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Archive for the ‘Abortion and the Church’ Category

Answers to the test: The cosmic cheat sheet

God spells out the choice we need to make in Duet 30.

God spells out the choice we need to make in Duet 30.

by Jacqueline Hawkins

At UNC Greensboro, a young woman told Deeper Still and GAP volunteer Debbie Picarello that she was a Christian who believed God gave her a “choice.”  In her mind, God was fine with whatever she wanted to do with her own body, even if it meant destroying her baby’s body.

She was failing the “choice” test, the test of life and death.

Debbie pulled out the ultimate life “cheat sheet,” the Bible.  This is pretty good: In the most important test we will ever take, the test of life and death, God gave us the answers!  Debbie showed her the answers she needed to know:

“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; your works are wonderful.”  (Psalm 139:13,14)

In other words, God made us.  He put us together Himself.

“For you are bought with a great price.  Glorify and bear God in your body.”  (1 Cor 6:20.)

Our bodies are not our own; they belong to God.  This is especially true for Christians purchased by the Blood of the Lamb.

“Consider that I have set before thee this day life and good, and on the other hand death and evil …  I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing.  Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”  (Duet 30:15;19)

The choice should be clear.

This was not what the young woman wanted to hear.  She told Debbie she felt judged.  Debbie assured her that she was not judging her, but was giving her the Word of the very God she claimed to worship.  Her belief, that she could do whatever she wanted with her own body and the body of her child, was wrong.  Her assertions directly contradicted the Bible.

It was indeed her choice to follow the Bible or not.  But it was clear how God saw our choices.  There are right choices and wrong choices.  As followers of Christ, our choices are intended to be conformed to His likeness so that the whole world can know him.  Pro-abortion Christians aren’t just dangerous for themselves and their children; they are dangerous for everyone on the planet.

God gives us the answers to the test, so that we can correct our course and pass with flying colors.

Understanding what Debbie was saying, the young woman shook Debbie’s hand and thanked her for speaking with her.

This is so important.  Our most important outreach is not to the pagan world; we are taking truth to confused Christians led astray by complacent church leaders who work harder than Planned Parenthood to cover up the truth.  Over and over again, your support is the difference between life and death.  When you support CBR, you choose life.

Jackie Hawkins is a CBR Project Director and regular FAB contributor.

Let’s stop playing nice

Lincoln Brandenburg, CBR Project Director, Georgia

Lincoln Brandenburg, CBR Project Director, Georgia

The following speech was delivered by CBR’s Georgia Project Director, Lincoln Brandenburg, at the 2016 March for Life in Columbus, Georgia. 

What is the goal of the pro-life movement? Jason Jones, the co-producer of the pro-life film “Bella” recently wrote a dynamite article called “The Pro-Life Art of War.” In it, he asks us to:

“Imagine if same-sex marriage were prohibited nationwide, and legal protections for homosexuals consistently struck down or defeated—while sodomy laws were re-imposed and enforced, with billions of dollars in funding from Congress. How effective would you consider the gay rights movement? If the Second Amendment were reduced to a hollow, meaningless shell, and Americans’ guns—even hunting and target rifles—were all confiscated by the feds, what would we think of the gun lobby? If the U.S. abandoned Israel to its fate, and starting sending aid and arms to Hezbollah and Hamas, what would we say of the Israel lobby? Fix each of those scenarios in mind, and let’s ask the question: What should we think of the pro-life movement? The answer is tragically clear: For all the minds and hearts it has changed, it is a comprehensive political failure. American abortion laws are among the laxest on planet Earth…”

Such thinking doesn’t exactly bring out the sunshine on a cloudy day like this, does it? And yet, when you consider the success of the aforementioned movements, contrasted to where we are after 43 years of legalized child killing, one cannot deny that Jones is on to something. In terms of public policy, we really have very little to show for decades of efforts.

Our goal must be to win. We can save a life here and there, but winning is the only way that the killing stops. But we have become entirely too timid to win. Most in our movement are Christians. And it is so ingrained in us to be loving, selfless and nice that we don’t know how to stand firmly and boldly against the evil of child sacrifice. We don’t even have a category for that in our thinking. We know how to be gentle as doves, but we don’t’ know how to be wise as serpents.

I would like to submit that being Christlike – loving, sacrificial and gentle – does not exclude us from also standing boldly against evil. Failure to do so is itself is unloving.

In the introduction to the book “The Bravehearted Gospel,” Pastor Ben Davenport writes:

“The historical Jesus was not crucified because God so loved the world. No! The only begotten of the Father was fastened with iron nails to an unforgiving cross because He spoke the truth with authority and glistened with the light of Heaven and men loved darkness rather than light…

“If Jesus, who was perfect, who never sinned, and who was love incarnate, could not speak the truth without being hated, rejected, and despised, who are we to think that we can do better? Who are we to think that we have figured out a more ‘loving and ‘relevant’ way to present the truth in a more ‘seeker-friendly’ manner than Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

“We have wholeheartedly embraced the sentimental, watercolor Jesus that seems to spend most of His time holding lambs and patting children on the head with some faraway, glazed-over, dreamy look in His eye. And we tend to shy away from, or altogether ignore, that man who spoke the truth of God so boldly that conspiracies were hatched, witnesses were bribed, and politicians were entreated to bring about His painful and public execution.”

This is the side of being Christlike that we are afraid of.

Now does this mean that we shun and condemn women and men who have been involved in an abortion? Does this mean that we scream at people outside of clinics? Of course not! I too have sinned. Were it not for the grace of God, I would still be blinded to sin. From one human to another, I can assure you that God is eager to forgive and to free from bondage to sin, including abortion. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers.” If you view such people as the enemy, maybe you need to spend some time with God looking in the mirror first.

This is not a call to become one-dimensional. We have all seen people who became so enamored in a cause that they became cynical and abrasive. They develop tunnel-vision and lose their tenderness towards others, their winsomeness and their clairvoyance. That also is not what God calls us to.

But for the majority of us, that’s not the temptation we face, is it? Our temptation is to be silent and passive. Our temptation is to be content with having a political or theological stance, but not taking sacrificial action. We’re comfortable having our bible studies with people who are like ourselves; talking about “discipleship” and “worship,” and being really, really nice people… but doing nothing about the babies being decapitated and dismembered down the street from us.

After WWII, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s best friend, Eberhart Bethge, wrote about the weakness of the Confessing Church in Germany during the war. These were not the liberalized, Nazi-pandering churches, but the Bible-believing ones that still held to orthodox theology. He observed that “it became clear where the problem lay for the Confessing Church: we were resisting by way of confession, but we were not confessing by way of resistance.”

"We were resisting by way of confession, but we were not confessing by way of resistance.” Eberhart Bethge

“We were resisting by way of confession, but we were not confessing by way of resistance.” Eberhart Bethge

Taking a cognitive stance is not enough. The love of God compels us to act. If we will not take a bold stand against the evil of modern child sacrifice, when WILL we finally stand up? What else would it take?

Yes, it is uncomfortable. Yes, we will get flack for it. We will be mischaracterized and called names. At my church we’ve been studying the sermon on the mount in Matthew’s gospel. In chapter 5, Jesus says: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” That should put steel in our spines!

“A servant is not greater than his master;” like Jesus, we should not be surprised when we get flak for speaking the truth in a culture that loves lies. When my colleagues and I engage in activism, we don’t yell at people. We don’t call names. We show the truth of what abortion is and attempt to engage in respectful dialogue. People yell at us. They throw things at us. They call us names. But God uses the prophetic message to convict consciences, change minds, and to save lives and souls. And each one of those precious lives and souls is worth it.

“Like Jesus, we should not be surprised when we get flak for speaking the truth in a culture that loves lies.”

Imagine a day when killing preborn children is a thing of the past. We are continuing to support pregnancy resource centers, such as Sound Choices and Seneca, Choices for Life), not because it’s the pro-life thing to do – but because it’s just the Christian charitable thing to do. No other reason. Imagine us getting together like this, not to march for life, but to celebrate the precious lives that are no longer in danger. Imagine standing before the God who purposefully placed you in this time and place of history, and hearing the words “well done, good and faithful servant!”

With that dream in mind, go forward courageously and boldly. Connect with others who are engaging the culture. Let’s stay humble, stay winsome. But let’s also refuse to take no for an answer. Let’s refuse to let up. Let’s stop playing nice.

Submitted by Lincoln Brandenburg

Hungry for Change at Liberty University

This Liberty student is hungry … but, for what? His answer may not be as creepy as it seems.  Read on to find out why.

by Nicole W. Cooley

I got my first collegiate baseball cap at Liberty University in August 2011.

But at Liberty, we weren’t actually on the campus.  Despite requests by Student Government and CBR, the Liberty Administration repeatedly denied permission for our GAP display.  First Amendment rights don’t exist at private schools.

That is very creepy, I thought.  But then I saw the fine print at the bottom of his sign.

But we came anyway.  We used the streets, sidewalks, and public spaces just off campus.  We displayed GAP signs at the campus entrances and drove Truth Trucks around the perimeter of campus.  Five Truth Trucks.  For an entire week.

I lost count how many times students asked me, “Why are you here?  Everyone at Liberty is pro-life already.  Why don’t you go somewhere else?”  Many were annoyed at our presence.

Over and over I replied, “I’m so glad you are pro-life.  What are you doing about it?  Do you vote pro-life?  Do you sidewalk counsel outside of abortion clinics?  We’re here because you are attending the largest Christian university in the United States.  If we can’t get Christians to care about abortion, we have no hope of ending it.”

One conversation stood out.  On the fourth day, a young man came up to me in tears.  “Why are you doing this?  I can’t get those pictures out of my head!”

I gently replied to him in the same way as I did the others, “We had to break your heart about abortion – otherwise you’d continue in ignorant apathy like the rest of America.”

On the last day at Liberty, we finally got a protester … or so I thought.  A student stood along the side of the road with his sign which read, “Looking at dead babies just makes me hungry.”

That is very creepy, I thought.  But then I saw the fine print at the bottom of his sign, “…for change.”  Because he saw the pictures, he was hungry for change.

Amen!  So are we.

Nicole Cooley is a CBR project director and a FAB contributor.  This is the second in a series of “hat blogs” about memorable conversations gleaned from her experiences with GAP.

This public space near the bookstore allowed CBR to overcome the Liberty University’s censorship of the pro-life message.

Poetry is War (Part 2)

By Mick Hunt

The following poem is best experienced by watching the video.  Listen, watch, read.  It’s powerful.


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Shawn Welcome

Civil War
Written and performed by Shawn Welcome

1861. Musket, rifles with miniball bullets blast across the Mason-Dixon line, from both sides. Bayonets in my neighbor’s neck if they’re close enough, gun-smoke and tensions in the air, this won’t end for another four years. The American Civil War, a bloody conflict within the same nation. On the backs of Blacks was built the wealthiest. Lincoln had no use for these slave trades. He had more honorable ways of being successful. The Confederate South couldn’t stand it and a house divided against itself, can’t anyway.

Firearms changed everything.

Slave ships were packed and hearts were hardened, never asked to be here, how unfair that we’re the problem. Never asked to be here, how unfair that they’re the problem.

All in the name of freedom.

Party like a rock-star while little ones are dying. Silent screams from injected saline and dreams you will never hear because little lungs were punctured before they could fully function. Who will be a voice for the voiceless?

The abolitionists.

How many freight trains of injustice will roll by behind church buildings while service inside sings louder? Hands in the air, pump up the volume, bass, kick, snare, drowning out the rumblings of oppression. No formal funerals, nor miniature caskets, only the likes of medical waste to management tell me “how many pounds of flesh do you pick up for profit?”

And when will that wait begin to weigh down on your conscience?

Jim Jones, no thanks. You can keep your kool-aid.

This sugar coated genocide is sponsored by media, abortion pills, birth control, control the growth, convince them to commit cultural suicide. Not televised, and the Hill’s killer number one among African-Americans is done by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Music soft, white coats. Put them on, take them off. How much does it cost to ignore the exotic white tiger in the bathroom? Or, are we too hung over to pick up the phone. “I know you don’t want to go through with this, but are these counselors counseling, or selling a service?”

Tell me, who’s going to sue an abortionist for malpractice if the purpose is to keep it under hush. If they don’t care about your baby, they don’t care about your body. This is called “making it rain under the umbrella of womens’ health.”

Fifty dollar bills are filled with the faces of Ulysses S. Grant, who led the Union army into victory. Cash wins again and still rules everything around me. Methods of man are like Hulk, busting from the seams with all green. And if they could put a tax on crack, you will find it at your local Walgreens.

Trust me.

We take less than 2% of the cases, rape, incest and life on the line to justify the 99. Reckless, who occupy all streets.

Listen, men and women need higher standards and better judgement. On my wish list. But hurt people, hurt people. This all boils down to forgiveness. Where’s the humility? Daddies running away like slaves from the so-called shackles and chains of responsibility

Meanwhile, Mommy wants to secede from this union, and it only ends in bloodshed. History repeats itself. The new civil war where African Americans are still on the front lines. No jury. Dying for the same reasons. They’re not human, fully. Slavery wouldn’t have ended if it depended on quiet. Folks willing to take a bullet to the head and some riots, and I’m all for non-violence because words can change trends, but worse than words from my enemies is the silence from my friends.

 Author Notes:

  1. I transcribed the words from the video, so it’s not arranged on the page like Mr. Welcome would.  If you want to see brief commentary on the poem by Dr. Alveda King, go here.  The video is a promotional for Stand4Life.
  2. This is another, different performance of the poem.
  3. Please visit Shawn Welcome’s website, where you can find recordings of other of his poems.  Mr. Welcome is available to speak to groups.

Mick Hunt (Meredith Eugene Hunt) is a FAB contributor.  He has helped organize more than 50 Genocide Awareness Projects (GAPs) all over the southeast and elsewhere.

Unpreaching the Gospel: What we do when we are silent on abortion

preaching

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Awesome piece by Rolley Haggard at BreakPoint.  Excerpts:

Moral/spiritual matters are preeminently the domain of the church.  Political overtones notwithstanding, abortion is arguably the moral/spiritual issue of our day.  If we don’t speak to it, who will?
***
As heaven’s ambassadors, therefore, it is not only appropriate but obligatory that ministers address abortion.  Whatever political overtones may attach to preaching against the sin of abortion, silence is not an option for the church—unless the plan is just to quit preaching against sin altogether.  (emphasis added)
***
In answer to this we might well ask, “seekers of what?”  Seekers of a pleasant but shallow church experience, or seekers of the living Christ?  Seekers of a mere “form of godliness,” or seekers of “religion that is pure and undefiled”?

Entire article here.  Show it to your pastor.

One thing we wish Mr. Haggard had added to his piece, and that is the need for showing abortion photos or videos (e.g., Choice Blues) to people in the church.  Christians deserve to know the truth about abortion — what it is, what it does, and what God expects us to do about it.  Most Christians who have never seen abortion don’t understand how evil it really is.  Nor do they understand their own responsibility to “hold back those staggering toward slaughter (Proverbs 24:11-12).”

Before visiting your pastor, you should read this: Why This? Why Here?.  This brochure is designed to answer many questions that Christians leaders (including, perhaps, your pro-life pastor) are confused about.  You might also watch a video of how abortion imagery can be appropriately incorporated into a worship service at a large mega-church (with children removed, warning of content given, etc.).

Update: 27 May 2014, 4:45 pm

Got this comment from Roland Haggard:

Thanks, Fletcher, I totally agree we need to show abortion pix to folks in church, but you’re right I didn’t manage to fit it into the above article. I did, however, include it in these two:

Blessings, my friend

CBR’s Gregg Cunningham on abortion and the church (video)

Matt Higa

Pastor Matt Higa

Gregg Cunningham speaks with Pastor Matt Higa of New Hope Kauai Church at Kapaa, Hawaii.  Watch the entire video below.

Excerpts:

The church response to this holocaust has been tepid, ineffective, timid, and risk-averse.  We are working to change that.

The Church is missing an enormously effective healing ministry [by covering up abortion.]  … We’ve had countless men and women tell us that actually seeing abortion forced them to stop rationalizing what they had done and seek forgiveness and healing.

If what we are doing is socially responsible and Biblically correct when we go onto a university campus to display abortion pictures to students whose professors are covering up the truth about abortion, why wouldn’t we do this on sidewalks outside churches whose pastors are covering up the horror of abortion?

They could have … but they didn’t

Abortion at 10 weeks

What does Christianity like in a culture that tolerates this?

Great piece by Rolley Haggard over at BreakPoint takes a sober look at the modern Church’s response to abortion:

Excerpt:

You remark to yourself that the Christians of this present generation could have spoken up, but they didn’t.

They could have regularly and passionately preached against this horrific evil, but they didn’t.

They could have prayed and marched and held vigils day and night, but they didn’t.

They could have voted and lobbied and advocated and cried aloud without ceasing, but they didn’t.

They could have written letters and held signs and stood outside abortion clinics day in and day out, but they didn’t.

They could have made it clear to their elected leaders, their neighbors, and perhaps most importantly to themselves, that here is an unspeakably great evil that cannot, that must not be tolerated. But they didn’t. By and large they didn’t.

And by their not doing what they could have done about this great evil, they committed an even greater evil, because they knew better than to let it happen and they let it happen anyway.

Link to full piece here.

Bodacious Battle for Babies brouhaha brewing at Biola becoming bigger!

Diana Jimenez

Diana Jimenez, as featured in World Magazine

You could say that … but probably not 3 times really fast!

Anyway, great story in World Magazine on the Battle for Babies at Biola.  Link to World Magazine story here.  Link to original video here.

Excerpts:

She always considered herself pro-life, but after watching a video of an actual abortion earlier this year, she realized its horror and decided to do something about it.

***

[CBR Executive Director Gregg] Cunningham, pointing to social reforms such as slavery, child labor, and the civil rights movement, says public opinion changes only after people see images depicting the reality of the injustices. He says Christians have been overly concerned with not offending people, and he says schools like Biola help “Planned Parenthood hide the horror of abortion. … We’re losing ground until Christian colleges are willing to get serious and provide systematic leadership in defense of life.”

***

But when the fall semester begins on August 28, CBR is planning to greet returning students with large abortion posters at every campus entrance, along with aerial images pulled by planes flying over the university. Cunningham’s goal is for Christian schools to be radically pro-life, with programs and majors devoted to training activists: “It’s not going to happen until some china gets broken. We don’t wish it to be that way, but some china will get broken.”

For more, link to full story here.

Christian leaders, including the pro-life ones, have 10 people/day coming at them with some kind of agenda.  We pro-lifers are just another one of the 10.  For just that one day.  By the end of the week, we are forgotten and so are the children and moms we represent.  Unless we can create the kind of tension/conflict that forces many more pro-life Christian leaders to think about abortion — and hopefully act to end it — babies and moms will continue to be ignored.

Please pray that God will open doors for the kind of constructive tension/conflict that brings growth.  And pray that God will raise up Christians with the courage to walk through those doors.  To help create more growth-inducing tension at Christian schools, link here.

Bad timing kills babies.

bad time to save a baby

“Now is a bad time.”

“How can I convince my pastor to engage on abortion?”

We hear that question all the time.  We have all asked that question, and we are down to only one answer, but we’ll need help doing it.  If you will help, please contact us.

Abortion cannot be outlawed in America without the massive involvement of Christians, both individually and corporately.  Christians, however, are massively uninvolved in this struggle.  After decades of futile attempts to mobilize the church, we see tokenism at best and indifference at worst.  We and many of our pro-life colleagues have tried in vain to establish a dialogue with countless Christian leaders who have ignored or rejected our requests for meetings.  The few who would meet with us have often temporized interminably or explicitly refused to adopt effective pro-life programs.

They might say that their church is “not ready” to deal with abortion in a meaningful way.  By “meaningful,” I mean showing abortion images, like Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor did recently.  The pastor’s willingness to simply show truth saved at least one baby that Sunday morning.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Anything less delivers babies to be killed, and we can prove it.

But most pastors don’t get to that point.  In fact, they aggressively avoid any discussion of it.  They are afraid.  Early in my pro-life career, I would contact “pro-life” pastors in Knoxville.  No more.  Here is the typical progression:

  1. Pastor:  The timing is bad.   We’ve got Thanksgiving and Chistmas coming up, and we are busy with lots of stuff.  Please call back after the first of the year.
  2. I’d call back.
  3. Pastor:  We’ve got the Sweetheart Banquet coming up, and that’s a big deal at our church.  I’m tied up with that.  Please call back in late February.
  4. I’d call back.
  5. Pastor:  Our big Easter Cantata is coming up, and everybody is tied up with that.  Please call back after Easter.
  6. I’d call back.
  7. Pastor:  The timing is bad.  Everybody is gone for Spring Break.  We’ve got a mission trip coming up.  Folks are out of town.  Call back after that.
  8. I’d call back.
  9. Pastor:  It’s almost the end of the school year.  Our programs until then are set, so it’s too late to talk about abortion this year.  Please call me back at the beginning of the next school year, and we’ll do something.
  10. I’d call back.
  11. Pastor:  We’ve got a lot of stuff going on at the beginning of the school year.  And then it’s Fall Break soon and then Fall Festival after that.  Everybody is busy with that.  Call back after that.
  12. I’d call back.
  13. Pastor:  Woah!  The timing is bad.  We’ve got Thanksgiving and Chistmas coming up, and we are busy with lots of stuff.  Please call back after the first of the year.
  14. I didn’t bother any more.  I’d rather be surrounded by a dozen screaming pro-aborts than to be burdened with one more apathetic and cowardly Christian “leader.”

The bottom line is this:  Babies are dying in the man’s church.  If he really cared, wouldn’t he do everything possible to save those babies’ lives?  Wouldn’t he beg every pro-life activist in this city to help him save the children in his own church?

But with your help, we can break through this apathy.  If you will help, please contact us.

The historic church response to injustice has been half-hearted and ineffective.

“Pro-life” Christian leaders routinely say abortion kills 1.2 million children every year in America, that it is a modern-day “holocaust” of epic proportions.  But has the response been anything more than ineffective half-measures, at best?  Is that a surprise?  Not if we look at how the Body of Christ responded to genocide against Jewish people and countless other crimes against humanity.  To our eternal shame, the church has often been more concerned with saving face than saving lives.  We can hear the heartbreak in the writings of reformers:

1.  What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?,  Frederick Douglass, 1852 (TeachingAmericanHistory.org):

The American church is guilty, when viewed in connection with what it is doing to uphold slavery; but it is superlatively guilty when viewed in connection with its ability to abolish slavery.  The sin of which it is guilty is one of omission as well of commission.

2.  Abolitionism and American Religion, McKivigan (Taylor and Francis, 1999):

… [E]xamination … [of evangelist Charles Grandison Finney’s] … theology and his antislavery activities reveals not only a firm commitment to abolitionism, but also a conviction that Christian indifference to slavery impeded the great work of spreading the gospel.

3.  Indifference of the Church to Child Labor Reform, Rev. John Haynes Holmes, 1910 (Sage Publications/American Academy of Political and Social Science):

… [I]t is a matter of no little surprise … to find the Church named among the forces described as antagonistic to child labor reform … [despite] what such a rich and powerful institution as the Church might do in the education and inspiration and direction of public opinion …

4.  International Handbook of Violence Research, Heitmeyer and Hagan (Springer, 2003) V. Coexisting with Violence:  The Bystanders, pp. 157 – 158:

Only a small minority of [German] Protestant Christians openly rejected the persecution of the Jews.  The weak resistance to the National Socialist persecution of the Jews was particularly apparent in the relative failure to assist Christians of Jewish descent, who, irrespective of their religious beliefs, were fully subjected to the persecutions …
* * *
… Germany’s Catholic bishops were unable to find the resolution to protest publicly against the persecution and murder of the Jews.

5.  Becoming Evil:  How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing, Jim Waller (Oxford University Press, 2002) author interview, Whitworth Today, Whitworth.edu, “Failing to Meet Christ’s Highest Ideals?”, Spring 2007, speaking of the response of religious institutions to the Holocaust, Rwandan genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina:

… [G]enocidal responses include sins of omission (silence and denial) and sins of commission (accommodation and active participation in killings).  In the Holocaust, church hierarchies followed their own narrowly defined best interests …  Such interests were best advanced by silence and denial, rather than by protest or heroism.

6.  The Anthropocentric Predisposition of Revivalism, inlightoftruth.com, J. Seth Wallace, 2004:

Even recently, years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Reinhold Niebuhr urged Billy Graham to preach more about racism in a country where revivalism prospered in the midst of this great sin that was as prevalent among the “born again” as those who were not.

7.  Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr., April 16, 1963:

My Dear Fellow Clergymen:

… I have looked at the South’s beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward.  I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings.  Over and over I have found myself asking:  ‘What kind of people worship here?  Who is their God?  Where were their voices … when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons …?’

8.  Message of the Month, R. C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries, April 2007:

Of the books that I’ve written, over fifty, the one that went out of print the fastest was the book I wrote [titled] The Case Against Abortion.  … [Y]ou couldn’t give it away.  And we would ask pastors, “why won’t you use this series?”  And we heard the same answer again and again …  “We can’t do that.  It will divide our church.”  Because our churches are as divided on this question as the nation is.

The church often seems preoccupied with other matters during times of great injustice.  Like the priest and Levite in Christ’s parable of The Good Samaritan, our inclination is to focus on our own agendas.  Of course, Christians say God has called them to these priorities.  But that assumption means one of two things concerning abortion:  Either (1) God doesn’t care enough about this slaughter to call His church to make it a high ministry priority or (2) He does care but His church is ignoring His call.  The priest and Levite might well have felt pity for the beating victim, but the Good Samaritan took pity on the beating victim.  James 2:16 says, “If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.  Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.  (Martin Luther,1483-1546).

Baby saved by breaking the rules at Biola University

Diana Jeminez

Diana Jimenez

Even while Biola University was doing its best to suppress the truth of abortion on campus, a baby’s life was saved by the one student with the courage to break the rules.

The following was posted at ArmsOfAudio.com:

There are a lot of people bashing Diana right now but first hand I can tell you she did what she was told to do.  I am 20.  A student of Biola and always claimed to be prolife.  I thought that until I got a positive pregnancy test.  This came after a night of partying just outside the campus and had a one night stand with a youth pastor in training.  I was going to go to Planned Parenthood that day and as I walked through campus her signs made me realize there is a human life in my womb ….  In that moment I went to my dorm room got on my knees and asked that I would have the strength to be my baby’s mom.  STOP saying she didn’t follow her stupid rules.  God came through for me because of her.  And Susan Elliot is a tool of the devil.

Biola University claims employees being “targeted” and “threatened”

Barry Corey, Biola University President

Barry Corey, Biola University President

Letter from Biola University to employees:

Dear Biola Community,

Some of you may have heard about a recent edited video posted on YouTube that has given a false impression of an interaction that took place between a student and campus safety.  A few members of our community are being targeted and threatened by individuals and advocacy groups for pro-life.  Here  is a collection of information that captures Biola’s pro-life conviction.  We believe it helps to articulate Biola’s steadfast commitment to the sanctity of human life, both in its words and actions.

Please know that this is not an issue of pro-life, it’s an issue of treating students fairly and according to stated policies.  The issue here is the student’s behavior and non-adherence of guidelines clearly communicated to her (and all of our students) as defined in the student handbook related to the posting and dissemination of any information around campus.  Since we cannot disclose all the details related to this matter, the one-sided and edited view disseminated online is inaccurate and misrepresents Biola.  This is unfortunate.

Please be in prayer for the individuals in our community that have been unfairly targeted in this video and on the various blog sites.  Please pause today to pray over this matter as a community.  We invite you to pray at your desk or gather with those around you some time this afternoon for an intercessory prayer moment.

If you receive any calls about the situation, please direct them to UCM at extension 4079.  If any of you have questions, university leadership will be available at 2:00 p.m. at the Talbot East Plaza.

Thank you for being in ongoing prayer for our community — particularly that the Lord would help us to respond to this situation with truth, grace and love.

Questions for Biola University:

  1. You say the edited video gives a false impression.  Really?  How so?  What would the unedited version tell us that is different?  If you say CBR has borne false witness, then please back up your claim.  Show us the truth of the matter.
  2. Did the Biola University Police Chief John Ojeisekhoba not take the aborted-baby photograph from Diana Jemenez’ hands?
  3. Did Chief Ojeisekhoba not threaten Ms. Jeminez with arrest and expulsion?
  4. Did Biola President Barry Corey not say that we need people with the courage to speak truth into us?
  5. Did Dr. Corey not say that we do not need people in our lives who say “peace, peace” when there is no peace?
  6. Who among your staff is being targeted?  What do you mean by “targeted?”
  7. Who among your staff is being threatened?  What do you mean by “threatened?”  What threats are you talking about?

Biola argues that “we’re all pro-life here” and gushes about what it does concerning abortion (largely half-measures offered as fig leaves) in an effort to avoid any debate over what it refuses to do, and that is to simply expose the whole truth.  Officially, Biola condemns abortion, but the priest and Levite in the Parable of the Good Samaritan would have condemned street violence.  Yet they refused to do the one thing that would help the poor victim.

Words without meaningful action are as empty as faith without works.  James 2:16 warns that “If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good does it do?”  Biola isn’t doing “nothing” for the unborn, but Biola refuses to do what most needs to be done, exposing the horror and inspiring students to do more than mouth platitudes.

Biola University Point-Counterpoint: La Verne Tolbert vs Gregg Cunningham

La Verne Tolbert vs Gregg Cunningham

La Verne Tolbert vs Gregg Cunningham

Dr. La Verne Tolbert recently blogged the claim that “Biola University is pro-life.”

CBR Executive Director Gregg Cunningham replied:

Gregg Cunningham response to La Verne Tolbert

Pastor Clenard Childress, my long-time, highly-valued friend, and a man who has served for nearly twenty years on the board of our pro-life Center For Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), just forwarded to me your [blog posting], criticizing what you apparently misunderstand to be our attitudes and activities regarding Biola’s punishment of a nursing student who displayed abortion photos on Biola’s campus.  Because your concerns seem to derive from several mistaken assumptions of fact, I believe it might be helpful I offer you a somewhat different perspective on these issues.

To provide some context for this discussion, the public abortion photo display of which you disapprove saved the life of the child of at least one Biola student.  At ArmsOfAudio.com this young mother posted the following:

There are a lot of people bashing Diana right now but first hand I can tell you she did what she was told to do. I am 20. A student of Biola and always claimed to be prolife. I thought that until I got a positive pregnancy test. This came after a night of partying just outside the campus and had a one night stand with a youth pastor in training. I was going to go to Planned Parenthood that day and as I walked through campus her signs made me realize there is a human life in my womb ….  In that moment I went to my dorm room got on my knees and asked that I would have the strength to be my baby’s mom. STOP saying she didn’t follow her stupid rules. God came through for me because of her. And Susan Elliot is a tool of the devil.

First of all, your excellent pro-life reputation precedes you Dr. Tolbert, and we deeply appreciate all you do to defend unborn life conduct youth ministry.

Your important efforts in the fields of abandonment and adoption are also close to our hearts because my wife and I have adopted three little orphan girls abandoned because of disfiguring birth defects.  We are in the process of adopting a fourth who was abandoned because she was born with cerebral palsy.

We additionally share your devotion to Biola.  My wife is a graduate of Biola’s nursing program.  Our Director of Operations has a science degree from Biola.  Our Director of Administration is a graduate of Biola’s Talbot Theological Seminary.  Our International Director has a degree from Talbot.  We are currently attempting to hire a potential recruit who also has a Biola degree.  One of our student interns intends to enroll at Talbot next year.  The accusation that we are trying to discredit Biola is utterly without basis in fact.  We are merely exposing Biola’s discreditable treatment of a student who broke the rules of man when they conflicted with the laws of God.  We are also urging Biola to do more to inspire and equip its students to enter into full-time pro-life ministry.

Equally baseless is your contention that we are accusing Biola of not being pro-life.  Of course Biola is “pro-life,” but that means little when Biola’s ban on the public display of abortion photos is killing babies just like the one Ms. Jimenez saved when she defied that un-Godly ban.  Biola, along with virtually every other Christian school, is helping Planned Parenthood hide the horror of abortion.  Biola — and the rest Christian higher education — is failing to offer an entire major with courses specifically designed to qualify students for full-time service in pro-life ministry.  Occasional lectures and chapel presentations are no substitute for the sort of serious curricular reform without which the pro-life movement will continue to be hampered by undue reliance on part-time, amateur volunteers to save babies — while the abortion industry employs full-time, paid-staff professionals to kill them.

We appreciate your use of a video which includes brief glimpses of two of our abortion photos.  We wish you would have chosen to show it during the Biola Chapel event at which you recently spoke.  I am certain you are aware, however, that Biola students are not required to attend every chapel presentation, and those who most need to see the horror of abortion are the students who are least likely to attend pro-life lectures.  I know this from personal experience because I have delivered multiple pro-life talks at Biola and they were poorly attended, despite the fact that they were heavily promoted.

We did not create the Biola controversy.  Biola created controversy.  We merely exposed it.  What half of the story which you accuse us of omitting could justify the abusive, vindictive bullying of Biola’s administrators and police?

You say the nursing student had several options and your point seems to be that some of those options would not have broken the rules.  As a black woman, you must certainly be aware that Martin Luther King also had several options which would not have broken the rules in Birmingham, AL in 1963.  But none of the approved options would have advanced the cause of civil rights and none of the Biola nurse’s approved options would have advanced the cause of unborn children.  With all due respect, “panel discussions” never ended any terrible injustice.

Your assertion that “…if graphic images were the solution that would end abortion, abortion would have ended 30 years ago!” could not be more incorrect.  Most pro-life organizations and all Christian colleges and the entire church have worked tirelessly to suppress any widespread display of abortion imagery.  That is why we are losing!

Then you accuse us of “defaming Christians” when all we are doing is forcing a debate Biola is attempting to avoid.  Mature believers should have the intellectual honesty to disagree without personalizing differences as “defamation” Your nearly fanatical loyalty to Biola has sadly blinded you to the University’s guilt in shamefully abusing this student.

You question the student’s use of a video camera despite the fact that this officer was trying to turn off so no one would see him exceed his authority.  Thank God we have a record of his misconduct.  Without it there would be no accountability.  That camera might have deterred even worse abuses.  People who are about to do bad things always want to stop the filming.  On September 23, 1957 as the first black students integrated the Little Rock, Arkansas High School, “ … the mob turned its anger on white journalists on the scene.  Life magazine reporter Paul Welch and two photographers, Grey Villet and Francis Miller, were harassed and beaten.  The photographers’ equipment was smashed to the ground.”  (Eyes On The Prize, America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, Juan Williams, Penguin Books, 1987.)

Here is what really happened at Biola and below the link is my critique of the University’s misconduct:  http://www.jillstanek.com/2013/06/christian-university-retaliates-against-pro-life-student-for-showing-graphic-reality-of-abortion/

Biola is spinning this scandal as reasonable punishment for a student who repeatedly broke the rules.  In Matthew 15:8-9, Christ rebukes religious leaders who teach the rules of man as though they were the laws of God.  Jesus does not love rules more than lives.  In Mark 3:4, Jesus asked rhetorically whether it is lawful to break rules to save lives.  Ms. Jimenez was trying to save the lives of babies, some of whose mothers could only be reached with photos that broke Biola’s rules.  Jesus repeatedly broke rules to save lives by, for instance, healing on the Sabbath.  He criticized legalists who had the hard hearts of Pharisees.  Ephesians 5:11 commands us to expose the “deeds of darkness.”  Diana Jimenez defied the rules of Biola in fidelity to the laws of God.  Lives were almost certainly saved.  May others follow her righteous example.

In Jeremiah 7:1-7 God commanded his prophet to “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house…” (verse 2) for the purpose of confronting His people over the sin of “shedding innocent blood” in the form of child sacrifice (verse 6).  Jeremiah was terribly persecuted and so was Ms. Jimenez.

Susan Elliott, Biola’s director of nursing, ordered the faculty to deny Diana Jimenez routinely granted letters of reference for use in applying for nursing jobs.  Our lawyers are examining Biola’s active attempts to sabotage Ms. Jimenez’s employment prospects because they believe this sort of vindictive cruelty is not only unwarranted, but it is unlawful.  How is it not a scandal for the administration of Christian college to destroy a student’s career … for holding up an abortion photo?  What chilling message does this send to already risk-averse faculty members?

In more than twenty years of pro-life ministry on hundreds of college campuses, I have never seen pagan administrators at any secular school abuse their authority as egregiously as have the supposedly Christian administrators at Biola.  Vengeance of this sort is more commonly associated with cults, such as Scientology, which retaliate against former members who expose embarrassing church practices.

The administration says it bans abortion photos to create a “safe” place for students on campus. “Safe” from what?  The burden of having to avert their gaze if they don’t want to see a picture which will save a classmate’s baby?  Biola is infantilizing its educational experience.  It is robbing students of coping skills and leadership abilities.  Most other Christian colleges are as bad or worse.  That may be why Christian sociologist and pollster George Barna reports that only 6% of Protestant pastors believe they have the gift of leadership.  Barna has fallen out of favor in Evangelical circles for calling attention to surveys which document the awkward fact that lay people increasingly lack biblical world views because Christian leaders increasingly lack biblical world views.

In Luke 16:20-21, the friends of Lazarus carry this poor, sick, disabled vagrant to the gates of a rich man.  They took him there in the hope that the rich man would take pity on their pathetic friend.  The rich man had attempted to create a “safe” place, behind gates, on private property, in which he and his family would not be troubled by disturbing sights such as hungry beggars dying with open wounds.  Depositing Lazarus at the rich man’s gate made his plight impossible to trivialize or ignore.  This in-your-face gesture was an annoying, disruptive, cry for help.  The rich man would have banned it had he been able.  But Jesus seems to have approved.  It was in that spirit that Diana Jimenez carried pictures of aborted babies to the center of her Christian college campus.

By God’s grace, on public university campuses, our Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) has saved countless babies (view the testimonies abortionNO.org) of students who told us that nothing less shocking than our abortion photos would have sufficed to dissuade them from aborting.  None would have come to see our photos had they been displayed at some more obscure location.  Many claimed the Name of Christ but mistakenly underestimated abortion’s evil.  There are no words which are adequate to describe the magnitude of the evil abortion represents.  It must be seen to be fully understood.

Biola teaches that abortion is evil but refuses to prove how evil it actually is.  This lapse causes many Biola students to kill their babies under the mistaken impression that abortion is the lesser-of-two-evils.

Many pro-life activists are now accusing Biola of caring more about the feelings of born children than the lives of unborn children, but the issue of children being traumatized by abortion photos is a red herring.  Ms. Jimenez offered to surround her display with warning signs which would have given adults all the notice required to steer children away from her abortion photos.

When Biola helps Planned Parenthood hide the horror of abortion, savable babies are butchered and vulnerable mothers are abused.  The history of social reform, from the abolition of slavery, to the enactment of prohibitions against child labor, to the civil rights movement, etc., is the history of shocking pictures.  Before the display of pictures, words failed to change many minds on any of these issues. No injustice has ever been reformed by covering it up.  Countless black children saw and were horrified by the photos of Emmitt Till’s mutilated body when they were published in the Detroit Defender and Jet Magazine.  But those photos also inspired Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks to start the civil rights movement with a bus-boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

This university argues that “we’re all pro-life here” and then attempts to minimize this dispute as little more than predictable differences over strategy and tactics.  That’s not true.  Biola’s administration gushes about what it does concerning abortion (largely half-measures offered as fig leaves) in an effort to avoid any debate over what it refuses to do, which is to expose the whole truth.  Biola quotes from its official documents which condemn abortion.  But the priest and Levite who passed by on the other side of the beating in Christ’s Parable of the Good Samaritan would have condemned street violence.  They would have felt pity for victims of street violence.  But they weren’t willing to show pity for victims of street violence.  They refused to take risks and make sacrifices to intervene on behalf of those victims.  Words without meaningful action are as empty as faith without works.  James 2:16 warns that “If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good does it do?”  Biola isn’t doing “nothing” for the unborn, but Biola refuses to do what most needs to be done, which is exposing the horror and inspiring students to fight that horror with their diplomas because doing so would create uncomfortable risk and require painful sacrifice.

Had the Good Samaritan been a Biola grad, he might have preached John 3:16 while the beating victim bled to death.

In 1963, Martin Luther King found himself in a dilemma similar to that with which Diana Jimenez was confronted at Biola.  Like Biola’s administrators, the civil rights leaders in Birmingham, Alabama were insulted by MLK’s contention that they weren’t doing enough.  In reply, they anathematized Dr. King as a disruptive, dangerous outsider and demanded that he stay out of their city.  They resentfully argued that his use of confrontation was counterproductive and that their more diplomatic resort to education and negotiation and litigation was the way forward.  MLK countered that their tepid methods had failed and that invisible violence against blacks needed to be made shockingly visible, or public opinion would never support political reform.

He believed that racists who had been abusing blacks in private needed to be provoked into abusing them in public, where a sympathetic press could make disturbing photographs with which to build support for social reform.  Injustice needed to be dramatized and given a human face and like Ms. Jimenez, he would have to break the rules to save lives.  He understood that blacks would pay a heavy price for these tactics but believed that things had to get worse before they could get better.  And he was willing to pay that price with them.

Birmingham was then America’s most segregated city and it was home to the country’s most violent Klan chapter.  Local racists had coerced the black community into an ugly understanding:  If blacks accepted tolerable abuses, whites would not escalate those abuses to intolerable levels.  MLK’s decision to upset this fragile coalition between the city’s oppressors and its oppressed was opposed by local civil rights leaders, in part, because it was bad for business.  In addition to inviting heightened persecution, it damaged the city’s economy and reputation.  But Dr. King needed horrifying pictures and he was willing to break many rules to get them.  He pushed past local obstructionists whom he derided as civil rights “moderates,” and the outcome was the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Richard B. Speed’s review of Mark Kurlansky’s book 1968: The Year That Rocked The World, describes this enormously successful use of civil disobedience and disturbing photos.  In discussing the impact of civil disobedience, Kurlansky relates a telling incident that took place during a 1965 march in Selma, Alabama.  Martin Luther King apparently noticed that Life Magazine photographer, Flip Schulke had put down his camera in order to help a demonstrator injured by the police.  Afterward, according to Kurlansky, King rebuked Schulke, telling him that ‘Your job is to photograph what is happening to us.’

CBR’s job is to photograph what is happening to unborn children and, in the absence of a sympathetic press, to display those photos in the public square.

In his seminal “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King addressed these “moderates,” who were represented by a group of local clergy who had publicly condemned his methods in a newspaper advertisement.  He said “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the … [civil rights] moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action ….’”

Dr. King could have been describing pro-life moderates at Biola.

MLK rejected both the appeasement strategy of civil rights moderates and the violence strategy of black nationalists.  History has vindicated the wisdom of his willingness to advance reform through civil disobedience which broke rules to acquire disturbing photographic documentation of injustice which had to be seen to be fully understood.  He used horrifying pictures for the same reason successful reformers almost always use them.  Injustice which remains invisible tends to become tolerable.  A failure of public imagination is inevitable without visual depictions of indescribable injustice.

The first Biola official to confront Diana Jimenez when she appeared on campus with CBR abortion imagery was the Assistant Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications.  She told Ms. Jimenez “You’re making us look bad!”  Ms. Jimenez replied “You’re worried about saving face but I am worried about saving babies.”  The first person to confront me after I posted CBR’s video, which depicts Ms. Jimenez’s shameful treatment by the Biola administration, was the university’s VP for Communications and Marketing.  Biola sees this dispute as a public relations crisis, not an abortion crisis.  When I recently requested a meeting with Biola’s president, I was initially told I could only discuss these issues with public relations officials.  Biola has become a business and abortion pictures are as bad for business at Biola as MLK’s protest marches were for business in Birmingham.  Biola may be profitable but it is no longer prophetic.

Penn State University tried to cover-up the preventable abuse of born children because exposing that abuse would have been bad for business.  Children, and ultimately the school itself, paid a terrible price for this cynical commercialism.  Many senior Catholic clergy, the Boy Scouts, and numerous other institutions have also swept child abuse under the rug, with equally disastrous consequences.  Christian colleges are doing much the same, for many of the same self-serving reasons, but the victims in these cases are unborn children.  Many of these tragedies would be preventable if Biola had the “courage and conviction” to adopt a “women and children” first policy on abortion.

Biola and a small segment of the Christian community have tried to talk America out of abortion for forty years, and public opinion continues to worsen, particularly early in pregnancy, when 90% of abortions are performed.  For thirty years William Wilberforce tried to end the slave trade with essays and lectures and got exactly nowhere, because slavery was as invisible in England as abortion is at Biola.  When the abolitionists began to use disturbing pictures, public opinion began to shift at the levels required to create the political consensus necessary for reform.  It is unlikely that St. John’s College at Cambridge would have threatened to expel Wilberforce, withhold his diploma, or arrest him, had he exhibited the shocking slavery pictures for whose display his life would be threatened later in his career.

Prior to 1964, even public university students were denied basic expressive rights on campus.  That repressive policy began to change when Mario Savio, a student at U.C. Berkeley, was repeatedly arrested for distributing civil rights literature on his campus.  Many of his classmates were willing to join him in handcuffs and eventually Berkeley’s administration wilted under an avalanche of embarrassing publicity.  The student Free Speech Movement quickly overspread the country, but never made it onto Christian college campuses.

CBR is meeting with our attorneys to develop a legal strategy to compel California’s private colleges to grant their students many of the same expressive rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to students at public universities.  In a case titled Robins v. Pruneyard Shopping Center, the California Constitution has been interpreted by the California Supreme Court (affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court) to extend what amount to First Amendment speech rights to picketers inside large, indoor shopping malls.  The Court’s theory is that large, private commercial spaces have become communities in their own right, maintaining what is essentially a public square in which expanded expressive rights are as appropriate as they would be within the boundaries of municipal corporations.

We believe the same theory can reasonably be extended to private college campuses, which are not only self-contained communities like the towns which surround them, but that are supposedly committed to academic freedom in the marketplace of ideas.  California’s politically liberal court system is obviously hostile to Christian institutions of all kinds.  It could, therefore, be much in Biola’s interest to expand its students’ expressive rights through negotiation rather than litigation.  A negotiated agreement could preserve Biola’s statement of faith as a balanced limit on speech which would no reasonable Christian would find to be consistent with scripture.

In its first week, You Tube has registered more than 12,000 views of our video which contrasts Biola President Barry Corey’s soaring chapel rhetoric with his police chief’s cruel thuggery.  More than 600 comments have been posted on just two social sites and they are running 5-1 against Biola’s expressive rights policies and its harsh (and perhaps unlawful) enforcement of those policies.  That is, indeed, a public relations crisis.

The video is now going viral all over the internet.  We have more videos of this type in production.  The people expressing the greatest anger toward Biola are the kinds of Christians who write donation checks and tuition checks and this is only the beginning.  We are aware of other students whose consciences have been awakened by Ms. Jimenez’s courage and they are prepared to force Biola to arrest them or grant them a level of academic freedom which is limited only by Biola’s statement of faith.

The pro-life movement will continue to lose the abortion wars as long as the church remains essentially on the sidelines.  The church will remain on the sidelines as long as pastors believe that fighting abortion is primarily someone else’s responsibility.  Pastors will remain conscientious objectors in the abortion wars as long as Christian colleges and seminaries refuse to effectively train and inspire their students to fight abortion professionally.

Abortion hides behind its own horror.  Because Christian leaders believe abortion is too terrible to display, Christian lay people underestimate its evil, concluding it is too inconsequential to fight.  Virtually everyone I know who does pro-life work full-time says their first look at abortion photos was the turning point in their professional lives.

Biola is thinking small on abortion. Liberal, secular schools have dedicated entire curricula to preparing feminists to advance the interests of the abortion industry. Not one, single, Christian college offers a major exclusively designed to prepare students to fight abortion as full-time ministry.  While students at secular schools have successfully demanded courses and even majors — in gender studies, and human sexuality, and racial politics, and abortion practice, etc., — Biola students seem blissfully unconcerned that their Christian school (and nearly every other) is trivializing abortion as a sin unworthy of serious academic focus (by which I do not mean occasional lectures or chapel presentations).

In Revelation 3:1-2 we read the words of Christ criticizing the ministry of a church whose agenda wasn’t broad enough:  “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but … I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of God.”  In Revelation 3:13-22, Jesus says, “I know your deeds ….  So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”  Lukewarm almost perfectly describes Biola’s opposition to abortion.  In Matthew 24:12, Jesus told us that we could expect the end times when “the love of most grows cold.”  Biola’s love for the unborn may not have grown “cold” but it has certainly cooled to room-temperature.

Until pro-life ministry employs as many people working full-time to save babies as there are working full-time to kill them, we have no chance to prevail in this struggle.  Biola could lead on this front if its policy makers were visionaries who, to quote Barry Corey, had the “courage and conviction” to replace inadequate words with empowering policies and programs.  The university says it bans abortion photos because their display is disruptive.  I believe that this ban will prove to be more disruptive than any display.

If we cannot persuade Biola to permit the orderly, public display of abortion imagery on campus, we are prepared to display it at entrances to the campus (and over campus with large aerial billboard photos) every time Biola hosts special events.  Biola students are going to see the horror of abortion, either occasionally (and in ways which improve the school’s reputation) or incessantly (and in ways which damage the school’s reputation).  And it is not we will do that damage.  Biola has proven itself quite adept at reputational self-destruction.

None of this might suffice to soften Biola’s heart on abortion, but three years ago, three weeks of CBR aerial billboards and billboard trucks and hand-held abortion photos over and around Notre Dame University’s campus convinced every other Catholic college in the country that inviting Barack Obama to speak would provoke pickets which would be too disruptive to risk.  The President has not delivered a single commencement address at any Catholic college in the intervening years.  Perhaps the tactics on which we relied to dissuade Catholic colleges from doing evil will persuade Evangelical colleges to do good.  In a world of sane journalism, pro-life picketers, relentlessly on the sidewalks of a supposedly pro-life college, would certainly qualify as a man-bites-dog story.

Two of our senior staff members are Biola grads and another has a Talbot degree. We are also attempting to recruit a recent Biola graduate.  One of our student interns intends to enroll in Biola’s Talbot Theological Seminary next year.  We ARE Biola.  We care about Biola.  But if we can’t halt the abortion cover-up at Christian colleges, we will never persuade prospective pastors to use their diplomas to end the bloodiest mass murder in human history.  And if we can’t stop that cover-up at Biola, at which Christian college can it be stopped?

Even in a pro-life church, only abortion video could save this baby

Choice Blues

Even Christians have abortions because they have never seen abortion.  How can they see it if nobody shows it to them?  If pro-life churches would simply show the truth, babies could be saved that are now being lost.

Only rarely do we get permission to show abortion video in a pro-life church.  Even pro-life pastors are reluctant to accept the angst that goes along with making people uncomfortable about abortion.  Even when we do get to show the video, we often have to fight for the priviledge.  When we suggest babies lives are at stake, we are called “strident,” “pushy” etc.

But we are often reminded later why we fought so hard.  We just got word this week of another baby saved because we showed abortion video during a worship service.  As reported earlier link here), CBR’s Executive Director Gregg Cunningham was able to show abortion video on a November Sunday morning at Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor.

We just learned that at least one baby has already been saved as a result.  The mother was not only pregnant that Sunday, she had actually scheduled an abortion for the following day.  This mother had heard sermons against abortion, but had never actually seen abortion.  Gregg had debated the pastor and his wife at some length to persuade them to allow him to show our “Choice Blues” video to the congregation.  To their great credit, they finally withdrew their opposition.

When confronted with the truth, the mother became angry and stormed out of the service – but the pictures haunted her.  She cancelled her abortion appointment and sought the church’s help instead.  Had this pastor rejected Gregg’s pleas to show abortion video, this baby girl, just born, could easily have become another faceless, nameless statistic.

Please don’t withhold truth at your church.  Here is how we showed truth at Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor:

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How to show abortion in a large church (video)

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CBR Executive Director Gregg Cunningham shows abortion video during worship service at Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Abortion, which was sold to the American people as a way of liberating women, has become a tool of oppression that men use to victimize women.

The question returns, “Are we taking abortion as seriously as God takes child sacrifice in the Old Testament?”

We start by talking about forgiveness, because [abortion] is an incredibly easy mistake to make … when they are being lied to and they are under a great deal of pressure.

God forgives sin, if we repent of that sin.  That’s what the Gospel is about.

Abortion, which was sold to the American people as a way of liberating women, has become a tool of oppression that men use to victimize women.

Psalm 139 describes our being formed in a secret place, and God has now opened up that secret place and allowed us the technology to actually see what’s going on.

Abortion is happening with the permission of the Body of Christ, in the sense that God has given His people dominion over resources more than adequate to stop abortion, and abortion florishes because the Church is doing little or nothing to stop it.

It’s ironic beyond imagining that our pastors in churches around America dispute that abortion can be analogized to Old Testament child sacrifice at the very time when pagans are outspokenly saying abortion is not analygous to child sacrifice, abortion is child sacrifice.

The question returns, “Are we taking abortion as seriously as God takes child sacrifice in the Old Testament?”  And the answer for most of us is, “No, not really.”

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Reaching Christian students at James Madison University

Bubba Gene Garrett explains prenatal development to a student at James Madison University

Bubba Gene Garrett explains prenatal development to a student at James Madison University.

Where can Christians learn the message not to kill their own children?

Not at church, apparently.  That’s why 1 in 5 women who have abortions identify themselves as “born again” or “evangelical” Christians.

The secular campus is a great place to reach these good people with the truth that the pro-life church is covering up.  This was also true at James Madison University.

Joe had recently become a Christian, but had never considered abortion in any form or fashion.  He spoke with CBR GAPper Bubba Garrett.

As they looked over the pictures and discussed the implications of abortion in terms of the genocide comparison, his heart was deeply moved.  Bubba helped him to understand that authentic Christianity must include protecting the helpless from systematic slaughter (Proverbs 24:11-12).

Joe asked Bubba to pray with him that more Christians would get involved in stopping abortion.  Afterwards, he told him that his spiritual mentor was nearby and also needed to learn about abortion.  As a result both young men experienced a change of heart concerning the consequences of abortion and a newfound determination to do something about it.