Dr. Martin Luther King On Abortion

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.In preparing for a recent book review, I re-read Dr. Martin Luther King’s amazing Letter From A Birmingham Jail. Dr. King was addressing some pastors who had advised him to slow down in his push to abolish segregation.

I believe there are some amazing parallels to what Dr. King wrote about abolishing segregation, and what many are writing and speaking about today in abolishing abortion.

Below are a few quotes from Dr. King’s Letter that I think are appropriate in the context of calling the church to not slow down in her push to abolish abortion. Just as Dr. King spoke up for the people whose voices were not being heard, we need to speak up for those children in the womb whose voices are not being heard.

I have taken the liberty to make a couple of changes in Dr. King’s original letter, to clarify how I believe he would have addressed the abortion issue. My changes are in brackets.

“You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since [many] so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of [1973 ‘legalizing’ abortion], at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: ‘How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?’ The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’ 

“Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades the human personality is unjust. All [abortion] statutes are unjust because [abortion kills an unborn] soul and [destroys a] personality. It gives the [abortionist and those who advocate for abortion] a false sense of superiority and the [aborted human baby] a false sense of inferiority. … 

“An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is a difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made it legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to [live], had no part in enacting or devising the law. …

“One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.” 

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the [murder of innocent human beings] but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.” 

“So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremist for hate or for love? Will we be extremist for the preservation of [abortion laws] or for the [saving] of [life]?” 

“I have heard many ministers say: ‘Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern.’ And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other-worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and secular.” 

“Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! how we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.” 

“There was a time when the church was very powerful—in that time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being ‘disturbers of the peace’ and ‘outside agitators.’ But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were ‘a colony of heaven,’ called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God intoxicated to be ‘astronomically intimidated.’ By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. 

“Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an arch-defender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent—and often even the vocal—sanction of things as they are.

“But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the [twenty-first] century.” 

“Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends.”

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20 Useful Maxims

Useful MaximsI thoroughly enjoyed reading Useful Maxims by Brian Ridolfi (check out my review of his book by clicking here). Here are 20 of Brian’s useful maxims that caught my highlighter.

  1. Going to church is good; going to God is better.
  2. Progress is not good if you are progressing in the wrong direction.
  3. Good demeanor does not validate bad behavior.
  4. Broken commandments break down integrity.
  5. The Bible’s meaning is not hidden from men; men hide from its meaning.
  6. Actions are better indicators of character than rhetoric.
  7. The indifferent make no difference.
  8. Remaining weak takes strength. It takes power not to use power.
  9. Great men step in when everyone else steps out.
  10. Moral arguments which are entirely material are entirely immaterial.
  11. Peacemakers and saltshakers dispense enrichment.
  12. A grudge will keep you deep in sludge. Points of contention are points of retention.
  13. Revenge is hard to reverse.
  14. Never put faith in people who have no faith.
  15. Everything goes when anything goes.
  16. Your sin is not just your problem.
  17. Parental neglect prompts government parenting.
  18. Where no one fears God, everyone fears man.
  19. The right battle is lost with the wrong weapon.
  20. Insecurity secures instability.

Watch for more maxims soon. Or follow me on Twitter and Tumblr to read some of Brian Ridolfi’s maxims.

15 More Tweetable Billy Graham Quotes

BillyGrahamI recently shared 15 quotes from The Quotable Billy Graham that fit nicely into Twitter. I saw lots of those quotes appearing in other places, so here are 15 more tweetable quotes from Dr. Graham…

“Without God, the best man in the world is capable of the most terrifying crimes.”

“We have become so accustomed to immorality that it no longer seems to us to be immoral.”

“One of the best ways to get a boy to say ‘I do’ at the marriage altar is for the girl to say ‘No’ before marriage.”

“One of the worst sins we can commit is that of ingratitude.”

“I beg you not to squander life. I beseech you to take the long view. Do not live for the world only.”

“All mankind is searching for ideal conditions in a world that is anything but ideal.”

“A religion which is full of pretense is nothing but religious addiction.”

“Crisis times are the times when Christ should be proclaimed.”

Only if Christ is a partner in the home and in the hearts of the two people will romance continue.”

“Self-respect is a wonderful thing so long as it is not produced by self-deception.”

“It has always been the mark of decaying civilizations to become obsessed with sex.”

“The three chief consequences of sin are: estrangement from God; bondage to self; disharmony with others.”

“The verb of the world is ‘get.’ The verb of the Christian is ‘give.’” 

“Any philosophy which deals only with the here and now is not adequate for man.”

“Everyone meets temptations, but some folks entertain them.”

You can read my review of this book here. And check out some longer quotes from Billy Graham here and here.

Links & Quotes

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“Then and there, here and now, more and more: This is how we must think about the Kingdom of God and our involvement in it.” —T.M. Moore

“What is the meaning of God sending His own Son, if less than salvation was intended; if less than Incarnation will do, less than blood, less than death, less than resurrection? Oh let us understand the greatness of God’s provision for us, and in that greatness, read at once our death and our life, our condemnation and our deliverance.” —Horatius Bonar

David Wilkerson says, “It is one thing to speak with what we think of as authority—in a loud, boisterous voice, seeming to have total control. But in God’s kingdom, authority is something altogether different. It’s something you have, not something you simply speak.” Read more in his post The Authority Of Jesus.

Wise words from N.T. Wright when it appears God isn’t at work.

GREAT NEWS: Hilton Hotels & Resorts has officially announced a change in policy and will remove all on-demand pornographic videos from the in-room entertainment services at all of its properties worldwide.

Parents, here is a really good list of Scripture verses to help your children memorize as they head back to school.

TrumpToShakespeare_edit-01Info We Trust has a unique way of analyzing the data from the first GOP debate. I love this!

[VIDEO] Dennis Prager make 5 outstanding arguments about the morality of abortion—

Links & Quotes

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“May the Lord increase your hunger and your thirst to see the face of God. And may He grant your desire through the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God.” —John Piper

Chuck Colson said, “It seems that everywhere—from Tennessee to Tokyo—religion is being permeated by a consumerist mentality.” Read more (or take a listen to Chuck’s broadcast) on Gimmie That Hot-Tub Religion.

My friend and mentor, Tom Kaastra, has an amazing new website called The Basics of Life—Help for your spiritual journey. Do yourself a favor, check out the site, and then subscribe so you can receive his wisdom each time he publishes something new.

Ken Davis has some good insights on handling the ups and downs of life.

Dr. Ben Carson sets the record straight on Planned Parenthood’s racist foundation. And Jayme Metztgar explains why abortion is the new slavery, giving three reasons why what Planned Parenthood is doing is morally wrong.

From Planned Parenthood’s own annual report, prenatal services—which have decreased—amount to 18,684 services. Out of the total 10,590,433 services then, pre-natal care accounts for less than 1 percent. For pregnant women who come to Planned Parenthood, 94 percent of them have an abortion. (h/t Live Action)

Where did life originateJ. Warner Wallace asks: Can naturalists [evolutionists] explain where life originated? Great apologetics for those who believe in a Creator or Intelligent Design.

David Wilkerson says there is a command from Jesus that far too many Christians ignore: “The King has told us to bind up the devil and cast him out of the banqueting hall. In short, we’re to rise up and take serious action against satan’s attacks on Christ’s Body.” Read more here.

Links & Quotes—Special Supreme Court Issue

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Our culture has become one of soundbites, and the ability to listen to an argument and counter-argument is becoming a rare quality indeed. I have seen the headlines today and I have heard the 10-second soundbites, but reading the Court’s decision in full has been most educational. Read it for yourself here. The biggest concern I have in this decision was stated by Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissent—

“Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create ‘liberties’ that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

And Chief Justice John Roberts in his dissenting opinion stated another truth—

“If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

Something can be legal, and still be immoral (does anyone remember slavery?). The Supreme Court of the United States can define (or re-define) legislative matters, but ultimate moral authority doesn’t belong to those nine justices; it belongs with God and His revealed will in the Bible. Despite what the Supreme Court says, God still has the final word on how marriage is defined.

Ryan T. Anderson gives us some counsel on how to respond to the Court’s decision.

John Piper’s commentary is brilliant—So-Called Same Sex Marriage: Lamenting The New Calamity.

Here is a good way for Christians to respond: “We must always remember that those who traffic in lies are image-bearers of God and objects of His love. But they are ‘defiled’—that’s Paul’s word—both in their thinking and in their values. The Lie has made such an impression on some people that it has taken over their thinking, desires, values, and choices. Such people do not need our condemnation; instead, they need patience, gentleness, and probably a series of extended conversations if they’re ever going to break out of the web of lies in which they have become ensnared. … Thus we need to make sure that our hearts are saturated with love for those we intend to confront, in order to issue a sharp rebuke and, hopefully, gain them for the faith of Christ.” —T.M. Moore

Links & Quotes

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“People who suffer the loss of a loved one will tell you that your presence is comforting, not your answers. In his first sermon after losing his son to suicide, Pastor Rick Warren advised his congregants that if they were unsure about what to say in a tragedy, say nothing. Just be there. Job’s friends initially did that. It was only after they began to speak that they made matters worse. If you’re hurting right now, I risk making matters worse by giving intellectual answers to emotional pain.” —Frank Turek

“Men may as well build their houses upon the sand and expect to see them stand, when the rains fall, and the winds blow, and the floods come, as to found free institutions upon any other basis than that of morality and virtue, of which the Word of God is the only authoritative rule, and the only adequate sanction. All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they have of stringent state government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint. Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet. It may do for other countries and other governments to talk about the state supporting religion. Here, under our own free institutions, it is religion which must support the state.” —Robert Winthrop, speaker of the US House of Representatives (1847–1849)

Some wonderful quotes from Maya Angelou.

“Anything which you have in this world, which you do not consecrate to Christ’s cause, you do rob the Lord of.” —Charles Spurgeon

“If we don’t kill every hint of immorality, we’ll be captured by our tendency as males to draw sexual gratification and chemical highs through our eyes. But we can’t deal with our maleness until we first reject our right to mix standards. As we ask ‘How holy can I be?’ we must pray and commit to a new relationship with God, fully aligned with His call to obedience.” —Steve Arterburn

[VIDEO] So are Christian scientists biased in their research? Yes! Any scientist is, but that is why there are controls—

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