Saturday, February 20, 2010

Starting with the BIG topics right away!

Here’s an interesting article: Kentucky Crack Mom Faces Jail for Endangering Unborn Baby 

You can read it yourself or just trust my summary: a Kentucky mother is facing jail time (in fact, she has indeed pled guilty) for endangering her unborn child’s life by using crack cocaine while she was pregnant.  Her attorney is making the obvious (and ironic) argument that it doesn’t make sense to charge her with this crime if it’s “okay to kill” an unborn child through abortion.  The Kentucky case is not the only one, either.  Part of the issue regarding this case relates directly to a nearly identical case waiting to be considered by Kentucky’s Supreme Court - a case that goes back to 2006, but a brief Internet search will quickly show that this has been an issue since abortion became legal.  If it is legal to kill a baby via abortion, how can it then be illegal to endanger it (and possibly kill it) via drug/alcohol use or other lifestyle choices during pregnancy?

Why this topic? Aren’t we already on the same page on this? Here’s why: I think that way too many godly women are taking the attitude that abortion, while it is a problem, is not “our” problem. It is the World’s problem, right? Christian women don’t have abortions! Think again. Would it surprise you to know that 37% of women who have abortions identify themselves as Protestants, and about 18% specifically as “Born Again/Evangelical”?  And since over 90% of abortions are done for “social reasons” (as opposed to medical reasons or rape/incest - which I’m not saying is okay!), that means that a LOT of Christian women are having abortions, and that makes it our problem indeed!

Have we become hardened? Have we become so used to the sin around us that our spiritual senses have become dull? Have we begun to compromise? How did we - as Christian women - get this way?
What should our response be to those statistics - to the whole issue in general?  Sure, we can expect the World to condone abortion, but does it disturb you that upwards of a quarter of a million children in the United States are murdered by their “Christian” mothers every year?  Do we just shake our heads and click our tongues and thank the Lord that we don’t go to “that kind” of church? 
I suppose, as blog posts go, this is probably a crazy one to start with (are you wishing I’d have stuck with Systematic Theology?), but it’s been on my heart so much lately that I just had to say something.  
If you know me at all, you know that abortion is a big deal with me - and I am not ashamed to admit that I’m a single-platform voter when election time comes around (much to the chagrin of my more politically-minded friends); however, I find the statistics about “Christian” women and abortion to be quite troubling on a grander scale.  I think it is indicative of a much larger problem within the Church today - the tendency to compromise so much that that line between us and the World gets blurrier and blurrier and eventually we just can’t find it at all.  We compromise in the name of “love” and even in the name of “witnessing,” and it has finally gotten the best of us.  We’ve stopped standing up for what is right - for what is RIGHTEOUS.  We’re so afraid of being considered judgmental and fundamental and pharisaical that we have become willing instead to sacrifice righteousness on the altar of compromise, and I think Satan is pretty thrilled with that, don’t you?   
We’ve gotten so used to compromising with the World that we’ve started doing it in the Church. We need to open our eyes and open our mouths and stop acting like dumb sheep following the rest of the World off a cliff in the name of compromise!  We need to stop letting the World’s way of thinking infiltrate our spiritual lives and our homes and our churches.   
I’m not suggesting that we go to the other extreme (even though my extremist nature is just screaming at me right now!) and all turn Amish! But I am suggesting that we start paying attention to those fundamentals that we supposedly hold to, starting with the inerrancy and authority of scripture and the importance of a literal hermeneutic!  
Oh, and if you just said to yourself “literal-hermeneutic is such Christianese” then pause for a minute to smack yourself on the head! I’ll wait. Because seriously, THAT’S the kind of compromise that made 250,000 Christian women think it was okay to kill their children last year!  
So the moral of the story is: don’t be afraid of being judgmental, right? :-) But “...judge with a right judgment” (John 7:24) and speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).  But at least speak! 
♥ I’m memorizing 2 Peter 1:3-10. I would like to encourage you to memorize it with me if you don’t already know it.  I’m focusing right now on that first line: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,” because it ties in so nicely with my current rant!  We already have what we need - EVERYTHING we need.  We don’t need to compromise or settle for the World’s idea of “good” - we already have “His precious and very great promises...”! 
How can YOU respond to a Christian friend when it looks like she’s making sinful choices?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rethinking Things...

Okay - I said's February 1st. So close! Hopefully you'll understand why once you finish reading this post.

I've been doing a lot of thinking and praying about this Blog, this Study, my general reasons for even wanting to do all this, and what we should actually be doing.

Originally, I wanted a place where we could do some Bible studying together - even though we may be miles apart, but I wanted it to be more than just a milky, application-only, quasi-study...I never enjoyed those kinds of studies myself, nor have I ever found them truly useful. :-) But I also wanted a place where we could talk about things that are important to Christian women -- but not some place that was exactly like every other Christian women’s blog out there.

I still want those things.

After much thought and discussion (way back at the beginning), I decided to do the Systematic Theology study -- which I've enjoyed doing. And I still believe that the study of Systematic Theology is important and relevant. However, if you will recall (or just slide on down to the April 11, 2009 post), I tend to be an extremist. So even though I've enjoyed the ST study, it has become much more extreme than I planned (or anticipated!)...much larger in size, I mean (obviously it's a huge topic to begin with!). It’s been feeling more like I was writing a curriculum rather than a bi-monthly (okay, monthly!) Bible study, and that's not where I wanted to go with this ministry. Maybe it’s the extremist in me; maybe it’s the teacher in me; who knows. But I know that I was struggling and, I admit (gulp) sometimes dreading writing the studies.

The need is still there; the desire is still there; I’ve just been struggling with a way to give it a new start. ;-)

Praise the Lord for my amazing husband, Bob! For whatever reason – either because he sensed my reluctance and disquietude or because of some connection he has with the Lord’s will (I swear that guy has a direct line to God’s timeline sometimes!) – for whatever reason, he suggested to me that I might want to rethink this Blog and this study and this ministry as a whole.

Praise the Lord for Bob! (I needed to say it again.)

So...(you knew it was coming, right?), after much prayer and thought, I’m going to make some big changes. Hopefully you will be on the same band-wagon as I’m on…if not, well, I’ll probably finish that ST curriculum in the next decade or so – maybe I’ll sell it to a Bible college and you can take it as a regular class!

I still want this Blog to be a place we can come for Bible study, but on more of an informal scale, and I also want it to be a place where you can learn about things that are going on in the world – things that affect us, as Christian women, or things that we need to be aware of. There will still be actual Bible studying going on, but it will be more casual…less like school. :-) But I think there are things that need to be said (it IS a Blog, after all!), sites and articles that we need to look at, and issues that need to be discussed in a Biblical context.

What does this mean for YOU?

Well first of all, it means you’ll have to check in a little more regularly. Some of you already receive notifications when I update the Blog – let me know if you want me to add you to the list (or remove you); you can also add this Blog’s link to your feed reader (and if you don’t know what that is, well…just pretend I didn’t say it); you can just check in every now and then to see if I’ve added anything new; you can “Follow” this Blog; there are lots of things you can do to keep up with us here.

Second, just because we’re not doing the download-and-complete type of study anymore doesn’t mean you don’t have any “assignments” to do – be prepared to participate in what goes on here, whether by commenting on the site, talking with a friend (ooh – or a stranger!) about what you’ve learned, or just sending me cookies. :-)

Ultimately, I want this to be a Ministry – and as such, it’s important to me that it, well, MINISTERS to you in some way. So let me know your thoughts, will ya?

Did you think you were going to get off without any homework? Here’s a passage from 2 Peter that has really been on my heart lately. I’m thinking about memorizing it. Want to join me? Either way, read it, and see if you can figure out why it’s been on my heart. I’ll give you a hint: the answer is somewhere in the between-lines of this Blog post!

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall." (2 Peter 1:3-10, ESV)

Talk to you soon!