Posted in Thanksgiving

Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving: God is God and He is Good

The following is some excerpts from this past Sunday’s sermon delivered in a facility with more than ten people, not socially distanced, and without masks (a.k.a. A normal worship service). I have structured them in a fashion that flows somewhat succinctly. The overall tenor of the sermon was to emphasize our privilege and responsibility before God and fellow man to offer prayerful thanksgiving to the Lord of Hosts. Without fear, without anxiety, without discouragement, but in boldness, unashamedly in the Name of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit’s leading. During a time when forces in government, in the media are seeking to pit family and friends against one another using the fear of a pandemic, I thought it appropriate to remind God’s people that we are to eat, drink and be merry…to enjoy those wonderful blessing that our Creator has granted us in this life, during this season, yes, even during a time such as this. I hope you enjoy and are likewise encouraged

Start of the excerpt…

You may or may not be surprised to learn that Thanksgiving as a celebratory feast has been a customary practice for about 400 years. Yes, that’s right…400 years. That’s a long time. The reason it is so vehemently attacked today is due, by and large, to an ignorance that has permeated our culture. A purposeful attack by those who have been in charge of our youth’s education system for nearly a century.

Christian historian and economist Gary North explains, “Thanksgiving is an old tradition in the United States. Although it was not the first such thanksgiving feast, the holiday had its origins in Plymouth Colony, in the fall of 1621, when the Pilgrims who had survived the first year invited Chief Massasoit to a feast, and he showed up with 90 braves and five deer. The feast lasted three days.”1

I’m sure you’ve all heard the story. The first pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts landed on the shores in the year 1620, “a year later…[many] were dead.”2 They had either starved to death, became ill due to poor health, or fell prey to the elements. The following year, however (1621), the colonists had what is commonly referred to as a Thanksgiving festival. Much thanks were given to Squanto and the Wampanoag Indians by the colonists, but the greater thanks was attributed to Almighty God.

Gary DeMar writes, “William Bradford, governor of Plymouth and the colony’s first historian, continually makes references to ‘the Lord Who never fails,’ ‘God’s blessing,’ and ‘the Providence of God,’ in times of both plenty and want.”3 He continues, “As the historical record shows…thanksgiving was ultimately made to God. ‘Governor Bradford, with one eye on divine Providence, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to God, and with the other eye on the local political situation, extended an invitation to neighboring Indians to share in the harvest feast…This ‘first Thanksgiving’ was a called to suit the needs of the hour, which were to celebrate the harvest, thank the Lord for His goodness, and regale and impress the Indians.”4

The key to understanding the true nature of Thanksgiving, in the words of Rush Limbaugh is to understand, the colonists “thanked God for the guidance found in the Bible for restructuring their community, and shared the bounty with the Indians, who did teach them how to do things they didn’t know how to do, basically be farmers.”5 As was noted earlier, however, this was not the first such thanksgiving celebration, but one of many. In his book, America’s Christian History, DeMar writes, “The colonists of another era were aware of the many instances of thanksgiving celebrations found in ‘holy writ.’ Thanksgiving, as it was practiced by the colonists was a religious celebration that shared the sentiments of their biblical forerunners, giving thanks to God for His faithful provision. For these devoutly religious people, thanksgiving would have come naturally.”6

Here are a few examples:

  • In the year 1564 a small French colony near present-day Jacksonville, Florida established a settlement. These Christians, led by Rene de Laudonniere sung “a psalm of Thanksgiving unto God, beseeching Him that it would please Him to continue His accustomed goodness towards us.”7
  • In the year 1610, 409 colonists settled in what is now known as the Jamestown settlement (Virginia). These individuals led by strong Christian leaders and principles were reduced to 60 survivors mainly due to starvation. “[They] prayed for help that finally arrived by a ship filled with food and supplies from England. They held a prayer service to give thanks.”8
  • “On December 4, 1619, 38 colonists landed at a place they called Berkeley Hundred [in Virginia]. ‘We ordain,’ read an instruction in their charter, ‘that the day of our ships arrival…in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”9
  • “The first official Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in June 29, 1676 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, across the Charles River from Boston…” similar proclamations were given in the year 1730, and in 1749 in New Jersey, New York.10
  • In the fall of 1789, then president George Washington proclaimed an official day of Thanksgiving to be celebrated on “Thursday, November 27.”11
  • Finally, “in 1863, Abraham Lincoln officially restored it as a wartime measure. The holiday then became an American tradition…[becoming] law in 1941.”12

The point of this historical study is this: the celebration of a day of thanksgiving has always been a part of our nation’s history. The focus has always been on giving praise to God for providing for us, His creatures, all the basic necessities of life, and every other free grace that He bestows on His children.

Reminders from Ecclesiastes

Whenever I find myself getting bogged down by those things in life that stretch you thin I turn to this little book of Solomon. I picture him writing this book in the last few moment of his life as he reflected on the things he studied, on his past successes and failures, as he perhaps struggled with much regret. Things that he didn’t do that he wished he would have. Things he had done that he wished he hadn’t. Plans that never reached fruition. Things he’d carefully planned and built that would be torn down and squandered by others.

Oh, I think he took much comfort towards the end in the insurmountable grace of our God. But knowing that God is better to us than we actually deserve is bittersweet. Sweet as honey when we really, truly grasp the wonder of His loving kindness towards us. Bitter as we struggle with those past regrets, “Oh…that I never sinned against you My Lord, My God!” Knowing what I do about the gospel, if my choice of books were limited, I believe that this little book here would be one that I would determine to hold onto. For the wisdom in it is deeply profound in its simplicity. And, I am convinced that our lives under the Lord’s Headship are meant to be more simple than what we tend to make them out to be. We put too much pressure on our lives, on our performance, in reality assuming that we have abilities beyond our control.

An appropriate nugget of truth:

Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may lengthen his life, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly. But it will not be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a shadow, because he does not fear God…So I commend pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.”

Ecclesiastes 8:12-13, 15

Here we are reminded that sinner’s will not escape the doom that awaits them: “…it will not be well for the evil man….” There will be a reckoning. Both for those who do not fear God and those who do. I cannot help but think how important this reminder for us is. Are we not surrounded by evil in this day? Do we not see the walls of our society shaking, as the culture makes outright war against our Lord and Savior? And yet, we are reminded that though it seems as if they will get away with everything they pursue…judgment is looming over them. Not only are we told elsewhere in Scripture that they will eventually fail in the works that they do (2Tim 3.9), but we are commended to enjoy life “to eat and to drink and to be merry” in spite of the sorrow that such persons try to bring into the world.

We have toils in this life. Life is filled with trials and tribulations. Wicked men grow more corrupt and seek greater power to lord over us all, but we are commended to rejoice and to enjoy life. I cannot help but think of how across this nation there is a concerted effort by politicians at both the state and local level trying to rob people of their joy this holiday season. They want to limit our time of celebration. They want to stifle our getting together. People want to know why I believe the issues around us are religious in nature and not scientific, and this is the reason why. God has given us freedom to live freely and to pursue happiness. I know that we are not guaranteed happiness. There are times meant for sorrow, for tears rather than laughter, but when tyrants try to rob you of the simplest of joys…it has nothing to do with safety but power!

We are to gather, to pray, to rejoice, to eat, to drink, to have festivities. We are not to cower in fear, for the state is not our god, but the Lord on High is!

Final Refrain:

For I have taken all of this to my heart and explain it that righteous men, wise men, and their deeds are in the hand of God. Man does not know whether it will be love or hatred; anything awaits him…Go then, eat your bread in happiness, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He [God] has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”

Ecclesiastes 9:1, 7-9

It does not matter what is going on around you, for the righteous, the wise have their works in the hand of God. We do not know what the morrow will bring. We cannot see the future, but that is not to be our focus. Do you see that. As tempting as it might be we are not to worry, to grow anxious of what might be. Instead, we are to eat in happiness, drink in cheer knowing that God has already planned our steps ahead of time and He approves of His people’s activities. Those that seek to walk in His righteousness—clothes in white; those that desire to live under His Spiritual anointing—abundance of oil on the brow. Such are the sort of people that are commended (commanded) to “enjoy life with…” those dearest to you “all the days of your fleeting life.”

We are to live under the sun in a spirit of Thanksgiving. And no one can rob a thankful heart from the man or woman who trusts in their Maker—Jesus Christ.

So my friends, my message is this. Do not let fear govern your hearts this holiday season. Do not allow panic to keep you from enjoying one of the most sacred times of year where we celebrate life with the one’s we love. Enjoy your life and Thank the Lord above for it.

ENDNOTES:

1 Gary North, “Thanksgiving and Marginal Utility,” American Vision, November 25, 2015, accessed November 25, 2016, http://americanvision.org/127561/thanksgiving-marginal-utility.

2 Ibid.

3 Gary DeMar, America’s Christian History: the Untold Story, (Atlanta, GA: American Vision [1993], 1995), 25.

4 Ibid, 27.

5 Rush Limbaugh, “The True Story of Thanksgiving,” November 23, 2016, accessed November 25, 2016, http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2016/11/23/the_true-story_of_thanksgiving.

6 DeMar, America’s Christian History, 203, 204.

7 Ibid, 204.

8 Ibid, 204.

9 Ibid, 204, 205. Excerpt quoted from: Jim Dwyer, ed., Strange Stories, Amazing Facts of America’s Past, (Pleasantville, NY: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., 1989), 198.

10 North, Thanksgiving and Marginal Utility.

11 Ibid.

12 Ibid.

Posted in Truth and Error

Old Wisdom Needed in Our Day

“In the intellectual battle of the present day there can be ‘no peace without victory’; one side or the other must win”1

J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism

I started reading this book over the weekend and I was amazed at how clearly this line of thought speaks of (to) our current sociopolitical climate. These thoughts by Machen were put into writing nearly a century ago, and yet we find their relevance applicable to today. Like a son of Issachar (1Chron 12.32), Machen understood (it would seem better than his peers) the time in which he lived. His insights into the heartbeat of America in the early 20th century were on point. And, like today’s generation, his generation does not appear to have taken the warning seriously. At least not the majority of them anyway.

As in our day Machen was faced with an antagonistic mindset regarding the Christian faith (religion) and scientific theory. A certain sector of Machen’s culture wanted to pit science and religion against each other. Could the two “ever stand in company”2 with one another? This growing mindset, had also began to infect the Evangelical Christian Church in the early 20th century. The belief that was gaining popularity was that if the two came into conflict (Christian religion vs. Scientific Consensus) the biblical testimony was a hopeless (pointless?) position to defend.3 However, the conclusion that Machen and those that shared his convictions came to was that the only view compatible with the Christian faith was:

“If science comes into contradiction with the Bible so much the worse for science!”4

Meaning what? That science needs to be thrown out with the bath water? Many people struggle with this line of thinking by Machen and other Christian’s who share his sentiment in our day. Why? Because of a false narrative that has been adopted and grafted into the way we think.

When science and biblical thought are found to be at a crossroad, and the Christian says—“If there is a problem with our interpretation of the world around us, then the problem is to be found with the scientific premise and not biblical teaching! Go back to the drawing board and correct the interpretation of science; reform it, not our Bible’s!”—many hear the following: “I’ll do away with reality, rather than give up my faith!” Tied with foolish notion that faith is a mere wishing upon a star, is the conviction that “science” is concerned with the real world; those things I can touch, taste, smell, see, and hear.

To be fair both the Christian faith and “science” are concerned with the real world. Where they depart is found in their governing spheres. The Christian faith pertains to all of life. It is an all encompassing worldview that is concerned not only with what we observe in the world about us, but also speaks authoritatively on those things that we do not directly observe; namely the Triune Creator God.

A Conceptual Tool…

Science is, as Dr. Jason Lisle has pointed out, “a conceptual tool.” Science helps us make sense of the world that we directly observe.5 Science does not touch. Science does not hear. Science does not taste. Science does not smell. Science does not feel. Neither does it reason, think or speak. And so, science has necessary limitations, even though it is a wonderful process by which we are not only able to understand the world we live in a little more clearly, but it helps living situation here as well (i.e., a tool of dominion; Gen 1.26, 28).

On this ground…

Now it is the limitations that Machen, and every Christian worth his/her salt, identify with science that enables them (us) to say, when a particular scientific hypothesis, theory or so-called fact butts up against what the Bible clearly speaks about, “Go back to the drawing board;” or “You are in error here.” Science has natural limitations and those limitations are tied to the creatures that utilize it.6 As material beings we are fixed in observing a material world, even though not every thing in this world is material. There are many things that are of an immaterial nature (e.g., laws of logic).

In fact, it is the biblical worldview (and no other!)7 that makes the use of science as a conceptual tool justified. For without these axiomatic truths (1. uniformity in nature, 2. nature is understandable) scientific inquiry would be impossible.8 Science is dependent upon identifiable patterns (the future will be like the past) and those patterns are usable for making sense of things directly or indirectly seen.

Speaking to today…

Leap frogging through time a bit, we come to our present generation. As I said earlier I have been somewhat astounded that many of Machen’s conclusions about his own sociopolitical climate, for they are in many respects, lock, stock and barrel akin to our own. In his day, it was science vs the Christian faith, in ours this attitude has stuck and something else has developed alongside of it: the belief that the Christian faith and politics cannot be wed. And yet, political theory is directly tied to the subject of ethics. For policy that affects society as a whole is largely based on what is perceived as right versus wrong behavior.

If I may I would like to use the remainder of the moments I have with you and address something that has bothered me for sometime. It pertains to what some have identified as the mask cult that has gripped American culture (and many other parts of the world). Celebrities, politicians, scientists and medical professionals—even silicon valley—have pushed the “science” of mask wearing. It used to be that certain preconditions allowed for a person to refrain from wearing them. But due to social pressure and the fear of being sued or in some cases charged with a crime the general consensus has been adopted that there is no good reason not to wear a mask. Those in favor of universal mask wearing will use whatever weapon available to them in their verbal arsenal. It will be argued that it is the loving thing to do. It will be argued that it is the ethical (law-abiding) thing to do. It will be argued that it is the “scientific” thing to do. I have heard all of these differing strands or argumentation, but the one that I’m honing in on in this article is in relation to “science.”

A popular saying is that “Mask wearing is not political, its about the science.” Paul Rudd, a fairly popular A-list celebrity made a similar assertion when doing a commercial for the state of New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo. I don’t recall him saying the phrase above verbatim, but the idea was without a doubt expressed. If mask wearing were about the science, then why is there a suppression of all counterarguments? Much like the Climate Change enforcers any argument counter to the one held by “general consensus” is vilified as pseudoscience. Challenge the current narrative and you are a “cotton headed ninny-muggins.” A “science denier!” A downright fool!

Machen realized that what was going on in his culture was a declaration of war. He rightly concluded that there can be no peace without victory. Peace promised must be peace won. Thus the cry of one of our nations founders, “Give me liberty or give me death!” A sign of warning that ought to cause us great alarm is when the seeming majority of a given culture—both inside and outside the Church of Jesus Christ—is crying “Peace, peace” when there is no peace (Jer 6.14).

ENDNOTES:

1J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (West Linn, OR: Monergism Books, 2015), Kindle Edition, loc. 80.

2Ibid., loc. 50.

3Ibid., 111.

4Ibid., 111.

5Del Ratzsch, Science & Its Limits: The Natural Sciences in Christian Perspective, 2nd Edition (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 12.

6This is a very important point. Science as a conceptual tool is used for human investigation, thinking and reasoning. Science’s limitations are human error. For example, a hammer is used to drive a nail. But the inability sometimes to hit the nail squarely, drive it in a few steady strokes, or miss it entirely is the result of the human application. As valuable as science is, it is only as good as the person utilizing it. Errors are brought into the hypothesis process, the testing process (empirically evaluation observable phenomenon), and the reasoning process (guiding by presuppositions that may or may not be accurate themselves).

7The most popular theory to date that attempts to offer a counter to the biblical worldview is Darwinian Evolution. Evolutionary theory has permeated all of the sciences (biological, cosmological, and social to name a few). And yet, all models of evolutionary thought are based on the premise of an accidental/chance creation of all material things from a previously immaterial beginning. Therefore, evolution like the Christian faith seeks to offer insight for the beginning of all things, the reason for all things existence, and the ultimate end all things will experience. Like Christianity, Evolutionary thought is a religious faith with dogmatic positions believed and upheld.

8Ratzsch, Science & Its Limits, 14-16.

Posted in Abortion, Uncategorized

History of the Pro-Life Movement: We’ve been Victorious Before

The following conversation really took place. The time and the exact location are not given. What is known is that it occurred on a local news network in front of a live studio audience. With the cameras rolling and the host at his station we are privileged to get a brief glimpse into history that has been forgotten. Something we will learn (if we didn’t already know) is far too common amongst those who claim to know so much. Let’s listen in…

Then Director of Planned Parenthood offers the following accusation:

“What I don’t understand about you pro-lifers is where you’ve been all these years…Women have been suffering for centuries. The pro-life movement didn’t even exist until 1973. You’re just a bunch of extremists, opportunists, and Johnny-come-latelies.”

George Grant smiling gives the following rebuttal:

“Ah, but once again, there is where you are very wrong: The pro-life movement is not a recent phenomenon or innovation…It is two thousand years old. You see, the pro-life movement was inaugurated on a rugged old cross, on a hill called Calvary—it is best known as Christianity. Caring for the helpless, the deprived, and the unwanted is not simply what we do. It is what we are. Always has been. Always will be.”[1]

Our Current Dilemma

We live in a generation that has forgotten her past. Some of the blame we might be tempted to lay at the feet of our teachers, at those revisionists of the past. But the fault really ought to be laid at our feet. It is our responsibility to search into such things. To know…before we speak.

“There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after” (Eccl 1.11).[2]

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…hav[ing] forgotten the law of your God…” (Hos 4.6).

A short word on the above passages…

  • Eccl 1.11—The passage taken from the first chapter of Ecclesiastes would appear, I would imagine to most people, to be a no brainer. The writer (who I believe to be Solomon) is saying that people are quick to forget their past. History doesn’t repeat itself because it is cyclical, but because people are ignorant and repeat the same mistakes from the past not having learned from them. How in the world can you learn from the past, if you don’t know it? The problem that Ecclesiastes addresses is the vanity of mankind, which is rooted in sin.

Have you ever tried to catch the wind with your hand and hold it? That is a close equivalent to the vanity that the writer is referring to. The source of this vanity is the unwillingness on man’s part (male and female) to recognize their Creator and live for Him. And so, they chase after this and that to find fulfillment and unabating pleasure.  But nothing in this life ever satisfies but the Lord God who fashioned us for His purpose and pleasure. Being the rebel that we are, we ignore the lessons from the past, and continue in the folly of those who came before us.

  • Hosea 4:6—The passage from Hosea addresses a similar problem. The context—historically speaking—was during the time of “Hosea, son of Beeri” who ministered during the time “of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel” (Hos 1.1). The prophets of the Lord were kind of like His prosecuting attorney’s. They were the ones that God tasked with bringing charges of a sinful (sometimes criminal) nature having broken the edicts of the covenant between them and God.

The charge in Hosea 4 is rather simple. Verse 6 highlights the problem and its effects. God says, His people die or are destroyed for not remembering His law. Of course, those in leadership bear the greater brunt of the responsibility. Those who teach or are called to teach others are held to a higher standard. If they fail to call to remembrance what God has done in the past, what He has instructed His people to do, they will be severely punished. But this does not remove the blame from those under them.

To put it a little more plainly, teachers are accountable for not teaching. But this does not remove responsibility from the people. Both teachers and students are covenanted to God. if the teachers don’t teach God’s Law (Torah/instruction), then the people who are covenanted to God should do everything in their power to learn their past. They will be judged for not knowing God too—who He is, what He has done, and their heritage in Him.  Which is why we see them dying. They are dying for their own sin.

What does this have to do with the Pro-Life movement?

One of the things that Grant noticed as he traveled around the world advocating for the lives of unborn babies is that “People who had been valiant in the battle for life were generally unaware of the fact that the battle had been fought and won—several times—by Christian pro-life stalwarts generations, and even centuries ago.”[3] This coming from a person who has been on the front lines, so to speak, since the beginning of the Pro-Life movement after Roe v. Wade. Referring to the wisdom of “English author and lecturer, John H. Y. Briggs…” Grant points out that “historical awareness is essential for the health and well-being of any society; it enables us to know who we are, why we are here, and what we should do.”[4]

At the close of his introduction, Grant tells the reader from where he drew his knowledge on this issue. Starting with the Patristic period (era of the Church Fathers), through the fall of Rome, the time of the Renaissance and Enlightenment, the Missionary movement of the 18th-19th centuries, to the time of the first World War (1914), till the present, Grant sought to meticulously draw from the well-spring of history on the Pro-Life movement. His treatment is by no means exhaustive (whose is?), but he does provide an ample bibliography for those keen to further build their knowledge through research.[5]

**I am well aware of the fact that this is a blog post. And so, timing is of the essence. Therefore, I have no intention of dealing with all the different periods mentioned above. If you want to know how the Pro-Life movement has been fought and won at various times and on various fronts, then get the book. At the end of this post I will give you a few other recommendations besides this one. They are all free on PDF (Available Here), or if you are like my wife preferring a physical book to an electronic version, then you may buy a hand held copy. I get nothing out of this. I don’t know Mr. Grant, but I do appreciate his work for the Kingdom of Christ. And having tasted his works on my own, I offer you a delectable portion of some much-needed food for thought.

We shall now turn our attention to a time in American history when the Pro-Life movement fought the battle for unborn babies and won. No, I didn’t type that wrong. Our history in the United States tells of a time when abortion was outlawed. When Pro-Lifers united across the country and for a few seasons legalized baby-killing was criminalized. Where the battle was started, fought and won, might surprise you. Let’s go ahead and look into our past…

Where it All Started…

“Like an avowed atheist who sees the devil at night, America awoke in a jolt to the horror of abortion…concern over the scandal of child-killing became…a moral crusade. It became a movement; an outcry against the insidious exploitation of women and children swept the nation,”[6] writes Grant.

The spark that fanned the flame that enveloped the nation was started in the New York Times. That is not a typo. I know, I know, unbelievable right?!? The New York Times is where the Pro-Life movement began in the United States of American in the 19th century. For the kids of today that are confused by century references that means the 1800’s. Specifically, 1871. That is the date that ought to be remembered in history, but time has eroded all knowledge of it. And boy, oh boy! are the Pro-Choicer’s of today glad!

Augustus St. Clair…

An investigative reporter for the New York Times named Augustus St. Clair “on July 1871…was given an extremely dangerous undercover investigative assignment…he was to infiltrate and ultimately expose the city’s prosperous and profligate medical malpractice industry—the common euphemism for the abortion trade.”[7]

Grant retells how Mr. St. Clair “and a ‘lady friend’ visited a number of the most heavily trafficked clinics in New York, posing as a couple facing a crisis pregnancy. [And] they were shocked with what they saw.”[8]  Bear in mind what shocked them was not that they were dark and dingy rat-holes. Dirty, rusted metal coat hangers were not drying on the line dripping bloody remnants of the last back alley “surgeries.” Actually, quite the opposite.

What shocked Mr. St. Clair and his friend was the high-end elegance that these facilities garnered. Not only that, it was also what Grant describes as

“the smug complacency of the poisonous proprietors—men and women who had made quite an opulent living out of dying—contrasted so sharply with the dispiritedness of their patients. It was that the frank and forthright commerce of the death merchants—advertised openly in all the magazines, newspapers, digests of the day—contrasted so sharply with the secretive shame of their customers. It was that the dens of iniquity were simultaneously dens of inequity.”[9]

Snowball that started an Avalanche…

To say that Augustus St. Clair’s indignation had been stirred by what he saw would be somewhat of an understatement. In August of that same year, just one month after getting the assignment, he “wrote a hard-hitting three-column article which the Times published…entitled ‘The Evil of the Age….”[10] In the opening of this article, published in the New York Times mind you, was a polished, yet scathing reality check for the readers. St. Clair put a spot light on what he called “the murder…of thousands of human beings…” not to mention the “thousands upon thousands more of adults [being] irremediably robbed in constitution, health, and happiness.”[11]

Personally, I find the honest tenacity of St. Clair’s position refreshing and enlightening. We are often told today that the best way to address abortion is by making it about science or philosophy or proper education, but St. Clair put a spotlight on it by calling it what it is…MURDER!  He didn’t hem and haw around the subject like so many Pro-Lifer’s do today. He wasn’t ashamed he was outraged by the barbarism of it; especially, the way those of the movement try to put a false veneer of beauty on it. He ripped the lying shroud right off of the Pro-Choice movement. And the result, while it may seem surprising to our modern ears, is nonetheless exciting.

Once St. Clair started his snowball roll at the top of “Press Hill” others joined the fray and it grew and grew and grew. Eventually,

“…a number of courageous journalists, following St. Clair’s lead in the Times, began to expose the awful practices of heretofore respectable and upstanding physicians, who traded on the misfortunes of others. Before long, the dam of self-interest broke and a flood of articles began to appear in several other New York papers—the Tribune, the Herald, and the Police Gazette. Soon, all around the country, the same newspapers, magazines, and digests that had previously accepted advertising from abortionists began to throw the searchlight of truth on their detestable deeds of darkness….”[12]

Even the Medical Community Jumped on Board…

Grant points out that

“the Journal of the American Medical Association, published a scathing critique of abortion’s death ethic noting that from the moment of conception: The unborn child is human, and at all periods differs in degree and not in kind from the infant and the adult. Therefore, we must regard it as a human being with an inalienable right to life, and that its destruction is homicide.”[13]

The Politicians Finally answer the Call…

Yes, if there is one way to get a politician on your side, it is to make your voice heard. There is a reason that a kid screaming will often kid their way. But this issue is about saving the babies, so that they can scream!

Grant explains, “Even reticent politicians and barristers began to take notice and take action. Tougher restrictive legislation, more efficient local enforcement, and strict sentencing guidelines were put into place all around the country, and the prosperous physical-killers were driven to desperate resources. Eventually every state in the Union passed laws making their morbid arts illegal. Many went so far as to affirm that the abortion of ‘any woman pregnant with child is an assault with intent to murder.’”[14]

The Chief Instigators of the Movement…

Without reading the book and looking into the history of the movement I can see where the reader might assume that it was the journalists, politicians, and some courageous members of the medical community that led to the national illegalization of abortion. That would be incorrect. Earlier I had stated that St. Clair is the one who started the snowball’s descent down “Press Hill” that sparked national concern. This is true, but before St. Clair formed the snowball someone else had caused it to snow. Or, to switch metaphors, someone else had dug away earth and laid the right foundation for St. Clair to build upon. The fact of the matter is that “it was the church that led the pro-life movement toward a consummate victory.”[15]

How so? The same way the road to victory is always paved over sin, hell and the grave by preaching and teaching the Holy Word of God. Immediately, when the dust had settled after the Civil War ministers and churches of all stripes began preaching, teaching and writing against this atrocity that had festered into the soul of American soil.[16] We shouldn’t be surprised that abortion found a foothold in this nation. For far too long we had festered another form of hate on fellow man—chattel slavery.

Assuming that the evil was vanquished, the light of the gospel was shown on another area. What may be surprising to the youth of our nation (I know of many adults who do not realize it), is that the principles, laws, and convictions that originally settled in the footer of which would become this great precipice the United States of America was the conviction that the God of the Bible is Creator and that His law is the final governing Word on right versus wrong. Life is precious because God gave/gives it. And only the Giver has the sovereign right to take it.

With such reminders,

“In less than two decades, the church was able to marshal hostile journalists, ambivalent physicians, reticent politicians, and even radical feminists to the cause of exploited mothers and their helpless unborn. They succeeded overwhelmingly. And they restored the foundations of a glorious legacy of freedom and justice that had always been at the heart of the remarkable American experiment.”[17]

Closing Remarks…

For those interested I offer a brief appendix and the promised link and references to the book cited above, as well as a couple others. I hope you enjoyed this brief history of the Pro-Life movement here in the United States. The victory has been won before. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. But we must be resolute in defining what the practice of abortion truly is (MURDER). Understand the root that drives it (Sin of Pride). And then, give the only remedy that will heal the wounds that have scarred our land (the Gospel of Jesus Christ).

Appendix

Who is George Grant?

I have no intention of giving a bio of the man, that is something you may research for yourself. I will however, tell you what he has done (and still continues to do). He has written many books for the Pro-Life movement. In particular, he has written some works specifically geared toward pulling back the shroud that enshrines Planned Parenthood and their notorious founder Margret Sanger.

Sanger was about as hateful a woman as you could get. She was a eugenicist that believed, very similar to the Nazi party, that the best way to make sure life went forward properly in the best possible way was to control the breeding of the human population. She was akin to the modern-day fanatics that believe the earth is going to die within a generation or so if we don’t get a hold of an exploding human population. She was also a notorious racist, hater of the lower class in society, and those of religious faith. In particular, she was an ardent opponent of Christianity, and her lifestyle promoted everything that was contrary to biblical teaching. Though she is well known for promoting contraception, what she really favored was the killing of the offspring in the womb using any means necessary. The popular Plan-B pill or morning after pill, as it is sometimes called was one of her chief desires to create.

Here are a couple more works written by George Grant. The first is a biographical analysis of the famed feminist Margret Sanger who I lovingly spoke of above. The second was written on the legacy she left in her wake—Planned Parenthood. The third title is the one that I have used for this post.

    • Grant, George. Killer Angel: A Biography of Planned Parenthood’s Founder Margaret Sanger. Franklin, TN: Ars Vitae Press & The Reformed Library. 1995.
    • __________. Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood. 2nd Edition. Franklin, TN: Adroit Press. 1992.
    • __________. Third Time Around: A History of the Pro-Life Movement from the First Century to the Present. Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt Publishers. 1991.

I would highly recommend that you read all three ( Again, Available Here)if you are at all interested in learning the history of the Pro-Life movement from a purely Christian perspective. Which I believe is the only consistent and effective way to address the murder of babies in the womb; as, it is gospel-centered and unabashedly unashamed of identifying sin and the only remedy found in the life-giving sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord.


ENDNOTES:

[1] George Grant, Third Time Around: A History of the Pro-Life Movement from the First Century to the Present (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt Publishers, 1991), 1-2.  Italics in original.

[2] All Scripture unless otherwise noted shall be of the English Standard Version (ESV).

[3] Ibid, 2-3.

[4] Ibid., 4.

[5] Ibid., 4.

[6] Ibid., 95.

[7] Ibid., 91. Italics in original.

[8] Ibid., 91.

[9] Ibid., 92.

[10] Ibid., 92.

[11] Ibid., 92. Quoted in Marvin Olasky, the Press and Abortion, 1838-1988 (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 1988), 26.

[12] Ibid., 95. Italics in original.

[13] Ibid., 96. Quoted in James Macaulay, Current Heroes: Examples of Faith for our Time (New York: American Tract Society, 1879), 42. Italics in original.

[14] Ibid., 96.

[15] Ibid., 97.

[16] Cf. pp. 97-100.

[17] Ibid., 100.