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Archive for January, 2010

Abortion

Poll finds 56% of all Americans and 58% of those 18-29 years old say abortion ‘morally wrong’

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On the eve of the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout the United States, a new survey shows a strong majority of Americans believe abortion to be “morally wrong.”

“Millennials” (those 18-29) consider abortion to be “morally wrong” even more (58%) than Baby Boomers (those 45-64) (51%). Generation X (those 30-44) are similar to Millennials (60% see abortion as “morally wrong”). More than 6 in 10 of the Greatest Generation (those 65+) feel the same.

The most recent Knights of Columbus – Marist survey – conducted in late December and early January – is the latest in a series of such surveys commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and conducted by Marist Institute for Public Opinion. In October of 2008 and July of 2009, the survey has

been tracking an increasing trend toward the pro-life position – a trend confirmed by Gallup and Pew surveys in mid-2009. K of C – Marist surveys are available online at http://www.kofc.org/moralcompass.

“Americans of all ages – and younger people in even greater numbers than their parents – see abortion as something morally wrong,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “America has turned a corner and is embracing life – and in doing so is embracing a future they – and all of us – can be proud of.”

He added: “Advances in technology show clearly – and ever more clearly – that an unborn child is completely a human being. That, coupled with the large number of Americans who know one of the many people who has been negatively affected by abortion are certainly two of the reasons that Americans are increasingly uncomfortable with Roe v. Wade’s legacy of abortion, and with abortion generally. The majority of Americans now understand that abortion has consequences, and that those consequences are not good.”

The question on abortion was part of a larger survey, which will be released in the next several days.

This report presents the findings from a survey of 2,243 Americans — including an oversample of 1,006 Millennials. Reports for Americans have a margin of error of +/-2% and for Millennials it is +/-3%. Data were collected from December 23, 2009 through January 4, 2010 using an online, probability-based panel from Knowledge Networks, Inc. Additional information is available at http://www.kofc.org. Data on the polls commissioned by the Knights of Columbus are available at http://www.kofc.org/moralcompass.

SOURCE Knights of Columbus

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This is not an easy topic to address, so please be patient with me: This blog is only part one of many more blogs on this subject.

I do not presume to have all the answers to this critical matter, but I will write on what the Bible teaches about it.

For the person who has no faith in Christ, God often uses suffering to show the person his or her need of Him.

Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician, philosopher and physicist (1623-1662), wrote that “there is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known by Jesus Christ.”

I spoke the other day to a woman who adored her father and called him her “hero.”

However, when she was just a teenager, he contracted Parkinson’s Disease.

As her father grew worse off physically, his condition naturally affected their relationship.

He eventually died of the disease. For a time, she blamed God and turned away from Him, but eventually, that vacuum was too great and by His grace, she turned to Him.

Now, she thrives in her relationship with her heavenly Father and sees how God worked through that tragedy (that is a part of the fall of man through sin — not ordained by God) to bring her to Himself.

I grew up with an alcoholic father that made my formative years extremely difficult.

By the age of 20, I was desperate for God.

Although God did not ordain that my dad become an alcoholic, working repeatedly on him to get him to turn away from alcohol and to Him (John 16:8), he did not and our family suffered for his choice for many years.

I, too had that same vacuum and when I was 20 or 21, I gave my life to Jesus and now know God as my heavenly Father in an extraordinary way.

I’m not thankful for the suffering, but I am thankful to God for how He worked through the suffering — to bring me into an exciting adventure with Him that gives me the greatest fulfillment known to man — and that will last througout eternity!

In Part Two, I’ll write about why God allows suffering in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ.

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I write the following out of a pastoral concern that many who call themselves Christian teachers of Scripture equivocate with the truth of what God’s Word plainly teaches, in favor of the postmodern philosophy that truth cannot really be known.

Instead, they want to have a “conversation” about the body of truth contained in Scripture, opting for ambiguity instead of certainty, because certainty for them reeks of modernism.

However, they actually live in a world based on truth: death is a certainty (and so are taxes); the law of gravity still works; if we break the laws of our society, we face consequences; if we attempt to make a purchase of some good or service without money or credit, we will not take delivery of said goods or services.

Could it be that when Christian teachers push for ambiguity that there is a deeper problem – a moral problem?

Human nature is such that if a man or woman can rationalize away truths or certainties, they can simultaneously justify sinful behavior that they hide from those who admire their teachings.

Just as such teachers call their followers to be suspicious of anyone who is certain about “truth,” so must we also be careful to examine the fruit of all teachers to the best of our abilities and furthermore, to examine carefully what they teach to ensure that it is sound (Acts 17:11).

I offer the following:

God is “the God of truth” (Ps. 31:5).

Jesus reveals Himself as “the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).

In Greek, there is a definite article before each noun, which has the force of what we would understand as the only real thing. Moreover, “no one” is emphatic.

God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:5).

Timothy (and all Christians) are to “Be diligent (the word contains the notion of persistent zeal) to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).

In dealing with those who stand in opposition to the truth, Paul writes this to Timothy (2 Tim. 2:24-26):
“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”

In the last days, people will be described this way (2 Tim. 4:3-4): “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

His wrath burns against those “who suppress (to hold down firmly) the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18) and for exchanging “the truth of God for a lie” (Rom. 1:25).

All of this because they spurn His grace and offer of salvation; they in effect spurn His entire plan of salvation for them – meaning they reject Jesus’ willingness to humble Himself by leaving His father, becoming a Man, living a perfect life, gladly substituting Himself in our place on the cross to take our sin upon Himself and rising again for our eternal life.

The same holds true in 2 Thess. 2:10-12, where Paul repeats for emphasis two times that “they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (v.10) and instead, they opt for the contrast of “what is false” (v.11).

Moreover, they “did not believe the truth” (v.12), but again, in dramatic contrast, they “took pleasure in wickedness” (v.12).

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In my quiet time this morning, I prayed Ps. 31 over all of you at South Hills, Bethany and the Church in general.

Please note, however, that the promises of this Psalm are conditional upon our appropriate response…

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William Barclay, in his commentary on Matthew, quotes William Temple, the renowned archbishop of Canterbury, who defined worship as the quickening of the conscience by the holiness of God, feeding the mind with the truth of God, purging the imagination by the beauty of God, opening the heart to the love of God, and devoting the will to the purpose of God.

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Dear South Hills Family,

I have a feeling that tomorrow we’re going to run out of parking spots. Last week we only had 15 slots left — and that was with people still coming back from vacation.

If you read this, would you please consider parking in the Park N Ride at the corner of Almaden Expwy and Camden?

We’ll have a van picking people up from 9:30 to 9:55 and then returning people for 1/2 hour after the service.

I don’t think it would be a good idea at all for us to park in the neighborhood and get the neighbors angry — especially when we have an extra lot.

We have lots of new people coming tomorrow!

Thanks!

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Yesterday in my message at South Hills Community Church I gave this statement: “holiness is good; holiness brings with it joy, health and freedom.”

Of course, the same thing holds true for righteousness — meaning we daily choose to do those things that are right in God’s eyes.

Now how we go about this makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

I like to refer to a “rigid” holiness or righteousness, which comes off as self-righteous: “I don’t do this or that, and neither should you!”

Compare this with a “warm” holiness or righteousness, where we simply hold onto standards that the Lord has put into our hearts and we do things to please Him.

I remember several years ago when I worked in sales having a conversation about a particular movie.

I don’t remember what the movie was, but at the time it was “all the rage” and everyone seemed to be going to see it — except for me.

Sure enough, the time came when my co-workers asked if I had seen the movie.

Well, because it was full of swearing and sexual scenes, I had chosen not to see it.

The question caught me off guard, but by God’s grace, I was able to give a gracious answer: “You know, because of the swearing and the sex scenes, I just don’t want to give myself to things that I don’t think are pleasing to the Lord, so sometimes I sacrifice things that I would ordinarily like to do in order to please Him.”

The questioners had no problem with that response. But they would have had a problem if I had pompously declared that “I don’t see such garbage and neither should you!”

That’s one example of what I like to call a “warm” holiness or righteousness. It may not be the best example — you can probably come up with better examples — but it was a real life example.

We live in a fallen world that is quickly getting darker and more sinister and the temptations to sin are more demanding and alluring than ever.

Nevertheless, I’m still choosing to walk in imitation of Jesus, who lived in perfect holiness and righteousness (and I fall way short).

After all, did anyone ever set foot on this earth that was fuller of goodness, joy and freedom than He?

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