Government

It's a big question this election year. An even bigger question is, are we ready to live in what may become an even more hostile environment? Will our convictions about life and God's word survive the onslaught? Are we prepared to vote with our actions?

What are the consequences of ignoring abortion as a cause of death? "Refusing to acknowledge abortion as a death undermines the role of science and the value of transparency so fundamental to a free society." Please download and share this study!

Once upon a time not that long ago “everyone” knew with scientific certainty that human life began at conception. A mere three years after this editorial was written, “semantic gymnastics” made abortion-on-demand the law of the land. Would that pro-death people today could be as honest and forthright about their tactics. 

She had been taken from her home and they had not allowed her to return. She'd probably seen members of her family killed, or also taken captive. This nameless servant girl probably had no hope of ever returning to Israel. But like Joseph, she maintained her faith in God and adherence to His ways.

Murder mystery

In Genesis 9:5-6, God made killers accountable for the human blood they shed --

Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. 
And from every man, from every man's brother I will require the life of man.

Our new Brother's Keeper video demonstrates the importance of accounting for every life:

Brother's Keeper from Life Matters Worldwide on Vimeo. Available in HD on our Sanctity of Human Life Sunday Slideshow DVD -- free!

As our bulletin insert for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday 2016 points out, God's law differentiated between manslaughter and murder. According to Numbers 35, a person would be charged with murder if he used a weapon against his victim, was known to hate the victim, struck him in enmity, or ambushed him. If the victim was a friend and the killing unplanned, it could be considered manslaughter.

People guilty of murder were handed over to the victim's avenger. Manslayers, on the other hand, could reside in a city of refuge without fear. Thus each death was examined and acknowledged.

But what about when the person responsible for a violent death was unknown? We've prepared a study of Deuteronomy 21:1-9 that shows how God said murder mysteries should be resolved. You're welcome to download The Case of the Unknown Killer for your Sunday school class or Bible study group.

Oh hold them back!

With the stroke of a pen, California governor Jerry Brown on Monday approved assisted suicide in his state. With Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Montana, 10% of the country now has the right to expect doctors to help them die.

This is not only a problem for doctors. Patients – especially the disabled – will be more vulnerable. They will feel a duty to die. This is why doctor groups and disability advocates oppose assisted suicide.

Death is insatiable. We know this as a spiritual reality, but it’s also a historical phenomenon. In Europe, the euthanasia slippery slope looks like this: It began with the legalization of assisted suicide for the terminally ill, and then involuntary euthanasia for the mentally incompetent was added. Later they allowed anyone age 12 and over who’s suffering to request “aid in dying,” and now a Dutch pediatrician wants to erase the age limit.

As we know, death is not the answer to suffering. We live by God’s grace; by His compassion, we assist those who are struggling.

This is why it’s so crucial that churches be equipped to offer support to the elderly and terminally ill. Through LIFT, Life Matters Worldwide offers a Christian response to suffering. LIFT is Living in Faith Together. Churches adopting the LIFT program help each other live out their days without fear and without succumbing to the world’s “wisdom.”

We've used the passage from Proverbs 24 to urge action on abortion. It fits here, too:

Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?

And will He not render to man according to his work?

Related reading:
Assisted suicide increases other suicides
What's really needed is access to palliative care sooner: here and here

Psalm 58: When government goes awry

In Romans 13:4, Paul says rulers are God's avengers carrying out His wrath on the wicked. What, then, if they instead applaud and abet evil, as our government does concerning Planned Parenthood and same-sex marriage?

It helps to look at people in authority as David did in Psalm 58 --

Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge people with equity?

No, in your heart you devise injustice, and your hands mete out violence on the earth.

Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies.

Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears, that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be.

Those in power believe they're doing right, are in the right. David did not question their right to rule, but he did question their actions and enumerated their wrongs. He warned and confronted.

Unless their hearts are changed by a miracle of God, wicked rulers will continue down their wayward paths. They'll kill innocent people, pervert justice, and spread false ideas.

They will also turn a deaf ear to wise advice. But God can get through to them and thwart their efforts. And He will hear our prayers, even when they're bitter and angry like David's:

Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions! 

Let them vanish like water that flows away; when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.

May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along, like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.

Have you ever prayed a prayer like that? Let's ask God to make the evil intentions and actions of our rulers ineffectual -- toothless, painless, soon forgotten. And then let's make David's affirmations our statement of faith:

Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.

The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.

Then people will say, “Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.”

The 4th video from The Center for Medical Progress is available, and also quite graphic. Please, don't let that stop you from viewing and sharing it.

Baby parts for sale, part 1

Thanks to investigative videos produced by The Center for Medical Progress, we’ve learned that what we thought had ceased a decade ago is still happening, and that the country’s largest abortion provider is deeply involved.

Whether or not this campaign results in Planned Parenthood’s demise, we must continue steering attention toward ultimate truths:

• It doesn’t matter if the sales are legal. The real outrage is abortion on demand.

• It doesn’t matter if Planned Parenthood is profiting by the sale of baby parts. They’ve been feeding at the federal trough for years. These are your tax dollars! We've participated by silent consent. (Calculate how much you've given them over 10 years.)

• Tax dollars also support the research that uses aborted baby parts ($76 million last year, according to the Washington Post). 

• PP isn’t the only source of aborted baby parts for research, just the largest and most well-known. 

• Planned Parenthood workers are people who need Christ. They are blinded by the god of this age. Hatred and vitriol won’t help the Kingdom's cause. 

What will help is bookmarking the CMP website so you can access unedited versions and transcripts for skeptical friends. And educating yourself on how baby parts are used in research.

OTHER ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE

1. Pray – This fight will not be over without a struggle. PP and other pro-abortion forces are hitting back, accusing CMP of fraud and illegal activities

2. Defund PP – Bills have been presented in both houses of Congress. Read "Senate Will Vote Soon on Bill to Immediately De-Fund Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz" and then contact your U.S. Representative and Senators. You may also sign an online petition here or here, but I believe personal communication that identifies you as their constituent is more powerful.

3. Personally defund PP - Boycott companies and charities that support Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue research. Learn more here and here.

Whether we’re enthusiastic about an election or not, Christians are not excused from political participation. We deserve the government we get, by our own inaction as much as by the actions of others. Is there a biblical pattern for citizenship?

Titus 3:1-2 says, “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men” (NASV). This passage is an overview of how believers should generally live in the world, and includes phrases pertaining to our participation in an election.

“Be ready for every good deed.” A constant theme in the New Testament, it fits a discussion on voting because that is one good deed we can perform on behalf of “all men” (Galatians 6:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:15). Good works are God’s purpose in redeeming us (Ephesians 2:10, Titus 2:14). Careful voting will coincide with and reinforce any type of compassion ministry that we may do.

“Malign no one.” This admonition can apply not only to the tone of a campaign, but also to the way Christians speak and write about a candidate. Could that email we pass along be considered slanderous? What about a comment we make on Facebook?

“Be peaceable.” As we submit to government, we can be grateful for the extent to which this God-given institution maintains peace in society. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says our ambition in life should be quiet industriousness. We contribute to the peace by performing good deeds and by participating in government – whether it involves service on a local board or in some higher office.

“Showing every consideration for all men.” Take that thought with you into the voting booth this November, not only your concern over the economy’s effect on your wallet. On Election Day, will your choices reflect consideration for people beyond your circle? How will the decisions made by the candidates you support affect those who are too often forgotten – the unborn, the disabled, and the terminally ill?

CHRISTIANS VOTE BECAUSE . . . 

  • Government is God’s good gift to Fallen people. It is therefore appropriate for Christians to participate in government. 
  • Voting is our duty as citizens of a country in which the leaders rule by the consent of the governed (Romans 13:1-7). 
  • Although we are “aliens and strangers,” we should seek the good of our neighbors (Matthew 22:36-40, Jeremiah 29:7).
  • Participating in government does not mean we replace our trust in God with trust in “princes” (Psalm 146:3).
  • We please God when we pray for those in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1-3), and also when we act (James 2:17). 
  • As salt and light in the world, we are called to promote truth and justice in word and deed (Matthew 5:13-16, 1 John 3:18) and yet leave the results to God (Proverbs 21:1).
  • God grants His children the ability to discern and expects us to exercise it (1 Corinthians 2:15).
  • We lose credibility if we complain about our leaders but don’t participate in the political process. 
  • Leaders at both the state and federal levels influence the direction our nation will take on matters of clear, biblical import, such as the sanctity of human life (as well as the sanctity of marriage). 



VOTING Q & A

Aren’t there other important issues beside abortion? Yes, but a candidate’s position on abortion reveals much about his or her character and worldview.

What if the office a candidate is running for doesn’t involve any decisions about abortion? Once a candidate is elected to one office it often leads to other, higher offices. 

Should we impose our views on others? Abortion is not a view; it is a violent act perpetrated on the weak by the strong. 

Shouldn’t elected officials represent all their constituents, including those who support abortion on demand? They should not ignore the group that Roe v. Wade excludes from society, the helpless unborn.  

Should the government be involved in a private, medical decision? Many laws already exist to prevent abuses of medical practice. Government is ordained by God to protect human life, not defend those who either openly or secretly destroy it. 

What if a candidate says he or she is personally opposed to abortion but supports a woman’s “right” to choose? This candidate is not pro-life, but has placed personal freedom above the sanctity of human life. Abortion is one issue that defies neutrality.

What about a candidate who claims that compassion for the sick requires support for embryonic stem cell research? This candidate is neither pro-life nor compassionate because sacrificial love would never require the death of one non-consenting individual for another.

Remember, votes for the presidency of the United States aren’t the only important ones. Every election -- state, local, and federal -- is vital. Our chosen leaders leave significant marks on the landscape of life. And, no matter who wins, God expects us to pray for them at every level (1 Timothy 2:1-4).


LEARN WHERE THE CANDIDATES STAND:


Please watch Start with Life and I Vote Pro-Life First, then share this post with friends and family. If you need help on races outside Michigan, contact us.

RELATED: "Whatsoever" . . . Voting

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