Ask RC: What is Pietism?

Pietism is a view that looks at the broader world as a matter of utter insignificance, because it focuses exclusively on making the individual soul better. Radically individualistic and deeply Gnostic the movement eschews political involvement, denigrates the exercise of dominion and sometimes adds to the law of God. This, of course, ought never to be confused with piety, which is a good thing. Piety is godliness of character, a zeal to grow in grace and wisdom, to bear much of the fruit of the Spirit.  Because these two are often confused it is not at all unusual for those more lax in the pursuit of holiness to accuse those more zealous with pietism. In like manner it is not unusual for some who are passionate about pressing the crown rights of King Jesus, who long to see His reign acknowledged, to look down on the pursuit of personal piety as a distraction.

Our calling, of course, is to labor to manifest the reign of Christ over all things, including our own souls. And we are to do so in concentric circles. That is, my first obligation is to pursue holiness myself. Next I am to labor to see that my children grow in grace. Next are those under my pastoral care, directly or indirectly. Finally I am to labor to see all institutions brought under His dominion.  We ought all to recognize how tightly bound together these things are. The world, the church, my family will all get better as I get better. I haven’t abandoned them in seeking greater piety, but am instead serving them. In like manner, purifying the world, the church, my family in turn redounds to my own righteousness. No one can go wrong working to see the glory, the beauty of Christ’s authority more broadly recognized.

That said, here are some examples where piety ends and pietism begins. It is not at all unusual to hear some well meaning Christians argue that we ought not to seek to make abortion illegal, because, we are told, “It’s a heart matter.” We are told instead that we need only labor to win souls, and the abortion issue will take care of itself. The same, of course, could be said about murder. Murder is illegal, and people still do it. So why push to see murderers prosecuted? Isn’t soul winning so much more important? Well, the Lord we claim to worship established the state as in instrument of justice. He gives them the sword to punish evil-doers. Which means He calls them to protect the unborn. It is impiety to abandon them by abandoning our prophetic calling to the world. Of course we should be seeking to see souls brought in. As we should be seeking to see justice for the unborn.

Which brings us to our second example. There are those who argue that the sole function of the church is Word and Sacrament. The Bible, we are told, doesn’t speak directly to political issues. The church should not be speaking out against homosexual behavior.  The church should not speak for the unborn. Culture is just culture, a human reality more than a spiritual reality. There is therefore no such thing as bringing plumbing, poetry or politics under the Lordship of Christ.  This is pietism. It may be willing to affirm the Lordship of Christ over all things, but not in such a way that you could tell Jesus reigns. The Word calls us to make known His reign, to destroy the works of the devil and his diabolical troops. And the sacraments enlist and feed His army

Pietism is an ugly word, and we may be guilty of overusing it. One problem, however, is that pietism is an ugly reality. Piety calls us to call it out, in the name of our risen and reigning Savior.

Idols for Destruction

Written 2008

I’m confident that many Christians have not slept well these last few nights. I suspect that tonight they won’t do much better. Over the last several days, as I write, the stock market has not performed well. It has reached a five year low, having lost over forty percent of its value since its peak. It is not difficult to muster sympathy in these difficult economic times. Forty percent is rather much to lose, though only slightly more than half of seventy percent.

I lose sleep at night not because Christians have lost forty percent of their investments. I lose sleep at night because Christians are losing seventy percent of their children. They spend their days in institutions where Jesus doesn’t matter. Seven hours a day, 180 days a year, Jesus doesn’t matter. I am not surprised that when they graduate Jesus doesn’t matter to them. The children of professing Christians who are schooled by the government are more likely than not to reject the faith. And we’re worried about our stock portfolios.

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that where our treasure is, there will our hearts be as well (Matt 6:21). Our treasure is in our treasure, rather than in our children. We lose our children by the millions, but only cry when we lose our millions. The Christian church is a willful band of idolaters. We send our wives off to work because we worship mammon. We send our children off to “free” schools rather than private schools where Jesus is honored because we worship mammon. And we mourn at the death of our mammon, rather than the death of our children’s’ souls.

Every time tragedy hits, Christians fall back on this same chestnut of wisdom- we pray that so and so will learn something important from all the suffering. My prayer is the same. My hope is that as God destroys the idols in His church, as He shows that He is almighty, rather than the almighty dollar, that His people will repent and turn to Him. My prayer is then that He might turn our hearts back to our children, that we might in turn raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. God could do this. Or, He could lead us into physical starvation, even as we have starved our own children of His Word.

The more likely scenario is this. Professing Christians will continue to cry out to Washington to be their savior. Washington will continue to fail. And some, a very few, but some will in their financial pain turn and repent. Narrow is the path of life, and wide is the way of destruction. Before you get on your knees, asking God to deliver us from financial calamity, confess your sins. Confess that all of us, even those who homeschool, value too much that which bears Caesar’s image, and to little that which bears His image. Then, do not ask Him to fix your portfolio. Ask Him to help you invest in the only investment that bears dividends into eternity, your children.

Five Things I’m Surprised To Find in the Bible

God has made an orderly world, and given us an orderly Word. The God we serve, however, is a God of surprises. We serve a God who waters the fields in Spring in part by showering His world each winter with billions of unique, tiny ice sculptures. He made the platypus. Sometimes also the well ordered Word surprises us. We understand something of why He tells us about the Creation, man’s fall, God’s plan for redemption. Sometimes, however, He tells us things we wouldn’t expect. Other times, in the pages of His Word, He does things we wouldn’t expect. He is not, after all, a tame lion.

I was a young seminarian teaching my first Sunday school class for the singles group. I chose the book of Ecclesiastes, and began by asking the class if it were true that life is vanity. One sweet young lady raised her hand and denied that life was vain. I then launched into a five minute diatribe against the young lady, challenging her, rebuking her for denying the plain words of Scripture, jabbing my finger into the page. Though I had not yet met her, I dared to call her, for her impertinence, a knot-head. Though she was right, life is not vain, she did have some serious blind spots- she ended up marrying me. The point of the exercise was to enter into the odd construction of this book, that much of it is an extended ad hominem, a look at what life would be, if it were lived only under the sun.  God doesn’t just ask us, “Imagine what life would be like without a transcendent realm.” He has the wisest mere human to ever live take us on a journey through this imaginary world as if it were real. That should surprise us all.

I’m not surprised God would tell us not only what would be but what will be. We are comforted in knowing, whatever our eschatological position, that in the end Jesus wins. What strikes me as odd is that God determined to tell us so much about the end via the notoriously sticky medium of apocalyptic literature. One of the reasons we have so many eschatological views in the church is that instead of telling us in plain language what will happen, we have horns, heads, crowns, dragons, babies, sea monsters, secret numbers, bowls, lamp stands and trumpets.

Also while a seminary student I remember being struck by a rather odd tid-bit in the Bible’s biographical sketch of Abraham. Were you to tell his story, indeed anyone’s life story, you would likely include those moments, if there were any, where God spoke. You would include those dramatic moments when your wife was kidnapped. You would certainly include the story of God calling you to kill your son (which story is rather surprising on its own.) Not many biographies, however, include the story of a man buying a burial plot for his wife. Yet Genesis 23 is devoted to just that.  Asking why that story was included helped me understand the literary nature of the Bible. Yes what the Bible teaches is true, accurate, historical. But there are often purposes beyond merely conveying information.  Moses told the children of Israel this story to remind them that their father Abraham has made a down payment on the land God would give them.

In another piece, Five Things I’m Surprised I Can’t Find in the Bible I noted how odd it seems that God doesn’t give us a clear New Testament order of worship. Stranger still, however, is that He does tell us what our wives ought to be wearing on their heads.  Well, I suppose it’s less strange that He would tell us, more strange that He would give us, with so little commentary, the reason for doing so- because of the angels (I Corinthians 11). Now it is not my intention here to open up a debate on head coverings.  (far less, from the paragraph above, to start a combox war on eschatology). Our family has followed the practice, not because we claim to exhaustively understand it, but at least because we know there’s nothing wrong with it. It may be fine not to cover one’s head. It may be wrong. But no one argues it’s wrong to cover. So why not?

Which brings us to number 5. I am a big fan of the relative peace we enjoy, particularly about those who consider themselves to be Calvinists, between credo and paedo Baptists. I think that’s a good thing, and am deeply grateful for all my credo-baptist friends and colleagues. Grateful to that they don’t show us paedos the right boot of fellowship for our convictions here. That said, I don’t want to be more ecumenical than God. There was a man once that did not give the mark of the covenant to his son.  His wife didn’t take this lying down, and did the job herself. That’s a surprise enough. What’s more surprising is that this story is preceded with the observation that God was on His way to kill the man. The man was Moses, the wife Zipporah, the story in Exodus 4. Now we paedos may indeed be wrong in either seeing baptism as the mark of the covenant, or believing our children should receive it.  (And again, I don’t want to oversee a baptism debate here.) The credos may be the ones that are wrong. It may be a tough call. But for all our ability to get along despite the difference, it sure seems to matter to God.

God is always right, and we, when we disagree, are always wrong. Every word in His Word is perfectly chosen. And when we are surprised it should not surprise us that the reason is our sin, not any failure on His part. Nothing, however, should surprise us more than this- that He came to save sinners just like us, to the everlasting praise of His name.

Jesus Meek and Mild

Jesus, like love, is something everyone wants to lay claim to. That is, just as there is no organized coalition banded together by a hatred of love, so there are precious few people who are willing to lay a charge at Jesus’ feet. In both cases we simply change the meaning of the term, into something we’re in favor of. Like Joshua outside the walls ofJericho, we want to get Jesus on our side. This is why Marxists have created their own Jesus. This is why theological liberals have their own Jesus. We come to the Bible wearing our own glasses, and aren’t at all surprised that Jesus comes out looking just like us.

We who are Reformed are well practiced at this art as well. Only we create a Jesus who is as cranky as we are. When our gentler evangelical brothers chide us for our bitter sarcasm, we are quick to point out some of Jesus most choice words for His enemies, “White washed tombs” “Sons of the Devil” being just a few. When the happy, ecumenical feel-good neo-evangelicals fuss at us for fussing at them for being happy, ecumenical feel-good neo-evangelicals, we are quick to remind them that Jesus may not have extinguished a smoking wick, but He was known to pick up a cracking whip. He did not stand at the entrance to theTemple, and like the gentleman that He is, invite the moneychangers to take their business elsewhere.

In both cases we are caught in this tension. On the one hand, we are to imitate Christ. He is to be our model, and we are to walk in His footsteps. On the other hand, we are not at all like Him. We can never stand in His unique position of moral authority. I’d like to make a suggestion as to how we might deal with this dilemma. Perhaps we ought to be quick to pick up the cross of Christ, and slow to pick up His prophetic mantle. Or better still, we ought not to pick up the prophetic mantle until we pick up the cross.

It is interesting to note that Jesus performed what might be understood as His first destructive miracle during Passion Week. Up until that point He has made the blind see, and the lame walk. He had freed many from illness and demonic oppression. Then, the day after His triumphal entry, He cursed a fig tree for having no figs. It was the same week that Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the Temple. One gets the sense that His sense of righteous indignation rose in proportion to the closeness of the coming of His suffering. We on the other hand ratchet up our rhetoric so as to avoid suffering, to avoid the cross.

If we enter into His suffering, if we are willing to lay down our lives, rest assured He will give us prophetic opportunities. If we are willing to go, silent as a lamb to the slaughter, He will not only raise us up, but will give us words to speak. If, on the other hand, we take it upon ourselves always to pronounce judgments of woe, woe may well become a close companion.

Ask RC: Where would you send your children to college?

There are not just different reasons why people go to college, but different legitimate reasons. There are in turn perfectly appropriate reasons why some people don’t go to college. I am not of the mind that anyone’s mind is wasted if it has never matriculated, or doesn’t know what matriculated means.  As such, there is no one size answer fits all. Which is why I am framing the question the way I am framing it, answering how I look at the question. What follows may sound something like a commercial. I apologize for that- it flows less from being a faculty member, and more from being a grateful parent.

My two oldest children are students at Reformation Bible College. There are some obvious reasons why this makes sense for us, though it might not make as much sense to you. First, I teach there. I love, after years of homeschooling, continuing to have my children as my students. They, I trust, at least like it. Second, it is naturally close to home, and third, as a member of the faculty I get a pretty amazing deal in terms of the cost.

There are, however a number of reasons why we chose Reformation Bible College that might fit into your own calculus as well. First, it is a Bible college. That is, here my children continue to study what they have, and God willing will study all the days of their lives. They are not merely getting the best wisdom men could come up with, but are receiving wisdom from the God of heaven and earth. They are studying the words of life.  There are any number of things that are fitting for people to study, that are perfectly acceptable, even beneficial. There is, however, only one book that equips us for EVERY good work.  I’m thrilled that my children get to study the Bible.

Silencing the Devil

How easily, because of his craftiness, we confuse Satan and Santa. Their names are indeed anagrams of each other, and they both were obviously told by someone, somewhere along the way that they look good in red. We tend to think, however, that just as Santa carries about a giant bag of goodies, so the devil carries around a giant bag of temptations, that his principle weapon is to tempt us toward illicit pleasures. Truth be told Satan’s name is derived from the word for Accuser. He is far more interested in pointing out our past failures than he is enticing us to new ones.

This in turn serves a number of his other goals. Several years ago I went through a rather unpleasant tussle with the denomination in which I was ordained. Part of the root of the tussle was sin on my part. Part of the fruit of the tussle was that I found myself needing to repent for those sins. That’s a good thing. It hurt at first, but God forgives sinners like me because Jesus died for sinners like me. Though I have miles to go before I sleep, humiliation can be a difficult but potent means to the glorious end producing the fruit of humility.

One bad fruit, however, was that my remaining pride pushed me to an unhealthy silence.  I found myself reluctant to speak up virtually anywhere on the world wide web for fear that my critics would show up, and parade my dirty laundry for all to see. Sometimes disgrace, or fear thereof, rather than discretion, is the better part of valor. I sat on the sidelines, thinking every point I would make would sooner or later be rebutted with, “Don’t listen to him. Don’t you know what he did?”

In God’s grace most of my critics eventually grew weary of beating the dead horse that was my reputation, and moved on to fresh game. And slowly I began to come out of my shell.  Every now and again, however, someone still shows up to accuse.  And therein comes the second reason for the devil’s stratagem- discouragement.  Every time there is another comment I sigh, shake my head, and wonder if, no, fear that these things will never be behind me. Like Pilgrim before me I once again feel the weight on my back, slowing me down on my journey to the Celestial City.  I once again feel myself sinking into the Slough of Despond.

Which is a good thing. The Good News, of course, is that Jesus has already overcome the devil. I need not be silent as a teacher and writer, because He is not silent before the Father, but rather calls me His own. I need not either despair, because He has removed my sins as far from me as the east is from the west.  There is only one perspective on me that matters in the least, and His says of me today and every day, “You are My son. I love you and will never forsake you.” The pangs that come with the accusations of the devil and his minions are more than salved by the balm of Gilead. They instead become the very savor, the very joy of my salvation.  “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (I Timothy 1:15).

Ravenous Sheep

I had already failed my first test in becoming a gentleman farmer. Three years and roughly 200 chickens produced eggs for my family at a rate of roughly $1… each. A few years had passed though since my experiment in folly, and I was ready to try again. I purchased three recently weaned lambs, set up portable fencing on my land and became a shepherd.

Things went rather smoothly, until they didn’t. Two weeks into the experiment I looked out into my field and saw a third of the fencing was down. I raced outside to find two of the lambs safe and content, still eating grass. The third also had not run off. No, she had managed to turn the downed fence into a straight jacket. She had gotten herself hopelessly entangled, was on her side and kicking about wildly, tangling herself all the more. I remember grabbing one of the rubber “posts” and pushing the pointed metal end into the lamb’s side, trying to pin her down so I could begin to untangle her. She just kicked all the more. I was sweating, frustrated, and a smidge frightened, and screamed to this little one, my voice echoing across the valley, “Be still. I’m trying to help you.” That’s when I learned what it means to be a shepherd.

Most of us have a rather distorted, city-fied understanding of sheep. We remember from Sunday School that picture of Jesus, smiling as He carried that smiling lamb,  the one, over His broad shoulders back to the 99.  We never stopped to ask how that one managed to get so far away.

Now the world is full of failed shepherds. Some fail by confusing shepherding with bullying. Most fail by being hirelings, by just not caring. There is, however, a reason why sheep need shepherds, on earth, flesh and blood shepherds. Because sheep are sinners too.  They don’t just wander off out of ignorance. They jump over fences to get at what has been forbidden them. They close their ears to the voice of the Master and follow their own downward path. They hide when they sense a shepherd has come for them. And when cornered they will hiss, bite and kick. Worse still, so often after being carried back to the flock they run off again. Some are so anti-shepherd it’s hard to tell if they’re even sheep at all.

Whenever I am blessed to visit another’s pulpit I always try to work this nugget into my address. I tell the gathered saints- “The hardest thing about being a pastor is not being poorly paid. If that needs to be fixed and you can, please do. The hardest thing about being a pastor isn’t the long hours. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call when you are in the emergency room. It does mean if you have a theological question at 9:30 Saturday night, try to wait until after Sunday service to ask. The hardest thing isn’t the lack of respect in the church and the world over his calling. If you can help there, please do. The hardest thing about being a pastor is the pain of watching the sheep you love banging their heads against the wall until their wool is like scarlet.” The hardest thing about being a shepherd is the pain of loving the sheep.

This, though, is the calling of the shepherd. Jesus repeatedly told Peter the implication of his love for Him- feed, tend, feed His sheep. He didn’t say the sheep would joyfully receive their food. He didn’t say they would return the shepherd’s love.  He didn’t say they would run to you joyfully when you call them. He said to tend them, and to feed them, to love them.  Feed them the Word. Love them. And know that the Great Shepherd of the sheep promises to turn the bloodiest of fleece into the whitest of wool, for them, and for you.

Honor to Whom Honor Is Due

Written: 2008

My political convictions are simple enough- no man gets my votes who will not use every power at his disposal to protect all unborn children. This perspective is not new, having informed my voting from the time I was of age. That means, in turn, that in every general election since the 1984 election, I have voted neither Republican nor Democrat. Despite my wishes to the contrary, every election since 1984, and for the last roughly one hundred years, has been won by either a Republican or a Democrat. And then follows the same pattern. The disappointed Democrats, when a Republican wins, read the worst possible motives, ascribe absurdly low intelligence quotients, and in every way imaginable disparage the President. If the Republican helps an old lady across the street, he is accused of pandering to the AARP. If he invents a cure for cancer, it’s just because he’s in the pocket of the drug lobby.

This, however, is not our circumstance. We as a nation have elected a Democrat, and so most of the Democrats are ready to crown and perhaps deify the incoming President. Christians, who by and large tend to vote more Republican, however, stand ready to fulfill their calling- to read the worst possible motives, ascribe absurdly low intelligence quotients, and in every way imaginable disparage the President. Brothers and sisters this ought not to be.

You would be hard pressed to find someone more politically distant from the President elect. I vote for neither party in large part because they are both so far to my own left. Nor will I be afraid to challenge and criticize the work of the incoming President. We do indeed have a prophetic call. I’m not one to separate the Lordship of Christ from the political arena. Every politician has a solemn God-given duty to kiss the Son, lest He be angry. By all means let us not rest easy unless or until the President and the federal government stops interfering where it doesn’t belong. Let us hold his feet to the fire as he not only stands by while doctors murder babies, but in all likelihood determines that the government should pay for it. Let us fulfill our prophetic calling, however, in accordance with the Word of God.

We are commanded to give honor to whom honor is due. And so, even when we take up the prophetic mantle, let us do so while respecting his office. Here is one simple test- how do you refer to the President? Yes, his fans have an unhealthy love of the man, but such ought not to mean that we refer to the President as Obamessiah. Instead, ought we not to call him the President, President Obama, Mr. President? To crack wise about the man’s name is to be foolish, to exhibit the spirit of the age which, in the end is less concerned about who rules, and more concerned that all of us fail to honor those in authority over us. The Spirit of Christ, however, calls us to something different. It calls us to honor those in authority. That describes the President. Would that the servants of the King would be described as those who obey the King, who calls us to honor the President.

Shooting at the Peacemakers

Whenever there is an issue, one will usually find two issues. You believe, for instance, that it is immodest for a woman to wear pants. I believe, enlightened knight that I am, that it is not necessarily immodest. That’s an issue of disagreement. While it is certainly possible that it could go the other way, odds are that the second issue would work out this way. You believe it a grave problem that I don’t hold your view on women and pants. I, on the other hand, am profoundly indifferent to your view, quite content for you to go on holding it. Now we have a second disagreement. We differ on the relative importance of the issue we differ on.

Shrewd politicians have learned how to use this to their advantage. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that you believe the federal government ought to spend more money on education. I, on the other hand, believe that no civil governments ought to spend any money on education. If you want to make progress, what do you do? Do you come after dangerous fanatics like me? No. You instead get after people between us, and charge them with failing to sufficiently condemn me. You accuse those who want the level of federal spending to remain constant of being soft on loonies like me. Why would you risk alienating those who are closer to you? To get them to move closer still. As you denounce them, they in turn will feel the need to prove their bona fides on the issue. Before this assault, my loony views were a matter of indifference to these “moderates.” Now it is something they must loudly denounce, lest they get painted by you with my brush.

The strategy, of course, works for politicians of all kinds. It works in office politics. It works in family politics. And it works in church politics. It isn’t enough to disagree withtheory A anymore. In order to avoid being tainted you have to stand up and declaretheory A to be the very spawn of Satan. In some circles, for instance, it isn’t enough to believe in the five points of Calvinism. You must, in order to keep your Reformed credentials, believe that those who deny any of the five points of Calvinism go straight to hell when they die.

The world is full of issues, some of them subtle, all requiring wisdom. But the greatest wisdom is always needed for the second issue. The hard question is the proportion question. It is better, in the end, to enjoy the company of those who are wrong on a given issue, than those with whom we agree on the issue, but who turn it into a matter of life and death. Give me a peaceful Arminian any day over a fire-breathing Calvinist. Give me, on the other hand, a fire-breathing Calvinist any day over those Machiavellians who push their agenda by shooting at the peacemakers.

Ask RC: What kind of people walk into your local abortion mill?

There are any number of common myths, lies we tell ourselves, to somehow make it all seem not so horrible. The first lie is that the clientele at the local mill is made up of sweet faced high school girls who got carried away with their boyfriends, and come in blissfully ignorant of what goes on inside.  There are people at the mill that fit this description, but they are exceedingly rare.

The second lie is that they are women in hopelessly desperate straits that see no other way out. The boyfriend has threatened to beat her if she doesn’t abort his child. The step-father threatens to kill her if she doesn’t abort his child. The rent check is about to bounce, and she will lose her job if anyone finds out she is pregnant. Again there are people at the mill that fit this description, but they are exceedingly rare.

The third lie is that those who come are peculiarly wicked people, that they come equipped with bulging bellies and horns on their heads, their mouths spewing angry obscenities. There certainly are people who fit this description, minus the horns. But they are by no means the majority.

The first myth is useful to us because it persuades us that all we need to do is educate the world. Write a letter to the editor. Engage in a debate on facebook. Hand out pamphlets.  The myth reinforces the notion that what is wrong in the world is a lack of information, and that what will cure us is more teaching.  If we can just get this ad on television, this other message on billboards, if we can just persuade everyone that the unborn are babies, the nightmare will end. But the nightmare is that they already know. They are abundantly conscious that a baby is growing inside them. And they want to kill it.

The second myth is useful to us because it persuades us that all we need to do is write a check.  If we support our local crisis pregnancy center we will put an end to abortion. It is a wonderful thing indeed to support your local crisis pregnancy center. It will not, however stop people from murdering their babies. Do we really think that anyone willing to murder her baby because of difficult circumstances would not murder her baby were circumstances less difficult? Changing circumstances isn’t changing hearts.

The third myth may be the most dangerous. When we think this way, that those who procure abortions hiss and spit and spew vile profanations we push this evil away from us, as if it were some alien beings doing such horrors. We excuse our inaction on the grounds that these people are not like us, but are sinners of a whole other order. We think that it may just be a good thing that these kinds of people not reproduce, because it will just bring more of their kind of evil into the world.

The truth is that the people who come to the mill are decidedly ordinary. They are the people behind you at the grocery store, or the person bagging your groceries. They are the person beside you in the pew, whose confidence that God forgives leads them to deadly presumption, or the elder’s daughter who spares the family name by murdering the heir. They are people like me, who know they are carrying babies in their bellies.  They are people like me, who have problems and challenges in their lives, who prefer to put their problems behind them.  They are people like me who will stoop to nearly any shame to hide the shame they already stooped to.  Nothing will change until we come to understand that abortion is not a them issue but a we issue, that the sinful hearts that procure abortions are just like the sinful hearts that think we can pay them off, inform them or ignore them.  Neither will anything change until we come to understand as well that the babies being brought there are also just like our babies. Ordinary people do extraordinarily wicked things every ordinary day.

Stand on the Word. Walk by the Way. Run to the Battle. Rest in the Son.
Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. teaches at Reformation Bible College and Ligonier Ministries in Sanford, Florida.
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