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By In Podcast, Pro-Life

Episode 11: Abortion, Courage and Blood Money

In this episode of the Kuyperian Commentary Podcast, Jesse Sumpter interviews Pastor Toby Sumpter to discuss the Christian’s responsibility on the abortion issue. Pastor Sumpter believes, “We need to pass laws outlawing abortion in our states and then we need to refuse to show up in federal court.”

In June of 2017, Pastor Sumpter penned an article entitled, “Courage & Blood Money: A Proposal toward the Abolition of Abortion” for his blog on Crosspolitic. In this cutting blog post, he criticizes Christians for failing to demonstrate the courage to challenge the federal government on abortion.

“What would happen if the Feds started sniffing around the Colorado or Washington State marijuana laws?” asks Pastor Sumpter. “Or what about states that have declared that they will not enforce illegal immigrant laws? I’m pretty sure the states wouldn’t give the Feds the time of day.”

The Idaho pastor notes that current efforts to make progress against abortion are often undermined by the cowardice of American Christians. “We think we need to be nice — but that is not a fruit of the Spirit,” said Sumpter. “We need to be patient, to be kind… but what we need to recognize is that there are more options and tools at hand.”

Another significant obstacle for states like Idaho is the amount of federal funding that the state depends on each year. A legal breech between the state and federal government could jeopardize the billions of dollars the federal government gives to the state. According to Pastor Sumpter, “the feds are paying us to murder 1300 to 1400 babies every year in the state of Idaho… they are bribing us to murder our children. We ought to say ‘no’ and that we won’t sacrifice the life one child for all the money in the world.”

Toby J. Sumpter serves as a minister at Trinity Reformed Church in Moscow, Idaho and is the author of the commentary Job Through New Eyes: A Son for Glory and Blood-Bought World. He is married to Jenny and they have four children.

Podcast music and editing by George Reed.

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By In Culture, Politics, Pro-Life, Theology

Abortion and moral schizophrenia

Last Saturday here in London, UK, we read about the heartbreaking case of the youngest victim of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Logan Gomes. The child of Marcio and Andreia Gomes, Logan was as yet unborn when the fire struck. His mother Andreia was taken to hospital following her escape, where doctors discovered that poisonous fumes from the blaze had claimed the life of the unborn child. Logan was born while Andreia was in an induced coma, and Mr Gomes was faced with the unthinkable task of breaking the news of his youngest child’s death to his wife and the couple’s other daughters, Megan and Luana.

Just a few days previously, we read that “the UK’s largest doctors union”, the British Medical Association, “has called for the complete decriminalisation of abortion and for women to have access to terminations on demand.” The article continues, “If the BMA gets its way, medics would not face criminal sanctions for providing, or women for procuring, an abortion in any circumstances, at any stage in a pregnancy.”

That is to say, the largest union of doctors in the UK is calling for the legalisation of the deliberate killing of children at precisely the same stage of life as young Logan Gomes. The BMA (an association of doctors – people with the job of saving lives) wants the law make abortion legal for any reason whatever, at any stage of pregnancy, right up to birth.

What are we to make of this?

(more…)

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By In Culture, Politics, Pro-Life

As I lay Dying: End of Life Ethics

hospital

A few days ago, Hugh Hewitt hosted a webinar with Rick Warren and Robert Barron on California’s assisted suicide law, and suicide laws generally. After dealing with the theological and ethical issues at play, Hugh interviews relevant legal experts; identifying appropriate “next steps” for those of us concerned with the sanctity of life. I can’t recommend the webinar highly enough.

There’s not a clear “Christian” way to vote on many things; those laws relating to assisted suicide—like those recently passed in California and Colorado—are not such things. That the End of Life Options Act passed by a 2 to 1 margin in the Centennial State is as grievesome as it is wicked.

My dad—a pastor and chaplain—taught me that our inability to see the dignity and humanity in people as they die says more about our callousness than it does about their direness. As always, legal renewal must be preceded by cultural renewal, which of course must be preceded by spiritual renewal.

In addition to the webinar, I’d recommend two other resources. First, check out Matthew Dickerson’s The Mind and the Machine: What it Means to be Human and why it Matters. While the book is not specifically about assisted suicide, the subtitle should be a clue as to its relevancy. Second, I would recommend picking up Harold OJ Brown’s Sensate Culture (published in ’96), specifically to reference his section on medical ethics. I’ll conclude with an excerpt from Brown:

“Hippocrates himself never spoke of ‘ending suffering’ but only of healing. If human life has no meaning beyond the pleasures and pains of bodily life, if there is nothing to look forward to after death, it is apparent that an excess of suffering will make living seem a burden to be thrown off as speedily as possible… One will reject this convenient solution only if one has ethical fixed stars, such as used to be provided by both the Christian faith and the Hippocratic tradition.

Medicine, like engineering or industrial production, is often considered a technique rather than a philosophy or worldview. In fact, however, medicine brings its practitioners into touch with a broach range of human existence; changes in the culture sooner or later must affect medicine, and changes in medicine cannot fail to affect the entire culture.”

 

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By In Culture, Politics, Pro-Life

Reconciliation and Bearing God’s Image

Guest Post by Al Stout

At Providence Church in Pensacola, Fl,[1] we have a regular Vespers’ service on the first Wednesday of each month. We sing the majority of the service, we read three lessons from Scripture– an Old Covenant, New Covenant and Gospel passage–followed by a short homily. This week we read Genesis 1:26-31; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; and John 3:1-8 and I delivered the homily.

Reading the news of the day, there were a couple stories about men being shot and killed while being arrested or detained by police. I saw some of the responses to those shootings. I began to contemplate what it is that gives men and women, no matter their level of sin or righteousness, dignity. This is what I asked those who were at Vespers…

—–

What is it that gives man dignity? What moves the Church to advocate for the unborn child and the prisoner? What compels us to give honor to the most innocent and the guiltiest, that they should be treated with dignity?

In Genesis 1 God declares that we are created in the image of God. Man was created in goodness and while still pure commanded to take the image of God to the rest of creation. They were to reflect the image of the Creator to His creation that did not bear that image. This is part of the subduing of creation mandated by Holy Spirit. By carrying the authority of God by way of His image, we would participate in Creation, its management, and husbandry. Even without sin man took the image of God to the world.

The fall did not undo this. Man is still to take the image of God out to the world, but with the fall came a haze over our eyes. Blindness is a type of death[2]. We could no longer see properly; not just creation, but we could no longer see God himself in those He created. So, when Cain kills Abel and he is confronted with his sin, he cannot see the value of his brother, his inherent dignity. He slanders him by declaring to God that Abel is not worthy to be watched over, cared for, ministered to… “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:8-9).

This cloudiness of eyesight can affect us as well. It is hard for us to see the image of God in an unborn child or in the man guilty of murder. If we forget that they are both image bearers we can trash them both. We can literally put the most innocent into the garbage, but we can also forget the prisoner; leaving him or her to physical assault and even rape. Turning such humiliation into a joke, we laugh with the world as fellow prisoners or guards strip men and women MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD of their dignity, or sounding support with glib comments like “Can’t do the time, don’t do the crime[3].”

When we forget that even the guilty bear the image of God, we can quickly find ourselves supporting or even participating in evil far greater than the crimes perpetrated by these guilty persons. (more…)

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By In Culture, Pro-Life

Your self-righteousness isn’t keeping you safe

The recent shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando has been labeled the deadliest mass shooting in US history. It’s reported that the gunman killed 49 people and injured at least 53. Most Christians have responded to this tragedy with love and compassion for the victims and their families. Numerous churches and pastors have denounced the violence and are standing in solidarity with the LGBT community.

But as usual, the craziest and most extreme of any group is the loudest. Two pastors have made headlines for their remarks on the Orlando shooting. One says,

“The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. I’m kind of upset that he [the shooter] didn’t finish the job!”

Another pastor says,

“I’m not sad about it; I’m not going to cry about it … the victims were going to die of AIDS and syphilis and whatever else; they were going to die early anyway … The bad news is that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive.”

(more…)

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By In Pro-Life

After-birth abortion and infanticide

Last Sunday’s sermon at Emmanuel Evangelical Church in London was on the subject of abortion. Since the release of the Planned Parenthood videos has made this something of a hot topic over in the US in recent months, I thought it might be helpful to mention a couple of things that arose during the sermon itself and in the subsequent discussion.

A couple of people expressed surprise (no, actually astonishment) at the article whose abstract I quoted during the sermon. The article from the 2012 Journal of Medical Ethics is available online, and is entitled “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” In it, the authors Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva expressed the view that what they call “‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.” Since the article is frankly almost unbelievable, perhaps it might be helpful to quote the abstract in full:

“Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”

Perhaps predictably, Giubilini and Minerva faced a barrage of criticism for their views. Indeed, they even reportedly received death threats from pro-life activists, which are of course no more morally justifiable than the threat to human life posed by abortion itself. (more…)

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By In Pro-Life

Do Pro Life People Want to Limit Access to Women’s Healthcare?

Eric Ferrero, vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement. “The people behind these protests have a clear political agenda: They want to ban abortion, and block women and men from accessing basic reproductive health care.”

These people constantly have to resort to lies because what they really stand for is murdering children. So he says, “The people behind these protests have a clear political agenda: They want to ban abortion…” It’s not a political agenda, it’s an ethical agenda, but that noted, fine. His point is basically right. These people want to ban abortion. That is the ultimate goal. But because that doesn’t sound monstrous, he tags on “…and block women and men from accessing basic reproductive health care.” No. The only thing we want to block people from is being allowed to murder their children. That’s it. No one is protesting abortion *and* neonatal care. No one is protesting ob/gyns. There are no protests at the thousands of community care clinics across the country that don’t perform abortions.

So no, we do not want to block women and men from accessing basic reproductive health care. We want elective abortion, the willful termination of a human child’s life in utero to be unequivocally banned, abolished, and criminalized just as murdering any other human person is. That’s it. That is what we want. And of course, to that end we will protest those organizations that support, promote, and perform abortions, Planned Parenthood being the most prominent and egregious example. If that offends you fine, but please stop with the nonsense about wanting to block women’s access to basic medical or reproductive health care. It’s ludicrous.

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