Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Question of Morality

We live in strange times.

This past week Coach Tony Dungy of the 2007 Superbowl Champion Indianapolis Colts spoke to a family group promoting marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Also last week former Vice-president Al Gore testified before the Senate on global warming. He refused to take a pledge to curtail some of his private jet use or to lower the use of energy to what the average American uses. One of his four homes uses several thousand dollars worth of energy per month. However, in his book and Oscar-winning documentary, he urges average Americans to cut back on their energy use.

One of these men was praised as a great moral leader. The other was attacked. Which was praised?

Vice-president Al Gore.

In spite of Gore's using twenty times the energy of the average American, Gore's praisers in the Senate could not gush enough about his moral leadership.

When Tony Dungy gently and kindly advocated "families the Lord's way," some homosexual groups lied about what he said. They claimed he attacked them, though he made very clear that he was demeaning no one.

"Morality" used to mean living a good life. It meant hard work, sincerity, honesty, kindness, using decent language, caring for one's family, compassion on the poor and weak, revering God, and not having sex outside of marriage.

Now many in the media and politics would change the meaning of morality. They want you to believe that it's moral to recycle, but it's not moral to say sex should be reserved for marriage. It's moral to take the bus, but it's not moral to show an ultrasound of her baby to a woman considering abortion. It's moral to protest against war with tyrants like Saddam or Al-Qaeda, but it's not moral to protest the war on the unborn.

Why is this?

Morality makes claims on us. It requires us to do what's right rather than what's easy. It requires character of us and sometimes self-denial.

The elites, those with power, celebrity or money, have never been good at self-denial. Whether you go back to the pharaohs, the kings of the Old Testament, the empires of Europe or today's Hollywood and governmental elite, self-denial has never been their strong suit. What applies to others should not apply to them. They are better and deserve better than the rest of us lowly peons.

You see morality in the western world has been based on the Ten Commandments. Elitists tend to think of them as restricting their liberties, as those "Thou shalt nots." But not too many years ago most people recognized them as the bulwarks of our law and society.

Each of God's laws protects the weak and innocent. Let's look at two. "Thou shalt not kill" helps people respect the right to life of the elderly man living alone, of the teenage girl out on the street, of the unborn child. The strong who can protect themselves and the wealthy who can pay for protection don't need the sixth commandment the way the poor, the weak, or the innocent do. The strong and wealthy are in a position to provide for themselves better than the rest of us. Most of us depend on society to uphold this standard, God's standard, for our safety. When people ignore God's law, society becomes dangerous. Life becomes negotiable if you have the money or power. The strong and powerful no longer look out for the safety of others unless it's convenient to them. The weak and insignificant suffer most.

"Thou shalt not commit adultery" channels our powerful sexual passions to marriage and keeps them there. How does it benefit us? It bonds a man and a woman together for life, giving each security, intimacy, and love. This provides a father in the home committed to his wife and to his children. Children who have the discipline, guidance, and protection of both parents are less likely to become violent, to engage in drugs or promiscuity. They have a better chance of establishing themselves for a good life.

Some claim that not everyone keeps these laws so they aren't good. Yet don't we know from the evidence of molested children, abandoned lovers, and abused elderly that the more people who follow God's laws the better?

Rather than undermining freedom, morality—God's law God's way—undergirds freedom for the ordinary, the innocent, the poor, and the weak.

Debbie W. Wilson

Debbie W. Wilson is a human rights advocate, speaker, and author of Christy Award-winning thriller Tiger in the Shadows. Her weekly prayer list for the persecuted church can be found on the home page of Bound Together Ministries.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

All or Nothing Gets You Nothing

Many pro-life South Carolinians are aware of a group called Columbia Christians for Life (CCL) which spends the majority of its email messages attacking state and national pro-life organizations. Their email update on March 21 opposing the ultrasound legislation that passed the SC House 91-23 demands a response.
It [the ultrasound bill] may reduce abortions, but it will also prolong the practice of "legalized" ABORTION. In the 34-year battle to end abortion, it is yet another strategic and moral error, adopting the incrementalist approach to reducing the number of abortions, while distracting the pro-life community efforts and resources from the proper focus on ending abortion.
As even the well-meaning people of CCL acknowledge, this law will most likely reduce abortions, perhaps saving as many as 1000 or more lives per year. But they would rather build their campaign to completely end abortion on the bodies of those babies than save the ones they can while continuing to fight for a total ban.

CCL argues that Roe vs. Wade allows a total ban on abortions if the state recognizes babies as persons under the law. Obviously, the Supreme Court stands as the decider of all laws, as it has long ago usurped that role from the legislature. So the decision on that law, as the outcome of any challenge to Roe, will depend on the composition of the Court--at least until a state is willing to defy its unconstitutional authority--but that's another issue.

Some of the CCL literature indicates that the total abortion ban they desire would have no exception to save the life of the mother. While we may soon be able to surgically move ectopic fetuses to the uterus and save their lives, right now an ectopic baby will die. Condemning the mother to death as well is immoral and anti-life. Even if, in some rare instance, a choice must be made between the life of the mother and the life of the baby, the baby's life has no greater moral value than the mother's.

In the nine years that a total ban has been pushed in SC, pro-life organizations and citizens have lobbied the legislature to pass laws that restrict abortion, cutting in approximately half the number of babies murdered annually.

Meanwhile the all-or-nothing crowd has achieved nothing. That's the problem with demanding all or nothing. You usually get nothing. As CCL recognizes, the danger of the incremental approach is that you forget your destination.

So let's stick with an all-or-something approach instead. We can continue winning incremental victories and saving babies every day, and one day we will win the full victory.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

The Value of a Sparrow

"What was that about?" my six-and-a-half-year-old daughter asked.

"Shhh. Let me hear the news," I answered, hoping she would forget.

She didn't. They don't forget the things you wish they would.

After the news ended, she said, "What was that story about the boy?"

I told her that a little boy had been kidnapped and killed by bad men. Neighbors had found his body.

A week or two ago she questioned me about a news story in which a man flew his plane with his eight-year-old daughter in it into his ex-mother-in-law's house in revenge on his ex-wife. These stories about the murders of children are too common.

I try to think back to what my mother told us about similar stories, but I can't remember hearing any. In our little town even a break-in was big bad news. Most people went to bed with their doors unlocked. Children left to play in the neighborhood after breakfast and returned for lunch and supper. If my brother or I got into trouble, my mother knew before we even reached home or definitely within twenty-four hours.

What has happened?

We could credit it to many things: the breakdown of the family, the breakdown of the community, rejection of Judeo/Christian values, the fact that most children no longer learn religious values weekly in a church or synagogue, the absence of mothers in the home during the day, and the increase of pornography.

But we shouldn't leave out the devaluing of life caused by Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion declared the unborn child was not a person under the law. It allowed him or her to be disposed of like a piece of trash. It took away the influence of the child's father in deciding whether that unborn child survives or dies.

Those legal precedents had enormous social consequences. Suddenly the father was less of a father than a sperm donor. The child became a financial burden to the man if he didn't have a commitment to the mother. He had to support the kid without being involved in the decision of whether the child lived or died.

Now many men no longer receive pressure by the community to marry the mother and form a family. They no longer have to grow up, become responsible, and do the right thing. Hence we find many men who are still children at 30, leeching off whichever woman will support them and her offspring.

Because these men no longer have a commitment to their children with the woman whom they made them, many of them felt no real bond with the children they lived with. Instead, in some cases, access to the kids became part of the bargain to keep the man in the home.

As for the children themselves, if they could be disposed of so easily before birth, how precious are they really? They become tools for pleasure, tools for profit with pornography or prostitution, tools for revenge or control.

Child abuse has increased with this devaluation.

Our attitudes toward children have changed in the past forty years. With that change, we changed our actions, but God's attitudes have not changed. He says that "the very hairs of your head are numbered." He says that those who harm one of these little ones would be better off if they had a millstone tied around their necks and were tossed into the river. He sees them as his reward to parents, as examples of His image, as teachers of how to enter heaven.

Christ says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."

When the toddler is fussy, the teenager is arguing, or the baby isn't planned, it's easy to forget how much God loves each one of them. We need to step back and see them through His eyes, to see their potential, their uniqueness, and their value to God. He cherishes them.

And so should we.

Debbie W. Wilson

Debbie W. Wilson is a human rights advocate, speaker, and author of Christy Award-winning thriller Tiger in the Shadows. Her weekly prayer list for the persecuted church can be found on the home page of Bound Together Ministries.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

First Female US Doctor Fought Abortion

The gross perversion and destruction of motherhood by the abortionist filled me with indignation, and awakened active antagonism. That the honorable term “female physician” should be exclusively applied to those women who carried on this shocking trade seemed to me a horror. It was an utter degradation of what might and should become a noble position for women.
These words leap from the diary of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), the first woman to receive a medical degree from an American medical school.

You can read an inspiring article about Dr. Blackwell here.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Nothing is Too Hard for God

Our assistant pastor preached an encouraging message entitled "God Can" last Sunday night from the question of the Israelites in Psalm 78:19: "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" The theme of the sermon was that nothing is too hard for God.

That's an important truth to remember as we fight against abortion. Sometimes we despair of ever seeing abortion on demand become illegal in the majority of our states. But nothing is too hard for God, and He is a God who hates child-killing.

Could it be that we have not because we ask not? How much do we labor in prayer against abortion? Sometimes we neglect prayer because it seems so simple. "Anyone can pray, but I want to do something greater for God." But no one who has practiced the discipline of prayer would say that it is easy. Dedicated, fervent prayer his hard work--perhaps the greatest work we can do. Prayer should not be our only work, but little work for God can be accomplished without it.

The battle is the Lord's, and He gives the victory, but it is not without human participation. People spiritualize the account of David and Goliath and talk about how God can kill the giant in your life. God gave David the victory, but David had to face the giant and put all his strength into throwing that fatal stone. God let the giant blaspheme until a man of courage put his life on the line to stand up for righteousness.

My wife and I talked with a friend recently who observed that man's free will must be very important to God. As much as God hates sin, He allows people to practice it while He draws them to the point of repentance. Rather than forcing His will in our lives, He leads us to voluntarily give our wills to Him.

We have an all-powerful, just, holy God who hates sin and injustice. But instead of eradicating it Himself, He usually waits for men and women to yield themselves and perform the actions that He would have them do. He allows us to do His work. What a privilege!

Instead of placing the truth of His Gospel in every heart and mind, God uses human preachers, missionaries, friends and neighbors. Rather than stopping the slave trade or ending abortion by Divine intervention, he leads His people to work against it for decades and stop it that way. The Church is God's tool of choice. Truly, the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.

The movie Amazing Grace has focused attention on the life of the great man of God and British abolitionist William Wilberforce. I'm a little dismayed when I hear people ask, "Where is our Wilberforce?" Don't look for him. Be the Wilberforce! You may not have his position, but you have influence somewhere. Use it.

Wesley Wilson

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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Just like my kids

"Oh, she's just like my kids."

My neighbor was referring, of course, to her dog. And it was meant as hyperbole.

The thing is, for many in America, it's not hyperbole.

We really care little more for our children than our pets.


How many parents take their children to obedience school? Plenty of pet owners take their dogs.

When was the last time you turned on the radio and found a call-in show on child training? I found one on pet training a couple weeks ago.

How many owners of a purebred dog will let it wander the town freely? You wouldn't do that! It might get stolen! It might end up as the mama of a litter of mutts!

But children as young as 3 roam my neighborhood without any adult knowing where they are. Surely the 7-year-old sister is up to keeping an eye on the little one!

When we went to Orlando last year, our resort provided child care so the adults could go enjoy themselves. I had to ask myself what kind of parent leaves his child with perfect strangers in a strange city. But enough did that the resort offered the service. I didn't check what kind of background checks the workers at the day care facility went through because I wasn't going to think of leaving my children there. I'll bet the parents who did leave their children there didn't inquire either. I had just left my dog at a kennel for the trip, but I wasn't about to leave my son or daughter like that.

But this is not about how we pamper our pets.

This is about the fact that our society has devalued its children.

We treat them as pretty playthings, we push them aside when we're done playing with them, we permit perverts to destroy them and suffer only nominal punishment, and we throw them away if we decide we don't want them.

How different from the view we find in the Bible!

Children are a heritage from the Lord.

They are something given in trust, something that will outlast us. They are our legacy. They are the measure of our success as individuals, of our usefulness in society.

You will never be sorry you poured your life into your children. The time holding the infant, reading to the child, teaching him a thousand little things -- it is not wasted.

Take the time to let your children know you love them. And really love them! Don't just teach them to play a game -- teach them the value of work by having them work with you week in and week out. Don't just teach them to understand a sport -- teach them to understand life by explaining why your family lives the way you do. Don't just teach them to aspire to admirable occupations -- teach them to aspire to and achieve honorable character.

That takes time. Legacy-building always does.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Party of Death

At last weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference, controversial conservative commentator Ann Coulter said, "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards."

She later said that it was a joke. She wouldn't insult gays by comparing them to Edwards.

Both conservatives and liberals are attacking her loudly.

A few days earlier HBO's Bill Maher said on Real Time, "I'm just saying that if he (Vice President Dick Cheney) did die, other people, more people would live. That's a fact."

When Barney Frank commented that some people were saying that the bomb that killed numerous people in Afghanistan but missed Cheney was wasted, Maher said, "That's a funny joke."

Would he have thought it was a funny joke if said about some Democratic congressman or senator or someone running for the presidency? If Coulter's comments were out of line, why wasn't everyone as incensed about Maher's calling for the death of the current vice president? Unless it's because the Democratic Party has become so entrenched as the party of death that it isn't even controversial?

Death as a solution is nothing new to the Democratic Party. It was their answer to runaway slaves in the 1800s. If the slave tried to escape, beating, branding, selling into the living death of being sent "down the river," or killing were common answers to the problem.

At the threat of Abraham Lincoln's being elected and putting a stop to the expansion of slavery, they cried for the death of the union and tried to kill it.

From Reconstruction into the Civil Rights period, the Ku Klux Klan kept the Negro in line. One former Ku Klux Klansman holds high office in the Senate, Democratic Senator Robert Byrd. Lynching was the answer to the "uppity" Negro who stepped out to assume independent manhood. The leading opponents of civil rights were Democratic governors and senators in the South.

Then came abortion. The Democratic Party leaders are to the man (and woman), pro-aborts. They've never found a method of killing the unborn too gruesome to support, including partial birth abortion in which the baby is partially delivered. Then scissors are stuck into the child's brain to kill it. The abortionist delivers the dead baby and throws it away. The Democratic Party leadership, on the whole, has voted time and time again to oppose any limitations on partial birth abortion.

Many in the pro-life movement have warned that the abortion mentality would spread and it has. It has increasingly spread to handicapped infants born in hospitals. The solution to the problem is to let the handicapped die.

Nor has it stopped with the death of the infant handicapped. Remember Terri Schiavo, the young brain-damaged woman who was ordered starved to death. The Democratic Party was outraged when Republicans in Congress tried to intervene on the side of life for Terri and the parents who wanted to care for her.

Several years ago a Democratic governor in Colorado said, "It's the duty of the elderly to die and get out of the way." Since then several states have passed legislation allowing the elderly to be put to death at their request.

In the last few years Democratic spokesmen, media personalities, and celebrities have written books and produced films that have called for the assassination of President George W. Bush, Vice-president Dick Cheney, and Senator Jesse Helms and his entire family. They voiced hopes that former Attorney General John Ashcroft would die of a serious illness and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's wife would feed him so much high-cholesterol food that he would die from it.

Congressman John Murtha has called for our troops having supplies, training, and equipment denied to them which would mean more deaths of our soldiers and of the Iraqi people.

What has happened to the Democratic Party? Some Democrats have laughed these verbal assaults off. Rarely have we heard the Democrats attack their own or demand more civility as the Republicans have done. But many rank-and-file Democrats have wondered where the party of FDR and JFK went. It started out as a party which supported earning its bread at the sweat of another man's brow. Its position has evolved to earning its votes by draining the blood from another man's heart.

Debbie W. Wilson

Debbie W. Wilson is a human rights advocate, speaker, and author of Christy Award-winning thriller Tiger in the Shadows. Her weekly prayer list for the persecuted church can be found on the home page of Bound Together Ministries.

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