Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How to speak truth to power



I know that some will not like that I posted this video. But everything Dr. Piper says here is true. I know that some want me to shut up about abortion, particularly the political connections. I have been asked to stop. But I trust you will understand that I cannot do this. We as a people must not be silent. We must be loving. But we must not send any conflicting signals that abortion is anything less than an abomination.

I am posting a lot on abortion these days because it is back in the news and last week saw the anniversary of Roe V. Wade. I am also posting a lot about this these days because too many evangelicals are dimming in their holy zeal against this great evil.

23 comments:

Noel said...

AMEN. AMEN. AMEN.

Richard said...

Powerful...

toothdoc said...

What?....you never had political opinions when you were in the midwest =) What has happened out on the East coast to bring out these opinions.

Preach on Brother!!!!!!!

Mike said...

I, for one, would never want you to shut up about abortion. It is a very important topic that must be discussed...where the rub is is what to we do about it? Most of the folks I know who are pro-choice agree with me on one thing...efforts must be made to reduce the number of abortions whereever possible. I think that is a place to start. Proposing restrictive legislation just inflames them...

Jane Wilson said...

Please do not weary of bringing the truth to deaf ears and pray continually that God will open those ears to the freedom that truth brings.

Harley A. said...

Their ideas inflame ME… Any advice for them ?

toothdoc said...

Harley, I just spit out my water laughing. Well said.

Mike said...

my advice for folks who are pro-choice is to understand beyond the pragmatic....that we are talking about real people and real lives here and that is the reason why pro-life people are so passionate about it...we are not trying to deny someone their rights but when in the exercising of their rights they harm another human being we are bound to step in.

Unfortunately abortion is a hot political issue as well as a moral one. With that being said the political process is built on compromise...something that both sides are loathe to pursue. Yet if you look at the history of abolition it was a gradual process of compromise all along the way that ultimately led to the end of slavery. We can never end abortion altogether but I think we can make some signficant strides in diminishing it...the church should lead here.

Tim said...

Not too crazy about the slavery analogy, considering it ended in a horrible and bloody civil war (not exactly a peaceful compromise). But to Mike's earlier point (which I think is very good): The truth is that we live in a very unique time as American Christians where the Elect of God (yes, I'm a Calvinist) are not very electable to political office. We've suddenly found ourselves ill-equipped to confront a culture which used to be more tolerant of Christians. The good news is that God doesn't make us choose between changing our culture and changing our laws. They are not mutually exclusive goals. I'm commanded to be salt and light to my culture and I'm commanded to use my power as a voter in a way which glorifies God.

If "restrictive legislation" (which by definition restricts and lowers the number of abortions) really inflames your friends that much, then they probably don't really believe that abortions should be more rare. It's more likely that what inflames them is that someone or something is challenging the very foundation of their worldview (i.e. belief in absolute truth).

Good luck convincing them to your point of view. Let me know if you have any success, I've yet to have any with my friends.

Todd Pruitt said...

Harley,
Brilliant!

Tim,
You're right on the slavery analogy. The gradual process ended in a war that cost over six hundred thousand lives.

What inflames me is the Freedom of Choice Act which our President has championed which denies states the right to restrict any abortions.

The tired old line that legislation won't change anything are only kidding themselves or salving their conscience. The point of laws is not to change hearts (though that's a bonus) so much as to stop destructive behavior.

Which of us, in 1930's Germany would have hoped for a reasonable reduction in the number of Jews being killed? Would we have wanted to keep the killing of Jews "safe, legal, and rare?" Does this not sound profane to even suggest?

Zachary Smith said...

Todd,

I'm not sure who these "some" people are, but don't let them discourage you from speaking out on Biblical truths. You may have to "break some China" in the short term, but in the long run it's for the best.

Doctor Smith

Harley A. said...

Mike

First, my smart aleck remark was only meant to be funny – I gotta laugh every now and then or it would drive me crazy.

On a more serious note. I think abolition of slavery is a good analogy. Very similar in that you had people violating other peoples’ rights and people who were at a strong disadvantage at that. And the perpetrators were gaining advantage from it. I see many parallels. But, remember, the thrust of abolition was to outlaw slavery. It was recognized as morally reprehensible and against our laws and constitution. So, we now have outlawed slavery. You cannot purchase, own, trade slaves in the US. And, there is still black market slavery occurring (mostly in the form of deviant sexual peddling). But that doesn’t diminish the victory of abolition. Abortion is wrong and should be outlawed…… again…..

Tim,

the horrible bloody Civil War of the mid 19th century pales in comparison to the bloody civil war of the last 30 years...

Bean said...

Todd,

Been following your blog since before your approval, arrival, and installation at CoS, so let me start by saying that I've really enjoyed and been challenged by your weekly messages.

I've also been following this post and your previous posts that have obviously raised the hackles of "both sides" of this contentious -- or rather *the* contentious -- issue of our time. I neither question nor condemn your strong position. As a man born to a teenager 40 years ago, at a time when a number of "options" were available and, um, encouraged, I have my own unique perspective and opinions.

I agree that in nearly all cases, abortion shouldn't be an "option". I can't say for certain what my position might be if my wife's life had been in danger as a result of her pregnancies with any of our children. It would have been a torturous decision that would have been made after a great deal of prayer and consultation. But I also don't accept the proposition of having that decision legislated for our family. "Health of the mother" is a big gray area, I get it. I've also heard our former Senator Santorum state something to the effect of, "well, of course the mother would have the right to defend herself if her life were truly in danger.", which seems a preposterous scenario where a family chooses to terminate a pregnancy (yes, end a life, again, not mincing words) to save the mother's life and then the mother is prosecuted for murder/manslaughter with a legal of defense case of "self-defense", as if a criminal had broken into a home and threatened its inhabitants.

So I'm going on and on here -- but the same above (mother's life at risk), to me, goes for cases of rape, incest, etc. When all is said and done, what I am still trying to reconcile is the fact that were my family ever in any of those positions, I would want to us to have the choice to make a decision -- again, of course, one that is prayerfully considered and one for which I am ultimately accountable to God. Does that make me pro-choice? Perhaps. It doesn't make me pro-abortion and any suggestion that it does is offensive. I don't promote abortion and you'll see me support crisis pregnancy centers as a wonderful resource. The United States was founded by men of varying Christian conviction, but we are not a Christian nation with a Christian government. If I don't wish difficult decisions to be legislated on me, then I surely cannot legislate them on others.

I voted for President Obama. I supported him from the beginning of his candidacy and before he was even a formal candidate. I pray that he approaches this issue during his administration with the same fervency and deliberation as he has proposed for the mahy other issues facing our nation. I don't have all of the answers, no one posting here does, nor does the President. Only God does and I don't presume to know His mind. Todd, I can appreciate and respect your position on this and as a "single-issue" voter (or non-voter, in this case). For me, it's not as simple.

Belle Geary said...

Keep speaking out, keep up the fight. We attend your church and we are 100% behind you! God Bless

BillPoll said...

Our scriptures are clear on these matters - to those who believe in God's Word, the issue is first of all Biblical and then political; we are to be a light unto the world and we can not be a light if, in our secular society, we remain passive in what God has clearly told us.
Keep preaching God's truths and blogging the spiritual and political applications. Thanks for the posting -
PS to readers - be sure your political leaders hear from you on these matters - particularly on the Freedom of Choice Act (which is NO freedom for those in the medical field who morally object to what it requires)

Todd Pruitt said...

Bean,

Thanks for the word.

I am definitely a "single issue voter" in that I cannot vote for anyone who does not have the moral clarity to oppose abortion. I firmly believe we are all single issue voters in that we all have an issue (or issues) that our conscience will not allow us to violate.

I can empathize on the life of the mother issue (very distinct from "health" of the mother). That is not an easy one although it is truly rare.

Anyway, it is great to hear from you and I appreciate your willingness to engage thoughtfully on this forum given that not speaking in person can be a bit dicey. I would love to meet you sometime.

While we disagree on some political issues we are, I am sure agreed upon Christ and His cross. Good to hear from you brother.

COS Citizen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

Todd,

I've been following your blog for about the past three or four months now. You consistently posts things worthy of consideration.

I agree with some other bloggers I have read who have said that we need to work for the day when the very thought of abortion is abhorrent to people. No matter the circumstances, two wrongs do not make a right. I used to work in the pro life arena some years back and I recall reading that, with modern medical technology, it is extremely rare when people are forced into a choice between the life of the mother and the life of the baby. The number of abortions performed in a year's time for real medical reasons could very easily be counted. The number of abortions performed in a year's time for reasons of birth control cannot. Over 50 million babies have been killed since Roe v. Wade became the law. Right now, about 1.3 million babies a year. Above all else, this is America's blackest evil. And this president is committed to making it happen more often than it already does.

Brother, you keep on preaching and don't let anything stop you from telling people the truth. In this day and age, somebody has to be the one telling the truth. You just keep on keeping on.

John

Mike said...

Apologize if my slavery analogy threw any of you off...I was referring to the political compromises that were made in England by Wilberforce. It was thru the gradual political compromise that made an end to slavery possible in England. I think this would be a good approach to reducing abortions...

I like Todd's reference to Nazi Germany because I think this is a good way to view the situation. Doubtful that any one German could have stopped the Nazi regime but some individuals did what they could to help (e.g. Oskar Schindler). We need to do what we can (like supporting Crisis Pregnancy Centers).

Todd Pruitt said...

Mike,

I think you're right that politicians need, at times, to be pragmatic. And there are times when they have to vote for pieces of legislation that aren't perfect but they are better than nothing.

And crisis pregnancy centers are HUGE. In Wichita my church was privileged to give support to Choices Medical Clinic which is a pro-life medical clinic located right next door to George Tiller's abortion mill. Choices does outstanding work. The medical director there is a member of the church I pastored in Wichita.

Harley A. said...

Of course we continue to work for social justice, to ease the pain of poverty, etc. But we are called to do that regardless – that won’t end with the outlawing of abortion on demand. The very same conditions are what help perpetuate gang violence, murder, rape, etc. But no one is suggesting that laws against these crimes should somehow be relaxed. What drives me crazy is that we all agree that abortion is wrong. Paul teaches us about the Law – he says that it is our schoolmaster – it teaches us of our sinfulness and need for a Savior. To turn your head or excuse it is to condone it.

Now, I don’t expect our government to respect that so much. No, we were set up based on Enlightenment social contract theory and still seem to operate that way – not so much on the absolute will of God. Fortunately, God was gracious and we had a moral conscience guiding the founders, but I won’t pretend they were all devout Christians. And far less so today. But… If we as Christians allow our stance on moral law to crumble for some misguided social pragmatism, we do violence to the Gospel and to our country. We won’t get our way necessarily but some are called to speak out and perhaps some are called to jump in the political trenches. And, at the very same time, we all come along side and love those who are needy and filthy like we are… This is not mutually exclusive.

Alan Thomas said...

Harley--we agree!

Going forward, I'm going to forego commenting on Todd's political posts--my emotions seem to always get the better of me. (Thank God for the Updike and cinema posts.)

Although I will say this for the record: I'm certainly not among those who want Todd to cease blogging about abortion.

Master Eckhart: "In silence man can most readily preserve his integrity." He wrote that just for me, I think.

Todd Pruitt said...

Alan,

You will find that I blog about much more than abortion. We seem to agree on the morality of abortion. So long as we agree on that part I think it's important to continue to engage each other on the possible solutions. That will inevitably lead to political issues and some disagreements. But it doesn't change my opinion of my brothers and sisters so long as we are agreed on the big picture.

I think you've handled yourself well on the blog Alan. Blessings!