when it should end.  It is not our place.

And so, when you pull out the harsh law of death in the Old Testament, which is really only in accord with God’s spiritual law – that the wages of sin is death – I will say, yes!  That is a possibility, but there is another.  Remember reading the nativity story in the New Testament?

Joseph knew the law, and when Mary turned up pregnant he knew that he could bring her to public shame and have her killed for infidelity.  But that was not what he was going to do.  The Bible says that Joseph was a “righteous man” and that he had a mind to “divorce her quietly”.  What does this mean?  It means that he was going to show mercy on his wife to be, that he was not going to sentence her to death, but that he was going to be gracious.

Again we find ourselves in the midst of earthly situations that mirror God’s great love and mercy on us.  Even while we were still enemies of God, sinners, God died for us.  He has forgiven our sin; He is righteous and does not wish that anyone should perish.  And so our Lord has mercy on us, just as the husband could choose to have mercy on his wife.  If she repented of her infidelity to him, he could choose to spare her the public shame and certain death – he could be merciful.

Did it always happen that way, or even often?  Maybe not.  But this is where our vision becomes fuzzy, where the falleness of our world and our humanity no longer perfectly reflect God’s perfect love.  Now we see in a glass darkly… but this darkness does not reflect inconsistencies on the part of God, rather it is our inconsistencies that cause death – both in the case of the woman and her child in the Numbers text and in the case of death in all the world.  For, just as it was not God’s will for that baby to die, it is not God’s will that anyone should perish eternally.

After having answered the initial question, I still feel compelled to address the issues brought forth in the remainder of the original post.  I will be adding one last post to finish up my response in which I will address some of the other concerns of our first author.

Read Part III

Did God Order an Abortion? Part 1

***If you have suffered an abortion please read this post first.***

If a flagrant misuse of God’s Word doesn’t motivate me to blog again… I don’t know what will.

W e need to talk.  Not just you and me, Bloggy friends, but anyone who might fall prey to the confusing language and false pretenses of the post I am about to show you.  And, if you happen to be the author of this post, I also would like to have this conversation with you, because I fear you are being led far astray from the great blessings that are found in the Scripture.  I do not mean any disrespect toward you personally.

My righteous anger is turned not toward you but toward the Evil One who has led you astray, to the lies this world propagates as it turns hearts away from God.  “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12)  So please, bear with me, hear what I have to say and feel free to enter into a discourse of Christian brotherly love.  Truly, if I did not care – I would not write.

This is the blog post I will be discussing here:
Wait. What? God Ordered an Abortion? 

Before I ask my first question, I will answer it.  All of my translations come from the English Standard Version.  When reading this post, I could not find the translation of the Biblical text that you (dear author) were using.  Although, it appears to be from the new NIV translation.  In any case, it is a confusing translation as v. 21 says “swell and miscarry”, whereas v. 22 reads “swell or miscarry”.  But, without a reference available, I will go from the text you have presented and encourage my readers to follow along in their Bibles or check out this page for a helpful multi-translation comparison.

From the original post, Numbers 5, verse 21: “here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the LORD cause you to become a curse[d] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell.”

There is very little discussion within the post, mostly drawn conclusions without any clear argument.  So, let’s look at the conclusions that are being made.  The title of the blog post asks the question “God ordered an abortion?”  This text from Numbers is given as an apparent proof prompting the reader to answer for himself in the affirmative.  Before I lay out my case as to why the answer is no, let me begin by saying – this is a loaded question.

When the reader hears the word “abortion” what does he immediately think?  The connotation of an abortion is the voluntary or forced death and/or removal of a fetus in a woman’s womb.  (By voluntary I am referring to the woman’s participation in the abortion; obviously a fetus is never a voluntary participant.)  And it is this connotation of the word that strikes our minds when it is suggested that God commands an abortion – that God told a woman to kill her child.  This is not the case at all.

Even in the original translation the word “miscarry” is used rather than “abort”.  A fetus or the mother’s body can, through natural processes, cause a termination of pregnancy, and technically you can call that an abortion of the pregnancy.  But the word abortion is loaded, and it is used to confuse rather than clarify.  So, let’s clarify.  God did not tell a woman to kill her baby.

The text clearly states “when he makes your womb miscarry” (Emphasis mine).  God is the one who is here taking a life.  What is important to understand is that, the woman is not required to drink this curse upon herself.  The point of the ceremony is that the husband believes she is lying about her infidelity; if she truly did commit adultery resulting in this unborn child, she could have willingly confessed her sin to her husband, thrown herself on his mercy and perhaps saved the baby’s life.*  But that is not what she does.  She lies about her sin, covers it up and forfeits that grace, mercy and forgiveness.  She is bringing this curse willingly upon herself and her child, not because God commanded her to, but because she refused to confess her sin.

It is her sin – her lie, not God’s command, that ultimately results in the death of the child.  The ceremony is not addressing adultery, but rather it is addressing the truth.  If the woman is living in truth already, either she has nothing to fear of such a ceremony or no ceremony would need take place.

This is a good point to pause because, like I mentioned earlier, it is so easy for us to miss the blessings in God’s Word when we turn it into a political game.  The ceremonies and traditions in the Old Testament, yes even the Old Testament text itself, all share one purpose – to point us to Christ.  This is the reason for the entire Bible!  And here, in this passage, we see a beautiful portrayal of our relationship to God in Christ Jesus.

When we hide our sin, and bear its terrible burden, what we receive from God is wrath.  God cannot abide with our sin.  The wages of sin is death, after all.  BUT if we confess our sin, if we bring our sins into the light of the truth, and we repent of them – turn away from them and renounce them then… then we are given life.  We are granted forgiveness because of the blood shed for us by Jesus on the cross.

God does not want any of us to drink the cursed cup of death, just as God did not desire for the woman in the ceremony to drink of it.  And so He Himself drank God’s cup of wrath for us. He ripped it from our hands and drank every last drop until there was none left to harm us; and He died in our place.

Don’t you see?  This is not about politics, abortion, war, famine or any of that.  The Bible is so much more than what you’ve made it out to be – it is God’s promises to us, His salvation that He freely gives to us.  How dare we make any less of it!  Satan loves for us to focus on these minute details, to get so caught up in God’s words that we miss His WORD, that we miss His Life, the Life that He gave to us.

I beg of you, my dear readers, and the author of the original post, do not miss God’s Word!  Don’t miss what He’s offering in favor of that which is in the world.  This world’s interpretations and speculations of God’s voice have nothing on God’s true promises for us.  Read the Bible, not to prove your point – but rather to receive life and salvation and the forgiveness of your sins.

And to all of those reading this – if you have a sin that is bothering your conscience, even one that brings torture to your soul, do not keep it hidden!  Bring it out into the light, tell a Christian brother or sister, or better yet go to your pastor.  Confess the sin, tell him what it is that you have done that has destroyed your relationship with God, and hear the forgiveness God has to offer you.  Nothing is more freeing than bringing your sin into the light and watching it be washed away forever in the blood of Christ.

Now, with this in mind, I will move forward in a follow-up post discussing the conclusions made in more detail.  This is an important step to take, as the assertions made by the original poster can bring confusion to some and be a roadblock to faith for others.  I address these to remove such obstacles, so that we can view this passage in the light of Christ and His love for us.  But it is important that we first looked at that love so that we can keep it in mind as we move forward.

Read Part II
Read Part III

*This does not address the possible punishment for adultery that might be enforced in Old Testament Israel.  I will briefly address this in Part II, along with the rest of the original blogger’s post.

Love Does Not Rejoice…

RosesI remember the days when I used to despise Valentine’s Day… it was the worst idea for a holiday if there ever was one. Of course, anyone who has not love on a day meant to celebrate love would despise it for all it’s worth.  Yet, even now the festival of the great Saint Valentine is not one that I anxiously anticipate or prepare for weeks in advance.  Sure I thought about what I would do for my sweet husband to show him I care but it didn’t go far beyond that.  And I certainly didn’t get butterflies wondering about what today would bring.  Don’t get me wrong, I am immensely enjoying the Belgian chocolate truffles my dear husband got for me, and I equally love the beautiful flowers (aren’t they gorgeous?!!)  But outside of my cozy little home there are other versions of this infamous “Day of Love” going on that dampen any excitement I feel for the 14th of February.

I suppose I should just sit and enjoy my own truffles and my own family and not concern myself with what the rest of the world is doing… I would probably be happier for it anyway.  But the fact of the matter is I no longer have the luxury of tuning out the evil messages of society and Satan.  The messages that tell young girls they are not loved or appreciated unless they give up what should be protected and honored.  The voice that tells mothers to abandon their families to pursue happiness and fulfillment elsewhere.  The abominable lie to the scared, confused student that it would be better to kill her unborn child than to put her own future at risk.  The perverted culture that upholds and encourages divorce for no other reason than an emotional gap in the marriage.  I would love more than anything to ignore the media geared at young children encouraging romantic and physical relationships, or the Hollywood delusion that if two people are in a long-term committed relationship they should be living together regardless of marital status.

But honestly, I can’t ignore these things anymore.   I cannot turn a blind eye to these lies and abominations, because each and every one of them has hit too close to home for me to pretend that they don’t exist.  Each one of these lies and perversions has invaded the lives of people that I love and destroyed relationships, marriages, families and faith.  Not only are these ideas dangerous to our temporal familial and societal connections, but they endanger our very souls if left unchecked and unhindered.  Is it really loving to encourage and enable each other in sin?  I grant that it certainly is the easy thing to do, for now anyway.  But what about when that Great Day of Judgment finally arrives?  Will it be easier then?  To watch those same friends and family you affirmed in sin to reap the eternal penalty for their actions?  Something tells me it won’t be.

But Dalas! You say “God loves everybody and Jesus dies for ALL people’s sin!”  Of course He does and yes He DID!  So then does that mean we should allow sin to run rampant in our body, the very temple of God Himself?!  By no means!  We are dead to sin and we must cut it off.  If we don’t it will overtake us and destroy our faith.  You cannot have two masters… if you allow sin to reign as master over your life you will begin to hate your first True Love, Christ.  Left unchecked habitual, unrepentant sin leads to only one thing, the rejection of your First Master, God, for the sake of your new master, Satan.  No matter how you want to sugarcoat it or beat around the bush – the wages of sin is death.  Yes, Jesus died for your sin and the gift of God is eternal life in Christ our Lord.  But if Christ is no longer your Lord and your happiness, fulfillment, passion, lust, greed, hatred, choose your vice, they’re really all the same… if any of these things is allowed to become master over you, you are putting your very salvation at risk.  Because if Christ is not your Lord, then eternal life is not your inheritance.

I say this from a position of utmost humility, because I have myself allowed sin to become my master and lead me away from the pure waters of my baptism.  I have fallen prey to the lies of the culture, and I have suffered greatly for it.  God in His mercy has spared me from the darkness and despair I once experienced as I floundered in the mire of my own sin and selfishness, but He has not taken the thorn out of my side just yet.  As He has said, His grace is sufficient for me until that day where I will be free forever from the temptations and troubles of this life.  I no longer despair because I know I am His Child, and He has promised to strengthen and preserve me until that day.  But are you His Child?

Are you really?  If you are then you will repent.  You will turn from your sin and be broken by it – you will no longer chase fulfillment and pleasure at the expense of your family and the integrity of your own body.  Repent and rejoice in the forgiveness that Christ has provided for you.

I would love to just sit here and talk about my roses and truffles and how excited I am about the melting snow… but the people that I love are in danger, and I cannot in silence watch as so many that I love are being led down the affirming path to hell.  And I pray that my fellow Believers will also join with me today in affirming less and loving more.

“Love… does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13

In Christ,
Dalas

A Survivor of the Silent Holocaust

I had been meaning to post a recipe that I tried this evening… but it didn’t turn out exactly the way I was hoping, so I decided to save recipes for another day.  But it left me in a predicament, not knowing what to post next!  Well… during my browsing I came across a video, a very powerful video.  And I knew, I had my post.  I hope this touches you the way it did me.  Have a blessed evening!

In Christ,

Dalas

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