Friday, February 23, 2007

Miracle Baby Amillia Sonja Taylor

Amillia Sonja Taylor was born at one day under twenty-two weeks, the shortest known gestation period for a live human birth. Born at less than ten ounces and roughly the length of a ball point pen, she was born by C-section. Given little chance to live, Amillia amazed doctors when mom and dad, Eddie and Sonja Taylor took her home Thursday, February 22.

She was delivered early due to complications her mother was experiencing and MSNBC reports that:
...if doctors had known Amillia’s real gestational age, they might not have intervened. He said he thought she was at least 23 weeks, and doctors were shocked when the Taylor's fertility specialist pinpointed the exact date of fertilization.
Her gestational period was first pinpointed at twenty-three weeks, but after specialists examined her they more accurately judged her gestation at twenty-one weeks and six days. The typical legal limit for an abortion is twenty-four weeks and this has put abortion in the spotlight. Thanks to advancements in medical care and neonatology, Amillia is the youngest baby to survive such an early delivery.

This has prompted a debate among medical doctors on the viability of a baby at twenty-two weeks. Normal deliveries take place between 37-40 weeks. Amillia went home healthy at 4 1/2 pounds and 15 1/2 inches spending four months, nearly the remainder of her gestation, in the neonatal intensive care unit.

The laws will not change without a lengthy debate, but the evidence is irrefutable; a baby at less than the legal limit for an abortion is thriving now, healthy, and at home. Should therefore, the laws be changed in light of this miracle baby? Follow the MSNBC link to see pictures of Amillia at birth and on the day she went home.

(HT: Doug Phillips)

39 comments:

selahV said...

Tony: The laws should have been changed years ago. However, in light of little Amellia and the sitting judges on the U.S.Supreme court, God may have set His own precedent for the argument before the Justices, don't you think? Amazing Grace! Love that picture.
SelahV

Tony said...

Selah V,

I agree. I pray this causes some new thinking on this issue. I know that abortion will never be abolished completely, but there is just too much wrong-headed thinking regarding it. The new 3-D ultrasounds and now this little miracle proves much.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cameron Cloud said...

It's interesting that when the Roe v. Wade decision was made, pro-choice supporters were angered because it set a date of viability. They feared that in the future, as medical advances were made, the date of viability would continue to be moved earlier and earlier.

I pray they are right. I'm also hopeful that through stories like this and the modern ultr-sound technology, popular opinion will begin to turn on this issue.

Thanks for sharing this.

Streak said...

Abortion is that thorny issue. In the 19th century, churches were largely silent on the issue. Most of the opposition was from doctors, and much of that was probably in opposition to the horrible ways that women did this to themselves. But throughout that century, women increasingly sought more autonomy and separate identity, as well as some level of control over their own bodies--in a very literal sense. I am not completely sure that technology will answer that question.

Tony said...

Cameron,

Part of the abortion debate is determining what is viable and what isn't. It spans all ends of the spectrum. Of course I believe as the majority of Southern Baptists that life begins at conception.

However, you have ethicists like Peter Singer (Princeton) who argue that life does not begin until one can make a rational decision. Under his umbrella you could terminate a life up to six years old. I do not think he would advocate that but that is where his argument logically leads.

Streak,

No, technology will not answer the ethical/philosophical questions of abortion nor will it adequately address reproductive choice.

However, I do think baby Amillia's case ought to raise society's consciousness about this issue. Also, the attitude of her parents ought also to speak volumes to society as well. Babies at Amillia's gestational age have been aborted (though I don't think the discussion here is viability but rather choice).

Moreover, ultrasound has dissuaded many women from having an abortion. And, Cameron is right, there was an outcry over viability--simply because if it can be established that what the woman is carrying is not human, then it is perfectly acceptable to destroy it.

Nevertheless, abortion, the thorny issue it is, is not going to be eradicated anytime soon.

selahV said...

Tony and Cameron: I believe technology will eventually win more than we are absolutely losing at this moment due ignorance. Had this technology to show the baby in the womb many years ago, then there would not have been a Roe vs. Wade and woman would still have the right to choose what they did with their bodies back then. They chose, they chose to mutilate themselves at the expense of destroying a child. Then they chose backroom abortionists whose filthy blades and soiled hands to rid themselves of unwanted babies and the inconvenience of responsibility. They chose quinine and drugs of all kinds to induce premature labor--very often none of them worked. They chose. They had the right to obey or disobey the law of the land, just as women today can use the law of the land to break God's law. Neither way washes the guilt, sin or consequence from their choices.
Laws that allow abortion to be legal doesn't sterilize the blades nor scrub clean the innocent blood shed by those having abortion or those performing them.

Laws do not produce morality. Morality produces laws. God is the ultimate absolute Moral Authority and Law. The Supreme Court may, with God's Devine Intervention, change the laws of man. I do hope so. Until then we must continue to pray for all hearts to come to know Jesus. We must do all we can to help the Pregnancy Resource centers which offer prenatal ultrasounds to young women who are considering abortion. In our town that viewing for women has turned their initial plans from destruction to preservation. Speakers in the school systems have helped to educate. And I would dare say that a science class that offered visible ultra-sounds of women to young teens would also help.

I realize that abortion will probably go on till Jesus returns, but until then we must be the voice for those who have none. And we may not save all, but we may save some. Great post. SelahV

Streak said...

I think I should probably leave this conversation to you all. I am the most uncomfortable pro-choice person you will ever meet, but can't quite get past the issue of the woman's autonomy and individuality. Moreover, I would be far more comfortable with the discussion, as Tony and I have discussed, if we could focus on those efforts to reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions at the same time we focussed efforts to improve the lives of those who are born.

In other words, I believe I would have more respect for the pro-life side if the entire discussion of infant mortality--a category where we are near the bottom of industrialized nations. No big thorny philosophical issues; no discussions of viability--just resources and pre and post natal care.

What's more, I have no idea what to do, with all due respect to Selah, with the notion of "God's Law" in this respect. I believe as well and think there is much to be said about abortion from a Christian perspective, but am not sure how that is clearly God's law.

selahV said...

Streak: Oh no, do not leave the discussion. It is imperative to have folks like you who have these kinds of views and questions interact and converse in a non-combative forum of communication.

Please help me understand what it is about God's Law that you find hard to digest. And also, how abortion can be seen through the Christian perspective. thanks, selahV

Tony said...

SelahV,

You do have a flair for the dramatic and colorful, don't you? :)

You are right, we must continue to be a voice for those that have none, but I also think that includes more than the unborn, which unfortunately, too many politicians, etc. have ground their teeth over and spent campaign rhetoric while unborn babies continue to die.

I am persuaded there is a much, much more reasonable way to approach the issue than just "stamp it out, stop it now," which is where most conservatives immediately go.

You and I both know that is not possible and in an ideal world, no, there would be no abortions. But we don't live in an ideal world; that is yet to come. :)

However, there are gracious steps we can take to reduce the numbers of abortions. Streak is correct; the US is at the bottom of the list when it comes to infant mortality in industrialized nations. Regardless of the fact that the US is one of the most medically advanced countries in the world and we have more NICU's than any other country, children are still dying, notwithstanding abortion!

And these children were children of minorities and disadvantaged groups. What does that tell us? As long as your baby is white and you have reasonably good insurance, you will get quality care.

The reality is that abortions actually went down during the Clinton administration. Under Bush, they have plateaued. Fighting abortion is more than political rhetoric and campaign strategy to get conservative values-voters. The Bush administration has notoriously ignored the poor and disenfranchised.

The ultrasounds have been a step in the right direction; there is nothing wrong with more information or evidence. Technology will not solve the entire problem but prayerfully it will raise consciousness.

I also think parents are not involved in their kids' lives anymore. The bottom line is Christian kids are having sex and parents are too naive (or stupid) to notice.

"Not my kid!" Well, of course your kid. I've seen it, lived it, ministered to it, watched families flame out under it; I'm sure you have too. Christian girls are having abortions, too. Where is the church in this?

Streak,

Don't leave now, it would be no fun without you. :)

Uncomfortably pro-choice...I'm with you. As far as God's law and Christianity...I would like to get a few more words from you before we talk further. I want to make sure where you are coming from.

Hope you stay in the discussion.

Oh, and btw, Cameron did an interesting series of posts on the parallels between abortion and slavery not too long ago. Worth the trip over.

Streak said...

Ok, quickly as it is late. Thanks for the congenial tone--I sometimes anticipate hostility where it isn't.

My point about "God's law" is that I am not sure we can clearly identify what it is. That is where I struggle. I think you can make an argument against abortion, don't get me wrong, but I am not sure that the women who go through this often agonizing decision are violating some clear law of God.

Second, I see abortion in a historical sense of women struggling to have an identity separate from men and families. 19th century women struggled to control nearly every aspect of their sexuality. They could not deny their husband, nor did they have adequate access to birth control, and the health drain on individual women's lives was very different than it is in a modern sense. Not only that, but the way we identify and idolize children (certainly not without problems, as I am sure we all know) is also a new phenomenon. The role that children play in families, and how we see children in families is not universal. A largely economic union in the 19th century where children are somewhat of an economic gain to a 21st century where marriages are rarely about money and children are an economic cost. All of that change with biology remaining relatively constant.

And now I am starting to ramble, so I will stop for now. More later after sleep.

selahV said...

Hey Tony: Dramatic and colorful? Thank you. (I think. :)

Uh oh, I let my heart get away with me when I saw the little unborn child on your post. Just so you know where I am coming from, it is not the Republican party. It is from the perspective of a woman who has had 5 pregnancies, had only one daughter and one son born to live a somewhat long life. By God's grace, the son gave me two granddaughters and the daughter has granted me with four--2 of each, and she adopted a 5th who is a girl and about to deliver her first child.

By your responses, I may have left the impression that I am far-right on this issue. I tend to see myself not as far-right or close-left but simply right. :) Politicians, I'll leave to you. Most politicians use the unborn and the folks who want to save the unborn as their stepping stone to Congress or the front door of the White House. I do not trust most of them. I intermingled with many of them while I owned a newspaper during the Clinton reigns. I was one of the Christians who was taken in by him and feel quite let down for the one-time vote I gave him. He won't get a second.

I give tremendous credit where credit is due, and I dare say if voices today had been heard during the Roe vs. Wade era, millions more babies would be alive. And the baby boomers wouldn't be as great a threat to the Social Security System that they are now, due to the decrease in actual cash being deposited from the babies who never made it to earth to live, let alone get a job.

As to the rest of the world and how America fits in, I can only speak for me. I think we who want to, try. I am grateful for the people who continually politicize this atrocity in third world countries, although I am not grateful for their fingers pointing at all Americans as the root cause for it. I point a few fingers at the political systems in those third world countries which deny Christian people access to help them, steal money and food from the people that US dollars send, and crush the overall spirit of their people with agendas built on their self-serving wealth and power.

Perhaps, I am a bit biased in my views regarding pro-choice. Had my mother had her way and the attempts she made succeeded, neither my elder brother or I would be here to speak on the behalf of some. I'm not an idealist, Tony. I am a realist (in my sense of the word). I have ministered to many of the children who do not abort their babies, and to children and women who have aborted their babies. Christ's blood covers both sins. And sins they are. For one sin does not bear forth purity, it bears more sin. The first is sex outside of marriage. The second is the choice of what to do about the results of the first. The worst is the stigma a child or woman must live with as a result of making the right choice with the second.

I agree with Streak, many Christian folk do not realize how many of their children are succumbing to the pressures of society and abandoning their very selves to promiscuous living. Many have been desensitized to the sexual temptations which permeate the fashion world, the theaters and the advertizing world. Sex sells and it has sold our children and we adults a bill of goods I doubt we will ever have enough money to pay for. Indebted we are to our choices. Enslaved by our own freedoms.

Tony, I apologize if I've said anything too colorful. I find Streak and you to be very informed and pray my words do not inflame but light a candle of interest. I have my own agenda. Jesus and only He is the Answer to all of our problems. That is the only ideal I see possible. May grace be yours and abound. SelahV

Tony said...

SelahV,

We are on the same page. Just to let you know a bit about me, I am a conservative. I have four children and am expecting number five and we have lost three. I oppose abortion. Nevertheless, all that being said, opposition in this case must be mixed with a grain of pragmatism.

I do not think I called you an idealist, but having never discussed this with you before (Streak and I have) I wanted you to know where I was coming from. Most conservatives are idealists where abortion is concerned, and that is fine.

However, idealism doesn't save babies, and I used the Bush admin as an example. Sam Brownback, Repub from KS and presidential hopeful is an idealist also, and the abortion issue is one big reason Repubs have not been able to get a sensible man in office. But where politics is concerned, I will digress.

Please understand pragmatism does not drive my ethic. There does exist a standard, but in thorny issues like abortion, absolutism has failed to save babies.

Conservatives have done too much grand-standing and moralizing after the fact to make a difference. Denouncing the sin after it has already been committed is hypocritical and at worst, just stupid.

Roe was a horrible decision, but one we must live with and minister under. And it has spawned the global gag rule, which I am not entirely conversant with. Nevertheless, it has killed more babies than it has saved.

I, like you, am very sensitive about abortion, but if we are going to reach some kind of understanding, we must think reasonably. If we were more proactive it would help; pre- and post-natal care, resources, education for those who have none, politicians with intelligence above a bag of hammers, I think it would bode much better for us.

How does the church fit in? Though you didn't ask, I feel I must offer my view. I think parents need to be educated how they have done a disservice to their children.

Yes-our kids are overtly sexualized. But what are parents doing about it? Nothing. Nothing. There is no outrage, no outcry, no ministry even in their own homes. I mean, there are RAPES in our county middle school for crying out loud!

In pushing for a focus on the family, family has been elevated to idol status and it has not served us well. Family should not be at the center; Christ should. Character formation in children is not a by-product of a system nor does it come by default because we live in America.

Character formation is intentional and unfortunately parents just don't do it.

SelahV, I have enjoyed this discussion. I hope it continues. You have not said anything out of the way. And I meant dramatic and colorful in a good way. :)

Oh, and welcome to my blog! I forgot to say that earlier and I apologize. Hope you find enough here to come back.

Streak,

I hope you have coffee before you post, too. You seem to be much more amiable after coffee. :)

As far as God's law, how about the sixth commandment?

I understand your historical analysis and I agree with it. However, given that parents in America see children differently as in say, a country like Angola, or Rwanda, how easy is it then to set a standard where abortion is concerned? Certainly each country will not have a similar standard.

Changing the line of thought: where do "rights" fit in? Pro-reproductive choice argues for a woman's right to control her body where many conservatives argue that we have no rights, having given one's life to Christ ["You were bought with a price, therefore you are not your own" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)].

How do we navigate these waters? Again we see how thorny the issue can become.

Streak said...

I am not sure about amiable, but coffee and rest do help.

My initial hesitance is just because I see such difficulty in this topic. For Selah's perspective, I am a liberal who grew up Southern Baptist and quite conservative. And, as Tony knows, I have some issues with the Southern Baptist and conservative evangelical crowd on a lot of issues. As Randall Beemer suggests, conservative evangelicals were not outraged over Roe, and the political infrastructure that now haunts (in my opinion) the church came together to support Bob Jones U's tax status with regard to race. Defending racism, rather than opposing abortion, brought the Falwells and the Robertsons into political prominence.

Like I said, I am uncomfortably pro-choice. I don't like abortion, but am not quite sure I can force a woman to bring a child to term. That is where I can comfortably go to finding those ways to work across lines to reduce abortion.

God's law. I understand what you mean by the 6th commandment, but would suggest that during the vast bulk of human history, abortion was not considered murder--because it is incredibly recent that we know what we know about development. Previous cultures didn't believe the child was alive until the "quickening." Much like homosexuality, the Bible never addresses abortion--at least as far as I know.

But for me, I think I object to the notion of "god's law" in this context because it seems a passive way to impose belief on others. "You don't disagree with me, you disagree with God" is the common usage, though not in this comment thread. But the externalization of morality is still implied in the notion. Yes, God commands us not to murder, but what does that mean? We are certainly less angry about other aspects where killing takes place. How many Iraqi babies died as a result of this "pro-life" president?

Tony said...

Streak,

I know you are right about BJU but I do see that most conservatives look at abortion as a single issue when casting their votes. I vividly remember having a conversation with a Methodist friend who said that she would not vote for any candidate who supported abortion.

Forcing a woman to bring a child to term--the case gets more thorny. Do we want to go there? You can opt out if you want. This stems from the whole issue of rights again; then we also have to discuss if the unborn have rights. In Singer's view, no.

Do the mother's rights trump the unborn baby's rights, if indeed she has any? Thorns abound and its why I have argued that absolutism really does not help here.

I think I can be pro-life and still be conversant with pro-choice to make significant strides to make substantive differences in the lives of people. (I think Obama is doing this well.)

God's law...I think the 6th command can legitimately apply, but I also know how it is used as a cudgel against pro-choice, where there is little response against other social issues.

The fact that the Bible does not address abortion is a non-issue. There are a lot of issues that the Bible does not straightforwardly address, such as domestic violence, drug usage, and so on but inferentially we know those things are wrong. I think there are principles we can extrapolate from what is clear.

For example, if husbands loved their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5:25), there would be no domestic violence. We can infer that God would take a dim view of domestic violence because to abuse one's wife would certainly be antithetical to Christ loving the church.

There are some passages we can go to regarding abortion. There is in Exodus 21:22 the verse about a pregnant woman who is struck while two men are struggling and she prematurely gives birth. A fine is levied if the baby is delivered alive, but the law of lex talionis applied if the baby was dead.

The 6th command I believe does apply, because behind the word for murder, two things apply. (1) The victim was innocent and (2) the attacker committed the crime with malice aforethought, or it was premeditated.

Then there are verses such as Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:13-16, and Galatians 1:15 where it is clear that God has preternatural knowledge of the unborn. What can we derive from that?

Just a bit of exegesis for a wet Sunday afternoon. We are quick to apply it to abortion but like you say, less angry about it in other situations. A consistent hermeneutic is very difficult indeed.

And thanks for not bailing.

selahV said...

Tony: I find the worse disservice conservatives and liberals and for that matter moderates do disservice to many issues. But I find all conservatives seem to be painted with the same brush as do other folks who are labeled something else. The moment anyone takes an opposing view, the other takes their marbles and goes home or they start throwing them. Neither action helps the game. Neither makes time together enjoyable. I learned that one from my 4 brothers. selahV
p.s. I'm sure I'll find something worth coming back for. I like the rights issue. I'm for rights. Just not my own. I gave them to Jesus and people keep trying to make me believe I have some. They are just trying to get me back in the pigpen. I kinda like the fragrance of Lily of the Valley better. Blessings and grace. selahV

Streak said...

Tony, again I think we agree on much.

The fact that the Bible does not address abortion is a non-issue.

Actually, I agree, and only suggested that to counter some clear "God's Law" on this thorny subject. As you and I have discussed on slavery, or countless other issues, a literal reading of the Bible will not get us to where we know it is right.

That Exodus passage, however, I wonder about. I read it again after you posted this and I could swear that if the fight causes a misscarriage but does not take the life of the woman, the result is a fine. The life sentence is if the woman dies, I thought.

But then again, that chapter has an amazing list of crimes that result in death. Cursing parents get you death. But you are able to beat your slave as long as you don't kill him, because "the slave is his property." 21:20. Sigh.

:)

Tony said...

Selah V,

You will find this funny! My wife checked our email and she said, "Hey Tony, that Selah Five person left another comment on your blog."

I said, "Honey, its Selah Vee."

"Oh. I guess I should have gotten that."

I just smiled. I know when to keep my mouth shut!

It is bad when we cannot talk about issues or even be friends just because one disagrees with our position on some certain topic. My hope and prayer for my blog is that it would be an open forum and that we could all express our views without getting flamed.

Thanks for contributing to the discussion. And you do have a way with words!

Streak,

...again I think we agree on much. Strange, isn't it?

I should have been more specific regarding the Exodus passage. Many conservatives use that verse to make a distinction between a born child and unborn. I reread my comment and it was muddy.

I could make the same distinction using the NT. In Luke 1:41, "...when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb."

Luke 2:16, "the baby was lying in a manger." So the conclusion can be drawn, inferentially, that the Bible sees no distinction between a born and unborn child. The term used is also the same in the original language of the NT. The problem with the argument is obvious; it represents the limitation of language.

Your return comment also again represents something we have discussed before and that is the select dipping into the OT when it is convenient, even when there is no crystal clear word and other passages, as you have noted, potentially speak against it.

One of my friends once used the passage about OT children being stoned for habitual disobedience as a motivation for good behavior. We had a talk about that.

selahV said...

Tony: Well, slap me five! LOL. that is hilarious. And here I am thinking I'm so clever. Tell your lovely wife I think she's adorable. She's closer to the truth than she realizes, I have far more than five Selahs living inside this brain. Have her read my blogs. Most of them are linked by the "Links That Matter2Me" title. I have several to choose from. She may find something she likes.

I can't just write one a day, so I've got several going in order to satisfy the cravings in my soul to bloviate. Once in a while I get into a comment thread that interests me and it quenches my thirst for a bit.

Hey Streak: don't get all hung up on my comment, and I quote me: "God is the ultimate absolute Moral Authority and Law". If I might clarify what I mean by that statement: I make a distinction between God's law and God BEING law. The Bible is God's law, but he wrote it on the hearts of man not on tablets of stone. Originally the law was the Covenant between man and God. We blew it and still blow it today. But, God IS the ultimate Moral Authority and Law. Someday we will all stand before Him and He will make the final call on what we said and did in the flesh. So He is the Law. Of course, we may not agree on that either if we don't agree that God literally carved out the Ten Commandments for Moses. Where do you stand on that? SelahV

Streak said...

Of course, we may not agree on that either if we don't agree that God literally carved out the Ten Commandments for Moses. Where do you stand on that?

No, I don't think most of those stories from the OT are literally true. If that was your question.

selahV said...

Streak: so do we agree that God, Himself, is Law? Can you tell me what you do believe regarding the Bible? Is it just a neat book? I'm just trying to see what we may have in common before I take my marbles and go home. :) Just kidding. selahV the Fifth

selahV said...

Streak: so do we agree that God, Himself, is Law? Can you tell me what you do believe regarding the Bible? Is it just a neat book? I'm just trying to see what we may have in common before I take my marbles and go home. :) Just kidding. selahV the Fifth

Streak said...

If pressed, I will say that the Bible is an important reflection of man's search to understand God.

Is God law? I guess. But given our own failed state, I am not sure how to get to that.

selahV said...

Streak: help me out here. you said:
"Is God law? I guess. But given our own failed state, I am not sure how to get to that."
our as in man's or people you see as terribly wrong for the injustices they allow to go on?

Accepting God as God makes Him all He says He is. And even if you don't believe all the "stories" in Bible as literal, you'd have to agree that God kept his word to Abraham when he told him he'd be famous and his seed would be remembered. That is not a story. That literally has occurred, agreed?

I arrived at these conclusions by way of Jesus. His Spirit, indeed, testifies to mine. It's not some rhetoric that I listened to and didn't test out. As I applied the principles of God's Word to my life, He was ever faithful to bring about promises to me. You do know Jesus, don't you? selahV

selahV said...

Streak: help me out here. you said:
"Is God law? I guess. But given our own failed state, I am not sure how to get to that."
our as in man's or people you see as terribly wrong for the injustices they allow to go on?

Accepting God as God makes Him all He says He is. And even if you don't believe all the "stories" in Bible as literal, you'd have to agree that God kept his word to Abraham when he told him he'd be famous and his seed would be remembered. That is not a story. That literally has occurred, agreed?

I arrived at these conclusions by way of Jesus. His Spirit, indeed, testifies to mine. It's not some rhetoric that I listened to and didn't test out. As I applied the principles of God's Word to my life, He was ever faithful to bring about promises to me. You do know Jesus, don't you? selahV

Heather said...

Can I say that this is a great conversation you guys are having? I am enjoying reading everyone's statements.

I did want to ask everyone a question, though, since it hasn't been addressed ... what about the testimonies of the countless women (and men) who are in bondage physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, to their decision to abort their babies? Many, many women who have had abortions will tell you what a horrible thing it was ... and still is. In college I was pro-choice and took a friend to have an abortion. What a dark and dreary place that was ... an abortion clinic. At that place all they did was abortions and even gave discounts to people with student IDs. It was a sad place full of sad people and I'll never forget it.

What about the countless doctors that testify to its horror? You hear nothing about it in the media, but my doctor used to perform them and has horrible stories. It's not uncommon for a doctor to be in bondage to his/her decision to perform them either.

It's nieve to think that it's just a physical act. Much like the physical act from which the baby comes, there are also spiritual, emotional, psychological effects that never go away (and sometimes physical ones as well).

Jesus said He came to set the captive free and how can I in good conscious sit idly by and watch a woman make a decision and follow through with such a horribe thing, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually ... in every way it's horrible. I feel that I must do what I can to help her make the decision that will give her peace and lead to her freedom.

It's early ... I hope my thoughts came across the right way :)

~Heather

Heather said...

I just wanted to add that when I say that I feel that I must do what I can, I am not a pro-life nazi, KWIM? I am all about loving on these women who face such a hard, hard decision!

Blessings!

Streak said...

"Is God law? I guess. But given our own failed state, I am not sure how to get to that."
our as in man's or people you see as terribly wrong for the injustices they allow to go on?


It is much like truth. It exists, but we always see it through flawed eyes and through our culture and experience. God as "law" is a concept much like that. This is not just about injustice, but that we will view all of this through our own experience, culture, and history.

Accepting God as God makes Him all He says He is. And even if you don't believe all the "stories" in Bible as literal, you'd have to agree that God kept his word to Abraham when he told him he'd be famous and his seed would be remembered. That is not a story. That literally has occurred, agreed?

I don't doubt God, but I sometimes doubt those who recorded him. I certainly don't put quotes around "stories" in a derisive or dismissive way. But that doesn't make them literally true. Myths are incredibly important.

selahV said...

HEATHER: I addressed this just a tad in my earlier comment on this thread in which I said: "I have ministered to many of the children who do not abort their babies, and to children and women who have aborted their babies. Christ's blood covers both sins. And sins they are. For one sin does not bear forth purity, it bears more sin. The first is sex outside of marriage. The second is the choice of what to do about the results of the first. The worst is the stigma a child or woman must live with as a result of making the right choice with the second."

The wonderful great news is that Jesus blood covered their sins. And with His attonement He also gave us forgiveness FROM those sins and all the guilt that is attached TO those sins. I know it is a difficult thing to do, but one who has accepted Christ's saving Grace, but also forgive themselves. Unlike God, we tend to remember our trespasses. In some ways that may be part of the consequences of that trespass. However, remembering doesn't have to be painful. Jesus died to give us life abundant. He intends for us to live a sanctified life in joy and peace and love. That is why He left us His Spirit to fill us with His fruit. Jesus is the Light. We cannot live in the darkness of our past and expect to walk in our todays dragging them along behind us. We need to put aside every weight that seeks to hold us back from continuing the race and the prize set before us. And those weights are different for everyone. Some--it's pride. Others--it's bitterness, grudges and judgemental attitudes towards others. There is a pious attitude among us when we think we are better because we have not done such and such. But that same attitude is what the Lord denounced of the Publican as the tax collector beat upon his chest.

I would offer to you Heather, to remember the abortion clinic as a God-sent message to you. You obviously have taken good from the bad and have turned your remembrance into one that stirs you to serve others and help them. To those you know who are in bondage to the past--the Lord gives the same Grace to them that He does to the woman who chooses not to succumb to the pressures of aborting a baby. She must live with the consequences of her actions, but not the guilt.

God bless you, dear Heather, as you seek to be what you can be in the Kingdom of God. SelahV

selahV said...

Streak: Good day to you. Abraham being famous today is not a myth. It was recorded in God's Word and prophesied to come true. It did. It wasn't a psychic phenomenom. Many other things God said by way of the men who wrote the Bible have since been proven true. Even the lost day when God made the son to stand still. Scientist came out with this big announcement in which they said the world had at one time lost one day. And the Biblical scholars chuckled and said, yeah. It's in God's word.

I have a hard time NOT believing in every word of the Bible. I find it facinating to watch God work among the people today as He did years ago. We have the same problems we had back then and we have all the instructions and FUEL through His Spirit to maintain our engines but we still mess up at the starting gates and on the tracks of life. Why? We just gotta do it our way and test the limits of God's instruction guide. It's nothing new to Him. He's use to it. So is Nascar. That's why they have all those inspections going on all the time. And fines. And consequences. Anyway, I hope you have a great day. It is beautiful here where I am. selahV

Streak said...

Selah,

We obviously see the Bible differently. I read the OT and see where God supposedly said it was okay to beat your slaves as long as you didn't kill them. I see where he supposedly ordered the Israelites to wipe out the Amelekites and then punishes them when they don't kill them all.

I don't believe that is who God is. I don't believe in a God who commits genocide and ethnic cleansing. But I don't think I have to, either. I can believe the Bible as a flawed telling of an ancient tribal people trying to understand their world.

I hope you have a good day too. It is beautiful here, though a little cold.

Tony said...

Heather,

You are right, and that is really an argument I really did not touch on. When you add post-abortion trauma that most women experience on top of the other mounting evidence, such as baby Amillia and other technologies, the atrocity of abortion becomes apparent.

I read an article just recently in our state Baptist rag entitled "Inside the Abortion Clinic." It was borderline ridiculous, because it focused on the grim reality of the clinic itself, and not the hearts of those involved. Abortion is an atrocity; we are all agreed there.

However, the issue becomes responding in a way that is compassionate and reasonable. Some young ladies see the abortion as the only "way out." I think the church and Christians in general need to seriously rethink sexual education. There has to be a better way.

Mrs. V,

Thanks for your continued interaction here! Glad to have you. We're not so bad a bunch, are we?

Streak,

Once again, we have flown off target. We are back at the point where we usually come to; biblical authority.

I do have to admit, I have a hard time thinking through and seeing ALL the biblical texts literally. Not to long ago I posted about Scriputres I won't be preaching from on Sunday.

They were a short list about Scriptures that when taken literally don't make a whole lot of sense in contemporary society.

Nevertheless, I have to believe that they serve some purpose in God's revelation to humankind. How do we navigate these waters, though?

Granted, we don't have an example of two men fighting near a pregnant woman to see how that law would have played out; neither is there an instance where a man cursed his father and was stoned, an ox gored a man and the animal was killed, or a fortress failing to be built with adequate parapets around its perimeter.

That being said, I do think that conservatives should exercise a tad bit of theological honesty. There are principles we can conclude from these texts, but the formation of absolutes is dangerous.

I'll make one more point, hoping you have not abandoned this thread: the argument against abortion from a biblical pov does not lie in proving it wrong chapter and verse. The locus of the argument falls within the parameters of the sanctity of life. Is God interested in the unborn and if so, to what extent?

If you have not tired of the thread, we can continue the discussion.

Anyone else care to jump in?

Streak said...

I'll make one more point, hoping you have not abandoned this thread: the argument against abortion from a biblical pov does not lie in proving it wrong chapter and verse. The locus of the argument falls within the parameters of the sanctity of life. Is God interested in the unborn and if so, to what extent?

Agreed. As we discussed about slavery, a literal reading probably doesn't get rid of slavery. A literal reading does not expand the vote and legal rights to women. The broader principles have to be the guiding principle.

And that said, I completely understand opposing abortion. But like I said, I am unwilling to simply force a woman.

When it comes down to it, I find all of the very valid points that Heather and others have made useful for dissuading people from having an abortion, but ultimately difficult to simply ban it. But then again, I will be more interested in that point of view when we do the non-controversial and philosophically simple things that improve infant mortality. Otherwise, I wonder if abortion simply serves as a political wedge issue. If it were gone tomorrow, would conservative evangelicals tackle poverty? Global warming?

I may be ducking your question. I don't mean to.

Tony said...

Streak,

I may be ducking your question. If you are referring to, Is God interested in the unborn and if so, to what extent? that question was rhetorical and I wasn't looking for a specific answer from you.

I wonder if abortion simply serves as a political wedge issue. If it were gone tomorrow, would conservative evangelicals tackle poverty? Global warming?

That is why I left you that comment at your blog about Mike Huckabee and his comment in the Charlotte Observer. I believe abortion is a political wedge, but what if he is serious, even if he did steal the quote from Barney Frank (which I don't know), that "pro-life doesn't end at delivery."

How conservative attitude, rhetoric, and response would change if that was really the case.

Streak said...

Tony, I agree. I think we would be all better off if left and right came together to really address poverty and social justice. What would come out of that besides good?

selahV said...

Tony: Did I say you weren't a good bunch?
Streak: I agree, we do see the Bible differently--which makes it hard to see God the same. But that's okay. I'm long-suffering and patient. :)

On the poverty issue...Just as sin will always be part of each individuals life, "poverty will always be with us". Jesus said so. It's not how much we have, but what we do with what we have that matters. I feel we will all have to cough up a few talents at Judgement day for those we squandered instead of feeding the hungry and clothing the poor.

I particulayly like Southern Baptists approach to helpin folks in third world countries. Rather than give people the milled flour, they gave them grain, agriculture and wells. Instead of fishsticks they gave them fish to stock their streams. I don't think we are perfect by any means. But we try. Could we do more? Absolutely. Will it irradicate poverty, hunger and homelessness? Not as long as there is greed, self-centeredness and political ambitions.

We won't have a perfect world this side of heaven. And when I get to heaven I probably would ask God why He ordered the Amelekites to be killed if I didn't already trust that He knew why and I didn't need to know why. I don't know why He felt it necessary to take my 33-year-old son and leave his two little girls fatherless, but He did. And since that time, He has still been faithful to give me strength to meet the day with hope. Even though I cannot hear my son's voice or see him. I know his love is forever with me.

It's hard to understand God's ways when a person is a sold out Bible-believing Christian, too. But I've found I don't have to have all the answers to trust Him.

And you are quite right, Streak. You "can believe the Bible as a flawed telling of an ancient tribal people trying to understand their world."

But where did those ancient people come up with all that stuff?
Blessings to you, Streak. selahV

Tony said...

Streak,

In a word, yep. What if we were more concerned about making differences in the lives of people rather than promoting our own little empires?

Selah V,
Nope--you didn't. Just wanted to make sure!

I will let Streak respond--but I do feel we as Southern Baptists are sometimes on the wrong side of social issues.

How often are we in the news (besides BP) where we are being criticized for failing to address social needs beyond those that are sexual in nature, ie., abortion, homosexuality? And Southern Baptists often portray themselves as superior to other denominations.

I don't mean to open up a can of worms, but it is a significant observation I have been making for some time now.

We do not do everything right, but there are some things we can do better.

Streak said...

Selah,

Please don't think that I demand to understand all the mysteries in the Bible or the universe. I am very aware that there is much I will not understand. Nor am I expecting perfection in this earth. I am aware that we will always have poor, but would suggest that we can do much to battle it. You are right, greed and ambition are barriers to fighting poverty--and what I see in conservative evangelical thought is more embracing of both. As Tony has noted on his blog, Lifeway presents a consumerized Christianity as an alternative to Walmart. Spend, spend, spend, is the message. And, like Tony, I hear far more about sexual sins than I do anything about economic sins or poverty. Oh, I know that SBCers do a lot to feed the poor. But I fear that with their other hand they vote for politians who create more poor.

As for your own experience, I am so sorry for your personal loss. That you find grace and hope from God following that tragedy is a true testament.

Like I said, I don't expect perfection in this life, nor do I assume that I can explain all tragedies. But I think the OT story of God killing the Amelekites is a different one. Certainly, as a historian, I know that other flawed humans have used that story to justify their own killing sprees. The Puritans did it--quoting from that scripture, and so did those leading at Sand Creek. It is hard to see the God who sends Jesus as the same one who orders a massacre. Jesus seeks the one lost lamb to return to the flock--reaches out to the adulterous woman, the lepers and the poor--and God orders an entire culture wiped out?

Your last question is the easiest for me, because all cultures have formed ways of explaining their origins, and their meaning. Just in neighboring cultures, you have similar belief systems coming out of the ancient world. I can believe that, and believe that God had something to do with assisting in the translation for the Israelites.

Tony, I think the superior attitude is there as well. Of course, as a former SBCer, perhaps my bias is overwhelming there. In fact, you might be the first in sometime to not treat me with the "better that you left" mentality.

I am curious how the SBC will respond to this sexual abuse issue.

Rusty said...

I have postulated the following for many years: If it is true that no thing which is not alive can move without assistance, then life surely begins before conception since sperm swim. Laws do indeed need to change both to protect the unborn and to protect mothers and fathers who cannot cope with parenthood and seek to be relieved of it.

Tony said...

I would tend to agree with you Rusty, I'm just not so sure how to protect mothers and fathers who cannot cope with parenthood and seek to be relieved of it would work out or really, just what you mean there.

Thanks for your comment.