08 Feb Friday, February 8, 2019
TODAY some of our youth and their leaders head up to Angeles Crest Christian Camp for the weekend. It is the annual winter camp. Please pray for safety as they travel up and down the mountain as well as for the time they’re there. Pray also that God uses this time in a powerful way to draw them closer to him, to each other as well as to the work of Jesus in and through their lives.
THIS SUNDAY, in our series, “The Gospel According to Abraham,” we find ourselves in Genesis 19. We’ll be looking at Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. As we’ll see, Genesis 19 is not a biblical passage primarily about homosexuality. No question the people of Sodom had a problem with it, but, as we’ll see, they were tripped up by a lot of other things as well. We’re actually going to “go to school” on Lot and his spiritual lukewarmth. Lot teaches us a lot about the difference between living an uncompromised life and a compromised one. This would be a great Sunday to invite friends and neighbors to join you at Gold Coast!
SAVE THE DATE- SATURDAY, MARCH 30: Ladies, please mark your calendars for this year’s Ladies Luncheon at Sterling Hills Golf Course with guest speaker Melissa Mamoine. Signups start at the end of this month.
DISCOVERING SPIRITUAL MATURITY, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24: Because spiritual growth is not automatic, the 201 Class helps believers establish habits that promote spiritual growth, such as prayer, time in God’s word, spending time with other believers, and stewardship. Meet in the Youth Room from 4:00-7:30 pm. Dinner will be available. Be sure to sign up by writing “201 Class” on your Connection Card this Sunday or go online. Contact Darrell Foote at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805.660.3061, if you have any questions.
ABORTION UP TO BIRTH NOW LEGAL: The following article is from John Ensor, president of PassionLife. PassionLife trains missionaries and indigenous Christian leaders in biblical bioethics and pregnancy crisis intervention in countries suffering the highest rates of abortion worldwide.
New York has legalized abortion up to birth, and beyond. It is now legal to neglect, choke, or smother a baby that somehow survived the lethal injection and knife cuts designed to kill during the abortion procedure.
To put a fine point on it, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) on January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This law legalizes abortion in New York throughout all nine months of pregnancy, even up to dilation. It repeals the safeguard requiring all abortions be performed by a licensed physician. It decriminalizes all state abortion laws, and it removes all rights and protections from the unborn by defining a “person” as “a human being who has been born and is alive.” Even this definition, however, is revoked for the child who is accidentally born alive.
The only restriction in the law is written to ensure that there are no restrictions whatsoever. It decrees that abortion may be performed “within 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient’s life or health” (Art 25-A).
This restriction mirrors that of the original Supreme Court decisions of 1973. Roe v. Wade allowed restrictions to abortion (the threshold of viability being generally thought to be 23–24 weeks at that time) except when necessary to protect the life and health of the mother.
The companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, handed down with Roe, defined the health of the mother so broadly that it effectively removed the restrictions set in place by Roe. In Doe, the court ruled, “The medical judgment [for a late-term abortion] may be exercised in the light of all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.”
In RHA, by leaving the “health” of the mother undefined and broadly understood, NY lawmakers made abortion legal for any reason or no reason, at any point during the pregnancy and paid for with taxpayer funds. Our opponents see it this way, too. They cheered, “Free abortion on demand! We can do it; yes, we can!” In triumph, Cuomo ordered one World Trade Center to be lit up in pink.
The defenders of the RHA assure us that no woman would undergo late-term abortion unless something terrible and life-threatening was involved. Such a thing is “extremely rare,” it is said. Not true. New York’s own abortion statistics for 2016 reports 1,763 abortions were performed at 20 weeks gestation or later. Even if true, how does killing the infant born alive during an attempted abortion effectively save the mother’s life? In truth, there is no medical condition in late-term pregnancy in which abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother.
In the last few weeks, many doctors turned to social media to shout this reality.
Dr. Lawrence K. Koning, wrote: “As an Ob/Gyn physician for 31 years, there is no medical situation that requires aborting/killing the baby in the third trimester to save the mother’s life. Just deliver the baby by c/section and the baby has 95+% survival with readily available NICU care even at 28 weeks. C/sections is quicker and safer than partial birth abortion for the mother.”
Dr. Omar L. Hamada weighed in on Twitter: “I want to clear something up so that there is absolutely no doubt. I’m a board certified ob/gyn who has delivered over 2,500 babies. There’s not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no.”
Dr. David Mcknight wrote: “As a board-certified practicing ob/gyn for over 30 years, I need to say publicly and unequivocally, that there is NEVER a medical reason to kill a baby at term. When complications of pregnancy endanger a mother’s life, we sometimes must deliver the baby early, but it is ALWAYS with the intent of doing whatever we can to do it safely for the baby too. The decision to kill an unborn baby at term is purely for convenience. It is murder . . . God help us.”
When the innocent are slaughtered with glee, and yet the overwhelming number of our pulpits remain cowered in silence, seemingly incapable of seeing the connection between blood-guilt and the gospel, it is time to grieve with Jeremiah, “For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears; for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my spirit; my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed” (Lamentations 1:16).
We must acknowledge and confront the true immensity of evil that relishes child-killing, testifying to our own rebellious autonomy. Behind the façade of choice and health lies a devouring serpent. As the psalmist says, child-killing is the blood-sport of demons (Psalm 106:37). Meanwhile, the church (at least in America) remains divided. Many leaders are silenced by the fear of man. The enemy is prevailing, for now.
It’s also time to listen. The Reproductive Health Act is promoted under the banner of women’s health. In response, women who have experienced terrible mental health problems after abortion are feeling compelled to speak up and expose the lie that abortion is health care.
For example, last week, shocked by the NY law, actress and NYC resident, April Hernandez-Castillo went public on Instagram:
“I suffered in silence for over 12 years. . . . I suffered immense anxiety and depression. I exercised my right as a woman. Yet not one person ever warned me about the emotional damage I would suffer. . . . I have never shared this part of my life because it was just too hard. . . . I come with a pure and transparent heart in letting you know something very deep. I can no longer be silent.”
A few women are eager to shout their abortions as a liberating experience. But many more are women like April. She sat down on camera with me to tell me she experienced abortion as one experiences a car wreck: as a traumatic and wholly unhealthy experience.
“I was able to look at the sonogram and I saw the baby . . . and I died! I died! . . . And I remember waking up and the first thing I said was, ‘I’m a murderer.’” I encourage you to watch and listen to her story.”
The time has come for everyone to learn to make the case for life. People who have never spoken up, and certainly not marched for life, are repulsed by the New York City law. People sense the moral injustice of abortion at 9 months in ways that they do not sense it at 9 weeks. “At that point, it is clearly a baby. And killing a baby is wrong.”
Such people are inviting us to engage them. When the opportunity comes, I start by confirming their judicial sentiment — showing them why they sense the RHA is wrong. I show them pictures of abortion. To see abortion is to reject abortion. Then I explain why I oppose all abortion at all stages of development.
Scientifically, your life as a human being began at conception. You are today the same human being that you were when you were 6 years old, though you look very different. You are the same human being that you were at 6 months in your mother’s womb. The same human being you were as a 6-day-old embryo. You’ve matured in size, awareness, independence, and other ways. But you started out human, and you will end human.
That’s why, as someone who believes in equal rights, I am obligated to defend the rights of those who are oppressed (stripped of their natural rights and legal protections). Or as God says, “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Proverbs 31:8). Will you speak up, with me, for these precious lives?
A DAY OF MOURNING (over abortion) has been designated for Saturday, February 23. I’m planning on wearing black that day and will meet with others from other churches in our area at Oxnard State Beach Park from 11 to noon to pray. I hope you’ll join us. Help spread the word, as you feel led.
PRAYER TIME EVERY SUNDAY MORNING: You’re invited to Sunday morning Prayer Time from 8:30-9:00 am in the Youth Room every Sunday! Come for a couple of minutes or stay longer. This is open to everyone! Prayer cards with suggested topics will be available – you can pray aloud or silently. You can contact Anne Romero if you have any questions at anne2grace@gmail.
DAILY BIBLE READING SCHEDULE:
Friday February 8 Lev 7-9; Acts 15
Saturday February 9 Lev 10-12; Acts 16
Sunday February 10 Lev 13-14; Acts 17
Monday February 11 Lev 15-17; Acts 18
Tuesday February 12 Lev 18-19; Ps 13; Acts 19
Wednesday February 13 Lev 20-22; Acts 20
Thursday February 14 Lev 23, 24; Ps 24; Acts 2
Friday February 15 Lev 25; Ps 26-26; Acts 2
Saturday February 16 Lev 26-27; Acts 23
Sunday February 17 Num 1-2; Acts 24
See you Sunday,