Psalm 101

I am currently reading through the Psalms and recently came across #101. The themes in this Psalm resonate with me as being essential for all believers in all times to consider: praising God for His love and justice, paying attention to the way in which we live – our integrity, what we look at, how we deal with others, what we think upon, how we respond in defense of our neighbors, etc. Obviously, this is a Psalm that has a context more specific to David than to us, but the truths it contains are ones we should think upon regularly…

I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.
    I will praise you with songs.
I will be careful to live a blameless life—
    when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
    in my own home.
I will refuse to look at
    anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
    I will have nothing to do with them.
I will reject perverse ideas
    and stay away from every evil.
I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.
    I will not endure conceit and pride.

I will search for faithful people
    to be my companions.
Only those who are above reproach
    will be allowed to serve me.
I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,
    and liars will not stay in my presence.
My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked
    and free the city of the Lord from their grip.

Abortion, continued…

The revelations coming out of Planned Parenthood only continue to get more and more barbaric. In addition to what was already noted in our first post on the topic (here), now we’ve seen – through several additional videos, which have been released in full-length, uncut versions – the true colors of what can only be described as horrific evil, all perpetuated in the name of “choice” and “freedom.” This is what sin looks like, folks. This is what idolatry of choice and freedom and unrestrained sexual activity leads to.

To the unconvinced – to those who have bought into Planned Parenthood’s propaganda (and it is), I would challenge you to actually look into the facts of what his happening. Despite what the White House and others are saying, there is hard, concrete evidence of these horrendous crimes. It is appalling to me that even those who claim to support “women’s health” apparently have no issue whatsoever with what Planned Parenthood is doing. Don’t you at least care that they follow the law? Even though you disagree with the pro-life position, don’t you care that Planned Parenthood is operating in a manner which is shown to definitively harm many of the women who come into their clinics? As I’ve mentioned before, I could care less about the politics involved. Abortion is not a political talking point. It is a moral talking about. What we decide has ethical – not political – dimensions.

For those who are convinced and are looking for materials that they can use online or for help with refuting some of the ridiculous claims which seek to shut down discussion on the completely immoral practices depicted, I would point you to the helpful resources located here.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, pray for conviction of sin! Pray that the Lord would change hearts and minds so that we would protect our weakest and most helpless rather than seeing them as a commodity to be exploited. We must not fall into the lie that everything in this world must be about money and economics. No, instead we must stand firmly with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, praying for the repentance and salvation of not just those involved with Planned Parenthood, but with those who are involved in providing abortions the world over. And not just them, but of all people, engaging in all kinds of sins, all the world over. The Lord has shown His grace and mercy to us by calling us to repentance, let’s pray that He would do the same to those who work for and support Planned Parenthood.

Lord, we pray: “give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.” (Psalm 82:3)

Fight Against All Sin

Tim Challies’ had a great post over the weekend from Charles Spurgeon in which the great preacher notes that we can’t be “single issue” Christians when it comes to our sins. It is far too easy to focus on only one sin in our lives and use that as a spiritual barometer for how we are doing with the Lord. The problem is that, all too often, we attack one sin, think we are fine once we begin to experience some amount of victory, and then ignore a whole host of other issues simply because they aren’t the “one sin” that we focus upon. No, we must wage war against any and all sin that we find. Here’s how Spurgeon puts it:

“If you only throw down Baal to set up Ashteroth, what progress have you made towards God? Little does it signify [matter] which of the false gods is set up in the temple of Jehovah, for he hates them all. The right prayer is, ‘Let not any iniquity have dominion over me’.”

Read the rest here.

Abortion

I was absolutely shocked and heart-broken to read the news about a senior official with Planned Parenthood casually discussing the best way to perform an abortion so that the baby’s tissues and organs could be “donated”/sold for medical research. Even that first sentence seems too shocking to be believed, doesn’t it? But the story has appeared in numerous places and has even been confirmed by Planned Parenthood themselves (sidenote: as always, you should take all news from all sources with a grain of salt and be aware of whatever “spin” might be present, but even this video aside, abortion is a horrific practice that we need to spend some time reflecting on this morning).

I’m at a loss for words as to how despicably heinous, evil, and wicked this is. Al Mohler provides the particulars:

“Yesterday’s release of a video showing the senior medical director of Planned Parenthood casually discussing the sale of organs from aborted babies is a moral challenge thrown right in the face of all Americans.

The video reveals Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood, discussing the intentional harvesting of organs and other tissues from babies aborted in Planned Parenthood clinics. While reaching with her fork for salad, Dr. Nucatola openly tells a group she believes to be medical researchers that there is a great demand for fetal livers, but ‘a lot of people want intact hearts these days’.”

So, where should we land on this? Clearly, Planned Parenthood disagrees with what the video itself is claiming. Specifically, their president (see link above), claims the following:

“Recently, an organization that opposes safe and legal abortion used secretly recorded, heavily edited videos to make outrageous claims about programs that help women donate fetal tissue for medical research.”

Talk about doublespeak and ad hominem attacks. So an organization who does an undercover investigation simply shouldn’t be listened to? I’m all for knowing your sources, but simply disagreeing with them doesn’t magically sweep their argument away. “Ahh…” supports of Planned Parenthood will say “…they shouldn’t be listened to because they edited the video.” Yes, let’s talk about that, since the entire conversation has been released in unedited form. Sure seems pretty clear to me. Including the parts where the official speaks about the payments involved for such “tissue” donations as well as how to best to perform an abortion for the sake of being able to donate tissues and organs.

Bottom line: this is a massive moral issue in our country and around the world. And what doesn’t help is the fact that there is a giant smokescreen of politics and deception over everything Planned Parenthood does (and I would add that this same “fog” shouldn’t be limited simply to Planned Parenthood, but applied to all abortion providers). It seems that anytime an organization like Planned Parenthood is challenged on what they actually do, they quickly deflect the conversation to whatever services they provide that are least offensive. Cancer screenings, basic health care, etc. As if that makes it any better? Isn’t that a bit like showcasing how the military does relief projects during disasters so that we can pretend that they don’t fight wars? The entire purpose of Planned Parenthood is right there is their name.

This is also why we always hear about how Planned Parenthood is all about “women’s rights” and “women’s healthcare.” Of course, that needs to be defined, since the nearly 28 million girls who have been aborted since 1973 certainly didn’t receive “care” or have “rights.” Not to mention the boys. And of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg about how Planned Parenthood and their advocates carefully select language and redefine it to confuse. George Orwell would be pleased with such double-speak.

To be frank, I’m sick and sickened of how our nation – and many around the world – tolerate what amounts to nothing less than killing the most defenseless and helpless human beings in our society. What does that say about us morally and ethically? And now we find that – whether intended for profit or simply for “research,” the result is the same – killing babies can be made into something “good” because, after all, their tissues can be used in labs to help others. The amount of moral equivocation here is absolutely horrendous.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, I could care less about the politics surrounding abortion. My issue has nothing to do with either “side of the aisle.” No, my issue has to do with the fact that we as a nation – and your and my tax dollars – are directly supporting this sickening enterprise of murdering babies. Murder is condemned in the Scriptures (Exodus 20:13), the Bible calls us to protect the weak (Psalm 68:5, Psalm 82:3-4), and Christ Himself shows great value for children and infants [same Greek word as used for an unborn baby in Luke 1:41] (Luke 18:15-16).

Pray against this monstrous evil – not simply for these latest revelations, but for the practice of abortion overall, which was evil long before revelations like these even came to light. Speak to friends and family by using this news report as an opportunity to cut through the smoke screen with facts. If you are able, act politically to support legislation that will outlaw abortion. Yes, I realize all the debates will come up about “what about this random, almost-never-happens scenario?” And the answer must always be the same: of the three people involved, the baby is definitely innocent. So how come we ignore the parents and only punish the baby? If you are looking for tips and ideas on how to engage this issue, see Joe Carter’s helpful post here (which, I’ll note, sounds a good warning that the issue of abortion is one which should be addressed regardless of the veracity of this particular video).

Pray with me for an end of this horrible practice. And pray as well for an end of all sin, when Christ our King returns. “Come Lord Jesus!”

Psalm 29

We are working through the Psalms in our Adult Sunday school class and just recently covered Psalm 29 – I love the picture of the Lord’s power shown here: His voice is all it takes to strip the forests bare!

Psalm 29

A psalm of David.

Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
    the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
    Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes
    with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
    the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
    and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
    the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
    the Lord blesses his people with peace.