When I Was A Pregnant Teen Sleeping With Older Men, Planned Parenthood Failed Me

Planned Parenthood covers up statutory rape, leaves vulnerable women in abusive situations, and tells them their lives are better without their babies. I know because they did it to me.

When I Was A Pregnant Teen Sleeping With Older Men, Planned Parenthood Failed Me

June 13, 2019

Planned Parenthood is bad for babies. It’s the nation’s largest abortion provider, ending the lives of 332,757 unborn Americans in 2018. It isn’t just bad for babies, but also for women. Planned Parenthood covers up statutory rape, lies to women, leaves vulnerable women in abusive situations, and tells women that their lives are better without their babies and children.

I know all of this because I am one of the women who went to Planned Parenthood for help. Instead, I was further hurt at a time I was most vulnerable.

When I was in high school, I started going to Planned Parenthood for birth control and health care. I was open with them about my risk factors for birth control: primarily that I was smoking heavily, which increases the risk of stroke when combined with hormonal birth control. They didn’t reprimand me or warn me about the potential negative consequences of being a smoker on birth control.

I was honest with Planned Parenthood workers about the age gaps between me and my partners—gaps that put my relationships in violation of my state’s statutory rape laws. No Planned Parenthood worker ever asked me if I felt safe in these relationships (the answer would have been no) or reported them as a mandatory reporter. Nor did any of the practitioners tell me about the risks of having multiple partners. In failing to do so, they shirked their responsibility to me, a woman in need.

By providing me “health care” but not addressing the unsafe situations in my life, they did little to ensure I was actually healthy or cared for as a whole woman. With so much time spent defending Planned Parenthood and their “important” role in women’s health care, where is the care for girls like me?

Having birth control without any adults in my life knowing about it and having the ability to take myself for STD testing (also without parental knowledge or consent) didn’t make me safer. Instead, it allowed me a false sense of security. I thought I was protected from the worst consequences of the regular drugs and partying that offered nothing but empty joy and growing darkness for those involved.

To say this is a time of my life I’m not proud of would be an understatement of epic proportions. It’s hard to recognize myself in the choices I made then, in the things that seemed, if not acceptable, at least reasonable. The truth is, though, that risky behavior is just that: risky. That risk will eventually catch up to you no matter how hard you try to hide from it, in some way or another.

I got pregnant as a teenager. It shouldn’t have shocked me that I got pregnant, but at the time it really did. I expected birth control to protect me from that forever, and it didn’t. When I started telling the people around me that I was expecting a baby, looking for support to figure out the next step, most people told me I should have an abortion.

Many of the people pushing that believed their rhetoric about why it would be best for me: I was immature and had no career that could support a child. I was a well-known partier and problem person, and ill-equipped to settle down and be a stable parent. By the end of the first trimester, I was also single. How could I possibly hope to support a baby?

Friends and onlookers took me aside to tell me that I could just quietly end my pregnancy, move on with my life, and be a mother later on when I had things “figured out.” Or, if that idea made me too uncomfortable, I could just give my baby to some nice couple who had their lives together.

I didn’t have an abortion, and I didn’t choose adoption. My life had been a swirl of instability for many years. I had foolishly surrounded myself with people who said they loved me, but only wanted to use me. Keeping my baby was the first real step out of this, my first step toward valuing myself. When it was no longer just me, I had to stop making impulsive, irrational choices that felt good in the moment (or sometimes, awful in the moment), but led to vast amounts of pain in the longer term.

Becoming a mother saved me. It wasn’t instant perfection; leaving my old life wasn’t easy. To claim that would trivialize how hard it’s been. But making the choice to keep my child has been so worthwhile and healing.

Parenting and loving a child actually helped care for the person I was (and am) far more than anything Planned Parenthood ever offered. I felt valuable and nourished in a way that I hadn’t from people pushing abortion.

Women in these hard situations aren’t there because they enjoy it, but because they don’t recognize that they could be having relationships that are so much more. Our culture doesn’t sufficiently teach what good relationships look like, what bad relationships look like, and how to distinguish the two.

A good relationship is built on some simple and easy to distinguish characteristics that not everyone has been taught to look for:

-There is no domestic violence. Around one in 11 high school-aged girls, and one in 15 high school-aged boys, report they’ve been in a relationship that involves physical violence in the last year. I didn’t realize as a teenager that relationships could exist without physical violence. Internalizing that as an adult has reshaped how I view the interactions between men and women,

-Where partners are on an equal power level. Dating shouldn’t come with so many strings that one person is afraid or unable to leave. Dating isn’t a marriage, entered into ‘til death do you part. If one person controls the other or has undue influence, it’s not healthy. Relationships should never be built on control.

-Where sex isn’t the most important thing, especially as a teenager. Teenage relationships should be about learning and growing. Sexual activity in teens has been linked to depression and suicide risks, all other issues aside.

It is daunting to think of trying to get through to teens, especially those on rocky paths. The correct answer to helping them isn’t just abandoning them or hoping they’ll outgrow their rebellion without lasting damage.

Many times in my life the people around me could have stepped in and helped, but didn’t. The workers at Planned Parenthood should have intervened, for one. I don’t know if I would have graciously received it. In fact, it’s entirely possible I would have resisted.

But I was also a child, and that resistance would have been a childish insistence in staying in a negative situation, not a well-reasoned action. It was negligent for Planned Parenthood, and the adults around me, to let me keep making dangerous and foolish decisions for so long. Thank goodness I chose life, and found the strength to make a change.

Planned Parenthood claims to champion the cause of women just like the girl I used to be: on the fringe, in poverty, in need of “reproductive health care” services devoid of any judgment. But abortion-pushing Planned Parenthood workers are not helping women, they’re perpetuating the very patriarchy they so claim to hate: reducing women to just vessels for sex. Meaningless sex, without strings attached, long-term promises, or the very end result that sex is designed for biologically: children. We don’t lift up women by telling them that their success in life is built around relationships with men where they need to hop into bed before they’ve made a lasting commitment to one another.

It’s incredibly counterintuitive to tell women that true freedom is sex without consequences. Sexuality can be used for good, but putting women—especially vulnerable women—into a position where they barter their bodies and their sexuality for stability is wrong. If Planned Parenthood really cared about girls and women, they’d take care of them far better and stop idolizing sexuality and letting risky behavior slide.

Don’t be afraid to try, and keep trying. The women who are struggling most need you to keep offering help. Real help, away from danger, not perpetuating it like Planned Parenthood does.

The author is a regular Federalist contributor writing anonymously here due to the personal nature of her article.

This byline marks several different individuals, granted anonymity in cases where publishing an article on The Federalist would credibly threaten close personal relationships, their safety, or their jobs. We verify the identities of those who publish anonymously with The Federalist.

https://thefederalist.com/2019/06/13/pregnant-teen-sleeping-older-men-planned-parenthood-failed/


 

 

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VIDEO A Thirteen-year-old is Threatened While Standing For Life in the Womb

By Jake MacAulay – June 15, 2019

Addison Woosley, 13, spoke out during a Raleigh, North Carolina, city council meeting Tuesday. Woosley called for an end to abortion and to make Raleigh a “sanctuary city for the unborn“.

“Abortion should be illegal because it is murder. The definition of murder is the killing of one human being by another,” Addison said. “There’s no way around it. Abortion is murder. So, why is it if an infant is destroyed before birth, there is no problem, but if killed after birth, it’s considered a brutal murder?”

The truth of Miss Woosley’s assertion can easily be seen in America’s founding documents. In the Declaration of Independence, our founders were acknowledging a “self-evident truth” wherein they stated:

“All men are created equal with certain unalienable rights.”

Did you catch that?  They were not “born equal,” but rather “created equal” by their Creator with certain unalienable rights – chiefly life.  And we all know human beings are created in the womb of their mother.

“On ultrasounds, the baby tries to move away from the disturbing instruments that try to kill the baby,” Addison said, “The baby’s mouth opens wide in a scream when being killed. These babies are alive. They feel being killed. It hurts them and there is nothing they can do about it.”

“Are you choosing to be like the plantation worker flogging the little black child,” the girl asked the council, “Or are you going to protest even if it cost your life like Martin Luther King, Jr.?”

In reaction to the middle schooler’s oration regarding the protection of the pre-born, shouting progressively became louder until her voice was drowned out altogether. Despite looking understandably frightened, Addison Woosley wrapped up her speech confidently and walked alone back to her seat where the thirteen-year-old girl was berated and jeered at by adults in the crowd.

I want to personally and publicly thank you, Addison Woosley, for your courageous, selfless stance against the abominable practice of infanticide. You have been thrust into this hostile war on your generation and you are responding like a boss.

Yet, despite that and against the odds of our morally depraved culture, you are willing to fight for the lives of the defenseless.

“You shall not murder” is as pertinent today as it was when God created us with the right to life. Our founders acknowledged that the “Supreme Lawgiver” created this law as a protection for His creation, and violation of His law results in personal and societal consequences.

When we abandon God’s Word, we abandon all rationality. Instead, we have chosen to prop up an abstract morality full of contradictions and deceit.

Addison is right; chattel slavery and infant murder have always been, and will always be, an abomination.  Justifying one over the other and maintaining “freedom for the people” is outright duplicitous and diabolical. Rather than threaten this thirteen-year-old, Americans ought to concede to her godly, constitutional wisdom.

Schedule an event or learn more about your Constitution with Jake MacAulay and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.

 

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“A soft and effeminate Christianity”

By Allan Erickson – June 2, 2019

OPEN THEOLOGY & INCARNATIONAL MISSIOLOGY

the·ol·o·gy – the study of the nature of God and religious belief.

Historic Judeo-Christian theology reaching back 6,000 years has always held that God is Almighty: all powerful, all knowing, always present, everywhere, all the time. For sixty years, this was my understanding, reaching back to Sunday school.

So imagine my surprise when our pastor began teaching Open Theology, a relatively new theology, positing the idea God does not know everything, that he is sometimes surprised by our behavior, that he changes his mind and his methods when surprised by our responses. Some theorists believe God was surprised by the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden, that he didn’t see evil coming.  Others note that Abraham and Moses appealed to God to change his mind and he did, all of this demonstrating the truth of Open Theology. Open Theists also claim God does not know all that is going to happen in future, despite his perfect track record in prophesy.  So part of the impact of Open Theology is to encourage people to question the inerrancy of Scripture.

When questions inevitably arose our pastor indicated we were not thinking this through properly. He insisted Open Theology was valid, clearly affirmed in Scripture, and further, it did not contradict God’s omniscience, “the state of knowing everything.” One person put it pointedly: “If God does not know everything, then He is not God.”

It is the height of cognitive dissonance to suggest God knows everything, and then in the same breath claim He does not know everything, concluding there is nothing wrong with such a belief system! Clearly, Scripture proclaims from cover to cover the omniscience of God.  God himself tells us He is all knowing. So what is this foolishness about?  This article helps with a more detailed treatment:  A Critique of Open Theism.  In further study we find that Open Theology is an attempt to synthesize Scripture and Greek philosophy, heretical in the view of the majority.

If sound doctrine directs the effective work of the Church, then errant theology destroys sound doctrine and renders the work of the Church impotent. If a pastor’s job is to evangelize and disciple, how is it a job well done to teach that God is double-minded, unreliable, superficial or inconsistent?

Can any theology of doubt strengthen faith?

In seminary, another theology eventually discouraged my faith and further attendance. Out of the blue, seminary professors and administration proclaimed students would be marked down for using male pronouns in reference to the Father. We were told referring to “He” or “Him” reinforced patriarchy, the sin of excluding females. Thus, if we prayed to “Him” or wrote about “Him,” we would receive a lower grade.  This was not subject to discussion.  It was settled theology.

I suggested we were asking the wrong question: that the better question would be, “Lord, why do you refer to yourself both in terms of maleness, and in terms of femaleness?” My suggestion was treated as impertinence. Consequently I stopped going to seminary. This was about 25 years ago.

Errant theology goes a long way toward causing confusion. God is not the author of confusion. He is the author of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

Now we have something called “Incarnational Missiology.”  This theology invites us to “rethink” the nature of missions. As with Open Theology and our perception of God the Father, we are encouraged to question without merit and revise belief without grounds.

At a church we no longer attend, our daughter was enjoying youth group as a 6th grader. She enjoyed socializing with friends and playing games, having a good time each week. The teaching of Scripture was a bit on the light side, but, we believed she was growing in faith. We would soon be jolted back to reality.

One week she came home with something troubling her. She reported a transgender individual had joined youth group.  Our daughter had questions of course. Apparently the transgender person had immediately notified everyone she was a boy in a girl’s body. This caused a great deal of confusion and concern, the primary concern being, ‘How do we rightly respond?’

As with so many ‘cutting edge theologies,’ Incarnational Missiology employs many, many words and Scripture references to explain a systematic approach to ‘rethinking.’

Essentially the idea is we must engage the world with sensitivity, focusing on relationships. We must be present ‘incarnationally’ and influence people by maintaining a soft and accepting proximity. Apparently the idea is this: if we are very, very nice in constant contact with the lost, good will rub off and they will eventually come around. The proclamation of the Word and the call to repent of sin are put on the back burner or removed from the stove altogether. In other words, the real medicine is withheld.

So, when we asked staff how they were going to handle the advocacy of transgenderism within youth group for 6th graders, we were told, “These things take time.”  Staff indicated an awareness the issue could not be ignored but there was no plan to intervene on behalf of the child’s welfare, and no plan to disciple Christian kids on how to rightly respond, in love. The answer, according to staff, was to make sure the child felt warmly welcomed.

Obviously my wife and I discussed all this extensively, including our daughter in many of those discussions. It felt as if the LGBTQ movement had kicked down my door and demanded my 6th grade daughter affirm them unconditionally.  Further, it felt as if our church was more concerned about offending someone than taking a principled stand, trusting God with everyone’s highest good.  The child’s welfare, though not ignored, seemed a lesser priority compared to political activism, cultural warfare and conflict avoidance.

There was no reconciliation between my feelings and the theology being applied: I was convicted about sin, but called to ignore it. It felt as if my daughter’s spiritual growth was not as important as accommodating and even affirming aberrant behaviors.  Then, it dawned on me.  It wasn’t about my feelings. It was about God’s will for people.  It wasn’t about their feelings either.  It was about redemption.  Once again, Scripture came to the rescue.

God’s Word calls on all unbelievers and believers to repent of their sin—no matter the sin—and enter the newness of life. Only by repentance can we experience the marvelous liberation God delivers! Sin is a cruel task master! Why would we leave a suffering person in sin?  It’s cruel!  God commands us to show people the way out!

God commands believers to witness to His liberating power. He commands us to preach the Word, always.  He urges us to share His love with everyone, everywhere, but nowhere does he suggest we accommodate sin, or preach a different gospel.  In fact he condemns compromise.

It has been a year since the transgender girl declared she was a boy in a girl’s body. Reportedly, she now insists people call her by her new male name.  She is still warmly welcomed in youth group yet she is apparently further away from salvation.  Is it right then to doubt the value of “Incarnational Missiology?”

Notice that with Open Theology, so-called patriarchy in the Bible, and Incarnational Missiology, all seek to address some kind of discomfort we experience. We are not comfortable with evil in the world so to deal with the discomfort we theorize God is not all knowing.  We dislike patriarchy so we assume God made a mistake and presume to edit his Word, taking out all the male pronouns.  We are repulsed by the leather-lunged preachers of the past, shunning the sense of guilt that leads to repentance, so we come up with a touchy-feely gospel to make it all cushy and comfortable.

The work of the church is to present the Gospel, urge repentance, evangelize the lost and disciple believers. It is a mission presented straightforwardly in the Scripture.  It is not complicated.  And it is not a soft, accommodating mission.  It can be very rugged.

But why do we complicate it?

Why do we think we have to ‘rethink’ or ‘revise’ or ‘redo’ what Jesus and Paul and others clearly modeled for us? Why do we come to believe a Gospel that a 1st grader can understand must somehow be refashioned by Ph.Ds so that the world will be accommodated?

In truth, our churches are weakened, even destroyed, by the author of confusion. As he did in the Garden, he tempts us by questioning God’s word and His character, and by enticing us to play god, rather than worship Him in spirit and truth.

Please consider, in conclusion, the wise words of a 19th century Scottish pastor:

A SOFT & EFFEMINATE CHRISTIANITY

Horatius Bonar (1808 – 1889) Scottish churchman and poet

For there is some danger of falling into a soft and effeminate Christianity, under the plea of a lofty and ethereal theology.

Christianity was born for endurance…It walks with firm step and erect frame; it is kindly, but firm; it is gentle, but honest; it is calm, but not facile; obliging, but not imbecile; decided, but not churlish. It does not fear to speak the stern word of condemnation against error, nor to raise its voice against surrounding evils, under the pretext that it is not of this world.

It does not shrink from giving honest reproof lest it come under the charge of displaying an unchristian spirit. It calls sin ’sin,’ on whomsoever it is found, and would rather risk the accusation of being actuated by a bad spirit than not discharge an explicit duty. Let us not misjudge strong words used in honest controversy. Out of the heat a viper may come forth; but we shake it off and feel no harm.

The religion of both Old and New Testaments is marked by fervent outspoken testimonies against evil. To speak smooth things in such a case may be sentimentalism, but it is not Christianity. It is a betrayal of the cause of truth and righteousness. If anyone should be frank, manly, honest, cheerful (I do not say blunt or rude, for a Christian must be courteous and polite), it is he who has tasted that the Lord is gracious, and is looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.

I know that charity covereth a multitude of sins; but it does not call evil good, because a good man has done it; it does not excuse inconsistencies, because the inconsistent brother has a high name and a fervent spirit. Crookedness and worldliness are still crookedness and worldliness, though exhibited in one who seems to have reached no common height of attainment.

 

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No, God Doesn’t Love Abortion, And If You Say So You’re Not A Real Pastor

The Atlantic’s headline writers must have envisioned people concluding abortion might not be so bad if a pastor thinks it’s moral. There is no other reason for the story. It’s certainly not newsworthy.

No, God Doesn’t Love Abortion, And If You Say So You’re Not A Real Pastor

May 31, 2019 By Glenn T. Stanton

The left has been on a frantic jag the last few weeks to get us all to remember just how wonderful and important abortion is. One of the most despicably desperate efforts was a recent New York Times editorial by a particularly infamous late-term abortionist explaining (and this is not a typo) “Pregnancy kills. Abortion saves lives.”

Pregnancy: Very bad. Abortion: Very good. But of course, 100 percent of everyone who has ever existed does so because a pregnancy did what it naturally does and an abortion didn’t. The craziness of this editorial is a dramatic demonstration of just how paralyzed with fear these folks are about losing their cherished right to be free of children.

The Atlantic recently published a less dramatic, but equally desperate, article entitled “A Pastor’s Case for the Morality of Abortion.” Three trigger words here are supposed to create a confused dissonance: Pastor. Morality. Abortion. A case for the morality of abortion by a pastor. We imagine The Atlantic’s headline writers envisioned so many of us concluding abortion might not be so bad if a pastor thinks it’s moral. There is no other reason for the story. It’s certainly not newsworthy.

This pastor, Jes Kast, is not well-known. She is extremely fringe and not particularly influential. She didn’t recently change her position on the issue through dramatic soul-searching. And she’s a United Church of Christ pastor, a denomination that never saw an abortion it couldn’t celebrate. She also describes herself as a femme queer lesbianwho wants us to “queer this sh-t” we call our lives.

She serves on Planned Parenthood’s national Clergy Advocacy Board and talks endlessly about the need to protect “reproductive rights,” as if she’s pro-fertility. She’s not. She’s a woman who’s proudly political even in her choice of lipstick.

Every day I put my lipstick on, it is a form of protest. When Hitler took over and the war was going on women who were fighting back against the Nazi infiltration would wear red lipstick. Hitler apparently hated it when women wore red lipstick. So for me, it’s an act of protest to put red lipstick on.

This is the person The Atlantic chose to make the moral case for abortion. On top of all this, she doesn’t even make a decent case, as if there is one, much less from a Christian perspective. But let’s give her the respect of taking seriously what she says.

Abortion For Any Reason Is Totally Moral

First, she is very clear that she is all-in on abortion. When asked if she perceives any instance under which abortion is immoral, she says definitively, “I don’t. I really don’t.” These are the words of a fanatic. That’s not an accusation, but a fact. She believes that snuffing out the life of a pre-born child is such an inherent good in and of itself that nothing should override it.

Not the abortion of a girl because a boy was desired, which happens by the millions around the world. How does a feminist square that? Not because one has a cruise coming up in six months. Not because the mother just wants to. These and any other reason are more weighty than the life of the child. That is pure fanaticism.

If Kast thinks the above are extremist examples, then she shouldn’t justify abortion by bringing up the rationale of the 12-year-old rape victim, which she does. It’s the reddest of herrings. Tragic as this would be, the extremely abortion-friendly Guttmacher Institute tells us that only 1 percent of women who get abortions do so because of rape and less than 0.5 percent do so because of incest.

But these make up perhaps 98 percent or so of the reasons folks give for why abortion should be legal. According to Guttmacher, 74 percent say they had their abortion because having a baby would dramatically change their lives or because they think they can’t afford a baby right now.

The Jesus Who Allows Whatever I Want

So what is Kast’s theological case?

Most anyone would agree she’s quite creative with scripture. In her rationale, she quotes Jesus saying, “I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly.” It’s a wonderful statement from the savior, but you should sit down for her commentary on how this makes abortion moral.

What Jesus means here, she explains, is that “God’s plan for our lives is to actually have a meaningful life with loving contentment and satisfaction.” She continues, “Because of that—because I value life, and I believe Jesus values life—I value the choices that give us the type of life we need.” Claiming that access to abortion is a part of why Jesus came and the abundant life he offers is abhorrent and blasphemous. Has she no shame?

But she’s not done; “When people talk about, ‘Our body is a temple of God, and holy,’ I see that as, I have the right to choices over my body, and the freedom to make the decisions that are right for me.” Apparently she thinks this is compelling. That is the fullness of her case for the morality of abortion. Basically, she is giving the precise rationale for abortion that prosperity preachers give for why God wants you rich.

The True Christian Story Starts in the Womb

What this pastor misses is that which is at the very center of Christianity—Christ Himself. She must know where His story starts.

The Christian story begins with God becoming fully human, not in the Christmas manger, but nine months earlier as a human zygote in the womb of a teenage girl who was not yet married. This is quite a dramatic introduction to Christianity, and it says everything about the morality of abortion for the Christian.

If God enters the world as the smallest of unborn human life, the smallest of unborn human life is very significant indeed. Christianity’s savior grew every day from that moment of his divine conception in Mary’s fallopian tubes, nestling and growing in her womb, never becoming anything more than what he was at that moment—fully God and fully man. Thus, Christianity has always taken an extremely high and unique view of the unborn, more so than any other religion or philosophy. This cannot be overstated.

Our pastor misses that this is precisely why the earliest official collection of Christian ethics and morality—found in the “Didache,” or “Teaching of the Apostles”—clearly states that no one “shall murder a child by abortion, nor kill them when born.” This is in the same list that prohibits adultery, fornication, stealing, murder, lying or speaking evil. (Chapter 2:2) Abortion is immoral.

The First Worshippers of Christ Understood This

Our pastor also fails to appreciate who the first recorded worshipers of Jesus were, and where this all took place. It happens in a very wonderful and intimate place—another woman’s womb. Early in her pregnancy, Mary, Jesus’s mother, goes to visit Elizabeth, her close family member who is also with child. The moment Mary walks through the door of Elizabeth’s home, something remarkable happens in utero.

The child growing inside of Elizabeth, none other than Jesus’s cousin, John the Baptist, leaps with joy at the arrival of his savior. Likewise, Elizabeth reveres the one who is in Mary’s womb. The first worshipers of Jesus are a pregnant woman and her unborn son. The womb and its natural bounty are very sacred and fundamental parts of the Christian tale.

Thus, no pastor can remain faithful to the belief system he has supposedly dedicated himself to serve, teach, and proclaim, yet dismiss the inestimable value of life in the womb from the moment of conception. A life exists there because God delighted in creating and sending that wholly unique life into the world as a gift and blessing. A life that bears God’s very image and likeness.

People who contend that ending life in the womb is moral have made themselves God, telling Him they reject His gift and know best. They have denied who Christ was and became. It is to dismiss the wonder of His own history and essence. Any pastor who teaches this has denied the center of his own faith.

This pastor says she follows “this guy named Jesus who said, above all … love your neighbor as yourself.” She believes protecting so-called “reproductive freedom” and “women’s health” does this. She refuses to appreciate that the unborn is the most vulnerable of neighbors that lives right under a mother’s heart.

There is no moral, Christian case for abortion. And there’s no space in Christianity for pastors, in direct violation of the Lord’s apostles , who teach that there is.

Glenn T. Stanton is a Federalist senior contributor who writes and speaks about family, gender, and art, is the director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family, and is the author of the brand new “The Myth of the Dying Church” (Worthy, 2019). He blogs at glenntstanton.com.

Photo keskieve / YouTube

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The church in Philadelphia is unique among the seven churches

Christ’s message to Philadelphia in Revelation 3 was quite different from the messages to the other churches.

This church in Philadelphia is unique among the seven churches because it is the only church the Lord registers no complaint against. This is the church that delights Christ!

The cornice from a building in ancient Philadelphia (photo by Joel Meeker).

The cornice from a building in ancient Philadelphia (photo by Joel Meeker)

Question: “What was Jesus’ message to the church in Philadelphia in Revelation?”

Answer: Revelation 3:7-13 records Christ’s message to the sixth of the seven churches addressed in Revelation 2–3. The Philadelphian church is the recipient of this letter. Philadelphia was a city in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) on the Imperial Post Road, an important trade route.

The message is from the Lord Jesus Christ through an angel or “messenger” (likely a reference to the pastor): “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write . . .” (Revelation 3:7). This was not John’s personal message to these believers; it was a message from the Lord, who identifies Himself as “him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” This description of Jesus emphasizes His holiness, His sovereignty, and His authority. The reference to the key of David is an allusion to the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 22:22. Jesus is the one who opens and shuts, and no one can say Him nay.

Jesus affirms the church’s positive actions: “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8). The church of Philadelphia was weak in some respects, yet they had remained faithful in the face of trial. Because of this, the Lord promises them an “open door” of blessing.

Jesus’ letter then condemns the enemies of the Philadelphian believers: “I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you” (Revelation 3:9). Those who persecuted the believers (the persecutors were religious hypocrites in this case) would one day realize Christ loves His children. The church of Philadelphia would be victorious over its enemies.

Jesus encourages the Philadelphian believers regarding His future coming: “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown” (Revelation 3:10-11). The church’s faithful endurance would serve as a blessing. Jesus would take them to be with Him before the coming tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). He also exhorts them to remain faithful, because this would lead to rewards in the afterlife. Based on this and other passages, many Bible interpreters conclude that the rapture is an event distinct from the second coming of Christ. The fact that the Philadelphians are promised to be preserved from the time of the tribulation corresponds with the pretribulational view of the rapture.

Jesus provides a final promise to the believers in Philadelphia and to all believers: “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down from out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name” (Revelation 3:12). Professor Thomas Constable notes, “God promised that He will not just honor overcomers by erecting a pillar in their name in heaven, as was the custom in Philadelphia. He will make them pillars in the spiritual temple of God, the New Jerusalem (21:22; cf. Gal. 2:91 Cor. 3:16-172 Cor. 6:16Eph. 2:19-221 Pet. 2:4-10).” (Source: Thomas Constable, Notes on Revelation at http://soniclight.org/constable/notes/pdf/revelation.pdf.)

So, those who struggled with weakness Jesus makes everlasting pillars in the house of God. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Jesus’ words of comfort certainly would have been a blessing to the Philadelphians who had faithfully stood for Christ in their pagan culture. His words continue to serve as an encouragement to faithful believers today.

https://www.gotquestions.org/church-in-Philadelphia.html


Reputation Or Foundation ???

April 22, 2019

 

If life is likened to a rope, human life is like a rope that’s not visible where the ends are. We know when it has started, we also know how long it has been done, but we don’t know when it will arrive at the end node. How much time we have left cannot be measured by how long it has taken, because each person has a different length of rope. To be sure, everyone only has one chance to live life in this world.

Now let’s pause from all the busyness to reflect on the life we have been through. Some of us have gone through it for decades, some may have been a dozen years. What kind of life have we lived? What kind of deep impressions and images are captured by others about us? Have all of our behaviors built a good or bad reputation? Has our reputation been established on a solid foundation? If in a moment we are faced with a choice between reputation or foundation, which one will we prioritize? Do we attach importance to displaying a glorious reputation or prefer to build the right foundation even though for a moment we seem to lose our reputation ??

Saul: Concerning the Image in the Human Eye

In 1 Samuel 9-10 Saul was anointed as king by Samuel. The people exclaimed “Live the king” cheering him because they were happy to have a king for the first time. Even the valiant men followed Saul because their hearts were touched by God. However, in the midst of the respect he received there was a group of people who doubted and even insulted him. Saul’s reaction to this matter is really interesting: But Saul kept silent.” (1 Sam. 10: 27 NIV)  It seems that Saul didn’t care, but apparently it hurt him. This can be seen from the decisions that show how much Saul thirst for recognition and respect from others.

One of the events that clearly shows how people’s recognition and respect is very important to Saul is when Israel fought against the Philistine forces: Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!” So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal. . . .  Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. (1 Samuel 13: 3-7 NIV)

Jonathan fought and defeated the Philistine army but Saul made it in the eyes of the people as if he had defeated the Philistines. Saul’s goal was for the people who were afraid of the retaliation from the Philistines to become dependent on him. Until this stage the goal seemed successful. Saul went to Gilgal according to Samuel’s instructions and the people followed him. But that didn’t last long. The people who followed him began to leave because Samuel had not arrived yet, while the Philistine army was ready to attack.

Knowing that he had begun to lose control of the people, Saul decided to take a shortcut by offering burnt sacrifices without waiting for Samuel. This is a violation because Samuel clearly ordered Saul to wait (1 Samuel 10: 8). When Samuel rebuked his folly, Saul made the excuse: “When I saw that the people were scattered from me . . . .” (1 Sam. 13: 11 )  For the sake of not being abandoned by his people, Saul chose to violate God’s decree.

What happened next further reinforced the tendency of Saul’s heart which emphasized reputation rather than obedience to God, namely when Saul was ordered to crush Amalek. Since Israel was still in the wilderness, in Exodus 17: 14 the Lord commanded them to crush the Amalekites to extinction because of their wickedness. This command was further confirmed by Moses in Deuteronomy 25: 19. Then Samuel commissioned Saul to carry out the Lord’s command (1 Sam. 15: 2-3). Unfortunately Saul was disobedient. He only killed everything that was despised and weak, but Agag, the king of Amalek, was left alive. He also took the best sheep and oxen. When Samuel rebuked him, Saul used his people twice as an excuse and shield to justify his disobedience: The soldiers took sheep and cattle, . . .  . Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.” (1 Sam. 15: 21, 24-25 NIV)

Saul twice on behalf of others for his mistakes and twice he asked Samuel to return with him. The second request was even followed by words so that Samuel would honor him before the people: “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” (1 Samuel 15: 30 NIV)  This is an insincere confession of sin. Saul confessed to sin only so that Samuel would not leave him.

Saul asked Samuel to remain with him not because Saul realized that he needed God’s guidance, but because he was afraid that the people would leave him if Samuel left him, because at that time the priest had a huge influence. This shows that Saul’s actions and words were controlled by what people say and how people perceive him. We know how Saul became angry and jealous of David because the people sang “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. (1 Samuel 18: 8-9 NIV)

Saul was very concerned about the words, impressions, and views of people about him. Saul is concerned with reputation, even if necessary he will violate the truth if his reputation is disturbed. The end was Saul losing what he had been chasing and trying to maintain it in various ways. The Spirit of God departed from Saul and the king’s position was given by God to David.

David: Prioritizing the Right Heart

In many ways, David’s attitude was the opposite of Saul’s. Saul cared too much about his image in the eyes of others, David did not. For example, when David left the palace because of Absalom’s rebellion. Knowing this, Shimei, one of Saul’s family, cursed David and pelted David and his troops with stones along the road. David who was accompanied by soldiers and heroes didn’t counter at all. Instead, when Zeruiah was about to avenge Shimei, David said: “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who can ask, ‘Why do you do this?’”. . . . Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.” (2 Sam. 16: 10-12 NIV)  Compared to anger, feeling insulted, and retaliating, David prefers to subject himself to the authority of God.

Saul did everything he could to maintain his image, David did not. More than once David had the opportunity to kill Saul but he didn’t do it (1 Sam 24, 26). In fact, if Saul died then David’s life would be calmer because no one hunted him again. If Saul died, the way to become king would soon be realized because he had indeed been anointed as king. But David didn’t do it because he didn’t want to touch the Lord’s anointed person. David respected God and feared God. Compared to doing it in his own way, David prefers to trust God.

Saul never truly repented, while David quickly regretted his sin. When the Prophet Nathan rebuked him for taking Bathsheba, David immediately said: “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Sam. 12: 13 NIV)David didn’t excuse or blame others for his sin.

In many instances, David prefers his heart to remain right before God. For him, God’s words are more important than human words. Most of the Psalms are the outpouring of David’s heart to God. How in joy and sorrow, in strong and weak, in various situations, he always comes closer to God. He isn’t afraid of being abandoned by humans, he just doesn’t want God to leave him. He doesn’t care about being antagonized by humans as long as God sided with him. The most valuable for him isn’t the treasure and throne, but God. That’s why God is pleased with David.

BUILDING THE TRUE FOUNDATION

A reputation, good or bad, will stick to someone as long as the person lives. Even for some people who have a big influence, their reputation will continue to be remembered even if the person is gone. As children of God, we must have a good reputation because a bad reputation will be a stumbling block. But a good reputation is not everything. The most important thing is whether that reputation has been built on the true foundation. The true foundation here isn’t true according to man, but true in God’s view.

The only absolute truth for believers is the Bible. So, whatever attitude and behavior of the children of God must be in accordance with God’s word written in the Bible. When we think, say, and act according to God’s word, what comes out of us is everything that is good and right, which in itself will build a good and right reputation. Indeed obedience to the word of God doesn’t always make us favored by others, or even makes us despised, because many of the values of this world are contrary to God’s word. But our duty isn’t to please people but to please God. What is the point of having a good reputation in human measure, but finally we are wrong before God.

A good and true reputation built on the true foundation will have eternal impact, not just to impress others. Conversely, if we try to build a reputation by relying on power, wealth, expertise, even good deeds, then we will be trapped in what people say about us. We can be encouraged to become hypocrites. We will easily compromise to please others. We will do good things just for the sake of good name, but there is no love and sincerity. We must remember that God always sees the heart, not what is in sight. If reputation is everything to us, then we will fall into arrogance and unnecessary competition with other people.

Therefore let us ensure our lives have been built on a solid and true foundation, namely the word of God. Don’t be like Saul who was more concerned with his name and image in the eyes of others than obedience to God. Be like David who was obedient and gentle in heart and makes God the most valuable treasure. Don’t put our values on the words and views of people towards us, but put our values in God. We are valuable not because we are successful, good, even godly. We are valuable because we are created like God and God loves us so much.

Let’s focus on what’s inside, whether our foundation is right or not, by always connecting with God. At the time we diligently build relationships with God and put God above all else, that’s the time we are actually building a solid foundation for our reputation. And at the time we choose to obey the word of God even though for that we will be left behind by people, that’s the time we are actually laying the right foundation for our lives. The foundation is indeed invisible but the foundation greatly determines the strength of whatever is built on it. Foundation will form reputation. Bad foundation means bad reputation. So, prioritize building the true foundation, not just a reputation.

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com (edited with pixlr apps)

Original here

VIDEO Missing Them Is A Hard Thing

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

April 30, 2019

 

 

The loss of a loved one can bring a pendulum of emotions. It is expected that a child will bury their parents. Parents care for, raise and guide their children while they shape their values.

One of the greatest traumas imaginable is when parents have to deal with the death of a child.   Producing greater stress than dealing with the death of a parent or spouse, a child’s death is especially traumatic because it is often unexpected as well as being in violation of the usual order of things in which the child is expected to bury the parent.

If you have never experienced the death of a child, it’s extremely difficult to know what to say to someone facing this type of loss. The death of a child is unnatural, unfair, and tragic.

Although the circumstances can be different, death is a permanent change of address from this side of eternity to the other. Your loved one is no longer available to call or hug. Your loved one, however, is still with you in your heart.

A remembrance of the good times is very helpful. Focusing of missed opportunities can lead to depression.   While words can never fully express how much someone means to us, language can still provide comfort, solace, hope, and even inspiration following the death of a loved one.

A parent being deployed brings a different set of anxiety and fear than a child going off to war. Parents are expected to protect their children and normally the parents are easily accessible. When children go off to war, they are protecting their parents.

There are times when elderly parents need the assistance and protection of their children. Be good to your children as they may one day make decisions for you.

Upon the death of a loved a final, a funeral service fills several important needs.

  • Funerals help us acknowledge that someone we love has died.
  • Funerals allow us to say goodbye.
  • Funerals offer continuity and hope for the living.
  • Funerals provide a support system for us, friends, family members and the community.
  • Funerals allow us to reflect on the meaning of life and death

A funeral comprises the rites, rituals, ceremonies and/or other meaningful observances that human beings conduct in order to honor or memorialize a person who died, whether held with or without the physical presence of the deceased’s remains.

Even if you never experienced it, I’m sure you can understand that the death of a child is especially painful. Everyone grieves in different ways. Sometimes celebrating the life of your departed loved one is the best way to heal.

Former Boston Red Sox relief pitcher, Rich Hill, revealed to the media on March 6, 2014 that his infant son, Brooks, passed away on February 24, reports CBS Boston. The nomadic Hill had signed with the Red Sox in January 2014 so that he could be close to his family and son, who was being treated at Mass General. Rich Hill, his wife Caitlin, and son Brice have a wonderful storey at https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/rich-hill-mlb-dodgers

Children are a Blessing of the Lord.  There are plenty of couples who are looking for the Blessings of children. My question is not judgmental but why would anyone choose to end the life of a Blessing of a child?

 


Related 

https://narrowpathministries.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/video-born-debate-very-much-alive-in-left-abortion-attempt-survivor/

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/05/01/democrat-on-abortion-some-kids-are-unwanted-so-you-kill-them-now-or-you-kill-them-later/

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/05/02/rep-bradley-byrne-condemns-horrific-abortion-comments-from-alabama-democrat/

https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/grazie-christie/judge-issues-injunction-against-trump-title-x-rule-offers-expectant

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cnsnewscom-staff/huckabee-abortion-violates-unborn-childs-5th-and-14th-amendment-rights

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/missing-them-is-a-hard-thing/