Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals for September 7-15 are provided by Pastor Mark Chun of Radiance Christian Church (S. F.).
Devotional Thoughts for Today
1 Corinthians 10:12b, 24:
“But we do not use this right. . . . 24 ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. . . . Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others”
2 Kings 16:2-3 (NIV)
Ahaz . . . followed the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire.
What conservative churches failed to accomplish, social liberals have done it—making smoking an unconscionable act in public. Their main argument: Smokers have no right to pollute the air that I breathe since second-hand smoke is hazardous to my health!
Ironically, one major argument for legalized abortion, advocated adamantly by this anti smoking crowd, is that every woman has a right to control her own body. So, while social liberals will curb the “rights” of smokers to protect our lungs, most of them will do nothing to protect the whole person in the womb because women have the right to do whatever they want with their body.
This philosophy stems from the ideas of Margaret Sanger who was the original founder of Planned Parenthood. Sanger wrote that women are enslaved through their reproductive powers by men who dictate and control the standards of sex and morality. “No woman” she said, “can call herself free who does not own and control her own body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.” This seems eerily close to the reasoning that Ahaz must of have had when deciding to sacrifice his own son. For power and control, there was no price he was not willing to pay.
As Christians, it is vitally important that we have the right perspective on the issue of abortion. In the early days of Christianity, a large part of its explosive growth was the fact that it was a haven for women who had given birth to baby girls or simply a baby that seemed weak. In Roman culture, infanticide was widespread and men forced women to kill unwanted babies through the practice of exposure. The church was a refuge for these mothers and their newborn children because it recognized the value of life—no matter how small, weak, or helpless.
Today, Christians are again called to be the protectors of life and to help women see the wonderful gift that God has placed inside their womb. And those who are considering abortion should remember what God says about so-called “our rights”: “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others” (1 Cor. 12:25b).
Pray that our lawmakers and civil leaders regain their conscience and present viable laws that will, at least, make abortion “rare” (Hillary Clinton). May our churches respond to women in crisis by offering a real alternative in conjunction with Christian groups, such as National Right to Life, whose mission is to do just that.
Father, forgive me for being preoccupied only with my life, my family and my church. Open my eyes not only to the matter of abortion but to other matters, such as poverty and slavery that destroy lives. Help me to care—beginning today. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 17
Lunch Break Study
1 Cor. 8: 9-13: But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
Ps. 22:10-11: Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. 10 On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God. 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help
Questions to Consider:
- The Corinthian passage deals with former idol-worshipers who, now, as believers, became stumbled upon seeing Christians eating food that had been sacrificed to idols. What is Paul’s instruction to these “eaters?”
- Extract the main principle from Paul’s inspired instruction and apply it to the argument that every woman has a right to control her own body.
- Ultimately, why is that no one has the right to wipe out that which is in the womb of the mother?
- “Yes, you have the right to eat whatever you want; I said elsewhere regarding food, ‘Nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (1 Tim. 4:4). But there is something more important than eating: acting lovingly toward our brothers and sisters. Therefore, if what I do (in this case, eating certain foods) makes them stumble, I won’t do it.”
- The extracted principle is: I will curb my right to do that which is “permissible” (1 Cor. 10:23) for the good of others. In other words, seeking the good of others (something legitimate and reasonable, of course) triumphs over the exercise of my rights, particularly when others are affected.
- The phrase, “From my mother’s womb you have been my God,” would make no sense if we are talking about a glob of tissues. There are two possible objective points from which life can be considered having begun: at conception or birth. All other alleged points are arbitrary and subjective, including so-called the “age of viability.” God’s word indicates at conception, and that’s why abortion cannot be morally defensible because it is taking the life of another human being.
Some advocates of abortion are really clever. They say to those who oppose them, “Whereas you are concerned over those who are yet born, you don’t care in the least for those children who have been born.” They may have a point. What can we do to authentically demonstrate that we care for the living as well? Perhaps, one powerful expression is adopting orphaned and unwanted children. I know several Christian families that have provide a loving home for them, and by doing so, they have made the most powerful statement against abortion. Another way is to sponsor children living in poverty with a monthly support through Christian organizations such as Compassion International or World Vision. Pray about it.
“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me” (Matt. 18:5).