Abortion, then Regret

“Two years ago today, November 11, 2013, I had an abortion. It still hurts just as much now today as it did the day it happened. This abortion was not something I wanted to do, but my boyfriend at the time insisted he knew what was better for me than I did and told me if I didn’t do it he would leave me, and I would be alone. I was so wrapped up in the relationship, I didn’t want to let him down, so I did what he said. On the drive home, I cried and cried, and he yelled at me and said, “you can’t change what happened, so stop crying.”

The next day he broke up with me, and from that day until about a month ago, he strung me along and told me it was my fault that I went through with the abortion. I have yet to go talk to someone about this sensitive topic because I have not been able to verbally talk about it with anyone and I am afraid to talk about it face to face. I would like to see a day where abortion was done away with so no other girl has to feel this pain. It is one of the worst pains I have felt in my life.”

Age: 21
Location: Goshen, Indiana
Date: November 11, 2013

The is the testimony of regret.

Regret is a step in the right direction, but it is only the first step in the process that ultimately relieves the fundamental pain in the soul of this young woman.

Delight in Truth argues that abortion in many of these cases is not the central problem.  The heart of the matter has to do with a lifestyle of sin in rebellion to God, and the absence of the Gospel in the life of individuals who undergo abortions.

Abortion, although a sin in itself, is a by-product or a consequence of living in sin. The result of sin hurts on so many levels. Premarital sexual relationships are often complicated by abortion. Many of these women who undergo the procedure already know ahead of time that their relationship is wrong.

In the case above, the woman aborted the baby in order to keep the boyfriend.


That is not a relationship that is based on the love of God for his church, the way a marriage is defined in the Bible.

The problem above is that sin has not be addressed at its root. This sin is now an overwhelming burden that cannot be endured. This is where the cross comes into the picture.  Jesus died even for the sin of abortion.  The Bible tells us that he took our inequities upon Himself so that His children will not bear the guilt and eternal punishment.

Jesus took upon Himself even the sin of abortion.

I pray this anonymous mom will find Jesus.

Focus on the Big Picture

I still remember my first patient in medical school as if it was yesterday.

It was the summer of 2000 when I started my surgical clerkship in a large county hospital.  That place had anything and everything one could possible imagine with respect to the spectrum of disease and humanity.  Young, old, a ton of homeless patients, drug and alcohol addicts, psychiatric illness galore…  The Emergency Room was more like a zoo when one considers the noises and the smells there…

So with this context in mind, imagine my first week on the surgical rotation.  My first patient was a homeless 60-year-old man who smoked 1-2 packs per day for about 45 years.  As a result he had severe vascular disease and was in the process of losing his leg to dry gangrene due to lack of circulation.  To make the problem worse, he became addicted to narcotic pain medicine while in the hospital.

I walked into his room one day on rounds to examine him, and irritated he said to leave him alone because he needs to focus.  Focus on what?

Then I noticed he was holding his Morphine PCA (patient controlled analgesia) button in his hand and looking at the medication pump screen intensely.  He figured out the PCA formula down to the last detail, and was trying to maximize the amount of narcotic he would receive from the machine.

He figured out that the machine would dispense a morphine bolus only after a 10 minute lock out.  Furthermore, as a safety check, the machine was programmed to dispense a certain maximum amount each hour regardless of the lockout intervals and the number of times the patient pushes the button.  He learned the way the machine worked, and when I walked in he knew he had about 5 minutes before it would respond to another push.

He was so focused on counting down the minutes and seconds to the expiration of the lockout interval that he would not even talk to me about the grand picture, which was the upcoming surgery to fix the problem in his leg.

This world and the sin around us work in a similar way.

Those who have not found God are so entrenched into the world and into sin that they cannot grasp the big picture.  They would rather focus on the next vain pleasure than step back and realize that they are on the road to perdition.

Consider what Paul writes in Romans 6:23 about the outcome of being a slave to sin:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

Focus on sin leads to death.

Salvation by the free gift of God leads to eternal life in Jesus.

Boston Terror: Why Humanity is Inhumane

April 15th. Taxes are due.

But evil has his own plans to tax us with death.

In a span of 10 seconds the two blasts culminated what was months, perhaps years of premeditated mass murder.  Blood was splattered, lives were lost, and amputees will now have a daily reminder of this evil.

I am not necessarily interested in the political or religious reasons for this heinous act.  To give an ear to the perpetrator’s pretexts for doing this is to appease him.

There is only one reason for this: humanity has lost its… humanity.

To understand this we must go way back to the beginning.  Humanity was created in the image of God, and the image of God is perfect.  But one act of disobedience on behalf of Adam made world wars, 9/11, and now the Boston Marathon bombing inevitable.

They came to Jesus in Luke 13 to tell Him about an act of terror.  They told Him that Pilate had murdered a group of Jews as they were worshipping.  Think of it as a bomb going off in a public place like the Boston Marathon finish line.

Jesus’s response was frank and unanesthetized:  “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?” Luke 13:2

He is in fact saying that such hate and violence is here to stay because of sin, and anyone of us could have been a victim!  He follows with the command to repent of sin.

Humanity will always be broken because we lost the initial image that God bestowed on us.

Political and religious motives for this crime are secondary as long as the evil impulse in the hearts of men remains unquenched.  There will always be a cause, a revolution, a motive, an impetus to rebel and kill.

The only solution is repentance of the broken humanity that is in us.

That is where salvation by faith in God begins.

To Be or not to Be… Born of God

That is the question…

More than a question asked by Hamlet about the meaning of life, for the Christian this is a question about the status of the soul.

This is a test of faith.

In this case the test of faith rests on what apostle John writes when he fights Gnosticism and heresy in the early church.  One of the pearls of John’s first letter is found in 1 John 3:9

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.

A clear line can be drawn between those who live in sin continuously (make a practice of sinning), and those who do not persist in their sin but repent of it.   That line is a division between those who are born of God and those who are of the devil (1 John 3:8).

This is a radical concept.  Could it be that there is no in-between?  Is there no such thing as a lukewarm position of transition between these two polar opposites?

The answer is no.  One is either saved or unsaved.

Being born of God does not mean and we are completely free of sin in this life.  But we are not slaves to it.  We do not live in a pattern of continual sin.  The Holy Spirit convicts us and leads us to repentance when we do sin, and He points us to the cross where we find forgiveness.

The presence of this work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is what sets believers apart from non-believers.

image credit

PRIDE is the Root Cause of Evil

Yesterday was a sad day in our community.  The murderous spirit of Cain visited one of my medical colleagues in the form of an elderly man who shot and killed the doctor inside his medical office.

The perpetrator is in custody and he will pay for his crime.

But why? Why do humans kill other humans? Why do we harbor hate, greed, lust, pride, jealousy, revenge, and so many evil emotions?  Why do we lash out, revile, and follow our instincts to commit violence and so many other sins?

I believe the Word of God gives us the best answer to these difficult questions in Genesis 3.

All the evil intentions of man’s heart come down to one sin: PRIDE.

Before the original sin of disobedience by Adam and Eve there was the sin of pride.  The fall of Lucifer was based on this sin, and he kindled the same evil emotion in Adam’s heart, which eventually led Adam to disobey and fall. Pride made Lucifer desire to be like God, and the serpent enticed Adam and Eve with the same prospect.  Pride was born when Adam wanted to share God’s attributes, and human beings have been sinful ever since.

Pride is a product that is at the center of the human SELF.

Pride leads to hate because the SELF cannot bear when someone else is better than the SELF, or someone is a threat to the SELF.

Pride leads to greed because the intense desire to accumulate wealth and power satisfy the SELF, which further amplify pride… and the vicious cycle continues.

Pride uses lust to fan the SELF.  We are establishing a common theme here.  The SELF will stop at nothing to make the SELF the center of the universe.

Pride generates jealousy because the SELF is threatened by someone else’s achievement.

Pride wants revenge.  “I’ll show him I am the best…” And revenge can lead to murder.

Pride causes violence.  The SELF must be satisfied at all cost, and violence against others is a justification of the prideful SELF.

Even the “temporarily insane” who murder others get to that point because pride has driven them to obsession, compulsion and lack of logic.

Whatever the motive for this murderous act, the root cause was pride.  The SELF needed to perform this act to meet a revengeful, hateful, jealous, obsessive or whatever desire…

Can you imagine a world without pride?

There is only one man who did not experience the sin of pride, nor any other sin.  He is Jesus Christ.  And everything He did was the polar opposite of the evil things I listed above.

He substituted meekness for pride.  Instead of hatred He loved.  Instead of committing violence or reviling he allowed Himself to be violated and mocked.  He undid greed by giving Himself away.  He did all this to save His children, to undo the damage that pride has done in their lives.

Without the introduction of PRIDE, this world would have continued to be a perfect world.  But one day I believe Jesus will make things perfect again.