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Posts Tagged ‘mercy’

Want to help make a difference?  Join other voices on March 8 and call or e-mail your Senators.  Respectfully urge them to defund Planned Parenthood.

Why?  We have known for years that Planned Parenthood (PP) is the largest abortion provider in the country.  It endangers the health of women.  Recently, Live Action Films exposed PP officials aiding and abetting individuals posing as criminal sex traffickers seeking abortions for underage girls.  You can view  the YouTube by visiting Live Action Films, Concerned Women for America, or The Susan B. Anthony List.  (See below.)

PP uses our tax dollars to do its work.  But, on February 18, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to defund PP.  In anger, PP has thrown down the gauntlet and is using its significant war chest to batter members of Congress into submission.

Do you realize that PP:

  • Is a $1-plus billion business that rakes in one-third of its budget from government grants and contracts at both the state and federal levels?
  • Makes an $85 million profit?
  • Fails to report many cases of sexual abuse and statutory rape involving girls under the age of 16?
  • Aggressively advises pregnant girls under 18 on how to avoid telling their parents about visiting their abortion clinics through a process known as “judicial by-pass”?

On February 18 — and with all common sense — members of Congress voted against giving our $363 million (tax dollars) to the largest abortion provider in the country.

Years ago, two other members of Lutherans For Life and I “toured” PP in Des Moines, IA.  I have no doubt that many who work at PP truly believe they are helping women.  That day, during the tour, our “guide” expressed thankfulness that young girls, married and unmarried women, and even older mothers could be “helped” by way of an abortion.  Today, I could share with you countless stories of friends and acquaintances who were “helped” by PP, but then fell to depression, eating disorders, alcoholism, sexual promiscuity, and anger.  Some distanced themselves from God.  Others wrote letters to their aborted children asking for forgiveness.  All confess to me that abortion did not improve their lives; rather, quite the opposite.

A woman entering a PP clinic in 2009 was 42 times more likely to have an abortion than to receive either prenatal care or be referred for adoption.  Through its “award-winning” website, Teenwire, PP normalizes teen sexual activity, peddles their “family planning” services, offers homosexuality as a “choice” and form of birth control, practically ignores the physical and moral consequences of abortion, scoffs at the psychological consequences of abortion, and actually helps build a wall between parents and children.

So, on March 8, please call your Senators and respectfully encourage them to defund Planned Parenthood, the taxpayer-funded organization that does not respect women, protect children, or  honor the Creator of Life.  You can find more information by visiting Concerned Women for America, Susan B. Anthony List, Focus on the Family, and The Family Research Council.

Then, please pray that we all have mercy on our littlest neighbor — the unborn child — and his or her mother.

After all, Jesus Christ calls us to mercy, not sacrifice.

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In January, a trial opened for Faleh Almaleki.  Mr. Almaleki is an Iraqi immigrant accused of murdering his 20-year-old daughter, Noor.  Noor’s father was upset that his daughter dressed and behaved like a Westerner.  He was angry that she was about to marry, not the man he had chosen for her, but an American.  And, so, on October 20, 2009, he ran over her with his Jeep in a Peoria, AZ., parking lot and injured her so badly that she died.

Noor’s father killed her because she had dishonored her family.  Her murder is called an “honor killing.”  It is justified by Muslim tradition.

Abigail R. Esman, a self-defined “liberal,” wonders why her liberal peers, journalists and activists, are not reporting this “honor killing” as well as thousands of others.  Esman writes, “U.N. statistics of 5,000 honor killings per year are generally recognized to be grossly understated.  In the Netherlands alone, the official number of honor killings per year stands at 13, or more than one every month — and that does not include the growing trend of ‘honor suicides’ — girls and even boys who take their own lives knowing that if they don’t do it, others will, that they’ve been marked for death.  In England and Germany, the numbers are about the same.”

Esman continues, “These are not — as often is claimed — your standard cases of domestic abuse.  Honor violence, unlike the domestic abuse we know, is often supported, sanctioned and even encouraged by the local Muslim community.  Indeed, parents frequently feel they have no other choice.”  (The Washington Times Weekly Edition, 2/14/11)

There is another way.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse.  Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life . . . (Deuteronomy 31:19-20).”

Jesus Christ does not call us to “honor killings.”  He calls us to honor Him with our defense of human life, no matter the circumstances.  No matter the failures or disappointments.  No matter the inconvenience.  No matter the embarrassment.  After all, He died in our place — to remove the failures, disappointments, inconvenience, and embarrassment. To remove the stain of sin.

We disobey our Father with our daily sins, but He does not attempt to kill us.  Instead, He has mercy on us.  His mercy is new every morning.  It is given and shed for us.

Jesus sacrificed Himself on our behalf.  We are created, loved, and redeemed by God.  We are treasures of great value.  For this reason, Jesus says:

Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

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The man had been taken captive to sin.  It would seem that the man tightly grasped Jesus’ robe of righteousness and let it be his cover.  But, he did not seek help when his marriage and family suffered.  He did not confess sin’s hold on him.  Was there no one to whom he was accountable?

He brought a variety of movies into his home, but was there a reason he avoided “The Passion?”  Many times, I asked his help in equipping us  for spiritual battle.  He didn’t.  Maybe he couldn’t.

Publicly caught in his sin, he did confess — to one time of foolishness. To his wife, he confessed to more.  The public showered mercy and forgiveness upon him.  His wife found herself homeless.  Some tried to hold him to the higher standard of a man who had taken a vow before God, but he maintained that his private life didn’t affect others.

One day, the man told me that his grandson didn’t know how to respond to him.  So, as a grandfather and role-model, the man wrote his beloved grandson a letter of encouragement:  “I understand that you don’t know what to say to me.  Let me offer three suggestions.  You can say, ‘I forgive you.  I love you.  Let’s play golf!'”  After sharing this with me, I feared for the man.  Could this be the summation of his theology?

There was no way I could speak to this man except by using the Word of God.  What follows is part of my letter to him:

My dear friend . . . Moses spoke to the Israelites about the covenant made by God with His people.  No other people had ever received such a promise.  But, in Deuteronomy 29:19, Moses was inspired by the spirit to caution,

Beware  lest there be among you . . . one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.’

A commentary on this passage of Deuteonomy reads: “To continue willfully to sin while claiming eternal security in Christ is a dangerous, perhaps even fatal, presumption.”  (One can read the continuing verses 20-29.)

My friend, you have always said that God’s Word changes lives.  For this reason, I proclaim with King David that I love the Word.  It gives me confidence.  It provides instruction.  It leads me to a future of hope.  But, like King David, our bones will waste away and our strength drain away like in the heat of summer if we do not acknowledge, confess, and turn away from our sins (Psalm 32).  You have confessed… in part.  Sadly, I believe you have covered so much repetitive sin with: “I forgive you.  I love you.  Let’s play golf.”

I am as much a sinner as you.  I have my confessed and unconfessed sins.  But, I am called by the Father God to repent and, after I have repented, stop repeating the sin.  I need to be held accountable.  I need others to hold me accountable.  I have and will continue to fail in being righteous.  Thankfully, the forgiveness of God in Christ has been poured out for you and me.  We are washed white as snow for eternity.  But, as one called to be holy, I cannot — must not — cheapen the priceless gift of Jesus Christ by asking for forgiveness and then boldly returning to bad habits, old ways, and repetitive sin.  Such actions carry powerful consequences that reach children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

That being sad, God’s mercy is to thousands of generations of those who love Him.

There is opportunity in this moment.  God has allowed some of your sin to be exposed.  You have expressed sorrow and remorse.  But, confess it all.  Don’t persist in the theology of: “Forgive me.  Love me.  Let’s play golf.”  Confront the pain and grief that years of a repeated sin have caused.  Mourn the loss of the wife that, while sinful herself, remained loyal to your high calling as a Christian leader.  Grieve the loss of damaged relationships with your children.  Confront the reality of your choices.  Be heartsick.  Be sorry.  Be shamed.  Then, turn from your sin… and sin no more.

Watching you these past years, I fear that your bones have been wasting away and your strength drained as in the heat of summer.  Has God’s hand been pressing down on you?   I want this to stop.  Don’t you?

Stop with the “Forgive.  Love.  Let’s play golf.”  Start  new by proclaiming: “Yes, I am forgiven.  yes, Jesus loves me eternally.  Now I must not only face but live with the consequences of my sins.  With the Spirit’s help, I can change my ways.  I beg for mercy and discernment to properly handle the Word of Truth.  I put on the armor of God for continual battle against evil and remind others to do the same.”

This is part of a letter I wrote to my fallen friend.  “Two are better than one . . . for if they fall, one will lift up his fellow, but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up . . .” (Ecclesiastes 4:10).  This letter is also a reminder to me.  My doubt of God’s Word and the sins that follow bear consequences, too.

It’s a mucky and twisted road we travel.  Danger lurks at every turn.  False security leaves us more vulnerable and places others at risk.  Therefore,

Lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed . .  .

(Hebrews 12:12-17; 1 John 1:5-10)

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