Abortion, Evangelism, Missions Monday

Case for Life

Abortion has been a major political issue for decades.  So many decades, in fact, that we may find ourselves tempted to ignore it.  After all, the rallies and picket lines, letters to congress, and “public service” announcements seem to have done so little to put an end to the legalized killing of the unborn.  But if that’s what abortion really is, killing an unborn human being, shouldn’t we continue to care?

The truth is, while these visible signs of protest against “at will” abortion often seem to have only a limited effect on legislation, they have influenced the lives of thousands of women… and their children.  And that’s why learning to make the Case for Life is still so important.

Visit Case for Life’s website and you’ll find everything you need to make a concise, informed argument for the preservation of the unborn.  Explore everything from ways to address common arguments for abortion to the scientific case against it.  Learn how to apply the SLED Defense (Size, Level of Development, Environment, Degree of Dependency) to make a cogent case for the value of all human life.  Or familiarize yourself with related ethical issues like embryonic stem cell research.

Check out their links section where you can view the Life Training Institute Blog or sign up for the LTI Podcast (also available through iTunes) where you’ll learn new tactics and techniques that will help you better defend the lives of the unborn.

For more mature viewers, the site also contains video of abortions.  This material is graphic, but essential to understanding exactly what happens when a child’s life is taken while still in the womb.  Warnings accompany all videos and you won’t find them automatically opening on your computer screen, so you needn’t worry about viewing them unless you want to.

It doesn’t take long to explore the site, but when you’ve finished, you’ll be both competent and confident when it comes to making a reasoned case for the preservation of life!

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Atheism, Evangelism, Foundations for Atheist Morality, Relativism

Foundations for Atheist Morality: The Relativist View Part V

In our first four installments of “Foundations for Atheist Morality”, we examined the argument that moral right and wrong may be determined relative to the views of the majority within a given society.  We discussed the dangers of basing morality on those views which provide cohesion within a cultural group and took a look at the problems of selecting dominant societies based upon either power or value.  In our two-part conclusion, we’ll take a look at the problems faced by those who would try to determine the actual views of the majority within any society – and the moral questions which accompany the application of such views.

It is necessary for our readers to understand that a “majority” is simply that portion of society with the greatest numbers.  We are told that 50% +1 forms a “simple majority” and, at least in congress, this is sufficient to pass any law with the exception of an amendment to the constitution. In a small society like that of a family of five, three members would constitute the majority (50% + 1, give or take half a family member).  If the goal is to determine the prevailing moral view, one would need to interview individuals until three members were found to be in agreement.  Finding the majority consensus within such a group would prove to be a fairly easy take.  Finding a majority consensus in a community of 50,000 or a nation of 313 million people, however, is not nearly as simple.

For example, if I am to discover the actual moral views of the majority of the citizens in a town with a population of 50,000, I must find at least 25,001 people who are in agreement.  It is unlikely (unless most of the citizens are robots) that I will find such an agreement without interviewing far more than just 25,001 people.  In other words, I must survey well upwards of 50% of the population if I am to come to a clear and unquestionable verdict regarding the majority view within the township.

Exchange that town of 50,000 for a nation of 313 million people and the difficulty becomes even more apparent.  Now, if I am to determine the actual moral views of the majority, I must find 156,500,001 people who agree.  To give a clearer picture, there are only a little over 207 million registered voters in the U.S.  For the majority of the country’s opinion to be made clear, 156,500,001 of those or 76% of all registered voters would have to cast identical votes!  That this is unlikely is evident and I would be forced, instead, to go door to door, interviewing each individual until I reached the coveted 156,500,001 coherent moral opinions.  A monumental task, to say the least and one which, until accomplished, leaves the morality of the societal relativist hanging in limbo!

But what if such a task could be accomplished?  Next week, we’ll take a look at one final question plaguing the societal relativist: is 50% + 1 really sufficient if one is to authoritatively enforce a moral view upon others?

 

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Devotions, Garden/Horticulture, Workforce

The Language Barrier

Read: 2 Timothy 1:13 – 3:4

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15 NASB

My area of the country with its winding rivers and abundant farmland is home away from home for a large number of migrant workers.  Because this is not their native land, it is not surprising that a good many of them cannot speak its native tongue.  Factors ranging from the amount of time that workers have available to devote to language learning to the actual difficulty involved in acquiring a new tongue often hinder workers’ ability to communicate clearly with the natives.  I have to give credit to those of who are at least willing to try to learn English and cannot speak poorly of the Hispanic gentleman whom I found myself assisting on this particularly hot summer afternoon.

“Young man, can you help me?”  he enquired, approaching me as I stood stocking a shelf.

At first I was rather taken aback, recalling the blind man who had at one time made the same nearly impossible mistake.  A quick glance was enough to tell me that this gentleman was far from blind and that this error must stem from some other source.

I listened carefully as he awkwardly explained what he needed and I proceeded to assist him to the best of my abilities.  It wasn’t until later that it struck me that perhaps the reason for the odd manner in which he addressed me was due to an error on the part of his language instructor.  Was it possible that someone had informed him that any young person ought to be referred to as “young man?”

My customer very well may have been attempting to be polite, acting upon the advice of a trusted advisor, but the form of address he used was incorrect.  In the same manner, it is easy for us as Christians to rely upon others’ understanding of Scripture rather than our own. In doing so, we sometimes find ourselves acting upon misinformation.

Not everyone who teaches within the Church does so with a clear or full understanding of God’s Word.  It is for this reason that Paul taught individual believers to diligently study the Scripture for themselves.  Not only does this practice enable us to ensure that the doctrine which we are applying in our own lives is sound, but also ensure that the doctrine which we are sharing with others is correct and accurate.

Challenge: This week, pay careful attention to the Scripture passages from the Sunday Sermon, your weekly Bible study, and your daily devotions.  Then, apply the 20/20 rule, reading at least the 20 verses preceding the passage and the 20 verses following it.  You may be surprised at what proper context has to teach you!

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