Dirty Laundry, Social Media, and Evangelism

dirty laundry

Social media can be a wonderful gift. It provides us with ways to connect with friends, share great ideas, encourage people around the world, and get information out to a wide range of people in a short amount of time.

On the other hand…

Social media can be a horrible curse. It provides us with ways to disparage the character of others, spread falsehood and rumors, further the growth of smut and filth, and damage our own reputation in a matter of moments.

Over the years, I have tried to use the social media world for good. Especially through Facebook and Twitter, I have been honored to connect with lots of folks, and have been greatly encouraged many times, often by people I rarely get to see in person.

But I have also noticed a trend among some Christians that really bothers me. Oh, there are many negative ways in which Facebook and other sites are used. One, though, has really been getting to me lately.

It is when Christians air the dirty laundry from church through social media.

“Our preacher made everyone mad this morning when he said…”

“Sure wish our song leaders wouldn’t think they were the center of attention…”

“The elders obviously just don’t get it…”

“What some people wear to worship…”

“Everyone at church is upset about…”

And on and on it goes. I wish I was making these quotations up. Admittedly, I have not done exact quotes for the purposes of this article (for obvious reasons), but these are all based upon things I have seen over the years on Facebook.

Even more tragically, some of the posts name names of the “guilty” (notice the quotation marks!).

Why would we do that? Why would Christians think it is a good idea to talk about the negative things at their local congregation via Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites?

Are there times when we must address negative things in our local congregations? Of course. So long as there are people in a local congregation, that congregation will have struggles. People make mistakes. They aren’t always as kind as they should be. They will sin. They will be unwise.

And, yes, we must deal with those things.

But to just put those issues out for the world to see on Facebook is unwise. It hurts the reputation of the local congregation, and harms our ability to evangelize our local community (let alone the world).

So, before you hit “enter” and post your latest rant, why not re-read the post three times.

  1. Reread it as if you were seeking the Lord. Likely, you have friends on Facebook or Twitter who are seeking answers to life’s deepest questions. Will your little rant help draw them nearer to a community of believers, or push them away from wanting to be part of a congregation?
  2. Reread it with Colossians 4:6 nearby. Paul wrote that our words are always to be “gracious.” Is your latest airing of dirty laundry really “gracious” to that person, the elders, the congregation as a whole, or even to the Lord Himself?
  3. Reread it as one who can’t stand the church. There are plenty of people out there who do not like Christianity or who do not like the local church. Why would we give them more “ammo” for their arguments?

Let’s make sure we use social media as a way to teach, encourage, and lift others to a higher place. There is a place to handle issues that arise in our local congregations, but the social media world just isn’t it!

Instead of airing dirty laundry, let’s put on the Christian armor and get to the work of evangelizing the world.

adam author box

 

Click Here to Subscribe via Email

Photo background credit: Kim Myoungsung on Creative Commons

Must Do’s for Dads

must dos dads

If you are a father you are blessed. If you have or have had a godly father you are beyond blessed. Unfortunately, many children are growing up today without a positive spiritual influence from their father. Some do not have any kind of relationship with their physical father at all. Still some fathers, though present in their children’s lives, are too busy spending time in the world to spend time with their families.

But I know some GREAT men who deeply love the Lord and who are strong spiritual leaders. These men all have several things in common – things they practice that qualify them as good fathers and teach others what being a man of God is all about.

So here are some “Must Do’s” for dads:

1. Be your family’s “worship leader.” I always think it is interesting anymore to hear about churches hiring and paying “worship leaders.” Really? I don’t see that anywhere in the New Testament. What is needed is a father in every household who is a worship leader. Job was. Abraham was. Cornelius was. It worked out pretty well for their families spiritually speaking. A father who loves the Lord and the church above all else will likely produce children of the same persuasion.

2. Love the mother of your children. Without a word your wife and the mother of your children should be the same woman. This is God’s plan. When we think about our children’s future – what are we hoping for? If we are in our right minds we would think about heaven first, and this earthly life second. When we consider their future here, we should be praying that one day they will find a Christian spouse who will love them and be committed to them for life. Real men will express love to their wives in the daily activities that will be witnessed by the whole family. Children will find comfort and rest and joy and love in a home where men love their wives as Christ loved the church. A man who loves his wife will nourish and cherish her. This will equip her with the ability to do the same for the children.

3. Let your favorite hobby be your kids. I have counseled failing marriages for years now. A common problem in these struggles is a man who has checked out on his wife and kids. He always wants to golf, be at the lake, go hunting, or engage in some other “me time.” I was entrapped by this once myself – and thankfully, only for a short time. Satan was lying to me. I was miserable. The outings did not provide the happiness and solitude they had promised. A man who wants all of his hobbies to be away from his wife and kids is a selfish individual. The greatest things he has going, and the most important people he will ever influence – live between the corners of his house.

4. Take pride in what you provide. My father taught me that there is no substitute for hard work when it comes to expressing the value of those who have been entrusted to your care. The size of your house, the newness of your car, and the amount of money you have in the bank are not what make you a successful man. But working and sweating and sacrificing for what you have is honorable at all times. When you give your all every day with your wife and children as the objects of your love and sacrifice, you can rest easy on your pillow at night. In time your family will understand what you have done for them. They will love you and respect you – not for the rest of your life – but for the rest of theirs.

If you will be a spiritual leader, love your wife, spend time with your children, and provide for your family, you will fulfill your God-ordained purpose and duty as a father. The satisfaction you will receive from doing these things will far outweigh the sacrifices. You will enjoy deserved rest. You will have peace of mind and peace with God. Your life and your heart and your home will be filled with all the fullness of God.

“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him.” ~ Proverbs 23:24

jeremiah author box

Join our email list here.

Photo background credit: Damian Bakarcic on Creative Commons

Three Reasons to Trust the Bible

three reasons bible

The wise man of old was certainly correct when he wrote, “…of the making of many books there is no end…” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). As I am writing this, I have just looked at a website that purports to keep “up to the minute” figures on how many books have been published. According to it, somewhere in the world, there have been five books published in the last minute — or over 971,000 so far this year.
It is interesting to me that one book stands alone — in so many ways. It has long been said that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time. According to the latest figures of which I am aware, it still is.
I would like to suggest three reasons to trust this “tried and true” volume. The first reason is one that you would expect a preacher to mention.

#1 The Bible is inspired by God.
While I will not spend much time defending that statement, I will point out that no other volume both claims inspiration and has all of those claims validated in so many ways.

#2 The Bible is practical.

I would challenge anybody to find a subject that is not, in some way, dealt with in the Bible. There are subjects that cause the greatest minds of the ages to marvel. Subjects such as the origin of the universe and life, the intricacies of the human body and all of matter, and the meaning and purpose of life would be examples of this.

At the same time, there are subjects that are very practical for every person in every situation. Is it not true that following the teachings found in the Bible would make me a better neighbor, friend, husband, father, sibling, employer, employee, etc.? The list is almost endless, isn’t it?
For our purpose here, I would confine this discussion to interpersonal and/or family relationships. Can you think of anything that would fit under this umbrella which is not dealt with in the Bible?

#3 The Bible is durable.

Here is just one of many examples of what I mean by that. Among the many books that Dr. James Dobson has written, you’ll find what I think are some interesting titles. You’ll find Dare to Discipline and (a few years later) The New Dare to Discipline. You’ll also find The Strong-Willed Child and (again a few years later) The New Strong- Willed Child.

None of this should be taken as a criticism of Dr. Dobson. It is meant only as an illustration that materials produced by mere men (even very smart men) need updating as new and/or more pertinent information is discovered.

I wouldn’t want to trust my physical health to a doctor who is getting his information from a medical book that was written by some man, is no longer practical, and is two hundred years old. I will, however, trust the information I get about my eternal destiny from a book that is divinely inspired, is always practical, and is about two thousand years old.

How about you?

dad author box

 

Join our email list here.

Photo background credit: Ryk Neethling on Creative Commons

———————-

Friday’s Family-Friendly Finds {June 13, 2014 edition}

Wow. Just wow.

Yesterday, we restarted the blog, but did so by introducing you to a full-family project called “A Legacy of Faith.” The response has been overwhelming, and we are humbled by the amount of traffic and social media exposure you helped us generate.

As we said yesterday, you’ll start noticing the main difference next week, as you will get posts from Jim Faughn, Jeremiah Tatum, and myself (and maybe someone else, too) during the week. But for now, let us just offer a big “thank you” for helping to make our first day a wonderful day.

With that said, on to this week’s family links.

Family Friendly Finds

 

This Week’s Finds

Because our site was down for a couple of weeks, we are giving you a few extra links here, and not doing our usual week in review. Enjoy these great family links for your weekend reading.

The Problem with Not Having Any Losers {We are THAT Family}

5 Myths and Truths about Kids’ Internet Safety {On Common Sense Media}

Why You Should Love Your Spouse Even Though You Don’t Feel Like It {for the family}

7 Signs Kids’ Sports Have Taken Over Your Life (and Your Budget) {Dave Ramsey}

How to Make a Personalized Coupon Book with Your Kids {My Kids’ Adventures}

Unforgettable, Simple Summer {for the family}

Five Reasons God’s Law of Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage Applies to All {Preacher Pollard’s Blog}

Aging with Grace {Neil’s Daily Devotional Nuggets}

Identify the Cues of Anger {National Center for Biblical Parenting}

Our Week in Review

Since our site was shut down for the last two weeks, we will not do our regular “top 5 posts of the week.” We will resume that part of our Friday posts next week.

Connect with A Legacy of Faith

To learn more about what we are trying to do at A Legacy of Faith, visit the homepage.

If you wish to receive each of our posts, join our email list. Currently, 400 get these updates, and each has also received a free eBook, which we will be glad to send you just for signing up. You can do that here.

Also, make sure you join our Facebook group. We are amazed that, in the first day of our launch, 350 people have already “liked” the page. You can join them by using the box below, or clicking this link to jump over to Facebook.

Conclusion

Thank you for making this “launch” such a joy. We had a couple of snafus, but it has been a great thing to see A Legacy of Faith get off the ground. We look forward to what the future holds.

 

Welcome to “A Legacy of Faith”

After time in prayer, planning, and work, we are thrilled to unveil a dream come true today. Welcome to “A Legacy of Faith.”

A Legacy of Faith has as its design bringing together the entire “Faughn/Tatum crew” to help you and your family do more than just survive today. We want to help you look forward to the future and prepare for eternity.

While we have several things planned for the future, this blog will be the main hub for the foreseeable future. Here’s the great part, though: this site will no longer contain my writing only. We are bringing together our entire family to share helpful content with you on a regular basis.

Beginning next week, you can expect to see regular articles by Jim Faughn, Jeremiah Tatum, and myself. In addition to bringing together our three blogs under one roof, we are thrilled that Donna Faughn, Amber Tatum, and Leah Faughn also plan to contribute from time-to-time. You will still receive our Friday Family Friendly Finds each week, as well as an occasional guest post.

To facilitate this, we have built an entire new website that you will want to check out. At ALegacyOfFaith.us we will have more “stagnant” information, so people can find out the basics about us. On the website, you can find our bio information, speaking schedules, what others are saying about A Legacy of Faith, and a lot more. We hope you’ll check out the new site.

While that website may have more stagnant information, there is nothing “stagnant” about what we are wanting to do. With our family coming together to work on this project, you can expect great content from the blog five times weekly, nearly every week. So the focus will still be on the blog, and sharing Biblical and encouraging content for you and your family. But there is more to look forward to.

Here are some highlights

1. A Legacy of Faith: The Podcast

LOFpodcast

That’s right: starting in August, A Legacy of Faith will begin releasing a podcast. Adam and Leah will cohost, but the program will feature regular interviews, as well. We are thrilled to start this part of the site, and look forward to releasing episodes twice each month, beginning August 7.

And, by the way, we have already mapped out the first 10 episodes! You can learn more, and see the titles of episodes 1-10 by going here.

2. A stronger Facebook presence

Facebook has been the main driver of traffic to the Faughn Family blog for a number of years. With the coming together of so many in our family, we plan to have a very strong presence on Facebook and interact there quite often. We hope to share not only links to our new content, but also quotes, questions, and freebies on our brand new Facebook page. Join by clicking on the box below or following this link. Then, share with a friend.

3. Emphasis on email

newsletter

We are pleased to have over 370 people who subscribe to our site via email. We really want to grow that number. The reason is not because we want to use email to sell you a bunch of stuff. It is because we want you to have this great content delivered to your inbox each time we produce it. We will not flood you with a ton of extra emails asking you to sign up for something or purchase something. Instead, we will just deliver the articles and podcasts to you for free, and give you content that we pray will help you and that you can deliver to others.

We would love to go over 400 subscribers by the end of June. If you would like to sign up for these free updates, here’s the link.

4. Ideas for future freebies and products

We also have lots of ideas we hope will come to fruition in time to come. From free printables to books and eBooks to webinars, we are constantly coming up with ideas to put under A Legacy of Faith’s roof. All of this is designed to help us help you and your family.

Conclusion

For several weeks, as we have been working on A Legacy of Faith, I have been filled with excitement. Several nights, I struggled to fall asleep out of sheer excitement about what this new site could mean to so many people. From dad, mom, Jeremiah, Amber, Leah, myself, and our kids, we pray this effort is a great encouragement to you.

And, if I may ask, would you please share today’s post with someone and ask them to sign up for our email list and/or join the Facebook page, too? We would appreciate you helping us get the word about this new endeavor and we look forward to sharing great content with you for a long time to come.

Welcome to “A Legacy of Faith!”

Friday’s Family Friendly Finds {Pre-Shutdown Edition}

We aren’t going away forever, but our blog is going to be shut down for a few days. I don’t know what time, but at some point tomorrow (May 31), we will shut down the blog to work on something really exciting. We are so thrilled about the changes that are coming, but they will take some focused time, so we need to shut the site down to work “behind the scenes” getting things ready.

Our goal is to come back and let you see what we’ve done on Thursday, June 12. I hope you will be back with us then, and we appreciate all the encouragement you give us by reading, commenting, and sharing our posts. So, until June 12, enjoy these family links, and we’ll see you then!

Family Friendly Finds

 

This Week’s Finds

Top Ten Mistakes Christian Parents of Teens Make [Jeff Strong]

Hang in There, Friend! Your Marriage is Worth It! [for the family]

Good Men Aren’t Pigs! [Mrs. Bookout's Blog]

Anger is Good [National Center for Biblical Parenting]

33 Activities for Kids That Cost Under $10 [Kaixin Fun]

Our Week in Review

These are the five most-viewed posts over the last seven days, though not all were written this past week. (Original publication date in parenthesis.) 

#5: Hey Guys, Let’s Remember Modesty, Too (May 21, 2014)

#4: Thank You for Modest Ladies (April 16, 2013)

#3: The “Model” Family (May 28, 2014)

#2: 10 Budget Basics for Families (March 12, 2014)

#1: A Response to Emily Letts : Abortion Sermon Transcript (May 26, 2014)

To make sure you don’t miss us when we come back from our break, make sure you sign up to get our posts via email! We’ll send you a free eBook and you’ll never miss one of our posts. Sign up here.

The “Model” Family

2525575278_2e8e1332aa_b

They live in the house you wished you owned. They drive the cars that you think are the most stylish. They wear clothes that are hip and always in style. Their kids go to the best schools and (of course) are always at the top of the class. Everyone in town knows them and thinks they are just the perfect family.

…or the model family.

But they aren’t.

(At least, not necessarily.)

In my mind, the “model” family may or may not have a trendy lifestyle. They may or may not have a big income and newer possessions. They may or may not have overachieving kids.

So, if you don’t have to have those things to be a model family, what does it take?

Living out your faith.

That’s really it. Some of the best “model” families I know have nice houses, but there’s nothing all that “stand-out” about them. A lot of them drive cars that are older, and some barely have any money in savings.

But if you watch them, you’ll see Christ living through them.

Instead of trying to mold your life after who has the best “stuff,” look for the families that are using what they do have to the glory of God.

Their house may not be super fancy, but they have people over on a regular basis, so they can get to know them and develop deeper relationships with them.

Their cars may be older, but those cars can almost drive themselves to the church building, and are often seen in the parking lots of hospitals and nursing homes, and in the driveways of other people who are sick or just needing a pick me up.

They may not have a great income, but they never take God out of first place with what they do have.

Their kids may not always make straight “A’s,” but those kids are learning what it means to be faithful to God, simply by opening their eyes at home.

They may not have a great big TV set with channels too numerous to count, but they have learned to entertain themselves in lots of ways, including just spending time with the neighbors.

People need these kinds of models. Your children need these kinds of models.

Aren’t you glad that you don’t have to make a ton of money or have all the newest and nicest things to be the “model” family?

What is your family modeling?

—————-

Photo credit: Marco Lazzaroni on Creative Commons

Don’t Miss a Post!

Subscribe via email to get every post for free, and get a FREE eBook!

 

A Response to Emily Letts : Abortion Sermon Transcript

[NOTE: The following is the full manuscript of a sermon I preached at Lebanon Road yesterday. The sermon got several good and thoughtful comments, so I thought I'd share it on here.]

Recently, an online video went viral. That’s not anything unusual these days. It seems that, every couple of days, something makes the rounds online and gains a few hundred thousand views. But quite often, these “viral videos” are nothing more than silliness. Maybe it’s a child singing a song from Frozen, or a cat jumping up and down, or someone failing on a TV game show.

But none of those are what we are going to talk about this morning. The video I have in mind this morning was made by a woman named Emily Letts, who lives and works in the state of New Jersey. Her video, which has been viewed over 2.8million times in about 3 months, has a simple title: “Emily’s Abortion Video.”

You see, Emily Letts works for the Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey, having been employed there for more than a year. While this is called a women’s center, it is quite obvious from the video she released where this center makes quite a bit of its money.

In the weeks since releasing her video, Letts has received a great deal of attention in the media, both traditional media and the social media worlds. She has done a handful of interviews—mostly in print—and the comments on Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, and elsewhere are nearly limitless. On the Vimco site alone there are over 200 comments, and I have seen the video passed around on Facebook a dozen times or more.

This morning’s sermon is going to be a bit different as far as format goes. Instead of walking through a text and having 3 or 4 points, I simply want to try to make a Biblical response to Ms. Letts and her video. I hope you will see that what she has to say can be addressed in a way that is rational and straightforward without being cruel.

One of the interviews Letts has recently given was published in the May 7 edition of Philadelphia Magazine. In that interview, she summarized what she was doing. Here are a few of her statements:

I feel super good about having an abortion. Women and men have been thirsting for something like this. You don’t have to feel guilty. … I could have taken the pill, but I wanted to do the one that women were most afraid of. I wanted to show it wasn’t scary — and that there is such a thing as a positive abortion story.

She would also state in the article that the procedure that she used only takes about 3-to-5 minutes, so there’s nothing to be afraid of.

In those quotations, I want you to key in on her words, “You don’t have to feel guilty.” It is interesting that Letts came back to that idea several times in her interview with Philadelphia Magazine. She claims that “our society breeds this guilt.” In nearly the same breath Letts said, “I am thankful that I can share my story and inspire other women to stop the guilt.”

However, in another interview, she may have said more than she wanted to about this subject. Letts had an interview published in the advice column of Cosmopolitan on May 5 of this year. In that interview, she said, “Even women who come to the clinic completely solid in their decision to have an abortion say they feel guilty for not feeling guilty. Even though they know 110 percent that this is the best decision for them, they pressure themselves to feel bad about it.”

I wonder why.

Letts has made a statement there that begins to open our eyes to what is going on, and it is here that I want us to begin to give an answer. We’ll look at some other things she said in just a few moments, but let’s look at this idea of guilt.

We live in a society that doesn’t think we should feel guilty about anything. Letts’s answer is that guilt is driven by society. In part, that’s true, because guilt is part of our conscience, and a conscience can be trained to where certain things that used to cause us to feel guilt no longer do, and certain things that didn’t used to make us feel guilty now do lead to a tinge of guilt.

But we must ask the question: where did that feeling—that conscience—come from? Even people with no belief in God whatsoever have a conscience and feel guilty about certain things. The question we need to ask is why? Where do those feelings come from?

There is no naturalistic way to explain the conscience. Nothing in the evolutionary idea can explain how feeling guilty “just happened” to be part of our experience. No rock ever thought, “You know what, I shouldn’t have fallen and hurt that dog. I sure feel bad about that.”

However, the Bible makes it clear that certain things have been put within us that we cannot explain without God. Solomon wrote, “[God] has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that He cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Did you notice it? God has set eternity in our hearts. God put something in us that thinks of things larger and grander than ourselves. That’s the essence of conscience. When I do something that hurts my thinking about eternity, it should tinge my conscience. It should make me feel guilty.

By the way, the argument that Letts makes about society being the only reason for guilt also falls on its face when we consider this. What “society” told Adam and Eve to hide in the Garden of Eden? Which hardcore preacher or narrow-minded Bible-thumper told them that what they had done was wrong and they should try to cover up their problem?

Something within the world’s first couple made them feel guilty, because God had set eternity in their hearts. They had hurt that part of their being, and guilt was real.

But we live in a society that says that guilt should be not just ignored, but overcome. It’s a disease, we are told. Our society believes that whatever you want to do to express yourself individually should make you feel great about yourself. Letts is expressing that in her own way, but do you not find it interesting that she just keeps on insisting that she doesn’t feel any guilt? I just wonder why she didn’t just say that once and drop it.

Could it be that she feels guilty for not feeling guilty?

Moving on in Letts’s interviews, she turns to the reason why she decided to go through with this abortion. If you have not seen any of this material, get ready to be shocked. She claims that she had this abortion because she loved the baby. You heard that right: she aborted the child out of love for the child.

In a comment posted at Cosmopolitan, she said that she did not want to give birth to the baby and then allow someone else to adopt the child because if she ever gives birth to a baby, “I would need to be the main source of love and support for the child throughout its life.”

Now, we would agree that it would be great for her to be that main source of the love and support she speaks of there. But in her mind, since she could not keep the child, her answer was to kill the baby.

Now, as one who has adopted a child, this fires me up. But I’m going to try to set those emotions aside for a few moments and show how comments like this one completely speak to the absence of the Gospel in our society.

The New Testament regularly uses the picture of adoption to describe how God brings us into His family.

Galatians 4:4-5: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”

Romans 8:14-15: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’”

Those are two of a number of passages we could use. What’s the point? God uses the picture of adoption because He does not just cut off His people. He brings them back from the world and brings them to Himself into His family.

How does Emily’s video and her comments distort that? She did not care for this baby! Adoption wasn’t even on her radar, because she claims it would not be loving the child. God, on the other hand, uses the picture of adoption to demonstrate His love. What we see here is a total absence of the picture of Gospel redemption in our society.

In her interviews, Letts also makes one statement that should have the proabortion crowd on edge. She has, on more than one occasion, stated that what she aborted was “a baby” or “the baby.” Wait. I thought this was just a mass of tissue with no identity of its own. After all, we are not supposed to think of this “thing” in terms of being a baby until birth, or (some are now saying) even later.

However, Letts even states that she has a special relationship with the sonogram of the baby, going so far as to say that, if her house burned down, that sonogram would be the first thing she would grab. She says, “I have a special relationship with my ultrasound. People say it sounds weird, it’s my process. I realize it was potential life, and I love it in my own special way. I’m not glib and cavalier. I’m comfortable with my decisions.”

Why would she care what’s on a slick piece of computer paper if what was represented on that piece of paper wasn’t special? In saying that this was a “baby,” Letts actually helps make the Biblical point for us. She is exactly right. What she had aborted was not just a mass of tissue. It was a baby.

When we are told that John the Baptist leaped in his mother’s womb, the physician Luke recorded as “the baby leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41). The word for “baby” is the Greek term brephos. Here, of course, it is used of John the Baptist while still in his mother, Elizabeth’s, body.

However, the same author—the physician Luke—used this word 3 other times in his account of the Gospel. Let me show you where they are.

  1. Luke 2:12: “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby [brephos] wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
  2. Same chapter, Luke 2:16: “And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby [brephos] lying in a manger.”
  3. Luke 18:15: “Now they were brining even infants [brephos] to Him [that is, Jesus] that He might touch them.

In those three verses, the same word, brephos, is used twice of Jesus in the manger and once of infants being brought to Jesus to be blessed. Why would Luke use THAT word to describe John in the womb? Why would a doctor say such a thing? Because this was a baby.

The application of that is simple. When Jesus was born, Herod tried to eradicate all the baby boys, and we are outraged when we read that. Anyone would be outraged if one of our world leaders said that all the baby boys up to two years of age were to be slaughtered. But Luke says there is no difference in the baby in the womb and out of the womb, at least as far as personhood is concerned. And our society sits idly by and watches as baby after baby after baby is killed.

God hates “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17) and calls it an “abomination.” Our society calls it a choice.

In other parts of her interviews, Emily Letts also tells us the root of where this comes from, and it here that I want to camp for a few moments.

In her video, Letts must—of course—admit that she is pregnant, but in her interviews, she states that the reason is just a bad set of choices. She works in a women’s health center, after all, and should have known better. But, and this will not surprise you, it’s not that she didn’t know this was possible because she was involved in sexual activity. It’s because she didn’t use birth control.

I have removed a couple of words from the following statement in her Cosmopolitan interview, out of respect for the pulpit, but listen to this paragraph:

I found out I was pregnant in November. I had been working at the clinic for about a year. It was my first pregnancy, and, full disclosure, I hadn’t been using any kind of birth control, which is crazy, I know. I’m a sex educator, and I love talking about birth control. Before this experience, hormonal birth control scared me because of complications I’d heard about from friends — gaining weight, depression, etc. So I tracked my … cycle, and I didn’t have any long-term partners. I thought I was OK. But, you know, things happen. I wound up pregnant.

Did you notice something there? Listen to this statement again: “I didn’t have any long-term partners.” What is she admitting to?

She is beginning to reveal more about herself and her morality than she may want. In her mind, the sexual relationship is to be explored, so long as it doesn’t burden you with long-term effects. Of course, in her mind, a baby is one of those long-term burdens that can come along.

Now, I don’t want to speak in a cruel manner in this sermon, but let me just say, that if you don’t realize pregnancy is a possible outcome from sexual relationships, you are not mature enough for sexual relationships.

But more than that, think of how far afield this worldview from Scripture. The sexual relationship was created by God and is something to be enjoyed. However, God has also stated that this enjoyment is reserved for those who are married. Not those preparing to get married. Not those who just want to have some fun. Not those who are trying to run from a bad marriage.

Listen to how clearly the Hebrews writer put this in just one verse. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed by undefiled, for God will judge the sexual immoral and adulterous” (Hebrews 13:4). In one verse, the writer makes it clear that the sexual union of a husband and wife is a wonderful gift to be enjoyed and there is nothing dirty or unseemly about it. But, in that same verse, he also makes it clear that any other–every other–sexual relationship will fall under God’s judgment.

Why? Because any other sexual relationship is not the intention of God and is not what is best.

Listen: Emily Letts would have never made this video because she would have never thought about getting an abortion because she would have never gotten pregnant if she and some guy hadn’t decided that sex outside of marriage is acceptable and okay. It really is that simple.

But her selfishness (and his, but we do not know who the guy is and she isn’t wanting to reveal that in any interviews) started not in the video or the decision, but when she decided that she could have as many partners as she wanted.

And it is that selfishness that is what is at the heart of the controversy over abortion. At the end of her video, Letts gives a short follow-up statement. Listen to her words:

It is about a month and a half after the procedure. I feel like I talk to women all the time and of course everyone feels bad about this; everyone’s going to feel guilty. It’s a given how people should feel about this, that what they’re doing is wrong. I don’t feel like a bad person. I don’t feel sad. I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a baby. I can make a life. I knew that what I was going to do was right, ’cause it was right for me and no one else. I just want to share my story.

“I can make a baby?” I think she needed a guy to help out with that, don’t you?

“I can make a life?” No, Emily, you can’t. God is the Author of life.

In the words of one social commentator, her words basically state, “Emily giveth and Emily taketh away” (Albert Mohler). And why? Because it is her morality. She is the center of her own universe, and this was right for her and (in her words) “no one else.”

May I ask three questions?

Emily Letts has stated that this was a baby and she made a life. Question #1: Shouldn’t then that baby—that life—get to have a say as to whether this was right?

Emily Letts made a video, and has done public interviews to tell her story. Question #2: Shouldn’t she at least acknowledge that some woman a few years ago also has a story, and that story was to let Emily live?

Emily stated, “I don’t feel like a bad person.” Question #3: Would she be willing to state that someone who flew airplanes into buildings and didn’t feel bad about it was simply telling their story?

Before I close, let me state clearly: abortion is not the unpardonable sin. If you have had an abortion procedure, God can and will forgive if you will repent of that, just like He will forgive any of us of any sin we have committed.

But part of the fabric of a society is how it treats those who have little or no voice of their own: The elderly, those with mental difficulties, infants, and (yes) the unborn. In this area, America is failing, and it is because of nothing more than selfishness and our absolute abandonment of God-centered morality.

So, Emily Letts, you got to tell your story to 2.8million people (and growing). I may never reach that many, but may I tell my story?

She’s now 8 years old, and I call her “Precious.” She is our treasure; our God-given treasure. A woman I have only laid eyes on a couple of times gave birth to her, and I firmly believe loves her to this day. That love was shown, though, in that she also knew she could not take care of a baby the way a baby needs.

So God, in His infinite providence, saw to it that this one only seen on a sonogram, be born in Kentucky, but that a young family from Alabama, devastated by the news that we would never have children, raise her up and love her. She became ours through the glorious process of adoption. She is loved. She is family. She is ours.

We see the sonogram, but we love the child. She not only is a life, she has life. Every day, our home is filled with more energy and love, because she is there. Yes, it’s frustrating at times to be a parent, but we didn’t want to have kids so that every moment would be smooth (Amen!). We wanted children because we wanted to glorify God, who adopted us into His great family.

So, when I hear you say, “I feel super great about having an abortion,” I remember those days with a crying wife. I remember looking to the heavens and asking God “why us?” And your words make me sick.

Emily, one day you may actually hold a baby. As a Bible believer, I pray that you find a great husband and that the two of you have a home as God designed it. But every day, you will know that another chair could have been filled. Another snotty nose could have been wiped, but also another hug could have been given.

Will you feel guilty then?

Tonight, I’ll hug my adopted treasure a little tighter, and I’ll say yet another in a countless string of prayers of thanksgiving for her. Emily, I pray that one day, you get to do the same, and I pray that this platform you’ve now built on something that makes me sick is used to help raise awareness that this was a mistake, and that you’ve found the love, grace, and forgiveness of God at the foot of the cross. Only then will you—or any of us—be able to see your baby in true life.

————————–

SOURCES

“Emily’s Abortion Video” http://vimeo.com/84797427

“Q&A: Actress Emily Letts on the Reaction to Her Abortion Video” [Philadelphia Magazine] http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/05/07/emily-letts-abortion-video-philly-actress-cosmopolitan/

“Why I Filmed My Abortion” [Cosmopolitan] http://www.cosmopolitan.com/advice/health/why-i-filmed-my-abortion

“’I Feel Super Great About Having an Abortion’—The Culture of Death Goes Viral” [AlbertMohler.com] http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/05/08/i-feel-super-great-about-having-an-abortion-the-culture-of-death-goes-viral/

———————

Don’t Miss a Post!

Subscribe via email to get every post for free, and get a FREE eBook!

 

Friday’s Family Friendly Finds {May 23, 2014 edition}

Before getting to this week’s family links, we want to let you know that the next few weeks on our site are going to be a bit strange. Next week, we will probably only post 2 or 3 times at the most. Then, on Saturday, May 31, we are going to shut down the blog until June 12. The reason is really cool, and we can’t wait to tell you…but we’re going to wait anyway.

We normally try to post 4 or 5 times each week, so we just wanted you to know that the next 3 weeks are going to be different.

Now, on to this week’s family links!

Family Friendly Finds

This Week’s Finds

5 Things That Can Weigh Down Your Marriage & How to Combat Them [for the family]

How to Raise a Reader [Common Sense Media]

Where a Bad Attitude Comes From [National Center for Biblical Parenting]

Husbands, Keep Fighting Like Mad for Us [Apples and Band-Aids Blog]

Family Tweet of the Week

Our Week in Review

These are the five most-viewed posts over the last seven days, though not all were written this past week. (Original publication date in parenthesis.)

#5: Vacation Video 2014 (May 20, 2014)

#4: 10 Budget Basics for Families (March 12, 2014)

#3: Thank You for Modest Ladies (April 16, 2013)

#2: Our Review of the Creation Museum (May 19, 2014)

#1: Hey Guys, Let’s Remember Modesty, Too (May 21, 2014)

Don’t Miss a Post!

Subscribe via email to get every post for free, and get a FREE eBook!

Hey Guys, Let’s Remember Modesty, Too

The weather is getting warmer, and it’s great to see green grass and pretty flowers. Our garden is starting to show signs of life, and the kids in the neighborhood are outside just about all the time.

As usual, though, as the weather warms up, more and more clothes come off. Immodesty is a problem, and you don’t have to head to the beach to figure that out. Just take a look around your neighborhood or visit a local park. The lack of modesty in clothing is everywhere.

guys modesty

But today, I want to do something that is rarely done. Too often, we make modesty a ladies-only issue. I have written on this site about modesty a couple of times in recent months (in fact, they are the two of the three most-viewed posts in the history of this site), and each time have focused on women and modesty. As I guy, it is a strong temptation, and I want to be honest and forthright about it.

But gentlemen, modesty is not a one-gender issue. It is not just something that women need to remember when they are buying and selecting clothing for their wardrobe.

Though women are less visually-oriented and stimulated, they still have that wiring. We, as their brothers in Christ, have a responsibility to help them maintain their purity, just as we ask they do for us. That includes our clothing choices, just as it does theirs.

With warmer weather, it is easy for guys to decide to go “shirts and skins” on the court, with their girlfriends watching from the sidelines. Or, as the temperature rises, we put on just a pair of skimpy shorts to mow the yard or take a job around the block, knowing that our neighbors can see us.

The lack of modesty can also be in ways that are more subtle. Maybe we buy a T-shirt that is just a size too small, to be sure that our chiseled chest or sculpted biceps show through, or we make sure to buy tight jeans to wear when we go out on the town.

May I ask: why are we doing that? Isn’t it the same lack of modesty for which we often rail against women? Isn’t it to show off the physical instead of letting our inner spirit of faith shine through?

Guys, if you are like me, you aren’t all that fit, and sometimes it is easier to excuse immodesty. We figure, “No girl would want to see anyway.” That is no excuse for immodesty. By taking off more and more clothing, we are raising the possibility that someone could stumble. Would we ever want that?

Is there anything wrong with being fit, or building up strong muscles? Of course not, so long as such is not the central focus of our lives. But do I then need to be sure that everyone sees that? No! I need to be sure that what I select to wear does not distract from people knowing that I am a follower of Jesus Christ.

And that’s not just for ladies.

QUESTION: Why is modesty for guys so rarely addressed? What are your thoughts on this issue? Share your thoughts in the comments!

————–

Photo background credit: Sonia Belviso on Creative Commons

Don’t Miss a Post!

Subscribe via email to get every post for free, and get a FREE eBook.