Christ Have Mercy
The Case For The Real Jesus
Many of the issues I will be discussing in the coming articles are sensitive to say the least. As Christians, I
think we have lost our voice in the culture on many issues, especially those in the area of sex. Much of this is our
own fault, in that we have failed to make our case in a winsome and attractive manor. But there is also an element
that is quite happy to bring out the worst representations of Christianity and highlight them. This was illustrated recently
in an exchange between Christian author and apologist Sean McDowell and a producer with CNN.
Sean has coauthored a book on same sex marriage with John Stonestreet. If you are interested in studying
this topic in depth, I highly recommend their book “Same Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for
Marriage.” He was recently asked to appear on CNN to discuss the topic. Sean agreed, and a pre-interview was set
up with the producers of the show. They asked him to explain his position, and he replied as follows:
“My position is, this is a complicated issue, we need to have compassion, we need to follow the science and we need
to make sure we settle this issue carefully.” The producer paused, looked at Sean and said “You know, you’re much
too compassionate. My director would get upset if I had you call into the show.”
As it turned out, what they wanted was someone to say “This is wrong, this is sinful and they’re going to hell.”
Sean told them if that was what they were looking for, it wasn’t going to be him saying it on air.
Sean tuned in later that night with his son to see who CNN had gotten to represent the Christian point of view
on the topic. As it turned out, they had someone from an organization called “Church Militant” represent the natural
marriage side. The producers got what they were looking for, and I’m sure the ratings were much better with the dynamic
they created for the show.
As you can see, the news is not always about solving issues, or giving an accurate representation of both
sides of an issue. As we discuss these issues going forward, I hope we are more inclined to follow Sean’s example of
how to treat both the issues and the people involved in activities they do not desire, or feel they have any control
over. While we can’t shy away from telling the truth, we can share it in love and grace. Thank you for reading, and
we’ll see you next month!
Yours in Christ,
‘We are for life, no matter the cost’
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We logged on to the Internet and Facebook yesterday (7/14/15) only to be hit with a sickening story: undercover video
footage seemingly implicating Planned Parenthood in the sale of the body parts of aborted children.
In the video, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola,
discusses how she adjusts abortion procedures to procure certain parts of a child’s body, even as she notes that “we’ve
been very good at getting heart, lung, liver.” Listen long enough, if you can handle it, and you’ll hear her suggest that
such items could eventually be listed on a Planned Parenthood “menu” for affiliate organizations to purchase for a price.
Later in the day, Planned Parenthood released a “nothing to see here” kind of statement, asserting that the discussion
was merely one revolving around a patient’s right to donate tissue, as with any medical procedure. But why does
Nucatola then mention the costs of body parts (“Thirty to one hundred dollars,” she says)? Lord, have mercy.
If what Nucatola says is, in fact, the truth, we as Christians cannot allow this story to go untold or be buried by the
media. We simply cannot remain silent while the reprehensible act of killing a child in the womb is made even worse by
selling portions of that child’s dismembered body simply because there is a market for them.
Speaking up about the shameful act of killing children — as well as harvesting their body parts — may be uncomfortable.
We may lose friends and create awkward tension at work. Our professors may mock us, and our family may roll
their eyes at us. If that is the case, so be it. Because as Lutherans, as Christians, we are for life, no matter the cost.
As Lutherans, we confess that every life has value, that it has worth, that it matters … from the moment of conception
until natural death occurs. We confess that what Nucatola calls “17-weekers” are actually children — with beating hearts
and little moving fingers and toes.
We confess that even the tiniest of humans are just that — regardless of what scientific term the culture uses to make
them seem like something less. We confess that they are created in the image and likeness of our Lord Himself. And we
confess that because of Him, their hearts and lungs and livers matter, no matter how small they might be.
We also admit our own failings in this regard. Where we have failed to speak and act for life, we repent. Where we
have not cared for mothers in crisis-pregnancy situations, we ask for forgiveness. Where we have thought more of ourselves
than giving to an organization that can assist those moms and babies, we are sorry. Where we have been apathetic
to this pandemic of death, we grieve.
But we are not without hope, because our Lord is for life too. He is so pro-life, in fact, that He has given His own life
for us, even as He has laid it down for these tiniest of children. Where their short lives are taken, He offers up His willingly.
Where their little bodies are sold, He gives His freely to us at His holy table for the forgiveness of our sins.
Today let us confess life with renewed vigor — to our friends over supper, through letters to the editor of our local
paper, by writing our congressmen, in tweets and emails to Planned Parenthood, on our Facebook pages. Let us pray
that our Lord would bring an end to abortion altogether and that He would stop the horrible sale of infant bodies. And let
us pray that He would forgive us, renew us and bolster us to make a good confession in season and out of season: one
that is always, no matter what, for life.
Rev. Bart Day, Executive Director
Life and Health Ministries
LCMS Office of National Mission