A New Low

abortion, morals, sin No Comments

Steven Ertlelt wrote an article for lifenews.com titled, “Planned Parenthood CEO Confirms It will Not Stop Selling Body Parts From Aborted Babies” (Sept. 30, 2015).  In this article, he reveals that Cecile Richards admitted in her testimony before Congress that she is ‘proud’ of Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts harvesting program.  Planned Parenthood is responsible for expanding late-term abortions and  selling of baby body parts.
David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, which was responsible for the series of 10 videos showing the abortion giant selling baby body parts states that the organization is not worthy of taxpayer funding.  Here are some excerpts from the ten videos:
1.  In the first video:  Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing.  “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
2.  In the second video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
3.  In the third video:  Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
4.  In the fourth video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200.  A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”  She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
5.  In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest i the United States.”
6.  In the sixth video: Holly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted.  And these mothers don’t know.  And there’s no way they would know.
7.  In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video: Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “You want to see something kind of cool,'” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating.  And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
8.  In the eighth video:  StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of fully intact aborted babies.”
9.  In the ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies–including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
10.  The 10th video: catches the nation’s biggest abortion business selling specific body parts–including the heart, eyes and “gonads” of unborn babies.  The video also shows the shocking ways in which Planned Parenthood officials admit that they are breaking federal law by selling aborted baby parts for profit.
The total disregard for the value and sanctity of the lives of the unborn reaches a new low in these videos.  Certainly, such conduct is an abomination to the God of heaven.

Priorities in Love

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“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:29-30).  Jesus affirms a moral hierarchy of the heart.  In Mark 12:29-31, He gives an order:  first, then second.  First, love for God must be supreme.  Then, love for neighbor.  There is none other commandments greater than these.  This does not mean the other commandments of God are not important, but that these two rank high in our understanding and practice.
Our relationship with God must be defined by our love for Him.  Love for God must be supreme, complete, intense, and authentic.  Love for God encompasses our entire being.  When we love God supremely, then obeying all of God’s commands follows.  When we love God supremely, then we will love our neighbor as ourselves.  Love for neighbor worketh no ill toward our neighbor.  It involves seeking the highest good for our neighbor and acting to accomplish it.
Love for God (Mark 12:29-30); love for the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33); and love for spiritual things (Col. 3:1-2) outrank other loves.  Consider some examples:
-When we put our own desire for recreation ahead of worshiping God, we have violated the moral hierarchy of the heart.  Love for God ranks above love for golf or any other form of recreation.
-If we love our family above love for God, we have violated the moral hierarchy of the heart.  “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).
-If we seek to preserve our lives from persecution and so deny the faith, we violate the moral hierarchy of the heart.  “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38).  Love for God is greater than love for life if and when I am called upon to give my life in service to my Lord.
-Love for your children is more important than love for your job.
-Love for truth is more important than love for popularity.  If someone tells you something in confidence and you tell it to others in order to seem important, you have placed the love of popularity (love of self) above love of friendship.  You have violated the moral hierarchy of the heart.
-When you demand your rights to the destruction of the souls of weaker brethren, you violate the moral hierarchy of the heart.  Romans 14:13-17.
Often when we violate the moral hierarchy of the heart, we are  putting self ahead of God and others.  Selfishness is the opposite of love (I Cor. 13:4-8).
A final thought comes from the writings of the apostle Paul.  Faith is important and essential, but it is not greater than love.  Hope is important and essential to Christian living, but it is not more important than love.  “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love-DS)” I Corinthians 13:13.  Love is the more excellent way!  Love has its priorities and these priorities define the moral hierarchy of the heart.

New Vs. Old

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Steve Turner in his book, Popcultured, makes reference to a psychological ploy used by advertisers to sway consumers. The ploy is called, psychological obsolescence. Turner states that advertisers had to make consumers embarrassed at using clothes or products that were not the “latest thing.” One American advertisng executive of the period said, “What makes this country great is the creation of wants and desires, the creation of dissatisfaction with the old and outmoded” (Popcultured, p. 166). The basic concept advertisers must convince consumers to accept is that newer is better, while older is obsolete. The old adage, “out with the old and in with the new,” applies here.
Could this ploy also be used to target religious beliefs and values? It certainly is. We must be careful that we do not attempt to destroy moral standards that God Himself has commanded. Just because a moral belief is old does not mean that it should be discarded. God-given traditions are still binding on men today. Paul writes, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle” (II Thess. 2:15). There is a difference between the traditions (apostolic doctrines) of God and the traditions of men. The traditions of men are vain. “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:1-9, esp. v. 9). Being stedfast in the apostle’s teaching is an essential aspect of faithfulness to God (Acts 2:42, “And they continued stefastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”).
Conformity to God’s Will necessitates going back to His Word! The culture in which we live is driven by satisfaction of the lusts of the flesh. While some view moral laxity as progressive, in reality it is regressive. We are not moving our culture or community forward when we sink into the depths of wickedness and moral corruption. In reality, we are going back to the time before the flood or back to Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 6 and 19). Rather than jettison the old, we might attempt to learn from it.
Moral progress is Christlikeness! Jesus lived a pure and sinless life (Heb. 4:15, I Pet. 2:21-22). He calls us to follow Him. This means we must listen and obey His teaching and pursue the example He established. He calls us to holiness (I Thess. 4:7). True reformation of human nature occurs only when we answer that call and “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Cor. 7:1).

Jeremiah’s Quest

Christian living, morals, sexual purity No Comments

Jeremiah was a prophet of God during the time of Judah’s apostasy.  He is known as the weeping prophet.  He was called in the 13th year of King Josiah (626 BC) and continued to prophesy until the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC.  He prophesied under the last five kings of Judah:  Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah.  Judah was engulfed in idolatry and moral degeneracy.
God gave Jeremiah a mission:  find a man that executeth judgment and seeketh the truth.  “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, and that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it” (Jeremiah 5:1).  Jeremiah needs to find one good man.
The search begins among the common people, the poor, the regular folks (5:4).  They have God’s name on their lips, but they do not have His glory on their minds (5:2).  They swear falsely–they commit perjury with their lips.  They have suffered, but their suffering does not produce character.  They are ignorant (5:4) and do not respect the LORD (5:11-12).
Jeremiah turns to the leaders among the people (5:5).  “I will get me unto the great men…”  He looks among the politicians and the priests.  He remarks that they have known the way of the LORD and the judgment of their God.  But, they have broken off the yoke–they were willfully disobedient to God.  They have not sinned out of ignorance.  They have sinned out of defiance!
The quest continues among the children.  Jeremiah indictes them, “thy children have forsaken me” (5:7).  The children are following in the footsteps of the parents.  They swear by gods that are not gods.  They committed adultery and fornication.  This may refer to fornication which was commonly associated with idolatry.  Jeremiah compares them to an animal in heat, “Everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife” (5:8).  They were sex-crazed!
Jeremiah looks among the prophets (5:13).  “And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them…”  They should be preaching God’s Word, but the only thing coming from their mouths was “hot air.”  Jeremiah was the exception.  “I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them” (5:14).  The prophets among the people prophesied falsely and the people loved to have it so (5:31).
All Jeremiah needed to do was find one good man.  But, so far, he has found none.  God’s indictment against them reads, “But this people hath a revolting and rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.  Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God…” (5:24,25).  Jeremiah calls them to repentance, but his words fall on deaf ears and hardened hearts.  God will visit them, i.e. punish them for their sins (5:25-31).
Jeremiah was looking for one good man.  What type of man was he looking for?  One who seeks God and His truth.  One who discerns the times and keeps himself unspotted from the world.  One who fears God.  One who respects God in worship and whose lips speak authentically from a pure heart.  One who bodly declares God’s Word.  One who faithfully serves God with tears.  Now, where could we find such a man?

What’s The Problem?

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A recent letter to the editor of the Columbus Dispatch touched on a word missing from our every day vocabulary.  Can you guess what it is?  The title of the letter was, “‘Sin’ disappeared from lexicon long ago.”  The letter pointed out that the high priests of journalism have “outlawed” the word “sin” from the common vernacular.  This prompts the question, “why?”
I would like to offer two reasons.   One reason lies in the psychological coping mechanism we call “denial.”  Denial is a psychological defense where we will not face reality, instead, we deny reality so that we will not have to deal with it or the pain that it brings.  Another reason is redefinition of truth.  When we define truth subjectively rather than objectively, everything is permissible.  The ideology called postmodernism does this.  If everything is permissible, then sin vanishes.
The Problem.
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”  Rom. 3:23.  And, “the wages of sin is death…” Rom. 6:23.  Sin is a universal experience of mankind.  The consequences are serious both now and for eternity.  While some may deny the reality of sin, and others have redefined truth to make it disappear, the reality of sin keeps confronting us.  One way to force a realization of this is to look at the numbers. The price we pay for sin is enormous. Consider the following:
Internet Gambling.  The estimated social cost of internet gambling is 25 billion dollars per year. (Does God Exist, Jan./Feb. 2013, p. 27).
Alcoholism.  The cost of alcoholism to the American taxpayer is 43 billion dollars per year.  (Does God Exist, Jan./Feb. 2013, p. 29).
50% of all fatal accidents involve alcohol.
80% of all fire deaths.
65% of all drowning deaths.
40% of all assaults.
77% of falls.
55% of arrests.
Unwanted Pregnancies.  The annual cost to the American taxpayer of unwanted pregnancies is $11 billion dollars.  (Guttmacher Institute, Huffington Post.com, 5/24/2011).  Two-thirds of unintended pregnancies–a million births-are publicly funded by Medicaid and other government programs.
Addicted gamblers.  The costs associated with addicted gamblers in the U.S. is between 32.4 billion and 53.8 billion dollars a year.  This amounts to about $274 per adult annually.  Gambling in America, Baylor University professor Earl Grinols from dailyfinance.com., July 22, 2011).
Drug Abuse.  Substance abuse and addiction breaks down as follows:
Illegal drugs–118 billion a year.
Alcohol:  185 billion a year.
Tobacco:   193 billion a year.
Totals:   559 billion a year  (Drugabuse.gov  National Institute on Drug Abuse, 4/9/2013.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases.  Sexually transmitted diseases for Ages 15-24 costs $6.5 billion a year in 2000 dollars.  Among all age groups the cost go up to between $9.3 billion to $15.5 billion (includes HIV).  Guttmacher.org. Guttmacher Institute (Jan./Feb. 2004, vol. 36, no. 1).
Crime.  The annual cost of crime in the U.S. is $1.7 trillion dollars.  David A. Anderson, “The Aggregate Burden of Crime.”  This amounts to $4,118.00 per person in the U.S.  (David Anderson is professor of economics at Davidson College, North of Charlotte, North Carolina).
Divorce.  Family fragmentation costs:  $112 billion a year.  Benjamin Scafidi, J. Whitney Bunting School of Business at Georgia College and State University.  Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia.  “The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing” c. 2008 www.americavalues.org.
Pornography.  The financial costs to businesses productivity in the U.S. alone is estimated at $16.9 billion annually.  The human toll is far greater.  Webroot.com “Internet Pornography by the numbers; a significant threat to society.”  Consider some stats:
Every second 28,258 users are watching pornography on the internet.
Every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography on the internet.
40 million people in America regularly visit porn sites.
35% of all internet downloads are related to pornography.
One-third of porn viewers are women.
2.5 billion emails sent or received every day contain porn.
Abortion.  The normal cost of a first-trimester abortion runs between $350 to $550.  Guttmacher Institute www.guttmacher.org.  “In 2009, the median charge for a surgical abortion at 10 weeks gestation was $470.  The median cost of  a medication abortion was $490.  In 2008, 20% of all abortions were covered by Medicaid (State funded).  In 2008, there were about 1.2 million abortions performed in the U.S.  Total costs:  $112 million dollars.
The total costs exceed 2 trillion, 35 billion dollars!  And, these are just the financial costs.  May we add the emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual costs?
How can we deny the reality of sin when it is costing so much?  Why not let God define sin?  Sin is a transgression of the law of God (I John 3:4).
The Solution.
The first step is to face reality.  We must admit to ourselves and to God, “I am a sinner.”  This confession will produce guilt and shame if prompted by godly sorrow and move us to repent and turn to God.
The second step is to pursue the pathway of redemption and righteousness.  We must say, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.”  We must seek forgiveness from God who is the only source that has the power to remit sins.  We must yield to God’s Will for our lives.  We must repent.  Repentance involves a turning away from sin.  It involves a cessation of the practice of sin.  We must be baptized to “wash away our sins” (Acts 22:16; Acts 2:38).  And, we must pursue righteousness.  The way of righteousness is the strait and narrow way that leads to eternal life (Matt. 7:13-14).  The problem is sin.   The solution is “Christ in you and you in Christ.”

Sexual Anarchy

morals, sexual purity No Comments

Sexual Anarchy is the title of a book by Dave Miller director of Apologetics Press, Montgomery, Alabama.  I have recently posted a review of this book.  Please check under book reviews for the title.  This book covers the reasons for the sexual anarchy present in our American culture and examines God’s Word and the moral principles it teaches in contrast to the practices so prevalent today.  Miller discusses:  the sexual revolution of the sixties, the impact it had on marriage and family, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, pornography and then turns attention to the solution to these problems.  The book is somewhat dated (copyright 2006) and is short, having only 110 pages.  However, it focuses on an ongoing set of moral problems facing America the costs of which are astronomical.

Morality, Love and Atheism

love, morals No Comments

     William Provine, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the distinguished Cornell University has stated: “Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly.  1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is non-existent” (Kyle Butt, A Christian’s Guide to Refuting Modern Atheism,p. 87). Darwinian evolution affirms that there is no basis for morality.  Not all atheists agree with this premise which is somewhat surprising.  Dan Barker, a modern atheist, argues that “morality is simply acting with the intention to minimize harm.”  However, all atheistic morality is subjectively determined and consequently permits  every act including: genocide, infanticide, murder, rape, abortion, lying, stealing, etc. etc.  The ultimate appeal of Atheism is complete human autonomy.  With no universal principles guiding our conduct, we are left to decide for ourselves what is harmful or not harmful and so what is right for any individual.  The subjectivity of Dan Barker leads us right back to the affirmation of Provine concerning morality–there is no basis for ethics or morality.
     The Bible affirms that morality is linked to the nature of God.  It is inseparately connected to His love, holiness and justice.  God demands holiness (Heb. 12:14) without which no man shall see God.  God is love and love is the essence of all morality! 
     In Romans 13:8-10, Paul makes some important statements regarding love and morality.  Consider some of his main concepts.
     1.     A Christian should promptly pay all his debts, but there is one debt that he owes constantly and in all circumstances and that is to love one another.  Love is undefeatable, benevolent, goodwill.  It is a principle that one must will himself to fulfill.  It is commanded by God to man.  We choose to love or not to love.  However, we cannot please God and not love one another.
     2.     Love worketh no ill to his neighbor.  Love and law are related.  Love fulfills the law.  The verb fulfill (pleroun) means “to satisfy in full” or “to finish completely.”  It is used in the perfect tense to indicate an already finished action.  The law is entirely satisfied by love (Ceslaus Spicq, Agape in the New Testament, II, 57).  All morality is based in love!  What will atheists do with this argument?  Paul illustrates by citing five of the ten commandments and shows that the Mosaical law prohibited adultery, murder, stealing, lying and covetousness.  These actions are immoral because they violate the supreme virtue governing conduct between men–love!  Each one of these sins produces injury, harm, heartache and destruction and all are contrary to the principle of love.  The principle of love is objective and universal.  All morality is based in love.  All moral law is inclusive in love. 
     3.     Love is the fulfilling of the law.  Love is summed up (anakephalaioo) which means, “uniting several things about a single principle of harmony.”  Love is the principle.  The atheist cannot explain love!  The moral argument to prove theism is expressed in one word–love!  Discipline yourself in love and you will have the approval of God. 
     Love for God involves:  adoration given to God, attachment (covenant relationship) to God, gratitude to God where we present our bodies as living sacrifices to Him (Rom. 12:1-2), and consecration (fullness of commitment) to God.  Love for God and for our neighbor are absolutes that must be met if we are ever going to see God and be with Him eternally.
     Jesus was asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”  Jesus answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:36-39).

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