Get free email updates as I write new articles:

From Auschwitz to the Pasadena Planned Parenthood Affiliate: Our Culture of Death Continues

Crematorium at Auschwitz

Last night, I caught a few minutes of a History Channel show about Auschwitz, where 1.1 million Jews were essentially murdered systematically by the Nazi regime in occupied Poland. The picture in this article is of the ovens, which remain as you see them as a memorial to those who died. Shelly Palmer wrote a detailed piece on Huffington Post about the technology of the holocaust as highlighted at Birkenau. The holocaust was an atrocity that should never be repeated on this planet.

One of the more unpopular things to do, today, is to compare abortion to the holocaust. But I can’t help thinking of the similarities, especially in terms of the technologies used to exterminate a defenseless portion of humanity. In Auschwitz, it was ovens and gas chambers. In abortion-providing clinics across America, it is the ultrasound-guided precision murder and subsequent removal of babies from their mothers’ wombs.

UPDATE: Let me address the issue of comparing abortion to the holocaust, which really seems to raise the ire of those on the pro-choice side and evoke plenty of “how dare you” responses. The world today has erected a multitude of museums and monuments to the holocaust. We’ve done the same to mark the genocide of Native Americans, slavery, and plenty of other atrocities. Why? So that we can learn. So that we will look back and draw, not complete comparisons, but lessons about how we ought to protect the sanctity of all human life, at all cost. My personal hope is that someday, this modern holocaust will be behind us and we’ll erect a monument to memorialize the millions of lives lost. In other words, no apologies here for making this partial comparison. We ought to have learned from this horrid tendency to victimize the most defenseless for our own gain.

We are still cold. We are still calloused. And we’ll still eliminate sixty million people from our population, before they ever see the light of day, to keep life the way we’d prefer it to be for ourselves.

[Read more…]

Invincibility: Life or Death… I’m Good

Paul went from persecuting the church to being a persecuted apostle of the church. After his arrest in Jerusalem, during his first imprisonment, he wrote a letter to the Philippians in which he boldly declared this short but profound line…

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (1:21)

In other words… “If I live, I get to be all about Christ. If I die, I get to be with Christ, so either way, I’m good.” Here’s the thought that hit me – Paul was pretty much invincible at this point. Kill him and he’s with Jesus. Let him live and he’ll just live for Jesus. You can’t really hurt Paul.

I can think of plenty of things that could hurt me. Take away all my money, my time, or worse yet, take away my family and I’d be hurting. But I’d only hurt temporarily, or physically, or emotionally. Eternally? I’m good. We’re good. I won’t take money home with me and my family will meet me there.

Let me ask you an extremely important question… if someone took your life, would they be hurting you? If they let you live, would that cause pain for you too? Or are you firmly grounded and settled in an eternally secure relationship with Jesus?

As far as eternity is concerned, I’m invincible. Seems like I’ve always wanted that special power!

Meekness is the Leverage of Leadership

In today’s world, meekness = weakness. God does not view it that way, however. The Bible says of Moses,”Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3) And in a world where power is everything, Jesus entered the scene in a wooden manger surrounded by barnyard animals. He grew up in an humble village, the son of a carpenter, of modest means. He lived His life serving others, yet Jesus was certainly the most influential leader in all of history.

If you study the lives of Moses and Jesus you’ll find something interesting – they were both great leaders. Both were willing to boldly confront sin and error. Both would rebuke those who believed and lived lies. Both were willing to venture out into the future with faith. Yet they were the meekest men in history. How can this be? You see, we’ve misdefined meekness. Biblical meekness is not weakness, it is really just the opposite.

The Bible’s word for meekness is used in reference to a broken horse, which has all the power to destroy its rider but refrains out of respect for authority. The word is also used to refer to a soldier who has all the might to take on the enemy, yet submits himself completely to the authority of his commanding officer. Meekness is the key to having leverage in leadership. It’s the refusal to demand respect in exchange for commanding it with a life of integrity. It is “controlled power.” Meekness is the willingness to supress those urges to lash out at the wrong time, opting instead to wait for further orders from our commanding officer, Jesus.

Is meekness displayed in your life? How can you submit yourself to Jesus more today? How can you lead others with boldness and courage?

The Gospel Transforms the Real Lives of Real People

In Western culture, we tend to be compartmentalists, which explains why we take our religion and put it in a box all week and take it out only when we engage in some kind of ritual such as attending church weekly, or maybe annually. We live on the mistaken assumption that the gospel is all about an event that happened a couple thousand years ago to a man named Jesus who is somewhat irrelevant to our modern technological age.

The gospel revealed in the Bible, however, is a gospel that transcends time and culture and transforms us at every level, in every area of our lives. When Paul wrote to the Colossian church about the good news of Jesus, he said, “It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.” And he went on to say, “We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit.”

The gospel is changing lives… Understanding it affects how you live… The gospel allows us to bear fruit in life… The Bible is pretty clear that the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins not only makes us right with God but also makes us live differently. The truth and grace of God give us a new ethical and moral foundation, but more importantly, a new heart.

So let the gospel convince you. And let it convert you. And let it change your life from the inside out.

Before God Formed You In the Womb

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations—that’s what I had in mind for you.” So said God to a young prophet named Jeremiah once (Jeremiah 1:5 MSG). While these words were spoken in a particular context to a particular person, there are powerful principles we can draw out for a deeper understanding of God and His purposes.

God is God, and I am not. I’m limited by time and space, a minuscule amount of knowledge of the universe, and a tendency to do the wrong thing, none of which characterizes God. Sometimes I need a reminder that I’m not Him. And the bigger He is to me, the better equipped I am to handle life.

God is also far more than an impersonal, almighty force. He’s personally involved in the affairs of mankind and the creation of each and every person on earth. He knits us and forms us in the womb with tremendous care. We are unique individuals, hand-crafted with purpose in every detail. And even our flaws are characteristics God can use in surprising ways.

And further, God knows our lives. He knows our thoughts, our intentions and motives, and our futures. He’s intimately aware of our personalities whether we are aware of His or not. Long before we meet Him, He’s preparing to cultivate in us a new, clean heart. And if we will yield to Him, He can use us to influence our worlds in ways we haven’t even imagined yet.

Before God formed you in the womb, He knew all about you. And He has a purpose for you and longs for you to approach Him to discover it.