Saturday, July 30, 2011

God's view of abortion

God does condemn and prohibit abortion because of how he sees and defines life. The Bible makes no distinction of any kind between a fetus and a person living outside the womb. Genesis 25:21-22 NIV says, “Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ So she went to inquire of the LORD.” The LORD answered Isaac’s prayer when his wife became pregnant. It does not say God answered the prayer after the birth of the babies. It also says the babies jostled within her. That is quite a feat for children that are not alive.

Check out the punishment for the murder of an unborn baby. Exodus 21:22-25 NCV says, "Suppose two men are fighting and hit a pregnant woman, causing the baby to come out. If there is no further injury, the man who caused the accident must pay money—whatever amount the woman's husband says and the court allows. But if there is further injury, then the punishment that must be paid is life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, and bruise for bruise.” There is no indication in the Hebrew rendering that the baby died because of a miscarriage. The quotation of verse 22 from the New Century Version is the picture the literal rendering gives. How God sees the life of the child in the womb is clearly in view here regardless of whether or not one would choose to argue that we no longer follow the Old Testament law. People often misunderstand how we are to relate to Old Testament law as well. That is another blog for another time though. The point is that payment was due if injury occurred. The punishment if the child dies is the death penalty.

The body also equates life with blood. It does not limit it to breath. Deuteronomy 12:23 NIV says, “The blood is the life.” The formation and functioning of the baby’s heart and blood vessels begins anywhere from three to four weeks from the time of conception. 2 Kings 19:3 NIV says, “This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them.” Notice is says when “children” come to the moment of birth. The Bible calls them children before and after birth.

The book of Job equates the beginning of life with birth and conception because they are two phases of beginning in life. Job 3:3 NIV says, “May the day of my birth perish and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’” Job 3:16 NIV says, “Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day?” The Bible calls the stillborn baby an infant. Aborted babies never see the light of day either though. These human beings are not worthless flesh growing inside the body waiting to be born before they have rights as people.

Jeremiah 1:5 NIV is one of the best verses that tell us when God considered a person important enough to live. He says in that verse about Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” This verse shows that God has a specific will for individuals BEFORE their conception. This does not mean that people exist before their conception. Only Jesus can rightly make that claim because he is God in human form. It also does not mean that people are predestined in that they have no free will. Everyone can choose to follow God’s roadmap for his or her lives or not. God has a purpose for every individual though whether those individuals have been born yet or not.

Luke 1:35 NIV says, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Jesus was the holy one before he was even out of the womb. He would have to be “one” in be a “holy” one by definition. Luke 1:41-44 NIV records the following event. “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.’” We see where the Bible refers to a person inside the womb as a child again. The Bible never refers to a baby in the womb in a term that makes it appear subhuman. It also refers to Mary as a mother even though Jesus was not born yet. We even have a baby leaping in the womb. This is very impressive for something that is not alive or not human.

James 2:26 NIV says, “The body without the spirit is dead.” That means the body that is alive must have the spirit of life already within it. This would include a child inside the womb. The Bible clearly answers the question of whether or not the baby in the womb is an individual or just part of the mother’s body where removal can occur without moral, spiritual, or other consequences. The argument that the baby is part of the mother and therefore the mother has final say-so does not fly when the child is going to be on the receiving end of a murderous, barbaric procedure. The baby is not just part of the mother that is free for removal on a whim. It is a live person with rights that go beyond a mother’s desires. Either parent’s desires do not matter when we are talking about abortion in other words.

God tells us that children are a blessing from God. It does not say children are a blessing unless they are born into a bad family. It does not say children are a blessing unless they are the product of rape or incest. It does not say children are a blessing unless they grow up and turn out bad. It says children are a blessing with no qualifications. One of their intentions is to be a blessing to the parents. That is why a child should never be the victim of an abortion regardless of how they get here whether that is due to abortion, incest, or anything else. Psalm 127:3-5 NIV says, “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” Psalm 128:3-4 NIV says, “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the LORD.” A person whose primary purpose in life is to please God would not have an abortion because they would be killing what God cherishes above all. Psalm 8:5 NLT says, “Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.” We are only a little lower than God is. That puts each individual life’s value almost beyond words.

We are to be good managers of everything because it all belongs to him and he has set the human race as managers over it all. That includes children. Proverbs 22:6 NIV says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” It is hard to manage your children properly when you kill them before they even see daylight outside the womb.

God takes our management or lack of it seriously as should we as his creations. Jesus said in Luke 12:42-48 NLT, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful. And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”

1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV continues the subject of wise management over all of God’s creations. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” Aborting a child that is a gift from God regardless of the circumstances behind how the child got there is not proper faithfulness of the trust God has given all parents. It is worse than child abuse. It is downright murder.

Abortion violates the commandment of love. The Bible gives the summary of all commandments from God in Romans 13:8-10 NIV. “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” That is not to say it is enough to know just to love. The other commandments teach us how to love properly rather than leaving us to come up with our own definition. This summary of all the commandments proves useful for this purpose though. The above verse says part of loving our neighbors is not to murder them. Abortion murders unborn children. That means no one who murders their children can say they love them whether they are born or not.

The Bible teaches that God condemns the murder of the innocent. Proverbs 6:17 NIV lists “hands that shed innocent blood” as one of seven things that God specifically says he hates. Matthew 15:9 NIV lists murder as one of the potential fruits of evil thoughts. Revelation 21:8 NIV lists “murderers” among those who will be part of “the second death” and “cosigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” Revelation 22:15 NIV also lists murderers among those who will be outside God’s Kingdom.

There is one more thing I need to say about this. Most of this has been about the evils of abortion. Make no mistake. Abortion is an evil practice that our country has allowed where we legally permit the murder of millions of unborn children. This shows our nation’s moral thermometer for what it is. However, it also demonstrates the great patience of God that he has not turned the U.S.A. to ashes for abortion and all of our other ungodly practices. This demonstrates the other side of God’s character. He is not just a God of righteous justice and judgment when necessary. He is also a God of love, mercy, and reconciliation. Even the motivation for his righteous justice and judgment is his love. He tries to correct us when we mess up or rebel on purpose. This is all part of his unlimited love and desire to see us in close fellowship with him. His love will not override his justice, but his love and mercy are just as unlimited as his righteous anger and judgment against the unrepentant wicked.

It is not too late for you if you have had an abortion. There is still time to give your life to God. Please repent of your sins. Repent sounds like a fancy theological word. It is no more complicated than to turn from your wicked ways and turn toward God. Admit to him that you realize the wrongs you have done and that you have no hope of ever being good enough to reach his standard of perfection on your own. That is what he requires of all of us. That is why every one of us needs a perfect substitute. I have sinned against the Lord just as all of you have. We all need the sacrifice of God the Father’s Son Jesus Christ because we have all acted in rebellion against him. He took our place so we would not have to suffer for our transgressions. I implore you to trust in the sacrifice of Jesus as a bridge between you and God. Do not wait until it is too late. Then after you have become one of God’s children, you can begin your life for him.

Acts 17:30-31 says, “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” Jesus’ arms are wide open right now, but there will come a day when it will be too late to make things right. Thank you and God bless you. Please do this now and do not put if off. I cannot stress the importance of it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The deception of baseline budgeting

Attention blog readers: The next time you hear someone talk about draconian or extreme budget cuts the Republicans want to make, don’t believe it. Baseline budgeting is one of the biggest shams perpetrated by Washington politicians. It is used by politicians to deceive citizens who are not aware of how baseline budgeting works. This was broken down very simply by Rush Limbaugh earlier today on is radio program. I know his name is the equivalent of blasphemy to any hardcore liberals that may be reading this, but if you just give it a chance, I will attempt to summarize his explanation of how this would work on an individual level so you will know what to watch for the next time some journalistic jester or plotting politician tries to misinform you.

Let’s see what happens if you do your budget the way Washington does their budget using Rush’s example from earlier today. You have decided you can afford a $40,000 car. You go to the dealership, but while you’re there you find a car you like better worth $70,000 that is on sale for $60,000. Even though your budget said to only spend $40,000, you buy the car that was on sale for $60,000. However, because it was on sale, you tell yourself you saved $10,000 rather than what you actually did, which was to spend $20,000 more than you had.

Another example given on today’s show when talking about this was a man who says at the beginning of the year that he expects to gain 100 pounds. At the end of the year, he only gains 75 pounds. However, instead of telling the truth that he gained 75 pounds, he tells people he lost 25 pounds because at the beginning of the year he expected to gain 100. In a nutshell, these examples explain baseline budgeting which is how Congress decides how much money they are going to spend.

Washington does not consider their baseline as what they start out with every year. Their budget assumes that every item in the budget will increase regardless of what happened the previous year. Those increases become the basis for budget talks the next year regardless of how the money was spent before. So under this baseline budget gimmick like was described above, if Speaker Boehner were to propose a freeze on all government spending, meaning we do not spend one dollar more than we did last year (which would be a good thing), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) would score that as a nine and a half trillion dollar cut because that is the total of automatic baseline increases over the next 10 years. What they mean is that nine-and-a-half trillion dollars that is authorized for spending would not be spent.

This is how Congress can cut nothing from their actual spending and yet say they are making cuts. If they project to spend a trillion dollars in a year and then only spend $750 billion of it, then they can go around and say they have cut $250 billion. This is also how the Democrats could claim back in 1995 that there were cuts in the school lunch program when there were actually increases. The media uses tactics like this to try to scare people into thinking conservatives want to make extreme cuts when they aren’t cutting as much as they need to or maybe not even cutting at all, but just spending less than was allocated in the budget. If Republicans called for a budget freeze, again meaning Congress does not spend one dollar more next year than this year, Democrats would say Republicans cut nine-and-a-half trillion dollars because is how baseline budgeting works. It would be reported in the media as such in hopes that Capitol Hill would be flooded with calls to have some compassion and not make such extreme cuts.

Remember this the next time you hear the term baseline budgeting, any budget talk, or about how extreme cuts are going to be made from some program that has been deemed necessary. This kind of accounting needs to be wiped from the books and replaced with a real budgeting system like happens in real life outside of Washington D.C. Again, this was a condensing of something that was explained with more detail over a three hour period during today’s “Rush Limbaugh Show” on July 27, 2011. I hope this has been as eye-opening for you as it was for me when I heard it today. Have a good night and God bless you all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.