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January 7th, 2011

Stop Abortion – Be A ProLifer

Watch the above video clip against abortion. We go through the emotions of an unborn baby here.

The same is available as a slideshow at Stop Abortion slideshow

Since abortion was legalized in 1973, there have been over 40 million abortions in the U.S. alone. Abortion is legal, just as slavery was legal in the 1800s. But, is it moral? What does the Bible say on the subject?

Nowhere in the Bible does it say “Thou shalt not abort your children.” Neither will you find specific words forbidding suicide, infanticide (killing newborn children) or same-sex marriages. Yet, the Bible clearly teaches us that these things are wrong. A small, but noisy group of people (who are very active on the Internet) wish to have you believe that the Bible condones abortion. Although it doesn’t take a Biblical scholar to conclude that the Bible forbids abortion, it may help you to see the facts laid out. Simply put, the Bible forbids killing innocent persons. If an unborn child is a person, abortion is prohibited by the Bible. Let’s look at the evidence :-

The Bible condemns the shedding of innocent life.

Few people would argue this point. The Bible clearly prohibits taking the life of an innocent person. It follows that if the developing baby is a “qualified” member of the human race, all of these scriptures apply:

Genesis 9:6 – Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.

Exodus 20:13 – You shall not murder.

Deuteronomy 27:25a – Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to strike down an innocent person.

Proverbs 6:16-19 – There are six things which the LORD hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood…

See also Exodus 23:7 and Deuteronomy 19:11-12

A child is a “person” whether born or unborn.

As late as the 16th century in our own culture, “child” was the word used for both the born and unborn baby. Late in the game, we have developed a new word, “fetus”, to describe a developing baby (even this word is defined in some dictionaries as an “unborn human being” ). Today, we often reserve the word “child” for a person already born.

In the Bible, our worth as a human being or our “personhood” does not depend on how far along on life’s journey we have come. Instead, we are beings who are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Each person is valuable because God created him or her that way. It doesn’t matter whether a person is still in his mother’s womb, a newborn, a toddler, an adolescent, or a senior citizen.

There are some in our society who want to find a developmental stage where they can justify that the fetus is only a collection of organs, not really a person. Carl Sagan put that fetal stage at perhaps 6 months, when the cerebral cortex is in place. Only then, he feels, should we confer “personhood” on a fetus.4 Such ideas are clearly subjective. It would seem that these discussions of personhood only arose from a need to justify the act of abortion. Certainly, they are not expressed in the Bible.

Quite to the contrary, the Bible story shows that “personhood”, or reaching one’s full potential, comes from knowing God. A person develops and is preserved through his communion with a personal God who reveals Himself to us in love. The Bible consistently links our “personhood” to the time we are formed (conception), or even before in God’s “mind”.

According to the Bible, God knew you before you were born.

Psalm 139:13-16. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.

Luke 1:15. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.

Jeremiah. 1:5. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.

Before we are even formed in the womb, God knows us. He knows how each day of our lives on earth will unfold. His love and care go with us throughout life.

Early church leaders recognized the Bible’s prohibition of abortion.

One of the reasons that the Bible does not contain specific references to abortion is because the prohibition was completely covered in “Thou shall not murder”. Israelites well understood this to mean killing by sword, by strangulation, by poison, by abortion, and by all other means. Later, as the church began to spread to the Gentile cultures that did not share the Israelite traditions, specific prohibitions were written. Church leaders and others consistently forbade the practice of abortion based upon their understanding of the Bible.

How should Christians respond?

It is one thing when Godless, secular people try to dehumanize the unborn to support their view of abortion on demand. It is quite another matter when these same people attempt to distort scripture and church history to fit their agenda.

There is not a legitimate “pro-choice” position that can be derived from the Bible. To support this position, it would be necessary to use text out of context, ignore the Bible’s attitude toward the young and innocent, and be ignorant of the history and tradition of the church.

God calls each of us to defend the innocent. Christians should elect leaders who share the Biblical view of abortion, support groups working to make abortion unacceptable in our country, and donate their time and money to pregnancy care centers. Every Christian should know the facts and their Christian heritage, and be ready to defend what the Bible really does say about abortion. And we should pray that God will change the hearts of those promoting the genocide of our nation.


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December 12th, 2010

Christmas Care Packages for India

Christmas Care Packages in India

Here are the two ways to share Christmas with Christians in India.

Christians in India face great hardships for following Christ. Pastors are beaten or arrested, and families are mistreated. And yet they bear these costs gladly to wear Christ’s name. It’s not too late to help Christian families in India this holiday season.

This Christmas, we are reaching out to children of persecuted families and to local evangelists in India. Thousands of Christmas Care Packs (for children) and Village Outreach Packs (for local evangelists) have already been sponsored, and there is still time for you to participate in this Christmas outreach to our persecuted brothers and sisters in India.

Christmas Care Packs

Christmas Care Packs contain practical items, such as clothing and sandals, as well as books and Bible stories in their local language, school supplies, crayons and some candy. All the gifts are presented in a school backpack. Imagine the joy on the face of these children as they realize a Christian family in the United States has sponsored a Christmas gift just for them!

Our goal is to deliver 10,000 Christmas Care Packs (customized for different climates) to children living in areas of persecution. The packs will be filled with practical items as well as books and Bible stories in Indian languages to encourage kids in their faith.

Sponsor a Christmas Care Pack

Village Outreach Packs

Village Outreach Packs are specifically designed to assist local evangelists in reaching their communities for Christ. These packs include a small library of gospel materials for them to use in their ministry.

Each Village Outreach Pack provides a small library of gospel materials for a church leader or evangelist. These Village Outreach Packs will go especially to pastors and evangelists from minority groups outside of large cities. VOM’s goal is to provide 3,000 packs that will help recipients learn to preach sermons, teach others and study the Bible more effectively.

Sponsor a Village Outreach Pack

We were created in God’s image. As a result, we have the same capacity to extend kindness that God has. Are you wondering how to start being kind in this Christmas season? The above links will surely help you. God bless you.


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December 6th, 2010

Why Our Prayers Are Not Answered

Why Our Prayers Are Not Answered

We wonder many times, why our prayers are not answered! The reason can be one of these…

There are times in our life when we pray but don’t seem to get an answer. When prayers don’t get answered we are disturbed, anxious, worried, afraid, and lose hope. There can be many reasons why our prayers may not be answered.

Faith
Lack of faith is a reason why prayers are not answered. We read how Jesus stills the storm in Mt. 8:23-27. The disciples woke up Jesus saying that they are perishing. Jesus questions them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” May be Jesus is asking us the same question. When praying for the sick, James 5:15 is so clear, “The prayer of faith will save the sick.” One way of building faith is to get to know the Lord. The more we get to know Him, the more we shall trust Him. Trusting the Lord involves complete surrender. Praying the Apostles’ Creed repeatedly will also build our faith.

Righteousness
Righteous people are those who are right before God, those who do the Will of God. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles (Ps 34:17). For “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers” (1 Pet 3:12). “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective” (Jas. 5:16).

Perseverance in Prayer
Many times in our life we would pray once or twice for a particular need and then give up. We would then ask others to pray thinking God will hear their prayers and not ours. The parable in Luke 18:1-7 taught me a beautiful lesson. The parable begins by Jesus telling the disciples about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. The parable narrates how a widow goes to an unjust judge to seek justice. The widow kept bothering the unjust judge for justice. The widow was persistent in her request and in the end the unjust judge grants her justice. Jesus ends the parable with a question and the answer. “Will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long in helping them? I tell you, He will quickly grant justice to them” (Lk 18:7-8). Romans 12:12 says ‘Persevere in payer’. It is when we learn to wait in prayer that we will be able to develop the fruit of patience.

Humility
The Lord delights in the humble. “The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds and it will not rest until it reaches its goal” (Sir 35:21).

Obedience
In Luke 5:4-8 there is a beautiful lesson on obedience. After Jesus taught the crowds, He said to Simon Peter, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch”. Simon Peter was a fisherman and he knew where to catch fish and he tried the whole night to fish but caught nothing. Simon answered the Lord, “Master we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets”. When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. There is blessing when we obey. In 1 Sam 28 we read that Saul had a big obstacle ahead of him. The army of the philistines gathered against Israel and Saul saw it and was afraid. In verse 6 we see Saul inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him. Saul goes to a medium to inquire of her.

This is a sad plight we see around. When some Christians do not receive answers to their prayers, they go to soothsayers, palmists, and fortune tellers for consultation. To remove obstacles in their life they would go for witchcraft, voodoo, black magic and so on. Some go ahead with games such as tarot cards and the Ouija board. The Church in her teaching is very clear. All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future (CCC 2116). Deut. 18:12 says, “Whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord.” Those involved in such practices should repent, cleanse themselves and dedicate themselves to the Lord. In moments of suffering when it seems that God is not answering we must learn to be patient.

Avoid Sin
In Jn 9:31 we read ‘God does not listen to sinners’. We need to reject sin and diabolical temptations for God to hear our prayers. Sin not confessed can be a barrier between God and us. We must confess our sin and receive absolution. “So if one fasts for his sins, and goes again and does the same things, who will listen to his prayer? And what has he gained by humbling himself?” (Sir 34:31). “When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (Is. 1:15-17).

Fathers will
Our prayers should be in accordance with Abba’s will and not petitions based on selfish desires (Js. 4:3). 1 Jn 5:14 says “And this is the boldness we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prays for Abba’s will in the most trying situation of His life. Many of our petitions are based on the temporary needs of this life. Abba looks at eternity when answering our prayers. Abba will give us only what is good. ‘God wills that our desire should be exercised in prayer, that we may be able to receive what He is prepared to give’ – St. Augustine.

Unforgiveness
God will withhold His mercy if we do not forgive (Mt 6:14). Sirach 28:2-4 says “forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray. Does anyone harbour anger against another, and expect healing from the Lord? If one has no mercy towards another like himself, can he then seek pardon for his sins?” We must root out all bitterness, resentment and hatred before we expect our prayers to be answered. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, it is meaningful only if we are free from bitterness, hatred and resentment.

Helping the Needy
The poor have no one to defend their cause. God will answer our prayers if we give ear to their desperate needs. Is. 58:7-9 says, “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be rear your guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and He will say, here I am.” If God’s word abides in us, our prayers will be answered (Jn. 15:7).

- – – written by Patrick Horne


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