Like the rest of the country, I’ve been following the Trayvon Martin case and trying to make sense of it all. And like everyone else, I initially made some pre-judgments of my own based on the small bit of information fed to me through the mainstream media, which has been grossly misleading in its portrayal of both Martin and Zimmerman. Once again, the media has manipulated our emotions and painted a picture of the worst kind, intentionally meant to heighten racial tensions during this already racially hostile political season. The implication of racism is so powerful, that the race baiters and political predators, like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, are using Martin’s death for political gain. Even the President himself—Obama—couldn’t resist the temptation to invoke race in his analysis of the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman incident, citing that “If I had a son, HE WOULD LOOK LIKE Trayvon.”
If only the media could have its day in court because it is responsible for continually inciting racism among both blacks and whites. On one hand, the mainstream media continually portrays blacks as violent criminals, evoking fear and distrust of black people among white Americans. On the other hand, the media often depicts blacks as victims of white racist police brutality, of course inciting anger, hostility, and distrust of white people and police among blacks. We know all blacks are not violent criminals and all white police are not racist, but these stories, whether they be true or not, make for the best news and biggest television and newspaper ratings. I say, shame on the media for its part in hindering race relations in America, and shame on us for allowing the media to play on our worst fears for profit.
Concerning the death of Trayvon Martin, I believe that this story is tragic for all involved. Martin’s mother and father have lost their son to violence, and Zimmerman took a human life. The crossing paths of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin have changed many lives forever. Because of this senseless tragedy, a community is heartbroken and people all over the country are divided on this issue. I grieve with the mother of Martin, and the rest of Martin’s family and friends. I hope and pray that they find peace, and their hearts are comforted as they seek answers to all of their questions.
As well, I hope and pray that Zimmerman is not unfairly tried in the court of public opinion, and that for his sake and for all’s sake that truth and justice prevails—whatever that truth may be. I hope and pray that Zimmerman’s friends, his parents, his wife and his children are safe, regardless of the outcome of this debacle; they have already become targets of rage, as organizations such as the New Black Panthers have given a $10, 000 dollar incentive for serious harm to come to Zimmerman and his family when they put out a bounty on “the man who shot Trayvon Martin”—George Zimmerman.
Yet, this tragedy is not unlike any other. Trayvon Martin’s die every day! Thanks to organizations like Planned Parenthood, many Trayvon Martin’s are killed right in their mother’s womb at the hands of abortion doctors in clinics all over America. As of yet, no arrests have been made. Many Trayvon Martins are killed in the streets from stray bullets as a result of gang wars. No arrests. Many senseless deaths and killings of black, white, brown, and yellow Trayvon Martin’s every day. To blacks, are we so sensitive towards race and desensitized to violence that only the perception of racism can motivate us to march against violence? It seems so.
This case is still being investigated and facts are coming out day by day. Until Zimmerman’s day in court, I pray that calm heads prevail. I pray for the healing of our nation and call on the violence to stop. Let us not only be outraged at the death of Trayvon Martin, but every life that is senselessly taken. From the womb to the tomb, every life is precious.
by Providence Crowder
Just what are us Christians really saying when we proclaim that “we are defending traditional marriage?” Is marriage even ours to defend? The answer is yes. If we seek the Bible, our answers are found in Genesis-the written account of the origins of creation. Unlike alleged by secular groups, the creation account in the Bible is not a myth. Myths, such as the evolutionary myth, seek truth but they start with false suppositions. To trust in a myth such as evolution takes an extreme amount of blind faith, as confirmed by evolutionists most trusted sources—science and reason—which indicate that it is impossible to prove the origins of mankind. It is unknowable because it has not been observed and cannot be tested; man can merely make assumptions or “educated” guesses as to the true purposes and origins of life and humankind. Yet God declared in the Bible that we can know truth—his Word is truth—and God’s truth is verifiable and reliable. The Bible declares that “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that men are without excuse” (‘Rom. 1:20).
The Bible has reliable external evidences such as secular writings that confirm historical biblical persons and places existed (ex. Josephus, Roman Governor Pliny the Younger, Roman historian Tacitus ), artifacts that also confirm historical places and dates, and early manuscripts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls which verify that the Bible we have today has not been altered. Besides reliable external evidence, the Bible’s internal evidence gives more credence that the Bible is a valid and reliable historical document. Even so, we do not examine Scripture purely as historical inquiry, as Thomas C. Oden has noted; but rather, Scripture examines us. In dozens of instances, the Bibles authors testify that what they have written is “Word of the Lord.” The Holy Spirit confirms to believers that the Bible is the Word of God just as Scripture has claimed: “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth” (Jn. 16:13).
Furthermore, the Bible foretells of historical events with accuracy and its 40 or so authors document both eyewitness and divinely revealed events of a span covering more than 1500 years—yet it maintains perfect unity. It has withstood the test of time and fierce criticism. No other book tells of man’s creation, fall, and redemption. No other book reveals man’s purpose, his future, and his fate. The Holy Spirit, while convicting the world of sin, assures the believer that the Bible is God’s Word.
If the starting point to answer life’s complex questions do not begin and end with God, man’s answers will always be assumptions and guesses . . . seeking truth but never knowing truth. Secularists who deny the truth claims of the Bible make the Bible no less credible—no less credible than someone denying that the continent of Africa exists because they have never seen it, been there, or experienced it. Overwhelming evidence proves Africa exists!
No source but God can justly determine good from bad and right from wrong. Science, though it helps us understand how God’s created things function in nature, it gives us no answers on how they OUGHT to perform. For example, science cannot tell us that it is wrong for an adult to have a sexual interest in a three year old child. Pedophilia is an issue of morality. It is up to every individual to both trust and believe what God says—the alternative is to believe the misguided moral opinions of men and their flawed judgments. So when we look to questions such as, what is marriage? Man can only offer guesses and assumptions; God offers truth.
So, just what does the Bible say about marriage? Biblical marriage is a lifelong divine covenant between a man and woman, before an almighty God, that is consummated upon the act of sex. God commanded the man and his wife to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and rule over it” (Gen. 1:28). Man and his wife were joined for that purpose. The whole concept of marriage is of God. Marriage is an act of God’s love for his creation; it is his gift to mankind—for companionship, for procreation, for nurturing children, and to reflect Christ’s love for his Church, to the glory of God. Marriage was his idea, so all knowledge and understanding as to the purposes of the marriage covenant come from God.
So why design marriage anyways if it doesn’t fulfill the lusts of every man? What sinful man would conceive in his mind that marriage is desirable or even good? Well, Genesis reports that God instituted marriage at the beginning of human history–before the sin entered the world through the fall, before the Mosaic Law, “before the establishment of cities, nations, courts of law, or any human laws. It comes before any institution in any society, and it is foundational to the establishment of any society.” Throughout time marriage has been transformed into a socio-legal contract between consenting persons and the state because generally, men and women desire to be married; but most would rather bypass accountability and obedience to a holy God with rules and laws asserting that some intimate relationships between persons are wicked and abominable to him.
The Biblical picture of marriage perfectly depicts Christ’s love for his Church. This is the great mystery that Paul the Apostle speaks of when addressing the church at Ephesus:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish but holy and blameless.. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:22-32).
Marriage, even among believers, has been corrupted by sinful lusts. Men and women desire sexual relationships other than prescribed by God. Instances of divorce, adultery, and fornication are high, even among Christians. Yet God’s standard remains whether we adhere to it or not. God has revealed the end result of those who persist in sexual immorality:
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:24-31
Throughout both covenants in the Bible, the old and new, God had been merciful to us sinners and made provisions to deal with our sins, such as sexual immorality. For example, though stoning of adulterers was required under the old law, Jesus—the Word made flesh—prevented the stoning of an adulteress woman under the new covenant and told her to go and sin no more. Although adultery remained a sin, Jesus had put aside the practice of stoning and instead preached faith, repentance, and warned of eternal judgment. And he offered himself as the atoning sacrifice for our sins—“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).
God has instilled within man a God-consciousness, a sense of purpose, a self-worth, a desire to be loved . . . Men are more than evolving cosmic accidents with no purpose for living other than to exist, survive, and die. Man has a purpose, and that purpose and destiny is rooted in Christ. God has made clear through Scripture what marriage is, and he has given us a depiction in the marriage union of the type relationship that Christ has to his own body—the Church. Just as the Church is joined to Christ, a husband is joined to his own wife, and what God has joined together, let man not separate (Mk. 10:9).
Many of the social contracts and arrangements—some call them marriages—that have been adopted through the ages profane what God has made beautiful and holy. Governments and nations that have rejected God, and have rejected his words as authoritative in moral decision making, have instead erected their own marriage laws and definitions that coincide not with God, but with cultural trends, self-interests, and popular opinions. Yet the marriage covenant is documented in Scripture as predating both the State and the Church, so one wonders why governments and peoples deem they have the authority to redefine something that was never theirs to define.
Because of our sexual immorality, children are born out of wedlock, disease is spread, guilt reigns, and we reap judgment upon our souls. The good news is: God has made a provision to deal with our sins, those such as sexual immorality, and that provision is Jesus Christ—“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Cor. 5:21). Through his atoning blood, we do not have to bear the shame and penalty for our sins, such as adultery and fornication. We were bought with a price—that is why we glorify God with our body and spirit, which belong to God (1 Cor. 6:20), by rejecting those things that God calls wicked.
Whether we believe or not, God still reigns and his Word is still true. So, marriage doesn’t need defending as if it has changed in any way, because marriage is still what it always has been. But because the god of this world, Satan the great deceiver, would have people ignorant, the Church has a responsibility to proclaim God’s truths and defend God’s word against satanic attacks. Matrimony remains a Christian doctrine as it has through the ages. Therefore Christians, again and again should boldly proclaim the truth concerning marriage. Marriage is much more than a social contract, it is a sacred bond; a uniting, and a joining of a husband to his wife by God and only because of God . . . it is a way in which we bring glory and honor to our creator.
1. Gary Demar, God and Government: A Biblical, Historical, and Constitutional Perspective (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2011).
2. Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis: Book 1 (Green Forest, Ar: Master Books, 2006).
3. Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis: Book 2 (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2008).
4. New Bible Commentary, eds., D.A. Carson, R.Y. France, J.A. Motyer, G.J. Wenham (Downers Grove, Il: InterVarsity Press, 2008).
5. Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010).
6. The Apologetics Study Bible, Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith, eds., T. Canbal, C. O. Brand, E. R. Clendenen, P. Copan, J.P. Moreland (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003).
I thank God that my mother was pro-life! I am the oldest of four children and I was born a year after Roe v. Wade was the law of the land. Had my mother not valued life, I may have never been and my story would never have been known. She could have legally killed me in the year of my birth; she fit perfectly the profile of the modern day baby killer—a poor, uneducated, black woman living in the inner-city. My mother and father separated before I was four, so I have a scant recollection of them being together. What I do recall is my mother struggling to make ends meet. I remember us being on welfare, and getting food stamps and government cheese . . . oh how delicious those grilled government cheese sandwiches were, mmmm!
I remember occasionally looking into a bare refrigerator; I remember some winter nights sleeping in a cold house after the gas man shut off the heat for non-payment; I remember enduring the shame of going to the corner store with food stamps and trying to exit before any of my friends saw me—kids in those days cruelly mocked those on welfare—welfare was a dirty word. We had very little material wealth, we were poor and broke . . . but my siblings and I knew we were loved. We didn’t have much cash, so my mother got creative in order to get other items she wanted but couldn’t afford. I recall going to the corner store at various times throughout the day to break one dollar food stamps by purchasing penny and nickel candy until my mother had enough change to buy her Newport 100 cigarettes. If you’ve ever been on welfare, you’d understand. I was taught at a young age that with some effort, the government system could be manipulated.
Thankfully, it was too much effort for my mother! She found it difficult to support a smoking habit on welfare and she found it even more difficult to support a family—those were the days before welfare became a competitive sport. I am grateful that welfare was so uncomfortable and unpleasant, and degrading, that my mother was extremely discontent in her impoverished condition. As well, she believed that God was not pleased that she had strayed from her Christian faith. Resultantly, she rededicated her life to Christ and went back to school. Through hard work and by God’s grace, she escaped the poverty trap—and she eventually quit smoking!
I watched in amazement as my mother persevered. She attained her GED and went on from there to complete her college degree. After a few bumps in the road, she landed a pretty good job and has not looked back since. Only in America could such a narrative be achievable. My mother told me that caring for my siblings and I gave her a reason to press on when she felt like giving up on life. Knowing that she had a responsibility to love, feed, and care for us, she says saved her life. She was poor, but she never considered aborting us as an option. Her belief in God gave her the conviction that abortion was wrong; it went against God’s very law, “you shall not commit murder.” My mother instilled her Christian values and strong work ethic in us, her children. Her story is the story of many men and women in this country who have struggled to raise children in poverty rather than see their posterity destroyed for mere convenience.
Why then, if poverty is not the end all, do abortion proponents make poverty a central argument to support their position? They use fear tactics to coerce women into committing unimaginable acts. It is this trumped up fear that often drives a women to make the decision to abort her child—a daunting fear—fear of the unknown, fear of their children growing up in poverty, fear of a lifelong responsibility, and many other fears. As a Christian, I have a responsibility to tell these women the truth! I have an obligation to stand against the sin of abortion and I do not deny the political ramifications of my stance. I recognize that Christianity is a political power as much as it is a religious rite because “Democracy is not served by silence.”
How in America, did we reach such a moral regression that the mass murder of unborn children does not even raise an eyebrow but on the contrary is celebrated as “choice.” Bad law, the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade is what essentially denied unborn children personhood, making them the property of the mother, and led to the “legal” murdering of millions of unborn children in the past quarter century. Pope John Paul II spoke out against abortion. He basically said that the new cultural climate had made crimes against unborn children exempt from punishment because these crimes had become State sanctioned legal rights of individuals. Even more shocking, these crimes would be committed with the assistance of health-care professionals and health-care systems. He rightly asserted that the Church should not be silent concerning their opposition to abortion laws.
So what Roe v. Wade did in denying unborn children personhood, it denied them basic civil rights and protection under the law from violence and murder from their mother and her doctor should the mother determine that for socioeconomic or health reasons, her child was unwanted. The same exact thing happened with bad law, 1857 Dred Scott v. Sanford, which denied blacks their citizenship and claimed that they were property of the slaveowner, and that blacks had no rights that the courts had to respect. Wow! In denying blacks their personhood, they had no basic civil rights and protection under the law from violence and murder from their slaveowners if their slaveowner determined that for socioeconomic or other reasons, the slave was no longer wanted or needed. Sounds similar?
Just as the unborn are now, blacks in America and Jews in Nazi Germany were once denied the right to life. What group will be next? We should all be concerned when mere men can determine which groups of people have the right to live and which do not. As a Christian, I have a duty to protect the most vulnerable in society, the defenseless—namely the unborn and others—from those who do not value their life but will change definitions and terms and make even the possibility of poverty, which all humans face, a reason for the termination of their life. God places a value on our life; it’s a dangerous thing when we try and play God.
The notion that the unborn is a human being is not a religious assertion but a biological fact. They are no different than you and I except for size and development. By design, God chose the woman’s body as the vehicle in which all humans should enter this world. The “fetus” growing inside of the woman is not an extension of the woman’s body so that she could argue: it’s my body to do what I please. The baby is a separate and new life with its own body and soul—a body that is properly nourished for growth and prepared for independent living through the care of the mother. Yet some reckon that because the mother provides the shelter, she can at any time decide terminate her child and have her child violently ripped from her womb—the mother’s womb use to be the safest place on earth. But the child’s father has no such right. If a father killed his unborn child, all agree that he is a murderer. America cannot be looked upon as a free and civilized nation when we do not recognize and value the basic right to life of every individual.
Scott Klusendorf, in his book, the Case for Life, raises the most pointed arguments for abortion. He asserts that some people claim that we shouldn’t force our views on others. Would we say such a thing if someone wanted the right to choose to kill toddlers? Some argue their right to privacy. If I had a two year old toddler, may I kill him as long as I do it in the privacy of the bedroom? Some argue that poor woman cannot afford to raise children. When human beings get expensive, may we kill them? Or some argue that when a woman is raped, the baby is a painful reminder of the worst kind of violence against her. True indeed, and with compassion we should care for the victim. But how should a civil society treat innocent human beings who remind us of painful events. Should we kill them so we can feel better?
If the unborn are part of the human family, like toddlers, we should not kill them to make us feel better. It’s better to suffer evil then inflict it. Sometimes the right thing to do is not the easy thing to do. Some say that government shouldn’t get involved in our personal decisions. Can you imagine, even for a moment, suggesting such a thing in the instance of child abuse? If the unborn are in fact human, then abortion is the worst kind of child abuse imaginable. Some say that women would be forced to get dangerous back-alley abortions if abortion was restricted or made illegal. If the unborn are human then you are arguing that some people will die while attempting to kill others so the state should make it safe and legal for them to do so.
I pose a final question for pro-choice advocates. In the words of Klusendorf, “Why does the high number of abortions trouble you? After all, if abortions do not take the lives of defenseless human beings, why worry about reducing the number? If the unborn are not human, killing them through elective abortion requires no more justification than having your tooth pulled or tonsils removed, or removing an unwanted wart. However, if the unborn is a human being, killing him or her to benefit others is a serious moral wrong. I support a woman’s right to choose a variety of things. But some choices are wrong, like killing innocent human beings simply because they are in the way and cannot defend themselves. “ This is my case for life.
 John Henry Newman, The Triple Function of the Church, 3rd ed. (National Institute for Newman Studies, 2007), under “Preface to the Third Edition,” chap. 4, The Newman Reader (accessed November 15, 2011).
 “Living the Gospel Life: Challenge to American Catholics a Statement by the Catholic Bishops of the United States,” National Right to Life, http://www.nrlc.org/news/1998/NRL12.98/Gospel.html (accessed November 16, 2011).