Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, January 5, 2019
Shavuah Tov *|FNAME|*,
Many thanks to Raymond Finney for another excellent Sunday RR.
Title: Life Is A Wondrous Gift from God (Part 1)
INTRODUCTION: Many American Believers observe the third Sunday in January as Sanctity of Life Sunday. This observation commemorates January 22, 1973, when two shameful U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions– Roe vs Wade and Doe vs Bolton– were issued. Because of these decisions, more than 60-million unborn babies have been killed legally by abortion in the United States from 1973 to the present.
WARNING: I will use Sunday RRs through January 19 to discuss abortion on demand in the United States. If your mind is set that abortion on demand is a good and proper practice, skip the Sunday RRs until January 26.
WHY I WRITE RRs ON THIS SUBJECT: I add my weak voice in writing about abortion for personal reasons, for concerns about denied due process for unborn babies, for our nation’s violation of God’s Word, and for healing of post-abortion guilt. Does any Believer who fails to speak out against (expose) wrong give his/ her tacit approval to that wrong? The Apostle Paul would answer (Ephesians 5:11): And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
** Because of my education and profession, I have been privileged to study the miracle of God’s creation of life (see Psalm 139:14). I have completed courses in comparative embryology in college and human embryology in medical school. I have studied obstetrics and delivered infants. As a practicing pathologist for decades, I performed autopsies on stillborn and neonatal infants, always marveling at the miraculous anatomy of these tiny creations. I have been active in and led pro-life organizations in Blount County and other counties. I have carefully studied the Bible for passages related to life and creation of life. For years, I owned/ operated a Website, Abortion-and-Bible.com (site now retired), which had more than 275- thousand “hits” (contacts). God has blessed Linda and me with four children. I believe life– all life– is a precious gift from God.
** Because of my background and faith, I am passionately pro-life. I hope you join me in this belief. American Believers have, mostly, never been strongly pro-life, and this weak pro-life stance is becoming even weaker. A major fight in the American presidential election of 2020 will likely revolve around abortion. I hope that I may write something in these RRs to convince you to become a new (or stronger) pro-life advocate. You can speak out, vote, write letters/ emails, and join others to advocate protection for the weakest among us– unborn children.
** If you have had or been involved in an abortion and suffer guilt, I hope these RRs may help you resolve that guilt. Guilt is an emotion from Satan, not from God. Yeshua identified the father of lies (John 8:44): “… [The devil, or Satan]… does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” Satan accuses a Believer with lies, attempting to destroy him/ her (Revelation 12:10): Then I [John] heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His [Mashiach] have come, for the accuser of our brethren [Satan], who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”
Guilt robs a Believer of life’s joy, which should accompany belief in and hope of eternal life (John 15:11, Galatians 5:22-23). Guilt robs a Believer of working effectively for God’s Kingdom (Romans 8:1). God’s grace and Yeshua’s sacrificial death have made it possible for you to be forgiven of sin (1 John 1:9): If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. You can be forgiven of sin TODAY, shedding all guilt caused by that sin.
DO NOT SUFFER ALONE: I do not wish to cause anyone grief or remorse, but I make no apology in speaking for the right of an unborn baby to live (unless the mother’s life is jeopardized, which occurs uncommonly). God loves you, regardless of what you may have done. He wants you to seek His forgiveness for His name’s sake (Isaiah 43:25). Yeshua has offered to shoulder and carry part of your burden. People in your community are standing by to help you.
Even thinking about this subject may cause some people (usually women, who have been involved with an abortion) to become upset. If you are upset, there are people you may contact for counseling, such as:
** Rabbi Michael Weiner of Shomair Yisrael Synagogue, Knoxville, (865) 414.4527, will pray with you and offer guidance in God’s will for your life.
** Numerous grief counselors and counseling centers are available. Look in your telephone directory’s yellow pages or Internet search engine (search “grief counselor in [city, state]”). You can find a counselor who purports to be a Christian at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/christian || or, https://findchristiancounselor.com/?msclkid=d8105f61b52718f6783502a46d235554 .
** If you experience extreme grief and are contemplating suicide, contact: http://www.suicidehotlines.com/tennessee.html – call:
… National Suicide Hotline: 1.800.SUICIDE (1.800.784.2433) || or, text: 741741
… National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.TALK (1.800.273.8255)
……In Spanish (Ayuda En Espanol): 1.888.628.9454 || or, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/en-espanol/
……For deaf or hard of hearing: 1.800.799.3889 (or, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/for-deaf-hard-of-hearing/ )
….. For veterans: 1.800.273.8255; then, press 1 || or, text: 838255 (or, https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/)
… Statewide (Tennessee) Crisis Hotline: 1.855.CRISIS.1 or 1.855.274.7471
** Grief following an abortion (post-abortion syndrome) may be severe. Loss of pregnancy– whether natural (miscarriage) or elective (abortion) – is a significant loss. Many counties have a crisis pregnancy center (pregnancy resource center), staffed by women who are Believers and some of whom have had abortions themselves. Find a center near you in your telephone directory’s yellow pages or through OptionLine at https://optionline.org/center-locator/ . In the Knox County area, call:
… Knox County: Hope Resource Center– (865) 236.0350;
… Blount County: Pregnancy Resource Center– (865) 977.8378;
… Sevier County: Women’s Care Center– (865) 428.4673;
… Anderson County: Choices Resource Center– (865) 483.0099;
… Jefferson County: Life Outreach Center– (865) 471.0510; and
… Loudon County and Monroe County: served by Pregnancy Resource Center (Blount County) – (865) 977.8378.
ANOTHER DAY OF INFAMY: President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, “a day of infamy.” January 22, 1973, the day SCOTUS removed all legal restrictions against abortion, is another day of infamy. Prior to this day, abortion was legal in some, but illegal in most, states. In 1973, I practiced medicine in Tennessee. Every two years, I renewed my medical license. On the renewal application’s back page was a lengthy notice (multiple items) of reasons the Licensing Board would strip away a physician’s medical license. One reason to lose a license was performance of an abortion.
Even earlier, when I graduated from medical school, I took the Hippocratic Oath (modified to remove ancient references to Greek gods and goddesses). One sentence in the original oath now stands out: “… I will give no sort of medicine to any pregnant woman, with a view to destroy the child.” An ethical, law-abiding physician would never perform an abortion prior to January, 1973. Seven black-robed judges in Washington, D.C. knew better than the rest of society, of course.
Prior to January 22, 1973, laws and ethical guidelines were rigidly followed by most physicians, but some illegal abortions did occur. “Coat hanger abortions” and sleazy, back-alley abortions have been exaggerated. Most illegal abortions were performed in physicians’ offices, as would any other surgical procedure. After Roe vs Wade, the sign on the front of the office was changed to read something like “Abortion Clinic.”
Two cases– Roe vs Wade and Doe vs Bolton– percolated through the courts in the early 1970s. Supreme Court justices, apparently wishing to accommodate their liberal friends, ruled by a 7-2 majority vote on January 22, 1973 that the plaintiffs in both of these cases should prevail. (In my opinion, SCOTUS has become as much a political– legislative– body as a legal body.) I wish I had RR space to discuss these interesting cases and the reasons some attorneys claim they were wrongly decided. Many articles are online, such as: https://www.thoughtco.com/roe-v-wade-overview-3528244 , https://www.liveaction.org/news/roe-v-wade-lies-legal-abortion/ ,
http://www.pregnantpause.org/abort/lies.htm , and https://www.mccl.org/post/2017/01/20/the-three-fundamental-problems-with-roe-v-wade . Now, consider two sidelights:
Sidelight no. 1: The plaintiff in Roe vs Wade was disguised by attorneys as “Jane Roe.” “Jane” was the late Norma McCorvey. She called me at home years ago, and we had a nice chat. She has bitterly complained that her attorneys lied to her and presented a case that shamed her. Norma grieved her role in Roe vs Wade, even though she was a deceived participant. She tells of a flashback event, when empty playground swings swaying in the wind caused her to think: Are swings empty of children throughout America because of my lawsuit? Please read “Empty Playgrounds,” a powerful testimony Norma wrote as a poem: https://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2003/05/empty-playgrounds-poem-by-miss-norma.html .
Even though Norma never did receive the abortion she sought (court cases move slower than the length of gestation), her delayed grief demonstrates that women may suffer intense emotional pain many years after an abortion. Happily, Norma became a Christian and pro-life advocate (founding the Roe No More Ministry) before her death.
Sidelight no. 2: I attended church with a woman who was happily married to her second husband. More than thirty years earlier, she became pregnant with her first husband. Newly married, he convinced her she should obtain an abortion (“we’re still young…. let’s have fun before we start a family…. we can wait several years before pregnancy….” and so forth). She had an abortion, but could never conceive again. (Sterility is a consequence of abortion in some women.) There never was a more devout Christian than this woman. She was a familiar fixture in the church. She served those in need. She knelt and prayed at the altar nearly every Sunday. She was kind, encouraging, and a model Believer.
Each year (early October), an annual Prayer Chain Vigil for Life is held in Blount County. Hundreds of Believers stand in silent prayer on W. Lamar Alexander Parkway, holding signs of encouragement, to demonstrate pro-life solidarity. My wife and I participated each year, as did this woman. After one vigil, she walked over to the place I stood. She told me of the anguish she had experienced for more than thirty years because of her abortion. She knew and did all the things she must do to be granted forgiveness. She knew that God had forgiven her, because she had asked His forgiveness so many times. Even so, she could not remove thoughts from her mind that her baby was dead because of her abortion and, perhaps, God would not permit her to replace that baby with another. Beaming, she then said: “Raymond, for thirty-something years I was hollow on the inside because of my abortion. Then, suddenly, while standing in today’s prayer chain, the power of the Holy Spirit fell on me as never before. I am at last free! I finally receive it in my head and heart that I am forgiven! I have no more guilt!” Realization of God’s forgiveness may come in different ways at different times. You do your part, and let the Holy Spirit do His part. End of sidelights.
The result of the Roe vs Wade and Doe vs Bolton cases was that it was legal in all states to perform an abortion, merely on the request of the pregnant woman.
Since January 22, 1973, more than 60-million babies have been killed by abortion in the United States. We do not know the true number. A frustrated federal government stopped collecting abortion performance data years ago. The government recognized data were being dramatically under-reported. (Surprising? If an abortion clinic has no moral qualms about killing unborn babies, why would there be any objection to lying about the practice?)
NEXT RRs: I will continue this series for the next two Sundays:
** On January 12, I will present consequences (impact) of abortion in America.
** On January 19, I will present some Scriptures about God’s views on the life He has created.
IN THE MEANTIME:
** Seek resolution of any guilt you may have, if you have been involved in an abortion. God has a plan for your life, and that plan does not include feeling guilt for something Yeshua taught us how to be forgiven. You may have sinned by having an abortion, but so have all of us sinned in other ways (Romans 3:23): … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,….
** Read 2 Chronicles 7:14 : [The LORD said] “… if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” America needs to be healed. In light of God’s formula to heal a nation, join other American Believers in prayer on Sanctity of Life Sunday (January 19, 2020). Your prayer will join with the prayers of millions of Believers (the LORD’s people) lifted to God on this day.
Pray for our nation to be healed of:
… Promiscuous sexual activity and following Satan’s hedonistic desires, which cause many unplanned pregnancies and reasons to seek abortions; and
… Abortion– that minds may be changed and babies’ lives spared.
… The Holy Spirit’s wisdom and gentle comfort will fall mightily upon pregnant girls and women wrestling with unplanned pregnancies; pray for God’s will to be done in their lives;
… All who suffer guilt will find relief and restitution in the Lord; and
… No Believer will ever criticize a girl or woman who becomes pregnant out of wedlock, but will offer only love, support, and acceptance in Yeshua’s name.
Pray for salvation of:
… Men and women involved in the abortion industry; pray that they will not use their education, experience, and talent to kill, but, rather, to preserve life;
… Politicians, who think more of their political offices than the lives of babies; and
… The media, who provide cover for those in society who kill unborn babies.
… Any timidity and silence that Believers– and you? – may have in speaking for those who must remain silent because of their weakness (unborn babies, girls and women bullied into submitting to abortions);
… Truth, that more Americans will finally recognize an unborn baby as a human being created in the likeness of God, not merely as a “clump of cells” or “tissue;”
… Boldness of Believers– and you? – in representing those who cannot speak for their own defense (unborn babies, bullied girls and women), who will become victims of abortion; and
… Organizations which counsel, support, love, and encourage pregnant girls and women during this crisis in their lives; pray that God’s will may become manifest in pregnant girls and women. Shalom and Maranatha.