Posts Tagged ‘glory’

2013-02-09_21-58-34_725

Right Arm-Baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On January 22, 2013, America reached a significant milestone. Forty years prior to that day, in 1973, the US Supreme Court weighed in on a decision in Roe v Wade, ruling that the “the emotional, mental, and physical life of the mother” justified the right of a woman by her own choice to end the life of a child growing inside of her.  I have read several interesting and shocking articles that have been written on the occasion of this 40th anniversary, and I would encourage you to do the same (DG-Killing Children, DG- Racism and Abortion, and Washington Post- Silent Evangelicals).

I had so much to say concerning this topic, that on the date of the anniversary, and even the week surrounding it, I was unable to write something less than a novel to explain my thoughts. In this post, my aim is just to shed some light on what abortion is. I have some other opinions, mostly directed at the Church, but will likely just give a few observations, facts, and two horrifying videos for those of you that may be interested (Warning: These videos are not for the faint of heart, and are disturbingly graphic.)

What prompted me to ultimately write this post were the pictures posted at the top of this page.  This is the right arm and side profile of my daughter, who will be born in late June, if the Lord wills. These pictures were taken in late January, when my wife was 18 weeks and 3 days pregnant.  Since I had just read so many articles on abortion less than a week prior to seeing these beautiful pictures of my baby girl, I thought: Certainly, with the development I see in these pictures, we are well past the point that anyone could get an abortion, right? So I looked into it.

The majority of abortions occur prior to week 13 of the pregnancy (like the one in the Youtube video below, which was conducted at week 12.) However, 11% do occur after week 13, and still over 5% occur after week 15 (approximately 142,000 and 67,000 abortions, respectively.) While most sources say that week 20 is the latest an abortion can be performed, there are some places where it is allowed up to week 24, or what they call the age of “viability” (Now considered a real human baby, because it has an increased chance of survival if removed from the mother’s womb.)

This was fascinating to me. At this point, I have heard my daughter’s heartbeat (several weeks prior to getting these images), I have seen her move positions at the laughter of my wife (on the ultrasound), and have seen the outline of her beautiful head and body. Her heart has four chambers. Her brain is functioning. Nearly all of her bones are formed. Her nervous system is in place. She can hear sounds from outside of the womb and would react to light if available. She is very much alive while dwelling amidst my wife’s inner organs. And it is a beautiful thing.

Planned Parenthood is often seen as the culprit of perpetuating the popularity of abortions in the US. This organization, founded by Margaret Sanger, is a group of clinics spread throughout all of the US with the intent to “improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices.”[1] Sanger was a woman who considered lighter skinned races to be superior to darker skinned races, and curiously chose the poor and minority populated area of Harlem in NYC to open her first birth control clinic. For more on this, read the “DG- Racism and abortion” link in the first paragraph.  Currently, Planned Parenthood’s abortion services section markets abortion as a “a safe and legal way to end pregnancy.”[2]  It is odd to me that any procedure that involves the death of ½ of the patients entering into it would ever be considered “safe.”  Also, according to the PP website, 1 out of every 3 women in the US have had at least one abortion by the time they turn 45. That is a huge number. And I understand that those of you who disagree with my overall view of the procedure would argue that it is a fetus, not a patient and not even a human. And I guess that is the ultimate point I am trying to convey here: These are simply tiny humans.

Another odd statement from a Planned Parenthood site comes from their Chapel Hill, NC clinic webpage.[3] Here, they state that abortions at this clinic can only be performed up to 19 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, just under that 20 week mark I mentioned earlier. The logical assumption that I made from this cutoff is that somebody deemed it unsafe, unwise or unethical for an abortion to be performed past this date. At some point, the pregnancy just must go on.  However, further down the page, they inform inquiring patients: “If your last period was after 19 weeks and 6 days, we can still help. Call us for a referral list of health care providers in your area that offer other abortion services.”  Essentially, you can sum that statement up like this: “We are uncomfortable actually doing this procedure at this point, but know people with lower ethical and health standards than we have. We would be glad to get you in contact with them.”  At best, this is a questionable business practice.

I do not pretend to be unbiased on this topic. As the child of a teenage mom, I find it hard to excuse anyone on the basis that having a child is just inconvenient or unintended. I am not sure that a pregnancy can be more unintended than when it occurs between two 14 year old kids.  But, by God’s grace, my mom made a responsible decision and accepted the consequences of her actions: me.  People know that child bearing is a very real possibility following sex. Just like people know that jail is a very real possibility following a crime.  That is why even contraceptives give percentages of effectiveness.  Abortion is faulting the unborn child for a lack of judgment and short sightedness on the part of the parent(s). ***I am not condemning abortion in the case of rape. In that case, while the baby is still a living human, the choice was not that of the mother to initiate the process. I do know that there is still emotional harm done to women who undergo abortions after they are raped, but understand the delicacy of that situation. This scenario accounts for less than 1% of all abortions.***  This is a cruel and unjust penalty to these children. Since Roe v Wade, 50 million children have been killed prior to their first out of womb breath.  CS Lewis, though writing about contraceptives rather than abortion, wrote in 1944 in The Abolition of Man: “And as regards contraceptives, there is a paradoxical, negative sense in which all possible future generations are the patients or subjects of a power wielded by those already alive. By contraception simply, they are denied existence; by contraception used as a means of selective breeding, they are, without their concurring voice, made to be what one generation, for its own reasons, may choose to prefer.”  By our generation’s desire to have selective pregnancy and “family planning”, we have possibly and probably handicapped our next generations the very thing that would make them successful and fruitful generations: existence.  It is a dangerous game we are playing. And one that should not be taken lightly.

Videos: Warning- These videos show very disturbing and very graphic content. While they certainly add perspective and value to the conversation brought up in this post, they are not suitable for everyone. If you decide to continue, I would recommend keeping a tissue close by. They are horrifying.

This is an Abortion

The Silent Scream (28 minute video. If you do not have this kind of time, fast forward to around minute 13 or 14. Also know this video was made in the 80s, and while the statistics have changed some, the procedure is largely similar.)


6 weeks. In the musical era that has given us Adele, Mumford and Sons, and Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” has somehow spent the past 6 weeks at the top of the Billboards’ Hot 100. It has been critically acclaimed by Rolling Stone, Billboard, and several other music critic outlets.  I have several feelings about this song, and I hope to address most of them in something longer than a paragraph and shorter than a novel.

I know that for many Christians, listening to “secular” music, and certainly admitting such actions in public, is very much taboo. However, I have a 30 minute commute both ways to work, and enjoy a variety in my music. While I think there is a lack of musical creativity in our generation as a whole, there are some great artists out right now, and some less than great artists who happen to be very entertaining. Bruno Mars, for me, typically falls into the second category. I’ll be honest with you, I love his music. I do. I’m a Bruno Mars fan. For my money, I don’t know if it gets any better than when he sings “The Lazy Song” (10 points if you get that movie allusion).  However, I am thoroughly disappointed in his latest “hit” “Locked out of Heaven.”  To me, apart from the blasphemous references, which I will address later, the song displays lazy songwriting and a lack of creative thought.

A quick word count shows that of this song’s 293 words, 67 of them are either “yeah” or “oh”.  Don’t worry about busting out your calculator, I did it for you: 23%; nearly ¼ of the entire song consists of one of these “filler” words. They add nothing of value but to take up additional space. Maybe this does not bother anyone else, but if I’m going to hear a song 3 times a day, I typically expect more. The chorus then essentially repeats two lines: “Your sex takes me to paradise” X2 and “You make me feel like I’ve been locked out of Heaven” X2.  According to Mars, (Wikipedia. I know that MLA format frowns upon using Wikipedia as a source, but fortunately I’m a college dropout and can do what I want.) the song came to him out of the blue one night in a studio session.  My guess is that it was written, forgotten about, and turned into a single apart from any additional work after that one night. Over half of the composition of this song has already been mentioned in this paragraph, and I have not even gotten to a single verse. And it is the verse lyrics that have led me to write about this song to begin with. This concludes my three paragraph introduction.

Despite Mars’ clear efforts to equate some of God’s most beautiful truths to the sexual pleasure of a particular woman, I think that this song (accidentally) points to a deeper spiritual truth that we are told about in Romans 1: “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse… Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man…” This song is filled with comparisons between something beautiful that God has given with us for the intention of worshipping Him that Mars has instead decided to attribute to his lover. Indirectly, Mars, while blaspheming, is actually proving this passage in Romans to be accurate.

All men, in the depths of our hearts, know that God is the creator of all things. We know that the intricacies of a baby developing in the womb, or the perfect gravitational pull of the cosmos cannot be mere coincidence or the result of a random explosion and the joining of cells. Mars demonstrates this swap of glory when trying to describe his lover.  His feelings of her love are indescribable. He is trying to find just the right way to explain what it is that he feels, and in doing so, he can think of nothing else but things that he has undoubtedly heard or read about God himself. He uses the lines “Never had much faith in love or miracles… but swimming in your world is something spiritual. I’m born again every time you spend the night.” and “You bring me to my knees, you make me testify. You could make a sinner change his ways. Open up your gates cause I can’t wait to see the light…”  Obviously love and miracles are themes and demonstrations throughout all of Scripture. The concept of being born again and seeing the light are also references to New Testament truths (particularly in the book of John).  However, the picture that they are meant to portray is the beautiful picture of God, and His great love for His people. That even when they were consumed in their own ways and were enemies of Him, He did not spare His own Son, but sent Him to die so that their sins could be forgiven, and that through faith in Him they may be born again and the light of the gospel of Christ would shine through to the darkness of man’s heart.  Bruno Mars has missed this point.  While he thinks he is complimenting his lover, he has actually exchanged God’s beautiful glory for something much less beautiful.  Fortunately for us, God has given us a great gift for when we find someone that we “want to spend the rest of our days” with (another quote from this song): Marriage. The proper way to honor your lover in this situation, rather than exchanging God’s glory for theirs, is to display God’s covenant love for His people, and a man taking a woman as his bride, and laying his life down for her, as Christ laid his life down for His church.  This is indescribably greater than anything that Mars is attempting to display here.

While his idolatry is being sung by millions and praised by critics, the reality is that no person can live up the billing he is trying to fill here.  The greatest woman or man in the world cannot satisfy us spiritually. And Heaven is far greater than any sex this world has to offer.  If anything, sex is merely a small taste of the glory that God has in store for his people.  The joy and the pleasure of the Lord are everlasting.

Ultimately, Bruno Mars is right in his analogy. If we are trying to describe something to be incredible, and want everyone to know that we have indescribable love for something, there is no greater example than that of the way that God saves sinners and gives them new birth in Christ. However, in doing so, he has fulfilled Romans 1 in his efforts, and exchanged the glory of God for an image that resembles mortal man. And does so with poor song writing.