My reflections and musings on the struggle to leave a Christ-shaped impression on the world of law and public policy.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

To Be "All In"

I sit in a beautiful, comfortable home. I'm healthy and have a wonderful husband who provides for me. I have two precious, healthy children, full of life and vitality. I have everything I need, and, truthfully, even everything I really want.

Today at church, Pastor Joe Slater admonished us to be "all in" for the Gospel. He quoted the following among the evidence that we are called to do exactly that:
  • "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24
  • "...unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." John 12:24
  • "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." Romans 12:1

To quote German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer (whose life is worth studying if you're interested in this topic and want to be inspired), "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die."

Almost every day I have at least one moment when I am consciously struck by how incredibly blessed I am. I see clearly (although perhaps less clearly than I will one day) how utterly this charmed life I lead is a gift. I have not earned what I have through my "talent," "hard work" or a history of making wise decisions. Neither is it the result of happy luck. Like my salvation, these breathtaking blessings I enjoy are a product of God's lavish grace.

How I strive to be one of unfaltering devotion to my Savior even were all that I had to be taken from me. (I haven't yet reached the point where I can be confident of that.) But in light of my present reality, at least, how could I do anything less than to go "all in" for whatever work God should choose to put on my desk?

Of those to whom much is given, much is required. And yet how often does my own laziness, my own love of comfort and pleasure, stand in the way of my being "all in?" I do believe that God wants His children to enjoy the blessings He bestows. But may my enjoyment of these gifts never become an opiate. Where there is a good work before me to do, may I never choose lounging on the couch watching a beloved, but mindless, t.v. show instead.

One of my deepest desires is to be "spent" for the good of the Kingdom of Christ. Of course I desire for myself and my family to be blessed with many long years of good health in which to love and enjoy one another. But I do pray that when I finally breathe my last, I will be as a zero balance, having spent all of the time, talent and treasure lavished upon me--everything He made and invested in me--in His service and for His glory.

Thanks for the reminder, Joe.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I know that many of you are shocked, outraged and discouraged about the headlines today. But remember, friends--the God of the universe is sovereign over nations and men.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Loving Them Both

Pro-lifers who devote time and energy to gaining passage of laws that restrict abortion are often accused of turning a cold shoulder to the plight of the woman facing an unwanted pregnancy. This is an unfair generalization.

I care deeply about the plight of these women, and I also see their predicaments as a unique opportunity for the Body of Christ to reach out to them with the love of a compassionate Savior. I am a huge fan of organizations like the Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center, where those trained and gifted in the art of counseling and the science of medicine provide practical help to women who suddenly find their lives in crisis.

I also care deeply about the other human being involved in the "decision." The other human being who was created by The Great Creator and in His image.

So with regard to unwanted pregnancies, I submit that the Body of Christ is confronted with two obligations: to love, counsel and assist the pregnant woman, and to work toward passage of laws that prohibit the killing of the unborn child she carries. We must love them both. God, in His great wisdom, has equipped some of us for one work and some for the other, but our work toward one goal does not imply lack of concern, conviction or support for the other goal.

I challenge those who argue that we should focus our attentions solely on the woman facing the unplanned pregnancy. How can we justify caring for one and not the other?

"Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, oh hold them back. If you say, 'See, we did not know this,' does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?" Proverbs 24:11-12

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Struggle

I have recently been confronted by someone who would call herself "pro-life" and yet opposes efforts to limit or ban abortion. Surprisingly, there are many in this camp. They would say that while they believe abortion is wrong and would never choose to have one, they still believe that each woman should retain freedom to make the decision for herself. They are found among those in our society who argue that it is wrong to "legislate morality."

This viewpoint puzzles me, and I struggle with how to respond. If legislators aren't legislating morality, what are they legislating? Surely all of the most fundamental laws of a civilized society concern morality. So it seems that the real objection is perhaps not so much to the passage of laws that impose some sort of moral order upon society, but to the basis that these laws have in religion. And yet, unless we are to prohibit Christian individuals from holding public office, how can we possibly demand that laws not be rooted in religious faith? For the true follower of Christ (and perhaps followers of other faiths as well), the Word of God informs every aspect of his or her life--including vocation--and is the basis for every moral belief.

The response to this is generally something like, "Well, Christians shouldn't impose their beliefs upon others." But the question remains, at what point do Christians become disqualified to participate in our government because of the basis of their moral beliefs? Is it when they become a majority?

Of course, legislation should never purport to regulate matters of conscience, which cannot in any event be compelled and should not be constrained. However, I submit that our government can--and indeed must--"legislate morality" where behavior is concerned. It is certainly a sense of "morality" that produces laws that protect the weakest among us from physical aggression by the strongest. Would anyone truly suggest that such laws are illegitimate?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Amazing Grace

I recently began reading Amazing Grace, the biography of William Wilberforce written by Eric Metaxas. Wilberforce dedicated his career in Parliament to ending slavery. I'm not usually drawn to biographies, but this one has had me riveted since the first page of the Foreward. It's impossible to miss the parallels between the campaign to end slavery and the campaign to recognize the human rights of unborn children.

This paragraph spoke volumes to me:

"At the time of the [historically black college's] establishment, there was polite conversation in America's parlors and colleges about the basic humanity of African Americans. Even more unrealistic for many in that conversation was the ability of African Americans to learn, contribute to society, and exist beyond the pale of forced servitude."

Then the author's Introduction states, "The opposition that [Wilberforce] and his small band faced was incomparable to anything we can think of in modern affairs. It was certainly unprecedented that anyone should endeavor, as if by their own strength and a bit of leverage, to tip over something about as large and substantial and deeply rooted as a mountain range. From where we stand today--and because of Wilberforce--the end of slavery seems inevitable, and it's impossible for us not to take it largely for granted. But that's the wild miracle of his achievement, that what to the people of his day seemed impossible and unthinkable seems to us, in our day, inevitable."

It is my hope and prayer that one day, this will be said of legalized abortion. Today it seems ingrained in our society and nearly impossible to reverse. May it one day be unimaginable to us that our laws ever sanctioned the destruction of human life as a matter of personal "choice."