Open letter to President Obama (Part 507) “Deitrick Bonhoeffer took up for those who had been declared non-persons by the state”(includes video “Slaughter of the Innocents” and editorial cartoon)

Open letter to President Obama (Part 507)

(Emailed to White House on 4-24-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. I know that you don’t agree with my pro-life views but I wanted to challenge you as a fellow Christian to re-examine your pro-choice view.

___________________

I have debated with Ark Times Bloggers many times in the past on many different subjects. Abortion is probably the most often debated subject and I have noticed that many pro-life individuals are now surfacing on the Arkansas Times Blog.  Here are some examples. Arhogfan501 asserted: This is the beginning of the end for recreational abortion in Arkansas. Songbird777 noted: Babies have a right to live and not be chopped up for someone else’s convenience. The person using the username “baker” commented: Planned Parenthood (PPA) does not nor cannot provide mammograms, indeed no affiliate has the necessary license. PPA is an abortion provider and at some 900 plus killings a day rather prolific.

Here is another debate I got into recently on the Arkansas Times Blog and I go by the username “Saline Republican”:

On 3-22-13 on the Arkansas Times Blog Kimocat said, “Wow, Saline — you sure spend a lot of your life worrying about other people’s zygotes. But it still all boils down to whether one considers an implanted fertilized egg to be the same as a living, breathing person. I do not, and most objective people do not either. If your crazy religion thinks a fertilized egg is “a gift from God.” Fine, believe that. But stop trying to force everyone to believe it too. Your self-righteous indignation is really wearing thin.”

I responded:

I could compare this to the arguments put forth by those who wanted the abolitionists to shut up or to those like Deitrick Bonhoeffer who wrote the famous paper in April of 1933 ““The Church and the Jewish Question.”

Bonhoeffer was explicit about the church’s obligations to fight political injustice. The church, he wrote, must fight evil in three stages: The first was to question state injustice and call the state to responsibility; the second was to help the victims of injustice, whether they were church members or not. Ultimately, however, the church might find itself called “not only to help the victims who have fallen under the wheel, but to fall into the spokes of the wheel itself” in order to halt the machinery of injustice.

______________ Believe it or not lots of the opposition to Bonhoeffer came from the church. This is a human life issue and many nonbelievers have lined up to take up for the unborn children.

____________

The person using the username “Sound Policy” wrote:

Everette’s sole reason for living is to ensure that when a sperm and egg do the do si do that the end product must be carried to term. At the moment of forced birth he is finished with that end product and moves on to the next one. It’s assembly line work. Inspected by No. 666.

Malnutrition, childhood diseases, abusive parents-he doesn’t [care]!

Everette, you’re a poor excuse for a human being. And your cut and paste jobs are laughable. Never learned to think for yourself, huh?

I responded:

Sound policy said I am poor excuse for a human being. I respect you as a human being and I will continue to take up for the smallest and weakest in our society. Today that is the unborn child.

It is sad that in Jan of 1973 with the Roe v. Wade decision struck down almost every abortion law in the nation.

Proverbs 31:8-9 – Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves

_________________

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthenasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith pictured below.

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer: What Ever Happened to the Human Race? (Full-Length Documentary)


Part 1 on abortion runs from 00:00 to 39:50, Part 2 on Infanticide runs from 39:50 to 1:21:30, Part 3 on Youth Euthanasia runs from 1:21:30 to 1:45:40, Part 4 on the basis of human dignity runs from 1:45:40 to 2:24:45 and Part 5 on the basis of truth runs from 2:24:45 to 3:00:04

 

 

Francis Schaeffer and Abortion

There is no question about it: Francis Schaeffer was a prophet. Clear indicators of being a prophet of God include the following traits: -speaking boldly and uncompromisingly about biblical truth; -going against the grain and challenging convention; -speaking truths well ahead of the time, and leading the people of God to where they must be; -proclaiming unpleasant but necessary truths, etc.

Francis Schaeffer did all this and more. He had such a vitally important ministry, and millions have been impacted by him, including myself. Such an important figure as this deserves all the promotion and endorsement that we can give him. Indeed, I wrote about him in more detail earlier: www.billmuehlenberg.com/2009/10/14/notable-christians-francis-schaeffer/

In many of his books, talks, lectures and articles he hammered home the need for believers to stand strong and loud for the unborn. Many in the evangelical world were simply sleeping through the abortion holocaust, which was especially unleashed with the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision.

Here I just want to summarise some of his many words on the issue of abortion. Let me begin with his very important 1981 volume, A Christian Manifesto. In his chapter on “Revival, Revolution, and Reform” he begins this way: “As we turn to the evangelical leadership of this country in the last decades, unhappily, we must come to the conclusion that often it has not been much help. It has shown the mark of the platonic, overly spiritualized Christianity. Spirituality to the evangelical leadership often has not included the Lordship of Christ over the whole spectrum of life.”

He looks at how previous leadership did indeed get involved in the pressing battles of the day. For example, the revivals of Wesley and Whitefield impacted the whole nation, not just the spiritual landscape. The work of Wilberforce and Shaftesbury was not just about saving souls, but transforming society.

“Our evangelical leadership seems to have forgotten its heritage” he says. “Many of the evangelical leadership either were totally silent about abortion, or qualified what they did say about abortion to such an extent that they really said nothing, or less than nothing, as far as the battle for human life was concerned.”

He goes on to write: “We must understand that the question of the dignity of human life is not something on the periphery of Judeo-Christian thinking, but almost in the center of it (though not the center because the center is the existence of God Himself). But the dignity of human life is unbreakably linked to the existence of the personal-infinite God.”

And of course he rightly argued that abortion was just one part of the bigger battle we have with secular humanism: “Certainly every Christian ought to be praying and working to nullify the abominable abortion law. But as we work and pray, we should have in mind not only this important issue as though it stood alone. Rather, we should be struggling and praying that this whole other total entity – the material-energy chance worldview – can be rolled back with all its results across all of life.”

In his earlier 1976 volume, How Should We Then Live (and the 10-part film series that went with it), he looked at the 1973 ruling in some detail. He talked about the decline of absolutes in American law, and how this decision was completely arbitrary. First, it was medically arbitrary, denying the clear understanding of biology and science.

Second, it was legally arbitrary, “disregarding the intent of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.” And third, it was at “complete variance with the past Christian consensus. In the pagan Roman Empire, abortion was freely practiced, but Christians took a stand against it. In 314 the Council of Ancyra barred from the taking of the Lord’s Supper for ten years all who procured abortions or made drugs to further abortions.”

If this arbitrary law is accepted by “most modern people, bred with the concept of no absolutes but rather relativity, why wouldn’t arbitrary absolutes in regard to such matters as authoritarian limitations on freedom be equally accepted as long as they were thought to be sociologically helpful? We are left to sociological law without any certainty of limitation.”

Yes he certainly got that right. It was a prophetic insight into where things would lead, and we have certainly arrived, with euthanasia legalised in various places, and academics arguing for the acceptability of infanticide. Indeed, he made the warning quite clear back then: “The door is open. In regard to the fetus, the courts have arbitrarily separated ‘aliveness’ from ‘personhood,’ and if this is so, why not arbitrarily do the same with the aged? So the steps move along, and euthanasia may well become increasingly acceptable.”

In 1979 his book and film series, Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, co-authored with C. Everett Koop, appeared. It looked at the issues of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, and sounded a clear alarm for evangelicals to wake up to their social responsibilities. It also argued that abortion rights logically lead to euthanasia and infanticide rights.

In The Great Evangelical Disaster written in 1984 he continues these themes. As he had done elsewhere, he warned about the dangers of accommodation. He said “we must ask where we as evangelicals have been in the battle for truth and morality in our culture. Have we as evangelicals been on the front lines contending for the faith and confronting the moral breakdown over the last forty to sixty years?

Have we been aware that there is a battle going on – not just a heavenly battle, but a life-and-death struggle over what will happen to men and women and children in both this life and the next? . . .Truth demands confrontation. It must be loving confrontation, but there must be confrontation nonetheless.

“Sadly we must say that this has seldom happened. Most of the evangelical world has not been active in the battle, or even been able to see that we are in a battle. And when it comes to the issues of the day the evangelical world most often has said nothing; or worse has said nothing different from what the world would say.

“Here is the great evangelical disaster – the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth. There is only one word for this – namely accommodation: the evangelical church has accommodated to the world spirit of the age.”

Quite so. And he was fully aware that to win some of these battles we will need to get out of our evangelical ghettoes and start working together with others wherever possible. Some of these battles are just too big and too important to simply lose by default because we are so concerned about our ecclesiastical or theological purity.

Thus Schaeffer saw no problem whatsoever in working with, say, Catholics on the abortion issue, even though he of course had theological differences with them. As he told two British journalists, “I have two words which I would recommend to anybody . . . and they are ‘ally’ and ‘co-belligerent.’ An ally is a person who is a born-again Christian with whom I can go a long way down the road . . . now I don’t say to the very end, because I’m a Presbyterian and I might not be able to form a church with a strong Baptist . . . but we can go a long way down the road – and that’s an ally.

“A co-belligerent is a person who may not have any sufficient basis for taking the right position but takes the right position on a single issue. And I can join with him without any danger as long as I realize that he is not an ally and all we’re talking about is a single issue.”

Those who find this to be a radical, novel, or alarming concept are urged to look here where I develop this concept in much more detail: www.billmuehlenberg.com/2010/09/02/on-co-belligerency/

Perhaps more than any other individual Schaeffer helped to put the abortion issue (and its wider implications) on the map of the evangelical world. He stirred a generation of believers to see their faith must extend beyond pietism and privatism into other areas where it really matters.

In closing, I repeat part of the quote I cited above: “We must understand that the question of the dignity of human life is not something on the periphery of Judeo-Christian thinking”. He understood that 35 years ago. Do we?

Dr. Koop with Francis Schaeffer in their film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? made it clear that unborn babies have the right to life. That point is made well in this political cartoon about abortion:

___________

______________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband. I also respect you for putting your faith in Christ for your eternal life. I am pleading to you on the basis of the Bible to please review your religious views concerning abortion. It was the Bible that caused the abolition movement of the 1800’s and it also was the basis for Martin Luther King’s movement for civil rights and it also is the basis for recognizing the unborn children.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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