Education or attempted legislation without moral responsibility is worthless
Sooner or later, ladies and gentlemen, we need to ask ourselves some tough questions. I hope you're up to it. I am going to speak with you today about facts, things we know for sure.
What some of us have been trying to do for many years has been based on a couple of premises. We have assumed that if the majority of people in our communities were educated regarding pro-life issues, conscience and reason would win out and they would agree with our point of view. That has been the premise upon which we have tried to build our whole strategy.
At one time that may have been true-but I can state to you most assuredly that it is no longer true today. Facts do not influence reason as they once did, because the conscience of our communities has become desensitized. In truth, I think we are caught up in a cultural collapse of historic proportion, a collapse so great that it overwhelms reason. It has invaded every aspect of our lives, including the academic community, and is even affecting the church. For the first time in history, there were more divorces in the United States last year involving people who attend church than those who did not attend church. The increase of crime, abortion, family breakdown, and sexuality issues are not separate areas of concern. They are all interrelated symptoms of a culture in collapse.
Many Christians are praying for the city in which we live, Madison, Wisconsin. This is a noble and nice thing to do. But, as Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics stated, "Considering the current state of American culture, when we pray for God's blessing we may be asking Him to do something that is contrary to His nature. Will He bless people who do the things we are doing?" The Bible lists many instances where God refused to hear the prayers of His people. Jeremiah 7:16 states, "Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry of prayer for them, nor make intercession to me; for I will not hear you." Rather than pray for Madison in general, we need to be more specific. We must first repent, and then pray for ourselves, that each of us will have enough courage to publicly oppose evil.
That's why I am in the process of rethinking what it is that those of us, who still believe in our traditional Judeo-Christian culture, can and should do under the circumstances in which we live. One thing is for certain-we need to make some changes, and I don't mean just slightly. Some things must undergo drastic alterations.
We owe a debt of gratitude to organizations that have been involved in the pro-life movement for many years. But the truth is, much of the depression being felt today is directly related to a lack of fresh ideas from these groups, and their unwillingness to unify. and agree among themselves. Whether we like hearing it or not, most pro-life groups (as their major strategy) have been so land-locked into simply writing letters to legislators that thumb their nose at us, that the movement never matures. Any suggestion for change is avoided like AIDS.
A few years ago I attended a meeting with Faye Wattleton, the then National President of Planned Parenthood Federation. She looked straight into our eyes and said these words. "Us women are not stupid you know - we know what an abortion is - but it's legal - don't you get it. That's the issue." And then she said something else that I thought was very interesting. "Who are you to tell us what's right or wrong anyway, your churches don't even agree among themselves." I knew then that a major cultural change was occurring in our country - something the pro-life movement was totally unprepared for and is still unwilling to confront.
The bottom line in our last election was simply this, although almost all Christian people knew what abortion was, a majority still voted for candidates who supported this evil, and a larger amount chose not to vote at all. It boggles the mind. How can people call themselves Christians and support issues God says He hates? A Republican leader recently stated that he believed there was no point in a candidate running against pro-abortion Senator Kohl because he could not be defeated. Although Kohl has not been shy about his views concerning abortion, there are those reading this newsletter that will still support him!
This battle has been won educationally, but it is being lost morally. If we don't start addressing the moral side of these issues, I am afraid no one else will, and I promise you this much - we will NEVER win. If the Church isn't going to use Christianity - we need to borrow it. Why? Because education or attempted legislation without moral responsibility is worthless!
Free Congress Foundation President Paul Weyrich, widely regarded as the father of the social conservative movement, recently urged a gathering of conservative clergy and members of Congress to stop misleading activists into believing that through political victories alone, they can bring about an America where their notions predominate. "What I am trying to tell my brethren is that this strategy has failed. We have had a major cultural shift in this country."
After many years and millions of dollars spent, we have not been able to eliminate abortion through legislation. Every baby that is conceived in the State of Wisconsin this year is still legally abortable. In a country where 1-1/2 million abortions are preformed annually, I and many other pro-life leaders agree that it is totally unrealistic to think we will in the near future (and I stress "in the near future") make abortion illegal from the moment of conception. That doesn't mean that the war is not going to continue, and that it isn't going to be fought by other methods. The primary reason the number of surgical abortions has declined in the U. S. recently is not due to legislative efforts, but because fewer doctors are willing to perform abortions. That's the short of it.
Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Rescue (the person responsible for the conversion of Norma McCorvey, the Roe of Roe vs. Wade fame) has stated, "Relying on elected officials to fight the battle that is reserved for the Church is futile. Presidents, congressmen, or judges won't and cannot slay the giant of child killing." As proof of that point, during the many years of Republican, pro-life administrations, the number of surgical abortions in the United States actually increased. Incidentally, Operation Rescue has changed its name to Operation Save America as it attempts to combat not only abortion, but also a broader range of moral issues.
All of you who have so diligently involved yourselves for many years in the pro-life crusade should take comfort in knowing that we have won the educational battle. The issue is no longer debatable. Only recently, surgeons in Nashville, Tennessee, performed brain surgery on a child in his mother's womb. Because of advances in ultrasound and extended publicity concerning partial-birth abortion, people now know that a child is killed during every abortion and the pro-abortion gang knows this too. That's why the discussion now centers on women's rights-not fetal development.
But education alone is worthless if the conscience and morals of our society are not held to responsible behavior.
Some years ago, Dr. John Willke, the founder of the International Right to Life Federation, conducted a survey of fifteen hundred people who stated they had not completely made their minds up concerning the abortion issue. They were asked these questions:
- "Do you think this is a living human from conception - a baby, alive?" Eighty percent said "yes."
- Then they asked, "Do you think an abortion will kill this baby?" Again, eighty percent, "yes."
- Question number three, "Do you think abortion is against God's will?" Again, eighty percent answered "yes."
- Fourth question, "Even though you say it's a baby, do you think a woman should have a right to have an abortion?" Two-thirds answered "yes."
Think about it - that's madness!
Education or attempted legislation without moral responsibility is worthless!
A huge majority of Americans profess to believe in God. Millions go to churches that claim to uphold the Ten Commandments and to believe that Christ's message is vital to their lives. Yet, in one way or another, they have helped create a deeply troubled nation headed in a direction they claim to oppose. This is cognitive dissonance in spades. Sadly, most people, in the name of Christianity, have been so satanically conditioned to accept or tolerate anything society throws at them that they no longer think. but swallow! Jesus never told us not to judge. What we are warned against is being judgmental. While many Christians complain about the influence of mass media, they forget that there is another "mass medium" in America-the Church. If the secular mass media inundate the nation with propaganda, the Church must counter with truth, not silence.
Church leaders are properly interested more in souls than civil society, but the welfare of the two is not disconnected. Abortion, sexuality, and many other topics are moral and spiritual matters. It is the responsibility of the churches to inform parishioners of the Biblical perspective on such public policy concerns.
It has become the norm today for the government to pick a particular SIN, give it their imprimatur, and then declare it to be legal and political. You see, if the Church feels it's political, they have an excuse not to discuss it. And since most people in America feel that if something is legal it must be right, they believe they have license to go ahead and do it.
But this letter is being written as an encouragement to you, and I say this with the strongest emphasis. We serve the LIVING, risen, God. I urge you to hold tightly to your courage and your moral convictions during the stressful days ahead. This is no time to wimp out! Discouragement and despair are not of the Father. I know God is up to something. He is not going to lose this war even though He may permit you and me to lose a battle or two in order to strengthen our reliance on Him.
So where do we go from here-what can we do-is it possible for us to make a difference? Yes, I believe it is, if we are willing to make some sweeping changes. In any event, we must surely try. And remember this: God still holds the future. He does not require that we be successful-only faithful. That much we can do.
A well-known pro-life member of the clergy stated some time ago that he believes pro-lifers should start using common sense. He stated, "Unless we take the blinders off our eyes and begin to see that we need to change the hearts and minds of the American people so that there is no longer a need for abortion and other evils, we will not win." If Roe vs. Wade were overturned tomorrow ... our problems would still exist. Education or attempted legislation without moral responsibility is worthless!
More than 150 churches in the Madison, Wisconsin area proclaim every Sunday that abortion is a choice God does not condemn and that it is unchristian to oppose issues that traditionally were referred to as sin. The only reason pro-life and pro-family organizations exist is because churches have failed to do their job. Most churches rarely discuss the great issues of the day. People are dying and the pro-family movement is stagnated because of a lack of consistent moral direction. That is a hard, cold fact! The scariest part of all of this is that many of our Christian brothers and sisters are beginning to believe just enough of this partial truth that is spewing out, as the whole truth! Hitler said, "If people listen to a lie long enough, unchallenged, they will begin to believe it."
Shortly before the turn of the century that is now ending, twin boys were born to a couple in Germany. At first, both children seemed normal. But as time passed, it became evident that one was not. Because medical science was not what it is today, it took a few years to realize that one child suffered from a birth defect that contributed to his being retarded.
Well-meaning people suggested that the boy be placed in an institution where he would not be a burden on his family. His mother would not allow this. As the children grew into manhood, the retarded boy remained at home and cared for his mother in her later years so that she did not have to go to a nursing home. His brother, the "normal" one, left home and became involved with the politics of his country. His name was Adolph Hitler.
While Hitler and his Third Riech were rising into power, a meeting was held in Berlin in 1934, and all the prominent pastors of the day were invited. The purpose of the meeting was for conformity, to introduce the pastors to the Nazi view. To stifle their criticism, calm their fears, and bring them into line. Forced tolerance.
As Hitler made his way through the crowd of clergy, he patted them on the back, shook their hands, promising them that their tax exemptions were secure, and made them feel important. He stroked their egos, assuring them that the Church had nothing to fear from a Hitler government.
A young pastor made his way through the crowd of clergy, and eventually stood in front of Hitler. He looked him right in his eyes and said, "Our concern is not for the Church, Herr Hitler, Jesus Christ will take care of His Church. Our concern is for the soul of our nation." No sooner had this been said than other members of the clergy grabbed him and hustled him to the back of the room.
Hitler, being the master politician that he was, seeing that the majority of the clergy were favoring him, and seizing the opportunity said, "The soul of Germany, dear pastors, you can leave that to me." And they did. They looked the other way, did nothing, and the soul of their nation was led down the path to destruction. It's happening again - right here in our communities. The people who support the slaughter of the unborn and other anti-family lifestyles are saying to us, "The soul of this community, you can leave that to us," and mark my words, the soul of our community is dying!
Jesus said, "Why call Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?" (Luke 6:46.) Those who are saved will passionately serve Him! In His Great Commission, Jesus didn't tell us only to evangelize. Jesus never said that! He told us also to make disciples, which he said involves "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matt. 28:20) All that we have to do to disobey ... is nothing. Say nothing, do nothing, and we are guilty. "For him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:17) We are the ones that by default have brought upon our land a flood of unbelief and wickedness. Sins of omission-the sin of doing nothing at all-that is the great sin of the Christian Church!
I may not be able to do everything, but I can do something, and what I can do, I will do! I am asking you to be faithful, to help us reclaim the soul of our community. Don't worry about success, leave that to God.
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