On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled in the landmark Roe v. Wade case that abortion, was a woman's constitutional right, under the 14th amendment regarding not depriving anyone of their liberty (from which they somehow deduced a right to privacy). The relevant part of the 14th amendment reads this way, " nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." I'm certainly not a constitutional scholar, but is there anything ironic about that to anyone else?
President Obama recently spoke on a nation's obligation to protect its children.
This is our first task, caring for our children. It's our first job. If we don't get that right, we don't get anything right. That's how, as a society, we will be judged.
This is of course taken out of context (ht: someone who created a video with excerpts from Obama's speech and put them in the context of abortion), but he's right: we're not doing enough, and we will have to change.
What's the point of writing about this subject? We could say many things, but here are two.
1. I hope and pray that our nation will very soon look back on what we have done with our unborn children and realize that treating a child in the womb as less human than a child outside the womb is as heinous as treating Jews or people with black skin as less human than those of a different race or color of skin. Make no mistake, this is a blight on our nation; a wicked evil in the eyes of the holy God.
2. Until that day, what a mercy that there are groups who seek to not deprive any person of life by helping moms and dads choose life for their unborn babies and helping them through that process before and after the birth of their baby. Heartline Pregnancy Center is the organization in my community that is doing this good work. Such organizations are salt in our decaying world and are worthy of your volunteer time, donations, and prayer.
If you've been around this blog at all, you may remember that I enjoy reading. Inspired by a friend, I thought it might be interesting to create a list of some of my favorite books that I read in 2012. My listing them here is not a blanket recommendation of them (except the Bible). If you'd like more information about any of them, let me know. Here they are in no particular order. The links take you to the Amazon page for each one.
The Presidents Club - A fascinating look at the most exclusive fraternity in the world - former presidents of the United States of America. Learned lots about the interactions between former presidents and what they did after they left office.
The Trellis and the Vine - A book that helped me see the significance of the church as a body of disciple-making disciples. Are we, together, about the work of seeing people transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and into his marvelous light; and are we helping one another transform more and more into the likeness of Christ? We should be!
The Art of Neighboring - Applying the 2nd greatest commandment to our literal neighbors - the ones who live next door to us. Useful, challenging stuff. (Picked this one up for free on my Kindle.)
The Bible - In 2012, I read all the way through the Bible. Chronologically. I didn't do the chronology myself, but found a plan that laid it out and found it a helpful way to read through the story of redemption.
Love Does - Pretty far outside my usual orbit, but I quite enjoyed it. Bob Goff tells stories from his life that demonstrate love in action. Didn't agree with everything I read, but was challenged to show love in the way I live.
Front Burner - The story of al-Qaeda's attack on the USS Cole as told by the ship's captain. All the more interesting to me because my brother-in-law was there.
The Holiness of God - R.C. Sproul's classic work on this important doctrine. (May have read part of this one in 2011...don't quite remember.)
I'd love to hear some of your favorite reads from 2012. Leave a comment here or on the facebook post and let us know!
I have spent more time this week reading about, listening to people talk about, and thinking about Lance Armstrong and Manti Te'o than I might care to admit. I am a sports fan and am a consumer of sports information, though I try to exercise some measure of moderation and balance. There is much more to life than sports after all. More important things like truth, virtue, faith, and eternal life come to mind. And so when multiple things in which I am interested intersect in interesting ways, my brain starts working overtime. I don't have much to say for all the thinking and consuming of information that I've done. So here are 2 things.
1. For a long time I've wanted to think the best of Armstrong - that he really was clean. What a fabulous story that would be! After all, love hopes all things. Part of me wants to believe Manti is totally innocent in his story. (Maybe OJ didn't do it!) But the more I see of sinful human nature run amok, the more I realize that we are totally depraved. It's not just a letter in an acrostic; it's God's truth. Which brings me to the second thing.
2. Stories like Armstrong and Te'o's make me thankful that there is ultimate, final truth. We may never know the extent of Armstrong's doping, his reasons for doing so, the full repercussions of his denials, or reason for his admission. Te'o's story is so bizarre than one wonders if the full truth will ever be known there either. Did he really not have a clue? Did he know all along that his tragically deceased girlfriend was not real? Did he learn part way through, but continue to play it up? Will all of the publicity gain him sympathy or cause his draft stock to plummet. Some of these things we will learn in time. Some we may never know. In an age of 24 hour news sources, blogs, social networks where people can create their own news and apparently a false identity, there seems to be more information than ever, but less certainty. Strange monster we've created, isn't it? Lots and lots of information; not much absolute truth. Even what's reported as fact (like Te'o's moving story) may prove to be false upon closer examination.
So we consumers of information would do well to return to the bedrock of truth - the revealed Word of God contained in the pages of Holy Scripture. That, my friends is true. Thousands of years and investigative reporting have failed to prove it wrong. When all seems uncertain, the certain truth is that Jesus, the incarnate Word of God, entered our world and lived and spoke the truth. When the voices around you are many, there is one that rings true. God says, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."
Some miscellaneous musings from Pastor Aaron.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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