God is at Work in America

A commentary on the defunding of Planned Parenthood

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.” Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

I rejoice in the recent ruling by the 9th Circuit Court upholding President Trumps decision to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe the 9th Circuit Court ruling is a remarkable sign God is honoring the prayers of those who grieve over abortion and desire to see revival take place in America.

The stats are appalling: America leads the world in abortion services. Globally, there are about 125,000 abortions each day. Most are shocked that about 66 million people died in 10 years of fighting during WW1 and WW2. However, abortion has killed more than that in the last 18 months. America is largely responsible for that number, and as Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America, I rejoice that their federal funding will decrease by about $60,000,000 this year.

This writer, and many others see God’s hand of providence at work. Several states have approved legislation to restrict abortion funding and services in the last few months. And this recent astonishing 9th Circuit Court ruling to support the Trump-administration order to defund Planned Parenthood comes from a Court that has a history of being hostile to this administration. The ruling not only presents Planned Parenthood with an immediate $60,000,000 impact, significant reductions in other funding channels are also expected. 

Just before her resignation, Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood said of the ruling: “The abortion lobby is incredibly upset about this.” She referred to the ruling as “unethical, illegal, and harmful to public health.” Contrary to Wen’s claim, public health is not impacted as this ruling does not apply to Title X funds for women’s healthcare.

The new President of Planned Parenthood (McGill-Johnson) has attempted to propagate the lie that Planned Parenthood is a “leader in general healthcare…and often the only health care provider for many [women].”  However, studies show that in the last decade, Planned Parenthood decreased its efforts to provide medical services and instead, prioritized abortion services. For example, Planned Parenthood centers report that since 2007, PAP smear testing is down 72%, breast cancer screenings are down 65%, prenatal care is down 78%, and Colonoscopy procedures are down 64%.                

Planned Parenthood does not focus on providing health services. Former company President, Cecile Richards, stated in a New York Times article, “We [Planned Parenthood] aim to be the largest kick-butt political organization.”  Shaping politics and public opinion, and making money by killing the innocent are the driving forces behind this company.

Abortion is not a women’s rights or health issue, or a political issue; it is a spiritual issue. The world is so shrouded in darkness that few in government or academia are asking, “What does God desire?” Abortion may be legal in many parts of the world, just as slavery was in the 19th century, but that does not guarantee it is right or moral. 

Bottom line: The Bible forbids the shedding of innocent blood

  • You shall not murder (Exod. 20:13)
  • Cursed is he who…strikes down an innocent person (Deut. 27:25a)
  • The LORD hates…hands that shed innocent blood… (Prov. 6:16-19)
    • See also Exodus 23:7 and Deuteronomy 19:11-12

 

Some argue abortion is acceptable because the word abortion is not in the Bible (therefore God must not forbid it). This is untrue. Israelites understood the commandment, “Thou shall not murder” applied to any means of killing. Though in parts of the world, forms of abortion were known in Old Testament times, the issue was not explicitly addressed in the Bible (or debated by Hebrew scholars) as there was no question the act took an innocent life. This kind of killing is murder, and murder is clearly against God’s commandments. 

In New Testament times, as the church began to spread to parts of the world where various abortion practices were culturally acceptable, church leaders quickly addressed the issue with strong written admonitions:

  • “Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born” (Letter of Barnabas 19 from 74 AD).
  • “…And these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion” (The Apocalypse of Peter 25, 137 AD).
  • “You shall not procure abortion, nor destroy a newborn child” (Didache 2:1 from 150 AD).
  • “There are some women among you who by drinking special potions extinguish the life of the future human in their very bowels, thus committing murder before they even give birth.” (Mark Felix, Christian Lawyer, Octavius chap. 30 from 170 AD).
  • “The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion (see Ex. 21:22) Tertullian, 210 AD.
  • “Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does” (Tertullian, Apology 27 from 210 AD).
  • “Women also who administer drugs to cause abortion, as well as those who take poisons to destroy unborn children, are murderesses.” (First Canonical Letter from 374 AD).
  • “The law, moreover enjoins us to bring up all our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature, and diminishing humankind.” (The Works of Josephus, Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book II, 25). 
  • “Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder” (Jerome, Letters 22:13 from 396 AD).

Planned Parenthood is a chief perpetrator of evil. The recent 9th Circuit Court ruling is a step in the right direction, but the battle is not over. The next election cycle for the United States will be a critical test for the Church in America. The battle lines have been drawn. Control of the House, Senate, and the Presidency will be determined by just a few issues—chief among them is abortion. 

It is likely the next administration will be in a position to appoint Supreme Court Justices (and judges) and enact legislation to significantly impact the nation for years. Much is at stake. Watchmen must see what is happening, take a stand, and be a voice for truth and right. 

About 3400 years ago, Joshua called the people of God together and said, “Choose this day whom you will serve…” – Then he drew a line in the sand – “but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). Those who chose well impacted the course of the young nation of Israel for many years. 

Today, God’s people—particularly those in America, have an opportunity and obligation to both recognize and join the battle. We must, as Joshua declared, “Choose this day whom we will serve…”  

It is not OK to be silent. It is not OK to be an undercover Christian. Watchmen must speak with truth in love, but speak boldly. They must call out sin and encourage people (including government leaders) to pursue righteousness. Believers, as we can, let us speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and support brave leaders who are trying to honor God and do the right thing. 

My sense is that dark days are coming. The spiritual battle is intensifying. I encourage you to be diligent in prayer, connected to other believers, grounded in the Word, and active in service. 

Ask God to lead, guide, and use you. Ask God to give you boldness, the right words, and the ability to say what should be said in the best way and at the best time. Be quick to restore the fallen, to extend grace to the sinner, and to praise God when we see evidence of His working.

Maranatha!

 

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