Stuff I find Interesting

When the Abortion Industry Self-Destructs

When the Abortion Industry Self-Destructs

One of my greatest fears is when people begin seeing abortion for what it really is, killing unborn children and don’t care.  This rhetoric already exists in articles I’ve read from abortion advocates.  They reason that the woman has a great right to her choice than the child does at their life and therefore it is okay to murder innocent children at the request of their mothers.  This is a horrifying precedence.  They are no long arguing the existence of life, but rather the choice and right of mothers to murder their children.

This article touches on that point and ultimately tries to drive home the point that seeing abortion for what it truly is, is only a matter of time.

When the Abortion Industry Self-Destructs

By Jonathan Parnell
Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of
How to Stay Christian in Seminary.

In one sense, there are really just two types of people when it comes to the topic of abortion: those who think it is okay to kill unborn babies, and those who think it is wrong. If you don’t think you’re in one of these categories, you still are; you’re just confused.

Confusion, though, isn’t the most terrible thing. It means there is still hope, and in fact, this hopeful condition likely characterizes the general public of the United States. Most people don’t have a deep conviction about unborn babies. Most people don’t even think about unborn babies unless it’s an election year or the news runs a story. Even most who support abortion could only repeat the rhetoric they’ve heard from devotees.

And therefore, if confusion is what’s really popular, the question becomes: What will it take for abortion activists to convince the general public that their position is a psychotic threat to humanity?

Toward the Tipping Point

When will the rhetoric about women’s health and women’s rights be exposed for what it truly is (since, of course, by women’s “health” and women’s “rights” they must not mean the near 28 million girls aborted since 1973)? What will it take? Where is the tipping point when the truth of their enterprise can no longer be ignored by the popular conscience?

KEEP READING…

5 Things I’m Teaching My Boys About Abortion

5 Things I'm Teaching My Boys About Abortion

I ran across this article and thought it was worth passing along.  Abortion is a big issue to me, one that I hope we see stopped.  I do not want to look back on my life and say I remained silent about this issue.  This article is something I will archive and will be one more thing I will talk to my boys about when they get a little older.

5 Things I’m Teaching My Boys About Abortion

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1. The Big Cop-Out for Men: “It’s a Women’s Issue”

I want my boys to know they can’t cop-out of this issue by saying it’s a “women’s issue” and thus have no opinion.

Abortion isn’t just a women’s issue; it’s a human issue. If you’re a human, it’s an issue that impacts you. Our children need to understand this is too important of an issue to ignore.

I want my boys to learn to stand for the rights of those who can’t stand for themselves. I want them to learn to stand up for the helpless, the marginalized, those that are discarded and seen as unimportant. I want them to know that a noble man, a man of virtue, is a man who stands up for the rights of others without regard to how it impacts them personally.

I’ve known too many men in my life who have used this excuse for non-involvement—and it absolutely infuriates me. I can’t respect a man who uses this cop-out. Have an opinion, know what and why you believe it, and stand firmly for it. I don’t want my sons to pull this wishy-washy stuff and say they have no “right” to an opinion. 

2. Life Begins at Conception—any dummy can tell you that

When our children interact with the world, they’ll encounter all sorts of lies. One such lie that many spout is that a fetus is not a human life—a baby.

I have a degree in Biology, but you don’t need one to know this. It’s unequivocal. When a sperm and an egg meet (in humans as well as in any species of animal) a life is created. Things either are living or inanimate—they have a capacity for growth and development or not. Clearly, an embryo has a capacity to grow and develop.

KEEP READING…

Ice Bucket Challenge viewed through James 1:19-27

The Ice Bucket challenge is a national phenomenon.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, that was the IBC. The Ice Bucket Challenge is a campaign started by the ALS Association to raise awareness and donations for ALS. The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise ALS awareness. According to the ALS Association, people can either accept the challenge or make a donation to an ALS charity of their choice, or do both.

ALS is the initialism for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease or classical motor neuron disease. ALS is a neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. Unable to function, the muscles gradually weaken, waste away, and twitch. The disease become progressively worse the ability of the brain to start and control voluntary movement is lost, eventually resulting in death. The cause of ALS is not known, and scientists do not yet know why ALS strikes some people and not others. About 30,000 Americans now have ALS.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has led millions to:

  • Hear about it.
  • Know about it.
  • Care about it.
  • Do something about it.

As we have been studying the book of James, this is the exact message we see in Chapter 1:19-27.  James wants us to:

  • Hear the Word
  • Know the Word
  • Care about the Word
  • Do the Word.

James

Just as importantly he wants us to do all of this with wisdom.  In verses 19 -21, James gives us 5 wise ways to be “Knowers of the Word.

Wise Ways to be Knowers of the Word

  1. Be quick to hear.
  2. Slow to speak.
  3. Slow to anger.
  4. Get rid of sin
  5. Accept the Word with Humility.

Later in the book, James calls faith without works…DEAD.  Knowing the Word is only half of the equation.  In the Ice Bucket Challenge, if no one ever gave money to help find a cure, it would be pointless.  We are called not only to Know the Word but Do the Word.  In verses 22 – 27, James gives us 4 ways to be wise “Doers of the Word.”

Wise Ways to be Doers of the Word

  1. Don’t Forget what the Word says.
  2. Persevere.
  3. Control your Tongue
  4. Care for the vulnerable

The reason I use the Ice Bucket Challenge as an example is because I recently learned that a portion of the funds raised through ALS Association goes to embryonic stem cell research.

Embryonic stem cell research is speculative medical research (it has never resulted in clinical treatments) that is predicated on the destruction of embryonic human life. The process uses stem cells harvested from embryos conceived through vitro fertilization (IVF) that have been donated for research purposes rather than being implanted into a woman’s uterus. The embryos are killed during the process of harvesting their cells and then are discarded afterwards. In 1999, the Southern Baptist Convention issued a resolution expressing opposition to the destruction of innocent human life, including the destruction of human embryos for research purposes.

If you have given money to ALS association, unless you designated specifically that you didn’t want funds to go to this research, a portion of your funds did. I’m not trying to shame you or embarrass you. The reality is that we do this every day.

We make seemingly insignificant decisions that speak to what we believe and support unintentionally that may or may not be true about us. When we don’t use wisdom we say, do, and support things unintentionally that we may not have chosen to if we did use wisdom.

This is a point James is making in this section of Scripture.

So what do we do?

Linked are two great articles on how to approach this movement with wisdom. Included are alternative charities that help support finding a cure to ALS without funding embryonic stem cell research. Much of my research and content came from these two sources.

The FAQs: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
http://erlc.com/article/the-faqs-the-als-ice-bucket-challenge

Why I Cannot Accept the Ice-Bucket Challenge by Nathaniel King
http://www.nathanaelk.com/2014/08/why-i-cannot-accept-ice-bucket-challenge.html?spref=fb&m=1

Just so you know I do not think it is wrong to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge.  I think it is a great opportunity to help find a cure to a horrific disease and an opportunity to highlight research that is not destroying human life.  Please give through one of the links at the bottom of this page.

Please help find a cure to ALS by donating to one of the links below.

The Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center (MSCTC) at the University of Kansas Medical Center
http://www.kumc.edu/msctc.html

Dr. Anthony Windebank and his team
http://www.mayo.edu/research/labs/regenerative-neurobiology/projects/therapy-amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als

The Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC
https://sites.google.com/site/adultstemcelltechnologycenter/

John Paul II Medical Research Institute
http://www.jp2mri.org/capital-campaign.htm.

Abortion . . . think you understand it?

Life.

Although most Americans have some sort of opinion on abortion, many don’t really understand the truth behind this horrific problem.  How does abortion impact you and your family?  Is it really a constitutional right? Why do most abortions happen?

Take this quiz and find out just how much you know about abortion in the United States.

Some of the answers will surprise you.

4 Tips for a Trip to a Third-World Country

The last two years Crossings has been able to send some of our summer staff to Haiti for only the price of a plane ticket.  It is just one of the many perks of working for Crossings as a summer staff or beyond.  David Rouse, Quinton Matthews, and I lead the first trip in 2012.  It was one of the most fun and impactful experiences I have had in a long time.  I really, really enjoyed it.  The trip itself was incredible.  I have traveled to Haiti before but on this trip we accomplished some great work, I got to see areas of the country I had never seen, and we got to serve for a day in an orphanage.  Not only that, I got to experience it with two very good friends.  It was a great trip.

Last year I was not able to go, but sent this advice to the staff that were going.  I think it is applicable to any trip to a third-world country.

I know this is an older video, but it still get’s me fired up every time I watch it.

Just wanted to encourage each of you as you prepare for your trip to Haiti. A few tips for those on this trip.

1. Be ready for God to change you.
The impact of this trip will hopefully follow each of you for the rest of your lives. It is my prayer that you will be changed. That God challenges you in ways that you do not expect and convinces you to make changes in your life. The Lord is going to do incredible things through each of you while on this trip. Much like summer, the impact you can make largely depends on your willingness to be used by God. BE OPEN to what God might be calling each of you to do.

2. Get past the poverty.
Get past the fact that these people live in poverty and see their greater need for Jesus Christ. The poverty is always difficult to experience and see. Don’t walk away from this trip only being thankful for all of your stuff. Get more out of it than that.

3. Love kids
You will be in contact with kids who literally do not know what it is like to have loving parents or to be loved by anyone at all. You will work with orphans and children who have great needs. Show them the love of Christ through the time you spend with them. Make them feel loved.

4. Soak it up
Relish ever minute of your time. Do not sit on the sidelines. Experience everything.

I wish I was going with you all. Last year I got to go on this trip and it was literally one of the best trips of my life. I can’t wait to hear all the stories when you guys return. God Bless. Be safe. Have fun!

Patrick

What to do about World Vision?

I shared a couple of posts on Facebook today about World Visions decision to hire homosexual employees. It’s easy to say that I personally do not agree with this decision. It is much harder to decide what we are going to do about it. I do not want to end our sponsorship, but I also don’t want to support this decision. Please pray for all of those faced with this same decision. Pray for wisdom, grace, and discernment.

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/world-vision-adultery-no-homosexual-practice-yes

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2014/03/24/grieving-for-the-children/

The Sanctity of Human Life

ultrasound

There are times in history when today we look back and ask, “What were they thinking?”  The Civil Rights Movement is one of those times.  It is easy to look back today and wonder why the church didn’t take a stronger stand or why they didn’t take a stand at all against racial injustice.  It simply boggles the mind that followers of Christ didn’t see the sin of considering someone less valuable because of the color of their skin.  When confronted with this fact, many from that time simply do not have a good answer.  They feel remorse for their lack of action, but it simply didn’t even occur to them that it might be wrong.  Racial segregation was such an integral part of their culture they were blinded to the fact that it was wrong.

I believe that we are in a similar time of crisis in our culture today as we are faced with the issue of the sanctity of human life or more clearly stated legalized abortions.  I personally feel that there is not a greater cause in the United States of America that our generation faces than the issue of legalized abortions.  Below are a few statistics I gathered to give perspective on the amount of death that is caused from legal abortions.  It is my belief that we will one day look back at this issue and wish we would have taken a stand, much like the generation before us, against the legalization of murdering babies.

As followers of Christ we do not have the option to remain neutral about this issue.

Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church, shares an incredible message on the Sanctity of Human Life.  As he expresses, the sanctity of human life based on the Bible as the ultimate authority should compel Christians to do something about this incredibly important issue that is literally killing millions of babies each year. Sermon linked below.

The Village Church

The Sanctity of Human Life – Matt Chandler

There have been approximately 60 million legally induced abortions in the U.S. since 1973—nearly the current population of California and Texas combined.

How does this compare with other tragedies in human history?

World War I – 15 million soldiers and civilians killed

World War II – 71 million soldiers and civilians killed

Holocaust  – 11 million Jews killed

Hiroshima and Nagasaki – 250, 000 killed

All US soldiers since American Revolution – 1.3 Million American soldiers killed

Legal U.S. Abortions since 1973 – 60 million babies killed

Abortion-in-the-United-States-630x997

Will you do something?

Will you remain silent?

Will you regret your silence?

Will you regret your disobedience?

While these questions are relevant to the discussion, our regret is not the reason for action.  While our children or our children’s children might ask us these questions, that is not the reason for action.

The reason for action is because babies are being killed and it is wrong.  It does not please God and our indifference is allowing it.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:13 – 16

“You shall not murder.” – Exodus 20:13

‘The Demise of Guys’: How video games and porn are ruining a generation

https://i2.wp.com/i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/120523015438-demise-guys-teenagers-video-games-story-top.jpg

By Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan

Editor’s note: Psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo is a professor emeritus at Stanford University and is world-renowned for his 1971 research, the Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo teamed up with artist and psychologist Nikita Duncan to write “The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It,” released Wednesday by TED Books.

(CNN) — Is the overuse of video games and pervasiveness of online porn causing the demise of guys?

Increasingly, researchers say yes, as young men become hooked on arousal, sacrificing their schoolwork and relationships in the pursuit of getting a tech-based buzz.

Every compulsive gambler, alcoholic or drug addict will tell you that they want increasingly more of a game or drink or drug in order to get the same quality of buzz.

Video game and porn addictions are different. They are “arousal addictions,” where the attraction is in the novelty, the variety or the surprise factor of the content. Sameness is soon habituated; newness heightens excitement. In traditional drug arousal, conversely, addicts want more of the same cocaine or heroin or favorite food.

The consequences could be dramatic: The excessive use of video games and online porn in pursuit of the next thing is creating a generation of risk-averse guys who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school and employment.

Stories about this degeneration are rampant: In 2005, Seungseob Lee, a South Korean man, went into cardiac arrest after playing “StarCraft” for nearly 50 continuous hours. In 2009, MTV’s “True Life” highlighted the story of a man named Adam whose wife kicked him out of their home — they have four kids together — because he couldn’t stop watching porn.

Norwegian mass murder suspect Anders Behring Breivik reported during his trial that he prepared his mind and body for his marksman-focused shooting of 77 people by playing “World of Warcraft” for a year and then “Call of Duty” for 16 hours a day.

Research into this area goes back a half-century.

KEEP READING…

Kevin DeYoung – How Many Motivations Are There for Godliness?

DeYoung outlines 20 reasons for pursuing godliness.

How Many Motivations Are There for Godliness?

Is there just one proper gospel-centered rationale for holiness? Should we, in speaking about sanctification, avoid threats and warnings and coming judgment and focus simply on our acceptance in Christ? How many motivations does the Bible have for godliness?

I see at least twenty. In the three chapters of 2 Peter alone.

1.    We pursue holiness so that we might become partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).

2.    We make every effort to grow in godliness because God has already set us free from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (2 Pet. 1:4).

KEEP READING…

The Creation Debate – Is it wrong to want to win?

Last night a debate about the existence of humanity and planet earth happened between Bill Nye “the science guy” and Ken Ham, the founder of the creation museum in northern KY near Cincinnati.  I personally did not get to watch the debate but have read multiple posts about the debate.  I actually visited the creation museum in 2007 with a group of middle school students from the suburbs of Chicago.  We were accompanied by Dr. John Walton, professor at Wheaton College, who admittedly does not share the same views as Ken Ham.  It was an interesting and thought provoking tour as Dr. Walton walked through the museum with me and a few students explaining his version of each exhibit.  More information can be found on Ken Ham’s Young Earth perspective at Answers In Genesis. (Linked Here)

You can read Walton’s view of Genesis 1 in his book, “Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology.”  You can find a short review of the book in a blog post from The Gospel Coalition.  (Article Linked Here)  Needless to say, I do not agree with Walton’s view but find it an interesting perspective. I had never taken to into consideration the Near Eastern worldview in studying Genesis 1.

As for where I land on the creation account, I’m still not convinced we know all the details.  I do believe that Genesis 1 is a creation account.  I believe that God supernatural spoke the world into existence.  Am I convinced that the world is billions or even millions of years old? No.  Am I convinced the world is 6,000 years old? No.  I personally lean towards younger as opposed to older (millions or billions), but the details are less important to me than the fact that God did it as recorded in His Word.  Not understanding the nuances of creation do not personally cause question about the fact that a loving God created us, our sin separated us, and His Son saved us.  The phrase “major on the majors” comes to mind.

But if you are looking for a good perspective on last night’s debate, below you will find a section from the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert Mohler’s blog and a link to the full article.  Mohler is a self-professed young earth creationist and does a great job talking through the debate at a much higher level than I ever could.

Ultimately, it is and was my prayer last night in the debate that Ken Ham, a Christ-follower, would represent Christ accurately.  As ambassadors of Christ and His message we have an obligation and responsibility to represent Christ and to show the world His love and grace for all. Our job is not necessarily to just win, although I do love it when that happens.

Bill Nye’s Reasonable Man—The Central Worldview Clash of the Ham-Nye Debate

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Last night’s debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham attracted a huge international audience and no shortage of controversy—even before it began. Bill Nye, whose main media presence is as “The Science Guy,” and Ken Ham, co-founder of Answers in Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum, squared off in a true debate over one of the most important questions that the human mind can contemplate. That is no small achievement.

I enjoyed a front row seat at the debate, which took place even as a major winter storm raged outside, dumping considerable amounts of snow and ice and causing what the local police announced as a “Class Two” weather emergency. Inside the Creation Museum there was quite enough heat, and the debate took place without a hitch. Thankfully, it also took place without acrimony.

The initial controversy about the debate centered in criticism of Bill Nye for even accepting the invitation. Many evolutionary scientists, such as Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne, refuse to debate the issue, believing that any public debate offers legitimacy to those who deny evolution. Nye was criticized by many leading evolutionists, who argued publicly that nothing good could come of the debate.

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