Abide in Me

MAY 5, 2019 | CHRISTIAN MOM

 

Before 2018 ended, we went up to the Cloud of Glory Prayer Mountain in Lilo-an Cebu. It is a place where our church built for us to get away from the hussle of life in the city and seek the face of God.

For the past two years I have asked the Lord for His one word for me every year. Or should I say, my spiritual theme for the year. This year, God’s one word for me was REMAIN. In another translation from the Bible – ABIDE.

While browsing through my online notebook, I came across with one of the exhortations I made last 2017. I may have written this two years ago but this is a good reminder for me this 2019 and for the rest of my life.

In John 15:1 Jesus declared, “I Am the True Vine and my Father is the vinedresser.” , This was the last of the seven “I Am” declarations of Jesus recorded in the Book of John. This was His last message to His disciples before His pending crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension. Knowing that His temporal leaving bothered His disciples, Jesus encouraged them with this beautiful metaphor as the True Vine Himself and God the Vinedresser.

The vine gives us a picture of a close, permanent and vital union with it’s branches. It is symbolic of entirely belonging to the vine. Jesus was saying “You are entirely Mine and I am all you need.” Jesus was saying although I will be physically away, I will continue to nourish, support, and sustain you like a vine sustaining and nourishing it’s own branches as long as it is attached to the Vine, as long as they abide in Christ.

John 15:5 says I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

This message goes out not only for the disciples but for every believer of Christ. We are to attach, depend, rely, abide in the True Vine Jesus Christ.

The word abide has been repeated 10x in the first 10 verses of Chapter 15. Jesus emphasized our need to abide in Him.

The word abide in the Greek means “we make our home in.” Abiding in Christ is much more than just being beside Him, it is making our home in Christ. Making our home is His love. And when we make Christ our home, we will see Him in all His beauty, stand in awe of His greatness, glory in His power and experience His strength.

Let it be that we make our home in no one else but Christ. He is the True Vine. He is all that we need. And much more let it be that He is all that we desire and want.

Psalm 27:4 “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.

Love,

Christian Mom

Abide in Me

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No, Ours Is Not a Star Wars God

May 5, 2019 By Bill Muehlenberg

Today is May the Fourth [Posted here a day late, but still relevant) – and may it be with you! This date has now gone down in history as a commemoration of a film – indeed, a whole series of films. The first of the Star Wars films came out in 1977, and they are still going strong. The George Lucas creation is one of the most popular and enduring film series of all times.

Ten major films have so far appeared, with another one due in December. Anyone associated with the films has already become immortalised in popular culture. Just a few days ago for example English actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca the Wookiee in the original trilogy, died at age 74.

I mention all this not just because almost everyone can relate to Star Wars in one way or another, but because it is worth using as a vehicle – or a foil – for sharing biblical truth. The series, now 42 years old, has always been good for some brainless entertainment and some swashbuckling action and heroics.

To that extent I and my family have always enjoyed the films, and have seen all of them quite often. But as a Christian it was clear even back in 1977 that the metaphysics of the film was decidedly non-Christian. I refer of course to “the Force”. This was an impersonal energy or power that was everywhere to be found.

It reflects many aspects of Eastern thought, but not biblical Christianity. Yet so many people continue to be drawn to it. I continue to deal with folks who still have this sort of view of God. The scary thing is how many of these folks who think this way claim to be Christians. Not long ago I had to interact with another person pushing this concept. This is how I replied to him:

Thanks ****. But not quite. God is not ‘pure energy’. He is a personal, spiritual being. And no, the spirit of God is not ‘in every mountain’ etc. That is pantheism, or at least panentheism, but not biblical Christianity. And no, Moses was not nuked, nor did he glow in the dark. Yes, God created all things, upholds all things, and sustains all things, by divine providence. Because of him all things exist. But he is not some impersonal force found in everything. That is the stuff of Sci-Fi, or Star Wars ideology, but not biblical theology.

It might be worth looking at all this a bit further. As many folks have already pointed out over the years, the Star Wars notion of the Force, which has a good or light side, and a bad or dark side, has much more in common with things like Taoism and its notion of yin and yang, good and bad, being two sides of the same coin.

Zoroastrianism is another ancient (Persian) religion which has this notion of good and evil being co-equal and co-eternal forces. This too would fit in rather well with the Star Wars idea. But those who claim to be biblical Christians know that this is nothing like what they believe, or Jews believe – or even Muslims for that matter.

The Judeo-Christian worldview is monotheistic, and it posits one God who is not on a par with evil. Yes, there are evil forces in the world – Satan and the fallen angels, demons, etc – but they are created beings who will have a limited duration.

They are not co-equal and co-eternal with God. Thus Christians reject any notions of dualism here. God is unique, and God alone is supreme and eternal. Everything else has been created by God. Even the angels – some of whom have fallen – are not beings that have existed forever. They are created and have a beginning in time.

And the God of the Bible is of course a personal God. Eastern religions usually promote pantheism (God is everything) or panentheism (God is in everything). That has never been how Jews and Christians look at God. Everything that began to exist is a creation of God, and is not a part of God or an extension of God.

Thus Eastern thought sees god as an impersonal force, whereas the Judeo-Christian teaching is that God is a personal being. And Christianity of course teaches that God is one being, in three persons. The personal nature of God is taught throughout Scripture. Just a few brief passages can be cited here:

-God chooses: “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

-God thinks: “’Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 1:18).

-God can be grieved: “And the LORD was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Genesis 6:6).

-God loves: “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you’” (Jeremiah 31:3).

-God can get angry: “Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it” (Isaiah 13:9).

-God is compassionate: “And the LORD said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion’” (Exodus 33:19).

-God expresses joy: “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy” (Zephaniah 3:17).

A necessary theological detour

Before proceeding, let me quickly point out that while God can have emotional states, he is not emotional in the same way that we are. Our emotions can get out of control and be or become sinful. This is not true of God. And while God may have emotions as such, the real question to ask is whether he can be emotionally impacted by us, and change as a result.

This can be a complex discussion, and has to do with at least two key theological issues: the immutability of God and the impassibility of God. Can God change? Is God ‘impassioned”? Can God change or be affected because of outside influences?

As I say, these are rather detailed and complex matters, and they have generated an ocean of ink. Let me just mention one great Christian thinker on all this: D. A. Carson. As he says in his very important 2000 book, The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, great care is needed here, and various unbiblical extremes need to be avoided:

[B]efore we utterly write off the impassibility of God, we must gratefully recognize what that doctrine is seeking to preserve. It is trying to ward off the kind of sentimentalizing views of the love of God and other emotions (‘passions’) in God that ultimately make him a souped-up human being, but no more….Closer to the mark is the recognition that all of God’s emotions, including his love in all its aspects, cannot be divorced from God’s knowledge, God’s power, God’s will. If God loves, it is because he chooses to love; if he suffers, it is because he chooses to suffer. God is impassible in the sense that he sustains no “passions,” no emotion, that makes him vulnerable from the outside, over which he has no control, or which he has not foreseen.

Equally, however, all of God’s will or choice or plan is never divorced from his love—just as it is never divorced from his justice, his holiness, his omniscience, and all his other perfections…. I am suggesting that we will successfully guard against the evils that impassibility combats if we recognize that God’s “passions,” unlike ours, do not flare up out of control. Our passions change our direction and priorities, domesticating our will, controlling our misery and our happiness, surprising and destroying or establishing our commitments. But God’s “passions,” like everything else in God, are displayed in conjunction with the fullness of all his other perfections….

But at the end of the day, God loves, whomever the object, because God is love. There are thus two critical pots. First, God exercises this love in conjunction with all his other perfections, but his love is no less love for all that. Second, his love emanates from his own character; it is not dependent on the loveliness of the loved, external to himself.

For those who want to look at this particular issue in much more detail, I need to refer you to some other posts of mine on this. Try these three for starters:

billmuehlenberg.com/2016/01/04/an-unchanging-god-in-a-changing-world/

billmuehlenberg.com/2014/07/15/divine-love-and-anger-grace-and-judgment/

billmuehlenberg.com/2013/02/07/a-review-of-god-is-impassible-and-impassioned-toward-a-theology-of-divine-emotion-by-rob-lister/

Back on track

The representative handful of texts that I offered above make it clear that the God of the Bible is personal. And what is true of God overall is true of each of the three persons of the Trinity. Thus we see Jesus weeping (John 11:35), or the Holy Spirit grieving (Ephesians 4:30), or the Father knowing things (1 John 3:20), etc.

As these verses demonstrate, God is an individual being, with a self-consciousness, a volition, a mind, the ability to feel, and the ability to enter into personal relationships with others. He is not an object or a force or an energy field. Thus we can rightly say that God is personal.

But in saying this we do not mean that God is a human being as such, just like we are. God is a spiritual being (John 4:24). In that sense God is not really a person. But as already mentioned, we can speak of God as one being or essence, but existing eternally in three persons.

Indeed, because God is one, yet in three persons, we see that the emphasis is on social relationships. God has relationships among himself (the three persons of the Trinity). And in the same way we can have a personal relationship with God – and with one another.

Moreover, God has a name. His great personal name is Yahweh for example. And God can say ‘I’ – something non-persons do not do. In Exodus 3:14 we find this: “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’.” And in Matthew 6:9 Jesus spoke of the Father this way: “Hallowed be thy name.” Indeed, Jesus often speaks of God as Father (eg., Matthew 11:25).

All this is in marked contrast to the impersonal gods found in most Eastern thought, in pantheism, and so much of the New Age Movement. The biblical God is not the force of Star Wars. God is not an abstraction nor is he mere energy. He is not simply absolute power nor some impersonal life force.

But I look at this matter in more detail here: billmuehlenberg.com/2010/01/09/pantheism-and-biblical-christianity/

As mentioned, God is in a sense tri-personal All three members of the Trinity are persons, and we have personal characteristics and attributes given to all three, as I mentioned above. That is the God with whom we have to do. That is the God we are called to love and serve.

Star Wars is a great action film series, and is good for a bit of entertainment. And as with almost all good films, there are great themes of heroism, sacrifice, and good overcoming evil. But the Force in Star Wars is not at all like what we find in Scripture.

The spiritual and moral conflict we find there is temporary and does not involve any sort of cosmic dualism. One day all evil will be no more, and all sin and selfishness will be done away with. And the God of Scripture is one who we can have a personal relationship with. All that is good news indeed.

May the real force of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) be with you. And not just today, but forever.

As seen here at Culture Watch. Posted here with permission.

 

Original here

VIDEO Godly Christian Living in Evil Times

June 14, 2016 BY AMERICAN COUNCIL OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES

 

Few will deny that we are living in evil times. The enemy has “come in like a flood.” Every perversion imaginable to sinful man is now promoted as “good” or “normal.” Basic standards of morality and decency, which once prevailed in the United States, now have been largely abandoned. Sadly, as our society’s culture has sunk further into the swamp of moral degeneracy, a love for the world has eroded the standards of many Christians, which were once grounded upon the teachings of God’s Word. Selections of music, entertainment, clothing, and other choices necessary to godly living have become more similar to and less distinct from those of the lusts of the world.  Many of God’s people lack a zeal for putting a cultural difference between the clean and the unclean (Lev. 20:22-26).

The true child of God must reject and resist such worldliness.  The Bible warns that the world in which we live is in an important sense the domain of the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2). What God has ordained for life in this world, Satan has sought to corrupt.  For this reason, Paul warns in Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

1 John 2:15-17 commands us to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”  To love the world in this sense is to fail to love the Father.  To conform to the cultural norms produced by this lack of love for the Father is to communicate a similar lack of love for Him.

Some justify a greater conformity to the world by divorcing what is in the heart of a Christian from his outward appearance and actions. God indeed told Samuel: “for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). However, what is in the heart will always manifest itself outwardly. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil” (Luke 6:45). Paul is concerned with both the transformation of the mind and the consecration of the body to holiness (Rom. 12:2).  Matthew Henry, in commenting on the holy behavior of older Christian women in Titus 2:3, says that Christians should have “an inward principle and habit of holiness, influencing and ordering the outward conduct at all times.”

God has commanded us: “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). The Scripture is clear about the fruit of true holiness in the child of God: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22-23). This fruitful holiness produced by God’s Spirit is antithetical to worldliness, the works of a flesh that produces both sinful desires and a wicked walk (Gal. 5:16-21).  Cultural choices are included among the works of the flesh.  Any music, clothing, entertainment, speech, or other cultural choice promoting fruitful holiness must not be conformed to styles developed to promote the worldliness of 1 John 2:15-17. This mandate applies equally to our personal lives and our corporate worship.  Our love for the Father provides powerful motivation for careful conservatism that draws a clear line well-removed from the gray of compromise in this regard.

Therefore, the American Council of Christian Churches, at its 71st Annual Convention, October 23-25, 2012, in the Cedar View Independent Methodist Church, Kingsport, Tennessee, affirms the need for all Bible-believing churches and individual Christians to separate from conformity to the cultural norms produced by this world’s love for possessions, pleasures, and pride.  As children determined to love our heavenly Father faithfully, we commit ourselves to the promotion and practice of consistently conservative, godly Christian living, regulated by cultural standards that demonstrate the distinctiveness of our calling as pilgrims and strangers in a world ruled by “the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience.”  It is our desire that in every area of our lives, the change that has called us “out of darkness into His marvelous light” would be seen plainly by others in a way that will “glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:9-12).

Picture: https://pixabay.com/en/hills-flowering-desert-flowers-960106/

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A Call for Godly Christian Living in Evil Times
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Psalm 91:1-66

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, …


Derek Prince – Evil Forces At the End Time


VIDEO Times Square Rally

May 6, 2019 by beautybeyondbones

 

Well, here we are — It’s Monday. It’s May. And boy, do I have a story for YOU!

Allow me to set the scene —

I think the fact that I am both a writer and an actor, gives me this really unique filter through which I see the world. Because I never just see it — but rather, I’m looking for meaning. So sometimes, things just strike meas highly compelling.

That, and I’m always looking for God’s little winks and whispers through any and all lines of communication.

But this weekend, I faced several juxtapositions that really got me thinking.

SO – now to the story!

I was one of the 10,000 people at the Alive from New York prolife rally in Times Square on Saturday!

Francesca Battistelli singing at the #AliveFromNY Event

And, if this is the first you’re learning of this event, well — that’s because ZERO of the mainstream media channels (aside from FOX) covered the event — even though it was the largest ProLife rally in Times Square ever.

Oh — wait, I stand corrected. There were two negatively slanted articles: The New York Post flippantly posted an inaccurate article citing a protest of “400 Pro-Lifers” — which is not only numerically inaccurate by about 9,600 people, but also — a) so flippant in their clearly negative “Pro-Lifer” slang, and b) it wasn’t a protest.

Photo: New York Post

Newsweek covered the “Anti-Abortion Rally” with a video of a young, beautiful abortion provider, talking about how prolife arguments are based on lies and misinformation, and that abortion is health care.

Photo: Newsweek

But I digress.

The event was so powerful. It was put on by Focus on the Family. And, contrary to Newsweek’s spin…it was a huge celebration of life, right in the heart of Times Square!

Abby Johnson, speaking!

There were speakers, and a concert by Francesca Battistelli. The phenomenal movie, Unplanned played a huge role in the event — ((and Yours Truly was actually interviewed for their promotional material! I’ll let you know when it’s live so you can see it!))

Ashley Bratcher from Unplanned

Unplanned’s star actress, Ashley Bratcher, spoke, as well as Abby Johnson — the former Planned Parenthood clinical director, and whose story Unplanned tells. And the pinnacle event was that they broadcast over a jumbotron, Abby Johnson’s 4D ultrasound of her 3rd trimester child!

4D Ultrasound broadcast live at the #AliveFromNewYork event

It was absolutely incredible.

But not everyone was thrilled about the event.

First of all, Planned Parenthood took out a huge billboard right above where the event was being held that read, “PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS HEALTH CARE” in big bold letters.

And then, when I arrived, there were cops everywhere, because swarming both sides of Times Square were hundreds of protestors, shouting profanities and grotesque remarks at the attendees of the beautiful celebration of life in the middle.

They were banging drums and shouting things that would make a sailor blush.

But the event attendees paid them no mind, and continued on in their joyful gathering.

But here’s the crazy thing — as soon as that 4D ultrasound came on the screen, and you saw Abby Johnson’s baby sucking its thumb, and you heard the whooshing of the baby’s heartbeat over the loudspeaker — Times Square was silent. No more protestor rants, no more drums. Just the beautiful sound of life, and a mother’s cooing remarks to her child in the womb, and right underneath the Planned Parenthood billboard.

But after the ultrasound — the protestors went home.

It was the wildest thing.

Maybe the prayers that were in my heart for the souls of those protestors were answered! Who knows.

But coming home that night, I was looking up coverage about the event, and not surprisingly, I was discouraged to see that it was, in essence, completely erased from history by the mainstream media.

But in my search, I did happen to come across this video, which shows Pennsylvania State Representative, Brian Sims, absolutely berating this elderly woman, simply standing outside of a Planned Parenthood in Philly, saying a rosary.

Brian Sims’ 9 minute AGGRESSIVE livestream

He puts a camera in her face and arrogantly and aggressively attacks her, verbally for over eight minutes. Seriously, watch it. It made my blood boil.

But it was at this point, that all the juxtapositions I had experienced that day, finally caught up with me.

This issue of life is absolutely tearing our country apart.

I mean, I even see it on this blog!

People are coming after supporters of life, and they’re thirsty for BLOOD.

Some of the names I have been called when I have stood silently, praying outside of Planned Parenthood — without signs, without talking to people, without anything but love in my heart — the derogatory things would make my mother cry. I’ve had cameras shoved in my face, horns blared right in front of me. Even teenaged kids, shouting rude things.

There is a real hatred for people who support life. And I saw that over and over again this weekend.

So what was the take away?

Love wins.

Love wins. Period.

There’s such a misconception, that people who support life are in some way shaming people who support abortion. Or are trying to control women’s bodies. Or you name it.

But the reality is, the prolife movement is driven by love.

Love for the child in the womb. For the pregnant mothers and fathers. For life in all its stages — even the smallest and most vulnerable.

And as witnessed in Times Square that day, love won. When those protestors heard that heartbeat, and heard Abby Johnson speaking so tenderly to her “little guy” as only a mother does — they packed up and left.

So my prayer is this: to stay hopeful. Yes, it seems like an uphill battle – when not a single news outlet will cover this celebration of life. When publically elected officals like Brian Sims act like petulant children and berate a praying elderly woman, when people personally attack you with hatred spewing from their every pore — stay hopeful.

Life is worth it. Love is worth it.

And someday, the world will see that, too.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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Original here


Live 4D Ultrasound Highlight of Focus on the Family’s ‘Alive from New York’ Even


Update on “Alive From New York”

Jim Daly and John Fuller share a retrospective look at Focus on the Family’s May 4th “Alive From New York” event celebrating the sanctity of human life and discuss the public reaction to the event. Did you know that just $60 can help save a life through the Option Ultrasound™ program? Your monthly support will help us equip more pregnancy medical clinics across the country with ultrasound machines.

https://store.focusonthefamily.com/singleitem/checkout/donation/item/chooselife-2019-5-6?


VIDEO Father Launches Fundraiser After PA State Rep. Harasses His Pro-Life Wife, Daughters

May 7, 2019  By Alex Madajian

State Rep. Brian Sims (D)
(Facebook)

(CNSNews.com) — After [hate filled]  openly gay Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims (D-District 182) publicly filmed, harassed, and sought to “dox” a mother and three daughters who were praying outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility, the father of the three girls launched a GoFundMe page to support the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia.

The gofundme.com page reads, “State Rep. Brian Sims tried to Harass and Dox my Daughters. He Offered $100. Let’s Donate $100,000 to the Pro-Life Movement Instead.”

“On Holy Thursday (April 18, 2019) my wife, two teenage daughters, and their friend were peacefully praying outside of a Planned Parenthood in Center City Philadelphia when a man started yelling at them,” reads the fundraiser. “[A]fter ranting at them for several minutes, he left, and returned with his cell phone to record the above video.

“It turns out that the man is an elected official,” states the page. “Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims. In his video, later posted on Twitter, Rep. Sims not only attempts to shame them for praying for the unborn babies facing abortion, but offers viewers $100 if they will identify the teen girls in the video.”

“It’s bad enough that a grown man would be trying to dox three teenage girls,” reads the page. “It’s even worse that he is an elected official. I’ve got two responses to these despicable actions by ‘Representative’ Sims:

“First, Brian, if you have a problem with my wife and daughters praying outside of an abortion clinic, you can come and see me.

“It seems like you like to pick on women, teenagers, and senior citizens (see him harass a senior citizen who was praying by clicking here ). That’s shameful, and unacceptable.”

(Twitter.)

“Second, I have a challenge for the pro-life community,” reads the fundraising page. “Rep. Sims offered $100 to anyone who would identify these teenage girls for him. Instead of $100, let’s join together to donate $100,000 to the pro-life movement.”

So far, in a little over 11 hours, the fundraiser has generated more than $5,500.

During the video made by Sims, he says to the mother and the teenage girls, “Hi everyone! Representative Brian Sims here. And I am outside the Planned Parenthood in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Oh no, they’re leaving now. What we’ve got here is a bunch of protesters. Bunch of pseudo-Christian protesters who have been out here shaming young girls for being here. And so here’s the deal. I’ve got a $100 to anyone who will identify any of these three [teen girls].”

(Twitter.)

The mother then interjects, “Hi — we’re actually just praying for babies, and we believe women deserve more.”

Talking over the mother, Sims says, “But I’m going to donate to Planned Parenthood. So look, a bunch of white people standing out in front of a Planned Parenthood shaming people.”

“There’s nothing Christian about what you’re doing,” says Sims. “Nothing Christian at all about what you’re doing. Nothing Christian, or loving, or godly about what you’re doing. So I’ve got $100 to anybody who will identify who this [is].”

Sims then points his phone at a young man who is standing on the sidewalk and says, “See if you’ve got some friends out here, a $100, it would be easy if you gave me your name an address.”

The man responded with his name and address. Sims shot back without giving him the $100: “What makes you think that it’s your job to tell women what’s right for their bodies? And the truth is I’m not really asking ’cause I don’t care. Shame on you.”

Pennsylvania’s State Rep. Brian Sims (D) sends a visual
message to Vice President Mike Pence. (Twitter)

Sims apparently did not pay the young man the $100 as promised.

Sims then walked away from the man and towards the clinic. “Guys, Planned Parenthood out here faces attacks daily from people like this, from pseudo-Christians saying that they are here to somehow protect their own version of Christianity,” he states. “Do me a favor, if you’ve watched this, please consider giving $100 to Planned Parenthood, I’m going to do the same.”

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/alex-madajian/father-launches-fundraiser-after-pa-state-rep-harasses-his-pro-life-wife


Exodus 14:13,14
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever…

2 Chronicles 20:15

This is what the LORD says: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

New HHS Rule Protects Pro-Life Health Care Workers

Under Trump, federal policy keeps shifting away from abortion rights in favor of religious conscience protections.

May 3, 2019 by KATE SHELLNUTT

 

New HHS Rule Protects Pro-Life Health Care Workers

 

Update (May 2): A year after establishing a new division to safeguard health care workers’ freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, the Trump Administration has formalized protections for those who decline to participate in certain medical treatments like abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide due to their faith or moral convictions.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed the new rule last January (see below) and issued a final version in a 440-page document on Thursday. The policy is meant to provide stronger protections and more guidance around enforcing conscience protections passed by Congress, according to HHS.

“This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life,” said Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights and former legal council with the religious liberty group Becket Fund. “Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in healthcare, it’s the law.”

This updated policy represents a major religious freedom victory, particularly for pro-life evangelicals who fear being forced to violate their conscience on the issue of abortion.

In a Barna Group survey released last month, the issue of “religious hospitals being required to perform abortions and other services they deem to violate their religious convictions” was US faith leaders’ top religious freedom concern (71% deeming it a “major or extreme” threat). A majority also worried about “religious organizations being required to provide healthcare options they object to” (64%) and “religious owners of businesses being required to provide healthcare options they object to” (61%).

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Original post (“New HHS Division Defends Pro-Life Health Care Workers,” January 18, 2018): Ahead of Friday’s annual March for Life, pro-life Christians celebrated new federal protections for health care workers who decline to administer procedures such as abortion, sterilization, or euthanasia on religious or moral grounds.

The Trump administration announced a new division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) dedicated to hearing complaints from those who face discrimination for refusal to accommodate services that violate their beliefs.

The new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of the existing Office of Civil Rights (OCR) enforces existing laws designed to protect conscience rights, including new provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that specifically allow providers and insurers to decline abortions and assisted suicide.

Thursday’s announcement continues the administration’s efforts to beef up federal protections for religious liberty, as President Trump laid out in a May 2017 executive order. In contrast, the Obama administration had rescinded conscience protections for health care workers, despite pushback from religious leaders.

“President Trump promised the American people that his administration would vigorously uphold the rights of conscience and religious freedom,” said acting HHS secretary Eric Hargan. “That promise is being kept today. The Founding Fathers knew that a nation that respects conscience rights is more diverse and more free, and OCR’s new division will help make that vision a reality.”

Evangelicals fighting for religious liberty have tried to resist efforts to confine expressions of faith to within church walls, and have pushed for greater protections for their beliefs in the workplace and public life—particularly when it comes to increasingly unpopular ones around LGBT and life issues.

“It’s not the ability to have a religion and practice it in your house of worship; it’s the ability to have a faith and practice your faith wherever you are,” said Sen. James Lankford, a Baptist from Oklahoma who introduced a 2017 bill defending conscience protections.

“There is a long tradition of providing this protection—especially in the abortion context—and that tradition was, until very recently, a bipartisan one,” according to Richard W. Garnett, professor at Notre Dame Law School.

“To me, there should be nothing particularly surprising or troubling about an administration—this one or any other—deciding that the civil rights should allocate resources to make those protections meaningful.”

OCR is already tasked with enforcing several nondiscrimination and conscience protection statutes, including the Church, Coats-Snowe, and Weldon amendments. But the new division indicates that such cases will take greater priority under Trump.

“Unlike the administration’s useless gestures around the Johnson Amendment, these regulations signal meaningful enforcement of existing protections for religious liberty,” said John Inazu, a law professor at Washington University and a First Amendment expert.

“But it’s important to remember that this emphasis is merely executive branch policy that can—and in all likelihood, will—be narrowed or reversed by a subsequent administration.”

Already, the conscience division has drawn criticism from civil groups concerned that the protections will be used as a license to discriminate, particularly against gay or transgender patients, as well as from abortion rights groups.

Everett Piper—the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, which sued the federal government over the ACA birth control mandate—and Montse Alvarado—executive director of Becket, a leading religious liberty law firm which represented the Little Sisters of the Poor in their contraceptive fight—spoke at the HHS announcement and applauded the new office, as did Jewish and Muslim representatives.

“I just want to say how good it is to be here thanking [HHS and OCR] rather than suing them,” Piper quipped.

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, also applauded the move.

“I am thankful that HHS recognizes how imperiled conscience rights have been in recent years in this arena, and is actively working and leading to turn the tide in the other direction,” he said in a statement. “Health care professionals should be freed up to care for the bodies and minds of their patients, not tied up by having their own consciences bound.”

In recent years, Christian pharmacists have fought in court for their right to decline to dispense emergency contraception. A 2015 case in Washington ruled against pharmacists who refused to carry the drugs; however, state law allows that “an individual pharmacist with religious objections may refuse to fill the prescription if another pharmacist working for the pharmacy does so.”

Prior to the new division, the Trump administration had appointed multiple pro-life advocates to positions of leadership within HHS, including former Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest and former National Right to Life lobbyist Teresa Manning, who reportedly stepped down last week.

 

Original here

Did The President Make False Claims About Infanticide?

 

May 3, 2019 by Dr Michael Brown

As expected, pundits on the left are in an uproar at the president’s claims that a doctor conspires with parents as to whether to execute their newborn baby. In Trump’s words(spoken at a recent rally in Green Bay), “The baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully. Then the doctor and mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby.”

In response, Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith tweeted:

“President Trump keeps telling the same lie about abortion doctors murdering healthy fetuses after delivery. This doesn’t happen. Yet he said it again last night. This is precisely the kind of hysteria that inspires people who murder doctors and patients.”

Julia Pulver, a former neonatal nurse, said this:

“When a baby dies in the hospital, it is a very sad thing but it is not something that is ever chosen. It is a horrible situation thrust upon parents who want their baby, who have prepared for the baby, who have framed sonograms sitting on their desks.”

According to Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America:

“What Trump asserted, for the second time, is false, illegal, and simply not happening — nor would it happen.”

She claimed that:

“The president “not only straight-up lied but also vilified women, families, and doctors facing situations every single one of us prays we never encounter.”

And Huffington Post adds this:

“The recent focus on the alleged horrors of late-term abortions is especially fact-free. Only 1.3 percent of abortions take place after 21 weeks, and experts say these involve pregnancies that endanger the mother (and by extension the baby) or severe fetal anomalies that are incompatible with life.”

Let’s address these claims one at a time.

First, President Trump said nothing about the baby being healthy (contra the tweet of Smith). Instead, he spoke about the very real situation in which a baby survives an abortion (or, presumably, is born with a life-threatening defect) and is allowed to die. That’s why Congress keeps trying to pass the Born Alive Protection Act.

In its current form, the bill reads:

“To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”

This is a real bill designed to address real, life and death situations.

Not only so, but it was Virginia governor Ralph Northam who provided Trump with his main talking points about infanticide.

As Northam infamously said during a radio interview:

“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother. So I think this was really blown out of proportion.”

Yet the left rails on Trump for calling this out rather than on Northam for saying it.

To repeat: These things are really happening.

An official government document dated September 23, 2016, notes that, “In 2002, Congress responded by passing the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which was signed by President George W. Bush and is current federal law. This law recognized a child who is born alive after a failed abortion attempt, as a legal person under the laws of the United States. The legal definition of live birth includes any sign of life, such as breath, heartbeat, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles.

“Unfortunately, incidents involving born alive children being killed after an attempted abortion have continued after this law was passed. Infanticide is unacceptable in a civilized society, regardless of what one may think about abortion itself. It should be uncontroversial for the federal government to supplement current law with enforcement protections for born-alive children after attempted abortions. That is why Congress must pass the proposed legislation known as the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504/S. 2066).”

Trump is not lying. These things are happening. They may happen just as he described (with the baby being wrapped in a blanket) or they may not (perhaps the baby is left naked and crying on a table). But they are happening, nonetheless.

Yet, to repeat, there’s no outcry from the left about these horrors. The outcry is about the president drawing attention to the horrors.

As noted by Tony Perkins;

“Liberals certainly thought infanticide was real enough in 2002, when protecting infants was so uncontroversial that it passed without a single Democratic opponent. Since then, the CDC’s data only confirms these atrocities — as do mountains of eyewitness testimonygrand jury reportssurvivors’ own stories, and admissions by doctors like Northam himself!”

Second, what point is made by saying:

“Only 1.3 percent of abortions take place after 21 weeks”?

What if the sentence read:

“Only 1.3 percent of abortions take place after birth”?

Would that lessen the severity of the crime? We only kill a tiny percentage of babies once they’re born!

Let’s also put this in real-life numbers.

According to a just-released CDC report, in New York City in 2015:

“the number of abortions at or after 21 weeks was 1,485 while the number of homicide victims was 352.”

Shall we celebrate the fact that this (allegedly) represents “only” 1.3 percent of abortions?

These, in short, are the facts: States like New York have passed laws allowing for abortions right up to the time of delivery. Infanticide is taking place. And in countries like the Netherlands, “650 babies a year [are] euthanized so that their parents don’t have to witness them struggle with disability or disease.”

In light of all this, I’m glad that President Trump continues to speak up. He is addressing something terribly evil, and it behooves every person of conscience to stand with him in standing for the rights of “the least of these.”

 

Original here