Tag Archives: Ezekiel

How I Became Pro-Life

2012-12-10 20.04.55Although it will probably be a lot different, imagine a few people from various historic periods standing around a water cooler in Heaven.

One person lived in the Southern US during the early 1800’s.

Another person lived in Germany during the 1930’s and 40’s.

The last person was born in 1985.

As the conversation drifts to the fact that there is no slavery in Heaven, the person who lived in the 1800’s gets very quiet. It’s clearly awkward for them because they never spoke out against slavery.

As the conversation drifts to the fact that Jews are not being murdered wholesale in Heaven, the person who lived in the 1930’s and 40’s in Nazi Germany gets very quiet. It’s clearly awkward for them because they never spoke out against the evils of the Third Reich.

Which topic would make the person born in 1985 grow awkwardly quiet? The Church is pretty vocal against many of the evils of our day: pornography, sexual immorality, global slavery, greed. And yet the Church seems to look the other way in other cases: divorce, gluttony, sloth, materialism.

However, I’m convinced that there is one topic that is largely ignored and yet is the worst human rights crisis in human history. Abortion.

I’ve been afraid to write about this for a long time. Afraid that I’d upset some people I love. Afraid that angry, loud people would ‘come after me’ on social media. But the truth is, abortion is a topic about which I can no longer remain silent. I thought the best place to start would be a simple explanation of how I became adamantly, unwaveringly, and uncompromisingly pro-life.

My journey towards becoming pro-life started, of all places, on the Alaskan Canadian Highway. With my pregnant wife sleeping in the passenger seat, I began listening to a sermon I heard about John leaping for joy inside the womb when he heard Mary’s voice, and I was convinced that, for Christians, there was no other position but for us to be resolutely pro-life. I had previously been an ‘agnostic’ towards abortion; I thought it was bad for Christians but permissible for non-Christians. I would have said “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (1 Cor. 5:12)” I thought that those who held a pro-abortion stance surely had a good reason for doing so, even if I disagreed with them. Almost like the fact that I bought a Honda but other people purchase Subarus, Fords, or Chevys. Surely, those in favor of abortion had good reasons for supporting it… or so I thought.

The next piece of the puzzle was Tumblr. Before I decided to share a quote on this blog every Friday, I had a Tumblr site where I would send them. One day, I posted a link to this video:

Looking back, I don’t really know what motivated me to share that video. I was still a little on the fence about abortion. However, that video was quickly reposted by some abortion advocates and I got to see ‘pro-choice logic’ first-hand. Most people just attacked John Piper (ad hominem), which did nothing to convince me that abortion should be legal. Others argued that a fetus can’t sustain itself, and thus could be aborted. But, if a fetus can’t sustain itself, why would someone need an abortion? In other words, the fetus can sustain itself in its environment, which is why women get abortions in the first place. Furthermore, even a toddler can’t sustain herself without her parents. Can we ‘abort’ toddlers? Another person argued that the fetus looked like a “f***ing shrimp,” so who cares? In short, because a fetus is unattractive it should be expendable. But, using that logic, does that mean that all ugly people should be killed? And who decides who is ugly? A few others appealed to women’s rights. But what about unborn women’s rights? All of the ‘pro-choice logic’ that I encountered was completely illogical. Most of it was self-refuting; none of it was convincing.

Then, on November 22, 2011, my wife went into labor a week early. I remember realizing that Kara was coming a week early. Since Oregon has no abortion restrictions on the books, they would—technically—have still allowed me to get an abortion up until my daughter’s due date. And yet, here she was, a week early. Completely, 100% viable, and yet still abort-able?! Nothing biological was going to change when she was born. In fact, nothing had changed enough to make Kara morally different at any point, whether inside the womb or out. Certainly there had not been enough change in her to morally justify killing her at any point. (Note: I’m not saying there were no biological changes, I’m saying there were none that were substantial enough to morally justify killing her.)

Why then is abortion legal? It certainly isn’t constitutional. I was deep in my thoughts when it came time for my wife to start pushing. Our daughter was born on November 23rd, early in the morning.

The more I learned about abortion, the worse it got:

  • There are about 3,300 abortions every day in American, or 2.3 every minute (do the math here).
  • In 2007 there were 1,210,000 abortions in America, making it the leading cause of death in our country, the next closest is heart disease at 597,689 deaths (source).
  • In 2008, there were 43.8 million abortions in the world. To give you a comparison, during WWII (when people were actively trying to kill one another), there were about 10 million deaths per year (see WWII Casualties and divide by 6, the number of years the war was officially fought). In other words, the abortion holocaust is 4 times more deadly than all the armies in the world during World War II.
  • Despite the rhetoric, only 0.006% of abortions in UK are performed to save the mother’s life (source).
  • In the US only 2% of abortions are because of rape/incest or the mother’s health (source).
  • Planned Parenthood targets blacks and Hispanics; 79% of their clinics are in minority neighborhoods (source).
  • In fact, when you combine natural deaths with abortion deaths, African Americans are dying in our country faster than they are being born (read more here).
  • Although abortion is touted as a women’s right, it was legalized by 7 unelected men, is primarily performed by men, and in many cases is pressured on women by men (see point 2).
  • Abortion is a world war on women: “In one recent study of clinics in Bombay, of 8,000 abortions, 7,997 were of female foetuses, leading to a move to ban ultra-sound for sexual differentiation. In one hospital 96% of mothers who were told they had a daughter aborted, while 100% with sons carried to term (source).” See also It’s a Girl: The Three Deadliest Words in the World.
  • Finally, pro-abortion logical inevitably leads to infanticide. In February 2012, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics called “After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?” with their first line of reasoning being that “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus…” (source). Their argument is that, since we kill children in the womb, why not kill them outside the womb?

I’m convinced that the greatest way to fight abortion is by educating people about it. (If you’re pro-choice and you don’t believe me, just go look at some pictures of abortion victims. There’s a reason they’re so disturbing.) With abortion taking over 40 million lives per year globally, it is the worst human rights crisis in human history. Our generation can no longer remain silent on this issue. We must speak out for those who have no voice. A society founded on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will lose its pursuit of happiness if it does not respect liberty. It will lose its liberty if it does not respect life. Life is the most fundamental right to any human. We cannot look the other way. We cannot remain silent.

Our sin is like the sin of Sodom. In Ezekiel 16, the Lord sends Ezekiel to rebuke Jerusalem and he says this: “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. (Eze. 16:49-50).” The sin of Sodom was that they did not aid the poor and needy. There is no one more helpless—more poor and needy—than a child inside her mother’s womb. There are 3,300 poor and needy every day—2.3 every minute—who are stripped of their most fundament, most sacred, of human rights. We can change this. Indeed, we must. Pray, learn, and speak about this human rights crisis.

Would you go?

If I’m completely honest with myself, I have two expectations:

  1. God desires me to be “successful” in my service to Him.
  2. If I obey His leading, He will make me wildly “successful” in my ministry.

As Americans, it would be unthinkable for us to say something like, “God has called me to a small, obscure ministry that will never bear much fruit; instead, I’ll actually pour my life into just a few guys and then one or two of them will have ministries that far exceed anything I ever could have accomplished.” Of course, if you really think about it, isn’t that what Christ did? Didn’t He just focus on 12 men who took His message much farther than He ever did? Interesting… but I digress, back to my two expectations.

It’s easy for us to think that God will be so amazed by our passionate devotion that He’ll have no choice but to make us the main catalyst for the next Great Awakening! But as I’ve been reading through the Prophets, I see something a little different happening. To understand what I mean, take a look at the “commissioning” of some of the prophets.

Isaiah’s Commission from the Lord

8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” 9 And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
10 Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
And he said:
“Until cities lie waste
without inhabitant,
and houses without people,
and the land is a desolate waste,
12 and the LORD removes people far away,
and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. (Isaiah 6:8-12)

Do you see what just happened? Isaiah answered God’s call and God told him to go preach to a people that would absolutely refuse to listen. Isaiah asked how long he is supposed to do this, and God tells him to keep preaching until the entire land is a desolate waste! That hardly sounds like the modern promise that God has a wonderful plan for your life. Let’s look at how cheerful Jeremiah’s commissioning is, I’ll just underline the parts that I want to emphasize.

The Call of Jeremiah

14 Then the LORD said to me, “Out of the north disaster shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the LORD, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. 16And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, forI am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.” (Jeremiah 1:14-19)

We see the same thing: Jeremiah is sent to fail. God doesn’t say something like, “Go to my people and save them from disaster.” Instead, he says “My people will be destroyed and I want you to spend your days calling them to repent. They’ll never do it, but that’s not your responsibility.” The same thing happens with Ezekiel.

Ezekiel’s Call

4 And [God] said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. 5 For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel— 6 not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you. 7 But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. (Ezekiel 3:4-7)

God tells Ezekial, “Although I could send you to a foreign nation, and although they would listen to you and worship me, I’ve called you to the house of Israel. They will reject you.” And don’t forget what God tells Hosea: “Marry a prostitute so she can cheat on you and have other men’s children. I will use this as an example to show Israel how they have cheated on me” (Hosea 1:2).

Do you see what’s wrong with my original two expectations? They’re completely wrong! If I’m honest with myself, I’ll admit that those two expectations are really just a spiritual-sounding twist on the American dream. So here’s the question that is haunting me (and I want to share with you so you’ll be haunted too): If you knew that God was not calling you to a successful ministry would you still go? The thing is, if I’m honest, I’ve created a formula that goes something like this:

God’s calling + my obedience = ministry success

But the truth is, as we’ve seen, God doesn’t call anyone to be successful, He doesn’t owe anyone success, nor does He promise anyone success. God calls us to faithful obedience, no matter what. We aren’t called to success, we’re called to obedience. I pray that God will give me the courage to obey Him unconditionally. So here’s my question for you: Would you go?