Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Call to Abolition

The last week has been a rollercoaster of emotions for me with the news of SB 1118 in Oklahoma that would abolish abortion and then the seeing the interviews of the opposition to and eventual defeat of this bill from Tony Lauinger, Vice President of National Right to Life and chairman of Oklahomans for Life. Key to these interviews and conversations was Tony’s stance that it would do away with the life’s work of him and his organizations, that he would not call abortion murder, that he did not believe neither the mothers nor the doctors should be prosecuted for murder, and that he did not believe the Gospel or a Biblical worldview should be brought into this system of justice. I have watched and listened to every interview and discussion that has been posted at this time, so I write from this knowledge.

First, labels are deceiving. Conservativism doesn’t mean what it used to or not what many people think it does. Republican doesn’t mean what it used to or what many people think it does. And friends, pro-life and for-life does not mean what people think it does. Many of us are aware that someone claiming to be a Christian doesn’t mean they are. Many who proclaim Christianity believe nothing the Bible tells us or they do not believe it applicable to everyday life. That is not Christianity. The label pro-life and right-to-life and for-life for Tony Lauinger doesn’t mean abolishment of all death relating to abortion. To Tony, these labels means we have to work with evil, using evil’s methodology and under evil’s terms to accomplish a righteous cause. That in itself is evil. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 tells us:

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord  Almighty.”

But this is what Tony and his organizations are doing and believe we all should do. We do not unite with the devil and walk hand-in-hand with the devil to accomplish God’s Kingdom work to abolish abortion. We use God’s methodology.

Secondly, this brings me to methodology of Tony’s organizations. Throughout the interviews and videoed conversations, Tony consistently held that we must fight this fight incrementally. He said we needed to elect a pro-life president and have five pro-life Supreme Court justices appointed before we demand abolishment of abortion. In my understanding, this I what we had when the Roe vs. Wade opinion was entered. In essence, he said that we need people with authority at the top in order to make changes at the bottom. We need their approval. He said this takes time. Tony has been involved in the pro-life movement for almost forty years, right from the beginning and the incrementalism he and his organizations have fought for have allowed and justified 60 million babies being murdered since 1973. In fact, in his own home state of Oklahoma, he would accept the allowance for 6000 babies to be murdered this year through incremental legislation allowing for babies to be killed before 140 days old, before they purportedly can feel pain and only with certain instruments. These 6000 babies are a worthwhile sacrifice in his eyes, so that his life’s work is not done away with. One would think that the pinnacle of his purpose would be abolishment of abortion, but that was never heard. It is that his life’s work be not be aborted. Scripture warns us and Tony Lauinger needs to heed, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). I believe that this is the moment that Tony and his organizations fall.

Thirdly, this brings us to the Gospel and a having a Biblical worldview. The Gospel is the power of God to the salvation of every man (Romans 1:16). Central and necessary to the Gospel is repentance. Without repentance, there is no salvation. Repentance is not an incremental thing, but an immediate abolishment of allegiance to one’s sin, to one of righteousness found in Christ Jesus alone. The planting of the Gospel seed and it taking root might be incremental (1 Corinthians 3:6), but when the Gospel takes root through the Holy Spirit, there is immediate repentance. There is a dying to oneself and being raised to new life in Christ (Romans 6:3-4). There is nothing else under heaven that can change the heart of man ultimately, except the Gospel. Incrementalism says I trust man’s ways rather than God’s. The Gospel tells us that God ways and thoughts are higher than our own (Isaiah 55:9) and that man may have plans and think the way is right, but God direct them however he desires (Proverbs 16:9, Proverbs 19:21). We cannot go anywhere and escape the presence of the Lord (Psalm 139:7-12) for He is our Great Shepherd that leads us and comforts us (Psalm 23). Therefore, the Gospel and a Biblical worldview inform everything we do.
The reason why Tony Lauinger doesn’t want the abolishment of abortion in Oklahoma stems from the fact that he believes God’s Word has no application in regards to abortion or the manner in which it would be repealed. Tony does not honor God’s Word by calling the intentional killing of anyone as God defines it, as murder. The reason why Tony and others in his organizations can rationalize this is because they do not see this as a sin issue, but a legislative issue or one of judicial misconduct. When anything man does violates the very Law-Word of God, the very character and nature of God, it is sin according to God in His Word (Romans 3:23). Sin is not remedied ever in human terms but according to God’s terms, which is found in God’s Word alone. We must understand, that man’s terms always brings us back to where the sin originated in the beginning, the sinful heart of man; for “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). We will never end at a moral man with the heart of immoral man, we must be made new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

In the same way, man believes we can look to science and to nature to find the answers to morality. The very meaning of the word science is the word knowledge. Scripture tells us that knowledge begins with a holy fear of God not man (Proverbs 1:7). When we look to science, we begin with God and if we do not, we are starting with a faulty foundation (Matthew 7:24-27). If someone says we are to look to nature to find reality over the issue of morality, Scripture tells us that nature in and of itself reveals God’s character, nature and purpose. Romans 1:18-23 illustrates sinful man’s response to God’s revelation in Romans 1:18-23:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
What does sinful man do with God’s revelation of Himself? Man suppresses truth in unrighteousness and wickedness. Even though they have the knowledge, the science of God’s revelation, they do not honor God, but rather turn and worship and idol of the “knowledge” of man. They set their focus on worshipping creatures rather than the Creator. They become willing to sacrifice image-bearers of God in the womb for personal righteousness and gain. This is the root of abortion and the root of sinful man.

The only antidote for this is the Gospel. For Romans 1:16-17 tells us, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” The only thing that will illuminate the darkness is the Light of the Gospel. Jesus is that Light and that Gospel Word (John 1:1-18). The only reason I can think of as to why anyone, especially someone claiming Christianity, would not want this light to shine into the darkness of the political sphere is because the light of the Gospel as not shone in their hearts for Scripture says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23).
At the root of the problem is sinful, unrepentant, complacent and apathetic man. In fact, central to the problem are those who claim to be Christian, but the reality the light within them is not the Light of the world. Of these men, 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 tells us we are:
…To undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”(1 Peter 4:17). It is time for the America Church to repent for their sin and walk with God. Repentance begins with the pulpits and it flows out into the pews. Then we can truly understand 2 Chronicles 7:14 which reads, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” It is here that we will see men and women who will no longer compromise the truth regarding abortion, who will no longer graciously accept an incremental crumb from the table of the devil, but will make their life’s goal, the abolition of the willful, heinous, and unthinkable practice of child murder and treat perpetrators of this crime as Scripture calls this unlawful act against God’s image-bearer as murderers.

Please be in prayer, for those involved in the battle daily, that they do not lose heart, but continue to press on. Join them in this battle. March onward Church of the Living God, for the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Lord’s church (Matthew 16:18). For they will surely fall!

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