Slippery Slope Getting Steeper

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One of the challenges of supporting abortion is one must also support the slippery slope argument that there is no absolute right to life. Your right to life is no longer absolute but conditional upon circumstances and values which change over time. Today abortion is considered a legal right to terminate a life. What lies ahead?

Terminating the life of patients to save medical costs within a nationalized healthcare system?

Remember the uproar over the death panels designation by Sarah Palin regarding Obamacare? National healthcare is always sold as extending healthcare to those not covered. Restricting healthcare is never mentioned. But if you give something away that does not make it free. It just means the costs are assumed by the government. Instead, what you give away is your right to choose your own care. You now have to let the government decide what services will be provided. And when costs increase, well the right to life starts turning into the need to justify why you should continue to live.

The real fallout is for those who want to continue to practice medicine without being forced to compromise their ethics. Doctors and other healthcare providers are facing an increasing pressure to gut conscience laws protecting them from being forced to provide services that involve terminating life. When actively terminating lives in order to save costs, a new line will be crossed.

There is a clear difference between withholding new treatment and letting nature take its course and instead deliberately dehydrating someone to kill them as the linked article recommends. Note the phrases used which I highlight below:

The courts should not interfere with doctors who want to dehydrate to death incapacitated patients who are a drain on scarce financial resources, according to an editorial in this week’s edition of the prestigious British Medical Journal.

The judgment, he said, “threaten[s] to skew the delivery of severely resource-limited healthcare services towards providing non-beneficial or minimally beneficial life prolonging treatments including artificial nutrition and hydration to thousands of severely demented patients whose families and friends believe they would not have wanted such treatment”.

There you have it. The real truth regarding what some liberals believe on display for the healthcare issue.

In the first one, you see the liberal mantra common people lack the nuance to make decisions. They simply don’t know what is good for themselves so we must make those decisions for them. Let a government selected professional class of experts (how liberals love experts) make all those hard decisions for us. Not recommendations but make the decision themselves.

In the second one you see the myth that we can deliver a government controlled healthcare system without costs going up. Government control of healthcare is supposed to lower costs.  I guess nationalization of healthcare makes sense because there are so many cases where a monopoly has been more efficient than competition in delivery of goods and services. Like a cable TV monopoly for example.

My question is if their focus is on compassion for others why do those supporting liberal policies always require a further reduction on an individual’s right to life?

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Liberal Christianity

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Who knew? Liberal interpretation of scripture does not result in a growth of church attendance!

In the spirit of honesty, most mainline denominations with the US are experiencing a decline in church attendance regardless of whether they define themselves as liberal, emergent, welcoming, conservative, or whatever. Mainline denominations are simply playing a smaller role within increasingly busy lives. But despite reports in the media to the contrary, the majority of Americans still identify themselves as religious according to the Pew Forum Religious Landscape Survey.

But the drop-off of attendance is certainly being felt most strongly in liberal denominations. Why? The commentary answers this question as follows:

But if liberals need to come to terms with these failures, religious conservatives should not be smug about them. The defining idea of liberal Christianity — that faith should spur social reform as well as personal conversion — has been an immensely positive force in our national life. No one should wish for its extinction, or for a world where Christianity becomes the exclusive property of the political right.

What should be wished for, instead, is that liberal Christianity recovers a religious reason for its own existence.

Pushing a liberal political view is apparently insufficient reason for existence of a church. I agree. Pushing a conservative political view is equally insufficient. People have this strange idea that the focus should be on God. Note also the subtle bias of that commentary. Since liberal Christianity aligns with liberal political views, it must be preserved. And the opposite is also therefore implied. Conservative Christian views which do not align with liberal political views do not deserve to be preserved.  Ultimately, if God cannot be aligned with liberal political views, well it follows God does not deserve be preserved.

I think that is challenge of liberal Christianity. Whenever God and liberal views collide, liberals demand God must yield.

Liberal Christian churches, more often than not, are not about glorifying God but instead using God to glorify their agenda. Certainly not all liberal churches fall into this trap. But when a church focuses on equality and social justice more than the Bible, that focus is a warning sign. Like churches promoting the Prosperity Gospel, liberal Christianity churches tend to use the Bible as a prop to support their views rather than use it inform their congregation about God’s plan and purpose for us. Liberal Churches often quote the Sermon on the Mount and other selected verses that support their views while disregarding the rest. But ask yourself this question. Did Jesus advocate a top down government driven solution to the challenges of poverty and injustice? Or did He encourage individuals to make a change within themselves to walk humbly, show mercy, and glorify God?

Related: The Light That Failed

Wealthy and Healthy? Or Faithful?

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RUN!!! Don’t just walk away from the false preachers and their distorted world view as evidenced by their advocating the prosperity gospel.

I came across this excellent article by Randy Alcorn about the distortions of this false theology and the damage such a misplaced focus does to our relationship with God. Read the whole thing!

In America, a sharp-looking businessman stands up at a luncheon to give his testimony: “Before I knew Christ, I had nothing. My business was in bankruptcy, my health was bad, I’d nearly lost my family. Then I accepted Christ. He took me out of bankruptcy, and my business has doubled its profits. My blood pressure has dropped to normal, and I feel great. Best of all, my wife and children have come back, and we’re a family again. God is good—praise the Lord!”

In China, a disheveled former university professor gives his testimony:

“Before I met Christ, I had everything. Then I came to Jesus as my Savior and Lord. As a result, I lost my post at the university, lost my house, and now work for a subsistence wage at a factory. My wife rejected me because of my conversion. She took my son away, and I haven’t seen him for five years. I live with constant pain from injuries when police dragged me away from our unregistered church service. But God is good, and I praise Him for His faithfulness.”

Both men are sincere Christians. One gives thanks because of what he’s gained. The other gives thanks despite what he’s lost.

When I hear false preachers advocating the so called prosperity gospel I am reminded of the difference between how God and Satan speaks to us. One tells you what you want to hear. One tells you what you need to hear. Which do you think the properity gospel most resembles? God? Or Satan?

Which Way Is the Trend Blowing?

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They say all trends begin in California. A recent round-up of news shows that the Golden State is not so golden anymore. As seen in Detroit and Illinois, blue state economics are not generally viable over time since they tend to penalize achievement and encourage dependency on government services.

Teaching Business Ethics In a Not So Ethical World

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    This is what they are teaching in college these days for business ethics. I am doubtful this is sufficient in today’s world filled where one is surrounded by situational ethics, relativism, and ever diminishing personal responsibility as well as ever increasing laws and regulations as well as privileged categories of people who are exempt from them.

The latest trend is to shift ethical responsibility from individuals to organizations which has resulted in an explosion of rules, policies, and regulations but has not created a more ethical society. We need more individual responsibility and better preparation as individuals to make ethical decisions. As the Nuremberg trials of war criminals after World War 2 showed, following orders does not make a person ethical.

Where Does Moral Law Come From?

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MSNBC has reported that atheist blogger Leah Libresco has converted to Christianity. In the article she is quoted as saying “After a back-and-forth where her friend asked her to make an argument about where moral law comes from, she couldn’t think of any.” That is a telling quote.

The challenge for atheism isn’t so much how to prove God doesn’t exist as much as it is how to prove why morality does exist. Every society has rules but what makes one rule immoral and another one moral? Atheists claim that humans have evolved several models for determining what is moral behavior and an individual is free to choose whichever one best suits them. For example, Jeremy Bentham was a philosopher who back in the late 1700’s helped define the science of morality. He defined morality this way: “It is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.” Christopher Hitchens states in this video that he believes morality is “…innate within us…” citing how societies enforce moral behavior meaning humans know what is right and what is wrong. The Humanist Manifesto states “Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.”

All these models of morality cited by atheists including those cited by Mr. Bentham and Mr. Christopher and the Humanist Manifesto have the same flaw. They are relative and not absolute. Indeed, the entire concept of atheism forces morality models to evolve over time and never be absolute. What was moral today might be immoral tomorrow. This is often cited by atheists as a benefit and not a flaw believing that changes in morality over time is considered as improvement over time. As our knowledge and understanding grows, our morality evolves and improves as well. That position of evolving morality also assumes an absence of sin. Because sin does not exist, immoral behavior must evolve over time as well a response to our environment. There is a feedback loop where our evolving morality will drive behavior modification over time towards a more moral society. In other words, as we evolve an improved morality based upon growing knowledge of our environment, we learn to apply that morality within our society through rules and laws which will reinforce the correct behavior. Based upon that, one would suspect over time, what we Christians call sin would also change as people improved their behavior to align to the growing understanding of what constitutes moral behavior.

But as Christian, I do not see that happening. I see sin the same today as it was 2000 years ago. Indeed, there has been no change in sin. I challenge any atheist to identify one single sin that has disappeared from the planet as part of this evolution of morality. Just name one. If sin stays constant over time, than how can an atheist say morality evolves?

As a Christian, my world view is different. My morality is derived from the Bible which is God’s Word to His people. God’s morality is absolute. Like God, it does not change over time. What was immoral 2000 years ago is just as immoral today. And sin does not change over time as well. We are all just as tempted by sin today as we always have been. That is why the siren song of relative morality appeals to us. We think we can be a good person by our actions. We think we can evolve ourselves to a point where we can move past our sinful nature. We think we do not need God’s grace to save us. But that is wrong. As I see things, I am a sinner. And that will not change. I cannot save myself. But I do have the hope that I can be saved through God’s grace. I have that hope today. I have that hope tomorrow. Because my hope is based upon God who does not change, it does not need to evolve or change. I just need to believe. I think that is the challenge. You can either believe in a relative morality that changes over time or in God and an absolute morality that does not. If you see sin disappearing over time, than perhaps relative morality makes sense. But if you do not see sin evolving, it might be time like Leah Libresco, to ask where moral law really comes from.

Christian Compassion

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One charge often leveled against Christians is that we are not compassionate towards others. This often comes up in discussions around gay marriage, abortion, national healthcare, and social security and other entitlement programs. Usually there is a complaint about how Christians are supposed to show  others love and then go and demonstrate the opposite by opposing abortion, gay marriage, and entitlement programs designed to help the least fortunate of society. Why do those Christians just do not care about others? They obviously lack compassion.

Indeed, the Bible is very clear calling for compassion by Christians. That is what makes such a charge effective. No Christian wants to be thought of as not  being compassionate. There are many clear passages in the Bible about compassion. Here are some examples of what Bible teaches about compassion:

  • Galatians 6:2 states “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
  • 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 states “So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part
  • suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
  • 1 John 3:17 says “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”

The Bible calls individuals to react in situations in a way that demonstrates and reflects the love of Christ to others. But this has been changed by progressives from a call to individuals to help others to being a call to government to regulate our lives to achieve a compassionate society. These progressives honestly believe if they pass, tweak, update, and expand enough laws, that human behavior will change and society will eliminate injustice and and achieve tolerance and compassion. That viewpoint ignores the sinful nature of man. The Christian perspective is that we cannot sufficiently change ourselves to save us from ourselves. Indeed, only the sacrifice of Christ can save us. We can never be perfect enough, holy enough, legislate laws precisely enough to achieve a society free from injustice.

The response to the charge that Christians lack compassion is not to debate the worthiness of any law on how much is helps any person or group but to redirect the discussion to if the compassion we are being challenged by the Bible to demonstrate is compassion as individuals or as a society. If the person states we are challenged to make society more compassionate, then the next question is to ask what is the finish line? What is a sufficiently compassionate society? We already know all the laws tried do not work. Has the Great Society implemented by President Johnson eliminated poverty? Has racism been defeated by racial hate crime laws and racial preferences? I am confident they will agree we as a society are not there yet in terms of justice and compassion. Then ask them why they do not accept that imperfect laws created by imperfect people will always have imperfect results? I believe that we can never reach the finish line of a just and compassionate society by creating and tweaking and enforcing laws.

The response will generally be something along the lines that not helping will leave others worse off. That you should not ignore the plight of others. I agree with that perspective. We should not ignore others. We should choose through our own free will our individual response to the human condition. By enforcing through passing laws compassionate appearing behavior, the net result is to deny our free will choice to choose the genuine compassion we are called as individuals to demonstrate. That is why progressives usually lag far behind on individual charitable contributions then many Christians since they believe compassion is to be implemented and enforced through laws applied to all of society and not by individuals exercising free will. So the true question is not why do Christians lack compassion but rather if you are going to quote Biblical compassion as a requirement for Christians, why do you not also recognize it is being asked for us to follow as individuals and not as a society? Society has no eternal soul to save. Individuals do.

And then be prepared to discuss how you as an individual are showing compassion.

A related discussion on individualism and selfishness.

Every Saint Has A Past And Every Sinner Has A Future

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Hello and Welcome!

This blog will be where I record my thoughts about my journey in life being pulled between my selfish nature and the person God wants me to be. It is a complex answer to a simply question. How does one respond to God’s grace? Grace given by God that is unearned and undeserved. Along the way, I will be giving feedback on how the secular world intrudes into our lives and tempts us towards our sinful nature. It is a journey of hope. It is a journey of forgiveness. But most of all, it is a sinner’s journey into the heart of God’s love.