Not as those without hope

In my last post I talked about how I have grieved since I’ve been on the mission field. I grieve the loss of lots of different things in my life, but mostly I grieve the loss of the idols of my heart. The idols of safety and security, materialism and greed, comfort…I could go on and on. The idolotry of focusing on the sacrifice and not the blessing,” the mess and not the miracle”  (I totally stole that quote from somebody) sometimes can almost consume me.

There’s so much beauty in the sacrifice. But it is still A Sacrifice.

Sanctification hurts. Dying to self hurts. Being a living sacrifice hurts. And I’m going to tell you I climb off of that altar Every. Single. Day and I grieve the loss when I lay my idols down.

But I don’t grieve as one without hope. (I Thessalonians 4:13)

It’s not just for missionaries or the military or pastors and evangelists. It’s for every single person purchased by the blood of the Lamb.

The grief is ours, but the hope is ours too.

After my last post, I had a dear friend send me a message saying that she was happy to hear that it wasn’t easy for me. It wasn’t because she was happy to see me struggle, but because she just didn’t understand why it was so hard for her when she wasn’t even living on the mission field. And she thought it was easy for us. You know, us “spiritual folk”…

And it made her feel…normal.

Nope, DYING to yourself isn’t going to be sunshine and roses. I would dare say that if you aren’t feeling the pain of taking up your cross DAILY then there just might be something wrong…

Because death just shouldn’t feel good.

Some days I struggle to lay my life down again because I keep crawling right off of that altar.  And I’m not doing anybody any favors by pretending like that isn’t the ugly truth. Those idols are near and dear to my heart and to unclench my tight fists takes a miracle from the Holy Spirit.

A straight miracle.

And sometimes I grieve the loss.

But do you know what all of that does for me? It makes me run to Him.

Sometimes I even run to Him with idols tightly in my hands.

Why?

Because His burden is light, y’all. (You can take the girl out of Mississippi, but…)

Because….And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Because the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Because the One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.

Because the Father is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch you out of the Father’s hand.

Because His love reaches to the heavens, His faithfulness to the skies.

And because whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Because He covers you with his feathers, and under his wings you find refuge.

Because His faithfulness is  your shield and rampart.

And you can say “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Say it. Say it out loud with hope.

He began the work. He will complete it. He doesn’t use us because we’re somehow “worthy”. No, He uses us in spite of ourselves.

Its okay to grieve the loss, but grieve with hope that only comes from the One who can trade beauty for ashes.

Because He is faithful.

 

Initiative 26: Do you believe that an unborn baby is a person?

 

This post is for Christians.

If you are one of my friends or family members who don’t believe in the God of the Bible, then I understand how you may fall on a different side of the argument than I do. You may agree with me. But I get it if you don’t. I would love for you to read this post, but it’s not intended to address you.

This post is to address my Christian brothers and sisters who may have succumbed to the confusion that is circulating concerning Initiative 26.

Initiative 26 is an attempt to amend the constitution of the state of Mississippi.

The official ballot summary of the measure reads:

“Initiative #26 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to define the word ‘person’ or ‘persons’, as those terms are used in Article III of the state constitution, to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.”

 

I want to address this issue on my blog because I have been shocked and grieved to see how many Christians are listening to what they hear on facebook, websites, google searches, etc. They are making decisions based on arguments they hear and their own fears instead of facts.

Initiative 26 only establishes the personhood of the unborn.

As Christians ,we have a lens through which we must see all of life. EVERYTHING must be filtered through this lens. It’s how we make sense of the world. If we believe the Bible to be true, then we won’t believe it when someone says the world was created by a huge random explosion. We won’t be swayed when someone says there is more than one way to get to heaven. We have a plumb line by which everything is measured.

Let’s address the plumb line first. What does the Bible say about the unborn?

Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart…”

Isaiah “The Lord has called me from the womb; from my mother has he made mention of my name.”

Job “Did he not form us from within our mothers…”

Psalms “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

I could go on and on. This is my question to you.

Do you believe that an unborn baby is a person?

Let’s address the arguments.

Argument #1 They’ll take away our birth control pill.

I’ve been most surprised to find this is one of the biggest arguments against this initiative. Women are very afraid to lose their pill. A few years ago, I read that the pill (not the morning after pill, the regular hormonal birth control pill) can be abortifacient. Meaning, it can allow an egg to be fertilized and then cause a miscarriage. I was shocked. I was more than shocked, I was horrified. I grieved. I wondered if some of my babies had been aborted (yes, that’s the word I meant to use) by my using the pill. Then I became angry. I had researched it enough to find that it was, in fact, true. I couldn’t understand why Christian leaders weren’t standing up and telling us this! I started to tell my friends. I knew that they would have the same response that I did.

I was wrong.

They didn’t want to know. Most people that I told either didn’t believe me (I understand, I didn’t believe it at first, either) or they didn’t want to know. I even had close friends say, “Well, I just can’t get pregnant right now.” My heart aches just thinking about that. If this just rocks your world and you just can’t imagine life without the pill. Please, please examine your heart. I beg you. We CAN’T make decisions this big looking through a lens of convenience. This is not okay. We just don’t have that right.

Does this mean that things might change? Probably. Does this mean that you may have to do something that is more complicated than popping a pill or using an IUD? Most likely. Does this mean that they will make the birth control pill illegal in this state? Hopefully. I understand that there are people with issues (PCOS, hormones, etc) that take the pill for reasons other than pregnancy prevention. If you are also using the pill as a form of birth control because you are sexually active, you could be CAUSING miscarriages. You could be CAUSING miscarriages.

Argument #2 What about ectopic pregnancy? They will let a woman die because they won’t remove the embryo.

An ectopic pregnancy is where the embryo implants in the fallopian tube and begins to grow there. There is no chance that the baby can live. Yes, it is still a baby, but it can’t live because it never made it to the womb.. NO ONE is saying that the life of the mother is now (or ever) invalid. “Life of the mother” cases have always been decided by the mother and her family. This was the case before Roe versus Wade, when abortion WAS NOT LEGAL. No one is going to require a mother to die to save a baby that cannot live. Please don’t believe this lie. No one is going to require a mother to die PERIOD. Sanctity of life concerning the unborn does not oppose the sanctity of life of the mother.

Argument #3 What if a person is raped? They won’t give her the morning after pill.

Before I begin to address this argument, please hear me say that I have deep compassion for anyone whose life has been violated in this way. I cannot imagine the emotional and physical devastation this brings. However, if she were to get pregnant as a result of rape, that doesn’t change the fact that it is a pregnancy. It is a baby. It’s not okay to kill. a baby. Causing an abortion, in my opinion is not only NOT protecting the mother, it is causing her further harm and distress.

Argument #4 This initiative is legislating morality.

Huh? Isn’t that what laws do? Name one law that isn’t somehow legislating morality. Someone argued with me this week saying, “Well, I would never have an abortion, but…” Well, why not?! You wouldn’t kill your baby, but you wouldn’t tell someone else not to kill theirs? Do you believe that an unborn baby is a person?

Argument #5 They won’t let us do in vitro fertilization.

IVF creates an embryo (a fertilized egg) outside the womb and then implants it. This initiative is not proposing that you can’t make babies (inside or outside the womb). This initiative IS saying that you can’t kill them. This WILL affect the way we do IVF. The fact is, there are OVER 500,000 frozen embryos in the U.S. ALONE. I didn’t accidentally type too many zeros. OVER HALF A MILLION. Someone on facebook said that this initiative would cause a crisis because we couldn’t “discard” them the way we have been. The reason we have over 500,000 right now is because there are a lot of people that know that those are actual babies and they are not willing to “discard” them. Many of these frozen embryos are available for adoption. They’re called snowflake babies. This initiative will require us to be responsible with the way we do IVF. Probably, people will not be able to fertilize more eggs than they are willing to eventually implant. Inconvenient? Maybe. Expensive? Probably.

I believe that human life begins at fertilization. I also believe that this is what the Bible teaches. Human life equals personhood. I have asked several people on facebook that are arguing against Initiative 26 this question, “When do you believe a baby (an embryo) becomes a person?” They all give very vague answers, even saying, “No one can know for sure.” The same person then states, “I am 100% sure that an embryo is not a person.” Anyone can see the huge fallacy in this argument. If you are completely uncertain of when personhood begins, how can you be entirely certain of when it does NOT begin? Someone then argued, “There is no magic line that an embryo crosses into personhood!” My point exactly. There is no magic line. An embryo is already a person.

Argument #6 The initiative is poorly written.

I will admit I am probably as much baffled by this argument as by any other. I have heard it stated, “I am a Christian and I am against abortion, but the wording is too vague.” Too vague? Let’s have another look.

 “…to define the word person…to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent…”

 

Vague?  Hardly. The wording could not possibly be any more clear and concise. May I suggest that this is a misunderstanding concerning the purpose of an amendment? Take a look at our Bill of Rights. These amendments are one sentence. ONE SENTENCE! They do not address every possible implication of the amendment. They couldn’t possibly. They do not address ONE SINGLE implication. That’s not the purpose.

 The purpose of this initiative is ONLY to establish a foundational truth, a fundamental principle. As of right now the concept of personhood is not defined in the constitution. IT SHOULD BE.

 Now, if we are talking about the implications of this initiative being unknown, I whole heartedly agree. However, the initiative Is Not Vague. There will always be unknowns. Always.

 Are there absolute implications if this amendment passes? YES! I am voting for this amendment for that reason, as well as the fact that there are ABSOLUTE IMPLICATIONS IF IT DOESN’T PASS.

 We can’t be sure how some things will be interpreted if it passes. We CAN, however, be sure that the courts will continue to treat the unborn as expendable if it does not pass.

Friend, I ask you the question again, Do you believe that an unborn baby is a person?

Initiative 26 only establishes the personhood of the unborn.

This is the only question.

If you believe that an unborn baby is a person, vote yes.

Please stand up and speak for those that can’t defend themselves.