Maybe it wasn’t God, afterall?
Maybe it wasn’t God, afterall?
Maybe it wasn’t God, afterall?
When I worked NICU, I cared for a preemie that fit in my hand just like this. Though it was tiny, and it’s skin so thin I could see the veins that circulated its blood, there was no doubt that this was a human being, young, out of the womb or in the womb, fully human,fully alive!
Anyone think its not a person?
Prayer for anyone considering abortion, or troubled by their pregnancy:
Lord of Life and Love
O Lord of Love and Life,
Bless me and Your child entrusted to my care and keeping.
Though the forces of Hell conspire against me,
You, O God, are for me,
And for my little one growing beneath my heart.
May the beating of our hearts proclaim You Holy,
And this life sacred to Your glory.
God is for us!
May no power on earth,
No friend, no relative, no worldly voice,
Or power from the Pit,
Persuade me otherwise.
O Lord of Love and Life
R.J. Moeller graduated from Taylor University in 2005 with a degree in business and is currently a…Read more about RJ Moeller
It’s been a few weeks since I last posted something in my “Bible & Economics” series, but I think a return to the topic is well served by the verses from II Thessalonians I’ve selected to delve in to today. This passage, more than perhaps any other in all of the New Testament, is responsible for directing a younger version of the R.J. Moeller that blogs before you today on a path leading sharply away from conventional modern thinking on the topics of welfare, wealth redistribution and the seemingly inescapable “social justice.” (By the way, is there “social truth” or “social patience”?)
From II Thessalonians 3:6-12:
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
A simple, straight-forward reading of this text is a clear and present danger to advocates of a welfare state, but especially to those who also claim allegiance to the body of Christ and his word. However, in a sinful, fallen world—one wrought with hypocrisies, guilt, past societal sins, etc.—“simple” and “straight-forward” are luxuries the thoughtful believer can rarely enjoy, at least not when entering the contentious fray of the public square with their theological convictions in tow (as they most definitely should).
So let me quickly give my brief exegetical overview of the passage above, and then connect a few dots between what Paul wrote and some of the appropriate conclusions one ought to be able to draw in terms of public policy debates.
Now there are some who try to deflect the very real importance of these verses to a Christian’s attitude about how best to help the poor by saying that the “idlers” Paul is calling out are simply misguided believers who are under the impression Christ’s return was imminent. This is a distinction without a difference. Being lazy on a nuclear submarine with the key that launches Armageddon might be different in form, but is no different in substance than an idle Dairy Queen worker who procrastinates sweeping up the sprinkles his portly manager asked him to take care of the previous day.
Habitual idleness is a matter of the heart. (Believe me, I know first-hand.)
Refusing to work or provide for your family because you’re convinced Jesus is returning over the upcoming three-day weekend is, according to scripture, just as much of a sin as an able-bodied human being refusing to work or provide for their family because some well-intentioned bureaucrat is intent on giving them money they didn’t earn.
Right off the bat in verse 6, Paul exhorts the church body to “keep away from” anyone who is living an idle, lazy life and remains needlessly dependent on others. Pretty harsh, no? Not very “social” of him, right? I’ll even admit that nearly every time I read these words, I wince a little. All of the “But what about…” exceptions and exemptions start piling up on my conscience.
But if we’re serious about scripture, we know that scripture is serious about sin. Idleness and making yourself a prolonged and unnecessary burden on someone else, is a sin. There’s no way around that. The Greek translation for the phrase “in idleness” translates to “in an undisciplined, irresponsible or disorderly manner.” Keep that definition in mind for later.
Verses 7-9 are Paul’s reminder that he hasn’t simply preached against things like idleness and being a burden on others, but has modeled for the good people of Thessalonica the appropriate way to live. Paul was a minister of the gospel, and therefore was entitled to living off of the charity that came from other believers. But he feared that a lifetime of such dependency would weaken his witness, and, I don’t think it is unfair to infer, his character.
Verse 10 is the big one: “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” Paul did not teach this difficult practice of the Christian life from afar, but said it face-to-face. Christian friends don’t enjoy confronting friends. Christian parents don’t delight in having to withhold certain things from their beloved children. Confronting people with difficult subject matter is made no less daunting by how true the subject matter is. It stinks. No way around it.
We have important moral and ethical problems to face in America and in the world. In order to make educated decisions, people need to be educated. Our present culture seems determined to keep the people, young and old, in the dark as to the life that lives and moves and has its being within a mother’s womb.
National Geographic will take you inside the womb, so that you can watch the reality. While Planned Parenthood, funded by U.S. dollars, enters into the most personal and profound decisions women can make, offers less than the reality. For the woman making a life changing decision, a decision that will impact, for better or worse, how she thinks and feels about herself and others,especially her own child, Planned Parenthood obscures the facts in favor of its own agenda. Planned Parenthood will, for instance, turn the monitor away from the pregnant mother during a sonogram procedure. Why trouble the client with the fact within the womb of their client, an actual picture of the truth, the infant/fetus growing within them. Why is that? Could it be that seeing is believing and believing can effect a decision to abort, when such a decision would effect the financial bottom line of this booming mega-business?
Our schools are no better. Values-free education is of no value when it comes to living a moral, ethical human life. Giving teenagers less than science, and telling them less than the actuality of pregnancy and person-hood is to fail them. We propagandize them, when we pretend they will not be effected by decisions that society makes for them in lieu of the education that can with present technology show them, in flesh and blood, not only the life in the womb, but abortion as it really is.
When the young teenager is aborted of the baby she carries within her, she sees it and feels it, and then has to live with it. What teacher, lawmaker, journalist or councilor has prepared her for this reality, rather than failed her in the name of compassion and/or convenience? False compassion leaves scars too deep to be helped by a brochure hastily given before dismissing the girl to make way for their next act of “mercy?”
The education needed for today’s moral and ethical decisions goes beyond the facts of pregnancy to the heavy lifting science touching on embryonic stem cell research. Here journalistic misinformation and purposeful skewing of the facts muddy the waters. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput spoke of “The Evil of Embryo Destruction – In embryonic stem cell research, end does not justify the means.”
Commenting on journalistic integrity Chaput responses to the Denver Post:
In the debate over federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, some of the massive media coverage has been fair, accurate and thorough, but much of it — too much of it — has fallen short of reasonable journalistic standards.
By far the most troubling piece I’ve seen was the editorial, “Zealotry vs. science,” published by the Denver Post….. in this case, the Post used bombast and misleading information to argue its support for federally funded embryonic stem cell research in a way reminiscent of a not-very-bright bully.”
Ed Morrisey talks about the issue here with more from Archbishop Chaput