THE ABORTION ISSUE
Abortion is a hot topic in our country at the moment, and should be a top priority topic at all times. I think the word abortion is an adequate word explaining the termination of a pregnancy, but the word does take the edge off what is happening. If what is inside of the woman is a human being, then to take the baby's life is not just "abortion," but indeed murder.
Development is Still Life
It is not different at 10 years, or 10 days or 10 weeks. The development of the human being inside the womb is just not as far along. Even David (my youngest son) at 10 years outside the womb is still developing. He'll get bigger, and taller, and change in appearance as he keeps growing. That doesn't make him less human at 10 years. A baby that is 10 days old or 10 weeks old isn't less human because he or she is less developed. They are growing just like David. They will grow into a more developed human, but they are still human inside the womb, just less developed.
Scriptures on Children Inside the Womb
According to Holy Scripture, when a woman becomes pregnant, what is inside of her is a living, breathing human being. It is not potential life, it is life. It is not anything less that a person.
In Genesis 25 the Bible says that Isaac (Abraham's son) prayed to Yahweh on behalf of his barren wife. Yahweh heard his prayer, and Rebekah conceived. The text says that "the children inside her struggled with each other." Yahweh told her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two people will come from you." Being inside a mother's womb does not mean you are not a person. Your location doesn't negate person-hood.
Exodus 21:22-23 says that when men get in a fight, and hit a pregnant woman so that her children are born prematurely, but there is no injury, the one who hit her must be fined as the woman's husband demands from him, and he must pay according to the judicial assessment. If there is injury, then you must give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, bruise for bruise, wound for wound.
What is inside of a woman is called a child, and is able to be injured. An unborn baby is a life. He or she develops a tiny nose and fingers and toes. They wiggle around inside that womb. When a woman goes to get her first ultrasound, and the tech shows that little baby up on the screen moving around, the mama gets excited and often cries tears of joy, because they know what is inside of them is their child.
Listen to Psalm 139:13-16: "For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began."
Legal does not Equal Lawful
Those verses are not hard to understand. I believe every single person, Christian and non-Christian, theist and atheist, knows what takes place inside a mother's womb. Some have just deceived themselves into thinking that if it is legal it is okay. Brothers and sisters, everything that is legal is not lawful. There have been many unjust things pronounced legal in history. Slavery and abuse of black people was once legal in this country. That doesn't make it lawful. Abortion is legal now, in some states up to the day of birth. That doesn't make it lawful.
I honestly do not believe that anyone thinks what happens inside of a woman's womb isn't a human life. I think everyone, even the most staunch abortion proponent, knows that what is growing inside a woman is a baby human. My reason for thinking this is not hard to see, because when anyone tries to get pregnant, and gets excited when a pregnancy test shows up positive, what are they excited about? What does an atheist actress or singer who gets pregnant, and poses as pregnant for a magazine; what does she get excited about? A clump of cells? Something that is not life? Something that doesn't matter?
Does Choice Change Things?
The way the abortion argument is framed ends up with this way of thinking: "If you want the baby it's a baby. If you don't want what is 'growing inside of you,' it's not a baby." They leave it up to the choice of the woman. Does anyone really believe the choice of an adult woman decides whether what is growing inside of her is a baby or not? No one really believes that. People just suppress knowledge. They deny what they know deep down inside to be true.
Pro-Life Outside the Womb
"Well if you are against abortion then you need to be helping mothers with babies, and adopting unwanted children." Okay... I agree. How does that argument go in favor of abortion? No one person or one family can help everybody, but we can all help someone. In our communities we can help struggling families, or single mothers (financially, watching babies, welcoming them into church, etc.) Christians are actually the greatest percentage of people who adopt. Twice the number of Christians (in the US) choose to adopt, when compared to the number of all other people.
The answer to such a statement about being pro-life outside the womb, is to be pro-life outside the womb. The answer is not to start being anti-life inside the womb.
It's My Body!
"Well it's my body!" No, it is not. You are created. You belong to your Creator. Your Creator gave you your body. He formed your body. You may only do with your body what He allows you to do.
The argument that "it's your body, so you can do with it what you want" ultimately leads to an acceptance of suicide and euthanasia. Someone wants to take their own life? It's okay, and it's okay to assist someone else who wants to die in taking their own life. Is that the road we want to go down? Do we want to start playing Yahweh?
It's Dependent on Me!
"But what's inside of me is dependent on me! Therefore I decide whether it lives or not!" Is that how we normally treat things dependent upon us? My grandson Bowen is dependent upon his Mama to live, and he's almost 8 months (when I initially wrote this) outside of the womb. If she stopped taking care of him, and left him in an abandoned field he would die. Does the fact that he is dependent upon her now, mean his life doesn't matter?
Do we normally treat people or even animals that are dependent upon us with neglect or care? We care for them. When someone depends upon us, we give them extra care, going above and beyond to help them, and protect them. If what is inside of a woman depends upon the woman for life, that should be an argument in favor of doing everything possible to take care of that little, bitty human.
Problems with the Baby
What about finding out there is something wrong with the baby in a womb? Women in my own family have been told by doctors that something could be wrong or that something was wrong with their baby. I don't want to make light of this. It is devastating, at any stage of a child's life, for the mother (and father) to find out that their child may be sick, or disabled, or have special needs when they are born. It's devastating because we want our children to have the best life possible. We don't want our children to suffer in any way.
But let me ask you? Why would we NOT want to give a special needs child life? Sure, they may not be able to hear, or see, or talk. They may have to be pushed around in wheel chair. Some are not able to stand. But some of the most special moments I've ever seen, is when parents with special needs children care for their children.
I'll never forget the time I saw a daddy lift his two special needs daughters from a van into wheelchairs, and push them into the movie theater to enjoy a movie. You think that daddy doesn't want those girls? Special needs people are people, and they are special people. Oftentimes special needs people are vastly more appreciative of life than someone who is entirely healthy. They need a shot at life too. We shouldn't decide to take it away from them.
The Mother's Life?
What if the mother's life is in danger? This is an argument you hear a lot from the pro-abortion side, as though it is the main reason they want abortion to be legal.
Did you know that cases of the mother's life being in danger are less than 1% of abortions? This isn't the primary reason behind the legality of abortion in our nation or other nations on the earth.
That being said, there are some extreme cases where the difficult choice must be made between the life of the mother, and the life of the baby. I realize that there have been people that have had to make such a decision. And such a decision would be so awfully hard to make. If Tisha and I had been faced with that decision, it would have been done in the midst of sorrow, and weeping, and utter devastation. I don't know what we would have done, but regardless, I hurt for any mother (and father) that has had to go through that. I do not treat it trivially, and if anyone reading this has gone through such, I am terribly sorry for any loss you've had, whether mama or baby.
But this is not the primary concern for lawmakers that are pro-abortion. We recently had a pro-abortion bill passed in the state of New York, that allows for a mother to abort her baby up to the time of birth. And when it passed, there were cheers, and claps, and smiles. That's disgusting. Had such a bill been passed with sorrow and weeping, then I might believe that such lawmakers were genuinely concerned with the unborn life. But such is not the case.
As I close let me say something to the women who have had an abortion in the past, and now regret it. You've prayed over and over for forgiveness. You wished you had made a different decision. You long to hug your child in your arms now. You long to be able to teach your child to say mommy and daddy. You wished you could sing to your child, and hear them laugh. Dear mother, you are forgiven. The blood of Christ cleanses you from this sin. Yahweh sent Yeshua so that we could be forgiven of this sin, and many other sins against His law. That's the gospel. That's the good news. If we confess our sin, and repent of our sin, the blood of the Son of Yahweh cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:5-10).
I know it's hard, because in spite of me trying to reassure you of your forgiveness in Christ, there are some days you don't feel forgiven. I know this, because it happens to me to. I know I've been forgiven of my sins. But some days, I just don't feel forgiven. The weight of my past sins in my conscience haunt me. I don't feel like getting out of bed. I don't feel like going to work. I just feel like laying there crying, because I hurt my Creator, and my neighbor, and I want a do-over. It's just something I deal with, so I know how it feels, to feel unforgivable.
So... I preach the gospel to myself, just like I preach it to other people. We are far away from Yahweh, but through the blood of Messiah we are brought near. He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve. He has not repaid us according to our offenses. He's removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. He forgives us, because His perfect Lamb paid the penalty for our sins, was resurrected from death, and went to heaven as our high priest.
I'm not saying your hard days will ever end. I have stretches of time, sometimes months, that I'm good, but then a hard day comes. I'm not saying some kind of magic words will make it all stop. I'm just saying that when these days come, and you don't feel forgiven, know that salvation is not dependent upon how you feel, but upon what Yahweh the Savior has done for you in and through His Son Yeshua. Salvation is not a feeling; it is a reality in spite of bad feelings.
Mother... if you've confessed your sin, and repented of your sin, you are forgiven of your sin. I say that as a minister of the gospel. I love you, and most importantly Yahweh loves you.
My Children and Sports
My children don't play organized sports much anymore, but they did a lot when they were smaller. I was big into sports as a kid. I loved basketball, and have so many fond memories of my coach and teammates. High school ball is a highlight of my life.
I do think sports can become an idol (like many things). A person can put a sporting activity or event above service to Yahweh. That's dangerous. When a parent is constantly on their child to do better and practice more, the child feels overwhelmed and pressured. The parent has then idolized the sport to the point that it takes over their own life and their child's life. Life becomes about how good the child is at basketball, or football, or softball. That's not a healthy way to live.
I think that an organized sport can be good for a child, if it's kept in its proper place. The child learns respect and how to work with a team. They learn about ups and downs. They learn discipline. These are good things.
I would always tell my children that there were 3 rules to a sport. Yes, I'm about to get spiritual here, so hold on to your hat. I think everything we do should be filtered through Holy Scripture. If you don't see things that way, you might want to stop reading here.
Rule 1: Put Yahweh First
I didn't let my children play a scheduled game if it was on the weekly Sabbath. I was teaching them priorities. When Yahweh's holy time came around, His time came first. His time was prioritized over our time and recreation. I was trying to instill in my children that Yahweh is number 1, not number 2. No matter how important a game was, Yahweh took precedent.
This wasn't always easy. I specifically remember one game my two oldest sons missed. It was an important tournament game, and my sons played first base and short stop. I almost gave in, because I didn't want to hurt the team. But I had to stick with what I had been teaching them. Yahweh comes first.
(I haven't been perfect in this area. Sometimes activities have arisen, and I've allowed my children to do them on the Sabbath. Some of this, I'm okay with. Others, I kick myself for putting Yahweh on the back burner. It's a learning process when you have children.)
Rule 2: Be like the Messiah
This is a rule that goes against the main tenant in organized sports. I taught my children that it didn't matter who won the game.
Now you've got to realize something: I'm a very competitive man. I like to win. I like to be first in everything, and I do think it's okay to try to win, but ultimately it is just a game. I have to remind myself of this when I watch the Atlanta Falcons play, because I'm a huge fan. My wife has "helped" me for years: "Matthew... remember it's just a game. It makes no real difference honey." I shake my head and mumble. (She's right you know.)
I would tell my children to be kind to everyone on the field. I'd tell them to tell the players on the opposing team "good play" when they made a hit, or caught a fly ball. I would tell my kids that when they lost, the other team had the chance to have that good feeling of winning, so they should be glad for the other team. No matter how bad you felt because you lost, rejoice because your friends got to win one.
I know that's not easy, but I didn't want my children making their life all about winning, because that's a big, fat lie. In life, there are so many losses; so many heartaches; so many disappointments. You don't always come out on top. I wanted to prepare them for that, and let them know that they are still great people even when they lose. It's no big deal, especially when it's just a ballgame.
Rule 3: Have Fun
I'd always end by telling my children to have a good time. Laugh, high five, encourage everyone, and be an example of fun. Sports are fun, if you approach them rightly, but you can't let a game steal your joy. You can't let a missed ball or a strike out make you bitter for the whole game. You've got to go into it with a mindset that you are there to enjoy some recreation with your friends.
I'd encourage any Christian parent to re-evaluate their priorities if their child is active in sports. It can be a good thing, but don't turn it into the main thing. Don't neglect the Creator who gives people their talent and ability in the first place. ✌🏼
The past few days I've been thinking about my life as a dad since the Summer of 1998. I still remember holding my firstborn daughter in my arms and crying tears of joy. She's turning 16 next month, and I'm scared to death about her driving without her Mom or myself in the car. My prayer life's been struggling though, so I guess The Lord is trying to get me back on my knees, lol...
I've always wanted to be the best dad in the world, and there have been times when I've fooled myself into thinking that I was. It's funny how that we lower the perfect standard of Yahweh's law to meet whatever we are doing at any given time in our lives. Once it's lowered we begin to think we are a great person, in this case parent, when the reality is that we fail over and over and over again. It's not that I want to fail. I want to be the best dad. I would like to be able to say that I do my best to be the dad Yahweh wants me to be to my children. But I'd be lying to Yahweh and myself if I said that. So, I can only be thankful for the times I am able by grace to have "holy moments" as a dad to my 5 children. I confess I fail miserably often, and I cling to the Father for strength, and I trust in His Son as my perfect, sinless Savior.
What I've been pondering on are 3 things that I believe every parent needs to be told. I'm not some sort of parental guru, I'm just an ordinary guy who has been a parent for almost 16 years (my oldest is almost 16 and my others are 14, 12, 10, and 5). This ordinary fellow would like to share with you these 3 things in hopes of encouraging other parents in their current or future journey.
(1) You need to realize right now that you will make mistakes in parenting. Big ones. There are so many things that I would do differently if I was starting right now. Someone might ask me for a list of all of them, but I don't have enough cyber ink to spill my friend. I couldn't give you a list if I tried, and the list is not what's important. If you are a new or young parent, you are going to learn this like every other parent, in your own way. It's part of life. You will one day look back on your life as a dad or mom and say, "I wished I would have done this or that." Just know that you are human, and when you mess up, ask your children to forgive you. Repent to them, and get back up and start again. It's a process you'll have to repeat every day in some fashion.
(2) If I had to come up with one primary child training "point," it is this: spend as much time with your children as you can. I do not like it AT ALL when I hear dad's say "It's quality time that matters, not quantity." It makes me want to slap them silly back into reality, lol. The more time you spend with your children, the more they will know you love them. Have as much fun with them as possible. (We all spend our time and money on what we love the most, and your kids will know that as they get older. That paper trail never lies.) Teach them the Bible, play games with them, swim with them, go on vacation with them, homeschool them, talk to them, take them out for dinner or a movie, eat with them, joke around with them, tell them you love them and that you are thankful for them. They are Yahweh's blessing to you. Don't forget that.
(3) When you discipline your children, don't forget about the amount of grace and mercy Yahweh has shown and continues to show you as an adult. When our children blatantly disobey, we immediately want to lash out in anger. I've disciplined my kids in anger and I feel miserable after it's over. Send them to their room or even outside for a while and give yourself time to cool off. They need to be trained and disciplined, but it needs to because you are genuinely concerned for their well being. Think about all the times you fail your Heavenly Father, and then go back to Him again and ask for His forgiveness. Our children aren't angels, no matter how much we think they are. They are sinners, just like us, and they need the strong arm of the law, but they need the sweetness of the gospel as well. Remember Paul wrote to the Romans that it's the kindness of Yahweh that leads men to repentance.
Of course there's tons more, but this is all I've got for the past few days. Hope you don't mind me sharing my brain with you.
~ Matthew Janzen
It is extremely important that we do not forget the importance of family. Family is often overlooked in many ways in modern America. For example:
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.