Tag Archives: Death

Is Abortion Murder?

I know I have made my opinion known on the topic of abortion within this blog in past posts, however, some topics are important enough, worth enough, to be revisited again and again.

2018 National Right To Life March Washington D.C.

January 22nd is the anniversary of the 1973 Roe Vs. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion as a “Constitutional” right in the United States of America.  During those 45 years since that ruling, there have been (conservatively) 60 million abortions in the United States alone.  To put this into perspective, six million people of Jewish decent were murdered by Nazi Germany between 1941 – 1945 during World War II.  If you are generous and allow a full 5 years across WW-II for the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany (in reality, they were slightly more compressed), you would achieve nearly the same rate of 1.33 million deaths per year for both Jewish people killed in the Holocaust and abortions in the U.S. since 1973 (1.20 million/year vs. 1.33 million/year for the Holocaust and Abortions in the U.S. respectively).

2018 National Right To Life March Washington D.C. – march participants

While both abortions in the U.S. and the Holocaust are (were) state sponsored events (the U.S. Supreme Court sanctioned abortion in the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 as well as Government funding of Planned Parenthood – using taxpayer dollars – which sponsors abortions), the justifications that each hide behind are quite different (presumably to make one sound less horrifying than it really is).

2018 National Right To Life March Washington D.C. – Marchers were of all ages, gender, and race.

While the reasoning used by Nazi Germany to justify the murder of millions of Jewish people all across Europe are completely indefensible by any right thinking individual, the subtlety used to justify abortions within the United States are more cunning and deceiving.  Within the abortion argument in the United States we hide behind words like embryo and fetus.  By using these words to describe a phase of human life, we tend to isolate the subject of the abortion and make it sound less human and thus perfectly acceptable to remove and throw away.  We simply state we are terminating the pregnancy (vice acknowledging we are terminating a human life) and having safely justified our actions to ourselves, we move on.

2018 National Right To Life March Washington D.C. – united in cause.

But the question still remains: Is Abortion Murder?  Just because we have justified it to ourselves does not mean that it is OK.  Nor does it mean that we will not be held accountable for our actions just because we’ve excused ourselves of them.  Have we fooled ourselves into believing that the termination of a pregnancy (vis-à-vis abortion) is OK because we are not actually taking a human life, when in reality, we actually are?

2018 National Right To Life March Washington D.C. – pause and think.

I suppose if you are Atheistic in your world view, it doesn’t really matter.  After all, there is no God, no Moral code, and definitely no purpose or meaning to life.  Given the foundation the Atheist builds their world view upon, they really shouldn’t mind killing of any kind.  After all, with no God to answer to, and everything in existence being meaningless, it wouldn’t matter one way or the other if abortions were murder or not.  But if you are Atheistic in your world view and you are intellectually honest with yourself, then why do you care how the morals get defined?  There is no more control over which process wins here than there is with stars burning out in the heavens.

2018 National Right To Life March Washington D.C. – marching together.

If you are Agnostic in your world view you shouldn’t have an opinion unless you are directly affected by the issue.  And even then you should pick your friends carefully.  After all, if you had one influence in your life that favored abortion and another, equal influence, that opposed abortion, it would be pretty confusing for you.  The Agnostic would have to flip a coin in order to decide.

However if you are Theistic in your world view, then you must believe that all life emanates from a God, a Creator.  And if you cannot definitively define the exact moment in time when that God-given, Creator induced life begins, then you had better err on the side of caution and treat all credible instances as human life.

This is essentially what President Ronald Regan said during his time in office.  President Regan argued (from a Theistic point of view, without stating it explicitly) that if one could not determine the point that human life began (we may all agree that the individual cells are life), that you could not act responsibly in terminating that life without being potentially guilty of murder.

So is abortion murder?  Consider that the fetus stage appears human in form.  We have hands, feet, a head, a torso.  A face.  Consider that at the fetus stage that we have a human heartbeat (~6 weeks), at the fetus stage we can measure brain waves/activity (~6 weeks.  Indeed the brain needs to be developed enough at this stage to govern organs such as the heart).  Consider at the fetus stage you can begin to see rudimentary facial expressions.  There are ultra-sounds of a fetus even sucking their thumb.  At the fetus stage you may even determine the biological sex of the child.

Some have argued as to whether or not the child is sentient at the fetus stage.  We know that at the fetus stage the child reacts to stimuli such as pain.  Very early on the child can even react to the voices of its mother and father.

These are what we know, in a rudimentary way, through both science and medicine of today.  Who knows what we will be able to discover or discern in the future?

And of course there is the religious argument.  Christianity teaches that the person (the spirit – that part of you that will endure forever) is known by God (the Creator) before you are even formed in the womb.

Is abortion murder?  How can any reasonable person say that it is not?  And we destroy thousands upon thousands of lives each year in the United States alone.  Isn’t it time that this practice is stopped?

Are You In the Midst of Despair?

Here we sit on the eve of a New Year.  2017 is about to pass into the annuals of time and 2018 is about to arrive with all of its mystery, and fear, and excitement.  I don’t know what the New Year may hold for you, I don’t even know what the New Year holds for me.  But this is what I do know: GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL.  Praise Him!

I also know that it’s possible the New Year may hold despair for you and those you love.  But if this is the case then I invite you to consider the fact that: GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!

I also invite you to consider the fact that perhaps your despair is not as deep or as life gripping as you might perceive.  Consider this: have you ever walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?  I mean the actual Valley of the Shadow of Death.  Have you ever found yourself there?  Before you answer that, lets consider where and what the Valley of the Shadow of Death actually is and where we might encounter it in our lives.

King David wrote in the 23 Psalms:

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

The valley here (in verse 4) in not a happy place.  The depiction embodies a place of high mountain walls (that cast deep shadows) that are impossible to climb.  The valley is a place from which there is no escape.  It is a place where you feel trapped and vulnerable.  If you are a soldier, it is a place where your enemies are perched on the high ledges surrounding you waiting to rain down death and destruction upon you.  If you are a sheep, it is a place where the wolves roam the high ledges surrounding you waiting for the moment to pounce.  This makes it a place of fear and trepidation.  A place of never knowing when death and destruction are going to strike next.

There are shadows.  And not just any shadows, we are talking shadows that create a darkness like night.  If you were to look at Psalms 23:4 in the NIV, you would read “even though I walk through the darkest valley“.  Because the word shadows means an intense darkness.  The Englishman’s Concordance calls it “an intense darkness as night itself“.  So it is a valley like night, without any light.  It is a very dark place.  And even though the text does not say this, I would suspect that it is a cold place.  The lack of sunlight, being sheltered by the mountains, being at the bottom of those prepices, it must be cold there.

And finally, there is death.  You are in a valley that smells of death, it reeks of death, it reminds you of it everywhere you look.

The Valley of the Shadow of Death talked about in Psalms 23:4 is a place of fear and a place of NO HOPE.  It should probably have a sign at the entrance to it that reads” “ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE”.

I’ve seen these signs on people’s doors before.  They think they are being funny (and it kind of is, if you think about it).  But they wouldn’t consider it very funny if they really did have to walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

It is a place of hopelessness and despair.  Complete hopelessness and despair,  Have you ever been there?  Completely and utterly without hope?  Few of us really have.  Sure, you may have your hard times, your trials and tribulations in life … but completely hopeless?  Probably not.  Most of us, the vast majority of us, always have at least some glimmer of hope in our situations.

This is a place of NO HOPE.  At all.  Whatsoever.  And yet the Psalmist writes: “I will fear no evil“.  The Psalmist IS NOT afraid.  Why?  Because King David had experienced the protection and the awesome power of the Rod and the Staff of the Lord.  And once you have experienced the power of God, not even a hopeless situation can sway you.  Once you understand the awesome power of God, you understand that it really doesn’t matter if he protects you or not.  What you understand is that God has the power to save, and if he chooses not to – HE IS STILL GOD.  That is the what the Psalmist understood and it freed him from the grip of fear.

The good news here is that few of us ever really do walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  I personally believe that it is a place reserved for Prophets to walk through.  I believe God does this on purpose in order to keep the Prophets humble (a very hard task when it comes to Prophets) and to ensure they remain empathetic with the people (a very hard thing for Prophets to do).

So you can probably rest assured today that even in the midst of your pain and suffering, you at least have not yet come to the place of NO HOPE where all is lost.

And if God can take the Prophet through the place of NO HOPE and utter despair, the actual Valley of the Shadow of Death, and the Prophet can walk through without any fear of evil and be comforted at the same time, how much easier is it for God to take you through your own hard times?

There Is No Honor In Death

I lost my cousin today.  The son of my dad’s brother,  and the youngest of two children, he was known to the family as Little John.  I suppose from some throwback to the Robin Hood character.  But not to me.  To me he was always Big Bad John.

John stood 6 foot 5 inches tall and for most of his adult life weighed more than 300 pounds.  He was younger than me, but he was a much bigger man than I ever have been.  Dad used to refer to him as the Gentle Bear.  John was intimidating in his size, but there was nothing at all intimidating about his heart.  John warmed up to everybody he came into contact with and was always looking for the good within people.  It is just the way he was.

John passed away at 0500 EST this morning peacefully in his sleep after a short battle with cancer.  I have always been the rebel in the family, not seeking out relationships or contacts.  But not so with John.  These last few months, and really for the last couple of years, John confided in me maybe a little more than the rest of the family.  Almost to the point where the rest of the family was asking me if I had heard from him and if I knew how he was doing.  Perhaps to some extent, John was more respectful of our relationship than I was.

Perhaps it was because I served in the U.S. Military and John never did and he always had such great respect for our Nation’s military.  Or perhaps he just cherished some of the moments we shared in our youth.  But whatever his reasons, Big Bad John wanted to share the last few months he had on this earth reminiscing with myself, his cousin.

I’ve stated this before, but I’ll take this opportunity to say it again, Death is the antithesis of Life.  Jesus Christ said that he came to earth that we might have Life (and have it abundantly) (John 6:39-41).  God gave all of humankind Life from the inception of creation.  Death is the sin curse upon the world and Satan uses it as a feeble attempt to rob God of his created family.  And thus Death and Life are at odds with each other.  One brings joy and happiness, and the other brings sorrow and pain.

I was at work when I got the call from my wife with the news that John had passed.  I must have been visibly shaken because my coworkers asked if I was OK, and one asked if the phone call was bad news after I had hung up the phone.  Even though I knew it was coming, and even though the family expected it at any time, the moment of the news was a point that shattered my soul.  Big Bad John was gone.  No longer may I take for granted his Skype calls or his IM chats, or the time that he wanted to share.  Those times are now past.  And the memories of those times are all that remain.

If your world view is Atheistic, then I am saddened for you all the more. The one thing that evolution cannot answer for you is the emptiness in your soul at the passing of a loved one, a family member, or even a friend.  There is no science that explains the inexplicable bond that all of humanity shares over the helplessness of Death.  Even though as a good atheist you should know that it is all without meaning and that we are all just cosmic particles drifting in the vastness of the universe, there is still, to varying degrees in all of us, that unnatural feeling of loss that Death brings.

If your world view is Agnostic, then you really should not care one way or the other at the loss of a life.  But the impact of Life and Death is still there and is still an unexplainable force that impacts us all.

However, if your world view is Theistic, as mine is, then you should understand that God is still in control and that His Great Plan is playing out on the world stage and just how privileged we are to be a part of it all.

Christians sometimes wonder why God allows Death in the world.  I believe that Christians shouldn’t wonder why God allows Death, but rather understand that God orchestrates Death.  God is the giver of Life and only He (and He alone) may take that Life away.  Consider the Life of Job.  When God asked Satan if he had considered his servant Job, and Satan accusingly challenged him on the blessing God had bestowed upon him, God allowed Satan free rein in Job’s Life but would not allow him to take Job’s Life (Job 1:1-12).  Because God, and God alone holds the keys to Life and Death.

We like to depict Death as the Grim Reaper, as some evil character coming to take Life away, but in reality, the Angel of Death works for God, not Satan.  And Satan has no more say over your Death than what God allows within His plan.

And thus, like Paul of Tarsus, we may proclaim, “Oh death where is thy sting, Oh grave where is thy victory?” (I Corinthians 15:54-56). Because the Theist, the Christian, has a great hope that this life is not meaningless, that there is order to it all, that there is a God who loves us and who has a Great Plan for His Honor and for His Glory and that we have the great privilege of being a part of that plan.

I know that I know that I know, that one day Big Bad John and I will swap stories once again.  I know this because Cousin John told me that he was at peace with his King and his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  And I know that God is now holding Cousin John in His great hands, safely awaiting that day when we will all be united once again as part of God’s great family.  Not for me, and not for Big Bad John, but for His (Jesus Christ’s) own Glory.

So Big Bad John, just know that in the meantime I will keep the faith, and as for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD until that day that he either calls me home or He comes again to reunite all of His children in the ultimate culmination of this fantastic journey He has orchestrated for each and every one of us.

John Keith Orman: March 24, 1965 – March 31, 2016image

Do You Have A Right To Die?

The world is officially losing its mind.  At least we are here in the United States of America (and probably most other Western cultures as well).

California became the fifth State this week to pass a Right To Die law.  For some reason there are those that seem rather gleeful about this.  This law supposedly gives those that are terminally ill the choice to end their own lives through doctor supplied drugs.

What it does, in reality, is cheapens life.  Forty-three years ago there were those here in the U.S.A. that decried the legalization of abortion predicting that it would lead to new forms of legalized, state sponsored deaths.  And here we have their predictions coming true.

Rush Limbaugh made this very case in his1992 book The Way Things Ought To Be.  Rush writes:

“But I am also pro-life because I am a human being who feels a sense of duty to civilization.  I think it is incumbent upon us all to be concerned about the values we transfer to succeeding generations.  When we take actions that cheapen life, we are contributing to the overall decline in society’s moral values.”

(Limbaugh, Rush, “The Way Things Ought To Be“,  New York, Pocket Books, 1992, ISBN: 0-671-75145-X, pg. 50)

Rush goes on to write:

 “It’s not just abortion that is eroding our respect for human life.  There’s also death at the other end of the spectrum.  Look at the right-to-die movement.  They’re not calling for a right to die, they’re mostly calling for a right to kill.”

(Limbaugh, Rush, “The Way Things Ought To Be“, New York, Pocket Books, 1992, ISBN: 0-671-75145-X, pg. 59)

At the time Rush wrote those words, Dr. Jack Kevorkian was practicing his physician assisted suicides in Michigan.  Rush addresses his work in the chapter of his book I have referenced.  Dr. Kevorkian actually was convicted in 1999 of Second Degree Homicide and served 8 years in prison for that conviction.

It is amazing that just 16 short years ago, States were prosecuting and convicting those engaged in this type of behavior and yet today they are signing that very behavior into law.  How quickly a society can change.

These laws presume to offer you a right (definition #19).  A right to die.  My first question would be: Why in the world would you want such a right?  I have never wanted a right to die.  I want a right to live.  And to live free with the pursuit of happiness.  To be all that God has made me to be.  It used to be that we made SciFi movies about people who were terminally ill and how they would freeze themselves or have their bodies put into some type of stasis so that years into the future when medicine had advanced they could be revived and cured.  Today we simply tell them they have the right to take some life ending drugs.

But my second question is: Where in the world did this right come from?  I’ve talked about rights on this Blog in the past (see my posts on: Where Do YOUR Rights Come From? as well as: Chasing After Rights).  Rights come from somewhere.  That is they are granted by some entity.  The founding fathers of this country believed there were certain inalienable rights that were granted by God.  And among those were Life.  I don’t think that God, who has granted each and every human an inalienable right to life,  has suddenly granted everyone a right to die.  So where did this right come from, if not from God?

And the only possible answer is it came from society.  It came from us.  And if society is in the business of granting rights, we have gone down a very slippery slope indeed.  Why do those in physical pain and suffering get to be granted a special right and those in emotional pain and suffering do not?  I’m going to cry foul here and tell you all about my anguish over the financial disparity between myself and Bill Gates.  I demand the right of financial equality.  It is germane to my sanity and good health.  But there is no such right.  Because God never granted it, and society could never achieve it even if it wanted to grant it.

The people that “granted” this (so-called) right never had the authority to grant such a right to begin with.  They are playing god and are only feeding their own warped egotistical existence.

My biggest problem with the (so-called) Right To Die is the same thing Rush Limbaugh identified 23 years ago.  It cheapens life.  And this is because I actually do have a Theology (something most of the world lacks).

If you are a Creationist, then you have to believe that life was created.  Depending on your particular theology, you might even go so far as to say that life is a gift from God.

My particular religion teaches that God intended for life to be abundant and joyful.  However because sin entered into the world it brought death and destruction.  Death as a consequence of sin, is the very antithesis of life.  The former is a gift, the latter is a curse.

Because of my Theology, I actually cringe whenever I encounter any type of mercy killing or humane killing.  Even with animals or pets.  My problem is that even putting an animal out of its suffering (as if that animal doesn’t want to live) is a hardening of our hearts.  It is a practice that makes it easier for us to then see our way to extending the same practice to our fellow humans.

This is not going to sit well with most of you (actually the vast majority of the world) – but the pain and suffering of death actually AMPLIFIES the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ made upon the Cross.  It is because I abhor death with such great disdain that I appreciate the Cross all the more.  It is because I understand the great sin curse of death that I come to understand Grace all the more.  It is in the pain and suffering that we learn just how much as been overcome.

“Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!”

Paul of Tarsus understood this when he wrote:

“54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” (1 Corinthians 15″54-56)

Paul understood the sting of death.  And Paul understood the great price that had been paid.  He understood death was the consequence of sin and that Jesus Christ had defeated it once and for all and had walked out of the grave victorious in Life!

So do you have a right to die?  I sincerely hope not.  I hope you have a hope to live!  And I trust that hope is found in the one who was victorious over the grave.  My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Is It Your Time?

I recently heard a young woman giving a speech during which she proclaimed to all within her age group that today was her generation’s time.  This is a somewhat common phrase heard in most cultures around the world.  The idea that now is your time (or our time) is an expression fairly well understood by most people of the world.  It embodies the sentiment that a generation should seize the moment (carpe deim – as it were) and lead the way into the future.

Every generation that comes along encounters a point where they (the collective of the generation) believes it is their time.  But what does this really mean?  Does anyone, or any one generation really own time (or even a segment of time)?

Time is an interesting thing.  We mark time as humans because we know things from a finite perspective.  We experience a beginning, birth, and we at least perceive an end (death).  We know history from this finite perspective as well.

For the Atheist, especially those that ground their beliefs in an Evolutionary model, time is a critical component.  It is used as both a validator of their model as well as a marker of why we are at the place we are within that model.  By this I mean that time, and lots of it, are necessary for their model to make any sense or to even work.  And time also serves as a marker within their system to explain how we (mankind) got here and to predict where we are going.

But time is literally a linear thing.  It stretches in both directions from the point we find ourselves within it until it literally out distances itself from our present day means of comprehension.  Consider the fact that some (and I stress some, not all) Scientists place the age of the Universe at approximately 13.77 billion years old.  This “age” is calculated based upon a singularity (in this case the Big Bang event).  But what about time before the Big Bang?  Did it not exist?  Despite the fact that Dr. Stephen Hawking’s lastest work on the subject, The Grand Design, might suggest that you can indeed get something from nothing (a mental and mathematical gyration of adding matter and anti-matter (a 1 and -1) together, he simply cannot erase time.  What was before the nothingness?  What was going on while we were sitting around waiting for the nothingness to combine that matter and antimatter together in order to produce the Big Bang (yes, I’ve greatly simplified the theory and boiled it down to something a layperson can discuss – the essence is still the same)?  What happens after the eventual end to the Universe when everything collapses back in on itself?  Does time suddenly stop?  Just because everything known and unknown ceases to be?  Common sense would dictate not.  If Scientists wanted to be fair about their supposed age of the Universe they would simply proclaim it to be infinite, stretching beyond any hypothesized singularity or event and extending it to limits heretofore uncalculated and unimagined.

However, if they were honest in doing so, they would also produce an ironical paradox for themselves in that the Evolutionary model is built upon bounded, and calculated, periods of existence.  Once you step into the realm of the infinite, you begin to build a Theistic model, and that is something they reject.

For the Theist this is not a problem.  When you have a God at the head of your model, you understand that God created (literally started) time himself.  My Theistic model holds that God exists outside of time.  He is not part of it, and thus is not subject to its rules, limitations, and properties.  God, and God alone, is the Supreme being who created the model, including time, that we find ourselves within.  And what existed on the other side of the beginning?  Why God, of course.

Time is also interesting in that no one person or generation has any more or less time than any other generation or person.  We all mark time exactly the same and we all co-exist within that period of time that we are a part of with others.

My Theistic model also places us into eternity.  An eternity in which we continue to mark time (Isaiah 66:22-24) (Revelation 22:2) by month, and by extension, by year.

And given that we all face an eternity of time (although our eternity certainly had a beginning, and yet is without end) one might beg the question “When is your time“?

From the Theistic perspective, you should seize the day, but not because now is your time, but because what you do today determines the remainder of your disposition throughout all of eternity.

In reality, it is all of our time, both young and old, and everyone in between.  And our time is only what is allotted to us here in this present life on Earth.  And that time is the determining factor of all of eternity for all of mankind.  It is actually the one thing that makes Atheism such a sad state of affairs.  Because theirs is a gamble that once the perceived end is here, there is no more time (for them) and nothing matters any more (why it mattered before or matters now is a great mystery I have questioned many times before in this blog).  However, if the Atheist gambles incorrectly, and the Theistic model proves true (as I believe the evidence supports), they then have an eternity to exist with the consequences of a life choice made during A Brief History of Time (pun intended).  And during an eternity, 13.77 billion years will seem but a blink of an eye to us all.

So my rhetorical question: Is It Your Time? should be answered with a resounding “Yes!” and each and every one of us should make the most of it.  Moreover we should all take that time, granted since our beginning, to determine for ourselves, will we, or will we not, care what happens for an eternity?

The Theistic model says: Yes!  I do!  After all, Its Only Time.