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Lord's Day Liturgy

June Life Jubilee

As God’s people we will gather in a public park in front of city hall to sing and fellowship because of abortion laws. It is quite a thing.

It is a sin not to care about the destruction of those who can’t protect themselves. We will give an account to the Lord, so says inspired wisdom.

Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?
(Proverbs 24:11–12 ESV)

We can’t opt out of the responsibility. That doesn’t mean that we all have the same tasks to do, but there is blood on our collective hands as citizens of the United States and as citizens of Washington State.

It is not comfortable to see the sin, the selfishness that kills, the arrogance that argues for abortion as “privacy” or as a “right” or that calls it “health care.” But we must see it.

There are pro-life groups that argue online, the abolitionists and the incrementalists. I don’t get making enemies of those who disagree about how many steps it takes. The fight is with those who don’t care, the fight is with our own convenience, the fight is with our own fear.

Our thanks to God for the overturning of one wicked law does not mean we’re done, but “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving [may our] requests be made known to God.”

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Lord's Day Liturgy

Rejoicing in Roe’s Reversal

I know it was announced over a week ago, but I want to profess my thanks to God for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Praise the Lord! What an answer to prayer. This is the right decision and a cause for great rejoicing.

Maybe you’ve seen some of the Christian lamentation over the decision. I don’t mean the so-called pro-choice people who profess to be Christians, but rather the ostensible Christians urging other Christians not to celebrate so loudly because it might offend and upset others for whom killing babies is supposedly a complex issue. “Praise God, but for your neighbor’s sake, keep it down.”

Here’s an example:

Source

Let me exhort us to beat our breast in humility (like the tax collector in Luke 18:13) and then raise the roof with rejoicing filled with compounding rejoicing. Any step that abates “legal” murder is a good step, a mercy from God that seems, if possible, extra undeserved by our nation in light of so-called PRIDE month.

Yes, we are not done with the work. Returning legislative responsibilities to each state is something, and Roe was a large legislative idol that is past due to be torn down. But our state is still committed to slaughter, and we must “rescue those who are being taken away to death” (Proverbs 24:11).

And yet also, how many have prayed for this day? How many have sacrificed? This is a kindness from our Lord Jesus Christ. His mercy be praised! Say His name. We cannot say it too loudly.

It is not at the same level, but our first day in our new assembly location doesn’t mean we’re done. Likewise, rejoicing in our forgiveness doesn’t mean we’re perfect. But the Lord and His grace deserve praise for every step.

Take the restrictor off your rejoicing in the Lord.

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Every Thumb's Width

Killing Is Not a Constitutional Right

For a number of years I have talked about making Marysville a destination. I’ve thought about it in terms of being the kind of people with a gravity that could be an encouragement, and maybe even a sort of mini-haven, to Christians in an otherwise leftist (political/moral) state. In fact, ours is already one of the few sane cities on the I-5 corridor, which goes up and down the furthest left (geographical) part of WA State if you’re looking at a map.

Our legislature and governor are trying to make WA a destination for different reasons. They’ve put forward a bill to invite more abortions.

Here’s the news article, including this quote from the governor:

“We know this bill is necessary because this is a perilous time for the ability of people to have the freedom of choice that they have enjoyed for decades. To the citizens of Idaho, if Idaho will not stand up for your constitutional rights, we will.”

But killing is not a constitutional right.

If you do click through and read the article, note that immediately following the governor’s quote, our state is also abandoning words like “woman” and “mother” for “pregnant individual.”

We are lost. And while it isn’t surprising, it is sinful, depraved, evil, and worth doing something about.

If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?
(Proverbs 24:10–12, ESV)

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Lord's Day Liturgy

62 Million Abortions and Counting

I am still thinking about some of the implications of what I’m about to say, and I understand that two things can correlate without meaning that one causes the other, but is there a connection between pastors devouring their own flocks and mothers aborting their own children?

Last week, on January 22, was 46 years since the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. There have been almost 62 million abortions and counting in the United States since then. How could this be in a nation with more Christian values than pagan ones? Don’t Christian problems start with Christian leaders?

I do not mean mostly that preachers have been quiet about abortion or soft and weak if they do speak about it, though those are failures. I’m mostly asking if society has learned how to treat others by watching how shepherds walk their fields.

Certainly some of the motives are the same. It is selfishness, pride, and especially insecurity that cause pastors to preach against the sheep, that cause pastors to demean and demand sacrifice from their sheep rather than give and sacrifice for them.

Husbands and fathers ought to find examples for sacrificial and leading love in their elders. Wives and mothers ought to do likewise, in addition to watching how their own husbands nurture them. We should learn from our parents, and the wise will learn from good and bad examples, wherever the examples come from.

But pastors/preachers/elders/overseers have been guilty of direct abuse of kids, direct neglect of the abortion issue, and too much ego. Preachers lie for their own benefit, and little wonder that our politicians can claim with a straight face that “Abortion is health care.”

God judges us with His abandoning wrath in the legal murder of 62 million babies, and in His judgment of unloving shepherds for His sheep. Who will fight off the wolves when we are they? Even if disobedient Christian leaders are not the cause of a cultural mindset that accepts abortion, it is a reason for confessing our sin.

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A Shot of Encouragement

A Real Crack-Up

Loving our kids and teaching them to respect life has consequences.

“If you pray for Roe to be overturned, and for the issue to be returned to the states, you are praying for the eventual crack-up of the 50 state union. It may happen with a whimper or a bang, but one thing is sure and certain. Respect for life and love of death are incompossibilities. We cannot vote them into a mutual respect and acceptance any more than we can vote to have water flow uphill.”

—Douglas Wilson, The UnRoeveling of America
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A Shot of Encouragement

Against Abortion and For Adoption

I aim to post something at least once a week against abortion or for adoption. It’s not because I have a platform. It’s not because it’s trendy. It’s because God hates evil and loves good, and so should all His people.

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A Shot of Encouragement

The Patient Within

Proverbs 24:11 and “The Patient Within” #defundpp

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Every Thumb's Width

A Fight to the Death

Abortion does not make sense. It is, and always has been, “fatal violence–against the most helpless members of our human community.” But many in our generation are frantic to deny this reality, so a testimony like that in When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense is potent.

[Abortion] gets presented as if it’s a tug of war between the woman and the baby. We see them as mortal enemies, locked in a fight to the death. But that’s a strange idea, isn’t it? It must be the first time in history when mothers and their own children have been assumed to be at war. We’re supposed to picture the child attacking her, trying to destroy her hopes and plans, and picture the woman grateful for the abortion, since it rescued her from the clutches of her child.

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Lord's Day Liturgy

Communion Against Abortion

Here is an outrageous claim that I believe is true:

We must rejoice more when we remember Christ in communion if we want to stop abortion in our nation.

The decision of Roe v. Wade came 43 years ago last Friday. Since 1973 over 59 million unborn babies have been killed that we know about in the United States. God knows how many have not been counted.

The Supreme Court’s decision and its consequences have worked alongside a swelling cultural desire to stifle faith. You can believe whatever you want as long as you believe that your faith can’t breathe in public. Faith, if it must exist, cannot be allowed to grow to full term. This is analogous to abortion, a desire to kill any fruit.

Living faith has two eyes to see, two ears to hear, a mouth to speak, two hands to work with, and two legs to stand on. Watch out for living faith. Living faith is fruitful. Living faith is dangerous to the status quo. Living faith is a weapon against selfishness and greed and fear, our own and then our community. Living faith makes those who don’t have it afraid.

Which is why our celebration in communion is so crucial. Any external fixes, including changes in the legal and medical and cultural policies on abortion, must be driven by internal faith in Jesus Christ. The gospel is our only hope of salvation, but those who are saved by faith will live by faith. This is a meal that nourishes our faith. We eat and drink and our gladness grows, our hope blooms, and our union with the Head–Christ–and His body is sensed.

The evil one sows doubt. The world suffocates conviction. Our own flesh attacks trust. But faith that is fed conquers kingdoms, enforces justice, obtains promises, and is made strong out of weakness. Faith that is fed is ready to be imprisoned, mocked, mistreated, and sawn in two. Faith lived out makes us men and women of whom the world is not worthy (see Hebrews 11:32-38), and it will have an impact on generations yet to be born.

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Lord's Day Liturgy

That Sickening Feeling

We can be thankful to God for the work of the Center for Medical Progress and their exposure of Planned Parenthood. Many Christians have been fighting on behalf of the unborn for decades and the calloused nature shown in the recently released videos have spread that sickening feeling. May the Lord grant our nation repentance before another boy or girl is killed.

Christians have hope that righteousness will ultimately prevail because another Son was murdered. His limbs and organs weren’t harvested for profit but His life was sold for silver. His calvarium wasn’t crushed but it was pierced by thorns. Forceps didn’t pull Him apart but other men did force His arms into position. Calloused men mocked and gambled for his clothes before making sure He was dead, yet He was more innocent than any aborted baby.

Isaiah prophesied about this Son. “His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance” (Isaiah 52:14). “He was despised and rejected, “as one from whom men hide their faces” (Isaiah 53:3). “He was cut off out of the land of the living” (53:8). He was barely recognizable, but in His death we are redeemed.

What adjectives could we use to describe the unbelievable killing and marketing of our own nation’s children? The same adjectives that would struggle to carry the injustice done to Jesus Christ. And yet it was His willing endurance of oppression and slaughter that saves us and gives us hope in the midst of senseless evil.

Those who have crushed little children to death can be forgiven because Christ was crushed for iniquities. Those guilty of murder can be declared justified because a guiltless man was murdered as an offering. Jesus is our hope of life, and He is the life we announce for the sake of hope in this culture of death. The good news is good for such a time as this. We eat and drink the symbols of the chastisement that brought us peace.